what do you think?
Here’s a quiz to see how well you know genealogy:
1. You have the names of three siblings born between 1884 and 1887 and need to know the names of their parents. Which census would be the best one to start with?
2. The best place to start your genealogical research is . . .
3. Your grandfather’s sister’s daughter is your . . .
first cousin once removed
4. You found several records that give your ancestor’s birth date. Which source is most reliable?
1834 baptismal record
1902 death record
did you know?
There are 17 verses in the New Testament that describe Jesus as the “Son of David.” But how is it possible for Jesus to be David’s “son” if David lived approximately 1,000 years before Jesus? Matthew 1 outlines the genealogical proof that Jesus was a direct descendant of David through Joseph, Jesus’ legal father. The genealogy in Luke 3 gives Jesus’ lineage through His mother, Mary. Thus, Jesus is a descendant of David, both through Joseph by adoption and Mary by blood.
INTO THE STORY
“I will be his Father, and he shall be My son. If he commits iniquity, I will chasten him with the rod of men and with the blows of the sons of men. But My mercy shall not depart from him, as I took it from Saul, whom I removed from before you. And your house and your kingdom shall be established forever before you. Your throne shall be established forever.”
“The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the Son of David, the Son of Abraham: Abraham begot Isaac, Isaac begot Jacob, and Jacob begot Judah and his brothers. Judah begot Perez and Zerah b y Tamar, Perez begot Hezron, and Hezron begot Ram. Ram begot Amminadab, Amminadab begot Nahshon, and Nahshon begot Salmon. Salmon begot Boaz by Rahab, Boaz begot Obed by Ruth, Obed begot Jesse, and Jesse begot David the king.
“David the king begot Solomon by her who had been the wife of Uriah. . . . And Jacob begot Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus who is called Christ.”
“Now Jesus Himself began His ministry at about thirty years of age, being (as was supposed) the son of Joseph, the son of Heli, the son of Matthat, the son of Levi, the son of Melchi, the son of Janna, the son of Joseph, the son of Mattathiah, the son of Amos, the son of Nahum, the son of Esli, the son of Naggai, the son of Maath, the son of Mattathiah, the son of Semei, the son of Joseph, the son of Judah, the son of Joannas, the son of Rhesa, the son of Zerubbabel, the son of Shealtiel, the son of Neri, the son of Melchi, the son of Addi, the son of Cosam, the son of Elmodam, the son of Er, the son of Jose, the son of Eliezer, the son of Jorim, the son of Matthat, the son of Levi, the son of Simeon, the son of Judah, the son of Joseph, the son of Jonan, the son of Eliakim, the son of Melea, the son of Menan, the son of Mattathah, the son of Nathan, the son of David, the son of Jesse, the son of Obed, the son of Boaz, . . . the son of Seth, the son of Adam, the son of God.”
(2 Samuel 7:14-16; Matthew 1:1-16; Luke 3:23-38)
OUT OF THE STORY
Why do you think God tells David that He will be a father to his son and will punish him when he does wrong? Do you think this is a promise or a threat? (See Proverbs 3:12 and Hebrews 12:3-11.)
How does the knowledge that God loves you too much to allow you to continue to do wrong and harm your relationship with Him, others, and yourself give you hope as you face life’s difficulties?
Scan through the genealogies (Matthew 1:1-16 and Luke 3:23-38).
Circle all the people who have stories with which you are familiar.
Star the names of the people whose story you know very well.
Both Matthew 1 and Luke 3 contain genealogies of Jesus. Read through each one and note how the two lists are similar and how they are different. For example, when the genealogies arrive at David, they split with David’s sons: “Nathan,” who is on Mary’s side, and “Solomon,” who is on Joseph’s side.
Why do you suppose they are different?
“Now the birth of Jesus Christ was as follows: After His mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Spirit. Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not wanting to make her a public example, was minded to put her away secretly.
“But while he thought about these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, ‘Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take to you Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit’” (Matthew 1:18-20).
“And He said to them, ‘How can they say that the Christ is the Son of David?’” (Luke 20:41).
“But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement for our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed.
“All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned, every one, to his own way; and the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all” (Isaiah 53:5, 6).
“Caesar Augustus is made the agent for the fulfillment of God’s purpose in bringing the mother of Jesus to Bethlehem. She is of the lineage of David, and the Son of David must be born in David’s city” (Ellen G. White, The Desire of Ages, p. 44).
Read John 14:11, 12.
The qualities and powers exhibited in the Son and the Holy Spirit are also those of the Father” (Seventh-day Adventist Beliefs, God the Father).
In a small group of friends, discuss the following:
• How far back in your family history can you go with knowing something about your ancestors?
• What is your family story? How does your family history color that story?
• What are the benefits of studying your family history?
• What are the benefits of studying the family history of Jesus?
• Numerous genealogies are listed in both the Old Testament and the New Testament. Why do you think the writers of the Bible were so careful to include these lists? What can we learn from them?
Read 1 John 4:9-12.
Matthew’s genealogy of Jesus would have sent shock waves through the community because of his inclusion of women. In the ancient world women did not establish bloodlines. They had no legal rights. They were treated as property. What was most explosive, however, had to do with which women Matthew included (see Matthew 1:3, 5, 6.).
What do these women have in common? What is Matthew trying to tell us by mentioning these women in the bloodline of Jesus? What does this tell us about Jesus?
Read John 3:16.
Read the Key Text and explain the significance of the two genealogies included in Luke 3: the human lineage of Jesus’ ancestors and His divine origins that position Him as equal with God. How is this important to our understanding of who Jesus is?
Read Matthew 16:13-16.
After reading the Flashlight section reflect on the question that Jesus put to the Pharisees: “What think ye of Christ? whose son is He?” Compare this question to the question that Jesus asked His disciples in Matthew 16:13: “Who do men say that I, the Son of Man, am?” Is this the same question? Explain.
Consider what the following verses say about the identity of Christ and then complete the sentence:
Matthew 16:16—Jesus is
John 3:16, 17—Jesus is
John 10:30—Jesus is
Colossians 1:13-23—Jesus is
Read the three texts included in the Punch Lines section. How do Matthew 1:18-20 and Isaiah 53:5, 6 answer the question that Jesus poses in Luke 20:41?
Read Matthew 28:19.
Reflecting on Matthew’s genealogy of Jesus, Martin Luther once said, “It is as though God intended for people to hear this genealogy and say to themselves, ‘Oh, Christ is the kind of person who is not ashamed of sinners. See, he even puts them in his family tree.’ ”
Have you ever felt like Jesus was ashamed of you? The next time you feel that you have disappointed Jesus, read Matthew 1 and remember that there is no sin that would cause Jesus to love you less. His love knows no boundaries. His family tree is loaded with bad apples like you and me—and that’s precisely why He came!
Read Romans 8:15.
It is in the Gospel of Matthew where we are told that the soldiers put a scarlet robe on Jesus’ body. Toward the end of Jesus’ life Matthew is saying, “Now you see the scarlet thread in the One who took on all of our sins. It is a sign of salvation, a symbol of grace, weaving all the way to a bloodstained cross. There’s room in the family for you. Will you accept Jesus’ invitation to join His family?”