The Genealogy of Christ – Luke 3:23
Scripture reading for this week: Luke 3:23-38
Being (as was supposed) the son of Joseph, the son of Heli… (Luke 3:23)
The meaning of a name was very important in bible days. Sometimes the bible itself informs the reader what a name means. Men such as Adam, Cain, Seth, Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and his twelve sons, all have the meaning of their name explicitly given in the bible. Their names tell the story of why or how they were born.
Luke, as part of his introduction of Jesus, lists the genealogy of Jesus all the way back to Adam. Now this wasn’t uncommon for Jews of Luke’s time, as the Jews kept detailed records of their ancestors in order to prove what tribe they hailed from, and to validate a man’s lineage to Abraham.
While Luke’s gospel differs from the account of Matthew, they both end their genealogies with Joseph. The best explanation for this seems to be that Luke followed Mary’s line (Jesus’ actual lineage) while Matthew followed Joseph’s line (His legal lineage by adoption). This was perhaps Luke’s point when he noted “being (as was supposed) the son of Joseph.”
But there is also in interesting message revealed when we look at the first ten names of Jesus lineage. Each name has a meaning, and the meaning of the first ten names tells a story:
God: The God
Mahalalel: The Glory of God
Jared: Shall come down
Methuselah: His death
Noah: Rest, or comfort.
When we string these meanings together, it tells a story:
“The God-man is appointed; a mortal man of sorrow is born! The Glory of God shall come down and teach that His death shall bring the grieving comfort and rest.”
In other words – the gospel message is declared in the first ten generations of the bible!
This demonstrates that in the earliest chapters of the Book of Genesis, God had already laid out His plan of redemption for mankind. It is a love story, written in blood on a wooden cross which was erected in Judea almost 2,000 years ago.
This also tells us that the Bible is an integrated message system, the product of supernatural engineering. Every number, every place name, every detail every jot and tittle is there for our learning, our discovery, and our amazement.
Truly, our God is an awesome God.
We can change the world, one life at a time…