Matthew 1:12-17 (ESV)
12 And after the deportation to Babylon: Jechoniah was the father of Shealtiel, and Shealtiel the father of Zerubbabel, 13 and Zerubbabel the father of Abiud, and Abiud the father of Eliakim, and Eliakim the father of Azor, 14 and Azor the father of Zadok, and Zadok the father of Achim, and Achim the father of Eliud, 15 and Eliud the father of Eleazar, and Eleazar the father of Matthan, and Matthan the father of Jacob, 16 and Jacob the father of Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom Jesus was born, who is called Christ. 17 So all the generations from Abraham to David were fourteen generations, and from David to the deportation to Babylon fourteen generations, and from the deportation to Babylon to the Christ fourteen generations.
In verses 12-17, Matthew completed his account of Jesus’ genealogy. Specifically, in verse 16, we arrive at Mary, the fifth and final woman in his record. Before her name, men were mentioned along with their fathers, but when we get to Mary a shift occurs. Joseph was not recorded as the father of Jesus but instead he was the husband of Mary. In the Greek text, the pronoun translated “whom,” in verse 16, is feminine. Clearly Jesus was the son of Mary and was set apart from all other men who went before him and came after him. Even the details of God’s word are fascinating to explore, study and think about. It’s also worth considering how critical it was that the Jewish people kept such precise and detailed records. As we begin to focus on the life of Jesus, we should remember these genealogies served to prove that the gospel writers deferred to historical record when compiling the biographies of our Lord. The people, places and events recorded in Scripture are verifiable and those who are experts in the past continue to discover new artifacts, demonstrating the biblical record as true. Matthew’s biography of Jesus is an authentic report, given to us so we could draw closer to our Savior.
As we understand more about our Lord Jesus, and we follow him by imitating his life and obeying his teaching, we will certainly be seen as foolish by a world of people who don’t want anyone telling them how to live. Many will object to our faith and insist the Bible is make-believe and was created by men to control other men. But when these historical facts are honestly examined, they are found to be legitimate. The genealogies provide us with an anchor between past history and modern study, and we can be confident that the New Testament contains an accurate report of real people, real places and real events, which occurred in the past. Let’s thank God that our faith in Christ is not rooted in myths and fairy tales, but instead is grounded in historical truth. Just as ancient details were recorded in Scripture with such care and concern, the things that have been told about the present and foretold about the future will come to pass with the same level of precision and accuracy. Choose today to learn and obey God’s word like never before, confident that your faith will be proved in the end.