Tuesday in the First Week of Ordinary Time

Matthew 1:1-17; Luke 3:23-38

Son of Adam, Abraham, David, and Others, According to the Scriptures

Here are other passages of Scripture that few dwell upon, but we shall, believing that every word of the Bible is “God-breathed” (2 Timothy 3:16).

First the matter of the genealogical records.  Why are there discrepancies between Matthew’s account and that of Luke’s?  All I can tell you are the solutions that have been proposed, none of which are without their own set of problems: 1) Matthew gives Joseph’s line while Luke gives Mary’s.  That falls out with the very first line in Luke’s account that says that Jesus, “being the son (as was supposed) of Joseph,” not “Mary.”  2) Another suggestion is that Matthew gives the royal line while Luke gives the line of natural descent.  Again, this is not without problems.  This is all I will say and then put it to rest.  1) Regardless of the discrepancies, the ancient Jews were experts at keeping genealogies.  2) Though there are discrepancies, we need not discount the whole of them.    3) It was also not uncommon for some generations to be skipped – we are talking about a genealogy over centuries.  4) Finally, it speaks to the integrity of the Bible that both genealogies are given; no attempt was ever made to hide them or reconcile them.

Now to the meat of the matter.  The purpose of these genealogies is to show that Jesus was the son of David, who was to be the kingly Messiah (Psalms 83:9; 132:11), the son of Abraham, through whose seed all the nations would be blessed (Genesis 12:3), and the son of Adam, husband of Eve, whose son was to crush the serpent’s head (Genesis 3:15).  (Also see Zechariah’s song in Luke 1:67-79 for the fulfillment of all of these.)  I like it best that it mentions Adam – the point being made that Christ was made like his people: “Since therefore the children share in flesh and blood, he himself likewise partook of the same things, that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil…. Therefore he had to be made like his brothers in every respect, so that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in the service of God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people” (Hebrews 2:14-17).

One more thing, there are four women in Matthew’s account: Tamar and Bathsheba, adulteresses, Rahab, a harlot, and Ruth, a foreigner.  All four later proved faithful and so Christ is not ashamed to call them, “sisters” (if I may borrow from Hebrews 2:11).  The integrity of Scripture rings true again: there is no attempt to hide the truth.  And why should there be?  It was for poor sinners like you and me that Jesus came to save.

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