Why Jesus’ Genealogy Matters

Today’s post continues Logos Talk’s Christmas Bible study. Check back throughout December for more ways to study the birth of Jesus!

Biblical genealogies can be boring. So when I begin reading Matthew’s account of the birth of Jesus in Chapter 1, it’s easy to skip right over the first 17 verses and miss their significance. But with Logos 5, every passage of Scripture—even genealogies—is an opportunity to explore connections between people, places, and events, and uncover the truths they contain.

Since I’m already in Matthew 1, I don’t even need to leave my Bible to start exploring. I simply right-click on the word “Jesus”, select Person, and choose the new Bible Facts tool which opens in a new panel.

Matthew’s long list of names is now a visual guide for exploring the rich story of Jesus’ heritage throughout the Old Testament. Just clicking on any name lets me learn about each person and their significance in biblical history—from Boaz’s redemption of Ruth (Ruth 4:1–12) to Hezekiah’s cleansing of the Temple (2 Ch. 28:3–19).

I can also get a quick visual overview of these significant people and events using the new Timeline view in Bible Facts. I just click on one of the primary events listed for any person—say, Abraham. Now I am presented with an interactive timeline of the events that led up to Jesus’ birth.

So in just a few minutes, I am able to reacquaint myself with the story of the Old Testament—a story that Matthew’s readers would’ve been very familiar with.

By using the Bible Facts tool, I quickly begin to see that this genealogy is not merely a list of names—it’s a reminder of the Old Testament story. By going all the way back to Abraham, Matthew is stringing together God’s great work of redemption as the context for Jesus’ birth. The arrival of the Messiah, the “son of David” and “son of Abraham,” is what all biblical history has been leading up to.

And this just scratches the surface of what I can learn about Matthew 1:1–17 with the Bible Facts tool alone. If I wanted to explore further, I could answer questions such as:

  • How do God’s covenants with Abraham and David relate to Jesus’ birth?
  • Why does Matthew begin his genealogy with Abraham, whereas Luke begins with Adam?

With the Bible Facts tool, biblical genealogies are more than just names—they’re stories.

You’ll find all the tools we used today in Logos 5 Starter and higher. If you haven’t already, upgrade to Logos 5 and join us as we continue our Christmas Bible study.

Comments

  1. Dominick Sela says:

    It’s important to note that when the Bible Facts tool comes up, it displays the visual pane that you were last on, if you have examined Jesus previously. If you do not see the genealogy pane shown above when you select “Bible Facts”, scroll the horizontal list of thumbnails at the bottom, all the way to the left and you will see it.

    • This is a great article, however I am not able to reproduce the results even though I am upgraded to Logos 5. For example, when I click the timeline feature, I see the entire horizontal timeline, not the condensed vertiacal line seen here.

  2. Barry Quensel says:

    Actually they’re facts not stories. In the database on my machine it shows Joseph in the Luke genealogy without explanation. This hides the point Luke is making that Jesus was descended through Mary by blood from King David. Joseph was adopted by Heli using the exemption of inheritance granted to the daughters of Zelophehad by God through Moses and Joshua. This the reason why Jesus (Josuha in Hebrew) was in the bloodline of David through Mary and in the royal line “by law” through Joseph. This is necessary to get around the blood curse God put on the royal line in Jeremiah 22:30.

  3. Spoke too soon ~ once the program was re-opened, i had success. Thanks!

  4. Your subject, “Why Jesus’ Genealogy Matters”, is more profound (especially at this time in history) than is stated. Looking at who GOD brought Jesus through was profound!!! Jesus came through the line of Judah … not the first born, not of Jacob’s (Israel’s) favorite wife (Rachel), i.e. Joseph or Benjamin … he came through Judah, the one who did the most righteous act of his brothers [selling Joseph (thus saving his life) rather than killing him out right or letting him die in that pit.] This Judah married a Canaanite woman … a Black woman. He gave his oldest son a Canaanite (Black) wife, Tamar. Judah denied her the rites of a son after two husbands died. She had to pretend to be a prostitute to get her rites. [Remember social security then was the responsibility of a son.] Genesis 38 interrupts Joseph’s story to tell this story. When Judah finds all this out, the Holy Spirit says through Judah’s mouth: “She is more righteous than I” [Genesis 38:26]. She gets her son (in fact twins) and names him Perez. Perez, the son of a Canaanite (Black) woman, becomes a patriarch of Jesus. The Holy Spirit through Matthews explicitly names Tamar in Jesus genealogy. As a Black man, I see GOD again working through a Black man GOD has made President of the United States. This Christmas, I pray we all see the hand of GOD moving again.
    Merry Christmas!!!
    Rev. Archie J. Pinkney