Thus, there were fourteen generations in all from Abraham to David, fourteen from David to the exile to Babylon, and fourteen from the exile to the Messiah (Matthew 1:17).
For my 2023 Bible reading plan, I decided to focus on the New Testament. And if you’ve ever started to read the New Testament from the beginning, you know what Matthew 1 holds – the genealogy of Jesus.
This 25-verse chapter covers many generations, from Abraham to Jesus. Of those names, I can only correctly pronounce a select few. Truthfully, I felt silly as I struggled to read the names. And for that reason, I always skimmed this passage.
But then, I read it again.
And I specifically noticed something interesting in verse 17 (listed above). Isn’t God good like that? Even if we have read the same passage 100 times, there is always the potential that we can learn something new. Anyway! What I realized was that this passage covers the span of 42 generations.
That is 42 families from Abraham to Jesus that the Lord included in Jesus’ family tree. Of course, we know that the Lord didn’t need any of them to bring Jesus to earth, but he chose them (and their families) to play a part in the most incredible story ever told.
Just a few verses later, Matthew tells the story of the birth of Jesus. This also reminded me of a popular Christmas song, “Mary Did You Know.” It is a powerful song. But while rereading this particular passage, I couldn’t help but wonder, did Amminadab know? What about Shealtiel? Even Matthan, the father of Jesus’ earthly father, was he aware of how important his part in this would be?
Did these men and women realize that they would be part of Jesus’s lineage while they were growing their families? I’m sure some knew because the Bible tells us they did. But for the most part, did they really know?
While they were living, I picture those moms and dads struggling with stubborn children. I imagine they got overwhelmed and listened to the sounds of babies crying and siblings arguing. I also know there were times when as husbands and wives, they didn’t always see eye to eye. Nevertheless, they pressed on. They raised their families to the best of their ability. And in the meantime, the Lord was using them in His master plan to bring forth the spotless lamb.
Could you imagine knowing that?
Imagine knowing that your children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren were part of something so huge that they would have a hand at changing the world forever. I would be a nervous wreck! But instead of worrying about what was to come, many of these families just focused on raising their families. Little did they know that while they cooked supper and held babies, they were making history.
Flash forward to 2023. Today, we’re not eagerly awaiting the birth of a babe but the return of a King. And as Christian families, we are in the process of raising generations that will see Him come and make everything new.
As we encourage our spouses in the Lord, teach Scripture to our children, and pray for every aspect of our family, we are creating generations that will impact the world for Christ. Who knows our ultimate part in the story of Christ?
Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it (Proverbs 22:6).