“This is a record of the ancestors of Jesus the Messiah, a descendant of David and of Abraham” (Matthew 1:1, NLT).

A page from the genealogy of Jesus, in Kells

Researching family trees has become popular in the last few years. My aunt has traced our family back to the American Revolution and before that, to Germany. It’s fascinating to look at photos and read names from so long ago and imagine what their lives were like. Our roots are important to us, as they help us get a big picture of who we are and where we come from.

Lineage hasn’t always been merely a hobby. It used to be so important it determined people’s places in society and in many cases, defined their whole lives. God established the genealogy of Jesus for several reasons: to confirm he was King of the Jews, a legal heir and descendant of David and in Luke’s report, that he was the son of God and the son of man—God and man at the same time. Many first century Jews didn’t believe Jesus was the Messiah, but they didn’t and couldn’t refute his lineage—he was the son of David, the son of man and the son of God.

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