All those listed above include fourteen generations from Abraham to David, fourteen from David to the Babylonian Exile and fourteen from the Babylonian Exile to the Messiah
Ok, so I admit it. When I read Matthew I often skip the genealogy of Jesus (I’m sure many of us have), but not today it seems! On my journey to the Father, now refocused through Jesus, I find myself reading the first sixteen verses of the first Gospel. Now, in Hebrews 11 we find the hall of fame of the great men of Faith, and yet in Matt 1 we find the opposite. A list of men who, if you look them up, are a motley crew to say the least! You find that Jesus was related to Solomon, born of David’s adulterous dalliance with Bathsheba. He was related to Ahaz, who made a pagan human sacrifice of his own son. Then there was Manasseh, Amon and a whole series of dodgy relatives that led Israel away from The Lord and worshiped pagan shrines, men who are described as having done evil in The Lord’s sight. Now, if I were God, I would have made sure that my bloodline was pure, my credentials perfect. I wouldn’t want anyone to discover any skeletons in my genealogical closet! But, no. The Holy Spirit leads Matthew to lay it out for all to see, wash all the dirty linen in public..maybe on a cross? God doesn’t just ignore our failings, he doesn’t excuse our humanity; by choosing to come, fully human, he embraces and stands in solidarity with us and thus is able to bring redemption, even in his own family line. The Father knows. Jesus chose the way of poverty, not simply in the economic terms of a simple stable ‘home birth’, but in the poverty of fully embracing and identifying with the depravity of humanity so that we could fully identify with and embrace Him in his resurrection. Grace worked out not despite of, in ignorance of, or in conflict with our failings, but through them. Truly incarnational love.