12 Minute Read
To the best of your ability, get rid of all distractions. Take a couple of minutes to breathe deeply, to quiet yourself in the Lord’s presence. Then, prayerfully ask the Lord to speak to you in this time and let Him know that you will be listening and will make whatever adjustments He will reveal to you.
Today’s Bible Reading:
2 Thessalonians 1:1-12
Listen to the Lord
Slowly and reflectively read the following verses and listen to what God will say to you through them. Then, consider writing down any insights He reveals to you.
Jeremiah 22:30 (NLT): “This is what the LORD says: ‘Let the record show that this man Jehoiachin was childless. He is a failure, for none of his children will succeed him on the throne of David to rule over Judah.’”
Reflections from Scripture:
Ok. I know that I have chosen an unusual verse to reflect upon. But, there is a fascinating truth embedded in it. So, 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.
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 Jeconiah.
- 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).
- None of his 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. God cursed him, 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 (NLT): “Josiah was the father of Jehoiachin and his brothers (born at the time of the exile to Babylon.”
So, Josiah (the grandfather) is said to have been “the father” (or ancestor) of Jehoiachin. 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 Jehoiachin.
That is a MAJOR problem because Jehoiachin was told by God that none of his descendants would sit on David’s throne. So, essentially, Jesus (as a descendant of Jehoiachin) 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 (NLT): “You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you will name him Jesus. He will be very great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his ancestor David. And he will reign over Israel forever; his Kingdom will never end!”
How is this possible? How can God say in Jeremiah 22 that none of Jehoiachin’s descendants would ever be king? Yet we read in Matthew 1 that Jesus is Jehoiachin’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 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 here in Luke…
Luke 3:31 (NLT): “Eliakim was the son of Melea. Melea was the son of Menna. Menna was the son of Mattatha. Mattatha was the son of Nathan. Nathan was the son of David.”
Here, Nathan (not Solomon) is the descendant of David through which all of the rest of the descendants came.
And notice that Jehoiachin 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 Jehoiachin, 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). So, 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.
Jesus HAD to be a descendant of David without inheriting the curse. That’s where 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 Jehoiachin. 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 here, 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 have 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!!!
Spend Time in Prayer
Thank You, Lord Jesus, that Your Word continues to amaze me. No matter how deep I dig, there is always more to discover, always more connections to make. But thank You for ultimately giving me Your Word so that I can know You. Help me to continue to grow in my love and knowledge of You. I pray this in Your Name, Amen.
Matt Ellis is the pastor of First Baptist Church in Polk City, Florida (fbcpolkcity.com). His latest book is God’s Grace in the Real World. Connect with him on Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn.