The Genealogy of
Jesus Christ
by Alvin Mitchell
copyright 2005
by Alvin Mitchell
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Everything that God does is done for a reason, according to a set plan.  Nothing is ever, either arbitrary, or in anywise an after thought due to
some unforeseen, unexpected circumstance.  So it is with the birth of our Lord.

The birth of Jesus Christ was not only the product of a definite, predetermined plan and purpose, it also followed, one might say, a specific
route plan, in terms of His genealogical record.  Again one might say, moreover, that plan (like the blue print for the creation itself) was
formulated, formalized, and finalized long before the first ‘pillaric’ particles (quarks and electrons) upon which the entire universe rests were
called into being (  ).  Thus, we conclude that following the satanically instigated Adamic fall, God set in motion His eternal plan, with the
promise to the devil behind it that, “while you will in the interim bruise His heel, He will in the finale crush your head” (Gen.  ).  This statement
hop-scotches across the centuries and millennia to come, pass all of His (human) progenitors, to the time when the Son of Man, having been
born, His mission accomplished, the Father’s Will done, satan will kill His pure, sin-free but mortal body of flesh, yet never touch His eternal
Spirit and, in so doing, seal his own already sealed fate (“His heel” having been bruised, the death nail has been driven home, on which hangs the
devil’s eternal destiny).

In addition to several groups of Old Testament listings, the New Testament gives two genealogical records of Jesus Christ of Nazareth:  one
according to Matthew’s gospel, the other according to Dr. Luke’s gospel.  Each is strikingly different, although on the other hand, there are
similarities.  One ultimately has positively nothing to do with the coming of Christ, the other is His biology lineage, as far as that goes, and
demonstrates that God ultimately rules in the affairs of men, and that it is He who in the finale makes the decision as to who sits as king among
men, regardless of one’s background (II Kings  ; Daniel  ).  Which one is the correct record through which the world was given its Jewish
Messiah, and why?

Officially, Adam being the first link in the chain of Jesus’ genealogy, the next major link is Abraham.  God first began to lay the groundwork for
the advent of the Christ by giving Abraham (at age 75) the assurance that every man, woman and child on earth would be blessed on his account
(after his becoming a great nation!  See Gen. 12:3; 18:18).  Breaking the news to Abraham twenty-four years later, he being still childless at 99
(accept for Ishmael, who at 13, was born when Abraham was 86), married to a barren wife no more than 10 years younger, God (because He is
Lord of the impossible!) simply, matter-of-factly, self-assuredly, calmly reiterated His earlier promise—though it was itself now one quarter the
age of the century old patriarch and father-to-be, of many nations.  Abraham laughed, so God told him to name his son (who was to born one
year later) Isaac, meaning ‘laughter’ (Gen. 16:19). Within a short time, God appeared physically to him in the plains of Mamre, making the same
promise in the hearing of his wife Sarah (she having apparently not been told of Abraham’s previous encounter with the Lord), in which case,
she also laughs.  Seems everyone but the Lord of Glory thought that His was a ridiculous assertion.  Nonetheless, Jehovah (the Self-Existing
One, who is eternal), “stuck to His guns”, holding fast to His original plan.  All the nations of the earth would be blessed from the loins of
Abraham, through his wife Sarah (not by his son born to her servant).  The Lord would give him a Seed, to facilitate this blessing (Gen. 22:18).  
“And in your ‘Seed’ shall all the nations and families of the earth be blessed” (Gen. 26:4; 28:14).  Acts 3:25 and Gal. 3:16 affirm that this
promise, its focus having flared from the singular, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob to the multitudes of Israel (via the twelve tribes; see Gen. 35:9-
12), finds its final resting place upon the shoulders of the Man from Galilee.  It is His blood that provides redemption for a world that would
otherwise have perished in the wrath of the Living God, without even the slightest bit of hope.  What a blessing!  Sadly, many will still perish,
given that they reject God’s Provision for their salvation.

Although Moses was a descendant of Abraham, the Seed was not progeny to Moses.  That is, Moses was not in the genealogical chain of
progression.  Nevertheless—in provision of a glimpse as to the nature of this ‘Seed’--God saw fit to make him privy to the fact that He should
be (among other things), a Prophet (Deuteronomy 18:15-19).  Like Moses himself, He would be from among the Israelis, walking and working
in a servant’s role, speaking only what He was told and taught by the Almighty (Jn. 1:1, 14, 10-14; Heb. 1:1-3; Jn. 4:34; 5:19; 7:16; 8:28).

With King David, however, the story is different than with Moses.  For him, the Abrahamic (Isaac and Jacob) theme of the ‘Seed’ is revisited.  
Moreover, for him—in response to his desire to build a house in which the Lord was to live—God reversed his ambition, supplanting it with a
more permanent, long-term plan of His own.  “Tell you what”, God said, “instead of you building Me a place in which to live, let Me promise
you that I will build the house, albeit, with you in mind.  Following your death, I will establish your Seed, who will be born of your descendants,
His kingdom will I establish.  I will be to Him a Father, He will be to Me a Son….thus will your house be established eternally, as will be your
throne(II Sam. 7:11-16).” At this point in the genealogical progression, the scriptures seem to hover repetitiously, as if for emphasis:  “And I will
bring forth a Seed from within Jacob, and from within Judah One who will be the Inheritor of My mountains…” (Isa. 65:9).  “…There will
come a Rod out of the stem of Jesse (David), and a Branch will bear fruit from within his roots…in that day there will be a Root of Jesse, who
will stand like a signal for the people…” (Isa. 11:1-2, 10).  “And it will come to pass, in that day, that I will call My Servant Eliakim…and I will
put the key of the house of David upon His shoulders…I will fasten Him like a Nail in a sure place…and that Nail…will be removed, cut down,
and He will fall…” (Isa. 22:20-25).  By these and similar Bible passages, we may be assured of David’s place in the genealogy of Jesus.  But,
what or who after this?  The gospel record gives two possibilities.  Neither David the great king, and man after God’s own heart, none of his
prophets, not even the wisest man ever—in his son Solomon—understood the far reaching implications of the prophecy the king was given.  In
fact, no one living then knew that the promise was far reaching, nor did they understand that the house that God was building was, from
mankind’s point of view, a figurative one, not a literal one of sticks and stones.  Thus, all eyes and all bets were upon Solomon.  

King Solomon did indeed build the literal house (one that was anything but eternal) but—in light of how David the king figures undeniably in the
train of individuals running between Abraham and the Christ—what part did he in view his well favored status in the eyes of God (in the early
days of his kingdom) play in the structure of the eternal house?  Many try to paint him a place into the grand scheme of things, the big picture,
but does he in any way, shape or form, or fashion, belong there, at all?     

God rules in the affairs of men

The first thing one should note is that promise the delivered to David via Nathan the prophet, involved not condition (although there was a
condition placed upon his earthly throne:  see I Kings 2:4; 9:4-6; 11:11-13, 26-36; I Chron. 22:13; 28:6, 7; II Chron. 6:16; 7:17-28).  There were
no stipulations to which he was required to adhere.   There was no minimum level of performance to be met.  Not even the fact of David’s two
(impending) biggest screw-ups ever in his career (the adulterous affair with Bathsheba and the attendant set-up to cover-up his sin, resulting in
the death of her husband, Uriah), as king over the people of God, would interfere with God’s plan to continue the Abrahamic declaration,
through the Davidic household.  That determination, as laid out before David, was a done deal, from eternity past, settled in the heavens forever,
no matter what (before the earth was even built).  Of his two sons mentioned in the NT genealogies, obscure Nathan is only mentioned in the
OT versions, and in Matthew chapter 1.  He is therefore only featured in one of the NT variations, and never in any kind of prophetic plan of
God.  Must he therefore, then, be a part of the great Abraham plus or to David plus or to ???? equals or leads to the Messiah (the Seed, the
Prophet, the Branch or Root of Jesse), equation when so promising a son as Solomon is the one “more likely to succeed”?

Of all David’s sons, Solomon was the one hand picked by David the king to succeed him upon his throne, bypassing any rules and other
preconceived notions or protocol involving the rights of firstborns.  David’s short-range vision was deliberately and intentionally left unimpeded
and unaided by Divine revelation beyond the tip of his nose, thus he had no sense as to the scope of the scheme of which he was an indelible
part.  Solomon, though wiser and much more intelligent—and perhaps, in some sense, more blessed of God—was equally as clueless.  Even
with his immense, incomparable wisdom chugging and churning on all cylinders, in full force, the subtle overtones permeating God’s promise to
him apparently went totally unnoticed.  “If your walk and life before Me is, as was that of your father David’s…keeping My statues and
commandments, then My hand will uphold and establish your kingdom, and your throne over Israel will continue forever…you will always have
a descendant in Israel’s throne room.  However, on the other hand, should either you or any of your offspring at all turn your backs to Me,
refusing to obey My commands and judgments…rendering service and worship to false gods and idols, then I will destroy both the nation of
Israel and this house which I have consecrated and set apart for My Name…” (I Kings 9:4-9).  In so many words, in order for the Abrahamic
Seed, the Messiah, to proceed from the Solomonic branch of king David’s sons, both he and his own children had to produce flawless
performances.  Failure on the parts of either would render the promises null and void.  Moreover, by inclusion of stipulations in the same basic
promises made to David (without conditions), God appears to have been giving assurance to Solomon that he in fact was destined not to be part
of His Messianic equation.  “But, Solomon was a lover of many strange and foreign women from countries on the ‘forbidden’ list, as far as
intermarriage goes…so that, when he was old these women caused him to stumble, in which case he ceased to follow the Lord (as David his
father had), instead, choosing to do evil in the sight of Almighty God, following the idols of his foreign wives, building high places in their
honor….” (I Kings 11:1-8).  Hereby, Solomon shattered any hope he ever had that his family line would ever host the Messiah.  Although certain
of his descendants were faithful, in a manner comparable to king David, Solomon’s failure was all that was necessary to void the promise,
where he and his offspring were concerned.  He did not merely do something wrong; that would have been bad enough.  Rather, this the wisest
man of all time—by the Hand and generosity of the God of his father, no less—did completely severe his good relationship with the God of his
fathers, choosing and committing himself to doing evil in His sight, in honor of and in deference to his seven hundred and three hundred pagan
wives and concubines, respectively (he never repented or returned).  “Because you have done this, having refused to obey My commandments
and My statues, I will now take the Kingdom from you and give it to your servant…you will be left with only one tribe, for sake of My servant
David, and for Jerusalem, which I have chosen…so as to preserve on his behalf a light in My presence, forever” (I King 11:11-13, 36).  
Immediately prior to the Babylonian invasion and captivity, as if to squeeze every glimmer of any remaining light (of life) out of a dark, lightless
chapter long closed and dead (the subject only of stone cold rigor mortis, where hope was concerned, relative) to the Solomon clan with
reference to the grand plan, God makes the following declaration regarding the last of David’s rebel descendants to rule upon the throne in
Jerusalem:  “even if Coniah (Jehoiachin, son of Jehoiakim) …were a signet upon My right hand, I would nonetheless pluck it off…this is what
the Lord has to say, ‘write this man off as one who has never had a child, one who will not prosper, ever, in his life…given that none of his
progeny will ever prosper, sitting (as king) upon the throne of David, or ruling any more from Judah’” (Jer. 22:24-30).  The point here is not
that Coniah would never have sons, but rather as the final death nail in a series, on top of the ultimate of death nails, this man would never have a
son who would ever serve as king in Jerusalem.  The lineage listing in Matthew’s gospel shows quite clearly that Jehoiachin did in fact have
sons, albeit, in captivity, after he was deported by the Babylonians.  None was ever a king, otherwise, Joseph, husband of Mary and stepfather
to the Christ, would have been king at the time of the birth of Jesus.   “…if you forsake Him, He will forsake you, forever”, David, the
incumbent king, warned Solomon in his waning moments (I Chron. 28:9).  King Solomon never returned or repented of his evil.  Therefore, his
place and light in the Messianic game plan was extinguished altogether forever first, by his actions, as well as by those of his sons.

Thus then, we see fleshed among the Jews the very proclamation made to the heathen, utterly pagan king Nebuchadnezzar, by Daniel the
prophet (during the captivity):  “…the Supreme (One) governs in the kingdom of men, giving it to whomever He chooses, even as He sets over
it the lowest (most wicked) of men” (Dan. 4:17, 25, 32; 5:18, 21).  So likewise, in the kingdom of the Jews, the point He wishes to stress and
drive home to roost is that it is He who ultimately makes the final decision in terms, not only of the “who” sitting upon the throne in the kingdom
of His earthly people, but, He is also at absolute liberty to randomly pick and choose the players who will fill the void(s) leading to the fulfillment
of His promise to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob; Moses and King David:  to the first advent of His Messiah.  Hence, the family of Solomon having
failed, most miserably at that, the Lord and God of all glory (the Yahweh Elohim) shifted and turned His focus to the plenarily obscure person of
Nathan (never mentioned in the biblical record except in passing as one of the lesser known sons of king David) as the channel bearing into
being the Christ, by whom all the nations of the earth have been blessed.

In finale, then, the long and the short of this message is such that it is the genealogical record as chronicled by Dr. Luke, i.e., Mary His mother’s
lineage (Adam to Abraham to Judah to Jesse, to David, to Nathan, to Jesus Christ, by the intervention of the Holy Spirit of God), which is the
correct one of the two in the New Testament, through which our Lord and Savior was given birth.  (Pray now that God will add a blessing to
this and every thoughtful consideration of His Word.)
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