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TODAY’S BIBLE READING:
TODAY’S BIBLE VERSE(S):
Luke 3:23 (CSB): “As he began his ministry, Jesus was about thirty years old and was thought to be the son of Joseph, son of Heli,”
REFLECTIONS ON TODAY’S BIBLE VERSE(S):
(Edited from post on October 13, 2017.)
Ok. I know that I have, once again, chosen an unusual verse for our Verse for Today. But, there is a fascinating truth embedded in it. Let me share it with you. Try to stay with me on this because it could get a little confusing if you don’t keep your mind in gear.
Let’s start with a curse put on an Old Testament king and work our way back to the New Testament.
Jeremiah 22:30 (CSB): “This is what the Lord says: Record this man as childless, a man who will not be successful in his lifetime. None of his descendants will succeed in sitting on the throne of David or ruling again in Judah.“
In Jeremiah 22:30, we are told about a King of Judah. His name is Coniah. Here is what we know about him:
- He was “the son of Jehoiakim” (Jeremiah 22:24), and the grandson of Josiah (2 Kings 23:34).
- His real name was Jehoiachin (2 Kings 24:6). Coniah seemed to be his shortened name. Another name he went by was Jechoniah.
- He was a king of Judah (Jeremiah 22:24).
- He would go into Babylonian / Chaldean captivity under Nebuchadnezzar (Jeremiah 22:24-26; 2 Kings 24:8-12).
- God placed a curse on him so that none of this children would ever sit on David’s throne as king (Jeremiah 22:30).
Essentially, we find out that Coniah (Jehoiachin) was cursed by God for his sinfulness, was taken into Babylonian captivity, and the kingly line of David (through him) ceased. He was cursed by God and it was declared that none of his descendants would sit on David’s throne as king.
So, fast forward to Matthew 1:1-17. We see that this text is a genealogy that begins with Abraham and ends with Jesus. In verses 6-7, we read that it includes King David and his son, Solomon.
But, notice who is mentioned …
Matthew 1:11 (CSB): “and Josiah fathered Jeconiah and his brothers at the time of the exile to Babylon.“
So, Josiah (the grandfather) is said to have “fathered” (or was the ancestor) of Jechoniah and then we are told of the Babylonian deportation (captivity). So, we’re talking about the guy in Jeremiah who got cursed, right?
But, when we continue reading in Matthew 1, we eventually get to verse 16 where we read that Jesus is a descendant of Jechoniah.
That is a MAJOR problem because Jechoniah was told by God that none of his descendants would sit on David’s throne. So, essentially, Jesus (as a descendant of Jechoniah) would have been forbidden by God to be Israel’s long-awaited King!
So, what do we do with the following verses?
Luke 1:31–33 (CSB): “Now listen: You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you will name him Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give him the throne of his father David. He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and his kingdom will have no end.”
How is this possible? How can God say in Jeremiah 22 that none of Jechoniah’s descendants would ever be king? Yet we read in Matthew 1 that Jesus is Jechoniah’s descendant and then Luke 1 tells us that Jesus will be the long-awaited King.
How does this get reconciled?!
Simple! Let’s look at one more genealogy…
In Luke 3:23-38, we see yet another genealogy. We see Jesus’ name at the beginning and, as we read, it goes all the way back to Adam (intentionally skipping over many names for the sake of brevity).
But, notice in verse 31 that King David is mentioned. In Matthew’s genealogy, Solomon is the kingly descendant of David through whom Jesus came. Notice which son of David is mentioned in Luke…
Luke 3:31 (CSB): “son of Melea, son of Menna, son of Mattatha, son of Nathan, son of David,“
Here, Nathan (not Solomon) is the descendant of David through which all of rest of the descendants came.
And notice that Jechoniah wasn’t mentioned. Why? Because he wasn’t a descendant of Nathan. He was a descendant of Solomon.
If you have followed along up to this point, let me tie it all together for you…
The genealogy in Matthew 1 is the kingly line. It is the lineage of King David through his son King Solomon until we get to Jechoniah who was cursed and was the last king of Israel.
But, before we get to Jesus, we realize that this was Joseph’s line (not Mary’s). If Jesus had been the biological son of Joseph, then Jesus would have inherited the curse and could not have been the long-awaited King of Israel who would sit on David’s throne.
But, Jesus HAD to be a descendant of David without inheriting the curse. That’s were we look to the genealogy of Luke 3. That genealogy is the family line of Mary. She was a descent of King David through Nathan.
So, she was a descendant of David, through his son, Nathan – she just wasn’t in the kingly line. But, since she wasn’t from the line of Solomon, she didn’t inherit the curse of Jechoniah. When she gave birth to her biological son, Jesus, he was born as a descendant of David but he didn’t inherit the curse.
So, when Jesus was born, he was born as a biological son of David from Mary. Through her, He was a descendant of King David. Through her, He inherited the royal blood of the kingly line of Israel.
Yet, in regard to His earthly father, he was the adopted son of Joseph. If he had been the biological son of Joseph, he would haven inherited the curse. But, as the virgin-born Son of God and not the biological son of Joseph, He inherited the right to reign as Israel’s king (as a descendant of King David and Solomon) without inheriting the curse.
Only God could work out such a plan!!!