The book of the generation of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham.…
We are tempted to pass by the string of names with which the New Testament opens, as though it had no moral significance, as though it were only a relic of Jewish domestic annals. But even the genealogies in Genesis are eloquent in lessons on human life - its brevity, its changes, its succession, its unity in the midst of diversity; and the genealogy of our Lord has its own peculiar importance, reminding us of many facts.
I. CHRIST IS TRULY HUMAN. It will be a great mistake if we so conceive of his Divinity as in any way to diminish our idea of his humanity. He was as true a man as if he had not been more than a man. The Divinity in him overflows the humanity, fills it and surrounds it, but does not destroy it. Christ is not a demi-god - half-way between man and God. Perfectly one with his Father on the Divine side of his nature, he is equally one with us on the human.
II. CHRIST HAS CLOSE RELATIONSHIP WITH OTHER MEN. He does not descend out of the sky like an angel, or suddenly appear at our tent-door as the "three men" appeared to Abraham (Genesis 18:2). He comes in the line of a known household, and takes his place in the family tree. This family tree suggests kinship. A family is more than a collection of men, women, and children, more or less closely associated together like the grains of sand on the seashore. There is blood-relationship in it The solidarity of the human race makes one man to be the brother of all men. But the family relationship is even closer. Our Lord extends his own closest kinship to all who do the will of God (Matthew 12:50).
III. THE PAST LEADS UP TO CHRIST. He has his roots in the ages. Those dim, sorrowful years did not come and go in vain. They were all laying the foundation on which, in the fulness of time, God would build his glorious temple. Yet the men whose names are immortalized in this list knew not of their high destiny. We live for a future that is beyond our vision.
IV. CHRIST IS NOT ACCOUNTED FOR BY HIS ANCESTRY. Some people are proud of a noble pedigree. Yet it is possible to be the worthless scion of a glorious house, for families often degenerate. On the other hand, many of the best men have emerged out of obscurity. We may believe in "blood" to a certain extent, but heredity will not explain the most striking phenomena of human life. Most assuredly it will not explain the marvellous nature and character of Christ. "Who can bring a clean thing out of an unclean?" (Job 14:4). Christ is not the product of such lives as those of his ancestors here given. His unique glory is not of this world, as a comparison of his life with his genealogy should show us.
V. CHRIST SUMS UP THE GLORIES OF THE PAST. All that is great and good in his ancestors is contained in Christ and surpassed by him.
1. The Jewish faith. Christ's pedigree goes back to Abraham, the friend of God; and in Christ Abraham's faith and piety are perfected, and the promises to Abraham are fulfilled.
2. The Jewish throne. Christ is David's heir. He inherits David's kingship anti he exceeds it, realizing in fact what David imperfectly foreshadowed in type. - W.F.A.
Parallel VersesKJV: The book of the generation of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham.