9. The Lineage of Jesus
The Lineage Of Jesus
The lineage of Jesus can only be established through Scripture.
The Bible does not contain record of Jesus directly addressing Joseph as “father.” There are many passages however where Jesus spoke of God as “My Father,” but he also spoke to others about God being their Father, “your Father” (John 20:17; Mat 5:48, 23:9, etc.), which indicates that Christ considered God to be a Father to both Himself and others. This will be important later in helping us in distinguishing what terminology is literal vs. figurative (or metaphoric).
Since we do not have any direct DNA evidence needed to confirm (or refute) the genealogy of Jesus to Joseph (Jesus Father Joseph was the descendant of King David – Mat 1:6-16, The genealogy in Matthew indicates that it was through the line of Joseph that Jesus had the right to inherit the throne of David as the King of the Jews. Mat 27:11), we must take the scriptures to be true as written (Matthew 1:1; Luke 1:32, 18:38; John 7:42; 2 Timothy 2:8; Revelation 22:16). The only thing we can do is reason from the Word of God and consider how Joseph became the father of Jesus.
1) Jesus Is Called The “Son Of David”
Jesus is called the “son of David” in Matthew 1:1. A few verses later Joseph is called the “son of David” (Mat 1:20). However, we also know that Joseph, according to scripture, was not the actual biological father of Jesus (Mat 1:25). So what does this indicate?
Considering the facts and Jewish custom, it becomes clear that Joseph was Jesus’ legal father, which is probably better reflected in Luke, where we find Mary’s genealogy:
Luke 3:23 (KJV) “And Jesus himself began to be about thirty years of age, being (as was supposed) the son of Joseph, which was the son of Heli,”
The Greek word translated, “as was supposed” is nomizo and it also means “to do by law” or “to reckon by law.” So we understand this to say that Jesus was (by law) the adopted son of Joseph.
2) Jesus Was Called, “The Carpenter’s Son”
Jesus was called, “the carpenter’s son” (Matthew 13:55, Mark 6:3), a direct reference to others recognizing Joseph as his father.
3) Jesus Had Other Siblings
Jesus had other siblings. It’s thought (but not certain) that there were seven children in the family of Mary and Joseph. That’s based upon counting six siblings in this verse:
Mark 6:3 “Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary, the brother of James, and Joses, and of Juda, and Simon? and are not his sisters here with us? And they were offended at him.”
We know there were four brother and at least two sisters. If there were no more than two sisters, by including Jesus, that means the family had seven children–a number that signifies completion throughout the Bible. That’s interesting and it sounds good, but remember we don’t know it to be a fact. The point here is that all of the other children in the family would have called Joseph “father,” so it’s very likely Jesus did also.
4) Mary, The Mother Of Jesus, Referred To Joseph As Jesus’ Father
Luke 2:41-47 Now his parents [plural, Mary and Joseph] went to Jerusalem every year at the feast of the passover. And when he was twelve years old, they went up to Jerusalem after the custom of the feast. And when they had fulfilled the days, as they returned, the child Jesus tarried behind in Jerusalem; and Joseph and his mother knew not of it. But they, supposing him to have been in the company, went a day’s journey; and they sought him among their kinsfolk and acquaintance. And when they found him not, they turned back again to Jerusalem, seeking him. And it came to pass, that after three days they found him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the doctors, both hearing them, and asking them questions. And all that heard him were astonished at his understanding and answers. (48) And when they saw him, they were amazed: and his mother said unto him, Son, why hast thou thus dealt with us? behold, thy father and I have sought thee sorrowing.
The Bible indicates that Jesus parents were Mary (his mother) and in verse 48 Mary referred to Joseph as Jesus’ father.
THE MEANING OF ADOPTION
To adopt means to accept. To adopt a child means to accept that child as one’s own. When we think of adoption we think of it as a legal action by which a person takes into his family a child not his own, and usually not even related to him, for the purpose of treating him as and giving him all the privileges of his own child. In other words it is action by which we take someone in, who is not part of our family, and grant them all the privileges of being our true child.
Adopted children are not connected by birth to their adopted parents. This is the very difference between an adopted child and a non-adopted child. The non-adopted child is connected by birth, by blood with his father and mother, while the adopted child by the act of adoption. This will also help us later to better understand the relationship between God and the terminology “sons of God.”
Note: That is why the scripture says that God would give Jesus the throne of his father David. Luke 1:32 “He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David:”
The genealogy in Matthew indicates that it was through the line of Joseph that Jesus had the right to inherit the throne of David as the King of the Jews. The Davidic line was passed down through the sons of David, of which Joseph was a direct descendant through King Solomon. Therefore Jesus was also in the line of succession, with Joseph as his legal father.
However, Mary was also from the tribe of Judah, but her lineage was not in the line of succession through Solomon. She was a direct descendant through David’s second surviving son with Bathsheba, Nathan.
Clearly, Jesus was the actual “blood” descendant (seed) and rightful heir to the throne of King David.
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