Malankara World Journal - Christian Spirituality from an Orthodox Perspective
Malankara World Journal
Sunday Before Christmas - Advent - Jesus Is Coming
Volume 5 No. 319 December 18, 2015
I. This Sunday in Church -
Sunday Before Christmas
Bible Readings for This Sunday (Dec 20)

Lectionary Period: Koodosh Eetho to Kothne

Sermons for This Sunday (Dec 20)
II. Genealogy of Jesus Christ
Featured: A Messed-Up Family Tree

by Greg Laurie

"I, Jesus, have sent My angel to testify to you these things in the churches. I am the Root and the Offspring of David, the Bright and Morning Star."
- Revelation 22:16

In the first century, Jesus was not a unique name. Many boys were named Jesus, which meant "Jehovah is salvation." But there was only one person who has embodied that name in all it was, and that is the Lord Jesus.

The angel Gabriel told Mary, "He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David" (Luke 1:32). That word great is from the Greek word megas, the same word from which we get our English term mega, conveying the idea of bigness and magnitude. Jesus would be the very definition of the word greatómega, if you will.

Gabriel also said that He would come from "the throne of His father David" (verse 32). David is a unique figure in Scripture, described on one hand as the sweet psalmist of Israel and a man after God's own heart. But we also know of David's foibles and shortcomings. Two names connected with David sum up his life: Goliath and Bathsheba. Goliath represents David's greatest victory, while Bathsheba represents his greatest defeat. David was a flawed man, yet Jesus was called "the Root and the Offspring of David" (Revelation 22:16). And as Jesus was engaged in His ministry, He was referred to as the Son of David. Clearly Jesus was connected to this man.

So if you think you have a dysfunctional family, take a look at Jesus' family tree. Some of the most unsavory characters who made it into the most exclusive genealogy in human history include prostitutes, liars, cheats, adulterers, and even a murderer.

What does this say to us? Even before Jesus was born into that family tree, His ancestry pointed to one thing: Christ came into the world to save sinners.

Source: Harvest Daily Devotion
Copyright © 2015 by Harvest Ministries. All rights reserved.

The Records of Jesus' Ancestors
Gospel: Matthew 1:1-17; Luke 3:23-38

What long lists these are! Aren't you glad you don't have to memorize all those names for your history class?

Why are these two lists of Jesus' ancestors not identical? Probably because Matthew recorded Jesus' ancestry through His stepfather, Joseph, and Luke recorded Jesus' ancestry through His mother, Mary. Also, Matthew's list goes back to Abraham, whereas Luke's list goes all the way back to Adam. If you'll compare the lists closely, you'll discover that both Mary and Joseph were descendants of King David, but through two different sons. On both lists, the people from Abraham to David are the same, except that Matthew left out one name, perhaps to make his list easier to remember as three segments of fourteen generations, as he mentioned (see Matthew 1:17).

Did you know that some of the people on Luke's list are your ancestors? The reason is because they're everyone's ancestors! All of us are descendants of Adam, Seth, Enosh, Kenan, Mahalalel, Jared, Enoch, Methuselah, Lamech and Noah, so all of them are your great, great, great, great (and so on) grandfathers! You'll get to meet at least some of them in heaven someday!

To the Jewish people, keeping track of their ancestry was very important. All of them were descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Jacob was renamed Israel by God, and that is why all his descendants are called "the people of Israel" or "the Israelites." Jacob had twelve sons who became twelve tribes, and all their descendants knew from what tribe they came.

There are two main reasons why these two lists are so important to us. First, because they prove that Jesus was a real person of history. Some people foolishly think that the story of Jesus is just a myth or fairy tale (like Santa Claus) that someone made up. But Jesus was a person who really was born just like everyone else. He was a person of history just as much as George Washington or Abraham Lincoln.

Second, these lists are important because God had promised in the Old Testament that the Messiah would be a descendant of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Judah, Jesse and David. If Jesus had not been a descendant of those men, we could be sure that He was not really the Messiah. Matthew and Luke's lists prove, however, that Jesus was in the lineage of all six of those men through both His mother and stepfather.

Q. Luke recorded 76 generations from Adam until Jesus. If each generation was twenty-five years apart, how long ago could we conclude that Adam was created?

A. About 3,900 years [(25 x 76) + 2000]. If we use a high estimate for the average rate of growth of the world's population over the past centuries (.5%) and work backward from that, we can conclude that the earth's population consisted of just a few people around 4,000 years before Jesus, about the time of Noah's flood.

Q. Then why do some scientists say that the fossilized human bones they discover are millions of years old?

A. Because the dating methods of those scientists are very questionable. They try to determine the age of the bones based upon their location in the layers of rock, and the dates of those layers of rocks is a guess. Many scientists assume the rock layers were laid down gradually, over billions of years, underneath ancient oceans. They don't consider the fact of a worldwide flood during Noah's time, when rock layers could have formed very quickly. Nor do they seem to consider the fact that dead bodies don't normally turn into fossilized bones. The average dead dinosaur didn't fossilize---it rotted away. Only under catastrophic circumstances do living things fossilize, which is what may have happened during the worldwide flood of the Bible. People and animals may have been buried quickly under tons of sediment that is now exposed thousands of years later through the process of erosion.

Q. From which tribe of Israel was Jesus descended?

A. Judah

Application: Since Jesus was a real person of history who was also the Son of God, we should want to learn all we can about Him and do what He says.

Source: Family Style Devotions

Malankara World Journal Special on
The Genealogy of Jesus

For more in-depth look at the genealogy of Jesus Christ read the Malankara World Journal Issue 114 - a special on the Genealogy of Jesus Christ.

More articles can be found in Malankara World Journal Issue 183

Another article of interest:

The Genealogy Of Jesus Christ (Matthew 1:1-17)

1. All this and much more, Jesus did by becoming what the first seventeen verses of Matthew's gospel proclaims: "...the Son of David, the Son of Abraham"
2. This genealogy of Jesus Christ...
a. Establishes the right of Jesus to be the Messiah
b. Reminds us of God's mercy ...

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