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Don't Skip the Genealogies!

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The Book of Genealogy

Do you read the genealogies? Perhaps you start in Matthew 1:1, ESV, “The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham.”

And then what is the next temptation we experience? To blaze through the genealogy of names given. Abraham was the father of Isaac, and Isaac the father of Jacob, and Jacob …

Matthew has purposely chosen to include the names of David (the warrior-king who shepherded Israel) and Abraham (the one who was promised a land, a people, and a seed — to be a blessing!).

Matthew is telling us something about Jesus the Christ in these opening lines.

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These names are meant not only to be historical but also to be theological. They reflect God’s providence through sinners, God’s faithfulness to His covenant, and the need for the work of Jesus Christ, the Messiah.

The Focus of Human History

Look at the bookmarks Matthew has written for us (called an inclusio): The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ … Now the birth of Jesus Christ took place in this way …” (v.1 and v.18, ESV). The section starts with Jesus and ends with Jesus.

What then is this chapter and this entire book about? Jesus Christ, the focal point of God’s glory and purposes in the world is the glory of His Son (cf. 2 Corinthians 4:4-6).

The purpose of human history in a sinful world is the exaltation of Jesus Christ, the Lamb who was slain before the foundation of the world (cf. Revelation 13:8).

Paul writes, “For by him [Christ] all things were created … all things were created through him and for him” (Colossians 1:16, ESV).

Human history is a stage for God to display His supreme glory to the nations. God has written this drama and 2,000 years ago, He stepped into it. The Father sends His Son to be born of woman by the Spirit to save sinners for God’s eternal glory.

Human history exists to show off the Trinity.

So, when we feel the mundaneness of life, as if we were just another name in the genealogy of the world, take heart. Remember Matthew 1 and the list of names that seem like a means to take up space.

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Know that you do not exist for yourself — you exist for the glory and renown of Jesus Christ. That He might display His perfect patience in you (1 Timothy 1:16).

He Will Save His People From Their Sins

In this line, we also see the common thread of humanity: sinfulness. We know some names, we know their ways; we know how they have fallen (in a few specific ways). They stand as great blemishes, it appears.

And yet, whether or not we see it, something deep and omnipotent runs through this thread of humanity: grace. Men are not saved or brought to spiritual life by their own bloodline or will — God reaches down into history and rescues rebels by His power.

He does this for the praise of His glorious grace (cf. Ephesians 1:6).

In Matthew’s history we see all sorts of sinners. Many of their histories are recorded for us in the Old Testament. Every man and woman is a sinner through and through, there are no exceptions to those born in Adam.

Hence, Jesus Christ, God the Son, invaded man’s bloodline from above. He came into the world to save sinners by suffering and dying for them.

Your life is about Christ because you are not your own but have been bought with a price (cf. 1 Corinthians 6:19-20).

He is the sun your life is to orbit around. Christ is the fountain all your joy is to flow from. Christ is the treasure buried in the field worth selling all for (cf. Matthew 13:44).

The Lamb slain is the theme song of heaven and must be our song on earth.

In a long line of men and women the centrality of human history is Jesus Christ. We exist to glorify God and to enjoy Him forever.

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Cale is the pastor of Union Baptist Church in Orrick, MO. He is married to his wife Kelly and they have two children (third on the way!). Cale will be graduating with a Masters degree from Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary this Fall and Spring 2023.
Cale is the pastor of Union Baptist Church in Orrick, MO. He is married to his wife Kelly and they have two children (third on the way!). Cale will be graduating with a Masters degree from Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary this Fall and Spring 2023.




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