"O Radix Iesse," Ely Cathedral
Creative Commons image by Lawrence Lew, O.P., on Flickr.
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Genealogy of Jesus
Matthew 1:1-17 Commentary
by Gerald C. Liu
Matthew’s genesis, or origin account, of the Christ shares a family history that might seem monotonous at a glance.
Moreover, at face value, the opening genealogy is a fiction. Jesus shares no biological relationship to Joseph and the 14 generations that preceded him. Patient preachers, however, will see in Matthew’s family tree a chronological reasoning that establishes Jewish roots for Jesus. It offers a telescopic view of God’s enduring redemptive work among the people of God.
Consider David’s mention in the very first verse.
On the one hand, David came to fame by comforting Saul with a lyre and slaying Goliath with a slung stone in 1 Samuel 16:23; 17:50. On the other hand, in 2 Samuel 11:17 he killed Uriah, an innocent soldier fighting to protect his empire, so that he could cover up a baby conceived through his philandering with Bathsheba, the wife of Uriah. That baby would eventually die.
Later, David refused to punish another son, Amnon, by his wife Ahinoam, even though he had raped his half-sister Tamar (2 Samuel 13:21). In a cruel twist of fate, David’s warriors killed ...
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Summer 2020 Readings
2020-21 Readings (Year 3)
The narrative lectionary is a four-year cycle of readings. Read more.
NL Podcast 342: Genealogy of Jesus
December 30, 2018
Podcast on Matthew 1:1-17, the Narrative Lectionary readings for Dec. 30, 2018 (Genealogy of Jesus) featuring Profs. Rolf Jacobson, Craig Koester, and Kathryn Schifferdecker. Recorded at Luther Seminary, Saint Paul, Minn., for Working Preacher.