Sunday Devotional: Matthew 1:1-17

“The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham.

Abraham was the father of Isaac, and Isaac the father of Jacob, and Jacob the father of Judah and his brothers, and Judah the father of Perez and Zerah by Tamar, and Perez the father of Hezron, and Hezron the father of Ram, and Ram the father of Amminadab, and Amminadab the father of Nahshon, and Nahshon the father of Salmon,  and Salmon the father of Boaz by Rahab, and Boaz the father of Obed by Ruth, and Obed the father of Jesse,  and Jesse the father of David the king.

And David was the father of Solomon by the wife of Uriah,  and Solomon the father of Rehoboam, and Rehoboam the father of Abijah, and Abijah the father of Asaph, and Asaph the father of Jehoshaphat, and Jehoshaphat the father of Joram, and Joram the father of Uzziah,  and Uzziah the father of Jotham, and Jotham the father of Ahaz, and Ahaz the father of Hezekiah, and Hezekiah the father of Manasseh, and Manasseh the father of Amos, and Amos the father of Josiah,  and Josiah the father of Jechoniah and his brothers, at the time of the deportation to Babylon.

And after the deportation to Babylon: Jechoniah was the father of Shealtiel, and Shealtiel the father of Zerubbabel, and Zerubbabel the father of Abiud, and Abiud the father of Eliakim, and Eliakim the father of Azor, and Azor the father of Zadok, and Zadok the father of Achim, and Achim the father of Eliud, and Eliud the father of Eleazar, and Eleazar the father of Matthan, and Matthan the father of Jacob, and Jacob the father of Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom Jesus was born, who is called Christ.

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.”  (Matthew 1:1-17)

This is the beginning of the Gospel of Matthew.  Matthew (who was one of the 12 disciples of Jesus) began his Gospel by writing down the genealogy of Abraham to Jesus.  In this he wanted to connect between the promise that God had given to Abraham and how that promise led to Jesus.

In this list of names there are some pretty well known individuals (Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Boaz, Ruth, David, Uzziah) and some not well known (Shealtiel, Abiud, Zadok, Matthan).  There are some reminders of God’s work in the midst of it (Boaz and Ruth, protection through deportation to Babylon).  There are reminders of redemption (Perez from Judah and Tamar, Solomon from David and Bathsheba).  Throughout all of this genealogy, God is constant.  He was at work in maintaining and fulfilling His promise to Abraham, to Issac, to Jacob.  He kept His promise to David and to Solomon.  That promise culminated in Jesus.

As we enter into this advent season again, we are reminded again of the birth of Christ.  In that, let us remember that God was faithful in keeping His promise.  He fulfilled that promise by working in and through the lives of well known and not well known, through flawed and imperfect people.  He kept His word that a Messiah would come.  And that Messiah was Jesus.

Sunday Devotional: Luke 1:1-4

“Inasmuch as many have undertaken to compile a narrative of the things that have been accomplished among us,  just as those who from the beginning were eyewitnesses and ministers of the word have delivered them to us,  it seemed good to me also, having followed all things closely for some time past, to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus,  that you may have certainty concerning the things you have been taught.”

This is the introduction to the Gospel of Luke.  Luke was a doctor who wrote this Gospel as well as the book of Acts.  He got a bunch of eyewitness accounts of the life of Jesus and compiled them together in this book that he wrote to Theophilus, a friend and fellow believer.

This book was written to help teach those who didn’t know about Jesus who He is and what He did.  It also was a reminder to those who knew Jesus to remember.  The same is true for us today.  There are those who don’t know who Jesus is that can learn from books such as Luke that tell about Jesus and His life and ministry.  It is also good reminders of those who have been following Jesus for a long time to remember because we are human and sometimes we forget.  It’s good to remember.  It’s good to have certainty like Luke wanted Theophilus to have.

As we enter the Advent season in preparation for Christmas, let us share with others about Jesus.  Let us share to those who have heard the story numerous times and to those who are hearing it for the first time.