Think about your favorite stories and how they begin.
Every great story has a great beginning. The story of Jesus is no different, yet most of us miss its significance. Check out the opening line:
“This is the scroll of the lineage and birth of Jesus, the Anointed One, the descendant of both David and Abraham”(Matt. 1:1 TPT).
There are two things to notice here. The first is that the gospel of Matthew is a “scroll of the lineage and birth of Jesus, the Anointed One.” Another way of translating this is “the book of the origin of Jesus Christ.” Lineage and origin are connected to the Greek word geneseos, which is where we get Genesis.
Matthew wants us to do a Genesis double take. He wants us to remember the original creation and what happened shortly thereafter—mainly our rebellion against our Creator—but then look to the re-creation happening in Jesus. In other words, the broken, busted original creation is being re-created anew through Jesus, the Anointed One!
What’s remarkable about this story and its beginning is that it doesn’t begin here at all but, well, back at the beginning— which Matthew helps us remember by tracing Jesus’ story back to David and through to Abraham.
After humanity ruined creation by rebelling against God, he got to work to make things right again by choosing a man named Abraham to be the vessel through which the Lord would bless all peoples on earth. He formed a relationship with Abraham and his offspring, which he renewed with David along with a promise of an heir who would establish his reign and God’s promises forever.
Matthew’s genealogy presents the legal claim of Jesus to be King through the lineage of David from Joseph all the way back to the promises given to Abraham.
The beginning of Jesus’ story reminds us that God made good on his plan and promise to rescue this world and put it back together again, which should give us hope. Because no matter how dark things look and tough things get, God has a plan. He also has a number of promises, which he will fulfill for you—just like he did for his own Son.
Advent Prayer of Hope
God, this Christmas season I am thankful that you had a plan from the beginning to rescue and re-create the world. Remind me of this when circumstances look dark and things get tough. Amen.