By Evan Johnson
The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham.
We have the tendency to skip over the genealogies in the Bible. It’s understandable. We all do it. However, what we miss (especially in the case of Matthew 1) is God declaring who he is from the get-go. In verse 1, Jesus is identified as the son of David, the son of Abraham. This identifies that Jesus can trace back his lineage to David, and therefore Abraham. Think about who these two men were.
Abraham was the father of the Jewish people. God promised Abraham that his offspring would be a blessing to the nations, that his descendants would be as numerous as the starts, and it would all start with a son. Abraham and Sarah laughed at the idea that they could have children. God assured them nonetheless that they would have a child named Isaac. Instead, Abraham and Sarah use a servant girl named Hagar to have their child, and they name him Ishmael. God rebukes them, and because of their sin, Hagar and Ishmael are exiled from the nation of Israel. However, God still gives them Isaac. Abraham, a man who caused a woman and her child to be displaced, was still awarded with the promise of God. This is because the fulfilling of the promises of God are not contingent upon the tenacity of our faith. I cannot get my head around this for the life of me.
David is probably the most famously infamous person in the Bible. Consumed with lustful envy, David had an affair with the wife of one of his generals. When he got Bethsheba pregnant, he had to disguise his sin, so he called Urriah home to his wife on furlough. He thought surely a war-weary general will want to spend the night with his wife. Instead, Urriah was troubled for his soldiers and spent the entire night outside. He deemed himself unworthy of a bed if he wasn’t fighting alongside his men. Then, David ordered that in the next battle, Urriah should go to the front line. As soon as the battle starts though, all of the soldiers are to fall back, leaving Urriah alone to fight the enemy. Urriah was slaughtered, and David had his wife.
David’s sin resulted in a miscarriage. Understand me. I’m not saying that miscarriages are a result of someone’s sin. I am saying though that in this particular point in history, Bethsheba miscarried because of David’s murderous jealousy. Regardless, Bethsheba would have another child named Solomon. David did not rule over a united nation, but his son Solomon would. Under Solomon, Israel would experience unfathomable peace and riches. Furthermore, God promised David that a king would sit on his throne forever.
In Matthew 1, that king is on his way. Matthew calls us to remember the faithfulness of God to Abraham, despite Abraham’s sin and disobedience. The fulfilling of God’s covenant with David is about to come true.
This Advent season, let’s celebrate that Christ has come, regardless of our circumstances. He loves, regardless of our past and present. He won't leave us, regardless of our future.