Advent 2014 – Matthew 1:1-17 – The Genealogy of Jesus

Although it was important 2000 years ago, what relevance does [this passage] have today? Let me suggest three answers to that question.

A. It establishes Jesus as part of the royal family of David. His “right to the throne” is determined by his genealogy, which establishes beyond question that he is indeed a literal descendant of King David.

B. It demonstrates that Jesus Christ had historical roots. Jesus had a human family. He had a mother and a father and a history. He’s not some fictional character—like the gods on Mount Olympus. No, he was a real person born into a real family. Galatians 4:4 teaches us that behind it all stood God superintending the whole process.

C. It’s a chronicle of the grace of God. If you study these names in detail, it’s almost as if God has pulled together a rogue’s gallery. How does that show the grace of God? Simple. It shows the grace of God because people like this make up Jesus’ family tree. A murderer is on the list, a fornicator is on the list, an adulterer is on the list, a liar is on the list, a deceiver is on the list. Think about that. Most of these men were very great sinners. Why include people like that?

I think there are three answers to that question:

1. He did it to send a message to self-righteous people. Do you know what this means? Jesus was born into a sinful family. He came from a long line of sinners.

2. He did it so that God’s grace might be richly displayed. If you come from a family like this, you can’t exactly boast of your heritage. Sure, your ancestors were rulers and kings, but they were also great sinners. When you read the stories of these four women—and of the men on the list—you aren’t supposed to focus on the sin, but on the grace of God. The hero of this story is God. His grace shines through the blackest of human sin as he chooses flawed men and women and places them in Jesus’ family tree.

3. He did it so that we would focus on Jesus Christ. My final point should greatly encourage you: No matter what your past, Jesus can save you. Any murderers reading these words? Any prostitutes? Any adulterers? Any liars? Any cheaters? Any angry people? Any thieves? Any hypocrites?

Good News! No matter what you’ve done in the past, Jesus can save you. If a prostitute can be saved, you can be saved. If a murderer can be transformed, you can be transformed. If an incestuous person can be saved, then there is hope for you.

Good news! Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners. Good news! Call his name Jesus, for he shall save his people from their sins. He didn’t come to make you religious, he came to save you from your sins. He didn’t come to make you pious, he came to save you from your sins. He didn’t come for moral reformation, he came to give you eternal salvation.

As strange as it may seem, the worse you are, the better candidate you are for the grace of God. He came to do for you what you could never do for yourself. He came to save you from your sins.

Ray Pritchard

Heart Preparation
Read Matthew 1:1-17. As you read this list meditate on the long list of shady characters God used in his story of redemption. Are you too dirty, too poor, too weak, or too inadequate to be used in the continuing story of God’s redemption of the people of Tampa and all nations?

We will also be celebrating the Lord’s Supper this week. Take some time to prepare your heart and confess any sin to others as we both look at the reason why Jesus came and remember his death this Sunday.

Posted on: November 28, 2014 - 10:03AM

Comments are closed.