The Gospel according to Mathew (1:1-17)
The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham. Abraham became the father of Isaac, Isaac the father of Jacob, Jacob the father of Judah and his brothers. Judah became the father of Perez and Zerah, whose mother was Tamar. Perez became the father of Hezron, Hezron the father of Ram, Ram the father of Amminadab. Amminadab became the father of Nahshon, Nahshon the father of Salmon, Salmon the father of Boaz, whose mother was Rahab. Boaz became the father of Obed, whose mother was Ruth. Obed became the father of Jesse, Jesse the father of David the king. David became the father of Solomon, whose mother had been the wife of Uriah. Solomon became the father of Rehoboam, Rehoboam the father of Abijah, Abijah the father of Asaph. Asaph became the father of Jehoshaphat, Jehoshaphat the father of Joram, Joram the father of Uzziah. Uzziah became the father of Jotham, Jotham the father of Ahaz, Ahaz the father of Hezekiah. Hezekiah became the father of Manasseh, Manasseh the father of Amos, Amos the father of Josiah. Josiah became the father of Jechoniah and his brothers at the time of the Babylonian exile. After the Babylonian exile, Jechoniah became the father of Shealtiel, Shealtiel the father of Zerubbabel, Zerubbabel the father of Abiud. Abiud became the father of Eliakim, Eliakim the father of Azor, Azor the father of Zadok. Zadok became the father of Achim, Achim the father of Eliud, Eliud the father of Eleazar. Eleazar became the father of Matthan, Matthan the father of Jacob, Jacob the father of Joseph, the husband of Mary. Of her was born Jesus who is called the Christ. Thus the total number of generations from Abraham to David is fourteen generations; from David to the Babylonian exile, fourteen generations; from the Babylonian exile to the Christ, fourteen generations.
Reflection: Today we are presented with the long genealogy of Jesus’ ancestors. Verses 2–16 of Matthew’s Gospel present us with three series of fourteen ancestors. Abraham begins the genealogy and Jesus concludes it. Though there are many interesting facts, the heart and soul of its meaning is found in “The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the Son of David, the son of Abraham.” This shows the direct link from the promise God made to Abraham, to its fulfillment in the person of the Son of God.
One thing we see in the fulfillment of this promise is the fact that God is and remains faithful. It did take centuries for His promise to Abraham to be fulfilled, but it happened nonetheless and there is little doubt that Abraham rejoiced, greatly, as he witnessed the glorious birth of one of his descendants as the Savior of the World.
This also tells us that God’s timing and His ways are often different than what we may at first conceive. We often come up with many “good” ideas and hope they will come to pass. But, all too often, when they do not turn out immediately as we had hoped for, we can get discouraged. We think He is not paying attention to our prayer request.
Learn the lesson, today, of God’s perfect “long-term” plan. He knows what He is doing and He is bringing about His plan for us all. He is slowly and intentionally guiding us along the path that leads to salvation and peace. It may not be the way we would do things, but it is the perfect way. Action of the Day: Think about – what is the plan God has for your life. Does He call you to patience and longsuffering? Does He require a trust that is demanding and absolute? Does He require a surrender of your own ideas and your own ambitions? Yes, He requires all of this and more. Recommit yourself to the perfect plan in the heart of our Father in Heaven and He will guide you each step of the way. Help prepare the way of the Lord for this Christmas!