“The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham.” (Matthew 1:1 (ESV)
The arrival of a king is a spectacular event. With possible exceptions, the monarchy of the United Kingdom is probably one of the last remaining still in existence. King Charles III succeeded his mother Queen Elizabeth II upon her death earlier this year. The British subjects, or citizens, not only mourned the death of their queen, but also anticipated the coronation of their new king.
In the first century, the Jewish people were anticipating the arrival of their king. They anticipated their king, or Messiah, would finally free them from the bondage of Gentile governments they had endured for nearly half a millennium. Rather than anticipating a redeemer of their sins, Israel was expecting a political deliverer.
Not just anyone could be the King of Israel. He must have a kingly lineage. He not only had to be a descendant of Abraham but also belong to the family of David.
“The Messiah was to be a “son [descendant] of David”; “Son of Abraham” was applied to Jewish people in general, so Matthew begins by reminding us that Jesus is Jewish. Genealogies could provide unity to a survey of history between major figures (as with Adam, Noah and Abraham in Gen 5, 11). Greek readers often called the book of Genesis “the book of generations,” and the title is also used for genealogies and other accounts contained in it (Gen 2:4; 5:1 LXX). In Genesis genealogies are named for the first person cited, but Matthew’s genealogy is named for the person in whom it climaxes, Jesus Christ,” states commentator Craig Keener.
In writing to a Jewish audience, Matthew began his Gospel with Jesus Christ’s genealogy. This evidenced without a doubt that Jesus was not only a descendant of Abraham but also King David and Solomon.
“David’s throne passed from father to son starting with Solomon (1 Kings 1:28–31). Under levirate marriage laws, a Davidite whose physical forefathers were not heirs to the throne could be adopted into the royal line if the heir by way of natural descent died childless (Deut. 25:5–10). Matthew 1:12, for example, tells us Zerubbabel was Shealtiel’s son even though he was Shealtiel’s nephew (1 Chron. 3:17–19). Perhaps Shealtiel died without having a son and Zerubbabel was adopted as the royal heir due to a levirate marriage. Maybe the right to David’s throne by way of Solomon finally came to Joseph through such marriages even though Jesus’ actual physical ancestor was Solomon’s brother, Nathan (Luke 3:31),” explains R. C. Sproul.
The Messiah’s incarnation was not left to chance or fate. It was perfectly predicated and providentially accomplished by God.
I encourage you to read Matthew 1:1-17. Have a blessed day in the Lord.
Soli deo Gloria!