My beloved brothers and sisters in Our Incarnate God,
CHRIST IS BORN! GLORIFY HIM!
“The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the Son of David,
the Son of Abraham: Abraham begot Isaac, Isaac begot Jacob,
and Jacob begot Judah and his brothers…” (Matthew 1:1-25).
JESUS means “O Lord, save,” referring to Jesus’ role as Savior. CHRIST means “the Anointed One,” the MESSIAH, the One Who is filled with the Spirit (see John 1:33). Though the Son alone became a man, God the Father and the Holy Spirit work in the Savior to save us.
Jesus became man as a Jew, of the lineage of ABRAHAM, the father of all Jews, with Whom God established the COVENANT of circumcision (Genesis 17), and of DAVID, Israel’s greatest king, THE PROTOTYPE OF THE ROYAL MESSIAH. Jesus fulfills the promise and the Righteousness of the Jews, bringing those who are FAITHFUL and RIGHTEOUS to Himself, God Incarnate. The “Book of Genealogy” (vv. 1-17) REVEALS THE HISTORY OF GOD’S CHOICE OF His servants and THE PREPARATION OF HUMANITY FOR His Coming.
“…So ALL THE GENERATIONS from Abraham to David are FOURTEEN GENERATIONS, from David until the captivity in Babylon are FOURTEEN GENERATIONS, and from the captivity, in Babylon, until The Christ are FOURTEEN GENERATIONS.” (Matthew 1:17). This SELECTIVE LIST of Christ’s Ancestors is arranged in THREE GROUPS of FOURTEEN GENERATIONS each. Fourteen is the numerical value of the consonants in the name David, underlining Jesus’ Davidic Descent.
The Gospels of Saint Matthew and Saint Luke give the Genealogies of Joseph: Saint Matthew, in the opening passage of the Gospel, and Luke, after the story of the Baptism. The two lists differ, and various explanations have been given for the discrepancies. Writing in Aramaic to the Jewish Community, Saint Matthew’s list descends from Abraham, “father of believers,” at the origin of the Old Testament (Covenant), to Jesus, Author of the New Testament (Covenant). The Jews desired to see a Glorious King in the person of the Messiah, therefore, Saint Matthew cites David the King in His Genealogy. King David fathered Solomon, and then a whole line of Royal Descendants. The Evangelist also introduces women, something that the Evangelist Luke does not do. And what sort of women? Women who could neither be saved by descent from Abraham (Rahab of Jericho and Ruth the Moabitess), nor by true integrity of character and righteousness (Tamar the daughter-in-law of Judah and Bathsheba the wife of Uriah). According to Jewish traditions, the holy Evangelist did not lose sight either that all the rights and privileges of a family passed onto the oldest of each generation. In Saint Matthew’s listing from Abraham and David, it was precisely the elder line that he had to choose everywhere (with the exception of Solomon). David’s family line wends its way through Solomon the king and reaches Zorobabel, in whom both lines, Solomon’s and Nathan’s join together, either through adoption or in accordance with the law of Levirate marriages [Deuteronomy 25:5-6]. Further, David’s family runs along the line of Abiud (the elder) and reaches, Joseph, THE PUTATIVE FATHER OF JESUS. Despite the fact that Joseph was not Jesus’ natural father, but only his legal one, he could still pass on rights of inheritance and all the privileges of his family to his “Adopted Son.” For a Jew, it was the legal relationship of a son to his father that was important, not the natural one. The sense of the word “BEGAT” which is used in Hebrew Genealogies was not exact: it indicated immediate or remote descent, and adoptive relationship, or legal heirship, as well as procreation. The holy Evangelist Matthew’s Gospel was intended for the Jews living in Judea and Galilee. He also follows at once with the Story of the virgin Birth, the work of the Spirit, SIGN OF A WHOLLY NEW WORLD.
On the other hand, writing in Greek, the glorious Evangelist Luke’s longer list ascends to Adam, reflecting the “UNIVERSALISM” which is the feature of his Gospel. The sacred author was writing for both Jews and Greek pagans. Nevertheless, both Genealogies contain the name of David, essential to Christ’s place among His people. While Saint Matthew traces the Genealogy of Christ through the kings and makes Christ appear as a King. Saint Luke puts the Regal Dignity of Christ in second place. Saint Luke lists the descendants of Nathan [2 Samuel 5:14; 1 Chronicle 14:4) and not of Solomon the king.
“Glory Be To GOD
– Saint John Chrysostomos
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With sincere agape in His Holy Diakonia (Ministry),
The sinner and unworthy servant of God