From Babylon to Jesus

Matthew Bible Background

New Testament: Matt 1.12–16

To read the Bible in a year, read Matthew 1 on January 1, In the year of our Lord Christ 2020

By Don Ruhl

Do you know the genealogy of your family, on both sides of your family? I can go back into the 1700s for both sides of my family. However, the Bible traces the family of Jesus clear back to Adam. All of us go back to Adam but too many things have happened along the way to break that chain of knowledge for each of us.

Matthew recorded the genealogy of Jesus starting from Abraham, whereas, Luke goes all the way back to Adam. Even something as potentially disruptive as the Babylonian war and captivity against Judah did not break the chain of knowledge:

And after they were brought to Babylon, Jeconiah begot Shealtiel, and Shealtiel begot Zerubbabel. Zerubbabel begot Abiud, Abiud begot Eliakim, and Eliakim begot Azor. Azor begot Zadok, Zadok begot Achim, and Achim begot Eliud. Eliud begot Eleazar, Eleazar begot Matthan, and Matthan begot Jacob. And Jacob begot Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus who is called Christ.

– Matthew 1.12–16

The Holy Spirit knew all these things and could have simply provided the information to Matthew, but keeping the genealogy was important to Israel for numerous reasons, including being able to know when the Messiah had arrived in the world, which would have fulfilled various prophecies relating people in the genealogy such as Abraham and David.

God has been looking out for us throughout history because He loves the world and wants to save everyone. Preserving the genealogy of Jesus was part of that plan.

Questions:

  • Are you doing anything to preserve your family’s history?
  • By looking at the last sentence of Matthew’s quote, can you figure out whether Matthew recorded the genealogy of Jesus through Mary or Joseph?

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