An Explanation: One Reason for the Seemingly Pointless Genealogy of Jesus, in Matthew.


Brokeness. True with regards to the behavior of some of Jesus’ ancestors. I’m not one to look for non-Catholic influences in the Church under every rock but that post sounds like so many Evangelical sermons - comforting but light.

***God doesn’t enter into a picture perfect family full of valedictorians, Eagle Scouts, and Homecoming Queens. ***

I’m sorry. Yes he did. His earthly father was the most chaste caretaker of God incarnate and his mother is the Immaculate Blessed Virgin Mother of God. Life within that family was perfect, the model to which every family today should attain.

Genealogies serve a specific purpose in the Bible. The move the story forward from one point in time to another and focus the audience down to a specific person. The theme of Matthew’s Gospel is Jesus the King and his kingdom. The genealogy in Matthew establishes Jesus as the legitimate heir to the throne of David, ruler of Israel and King of the Universe.


That is the answer.

  • You will find this same type of family listings in the royalty of various countries around the world to establish the authority to rule by blood line.
    ++ The Jewish people of the time would have clearly understood what was being done thru this recitation of the ancestral line of Jesus in establishing his legitimate claim.
  • We can see something similar in the apostolic listing that each Bishop, Priest, and Deacon can show for his ordination.

The Jews, for who Matthew wrote, were very interested in genealogy and have been keen to learn every detail provided by Matthew. Even Paul mentions this fascination:

1 Timothy 1:3-5
3 As I urged you when I was going to Macedo′nia, remain at Ephesus that you may charge certain persons not to teach any different doctrine, 4 nor to occupy themselves with myths and endless genealogies which promote speculations rather than the divine training that is in faith; 5 whereas the aim of our charge is love that issues from a pure heart and a good conscience and sincere faith.

God’s acceptance of our brokeness, the surrender of our brokeness to Him, and His desire to heal us are familiar themes to Evangelicals. I have heard these sermons in person. Billy Graham expressed the idea as “God loves you just the way you are” and there is truth in that. God loves the most drug addicted prostitute with his infinite, divine love. But that doesn’t mean that he doesn’t want us to do better.

From the article…

The Eternal Father, who promised to make Abraham a great father, never forgot His promise. The list of people that comes after Abraham is filled with a mix of Israel’s greatest and worst leaders. There are faithful servants and faithless tyrants in that family, but God never gave up on His promise. No matter how bad things looked, no matter how far God’s people had wandered from His plan, He refused to let go of them.

I’m not so sure of that God “Refused to let go of them.” Ten of the twelve tribes of Israel disappeared - they went into Babylonian exile and never returned. Poof! Gone to this very day.

God is a Father who keeps his promises and he did send his only Son into the world as promised. The promise was made as part of a covenant, but every covenant comes with blessing for faithfulness and curse for unfaithfulness. God’s promises don’t come to pass in a vacuum. God doesn’t operate passively and the ten tribes of the “Lost sheep of the house of Israel” are a perfect example for us. We have a role to play in our own salvation.

His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence, by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, that through these you may escape from the corruption that is in the world because of passion, and become partakers of the divine nature. For this very reason make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love. (2 Peter 1:3-7)

This is one of my favorite passages in the Bible. It speaks directly to God’s promises - a kingdom, blessing and eternal life. I have heard Evangelicals explain the second part of this passage as a process which the believer undergoes passively, but it sounds to me like a spiritual workout plan. “Make every effort” sounds like someone lifting weights in the gym. “Supplement your faith” sounds like the supplements an athlete takes to boost performance.

Partaking in the divine nature is God’s goal. He wants us to be like Him and this is granted to us by his divine power - we can’t do it ourselves. He “Calls us to his excellence.” But what of “making every effort” and “supplementing our faith”?

Brother JR put it well. I’ll never forget it. He said that we have to cooperate with grace.


Amen to all three!

Partaking in the divine nature is God’s goal. He wants us to be like Him and this is granted to us by his divine power - we can’t do it ourselves. He “Calls us to his excellence.” But what of “making every effort” and “supplementing our faith”?

Brother JR put it well. I’ll never forget it. He said that we have to cooperate with grace.



So the Gospel of Matthew starts out by listing Jesus’ genealogy to show us He had “A family as crazy as mine” & “A messed up dysfunctional family”?! May God bless young Brian Kissinger…and please enlighten him on the Holy Family!

I understand what he’s saying, but profound, it isn’t. A good Christmas message to teens, it isn’t. It’s a major stretch…but only a 21st century teen could’ve come up with this explanation, and that’s sad.

I was just reading in Eusebius and found that he deals with the genealogy issue better than I had ever seen, You can read it on New Advent at
Chapter 7. The Alleged Discrepancy in the Gospels in regard to the Genealogy of Christ.

You can just scroll down to it. :slight_smile:

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