Son,as you’re asking questions about our ancestors for school it has me thinking about what we see in the Bible for genealogy. If you pay attention, genealogy is mentioned all throughout the Bible.
The Jews were (and still are) incredible historians and kept meticulous records of the genealogies of the different family lines. To the Jews, the family line was a critical component of societal structure. It determined who the priests were, who the rulers and slaves were, and quite sadly the genealogy was used by many to justify the poor treatment of many people. One of my favorite genealogies found in the scripture is found in the first chapter of Matthew:
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 by 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. Solomon begot Rehoboam, Rehoboam begot Abijah, and Abijah begot Asa. Asa begot Jehoshaphat, Jehoshaphat begot Joram, and Joram begot Uzziah. Uzziah begot Jotham, Jotham begot Ahaz, and Ahaz begot Hezekiah. Hezekiah begot Manasseh, Manasseh begot Amon, and Amon begot Josiah. Josiah begot Jeconiah and his brothers about the time they were carried away to Babylon. And after they were brought to Babylon, Jeconiah begot Shealtiel, and Shealtiel begot Zerubbabel. Zerubbabel begot Abiud, Abiud begot Eliakim, and Eliakim begot Azor. Azor begot Zadok, Zadok begot Achim, and Achim begot Eliud. Eliud begot Eleazar, Eleazar begot Matthan, and Matthan begot Jacob. And Jacob begot Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus who is called Christ. So all the generations from Abraham to David are fourteen generations, from David until the captivity in Babylon are fourteen generations, and from the captivity in Babylon until the Christ are fourteen generations.
Matthew 1:1-17 NKJV
Now, there is a lot of reading there, and it can sort of make your head hurt. Yet if we sat down, and began looking through the old testament we would find some awesome things happening in the genealogy of Jesus Christ. Verse 17 sums up the genealogy by saying that there were 14 generations between Abraham and David, 14 between David and the Babylon Captivity, and then 14 more between Babylon and Jesus Christ.
So get this, there are 3 sets of 14 generations in between Abraham and Jesus. In the Bible, the number 3 represents completion, and the number 14 represents deliverance or salvation (14 also represents double completion as it’s 2 x 7). So when we get 3 sets of 14 generations we see the full completion of our Salvation…which is found in who? Jesus Christ!!
No doubt, God had a plan in all of this. Every last person in the list, from Abraham to Rehaboam, Uzziah to Jeconiah, Shealtiel to Eliud, and Eleazar to Jesus, the entire line, every last person was part of God’s plan to save our fallen world! The people in the lineage of Jesus’ family had no idea who Jesus was, or when he was going to come. They knew that there would be a messiah, they knew that he would come from their family line, they knew that God was going to redeem his people, but in their isolated vision they never could have guessed what Jesus was going to be like and what it would take for him to pay for our sin.
The only problem with genealogies in Biblical times is that the Jews used them to count people out of God’s plan. They were so focused on the genealogy that they were blinded to the fact that God loves all people and wants to reach the entire world. In 1 Timothy we see Paul exhorting Timothy in how to handle challenges that he was facing in the church.
When I left for Macedonia, I urged you to stay there in Ephesus and stop those whose teaching is contrary to the truth. Don’t let them waste their time in endless discussion of myths and spiritual pedigrees. These things only lead to meaningless speculations, which don’t help people live a life of faith in God.
1 Timothy 1:3-4 NLT
Paul called Timothy to stop people who were causing division in the church with incorrect teaching. When you read it what do you see was one of the incorrect teachings that were taking place?
“Endless discussion of myths and spiritual pedigrees”, at some point, maybe from Jewish converts, a very dangerous concept crept into the church. The thought that your genealogy or “pedigree” was a factor in our salvation.
Nothing could be further from the truth. Paul points out that these kinds of discussions and errors don’t help us live a life of faith in God. Nothing about our genealogy will determine where we spend eternity. Our relationship with God doesn’t depend on what our parents did, who our grandparents were, or even what bloodline we come from. Our relationship with God depends solely on us surrendering to Him, and Him offering His Son to die for us.
Son, your relationship with God is individual to you and Him. Honey, your relationship to God is different from everyone else’s relationship to Him. God loves each and every one of us, individually and uniquely and we can find hope and rest in the thought that He sent Jesus to die on the cross so that WE could be saved.
Genealogy is really neat to learn about, it’s great to understand where we came from and what our family history is, but I find so much comfort knowing that no matter what, God loves me for me, not because of what family I’m a part of.
I love you guys, I hope the rest of your afternoon is great!