Bible Society of South Africa
Neville Turley

Jesus, our Messiah – Day 3

Jacob’s prophecy

Bible text(s)

10Judah will hold the royal sceptre,

And his descendants will always rule.

Nations will bring him tribute

And bow in obedience before him.

Genesis 49:10GNBOpen in Bible reader

The Ancestors of Jesus Christ

1This is the list of the ancestors of Jesus Christ, a descendant of David, who was a descendant of Abraham.

12-16From the time after the exile in Babylon to the birth of Jesus, the following ancestors are listed: Jehoiachin, Shealtiel, Zerubbabel, Abiud, Eliakim, Azor, Zadok, Achim, Eliud, Eleazar, Matthan, Jacob, and Joseph, who married Mary, the mother of Jesus, who was called the Messiah.

17So then, there were fourteen generations from Abraham to David, and fourteen from David to the exile in Babylon, and fourteen from then to the birth of the Messiah.

Matthew 1:1-17GNBOpen in Bible reader

“The right to rule will not leave Judah. The ruler’s rod will not be taken from between his feet. It will be his until the king it belongs to comes. It will be his until the nations obey him.” Genesis 49:10 (NIV)

Jacob was the son of Isaac and the grandson of Abraham. He was a wily character and the biblical account of his life does not gloss over his faults in outwitting his brother, his father and his uncle for his own gain.

Jacob was a major role player in the development of the Hebrew nation. The twelve Israelite tribes traced their descent back to the sons of Jacob.

On the eve of his death, Jacob told his sons what the future held for them and separately blessed each one (Genesis 49:28).

Jacob foretold his fourth son, Judah, that his line would rule all the Israelite tribes until the coming of the Messiah, to whom all tribute belongs.

This indeed proved to be. For it was through the line of Judah that the royal house of David came into being.

The apostle, Matthew, diligently compiled the genealogy of Jesus. Matthew was a tax collector when he responded to Jesus’ invitation to follow him. Luke recalls that Matthew (Levi) got up from where he was sitting, at the receipt of customs, and left all, to follow Jesus (Luke 5:27-28).

Matthew left all, but he did take with him his training and experience as a tax collector. It enabled him to meticulously research and record the genealogy of Jesus. Thanks to Matthew, we can trace our Lord’s family tree back to Abraham (Matthew 1:1-17).

Genealogies are passages we often skip to our detriment. Matthew proves conclusively that the prophecies concerning the Messiah led to Christ the Lord. In rounding off his research, Matthew reveals God’s perfect planning: “Thus there were fourteen generations in all from Abraham to David, fourteen from David to the exile to Babylon, and fourteen from the exile to the Messiah.” (Matthew 1:17)

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