Who’s Your Daddy, Part 1

Tonight we are going to begin a new series that is going to take us from now until we start DNOW in February. As you know we entitled this series “Who’s Your Daddy”, and basically we will be taking a look at some of Jesus heritage. In Matthew 1:1-17, we see a genealogy of Jesus. Each week we are going to take a specific section of that genealogy, break it down a bit, and see what Jesus’ heritage shows us about Jesus. Lets read Matthew 1:1-17 together. We see a lot of names, some of them weird, some of them that sound familiar and tonight we are going to take a look at the first three names Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, but before we do we see a little clue as to the point of this genealogy.
In verse 17 we see this some what strange part about their being 14 generations in each section of the list of Jesus’ genealogy. Now a Hebrew, like Matthew, thinks a writes in a very symbolic way, not as straight forward as we typically do in the US. Matthew seems to want to make sure that his audience does not miss out on an important part of his list. You see this is not a full list of every person in Jesus’ genealogy but it is a list that traces a specific thing about Jesus’ lineage, and we see that as Matthew points out the number 14. You see Hebrew consonants also have with them a numbering system and the name of David, the great King, would have a number of 14, and Matthew wants the reader, as the Jewish person would notice, to see that Jesus’ jersey number for example is 14 or David. In such, Matthew is showing the purpose of his genealogy as one that traces Jesus’ Messiahship or Kingship that traces him as the descendant of the throne or the representative of the people. There for as we work through the beginning of the list we are learning about the lineage of the Messiah or King Jesus, and to truly understand that we must start back at the beginning of the list.
As we go back to Genesis 12:1-4 we see Abraham also known as Abram enter the story. Abram was the father of a new people that would become Israel or the Jews, and we see God call him out of his homeland and pull him aside to make him this new nation. He promises to make Abram a great nation that would be a blessing to all the other nations of the world. As Abram’s story continues we see other encounters with God and eventually God and Abraham make a covenant together and the big part of that covenant is found in Gen. 17:7-8 and God promises to begin a new relationship with Abram, signified by the changing of his name, and God promises in a very real sense to be their God. All throughout the story of Abraham we see this man who always seems to be open to God, or listening for God, or seeking for God. We do not really know why God chooses Abraham other than that he always seems to be seeking God.
Another interesting thing about Abraham is the story about his son Isaac who is the second person on the list. Abraham and his wife Sarah were unable to have a child, but God promised they would have a child and through that child God would create the great nation He had promised to Abraham. So at the ripe young age of 100 Abraham had a son, Isaac. The story of Abraham is one that is very interesting, but more then anything we see Abraham as a man who seems to be endlessly aware of or ready for God.
Isaac then comes into the picture as mentioned as the promised son and we see from Isaac in some ways a picture of Jesus as the promised son of God. In addition, the main story of Isaac’s life is that of his sacrifice that ends up not really being his sacrifice. In Genesis 22 we see the crazy and interesting story where God asks Abraham to sacrifice Isaac but then stops Abraham before he ever sacrifices Isaac and provides an alternative. During the story we know Isaac is old enough to fight back an not allow this to happen, but instead he is willing to be the sacrifice, all the while trusting God will provide. We see a great deal of faith in the life of Isaac; he also has encounters with God and heeds the voice of God in faithfulness in Gen. 26:1-5.
The story of Isaac includes the continued growth of God’s people into a nation. God greatly blesses Isaac with material blessing even more so then his father Abraham. As we see this blessing unfold it is interesting that what this new people of God gains, seems to continue to give them an audience with other Kings and rulers. There seems to be connection within their world of things and importance, and it appears God is giving them more things to increase their importance within the world.
Finally we arrive at Jacob who in my opinion is the most interesting one of the bunch. His father is Isaac and he is the younger of twin. Jacob is interesting because from the beginning of his story he is all about gaining the birthright and blessing that was typically due to the oldest child. In Gen. 25-29-34 he cons his older brother Esau into giving up his birthright or inheritance, it was customary for the oldest son to receive double the inheritance. Then later he dresses up to be like his hairy brother when his father is old and cannot tell it is Jacob instead of Esau, and this time he cons his way into the blessing, essentially the handing down of leadership like when a king makes his son the king.
Although we see Jacob go about it in a very wrong way we do see this unbelievable passion for the heritage of this people which God is making into a nation. Then at a pivotal moment Jacob like his father and grandfather has an encounter with God in Genesis 32:22-32. He encounters God and God changes him and shows a little bit of what the inheritance and blessing he pursued so passionately is all about, it is about being God’s people. Jacob is greatly changed from this experience and even makes amends with his brother he cheated. Through his entire story God once again grants him great material possession growing this people in size, wealth, and significance. We see this small family turning into a people.
Then what does this story about the first three generations of this new people of God tell us about God and Jesus who would eventually become the great Messiah from this people. We see that God seems to be inviting those who seem to be seeking or looking for him into a true encounter with him, and we see that encounter is about the covenant, about being God to those who respond to the invitation. The covenant shows God’s desire to reveal or show himself to those who will seek him and his desire to alter or change who they are into who He intended them to be which in turn reveals who God is. We see their story that relationship with God should cause us to act, to move, to respond, to be different. As this happens we see God giving material blessing but we seem to see that what is actually important to God is their influence on the nations and rulers around them; God seems to be blessing them to have influence that would be a blessing on the other people groups just as he promised Abraham. Finally, we see that God is a God who shapes and those who pursue his inheritance and blessing from a person like Jacob which means “he cheats” to a person like Israel with means “he strives with God”.
1. Surly there is at least one part of that which you need to hear and consider tonight. Maybe you need to know that God pursues you and invited you into a relationship if you would just be open, be seeking after him.
2. Maybe you need to know that God’s desire for you is to be a person of great significance and influence to those around you, a person who reveals who God is to those around you.
3. Maybe you need to move, maybe you have encountered God and you are just sitting on that encounter yet God is asking you to move, act, or respond in some way that you are running from. Maybe tonight you give in to that.
4. Maybe you see how God has blessed you greatly with material possessions but you have never seen how that could be used to be a blessing on others.
5. Maybe you need to remember tonight and each day that God has changed you to person of cheating or struggling to a person who walks with God, maybe it is time again to remember that you can walk with God now.

I don’t know where you are, but I think we can all relate to something there if we are truly honest with ourselves. What is God asking of you, will you be like Abraham and say, yes and just go.

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