Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Who is Jesus in the geneaologies?

Luke 3:23 When He began His ministry, Jesus Himself was about thirty years of age, being, as was supposed, the son of Joseph . . .

4,000 years is a huge block of time.  Yet in Luke's account of Christ's geneaology, in a span of 15 verses, some 72 names, spanning a period from Genesis up to the time of Christ's birth are listed for us.  Called by some "the scarlet thread of redemption", the bloodline that extends from Adam and Eve down to Christ is shown here in Luke. 

Why is Luke's geneaology different than Matthew's? 
Three reasons can be given in answer to this question. 

1. Two valid ways of identification First, if you compare the two records, they not only differ in the amount of names, but in how they arrange the names.  Matthew's geneaology is taking you from Abraham up to Christ - an ascending geneaology.  Meanwhile Luke takes you from Jesus' birth all the way back to Adam - a descending geneaology.  Both types were valid ways of determining one's identity back in Bible times. 

2. Jesus is the True King and the New Adam.  Also too, Matthew presents Jesus as King, establishing Him as a legitimate heir to David's throne and as the fulfillment of God's promises to Abraham.  Therefore there was no need to go back further than Abraham - for it would not had suited Matthew's purpose in what He was writing under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit.  Luke on the other hand is presenting Jesus as the New Adam, the perfect man.  Thus it makes sense to show how He is related all the way back through Adam - since he is the one who came to represent Adam and his lineage on the cross.

3. Jesus is the literal and legal heir to the throneFinally, Luke is presenting Jesus' bloodline as it pertains to Mary's side, since Luke was demonstrating that Jesus had a physical bloodline connecting back to David, through Abraham, all the way back to Adam.  Though Mary Jesus received the bloodline from her that is directly connected back to David, thus qualifying Him as a physical heir to the trhone of David.  In Matthew's account, the concern was establishing Jesus'  as the legal heir of David's throne.  Thus Joseph was not nor did not have to be Jesus' actual father.  However he was Jesus' legal guardian, therefore Jesus was, touching his humanity, legally qualified to assume David's throne. 

Who is Jesus in the geneaologies?
Therefore we can conclude that Jesus Christ, as seen through the lenses of His genealogies, is the: True King (Matthew); the New Adam (Luke); The Fulfillment of Abraham's promises (Matthew); the Savior of Adam's race (Luke); the Messiah of Israel (Matthew) and the Savior of the World (Luke).