Genealogy of Jesus

I spent most of this week trying to decide how to proclaim the Word of the Lord from a list of Jesus’ ancestors. It’s a long list-- 42 names-- and it follows a specific pattern: 3x14:
Abraham -> David: 14
David  -> Babylon 14
Babylon -> Jesus 14

Then the other day I remembered a book we read to the boys when they were little. It’s an ABC book involving a rabbit mom and her twenty six kids. And I thought three kids were busy! Anyway, each bunny is named for a letter in the alphabet and we’re told where each slept with a cute little rhyme. So for example, Mabel slept on the table. Zed slept in the shed… that kinda thing. I decided to approach the genealogy of Matthew 1 in a similar style. I can’t tell you where these people slept, and the names are not alphabetized, except the first:

Abraham followed God on an unknown adventure. Jesus made God’s adventure known to all.

Isaac’s name means “laughter,” recalling the laughter of Sarah and Abraham when hearing of God’s promise. Jesus’ name is a form of the name Joshua, which means “God saves.”

Jacob was a cunning survivor, ready to do anything to stay ahead. Jesus taught us to think of others first.

Judah + brothers hated their brother Joseph so they sold him into slavery. Only after a famine were they reconciled to each other. Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection brings reconciliation to all people: “We take pride in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, the one through whom we are now reconciled to God” (Romans 5:11).

Perez and Zerah were twins, born one right after the other. Zerah, meaning “dawn,” stuck his hand out before he was born, and they tied a red ribbon around his wrist. Perez then “burst out.” Isaiah 58:8 says, “Then your light will break out like the dawn, and you will be healed quickly. Your own righteousness will walk before you, and the LORD's glory will be your rear guard.”

Tamar overcame the limits put on her by society in order to survive. Jesus overcame violence, betrayal, and abandonment to fulfill his mission.

Hezron was appointed by Moses to be Prince over the tribe of Judah. Jesus is called Prince of Peace.

Ram was remembered by Matthew as “Aram.” His name appears in genealogies in Ruth and 1 Chronicles. That is literally all we know about him. A ram was sacrificed by Abraham instead of his son Isaac. The Rams play football in Los Angeles. Jesus is our Good Shepherd who lays down his life for the sheep. Rams??

Amminadab is another unknown, although the actor HB Warner brought him to life in The Ten Commandments. You might better remember him as Mr Gauer in It’s a Wonderful Life. Through faith, Jesus promises all of us a wonderful life [duck]. 

Nahshon The Midrash relates that during the Exodus, when the Israelites reached the Red Sea, it did not automatically part. The Israelites stood at the banks of the sea and wailed with despair, but Nahshon entered the waters. Once he was up to his nose in the water, the sea parted. This is the origin of his name "Nahshol", that is, "stormy sea-waves". Jesus calmed the stormy sea waves when he sat in the disciples’ boat.
Salmon is another anonymous actor in the Bible. He was possibly married to the prostitute Rahab of Jericho. Salmon also has many important health benefits, such as Rich in Omega-3 Fatty Acids, Great Source of Protein, and High in B Vitamins. Jesus offers us a healthy relationship with God.

Boaz was Rahab’s son. His compassion and love for the foreigner Ruth is one of the great love stories of the Bible. “Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends” (I Corinthians 13).

Rahab helped the Hebrew spies at Jericho. Her actions were remembered by the authors of Hebrews and the Book of James. Jesus argues with his opponents one day, saying, “Truly I tell you, the tax-collectors and the prostitutes are going into the kingdom of God ahead of you. For John came to you in the way of righteousness and you did not believe him, but the tax-collectors and the prostitutes believed him; and even after you saw it, you did not change your minds and believe him.”

Obed is the son of Ruth and Boaz. His name means servant. Jesus came to serve, not be served. He washed the feet of his disciples, saying “So if I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet.

Ruth’s commitment to her widowed mother in law Orpah was absolute: “Do not press me to leave you
   or to turn back from following you!
Where you go, I will go;
   where you lodge, I will lodge;
your people shall be my people,
   and your God my God.”
Jesus said, “I will not leave you orphaned. I am coming to you.”

Jesse was the father of King David and seven other sons. They were shepherds. When Samuel came to Bethlehem to anoint the future king, Jesse left the youngest one in the fields with the flock. Jesus’ birth was announced by the heavenly host to shepherds watching their sheep-- in the countryside near Bethlehem.

King David, known as a man after God’s own heart, overcame his many sins by offering repentance and asking for forgiveness. ‘Do you see this woman? I entered your house; You did not anoint my head with oil, but she has anointed my feet with ointment. Therefore, I tell you, her sins, which were many, have been forgiven; hence she has shown great love. But the one to whom little is forgiven, loves little.’ Then he said to her, ‘Your sins are forgiven.’ And he said to the woman, ‘Your faith has saved you; go in peace.’

Solomon built the first Temple of the Lord in Jerusalem. Ultimately his pride and possessions destroyed him. Jesus said, gesturing to the beautiful flowers of the field, “Not even Solomon in all of his glory was clothed as one of these.”

Bathsheba overcame the violence and shame inflicted upon her by the all-powerful King David. Many years later, a woman suffering from a long-term illness touched Jesus’ cloak, believing she would be healed. Feeling the healing power escape him, Jesus called for whoever touched him to come forward. He said to her, ‘Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace, and be healed of your disease.’” Whatever we suffer: grief, violence, brokenness, illness; God’s love can heal us.

Uriah was the husband of Bathsheba. David tried to bribe Uriah with all kinds of temptations, only to order him to the front lines of the battle to be killed. Uriah’s loyalty and commitment to his troops and his duty were not negotiable. Jesus said, “But those who do what is true come to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that their deeds have been done in God.”
Rehoboam was the fourth king of Israel. He was a son of and the successor to Solomon, and a grandson of David. Rehoboam had 18 wives and 60 concubines. They bore him 28 sons and 60 daughters. In I Corinthians 7, Paul gives advice regarding marriage. Basically, marry if it will not distract you from the Lord: “I say this for your own benefit, not to put any restraint upon you, but to promote good order and unhindered devotion to the Lord.” Not sure how devoted Rehoboam could have been...

Abijah became king of Judah after his father died. He unsuccessfully tried to reunite the divided kingdoms of Judah and Israel. Jesus said, “if a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. And if a house is divided against itself, that house will not be able to stand.

Asaph was, according to the Hebrew Bible, the third king of the Kingdom of Judah and the fifth king of the House of David. The Hebrew Bible gives the period of his reign as 41 years. Asaph was zealous in maintaining the traditional worship of God, and in rooting out idolatry. “Live by the Spirit, I say, and do not gratify the desires of the flesh. For what the flesh desires is opposed to the Spirit, and what the Spirit desires is opposed to the flesh; And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires” (Galatians 5).

Jehoshaphat ascended the throne at the age of thirty-five and reigned for twenty-five years. The author of the Books of Chronicles generally praises his reign, stating that the kingdom enjoyed a great measure of peace and prosperity, the blessing of God resting on the people "in their basket and their store." After feeding a large crowd by the sea, Jesus disciples’ collected twelve baskets full of leftovers.

Joram was a king of the northern Kingdom of Israel. He was the son of Ahab and Jezebel, and brother to King Ahaziah. Unlike his predecessors, Joram did not worship Ba'al, and he removed the pillar of Baal. Joram was wounded in battle, and he withdrew to Jezreel to recover. As a result, while Joram was recuperating at Jezreel, his general, Jehu, incited a revolt. Jehu executed Joram by shooting him in the back with an arrow, and had his body thrown into the field of Naboth the Jezreelite, as punishment for his parents’ sin in illegally stealing Naboth's land. Jehu claimed the throne of Israel as his own. Jesus said, “Listen! I am standing at the door, knocking; if you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in to you and eat with you, and you with me. To the one who conquers I will give a place with me on my throne, just as I myself conquered and sat down with my Father on his throne. Let anyone who has an ear listen to what the Spirit is saying to the churches.” -Revelation 3:20-22

Uzziah’s reign began in a godly way, but pride was his weakness. Assuming the authority of the priests, he entered the Temple to offer sacrifice on the altar. The sun shone through the space, and he was struck with leprosy. “Once, when he was in one of the cities, there was a man covered with leprosy. When he saw Jesus, he bowed with his face to the ground and begged him, ‘Lord, if you choose, you can make me clean.’ Then Jesus stretched out his hand, touched him, and said, ‘I do choose. Be made clean.’ Immediately the leprosy left him.”

Jotham "God is perfect" or "God is complete"; was the youngest of Gideon's seventy sons. Jesus said, “Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.”

Ahaz is mentioned in Isaiah 14:28. Isaiah counsels Ahaz to trust in God rather than foreign allies, and tells him to ask for a sign to confirm that this is a true prophecy (verse 7:11). Ahaz refuses, saying he will not test God (7:12). Isaiah replies that Ahaz will have a sign whether he asks for it or not, and the sign will be the birth of a child, and the child's mother will call it Immanuel, meaning "God-with-us" (7:13-14). After the angel predicts Jesus’ birth to Joseph, the narrator says, “All this took place to fulfil what had been spoken by the Lord through the prophet:
‘Look, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son,
   and they shall name him Emmanuel’,
which means, ‘God is with us.’

Hezekiah commissioned the priests and Levites to open and repair the doors of the Temple and to remove the defilements of the sanctuary, a task which took 16 days. He dug out the famous Siloam tunnel which brought the water of the Gihon springs to a reservoir inside the city wall. Jesus said, “Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, but those who drink of the water that I will give them will never be thirsty. The water that I will give will become in them a spring of water gushing up to eternal life.”

Manasseh restored polytheistic worship of Baal and Asherah in the Temple, He is said to have participated in the sacrificial cult of Moloch which consisted of sacrificing young children or passing them through fire. In rabbinic literature he is accused of executing the prophet Isaiah. Jesus said, “For it is from within, from the human heart, that evil intentions come: fornication, theft, murder, adultery, avarice, wickedness, deceit, licentiousness, envy, slander, pride, folly. All these evil things come from within, and they defile a person.’

Amon was a 7th-century BC King of Judah who succeeded his father Manasseh. Amon is most remembered for his idolatrous practices while king, which led to a revolt against him and eventually his assassination in c. 641 BCE. “Put to death, therefore, whatever in you is earthly: fornication, impurity, passion, evil desire, and greed (which is idolatry). On account of these the wrath of God is coming on those who are disobedient. As God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience” (Colossians 3).

Josiah became king at age 8. In the eighteenth year of his rule, Josiah ordered the High Priest Hilkiah to use the tax money which had been collected over the years to renovate the temple after a scroll was discovered there. In the spring of 609 BCE, Pharaoh Necho II led a sizable army up to the Euphrates River to aid the Assyrians against the Babylonians. Josiah attempted to block the advance at Megiddo, where a fierce battle was fought and Josiah was killed. The prophet Jeremiah was a contemporary and wrote a lament for Josiah. Jesus said, “Blessed are the mourners, for they will be comforted.”

Jechoniah + brothers Jeconiah reigned three months and ten days, beginning December 9, 598. He succeeded Jehoiakim as king of Judah after raiders from surrounding lands invaded Jerusalem and killed his father. Three months and ten days after Jeconiah became king, the armies of Nebuchadnezzar II seized Jerusalem. Jesus said, ‘Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me, but weep for yourselves and for your children. For the days are surely coming when they will say, “Blessed are the barren, and the wombs that never bore, and the breasts that never nursed.” Then they will begin to say to the mountains, “Fall on us”; and to the hills, “Cover us.” For if they do this when the wood is green, what will happen when it is dry?’

Shealtiel means, "I asked El (for this child)". The name acknowledges that the son is an answer to the parents' prayer to God (El) to help them conceive and birth a child.” Zechariah said to his infant son John: “ And you, child, will be called the prophet of the Most High;
   for you will go before the Lord to prepare his ways,
to give knowledge of salvation to his people
   by the forgiveness of their sins.
By the tender mercy of our God,
   the dawn from on high will break upon us,
to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death,
   to guide our feet into the way of peace.’”

Zerubbabel led the first group of Jews, numbering 42,360, who returned from the Babylonian captivity in the first year of Cyrus, King of Persia. Zerubbabel also laid the foundation of the Second Temple in Jerusalem soon after. Guided by the Spirit, Simeon came into the temple; and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him what was customary under the law, Simeon took him in his arms and praised God, saying,
‘Master, now you are dismissing your servant in peace,
   according to your word;
for my eyes have seen your salvation,
   which you have prepared in the presence of all peoples,
a light for revelation to the Gentiles
   and for glory to your people Israel.’

Abiud A son or grandson of Zerubbabel and father of Eliakim (Matthew 1:13, "Abiud"), the name "Abihud" means "the (divine) father is glory." Long ago God spoke to our ancestors in many and various ways by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by a Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, through whom he also created the worlds. He is the reflection of God’s glory and the exact imprint of God’s very being, and he sustains all things by his powerful word. When he had made purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, having become as much superior to angels as the name he has inherited is more excellent than theirs.

Eliakim means “Resurrection of God.” Jesus said, “I am the resurrection and the life. Those who believe in me, even though they die, will live, and everyone who lives and believes in me will never die.”

Azor is unknown, but in modern times it is a high blood pressure medicine. Side effects may include dizziness and lightheadedness. “So that you may lead lives worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him, as you bear fruit in every good work and as you grow in the knowledge of God. May you be made strong with all the strength that comes from his glorious power, and may you be prepared to endure everything with patience, while joyfully giving thanks to the Father, who has enabled you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the light. He has rescued us from the power of darkness and transferred us into the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.

Zadok "Zadok the Priest" is a coronation hymn by Handel. Jesus was hailed as a king when he entered Jerusalem for the Passover: “As he was now approaching the path down from the Mount of Olives, the whole multitude of the disciples began to praise God joyfully with a loud voice for all the deeds of power that they had seen, saying,
‘Blessed is the king
   who comes in the name of the Lord!
Peace in heaven,
   and glory in the highest heaven!’
Some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to him, ‘Teacher, order your disciples to stop.’ He answered, ‘I tell you, if these were silent, the stones would shout out.’”

Achim He will take/He will set up “By this Jesus everyone who believes is set free from all those sins from which you could not be freed by the law of Moses.”

Eliud “God is my praise.” Name of current marathon world record holder from Kenya (2 hours: 1 minute: 39 seconds)
Psalm 150
Praise the Lord!
Praise God in his sanctuary;
   praise him in his mighty firmament!
Praise him for his mighty deeds;
   praise him according to his surpassing greatness!
Praise him with trumpet sound;
   praise him with lute and harp!
Praise him with tambourine and dance;
   praise him with strings and pipe!
Praise him with clanging cymbals;
   praise him with loud clashing cymbals!
Let everything that breathes praise the Lord!
Praise the Lord!

Eleazar nephew of Moses during the Exodus; unknown who this guy was. The name means “God helps” in Hebrew and as a popular name for boys. You know what else is a popular name for boys? Joshua (Jesus is a form of Joshua)

Mathhan means gift or hope of the Lord.
‘Here is my servant, whom I have chosen,
   my beloved, with whom my soul is well pleased.
I will put my Spirit upon him,
   and he will proclaim justice to the Gentiles.
He will not wrangle or cry aloud,
   nor will anyone hear his voice in the streets.
He will not break a bruised reed
   or quench a smouldering wick
until he brings justice to victory.
   And in his name the Gentiles will hope.’

Jacob was Joseph’s grandfather.
Joseph was the earthly father of Jesus.
Mary was the mother of Jesus.
‘Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife, for the child conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will bear a son, and you are to name him Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.’