Ikuro Teshima

But when John saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming to his baptism, he said to them, "Brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Therefore bear fruits worthy of repentance, and do not think to say to yourselves, 'We have Abraham as our father.' For I say to you that God is able to raise up children to Abraham from these stones."
Matthew 3:7-9

December 25, Christmas Day, is approaching. As you know, Christmas is a worldwide holiday celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ. The New Testament describes in detail the genealogy of Jesus Christ at the very beginning of the book of Matthew. More than forty names are listed in this genealogy, and most readers may find it tedious. Nevertheless, the New Testament lists the genealogy on its first page, as if insisting, "First, read the genealogy of Jesus Christ!"

Matthew begins, "The genealogy of Jesus Christ, the Son of David, the Son of Abraham." This reference seems to stress that Jesus of Nazareth is the descendant of the revered father of faith, Abraham, whom God called "My friend, Abraham." It also appears to be a proud proclamation that Jesus is the descendant of King David, who unified the Jewish kingdom for the first time.

Even before Jesus Christ was born, it was said that the Messiah (Christ), the wondrous person anointed with the Spirit of God, must come from the lineage of David. The prophet Isaiah said this, and in Jesus' day, it was widely known. Yet, when we read through these verses, we find some disturbing and perplexing elements in the genealogy.

(1972)