By bro Peter Kwan
In our bible class lesson on the chronological study of the Life Of Christ, we were to study the differences between Matthew’s (Matt. 1:1-17) and Luke’s (Luke 3:23-38) accounts of the genealogies of Jesus Christ. Matthew begins with the lineage from Abraham to David to Joseph (the paternal line) whereas Luke begins with the lineage from God to Adam to Abraham to David to Mary (the maternal line). We shall trace Jesus’ lineages by looking at the “seed” promise from God in Genesis 3:15 - "And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shall bruise his heel."
When sin entered the world through Adam, man's future was devastated and hopeless. The hope of mankind and its future rested upon God’s promise. Paul said in 1 Corinthians 15:22 “For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.” The arrival of the promised seed would only arrive 4000 years later. There will be conflict between the serpent (Devil) and the seed (Christ), with the seed of woman destroying his power (bruising). Christ was born apart from the natural process; man was excluded from His conception and birth (Isaiah 7:14, 8th C B.C.).
To trace the seed, we begin with Abraham. "And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing: And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed." (Genesis 12:2,3). Abraham had two sons -- Ishmael and Isaac -- but Isaac was born to Abraham and Sarah (Genesis 21:12). Later, after Abraham offered his son, Isaac, God reiterated His promise (Genesis 22:18). Isaac had two sons -- Jacob and Esau, but Jacob was the one through whom God gave the promise (Genesis 28:14).
Jacob had twelve sons and in Genesis 37, we read that the older sons sold their brother, Joseph, into slavery and he was taken to Egypt. But they were later forgiven. But one of the brothers, Judah, was given the Messianic prophecy - “The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come; and unto him shall the gathering of the people be” (Genesis 49:10). ‘Shiloh’ here refers to Jesus Christ.
We shall now look at the seed of David who was the king of Israel and reigned in 1000 B.C. God's people were in the Promised Land, and they were blessed with great prosperity. David determined to build a temple so God would have a dwelling place more suitable than the tabernacle. God told David about the promised seed, the temple and the throne, “And when thy days be fulfilled, and thou shalt sleep with thy fathers, I will set up thy seed after thee, which shall proceed out of thy bowels, and I will establish his kingdom. He shall build an house for my name, and I will stablish the throne of his kingdom for ever.” (2 Samuel 7:12,13). The seed promise to Abraham was renewed in David — in a throne that will be in a kingdom that will last forever.
The Old Testament prophets also wrote much concerning Jesus and His kingdom. In the kingdom of Judah, during Babylonian’s captivity in 597 B.C., King Nebuchadnezzar had a dream of a great image and its destruction —“And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever. Forasmuch as thou sawest that the stone was cut out of the mountain without hands, and that it brake in pieces the iron, the brass, the clay, the silver, and the gold; the great God hath made known to the king what shall come to pass hereafter: and the dream is certain, and the interpretation thereof sure.”(Daniel 2:44,45)
The great image represented the four world empires -- beginning with Babylon followed by the Media-Persian, Greek, and Roman empires. The prophecy concerned a fifth kingdom that would emerge from the Roman empire. This kingdom, a spiritual one, would never be destroyed, and its king would rule forever. "Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear."(Hebrews 12:28)
God set His plans in motion regarding the seed promise. "But when the fullness of the time was come, God sent forth His Son, made of a woman, made under the law, to redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons." (Galatians 4:4,5). God's eternal purpose is fulfilled through His Son, Jesus Christ the Messiah. "But while he thought about these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take to you Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins. So all this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying: Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel, which is translated, God with us." (Matthew 1:20-23)
The apostle Paul wrote "Even as Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness. Know ye therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham. And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, in thee shall all the nations be blessed. So then they which be of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham." (Galatians 3:6-9) “Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ. (Galatians 3:16). If we are in Christ, we are part of Abraham's seed and heirs according to the promise (Galatians 3:24-29).
John the Baptist and Jesus Christ both preached that "the kingdom of heaven is at hand" (Matthew 3:2; 4:17; Mark 1:15; 9:1). Jesus received His kingdom when he crushed and defeated Satan when He overcame the grave (Romans 1:4; 1 John 3:8). God's eternal provision for the redemption of His creation is fulfilled in Christ Jesus -- the seed! The pieces are in place to afford man, after he sins and breaks fellowship, the opportunity to reconcile with God. All of this demonstrates God's great love for mankind; and the Son's love is demonstrated by His willingness to die for us on Calvary's cruel cross. Let us always remember that God keeps his promises and be grateful for the love that He has for us through the fulfilment of the seed promise.