The ancestral family history indicates our line of descent, lineage, and former times. There’s a story to be told if you go back more than two generations.
Last year, I published a blog post titled ‘6 Amazing Insights Why We Celebrate Christmas.’ I wanted to highlight some interesting facts about Christmas, away from the fantasy and tinsel. As a child, I was inspired by the biblical stories of Christmas. The gifts were the icing on the cake. However, the marketing juggernauts around the world have created a new ecosphere around Christmas.
Though Christmas brings a lot of happiness with the gathering of family, it also highlights those who will not be present at the get-together. For whatever reason, the good feeling is balanced with sadness and loneliness for others (I personally sit in the camp of the latter).
The silver lining in the cloud is that Christmas is possibly the best gift we can ever receive. I am aware that there are those reading this who do not believe in religion or have different faiths. But, if we allow ourselves to enjoy fantasy and tinsel, then surely, we can appreciate this gift?
The gift of the birth of Jesus. The romantic nostalgia of Christmas and the birth of Jesus, who would go on to give up his life for our sins. The true meaning of Christmas is not the powerful and overwhelming force of the food, the parties, the decorations, and so on.
Ancestral Family History
In the process of composing my blog post last year, I was transfixed by the ancestral family history of Jesus. During the passing of the late Queen Elizabeth II, the BBC published the royal family tree. It was an article about King Charles III’s closest family and order of succession. I decided to use the information contained in Matthew 1:1–17 to produce the ancestral family history of Jesus.
Matthew’s Gospel begins with Jesus’ ancestry. It goes back from King David to Abraham. As shown in the above image, there are fourteen generations between Abraham and King David.
It all started with God telling Abraham that he would be the father of many nations. At this point, both he and Sarah were old and childless. In modern terms, we would consider this a statistical impossibility. To help convince Abraham, God took him outside and said,
Look up into the sky and count the stars if you can. That’s how many descendants you will have!
This prophecy did not transpire until twenty years later.
From King David, there were a further fourteen generations to the point of exile in Babylon. Josiah was the father of Jeconiah and his brothers. There were fourteen generations between the Babylonian exile and the Messiah, Jesus.
Ancestral Genealogy of Jesus
Many of the names in the ancestral family history, appear to be boring, and insignificant and only appear once without much background history. However, this highlights the fact that Jesus was a man of history. Jesus was not a fictional hero but had an ancestral genealogy that could be traced through the generations.
The ancestral family history of Jesus is complex and filled with adulterous relationships, disobedience against God’s will, prostitution, hypocritical leaders, uncountable mistresses, unfaithfulness, and stories of complicity in murder. It can only be that God wanted to show that we can all sin. Human beings, such as all of us, are capable of being enticed by lust and sinful actions.
I am guessing God wanted to show that the son he sent to take away all our sins descends from an ancestral family history just like ours!
The associated infographic can be found: Ancestral Genealogy of Jesus
UCB, 27 December 2022, “What do you ‘see’? (1)”, United Christian Broadcasters [Accessed 27 December 2022]