Continuing his series on the ancestry DNA of Jesus, Pastor Neil examines the genealogies of Jesus in Matthew and Luke. Here are some excerpts:
Because of Luke’s close connection to Mary, and even though he does not mention her by name in his genealogy, I have always thought the best explanation of the differences in the two genealogies to be that Matthew presents the family line of Joseph, while Luke, without naming her, gives the family line of Mary.
Through it all, what is clear in these genealogies is that Jesus is fully human. He was as totally human as you and I are. The only differences are that: 1) unlike us, He was conceived in a miraculous way by the Holy Spirit, without the aid or involvement of a man; and 2) unlike us, He was without sin and we are not.
The genealogies in Matthew and Luke, their differences notwithstanding, establish the humanness of Jesus and His qualifications to be Israel’s long-awaited Messiah and our Savior and King.
What we also see in the two genealogies, as we noted last week about the genealogy in Matthew, is that, though there was no sin in Him, Jesus came from a long line of sinners for the express purpose of saving sinners like us from our sins. In a sermon preached in 1522, Martin Luther pointed out that Jesus “is the kind of person who is not ashamed of sinners – in fact, He even puts them in His family tree.” In this, Jesus is just like us. We all come from a long line of sinners. My family tree is filled with sinners. So is yours.
Though the ancestors of Jesus serve to establish His human qualifications, those ancestors do not add to His dignity or elevate His eminence in any way. Rather, as Chaucer said of Sir Ulrich, it is the ancestors of Jesus who are honored by their connection with Him. As are we, the spiritual descendants of Jesus. Our connection to Him adds nothing to His greatness. But it makes all the difference in the world to us…