“The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham.” (Matthew 1:1)
It takes a little work to discover why Matthew put these verses here and why he talks about Abraham. Abraham was the father of the Jewish people. By father we mean that the Jewish people started with him. This can be seen when God called to him in Genesis 12 to leave his country and his homeland. Fourteen chapters in Genesis talk about Abraham, indicating that he was an important person to know about. He was the first of the Jewish people. He followed God in trust and obedience and began a whole nation of people that still exist today.
Matthew included this here because it was important to emphasize that Jesus was not only a descendant of David, but also a descendant of Abraham. Jesus was a Jewish person, related to the original father of the nation. He was able to tell Jewish people about God’s plan because he was directly descended from the first Jewish person, Abraham.
This is even more important because of what the Bible says in Genesis 22:17-18 about Abraham: “I will surely bless you and make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as the sand on the seashore…. and through your offspring all nations on earth will be blessed, because you have obeyed me.” God promised Abraham that God would bless the entire world, every nation, through the offspring or descendants of Abraham. That verse is a prophecy about Jesus!
Matthew includes this list of people in the first chapter of his book to show the importance of the fact that Jesus is a descendant of Abraham. The blessings promised through Abraham find their completion and ultimate fulfillment in Jesus. Jesus is the one through whom God would bless the whole world!
Jesus’ life and death completed what God promised in Genesis 22, by making this spiritual benefit available to all people. Every tribe and tongue and people and nation will be affected by Jesus’ death on the cross for their sins and the new life that we can have through Jesus. We, as Christians and spiritual descendants of Abraham and Jesus, continue that blessing by helping others to know about him. Thank God for Abraham and pray that you can be a blessing to those around you.