“Abraham was the father of Isaac, and Isaac the father of Jacob” (Matt. 1:2a).
I have heard many people share their dislike for genealogies in the Bible. Why are they even in there? I mean, who cares who begot who and whatnot. I too have thought these very things until God revealed something to me while reading this genealogy that begins the book of Matthew.
The second verse in the entire book of Matthew is so important. It begins the genealogy, the family line, that would bring about the Savior of the world. Not only that, but it shows God’s fulfillment to the promise he gave Abraham so long ago in Genesis. “And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing” (Gen. 12:2). This is the very fulfillment of this promise given to Abraham. And the fulfillment of this promise came against all odds. Abraham was old and his wife, Sarah, was barren. They could not have children. Not only this but twice Abraham gave his wife into the possession of another man, when if God had not intervened, the father of Isaac could have very well been in question. God was faithful to Abraham.
Circumstances can very easily destroy a family line. We’ve seen it many times in history: war, famine, or plague sweeps through and kills off an entire family line. God was faithful through all of life’s circumstance, through the mistakes made in the family. He preserved the line for Christ to come. This genealogy screams of the goodness of God. He worked through a messed up family to keep them together to bring the Savior to the world.
Not only was he faithful to Abraham, but he was faithful to all mankind by fulfilling his promise in Genesis chapter three: “I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel” (Gen. 3:15). God is faithful to his word. Never once did he stray from his promise. The genealogy is a map of God’s faithfulness, showing how he preserved each person, each child, each family to create a scarlet thread woven through history to the birth, life, death, and resurrection of Christ.
The Christmas story starts here. It began with God’s promise the garden of Eden just after the entrance of sin. It began with his promise, and it was fulfilled through the family line of Abraham. The genealogy is so important to the Christmas story which is why it is the very beginning of the New Testament. It shows God’s goodness as he faithfully preserved the family of Abraham through forty-two generations to the coming of the Prince of Peace.
“So all the generations from Abraham to David were fourteen generations, and from David to the deportation to Babylon fourteen generations, and from the deportation to Babylon to the Christ fourteen generations” (Matt. 1:17).