The Genealogy of Jesus Christ

Matthew 1:1-17
Gen 49:2,8-10 / Psa 72

Thus there were 14 generations in all from Abraham to David, 14 from David to the exile to Babylon, and 14 from the exile to the Messiah.
(Matthew 1:17)

Our Lord Jesus’s genealogy
Can be such a puzzling mystery...
But if we look deeply we can see
God’s plan in man’s Salvation History.

This is the genealogy of Jesus, the Messiah, the son of David, the son of Abraham: Abraham was the father of Isaac, Isaac the father of Jacob, Jacob the father of Judah and his brothers, Judah the father of Perez and Zerah, whose mother was Tamar, Perez the father of Hezron, Hezron the father of Ram, Ram the father of Amminadab, Amminadab the father of Nahshon, Nahshon the father of Salmon, Salmon the father of Boaz, whose mother was Rahab, Boaz the father of Obed, whose mother was Ruth, Obed the father of Jesse, and Jesse the father of King David. David was the father of Solomon, whose mother had been Uriah’s wife, Solomon the father of Rehoboam, Rehoboam the father of Abijah, Abijah the father of Asa, Asa the father of Jehoshaphat, Jehoshaphat the father of Jehoram, Jehoram the father of Uzziah, Uzziah the father of Jotham, Jotham the father of Ahaz, Ahaz the father of Hezekiah, Hezekiah the father of Manasseh, Manasseh the father of Amon, Amon the father of Josiah, and Josiah the father of Jeconiah and his brothers at the time of the exile to Babylon. After the exile to Babylon: Jeconiah was the father of Shealtiel, Shealtiel the father of Zerubbabel, Zerubbabel the father of Abihud, Abihud the father of Eliakim, Eliakim the father of Azor, Azor the father of Zadok, Zadok the father of Akim, Akim the father of Elihud, Elihud the father of Eleazar, Eleazar the father of Matthan, Matthan the father of Jacob, and Jacob the father of Joseph, the husband of Mary, and Mary was the mother of Jesus who is called the Messiah. Thus there were fourteen generations in all from Abraham to David, fourteen from David to the exile to Babylon, and fourteen from the exile to the Messiah. (Matthew 1: 1-17)


It must have been a long and painstaking effort for St. Matthew to trace the lineage of our Lord. Among the four Gospel writers, he was the only one who outlined the genealogy of 42 generations from Abraham to our Lord in the line of His foster father Joseph. Why did he go to so much trouble?

I believe St. Matthew wanted to show that time was of no consequence to the Maker of time. Jesus had already existed as far back as the time of Abraham (“Before Abraham was, I am” – John 8:58). God had made a covenant with Abraham and the fulfilment of that promise would come in God’s good time. There is something deep and profound in the way God lets 42 lifetimes elapse before the realization of His divine plans. In the context of God’s infinite nature, generations of man’s earthly history are but a few days.

God wants us to stretch our limited perceptions, as our mortality puts a constraint in the way we perceive time and eternity. Like how ridiculous we must sound to God when we say we cannot go to mass or worship Him in the adoration chapel because we can’t find the time! In fact the most important time in our life is when we are meditating on our God and His infinite goodness. This single lifetime is but a very short passage that we shouldn’t take too seriously — including the things here that we treasure. Instead, we must always keep our focus on the eternal. We should never let time control our life. Time is gold? Only when spent with God.

Lord Jesus, as Your natal day draws near, give us the grace to keep our concept of time’s passage here on earth in the right perspective. Help us to appreciate God’s salvation plan in Bible history, but at the same time to be brave and humble in accepting our limited time here on earth. As the psalmist wrote, “Teach us to number our days right that we may gain wisdom of heart.” (Psalm 90:12.) Amen.

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