“The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the son of David” (Matthew 1:1)
Most of us skip over the first seventeen verses in Matthew because the list of names (a genealogy) is not very important to us. We don’t necessarily get a lot of spiritual food out of genealogies. But this list was important to people in the past, and we can learn its significance as well. The first of two titles that we will consider in Matthew 1:1 is the title Son of David.
This title makes more specific Jesus’ humanity as a specific person descended from a specific line and lineage. Jesus is a son, or descendant, of David, the King of Israel. I encourage you to read 2 Samuel 7:12-16 before you continue this devotional.
In those verses, God makes a covenant with David. A covenant is an agreement in which God promises to do certain things in the future, usually as a result of that person’s obedience and trust in God. It is God’s plan and what he desires to do. Even if those afterwards disobey, God will keep his covenant. This is what he did with David in 2 Samuel 7. He promised David that there would be a day when a descendant of David would rule as King forever.
Portions of these verses point to Solomon and his descendants, but you also can see portions of this passage that point to Jesus Christ.
- He will be a descendant of David.
- He will rule over a kingdom. It is not an earthly kingdom, but a spiritual kingdom in heaven in which he has power over the whole world and he reigns as King in the lives of his people.
- His kingdom will be forever.
- He will be God’s Son.
This was all God’s plan from the beginning! Isn’t God incredible?! Thanks be to God for his plan of a descendant from David – who was Jesus – to rule as King forever. Christ fulfills what human kings could never do. As the genealogy makes clear, God fulfilled his purpose through his promise to David, a man after his own heart. That list of names should not be skipped, because in it you can see God’s plan. It gave hope to the first century Jews, and it gives us hope in God’s plan as well.