In the family tree of Jesus, we find a very diverse collection of people. There were some faithful and obedient folks and a few that had a rather shady past. I will not take the time to explore the life of each person in the two genealogies. However, I would like to say a few things about some of the blessed ancestors of Jesus, and then, perhaps in my next blog, mention a few surprises.
Of course, everyone knows that Jesus came through the families of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. These three names are quite famous. But there are some others that warrant a closer look as well.
In Genesis Chapter 49, we find the record of Jacob giving blessings to his sons. One that truly stand out to me is Judah (Judas in Matthew’s list).
Judah, thou art he whom thy brethren shall praise: thy hand shall be in the neck of thine enemies; thy father’s children shall bow down before thee. Judah is a lion’s whelp: from the prey, my son, thou art gone up: he stooped down, he couched as a lion, and as an old lion; who shall rouse him up? The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come; and unto him shall the gathering of the people be. Binding his foal unto the vine, and his ass’s colt unto the choice vine; he washed his garments in wine, and his clothes in the blood of grapes: his eyes shall be red with wine, and his teeth white with milk. – Genesis 49:8-12
Judah is told that his family will be great leaders in Israel and that many kings will come from him. In particular, this is the promised line of the Messiah. There is a remarkable phrase in the middle of this blessing that gives us assurance that the Messiah has indeed already come. “A scepter shall not depart” means that there will be a king on the throne from this family until Shiloh, who is Jesus, comes. Well, there is no king in Israel now. That means Shiloh has come!
Good King Asa (for whom my son is named) is mentioned in 1st Kings 15 as being a great reformer in Israel He went against friends and family to work to stop idolatry and false worship outside of Jerusalem.
Hezekiah (Ezekias in Matthew) had fifteen years added to His because the Lord was so pleased with him.
Zerubbabel returned from captivity with Ezra and rebuilt the temple.
These are just a few of the great men in Israel’s history that are in Jesus’ family tree. But one of the most fascinating things, which was given to me by a friend while I was studying this subject, is a list of the generations from Adam to Noah with the meanings of their names.
Adam – Man
Seth – Appointed
Enosh – Mortal
Kenan – Sorrow
Mahalalel – The blessed God
Jared – Shall come down
Enoch – Teaching
Methuselah – His death shall bring
Lamech – Despairing
Noah – Comfort and rest
When these are listed in sentence form, here is what you get!
Man (is) appointed mortal sorrow, (but)the blessed God shall come down teaching. His death shall bring (the) despairing comfort and rest.