Thursday, December 3
Read Matthew 1:16-17
We end our study of the genealogy of Jesus with three important truths.
- In verse 16, Matthew goes to great lengths to make sure his readers understood, while Jesus was born to Mary, her husband, Joseph was not Jesus’ father. Jesus was not born of man, but of the Holy Spirit. He was the God-man – fully God – fully man, so that, while as man, He had the capacity to sin, as God, He also had the capacity not to sin. Jesus was tempted in every way just as we are today, yet He never sinned. No other person has been born with that dual nature. However, when a person is born again, they are indwelt with that capacity not to sin, IF they yield themselves unto the Holy Spirit that dwells within them. In Hebrews 5:8, the writer said Jesus learned obedience THROUGH the things He suffered. How often have we begged God to deliver us FROM our suffering, rather than to welcome it as an opportunity to learn how to trust and obey? In 1 Peter 1:7, the Apostle wrote: “The trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perishes, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honor and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ.”
- The genealogy of Jesus is a beautiful illustration of God’s plan for man’s redemption.
- In the first period of Israel’s history, God gave birth to Israel through Abraham, and dominion through David. In Genesis 1:26-27, and Psalm 8:6, God created man to have dominion over all the earth.
- In the second period of Israel’s history, Israel lost its dominion because of its disobedience to God and its wicked behavior. They became slaves to ungodly nations because of their defiance of God. In the same way, man lost his right to dominion through his willful disobedience to God’s Word.
- In the third period of Israel’s history, which we are living in today, Israel will soon triumph over her enemies, through her faith in Jesus Christ as the Messiah, just as any person on earth can do today, if they will express their faith in Christ as their Savior.
- The genealogy of Jesus is divided into three sections, each with 14 generations. During those 4,000 years between Adam and Jesus, things may have appeared to be chaotic and confusing, and they were, just as they are today as we are living them out day by day. However, from God’s perspective, the outcome was never in question. Even though some “skunks” tried to stink up the process, God’s purpose and God’s promises were fulfilled according to God’s plan. The fifty-cent word for that is “sovereignty” – out of three sets of 14 generations, God’s sovereignty and elective process was revealed. Behind, under, above, and through it all, God was working His eternal purpose according to His Divine plan, and He still is today.
Before we move on in our study, may I urge you to pause and thank God for your family, past and present. Some of you might wonder why you need to thank God for your ancestors, because you have discovered that not many of them were true believers. Join the crowd! I’ve asked every “Edwards” I’ve met if they discovered any “horse-thieves” and “bootleggers” in their family tree, because if they have, we are probably kin!
The fact that you are reading this book, wanting to learn more about Jesus Christ and His love, proves one thing: Regardless of your human heritage, whether godly or ungodly, by His grace and His grace alone, God has supernaturally and sovereignly called you to Himself.
In fact, it may have been the more ungodly ones in your genealogy that caused you to question the real purpose and meaning to life. Again, join the crowd! I witnessed the very painful results of the sinful choices of many family members, and even as child, God tugged at my heart and urged me to not follow in their path. I witnessed the deep heartache and depressing humiliation that others went through when their family members made wrong choices, and as a teenager, God tugged at my heart and gave me the desire to live a more meaningful and purposeful life.
We can’t do anything about our spiritual heritage, except to thank God for where we are today. For whether we had good role models or bad, it is by His grace that we are where we are, and it is by His grace that we can leave a pathway of faithfulness for others to follow.