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
Answers: 1. 1900; the siblings were not born yet in 1880, and by 1910 they were probably not living with their parents. 2. Grandma; start with your relatives. The biggest regret family historians report is that they didn’t interview relatives when they could. 3. First cousin once removed. 4. The baptismal record, because it was recorded when the event occurred—the closer the record to the event, the more reliable.
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 will be my son. When he does wrong, I will punish him with a rod wielded by men, with floggings inflicted by human hands. But my love will never be taken away from him, as I took it away from Saul, whom I removed from before you. Your house and your kingdom will endure forever before me; your throne will be established forever.”
“This is the genealogy of Jesus the Messiah the son of David, the son of Abraham:
Abraham was the father of Isaac,
Isaac the father of Jacob,
Jacob the father of Judah and his brothers,
Judah the father of Perez and Zerah, whose mother was Tamar,
Perez the father of Hezron,
Hezron the father of Ram,
Ram the father of Amminadab,
Amminadab the father of Nahshon,
Nahshon the father of Salmon,
Salmon the father of Boaz, whose mother was Rahab,
Boaz the father of Obed, whose mother was Ruth,
Obed the father of Jesse, and Jesse the father of King David.
“David was the father of Solomon, whose mother had been Uriah’s wife, . . . and Jacob the father of Joseph, the husband of Mary, and Mary was the mother of Jesus who is called the Messiah.”
“Now Jesus himself was about thirty years old when he began his ministry. He was the son, so it was thought, of Joseph, the son of Heli, the son of Matthat, the son of Levi, the son of Melki, the son of Jannai, the son of Joseph, the son of Mattathias, the son of Amos,
the son of Nahum, the son of Esli, the son of Naggai, the son of Maath, the son of Mattathias, the son of Semein,
the son of Josek, the son of Joda, the son of Joanan, the son of Rhesa, the son of Zerubbabel, the son of Shealtiel,
the son of Neri, the son of Melki, the son of Addi, the son of Cosam, the son of Elmadam, the son of Er, the son of Joshua, 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 Jonam, the son of Eliakim,
the son of Melea, the son of Menna, the son of Mattatha, 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, NIV; Matthew 1:1-6, 16, NIV; Luke 3:23-31, 38, NIV)
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) and underline all the names you have heard of.
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?
“This is how the birth of Jesus the Messiah came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be pregnant through the Holy Spirit. Because Joseph her husband was faithful to the law, and yet did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly. “But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, ‘Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit’” (Matthew 1:18-20, NIV).
“But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, ‘Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit’ ” (Matthew 1:18-20, NIV).
“Then Jesus said to them, ‘Why is it said that the Messiah is the Son of David?’” (Luke 20:41, NIV).
“But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed. We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to our own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all” (Isaiah 53:5, 6, NIV).
“In the fields where the boy David had led his flock, shepherds were still keeping watch by night. Through the silent hours they talked together of the promised Saviour, and prayed for the coming of the King to David’s throne. ‘And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them. . . . And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.’ ”—Ellen G. White, The Desire of Ages, p. 47.
Read Genesis 5 and 11:10-32.
In a small group of friends, discuss the following:
- Share what you know about your parents, grandparents, great-grandparents, etc. 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?
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—much like one might own a horse or cow today. What was most explosive, however, had to do with which women Matthew included.
Read the following stories of the women that Matthew includes and jot down a few of the scandalous details.
Tamar (Matthew 1:3; Genesis 38)
Rahab (Matthew 1:5; Joshua 2 and 6:22, 23; see also Hebrews 11:31 and James 2:25)
Ruth (Matthew 1:5; see also Genesis 19:37 and Deuteronomy 23:3 for background regarding Ruth’s ancestors, the Moabites)
Bathsheba (Matthew 1:6; 2 Samuel 11–12:24; 1 Chronicles 3:5)
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 Luke 3:23-31.
Explain why Luke said “so it was thought” that Jesus was the son of Joseph and David. Does the inclusion of this statement cast doubt on the divine origin of Jesus? Why or why not?
Read Matthew 16:13.
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 people say the Son of Man is?”
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 1:1-17.
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 Matthew 27:28.
It is in the Gospel of Matthew where we are told that the soldiers put a scarlet robe on Jesus’ body. Scarlet is a symbol of scandal. 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?”