1 This is the genealogy of Jesus the Messiah the son of David, the son of Abraham:
2 Abraham was the father of Isaac,
Isaac the father of Jacob,
Jacob the father of Judah and his brothers,
3 Judah the father of Perez and Zerah, whose mother was Tamar,
Perez the father of Hezron,
Hezron the father of Ram,
4 Ram the father of Amminadab,
Amminadab the father of Nahshon,
Nahshon the father of Salmon,
5 Salmon the father of Boaz, whose mother was Rahab,
Boaz the father of Obed, whose mother was Ruth,
Obed the father of Jesse,
6 and Jesse the father of King David.
David was the father of Solomon, whose mother had been Uriah’s wife,
7 Solomon the father of Rehoboam,
Rehoboam the father of Abijah,
Abijah the father of Asa,
8 Asa the father of Jehoshaphat,
Jehoshaphat the father of Jehoram,
Jehoram the father of Uzziah,
9 Uzziah the father of Jotham,
Jotham the father of Ahaz,
Ahaz the father of Hezekiah,
10 Hezekiah the father of Manasseh,
Manasseh the father of Amon,
Amon the father of Josiah,
11 and Josiah the father of Jeconiah[c] and his brothers at the time of the exile to Babylon.
12 After the exile to Babylon:
Jeconiah was the father of Shealtiel,
Shealtiel the father of Zerubbabel,
13 Zerubbabel the father of Abihud,
Abihud the father of Eliakim,
Eliakim the father of Azor,
14 Azor the father of Zadok,
Zadok the father of Akim,
Akim the father of Elihud,
15 Elihud the father of Eleazar,
Eleazar the father of Matthan,
Matthan the father of Jacob,
16 and Jacob the father of Joseph, the husband of Mary, and Mary was the mother of Jesus who is called the Messiah.
17 Thus there were fourteen generations in all from Abraham to David, fourteen from David to the exile to Babylon, and fourteen from the exile to the Messiah.
Now that is a whole lot of names. We tend to not pay that much attention to lists of names, and the bible has a lot of them, it can make books like Chronicles and Numbers fast reading if you don’t painstakingly read each one, after all, “does it really matter?”
It would matter if it was your name, and it matters to God because he cares about names, and not just the names but the people that are behind the names.
The genealogy is significant for a number of reasons. Both Abraham and David, who are mentioned in the genealogy, had significant prophecies about their lineage that they didn’t see fulfilled in their lives, but the prophecies were fulfilled through Jesus.
God’s promises to Abraham and his descendant was that through him all nations would be blessed (Genesis 12:3 & Galatians 3:16) and his promise to David is that his son will rule as king over the kingdom of God.
We see both of the prophecies fulfilled in Jesus. Without the genealogy we wouldn’t be able to trace Jesus line to these prophetic words. The Jewish people were meticulous at keeping records, they had list after list of names but in AD70 Jerusalem and the temple and were destroyed, and with it many of the genealogies, so even in the timing of events God has a perfect plan.
We can see through Matthew’s genealogy Jesus’ birth line, we can see that God cares about people, individuals, taking the trouble to record their names. We can see that through Jesus, prophecies that were spoken many years before were fulfilled, and even as we look at the future historical events the timing was perfect.
What can we learn from this? God’s timing in our lives is perfect, He cares about us as individuals, He can take words that look impossible and breath life into them.