Genealogy of Jesus
It is usually assumed that Jesus was a Jew. This study is to examine, not by assumption but scriptural accuracy, the birth of Jesus and how it is that Jesus sprang from Judah as we are told in Hebrews 7:14
The generations of the birth of Jesus are listed in the first chapter of Matthew’s gospel and in the third chapter of the book of Luke. In Matthew’s gospel the word “begat or was born” is used and in Luke’s gospel, the expression “son of” is used. When the word “begat” is used, it is always a reference to a direct seed line. When “son of” is used, it is a reference to mean “by law” (son in law, mother in law etc.)
Luke, 3: 23, “And Jesus Himself began to be about 30 years of age, being (as it was supposed) the son of Joseph ,which was the son of Heli”.
Therefore this Heli was actually Mary’s father who was of the linage of Judah. Matthew’s generations give us the regal (kingly) line while Luke gives us the natural seed line concerning the mother of Jesus.
To get an accurate birth line of Jesus we would need to start with the forerunner John the Baptist and examine his birth.
Luke 1:5– “There was in the days of Herod, the king of Judaea, a certain priest named Zachariah of the course of Abia: and his wife of the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elisabeth”.
The course of Abia was the eighth in number of 24 courses according to first Chronicles 24:10 as set up by King David. Only those of the tribe of Levi could serve as priests in the temple. Elizabeth, being a female descendant of Aaron made Zachariah’s priesthood lawful because both Elizabeth and Zachariah were of the tribe of Levi.
When Zachariah was performing his duties in the temple, an angel of the Lord appeared to him (Luke 1:11), and told him that his prayer’s would be answered in regards to a son. Six months later there would be an announcement to Mary also.
Luke 1:35 “ and the angel answered and said unto her, the Holy Spirit shall come upon thee, and the power of the highest shall overshadow thee; therefore also that Holy thing that shall be born unto thee shall be called the son of God”. verse 36 “and behold thy cousin Elizabeth, she hath also conceived a son in her old age: and this is the sixth month with her, who was called barren”.
These are the angel Gabriel’s words, and not the words of any man, so this information has to be accurate. Notice she ran to her cousin Elizabeth. If Elizabeth and Mary were cousins, then Elizabeth’s mother and Mary’s mother had to be sisters. That would mean that Mary’s mother was of the lineage of Levi as was Elizabeth. The fulfillment of prophesy had come to past bringing both lines together through Mary, the kingly line through her father Heli being of the tribe of Judah and the priestly line through her mother, being the sister of Elizabeth’s mother who was of the tribe of Levi . Physically then, both the king line and the priest line came through Jesus’ mother Mary who was to receive the promised seed.
Isaiah 7: 14, “ Therefore the Lord Himself shall give you a sign; Behold a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son and shall call his name Immanuel.
Her son then became our Lord and called both, the “Son of man” as well as “The Son of God”. He then has the right to become our “King of King’s” and Lord of Lord’s.
But why is it important to understand that both lines came together through Mary and that she being begotten of God brought about the fullness of the promise seed ?
After Solomon’s reign, the twelve tribes of Israel were separated into two houses, the House of Judah and the House of Israel. Both houses were scattered by God or taken into captivity by the Babylonians. They were separated even at the time of the ministry of Jesus Christ. The birth of Jesus would eventually unite both houses.
Luke 1:31, “And behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and call his name Jesus.” Verse 32, “ He shall be great, and shall be the son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto Him the throne of His father David: Verse 33, “And He shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.”
Note: David sat on a united kingdom consisting of all twelve tribes. At the time of Jesus birth, the nation was divided and some of the tribes were scattered.
1 Chronicles 5:2, “For Judah prevailed above his brethren, and of him came the chief ruler; (Scepter ) but the birthright was Joseph’s.
We need to keep in mind that Joseph was Jesus father through the law of adoption. Jesus came the first time to qualify for the priesthood by His death on the cross, His first work. Prophesy tells us that He will return a second time to fulfill His second work claiming the “Birthright” by building a body ( His Church ).
Ephesians 1: 21, “And He had put all things under His feet, and gave Him to be the head over all things to the church. 23– Which is His body, the fullness of Him that fillet all in all.
But how is it that the book of Hebrews tells us that “it is evident that our Lord sprang from Judah? The word sprang is number 303 in Strong’s Concordance and means, “spring up”, like the rising of the sun.
The apostle Paul gives us a better understanding of the work that God is doing.
Galatians 3: 26–29, “For ye are all children of God by faith in Jesus Christ. For as many of you that have been baptized in Christ have put on Christ. There is nether Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond or free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Jesus Christ. And if ye be Abraham’s seed and heirs according to the promise”.
Because Jesus was born of Judah or even Levi, did not qualify Him to be our King of Kings and Lord of Lords. According to what Paul said in Galatians 3:26–29. Genealogy doesn’t enter into God’s purpose. Lineage doesn’t qualify anyone. Because Jesus was born of the linage of Judah didn’t qualify him for the Scepter. Even Jesus didn’t have a head start. He set the example for all of us.
.The expression “Our Lord sprang out of Judah” is recorded in Hebrews 7: 14. The subject of what is stated starts in
Heb. 6:20, “Whither the forerunner for us entered, even Jesus, made a High Priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec”.
That order of Melchisedec is our subject.
Hebrews 7:3, “Without Father, without mother, without descent, having neither beginning of days, nor end of life; but made like unto the son of God; abideth a priest continually”.
This order is no longer reckoned by genealogy and does not pertain to the flesh. The priesthood is not like the former Levitical priesthood, which was interrupted by death. Jesus entered into the order of Melchisedec and became our High Priest forever into an endless life. Why?
Romans 2:28, “For he is not a Jew (of Judah) which is outwardly; neither is that of circumcision, which is outward in the flesh: 3, But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God.
Even the work that Jesus accomplished at the cross takes into account what we can conclude from biblical prophesy.
Revelation 19:13, “And He was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and His name is called the word of God.
This is a direct reference of the type and shadow to the robe that Joseph’s brothers brought to their father Jacob–Israel when they sold their brother Joseph to the Ishmaelite merchants.
Genesis 37:31, “ And they took Joseph’s coat and killed a kid of the goats, and dipped the coat in the blood.
We can understand from scripture that eventually the sacrifice of Jesus, His death, resurrection, ascension, and acceptance, will repair the breech and division of both the “House of Judah” and the “House of Israel” which were separated since the time of David’s son Solomon. The Apostle Peter was given two keys, Matthew 16:19, the first to open the door to the Jews, and the second to open the door to the Gentiles, Acts 10:45, not only uniting both Houses, but also uniting both Jews and Gentiles. Therefore all lines would come together in Christ sacrifice in making him our King of Kings and Lord of Lords. The birthright belonging to Joseph and the Scepter belonging to Judah.
Conclusion: Mary’s father, Heli, was of the tribe of Judah. Joseph had no part in the birth of Jesus and became his Father through the law of adoption. Mary’s mother and Elizabeth’s mother had to be sisters and of the tribe of Levi for Mary and Elizabeth to be cousins. Both Elizabeth and Zechariah had to be of the tribe of Levi for Zechariah to be of the courses of priest that served in God’s temple. Both lines (kingly and priestly) are realized in Jesus Christ through His mother being impregnated with the promised seed and with God as His Father, He has authority to execute judgment over all His creation. This expression “ Our Lord sprang out of Judah”, confirms the fulfillment of prophesy given in Genesis 49: 10– “The scepter shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver between his feet, until Shiloh come, and unto him shall the gatherings of the people be”. Isn’t that one of the jobs Jesus Christ is doing today, gathering His people to reign with Him as kings and priests?