A Bible Lesson on Matthew 1:12-17

Scripture taken from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version.  Copyright 2000; 2001, by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers.  Used by permission.  All rights reserved.

The last section of the genealogy of Christ concerns the period after the exile in Babylon and consists largely of apparently very ordinary people, most of whose names appear nowhere else in Scripture.  We are thereby reminded of the place that we common folk have in the plan and working of God.

Matthew 1:12  And after the deportation to Babylon: Jechoniah was the father of Shealtiel, and Shealtiel the father of Zerubbabel,

13 and Zerubbabel the father of Abiud, and Abiud the father of Eliakim, and Eliakim the father of Azor,

14 and Azor the father of Zadok, and Zadok the father of Achim, and Achim the father of Eliud,

15 and Eliud the father of Eleazar, and Eleazar the father of Matthan, and Matthan the father of Jacob,

16 and Jacob the father of Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom Jesus was born, who is called Christ.

Jesus is the one “who is called Christ,” called Messiah, God’s anointed one, the long-awaited savior of Israel and all mankind.

Isa 61:1  The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me, because the LORD has anointed me to bring good news to the poor; he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound;

This genealogy has in some sense “wound up” from Abraham to David, declined to the Babylonian exile, and now by human standards has almost gone to oblivion.  But God is in it.  He’s sovereign and at work for His purposes in His way.  From this seemingly unremarkable list of ancestors He gives His world a Savior.

Matthew 1:17  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.

Here are 3 fourteens, helpful for purposes of memorization.  People have also seen in this multiples of the “perfect” number 7 and some significance that the Jewish numerical values for the letters in David’s name add up to 14.  Whether or not this matters, Matthew has opened his Gospel by placing Joseph (and his legal son Jesus) in the royal line of descent without making Him physically in the line of Jechoniah, and shown us His sovereign will worked out in His own unexpected marvelous ways.

Here is a .pdf of this lesson.

Scripture taken from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version.  Copyright 2000; 2001, by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers.  Used by permission.  All rights reserved.

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