Title: Our Family Tree Reveals the Root & Fruit that Matters
Text: Matthew 1:1-17
The family tree of Jesus Christ, David’s son, Abraham’s son:
Abraham had Isaac,Isaac had Jacob,
Jacob had Judah and his brothers,
Judah had Perez and Zerah (the mother was Tamar),
Perez had Hezron,
Hezron had Aram,
Aram had Amminadab,
Amminadab had Nahshon,
Nahshon had Salmon,
Salmon had Boaz (his mother was Rahab),
Boaz had Obed (Ruth was the mother),
Obed had Jesse,
Jesse had David, and David became king.
David had Solomon (Uriah’s wife was the mother),
Solomon had Rehoboam,
Rehoboam had Abijah,
Abijah had Asa,
Asa had Jehoshaphat,
Jehoshaphat had Joram,
Joram had Uzziah,
Uzziah had Jotham,
Jotham had Ahaz,
Ahaz had Hezekiah,
Hezekiah had Manasseh,
Manasseh had Amon,
Amon had Josiah,
Josiah had Jehoiachin and his brothers, and then the people were taken into the Babylonian exile. When the Babylonian exile ended, Jehoiachin had Shealtiel,
Shealtiel had Zerubbabel,
Zerubbabel had Abiud,
Abiud had Eliakim,
Eliakim had Azor,
Azor had Zadok,
Zadok had Achim,
Achim had Eliud,
Eliud had Eleazar,
Eleazar had Matthan,
Matthan had Jacob,
Jacob had Joseph, Mary’s husband, the Mary who gave birth to Jesus, the Jesus who was called Christ.
There were fourteen generations from Abraham to David, another fourteen from David to the Babylonian exile, and yet another fourteen from the Babylonian exile to Christ.
Truth: Who we are is rooted deep in the Family Tree that reveals where you come from! Even Jesus had a family tree rooted well before His birth. His family tree influenced who He was and who He became. The same is true about you.
A true nugget of truth is this: “The nut never falls far from the tree.” In other words, much of who you are is greatly determined by where you came from. The Bible even confirms this principle by the genealogies (one’s family tree) that exists throughout the Bible.
Application: In the family tree of Jesus there are 42 generations from Abraham to Jesus, representing a myriad of family members with one common thread. They revealed the Hebrew (Jewish) connection in their history, which meant they were all connected somehow to the chosen family of God. The same family that sprouted from Abraham eventually migrated to Egypt through the 12 sons of Jacob (who was also known as the family of Israel) and then they were put into slavery by the kings of Egypt, but later in history the families of Israel were freed by God through Moses (Exodus, Numbers, Deuteronomy).
The mention of Rahab as the mother of Boaz points to the days when the families of Israel were brought out of Egypt and entered the Promised Land. Rahab helped them conquer the city of Jericho. (Joshua) Interesting fact: she was not a Hebrew, or originally a family member of Israel, but was a Canaanite woman. And later in the family tree history we find Ruth, a Moabite woman, was married to Boaz, and she birth to the grandfather of King David, the greatest of the Kings of Israel. (Book of Ruth) Why is that important? Yes, the Bible tries to point to Jesus being born of Hebrew lineage, but even He had a lineage that represented ALL people. Isn’t it important that God is the God of ALL people, not just some special people!
After David, the lineage runs through a list of kings who reigned over Israel and Judah – both good and very bad kings (Book of 1-2 Kings, 1-2 Chronicles). Why is that important? Just because some of your family members may have made mistakes or even been considered bad people, or even criminals, does that make you bad or a criminal too? But likewise, just because your family members were great and good people does that guarantee that you will be great and good either? You have the opportunity to choose which you will become by the choices you make. Your personality and many of your physical traits are reflections from your family before you, but you still have a fresh start in the choices you will be able to make.
The listing of the final 14 generations before Jesus was born reflects the wondrous grace of God and His mercy. The original families of Israel, identified as the nations of Israel and Judah, were punished for their disobedience to God. They wanted to believe they were somehow special because of their family tree and could live as they saw fit, but be God would forgive them because they were special. BUT, God tried to tell them that was wrong, and ultimately God allowed them to be conquered by other nations (Books of Isaiah, Jeremiah and Ezekiel). The families of Israel were taken away from the Promised Land and scattered all over the foreign lands. During this period in their history the Book of Daniel and Esther were written to speak about what life was like for the people. But then also the Books of Ezra and Nehemiah and Haggai speak about the restoration of the people back to the Promised Land. They rebuilt their cities and the Temple to honor God, but it was never the same as they had once known.
It was through this restoration period of their history they became greatly influenced by other cultures and even they became known as the Jews by the Greeks and Romans who ruled over them. Therefore we have read that Jesus was born a Jew.
As you grow older and find the time, I pray you will read and research each of the family tree members of Jesus, and you will learn how God works through your own family tree with a greater plan and purpose that you may not ever fully understand. However, also learn that history will reveal much to you as you look back on your own family tree. I wonder what the branches and fruit will look like in generations to come from the influence you will have had on your family, just as I wonder about my influence as a grandfather? Will your life make a difference in the future about what kind of fruit or nuts that your family tree will bear? What difference will you make on the roots and fruit of your family tree?
The question you should always ask and investigate an answer to is this: Where did I come from? Why am I here? And, how will my choices in life impact me and my family in the future? Why did God make me who I am, and am I making a difference by the choices I am making? How will I be remembered should matter to each of us!