Daily Reading & Meditation

Wednesday (December 17): "The genealogy of Jesus Christ, the son of David"

Scripture: Matthew 1:1-17

1 The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham. 2 Abraham was the father of Isaac, and Isaac the father of Jacob, and Jacob the father of Judah and his brothers, 3 and Judah the father of Perez and Zerah by Tamar, and Perez the father of Hezron, and Hezron the father of Ram, 4 and Ram the father of Amminadab, and Amminadab the father of Nahshon, and Nahshon the father of Salmon, 5 and Salmon the father of Boaz by Rahab, and Boaz the father of Obed by Ruth, and Obed the father of Jesse, 6 and Jesse the father of David the king. And David was the father of Solomon by the wife of Uriah, 7 and Solomon the father of Rehoboam, and Rehoboam the father of Abijah, and Abijah the father of Asa, 8 and Asa the father of Jehoshaphat, and Jehoshaphat the father of Joram, and Joram the father of Uzziah, 9 and Uzziah the father of Jotham, and Jotham the father of Ahaz, and Ahaz the father of Hezekiah, 10 and Hezekiah the father of Manasseh, and Manasseh the father of Amos, and Amos the father of Josiah, 11 and Josiah the father of Jechoniah and his brothers, at the time of the deportation to Babylon. 12 And after the deportation to Babylon: Jechoniah was the father of Shealtiel, and Shealtiel the father of Zerubbabel, 13 and Zerubbabel the father of Abiud, and Abi'd the father of Eliakim, and Eliakim the father of Azor, 14 and Azor the father of Zadok, and Zadok the father of Achim, and Achim the father of Eliud, 15 and Eliud the father of Eleazar, and Eleazar the father of Matthan, and Matthan the father of Jacob, 16 and Jacob the father of Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom Jesus was born, who is called Christ. 17 So all the generations from Abraham to David were fourteen generations, and from David to the deportation to Babylon fourteen generations, and from the deportation to Babylon to the Christ fourteen generations.

Old Testament Reading: Genesis 49:2,8-10

2 Assemble and hear, O sons of Jacob, and hearken to Israel your father. 8 Judah, your brothers shall praise you; your hand shall be on the neck of your enemies;  your father's sons shall bow down before you. 9 Judah is a lion's whelp; from the prey, my son, you have gone up. He stooped down, he couched as a lion, and as a lioness; who dares rouse him up? 10 The scepter shall not depart from Judah, nor the ruler's staff from between his feet, until he comes to whom it belongs; and to him shall be the obedience of the peoples.

Meditation: Do you know who your ancestors were, where they came from, and what they passed on from their generation to the next? Genealogies are very important. They give us our roots and help us to understand our heritage. Matthew's genealogy of Jesus traces his lineage from Abraham, the father of God's chosen people, through the line of David, King of Israel. Jesus the Messiah is the direct descent of Abraham and David, and the rightful heir to David's throne. God in his mercy fulfilled his promises to Abraham and to David that he would send a Savior and a King to rule over the house of Israel and to deliver them from their enemies.

The Lord Jesus is the fulfillment of all God's promises
When Jacob blessed his sons he foretold that Judah would receive the promise of royalty which we see fulfilled in David (Genesis 49:10). We can also see in this blessing a foreshadowing of God's fulfillment in raising up his anointed King, Jesus the Messiah. Jesus is the fulfillment of all God's promises. He is the hope not only for the people of the Old Covenant but for all nations as well. He is the Savior of the world who redeems us from slavery to sin and Satan and makes us citizens of the kingdom of God. In him we receive adoption into a royal priesthood and holy nation as sons and daughters of the living God (see 1 Peter 1:9). Do you recognize your spiritual genealogy and do you accept God as your Father and Jesus as the sovereign King and Lord of your life?

"Lord Jesus Christ, you are the Messiah and Savior of the world, the hope of Israel and the hope of the nations. Be the ruler of my heart and the king of my home. May there be nothing in my life that is not under your wise rule and care."

Psalm 72:3-8, 17

3 Let the mountains bear prosperity for the people, and the hills, in righteousness!
4 May he defend the cause of the poor of the people, give deliverance to the needy, and crush the oppressor!
5 May he live while the sun endures, and as long as the moon, throughout all generations!
6 May he be like rain that falls on the mown grass, like showers that water the earth!
7 In his days may righteousness flourish, and peace abound, till the moon be no more!
8 May he have dominion from sea to sea, and from the River to the ends of the earth!
17 May his name endure for ever, his fame continue as long as the sun! May men bless themselves by him, all nations call him blessed!

Daily Quote from the early church fathers: Judah who received the promise of royalty foreshadows the Christ the King, by Rufinus (340-410 AD)

"This can be referred to the historical Judah as well as to those kings who were his descendants (Genesis 49:8-10). They broke the back of their enemies by administering the kingdom of that people. But this can also be fittingly referred to Christ, who is praised with good reason by his brothers, that is, by the apostles whom he himself called brothers in the Gospel. And his enemies, on whose back is his hand, appear to be those whom the Father promised to place under his feet by saying, 'Sit at my right hand until I place your enemies under your feet' (Psalm 110:1). They are enemies as long as they are unbelieving and unfaithful, and for that reason they are struck on the back. But after their conversion they become brothers and praise the One who, by summoning them to the adoption of the Father, has made them his coheirs and brothers. It is said correctly that the back of the enemies is struck by Christ. All those who worshiped the idols turned their back to God, as the Lord, through the prophet, accused them by saying, 'They turned their backs to me, and not their faces' (Jeremiah 2:27). Therefore he strikes their back so that after being converted they may turn their back to the idols and raise their forehead to God and may accomplish what is written here: 'Your father's sons shall bow down before you.' In fact, they adore him when they have become sons of the Father and have received the spirit of adoption in which they cry out, 'Abba, Father' (Romans 8:15-16)." No one calls Jesus Christ Lord except those who are in the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 12:3). (excerpt from THE BLESSINGS OF THE PATRIARCHS 1.5)

[Rufinus of Aquileia (340-410) was a friend of the Bible scholar Jerome, and, like Jerome, he departed from Italy to live in the East. For many years he lived in monasteries in Egypt and in Palestine, acquiring the learning of the Eastern churches. Towards the end of his life he returned to Italy and occupied himself in translating works of the earlier Greek Fathers into Latin.]


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author Don Schwager 2014 Servants of the Word

Scripture quotations from Common Bible: Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright 1973, and Ignatius Edition of the Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright 2006, by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Citation references for quotes from the writings of the early church fathers.  

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