WHO IS IN YOUR FAMILY TREE? – 5 by Pastor Shah, Clearview Church, Henderson
This morning I’m in the last message of our miniseries “WHO IS IN YOUR FAMILY TREE?” So far we have been studying the genealogy of Jesus in Matthew’s Gospel, looking at all those four women who were undeserving but found grace in the sight of God. In this message we will look at the genealogy of Jesus in Luke’s Gospel. It’s different, unique, and has a powerful message for us, our nation, and our world.
Luke 1 23 Now Jesus Himself began His ministry at about thirty years of age, being (as was supposed) the son of Joseph, the son of Heli…31 the son of Melea, the son of Menan, the son of Mattathah, the son of Nathan, the son of David,… 34 the son of Jacob, the son of Isaac, the son of Abraham, the son of Terah, the son of Nahor…36 the son of Cainan, the son of Arphaxad, the son of Shem, the son of Noah, the son of Lamech…38 the son of Enosh, the son of Seth, the son of Adam, the son of God.
Overall Background: Throughout this week I struggled over whether or not I should preach on this genealogy. I had many reasons for why I should skip over this passage but the Holy Spirit did not allow me to do that. Because, in this genealogy, we understand God’s master plan of redemption for the whole world. The gist of the message is this – We have one problem. We are one family. We received one promise. We have one response. Bottom Line: “Jesus is the focus of history.”
Application: This morning as we go through this message ask yourself this question –Do you know Jesus as your Savior? If you are lost, you need to be saved. If you are saved, are you sharing Jesus with others? He is our only hope.
Let’s look at Luke’s genealogy of Jesus. We will go from the top to the bottom, from Adam to Jesus.
1. WE HAVE ONE PROBLEM.
Listen to Luke 3:38 the son of Enosh, the son of Seth, the son of Adam, the son of God.
Background: Matthew’s genealogy of Jesus Christ only goes to Abraham. His purpose was to show the Jewish people that Jesus was indeed the Messiah who was promised to Israel. Luke wrote his gospel to the Gentiles. His purpose was to show that Jesus was indeed the Savior who was promised to the whole world. Hence, his genealogy goes all the way to Adam because the problem began with Adam when he chose to disobey God and eat the forbidden fruit. God had specifically warned him not to eat the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil but the temptation got the best of him. Disregarding the commandment of God and disregarding the consequences of sin, Adam did what he wanted to do. As a result, sin came into the world and with sin came death. Listen to Romans 5:12 “Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned.” Now we all belong to the family of sin and death.
Application: Think of all the problems facing us today – marital problems, youth problems, drug abuse problems, alcohol problems, race problems, terrorism problems, war problems, and the list goes on and on and on.
2. WE ARE ONE FAMILY.
Listen to verse 36 the son of Cainan, the son of Arphaxad, the son of Shem, the son of Noah, the son of Lamech,
Background: It didn’t take thousands of years for things to go downhill. The effect of sin was immediate. Adam blamed his wife for his sin, right there was the first marital conflict. The next big sin was murder, where Cain killed his brother Abel. From there the ball started rolling and in Genesis 6 5 Then the LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. 6 And the LORD was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart. 7 So the LORD said, “I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth, both man and beast, creeping thing and birds of the air, for I am sorry that I have made them.” 8 But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD.
Noah was the only individual who obeyed God and God preserved Him and his family in the Ark. He didn’t have to. He could have destroyed it all but He didn’t. That’s His grace.
After the flood, the world began again with the three sons of Noah and their wives. All of us in this place come from one of those three brothers. I often imagine what the scene was like when those three brothers with their three wives decided to go their separate ways. I can picture them hugging each other for a long time, wiping away their tears, and as they are walking in their separate directions, they stop and look back at each other. Somehow they know that one day their children and their grandchildren and their great-grandchildren will kill one another. How sad!
Application: We can look at what happened in Iraq with the beheading or Russia with sending troops into Ukraine or Ferguson with the riots as their problem. Or, if we truly believe that we are connected, then it’s our problem. In other words, there are problems in the family. We belong to one family – the human family and we have one problem – the sin problem. Sadly, sometimes the lost world seems to understand that principle better than the church. The message to the church today is – “Do you believe that we are one family? If so, what are you doing about it?”
Illustration: At Clearview, we are doing something through Kindle. Last Monday we had kids from the inner-city in our Bible program. In three weeks we will be hosting a community event in the inner-city, with food, music, gospel, and fellowship. Are you involved? You should be.
3. WE RECEIVED ONE PROMISE.
34 the son of Jacob, the son of Isaac, the son of Abraham, the son of Terah, the son of Nahor,
Background: In Genesis 12 God had called Abraham to leave his father’s house and step out in faith. Listen to verse 1 Now the LORD had said to Abram: “Get out of your country, From your family And from your father’s house, To a land that I will show you. 2 I will make you a great nation; I will bless you And make your name great; And you shall be a blessing. This was God’s promise of the coming of Jesus Christ. Abraham’s descendants would become the carriers of the Son of God. Abraham trusted God and went out. He was almost 100 years old before he had a child with his wife Sarah, who was 90.
But there was something else that God had promised Abraham. Genesis 12:3 I will bless those who bless you, And I will curse him who curses you; And in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”
Illustration: I was reading an article yesterday on what is happening in Gaza. This article was in a Christian magazine and the writer was interviewing people, Christian people, about the destruction because of the bombings in Gaza. And this person said, (I’m paraphrasing) “It’s horrible what Israel is doing and how innocent people are dying. They need to try some other way like sit down and talk.” As I read that article, I remembered visiting this one family and the younger child kept beating on the older brother. When the older brother decided to defend himself, his parents got on to him and said to him, “He is smaller than you and you are bigger than him. He doesn’t know any better. You know better.” Isn’t that how it always goes? We expect the older to be understanding and patient and the younger can do whatever he wants to do. Here’s the problem with that logic: It’s unfair. Once that child is done beating on his older brother, he will go after the outsiders. Israel has the right to defend itself. Those same terrorists who are shooting rockets on Israel will one day shoot rockets on us.
But there’s more in Genesis 12, it’s un-biblical for people to mistreat God’s people. Jesus Himself said, “Salvation is of the Jews” (John 4:22).
Application: As a nation we are to stand with Israel, not only as a member of the free world but also as God’s people. Now someone might say – “Is God against the Arab people?” Absolutely not! God is for all people because we are connected. That is the point of Luke’s genealogy.
4. WE HAVE ONE RESPONSE.
31 the son of Melea, the son of Menan, the son of Mattathah, the son of Nathan, the son of David,
Background: If you remember, Matthew’s genealogy mentions Solomon as the son of David. But in Luke’s genealogy, Nathan is mentioned as the son of David. Some people have pointed to this as a problem in the Bible. They’ve said that either Matthew made a mistake or Luke made a mistake. Nothing can be further from the truth. The Bible is the word of God without any errors. So what is going on here?
Even though Solomon was the rightful heir to the throne of David, he lived in a way that was displeasing to God. He had 700 wives and 300 concubines. He trusted more in His wealth and power and pleasure than in God. I Kings 11 4 For it was so, when Solomon was old, that his wives turned his heart after other gods; and his heart was not loyal to the LORD his God, as was the heart of his father David. In verse 9 So the LORD became angry with Solomon, because his heart had turned from the LORD God of Israel…11 Therefore the LORD said to Solomon, “Because you have done this, and have not kept My covenant and My statutes, which I have commanded you, I will surely tear the kingdom away from you and give it to your servant. The Kings that followed Solomon were just as wicked. One of his descendant, Jeconiah, even had a curse pronounced on him.
Nathan, on the other hand, was Solomon’s older brother through Bathsheba. Just like his namesake Nathan the prophet, he represented a godly line. Listen to the prophecy of the prophet Zechariah during the Babylonian exile – Zechariah 12 10 “And I will pour on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem the Spirit of grace and supplication; then they will look on Me whom they pierced. Yes, they will mourn for Him as one mourns for his only son, and grieve for Him as one grieves for a firstborn. 11 In that day there shall be a great mourning in Jerusalem, like the mourning at Hadad Rimmon in the plain of Megiddo. 12 And the land shall mourn, every family by itself: the family of the house of David by itself, and their wives by themselves; the family of the house of Nathan by itself, and their wives by themselves; 13 the family of the house of Levi by itself, and their wives by themselves; the family of Shimei by itself, and their wives by themselves; 14 all the families that remain, every family by itself, and their wives by themselves.
What happened to the house of Solomon by itself and their wives by themselves? Too many wives! Solomon led his descendants in the wrong direction. Even though on paper his descendants are listed and Matthew uses it, Luke chooses to use the descendants of Nathan. By the way, both Matthew’s genealogy and Luke’s genealogy go to Joseph not Mary. I know some people try to claim that Luke is giving Jesus’s genealogy through Mary but the Bible never says that. Both Matthew’s genealogy and Luke’s genealogy are through Joseph. That’s what the text says. Matthew is through Joseph’s mom’s side and Luke is through Joseph’s dad’s side. Joseph was a royalty through and through but Jesus was not His son. In other words, Jesus was not Joseph’s problem. Now, Joseph had a choice to make. Is he going to listen to what the crowd is saying or is he going to listen to the angel?
23 Now Jesus Himself began His ministry at about thirty years of age, being (as was supposed) the son of Joseph, the son of Heli…
By faith, Joseph accepted Mary’s son Jesus as his own and lent him his lineage.
So also you, by faith, have to decide what you will do with Jesus.