Do you like to read the phone book? If you do, you may be quite rare! Most of us don’t read the white pages for fun. In the book of Matthew Chapter 1, the Christmas story starts with a list of names that is about as fun to read as the white pages. Often, people will skip genealogical lists in the Bible as they read through God’s Word. If I wrote the Christmas story, I would not put the boring genealogy first. That is certainly not the way to capture the attention of the reader with a great first line.
You and I would place the genealogy elsewhere (say in the back, mark it Appendix A), or leave it out completely! Matthew, the author of the Gospel, chooses it as the opening that captures his audience’s attention. For thousands of years, the descendants of Abraham had been looking for God’s promises to their ancestors to be fulfilled in The Messiah. Jesus fulfilled the promise of God, therefore Matthew starts with the most important criteria, he was the descendant of Abraham and King David.
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