The DEEP

Genealogy is Back

But there's more than one kind of genealogy.

Luke 3:23-38 (ESV)

Jesus, when he began his ministry, was about thirty years of age, being the son (as was supposed) of Joseph, the son of Heli, the son of Matthat, the son of Levi, the son of Melchi, the son of Jannai, the son of Joseph, the son of Mattathias, the son of Amos, the son of Nahum, the son of Esli, the son of Naggai, the son of Maath, the son of Mattathias, the son of Semein, the son of Josech, the son of Joda, the son of Joanan, the son of Rhesa, the son of Zerubbabel, the son of Shealtiel, the son of Neri, the son of Melchi, the son of Addi, the son of Cosam, the son of Elmadam, the son of Er, the son of Joshua, the son of Eliezer, the son of Jorim, the son of Matthat, the son of Levi, the son of Simeon, the son of Judah, the son of Joseph, the son of Jonam, the son of Eliakim, the son of Melea, the son of Menna, the son of Mattatha, the son of Nathan, the son of David, the son of Jesse, the son of Obed, the son of Boaz, the son of Sala, the son of Nahshon, the son of Amminadab, the son of Admin, the son of Arni, the son of Hezron, the son of Perez, the son of Judah, the son of Jacob, the son of Isaac, the son of Abraham, the son of Terah, the son of Nahor, the son of Serug, the son of Reu, the son of Peleg, the son of Eber, the son of Shelah, the son of Cainan, the son of Arphaxad, the son of Shem, the son of Noah, the son of Lamech, the son of Methuselah, the son of Enoch, the son of Jared, the son of Mahalaleel, the son of Cainan, the son of Enos, the son of Seth, the son of Adam, the son of God.

This genealogy doesn’t agree with the one at the beginning of Matthew. In that account, Joseph’s father isn’t Heli; it’s Jacob.

and Jacob the father of Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom Jesus was born, who is called Christ. – Matthew 1:16

Joseph can only have one biological father, so the other must be his adoptive father. Joseph’s biological father may have died or divorced his mother.

Modern Christians don’t usually show much interest in these genealogies other than to resolve the differences between the two accounts. It may seem strange that the genealogy of Joseph’s adoptive father would be relevant. But don’t forget that both genealogies are of Jesus’ adoptive father, so it must be important for some reason.

It’s important because it makes Jesus of the house of David, confirming Samuel’s prophesy.

“And your house and your kingdom shall be made sure forever before me. Your throne shall be established forever.” – 2 Samuel 7:16


Genealogy is back. Lots of people enjoy tracing their ancestry using one of the on-line services. It’s fun, but no one takes it as seriously as they did back in Biblical times.

But we all have a second genealogy – how we became Christians. By this, I don’t mean knowing who led you to Christ and who led them to Christ, etc. The answer to that is always the Holy Spirit.

I mean how you made the decision. Revisit what happened and what you were thinking when you committed your life to Christ. Notes are important here. You signed a contract (or entered a covenant – same thing) and you should be clear about what that was.

Whether it’s your confession of Christ or your marriage vows, if you can barely remember what you promised and why you promised it, you’ve lost something precious.


The weekly study guides, which include discussion questions, are available for download here:

https://www.ailbe.org/resources/itemlist/category/91-deep-studies

Mike Slay

As a mathematician, inventor, and ruling elder in the Presbyterian Church in America, Mike Slay brings an analytical, conversational, and even whimsical approach to the daily study of God's Word.