Anglican Morning Devotion for 2 November 2021 Anno Domini
A ministry of the Anglican Orthodox Communion of Churches Worldwide
“The book of the generation of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham. 2Abraham begat Isaac; and Isaac begat Jacob; and Jacob begat Judas and his brethren; 3And Judas begat Phares and Zara of Thamar; and Phares begat Esrom; and Esrom begat Aram; 4And Aram begat Aminadab; and Aminadab begat Naasson; and Naasson begat Salmon; 5And Salmon begat Booz of Rachab; and Booz begat Obed of Ruth; and Obed begat Jesse; 6And Jesse begat David the king; and David the king begat Solomon of her that had been the wife of Urias;” (Matthew 1:1-6; all scripture quoted is from the King James Version)
“Which was the son of Melea, which was the son of Menan, which was the son of Mattatha, which was the son of Nathan, which was the son of David, 32Which was the son of Jesse, which was the son of Obed, which was the son of Booz, which was the son of Salmon, which was the son of Naasson, 33Which was the son of Aminadab, which was the son of Aram, which was the son of Esrom, which was the son of Phares, which was the son of Juda, 34Which was the son of Jacob, which was the son of Isaac, which was the son of Abraham, which was the son of Thara, which was the son of Nachor, 35Which was the son of Saruch, which was the son of Ragau, which was the son of Phalec, which was the son of Heber, which was the son of Sala, 36Which was the son of Cainan, which was the son of Arphaxad, which was the son of Sem, which was the son of Noe, which was the son of Lamech, 37Which was the son of Mathusala, which was the son of Enoch, which was the son of Jared, which was the son of Maleleel, which was the son of Cainan, 38Which was the son of Enos, which was the son of Seth, which was the son of Adam, which was the son of God.” (Luke 3:31-38)
There are two genealogies given in Holy Writ for the Lord Jesus Christ. I have only given a partial list of each to emphasize important points. The counsel against endless genealogies mentioned by Paul was not said of these two important genealogies. Each presents lessons of grave importance to us in more fully understanding our Lord. “Neither give heed to fables and endless genealogies, which minister questions, rather than godly edifying which is in faith: so do.” (1 Timothy 1:4)
The first genealogy given in the Gospel of St. Matthew suggests a DIRECTION of descent down from Abraham, our ancient father to whom the promise and blessing of a Redeemer was given. This genealogy begins with Abraham because we are all accounted the children of Abraham if we have believed the promise made to Abraham. It was so of the Old Testament Church in the same sense in which it is intended for the New Testament Church. “And the father of circumcision to them who are not of the circumcision only, but who also walk in the steps of that faith of our father Abraham, which he had being yet uncircumcised. 13For the promise, that he should be the heir of the world, was not to Abraham, or to his seed, through the law, but through the righteousness of faith. 14For if they which are of the law be heirs, faith is made void, and the promise made of none effect: 15Because the law worketh wrath: for where no law is, there is no transgression. 16Therefore it is of faith, that it might be by grace; to the end the promise might be sure to all the seed; not to that only which is of the law, but to that also which is of the faith of Abraham; who is the father of us all.” (Romans 4:12-16)
Another point of this first reading is that the descent came through the ROYAL LINE of David (Solomon) to Jesus through two women whose inclusion might surprise the strict purist – Ruth was a Moabite woman and Rachab was a former prostitute (both in the line of Jesus).
The second genealogy begins with Jesus and ASCENDS back up to God through David in the PRIESTLY line of Nathan (son of David).
There is a beautiful mystery hidden away in these two genealogies. One (MATTHEW) represents the DESCENT of Christ from Abraham – recipient of the Promise of a Redeemer made to Abraham; the second (LUKE) presents the ASCENT of Christ back up to God the Father all the way back to the first man, ADAM! “And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven.” (John 3:13)
There are many other mysteries tucked away in these two genealogies which make it profitable for more lengthy study on the part of the readers of this devotion.
The most precious gems are those which must be mined with great effort from the depths of the earth. They are not found strewn across the landscape. So it is with the beauties and mysteries of God’s Word. God desires that we must SEEK if we will FIND. His Word is not cheapened by being spoon-fed to the serious biblical scholar. That which is worth finding is worth the effort required.
The Lord Jesus Christ came down as King through the Royal line of David (Matthew 1), and ascended as the only High Priest under the priestly line of Nathan – David’s son (Luke 3). This depicts the legal descent of Christ whose blood was tainted neither by the sins of Adam nor of Abraham.