“The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham... 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.” Matthew 1:1-17
Genealogies were always a part of the Bible I would skip over in my reading. These family trees of sorts are scattered throughout the Scriptures and provide a history and context for the progression of God’s plan. These genealogies are the dry facts... so and so begot so and so who was the father of so and so... and so on and on it goes. These passages of Scripture are not usually the most inspiring devotional texts, but the record of Jesus Christ’s genealogy at the beginning of Matthew’s gospel carries incredible significance as we celebrate the Advent season.
The genealogy begins with Abraham, a man with whom God made a covenant that “in his offspring shall all the nations of the earth be blessed” (Gen. 22:18). From Abraham’s descendents was birthed the nation of Israel, a nation which was later ruled by King David. God made a covenant with David, saying, “I will raise up your offspring after you, who shall come from your body, and I will establish his kingdom. He shall build a house for my name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever” (2 Sam. 7:12-13). Throughout the generations that followed David, the nation of Israel oscillated between faithfulness and faithlessness, and eventually God would discipline his people by sending them into exile in Babylon. But God was not finished with his people, and fourteen generations later we read, “Jacob the father of Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom Jesus was born, who is called Christ” (Matt 1:16).
Jesus is the promised offspring of Abraham that brings blessing to all the nations of the earth. Jesus is the promised descendent of David whose house, kingdom, and throne are established forever. This genealogy in Matthew’s gospel reminds us that Christ’s coming at Christmas was not a random event in the history of mankind. Rather, all of history anticipates his coming, and we can see the fingerprints of God moving along the descendents of Abraham and David to bring us to Christ.
So may this seemingly insignificant list of names remind us this Advent season that Christ’s coming was not an afterthought. Christmas was planned long before the foundations of the world. This Christmas, I pray that you will marvel at the incredible outworking of God’s plan throughout the generations, and may it remind us that God’s plan is not over. Christ is coming again.
And that’s a reason to celebrate.
The Frey Life
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"May those who fear you rejoice when they see me, for I have put my hope in your word." Psalm 119:74