Last week looked at the proto-evangelica which prophesied that the coming Christ would come from the seed of woman and crush the head of Satan. Over the next several weeks, we would look at a variety of individuals from the Old Testament who were told well in advance of Jesus’ birth that the Messiah would come from their lineage. In this week’s prophecy, we will look at the Old Testament prophecies that the Messiah would come from the line of Abraham.
When God talked to Abraham and told him to leave his home, he promised him that the world would be blessed through his offspring (a prophecy fulfilled in the birth of the Messiah). In Genesis 12, we read:
Now the LORD said to Abram, “Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you. And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.” [Genesis 12:1-3]
Again later, in Genesis 22, we read that all the nations would be blessed through his offspring:
I will surely bless you, and I will surely multiply your offspring as the stars of heaven and as the sand that is on the seashore. And your offspring shall possess the gate of his enemies, and in your offspring shall all the nations of the earth be blessed, because you have obeyed my voice.” [Genesis 22:17-18]
Thousands of years before the birth of Jesus Christ, God chose one man – Abraham – and announced to him that he would bless the entire world through him. Let’s have a look at the New Testament to see if Jesus was indeed in the lineage of Abraham. There are two separate genealogies of Christ included in the New Testament. One in included in Matthew and traces the descent of Jesus related to his legal right to the throne. The other is in Luke and traces the physical descent of Jesus. We will use both of these genealogies in the coming weeks to show the fulfillment of Old Testament prophecies regarding the lineage of Jesus. Let’s look first at the genealogy from Matthew (I’ve highlighted the relevant individual in the verse below):
1 The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham. 2 Abraham was the father of Isaac, and Isaac the father of Jacob, and Jacob the father of Judah and his brothers, 3 and Judah the father of Perez and Zerah by Tamar, and Perez the father of Hezron, and Hezron the father of Ram, 4 and Ram the father of Amminadab, and Amminadab the father of Nahshon, and Nahshon the father of Salmon, 5 and Salmon the father of Boaz by Rahab, and Boaz the father of Obed by Ruth, and Obed the father of Jesse, 6 and Jesse the father of David the king. And David was the father of Solomon by the wife of Uriah, 7 and Solomon the father of Rehoboam, and Rehoboam the father of Abijah, and Abijah the father of Asaph, 8 and Asaph the father of Jehoshaphat, and Jehoshaphat the father of Joram, and Joram the father of Uzziah, 9 and Uzziah the father of Jotham, and Jotham the father of Ahaz, and Ahaz the father of Hezekiah, 10 and Hezekiah the father of Manasseh, and Manasseh the father of Amos, and Amos the father of Josiah, 11 and Josiah the father of Jechoniah and his brothers, at the time of the deportation to Babylon. 12 And after the deportation to Babylon: Jechoniah was the father of Shealtiel, and Shealtiel the father of Zerubbabel, 13 and Zerubbabel the father of Abiud, and Abiud the father of Eliakim, and Eliakim the father of Azor, 14 and Azor the father of Zadok, and Zadok the father of Achim, and Achim the father of Eliud, 15 and Eliud the father of Eleazar, and Eleazar the father of Matthan, and Matthan the father of Jacob, 16 and Jacob the father of Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom Jesus was born, who is called Christ. [Matthew 1:1-16]
Now, let’s have a look at the genealogy from Luke to see if Abraham shows up in that family tree as well:
23 Jesus, when he began his ministry, was about thirty years of age, being the son (as was supposed) of Joseph, the son of Heli, 24 the son of Matthat, the son of Levi, the son of Melchi, the son of Jannai, the son of Joseph, 25 the son of Mattathias, the son of Amos, the son of Nahum, the son of Esli, the son of Naggai, 26 the son of Maath, the son of Mattathias, the son of Semein, the son of Josech, the son of Joda, 27 the son of Joanan, the son of Rhesa, the son of Zerubbabel, the son of Shealtiel, the son of Neri, 28 the son of Melchi, the son of Addi, the son of Cosam, the son of Elmadam, the son of Er, 29 the son of Joshua, the son of Eliezer, the son of Jorim, the son of Matthat, the son of Levi, 30 the son of Simeon, the son of Judah, the son of Joseph, the son of Jonam, the son of Eliakim, 31 the son of Melea, the son of Menna, the son of Mattatha, the son of Nathan, the son of David, 32 the son of Jesse, the son of Obed, the son of Boaz, the son of Sala, the son of Nahshon, 33 the son of Amminadab, the son of Admin, the son of Arni, the son of Hezron, the son of Perez, the son of Judah, 34 the son of Jacob, the son of Isaac, the son of Abraham, the son of Terah, the son of Nahor, 35 the son of Serug, the son of Reu, the son of Peleg, the son of Eber, the son of Shelah, 36 the son of Cainan, the son of Arphaxad, the son of Shem, the son of Noah, the son of Lamech, 37 the son of Methuselah, the son of Enoch, the son of Jared, the son of Mahalaleel, the son of Cainan, 38 the son of Enos, the son of Seth, the son of Adam, the son of God. [Luke 3:23-38]
These genealogies clearly show that Jesus was a direct descendant of Abraham. In his letter to the Galatians, Paul makes the point crystal clear:
Now the promises were made to Abraham and to his offspring. It does not say, “And to offsprings,” referring to many, but referring to one, “And to your offspring,” who is Christ. [Galatians 3:16]
As we discussed earlier, over the next several weeks, we will look at the linage of Jesus as predicted in the Old Testament. While any one of these prophecies in isolation does not prove that Jesus is the Messiah (Abraham, for example, had many sons as kids in Sunday school sing about every week all over the world), but taken all together they provide yet another example of the pervasive proof for the supernatural inspiration of Scripture. Next week we’ll knock 50% of the lineage of Abraham out of contention for Messiah as we look at the prophecies that the Messiah would come from the line of Abraham’s son Isaac.
Image courtesy of Abby Reed