Jesus’ Genealogy?!?

Jesus’ Genealogy?!?

Every year, a new advert for lamb is made in preparation for Australia day. This year, the advert suggests that lamb is the solution to closing the generation gap. Different generations look at the world differently – and look down on the generations that came before them. And yet the truth is that each generation is shaped by the one that raised it! Near the start, someone yells across the gap that they invented the internet that the other side was using. Later in the ad, an older man cries out, “Typical kids… everyone gets a trophy.” In reply, someone from Gen Z calls back, “We were kids, you bought us the trophies!”

We are shaped by our ancestors. Growing up and experiencing your parents divorcing will have an affect on you. Growing up in a family where the last 3 generations have all experienced divorce will affect you even more. Growing up in a nuclear family will have an effect on you. Growing up in a family that fights all the time will have an effect on you. Growing up in a family that has lots of money will have an effect on you. Growing up in a family that never has enough will have an effect on you. And these effects compound through the years. In America, after world war II, a GI Bill was introduced, insuring mortgages for returned soldiers in return for their service. Most black soldiers missed out on this. Black people weren’t allowed into the suburbs; and as a result didn’t accrue the generational wealth of their white brothers-in-arms. Real estate prices rise; but you don’t benefit from that if you aren’t allowed to own a house! Here in Australia, we also have some people that have reaped the benefits of generational wealth, and others who have been denied the opportunity.

But the one thing that is the same in all of our histories and genealogies is the presence of sin. All of us were raised by sinners, and are ourselves sinners. That’s part of why things like the racism described above occur so often. And, as sinners, all of us fall short of the glory of God. As sinners, we cannot please Him.

But is there perhaps one who has a better lineage than we do? And what does that mean for us today?

Today’s text: Luke 3:21-38

Unfortunately, there is no audio recording for today’s message. Please find some notes attached below!

Introduction: Who is Jesus?

  • Did you know: ~ 1 in 12 men on the Asian continent are related to Genghis Khan
    • we know this based on a unique Y-chromosome – so don’t know about women
  • It can be really interesting find out where you come from – what your heritage is
    • the things that formed your ancestors, and brought you to where you are today
  • Ancestry was very important to Jewish people in biblical times
    • after all… God had made promises to Abraham and his family
      • promises that they had clung to through wars, exile, attempted genocides etc.
    • to know your ancestry was to know that you belonged to the people of God!
      • It speaks to your heritage, and your culture, and the cultural approach to life
    • Neh 7:64 – returning from exile, some priests couldn’t prove their ancestry
      • because only people from Levi’s tribe were allowed to serve as priests
        • there had to be a whole process for determining if they were really eligible!
  • Last week, we heard John say someone greater than Him was coming: the Messiah
    • but what makes one eligible to be the Messiah?

God’s Testimony (21-22)

  • One day, while John was baptising people, Jesus came to be baptised too
    • we’re not given much detail by Luke – and might wonder why Jesus did this!
      • Jesus didn’t have any sins – and didn’t need to turn back to God
      • perhaps it was about Jesus identifying with those He came to save
      • perhaps it was about publicly identifying as someone who puts God first
  • when Jesus gets baptised, something happens that hasn’t happened with anyone else
    • while Jesus was praying, the heavens opened, and the Father spoke over Jesus
      • “You are my dearly loved Son, and you bring me great joy.”
      • God the Father is saying Jesus is His Son – and that He is well pleased with Him
        • There’s nothing to forgive with Jesus; Jesus lives a life that pleases His Father
      • and the Holy Spirit, in the shape of a dove, came and settled on Jesus
        • people, I think, would have seen something like a dove settling on Jesus
      • I think this is a sign to everyone there that the Spirit is with Jesus – He’s different
  • Here is someone who pleases God absolutely, and on whom the Spirit rests
    • And then Luke gives us a long list of names!?!

Luke’s genealogy (23)

  • Bible scholars spend a lot of time debating the genealogies given for Jesus
    • Luke’s genealogy is quite different at places to that given by Matthew
    • People have come up with different explanations for that – good, and less so
      • Personally, I think the idea of adoption/levirate marriage makes a lot of sense
      • Family trees are complicated things – with all sorts of twists and turns in them!
  • But let us not get so caught up looking at the trees that we miss the forest!
    • Luke is a very clever man, weaving together the story of Jesus for us
      • Why has he chosen to include a genealogy for us – and why put it here​?
        • Rather than somewhere in relation to Jesus’ birth or naming?
  • Luke starts by telling us that Jesus was thought to be the son of Joseph
    • Joseph is Jesus’ legal, adoptive father – the one who would raise & train Him
    • from a legal perspective, Jesus belongs to Joseph’s family – though He isn’t his kid
  • Luke tracks back from Joseph through to King David: Jesus is the son of David; royalty
    • God had promised David that one of His descendants would rule forever
      • and Jesus, legally, is part of David’s family line
    • the Messiah has to be from David’s family; Israel’s King has to be David’s heir
  • Luke tracks back further, going to Abraham
    • Jesus belongs to Abraham’s family – He is one of the people of God
      • The promises that God made to Abraham are for Jesus
        • in fact, Jesus is the fulfilment of those promises
          • the one who will accomplish and experience all God promised Abraham
  • Luke tracks even further back – beyond Abraham all the way back to Adam
  • in Hebrew the words son & father can mean descendant & ancestor
    • we shouldn’t necessarily be trying to use genealogies like today’s to date creation
      • that’s not why Luke is giving us this genealogy – Luke has a better reason
  • Jesus is fully human – he tracks His humanity, his heritage back to creation
    • He wasn’t some half-god, half-man demigod; cf Greek and Roman stories
    • He is eligible to be the Messiah, because He really is one of us; He really is human

What’s the point? (22,38)

  • But Luke takes Jesus’ genealogy back one extra step – past Abraham to God
    • The Father described Jesus as His Son – and Luke’s genealogy says, Yes, He is!
  • We’re told in Genesis that when God created humanity, He made them in His image
    • Adam was God’s son in the sense that He came from God, and represented Him
    • Humanity was meant to represent God to the rest of creation – to be His icon
      • and they did a great job of that… until the fall
  • Jesus doesn’t just sort of reflect who God is – He does it perfectly – better than Adam
    • 1 Cor 15, Paul calls Jesus the second Adam – a fresh start for humanity
  • And yet Jesus is also God with us – the eternal, everlasting Son of God!
    • Jesus is a son of God by right of being human; but He is so much more than that!
      • Adam was created by God; Jesus is God’s eternal Son; un-created and eternal
  • Luke has just finished telling us about the virgin birth – he isn’t talking biology
    • what he’s doing is making a theological point: Jesus is God’s Son
      • He is the one uniquely qualified to be the Messiah – He is our rescuer

Our heritage

  • And you and I – we too can become sons and daughters of God
    • adopted by Jesus, and brought into His lineage – the only genealogy that matters


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