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December 13th

Day 13

Matthew 1:1-17

An account of the genealogy of Jesus the Messiah, the son of David, the son of Abraham.
Abraham was the father of Isaac, and Isaac the father of Jacob, and Jacob the father of Judah and his brothers, and Judah the father of Perez and Zerah by Tamar, and Perez the father of Hezron, and Hezron the father of Aram, and Aram the father of Aminadab, and Aminadab the father of Nahshon, and Nahshon the father of Salmon, and Salmon the father of Boaz by Rahab, and Boaz the father of Obed by Ruth, and Obed the father of Jesse, and Jesse the father of King David.

And David was the father of Solomon by the wife of Uriah, and Solomon the father of Rehoboam,
and Rehoboam the father of Abijah, and Abijah the father of Asaph, and Asaph the father of
Jehoshaphat, and Jehoshaphat the father of Joram, and Joram the father of Uzziah, and Uzziah
the father of Jotham, and Jotham the father of Ahaz, and Ahaz the father of Hezekiah, and
Hezekiah the father of Manasseh, and Manasseh the father of Amos, and Amos the father of
Josiah, and Josiah the father of Jechoniah and his brothers, at the time of the deportation to
Babylon.

And after the deportation to Babylon: Jechoniah was the father of Salathiel, and Salathiel the
father of Zerubbabel, and Zerubbabel the father of Abiud, and Abiud the father of Eliakim, and
Eliakim the father of Azor, and Azor the father of Zadok, and Zadok the father of Achim, and Achim
the father of Eliud, and Eliud the father of Eleazar, and Eleazar the father of Matthan, and Matthan
the father of Jacob, and Jacob the father of Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom Jesus was
born, who is called the Messiah.

So all the generations from Abraham to David are fourteen generations; and from David to the
deportation to Babylon, fourteen generations; and from the deportation to Babylon to the Messiah,
fourteen generations.

The popular BBC programme 'Who do you think you are? and the large number of people who
research their family tree indicates that there is a huge interest in who we are and where we came
from. Matthew, the author of the first gospel which appears in the New Testament, is not
considered the first to be recorded. This is widely believed to be the gospel of Mark, thought to be
recorded by John Mark who accompanied the disciples in their early ministry after the
resurrection and ascension. Matthew, the disciple chosen by Jesus, was a Jew who collected
taxes for the Romans and was hated by most of the inhabitants of Judea. When he was
challenged, accepted fully the teachings of Jesus and became a disciple, he was enthused to tell
the good news to his fellow Jews. To do this he pointed them directly to the genealogy of Joseph,
Jesus' earthly father, who had some very important ancestors. He goes back to Abraham, Isaac
and Jacob through 41+ generations. Jesus' mother Mary on the other hand was a young Jewish
girl chosen by God to bear his son who would be conceived by the Holy Spirit and incarnate in
Bethlehem, the home town of David and all his ancestors. God in his infinite great wisdom chose Joseph and Mary to parent his son, so they are immediately considered as unique and special. We know from Gospel writings that God communicated directly with them both through visitations and dreams, but apart from that they were just an ordinary couple engaged to be married with no forethought of a future family.

Matthew placed great emphasis on Joseph's ancestors and with the connection to the founding
fathers of the Jews, hoped to verify Jesus as God's chosen one, the Christ, the Messiah. Jews
who have accepted Jesus as the Messiah, Messianic Jews, are amongst the most enthusiastic
believers and always look to the prophesies in the OT to prove Jesus' heritage. Matthew has in
that respect, fulfilled the need to look back and see how God worked through their ancestors.
Their prayer is that their fellow Jews would also come to see and believe the truth.

Prayer
Gracious God, father of us all, we commit ourselves to you and your purposes for our lives.
Humble and insignificant as we are, you have called and chosen us to be vessels to convey your
message of love and acceptance to all irrespective of race, gender, age and personality. Accept
us, guide us and teach us how to be the very best we can for your sake and for the increase and
the growth of your kingdom here on earth. Amen

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