Keeping Christ in Christmas – A Look at Jesus Family Line

First of all, let me say that I am disappointed that I could not find much in any of the commentaries that I use about these genealogies. Some of the information I found doing web searches I doubt the credibility of some of what I found on the web. I think these genealogies are significant in that they are records that shows that Jesus is qualified to be prophet, priest and king. As we read through these lists of names we see some that are familiar and stand out and others we do not recognize at all. Each name, though carries its own significance. Some we see are the heroes of the faith and others are evil, but most are just normal average people like us. Matthew begins his gospel in the midst of Jewish history placing Jesus firmly in the genealogic context of the Jewis people. Suggesting his heritage wa a harbinger of his divinty. Jesus amcestor Enoch was known for walking closely with God. Rahab a woman outside the Israelite community and a prostitute as well, entered into the lineage of Christ because she had faith in the God of the Israelites and assisted Israels army in the famous battle of Jericho. An, even more well known ancestor of Jesus was King David who the Bible calls a man that pleased God. None of these ancestors lived flawless lives, but in their strengths and weaknesses God used them to bring His Son into human history.





The genealogies of Jesus. They are found in Luke and Matthew. Matthew’s genealogy goes back to Abraham and shows that Jesus was related to all Jews. Luke’s genealogy goes back to Adam and shows that Jesus is related to all humans. Last week we covered Matthews Genealogies, this week we will look at Luke’s genealogy of Jesus. But first we need to take a look at what might be a difficulty in the genealogy that Matthew offers, because of a passage in the book of Jeremiah in chapter 22, a king named Jechoniah was cursed by God, well here is what the passage says:24 “As I live,” says the LORD, “though Coniah[b] the son of Jehoiakim, king of Judah, were the signet on My right hand, yet I would pluck you off; 25 and I will give you into the hand of those who seek your life, and into the hand of those whose face you fear—the hand of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon and the hand of the Chaldean s. 26 So I will cast you out, and your mother who bore you, into another country where you were not born; and there you shall die. 27 But to the land to which they desire to return, there they shall not return. 
       28 “ Is this man Coniah a despised, broken idol— 
      A vessel in which is no pleasure? 
      Why are they cast out, he and his descendants, 
      And cast into a land which they do not know? 
       29 O earth, earth, earth, 
      Hear the word of the LORD! 
       30 Thus says the LORD: 

      ‘ Write this man down as childless, 
      A man who shall not prosper in his days; 
      For none of his descendants shall prosper, 
      Sitting on the throne of David, 
      And ruling anymore in Judah.’”


  1. Jeremiah 22:11 Also called Jehoahaz
  2. Jeremiah 22:24 Also called Jeconiah and Jehoiachin


Joseph, the legal father of Jesus, was a direct descendant of this man — and thus cursed, unable to sit on David’s throne.


Now God said no son of Jeconiah will ever reign in Palestine in Israel. No son will ever bear the throne of David. And yet, Jeconiah is in the Messianic line. How then can Jesus be the King if He does not come through the royal line of Jeconiah? And how can He be the King if the line of Jeconiah is cursed? That seemingly hopeless dilemma is resolved in the virgin birth. Through that line Jesus received the legal right to the throne, but He was no blood child of Jeconiah for that line was cursed and there could never be a child of Jeconiah on the throne of David. Therefore Christ was born of a virgin, there was no taint of the blood of Jeconiah in Him because He had no blood from Joseph in Him either. So in a marvelous working of God, the curse of Jeconiah is bypassed by bypassing Joseph and having Jesus born of a virgin.”

he Joseph genealogy is a man named Jeconiah. God cursed Jeconiah (also called Coniah), stating that no descendant of his would ever sit on the throne of David, “For no man of his descendants will prosper sitting on the throne of David or ruling again in Judah,” (Jer. 22:30). But Jesus, of course, will sit on the throne in the heavenly kingdom. The point is that Jesus is not a biological descendant of Jeconiah, but through the other lineage — that of Mary. Hence, the prophetic curse upon Jeconiah stands inviolate. But, the legal adoption of Jesus by Joseph reckoned the legal rights of Joseph to Jesus as a son, not the biological curse. This is why we need two genealogies: one of Mary (the actually biological line according to prophecy), and the legal line through Joseph.


Now that we have that cleared up we can go to the genealogy that Luke offers. Luke was as well as being a physician was also a historian, and was Avery accurate historian. Luke was a gentile and was writing his gospel to a certain Theophilus , of whom not much is known, but is thought that he was a high ranking Roman government official. Luke also wrote the book of Acts to this same individual.




23 Now Jesus Himself began His ministry at about thirtyyears of age, being (as was supposed) the son of Joseph, the son of Heli, 24 the son of Matthat,[d]the son of Levi, the son of Melchi, the son of Janna, the son of Joseph, 25 the son-of Mattathiah, the son of Amos, the son of Nahum, the son of Esli, the son of Naggai, 26 the son of Maath, the son of Mattathiah, the son of Semei, the son of Joseph, the son of Judah, 27 the son of Joannas, the son of Rhesa, the son of Zerubbabel, the son of Shealtiel, the son of Neri, 28 the son of Melchi, the son of Addi, the son of Cosam, the son of Elmodam, the son of Er, 29 the son of Jose, the son of Eliezer, the son of Jorim, the son of Matthat, the son of Levi, 30the son of Simeon, the son of Judah, the son of Joseph, the son of Jonan, the son of Eliakim, 31 the son of Melea, the son of Menan, the son of Mattathah, the son of Nathan, the son of David, 32 the son of Jesse, the son of Obed, the son-of Boaz, the son of Salmon, the son of Nahshon, 33 the son of Amminadab, the son of Ram, the son of Hezron, the sonof Perez, the son of Judah, 34 the son of Jacob, the son of Isaac, the son of Abraham, the son of Terah, the son of Nahor, 35 the son of Serug, the son of Reu, the son of Peleg, the son of Eber, the son of Shelah, 36 the son of Cainan,the son of Arphaxad, the son of Shem, the son of Noah, the son of Lamech, 37 the son of Methuselah, the son of Enoch,the son of Jared, the son of Mahalalel, the son of Cainan, 38 the son of Enosh, the son of Seth, the son of Adam, the son of God.














The first thing that you will notice is that they are different. Matthew gives the line through Joseph, the legal line that shows that Jesus was heir to the throne of David. Luke’s gives the physical line through Mary and traces it all the way back to Adam. The common descendant is David. But if you notice in Matthew 1:16 it says:


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


But in Luke 3: 23 it says:


23 Now Jesus Himself began His ministry at about thirty years of age, being (as was supposed) the son of Joseph, the son of Heli, 

About thirty years of age” seems to be a significant statement. The age of thirty seems to have some biblical significance. 30 was the prescribed age for priests to begin their ministry.


Joseph began serving the king of Egypt at age 30.

David was 30 years old when he began his reign over Judah. Think about the savior of the world working in a small carpenters shop until He was 30 years old. Imagine Jesus patiently waiting for the Fathers timing for Jesus to begin His ministry of reconciliation.


Again, the critics will say these genealogies are different and therefore is a contradiction. It is a difficulty to be sure but they in no way contradict one another. For one thing the genealogy in Luke is Mary’s and in accordance with Jewish usage, was in her husbands name, that is, Heli’s son-in-law. Heli was Mary’s father, Joseph’s Father-in-law. Jacob was Josephs father. Again, the accounts are not contradictory, but complementary. We learn new details of Jesus lineage. Matthew genealogy is abridged, some names are omitted, as was frequently done with genealogies, without invalidating the line of descent. The genealogies are given in more detail in 1 Chronicles 1-9. If you like genealogies, that would be the book for you! These genealogies contain a family line through which a promise was transmitted for 4,000 years, a fact unparallelled in history.

In the first 17 verses of Matthew we see 46 people whose lifetimes span 2,000 years. All were ancestors of Jesus. We see a variety of personalities ranging from the heroes of the faith like Abraham, Isaac, Ruth, and David to such shady characters like Rahab and Tamar. Then there are those who are ordinary like Hezron, Ram, Nashon, and Achim. Then there are others that are just evil like Manasseh and Abijah. God’s work in history is not limited by human failures or sins, He works through ordinary people like Mary and Joseph. God used all kinds of people to bring His Son into the world, just as uses all kinds of people today to accomplish His will.








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