I have to be honest with you… I grew up reading the Bible, but when I would get to the genealogies that are found all throughout the OT and NT I would often glance right over them.
You know all those genealogical sections that sound like this… “Zorobabel begat Abiud; and Abiud begat Eliakim; and Eliakim begat Azor“. I didn’t know who these people were and I really didn’t understand or appreciate why God would bother to put them in the Scriptures.
As I really started to study the Bible and its background these names took on a whole new meaning to me. The genealogical sections of the Bible are designed to connect a certain person or group of people with a family or particular person in a family. For instance, in Matthew’s Gospel, Matthew highlights the lineage of Jesus before he even brings up the story of Jesus’ birth.
Matthew wants the readers of his Gospel to know exactly who Jesus is and who He’s related to. Jesus didn’t just appear out of nowhere, according to the Scriptures He’s a part of the royal family of David, which makes him the promised Son of David! Jesus’ connection to David is found all throughout the Gospels. In fact, Paul makes it clear that Jesus’ relationship to David is essential to the story of the Gospel itself, “Paul… set apart for the gospel of God …concerning His Son, who was born of a descendant of David according to the flesh” (Rom. 1:1-3). Over the next couple weeks we’ll examine the amazing similarities between King David and Jesus that are found in the Old Testament and New Testament.
Born in Bethlehem
The Old Testament prophet Micah prophesied that the Messiah, the King of Israel, would be born in the town of Bethlehem (Micah 5:2). Micah’s prophecy was fulfilled in Matthew 2:1 and Luke 2:4 when Jesus was born in the shepherds field of Bethlehem. But why Bethlehem?
Luke calls Bethlehem the City of David (Luke 2:4). This can be confusing since Jerusalem is often considered the City of David. So was Luke wrong by labeling Bethlehem as the City of David? No, remember Bethlehem in the Old Testament was the place where David’s family originated (Ruth 4:18-22) and where David was born and raised (1 Samuel 16 & 17). David was the youngest son of Jesse the Bethlehemite, who tended to his father’s flock.
By Micah’s day (750 BC), almost 225 years after the death of David, Bethlehem was still a small village, but it was known for being the hometown of Israel’s most famous king – King David. Bethlehem’s fame grew exponentially because of the messianic fervor while Israel was under Roman occupation during the days of Jesus as the Jewish people looked for the coming of the Messiah.
Jesus’ birth in Bethlehem would have sent a certain message to those Jewish people who were waiting for the Messiah’s arrival that the Son of David, the King of David has arrived!
As you can see, right from the beginning of Jesus’ life He is being linked to King David to fulfill the promise God made to King David, “He shall build a house for My name, and he shall be My son and I will be his father; and I will establish the throne of his kingdom over Israel forever.” (1 Chron 22:10).
To continue to Part 2, Click Here