“All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet . . .” (Matthew 1:22 NIV)
I think that sometimes God just likes showing off. Rainbows, sunsets, hummingbirds . . . atoms – they’re all prime examples of God just showing off. Sometimes, God seems to purposely put Himself into inescapable impossibilities just to impress us with His infinitude.
Here’s a case in point. Isaiah 9:6-7 declares that the coming Savior of the world would be the rightful King of the Jews. But, then, God purposely throws a wrench in the works in Jeremiah 22:28-30. Here, God declares that because of Jehoiachin’s great sinfulness no one from his bloodline would ever be king over Israel again. This breaks the royal succession of the throne from King David’s bloodline through Solomon. Then, God turns right around and says in Jeremiah 23:5-6 that He is going to raise up a descendant of David for the throne of Israel.
Okay, here’s the impossibility: Only descendants of David through Solomon have legal rights to the throne of David. However, God said that no one from that bloodline would ever be king of the Jews after Jehoiachin. Then, He promises that someone from the bloodline of David would have full legal rights to sit on the throne of David and be the Savior of the world. How is He going to pull all that off in one person?
The answer to that, my friend, is also the answer to why the genealogies leading up to Christ’s birth differ a bit in Matthew and Luke. Where Bible critics and atheists shout, “Error!” and “Contradiction!” we can shout, “Glory!”
The genealogy in the book of Matthew is Joseph’s lineage. He is a direct descendant of David from Solomon’s bloodline. But, Joseph is not the “blood” father of Jesus. God is. Joseph is Jesus’ adoptive father. However, being the adopted son of a direct descendant of Solomon gives Jesus full rights to David’s throne.
Jesus may not be Joseph’s child by blood, but He is Mary’s. The genealogy in the Gospel of Luke traces Mary’s lineage. She is a direct descendant of David but not through Solomon or Jehoiachin.
So, God accomplished all three prophecies in the birth of Jesus. As Mary’s child and Joseph’s adoptive son, Jesus is uniquely qualified to be the King of the Jews. As God’s true Son and Mary’s child, Jesus was uniquely qualified as Savior of the world. And, by taking our sins upon Himself in death, then rising from the dead in victory, Jesus is now uniquely qualified to be King of Kings and Lord of Lords!
This is why I will always be a follower of Jesus Christ. Because, in Christ God is forever showing off.
© Paul R Downing