An account of the genealogy of Jesus the Messiah, 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 Aram, and Aram the father of Aminadab, and Aminadab 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 King David.
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 Salathiel, and Salathiel 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 the Messiah.
So all the generations from Abraham to David are fourteen generations; and from David to the deportation to Babylon, fourteen generations; and from the deportation to Babylon to the Messiah, fourteen generations.
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved http://www.usccb.org/bible/approved-translations
Today’s Gospel is what I jokingly refer to as the “begat” Gospel, because of the Biblical translations that read “Abraham begat Isaac, Isaac begat Jacob,” etc. It is easy to gloss over the text and tune out the many unfamiliar names of the Old Testament figures presented in this genealogy. But this is not merely a footnote to Matthew’s Gospel. This is where he starts. Why? What does this brief history have to do with Christ?
Matthew’s Gospel was written for Jewish Christians and takes great care to connect Jesus’ life and teachings to the Jewish tradition. In presenting Jesus as the son of Abraham and the son of David, Matthew acknowledges Jesus as the fulfillment of salvation history, and the Messiah that had been promised. By beginning with the genealogy, Matthew firmly roots Jesus at the center, connecting the tradition of the past, with his teachings for the future.
As disciple of Christ, we are challenged to hear the messages of the prophets and ask ourselves how we should respond in today’s context. We are urged to make our world a more just and peaceful place, in both our local and global communities. We are missioned to go out into the world and spread the good news about Jesus. We are invited to co-labor with him in building the Kingdom of God on earth.
The Old Testament recounts the many ways our Jewish ancestors prepared for the coming of the Messiah. With Christmas just 8 days away, we prepare our hearts for His coming. How will we welcome Him into our world and our lives?
—Lauren Gaffey is Director of Programs and Administration at Charis Ministries. Founded in 2000, Charis Ministries reaches those in their 20s and 30s nationwide, nurturing their faith through retreats based in Ignatian spirituality. www.charisministries.org
O Wisdom, O holy word of God,
you govern all creation
with your strong yet tender care:
Come and show your people the way to salvation!
—The Jesuit Prayer TeamPlease share the Good Word with your friends!