Why Did Matthew Start His Gospel With The Ancestors Of Jesus?

Book of Matthew

When you read the New Testament, many people are surprised to learn that the very beginning of the New Testament in the Gospel of Matthew, the very first 17 verses talk about the genealogy of Jesus. It goes through all the ancestors of Jesus from the beginning of time until he was born.

Matthew started his gospel with the ancestors of Jesus as he wanted to show the Jews that the Messiah had come as had been prophesied. He also wanted to show Jesus fulfilled the prophecy that the Messiah was a son of David.

Matthew’s primary audience he was writing to was for the Jews to understand that Jesus was the Messiah.

Book of Matthew Was Written To Jews

The book of Matthew in the New Testament was written to the Jews. He wrote it for the Jews who may have accepted Jesus Christ as their Messiah and those who yet did not.

At the very beginning of the New Testament, in the first 17 verses in the book of Matthew, Matthew goes through all of Jesus’ genealogy and family history.

Matthew wanted to show the Jews that Jesus Christ fulfilled the Old Testament prophecies that a Messiah had come. His mission or goal was to show all the Jewish people at that time that Jesus Christ was the Messiah they had been waiting for.

Here are a few things to remember about the Book of Matthew in the New Testament

(Please note I am using the King James Version of the New Testament):

The Genealogy Of Jesus

Matthew traces Jesus Christ’s genealogy through David, Judah, and Abraham. He wanted to convince the Jews that Christ had the right to rule and fulfill God’s promise to Israel.

Retracing the genealogy of Jesus was important as it showed that Christ was from the “Stick of Judah” and was a “Son of David.” All of this was recounted to show that Christ had come, and the Jewish prophet fulfilled the prophecies. Matthew wanted to show that the Messiah had been in their midst.

Matthew quoted the genealogy of Christ because he wanted to show that Jesus was born to recognize and had come through the proper line of authority. That Jesus had the power or the genealogy to be the Messiah.

Just like your genealogy will help tell where you are from, who your ancestors are, and from what nationality or place, so did the genealogy of Jesus.

“That It Might Be Fulfilled.”

The book of Matthew not only uses the genealogy of Jesus to show that the Messiah had already come, but he frequently referred to the phrase “that it might be fulfilled.” This phrase shows that Matthew was trying to tell the people of this time that the Messiah had already arrived and that the prophecies of the Old Testament and prophets had already taken place.

So not only did he list out the genealogy of Jesus, but he continues throughout the book of Matthew to remind people that the prophecies of the Messiah or Jesus coming to the earth were already fulfilled.

“Son of David”

To further help emphasize this and testify to the Jews that the Messiah had already come, he also uses the term “son of David.” This refers to David of the Old Testament, also listed in Jesus’s genealogy.

Matthew uses the term “son of David” 12 times in the book of Matthew. He used the term “son of David” to show Jesus Christ was the rightful heir to King David’s throne and that he was fulfilling the prophecy that a Messiah would come from the house of David.

The “son of David” was a further testimony that Matthew was using to show the Jews that the Messiah had already come and that Jesus Christ was the Messiah and the rightful heir to the throne.

42% Of The Gospel of Matthew is Unique

Even though there’s a large amount of what is found in the book of Matthew can also be found in Mark and Luke. Still, about 42% of Matthew’s gospel is unique. A central theme found in the book of Matthew is it Jesus Christ came to establish his kingdom.

Matthew spent the time to go through the genealogy of Jesus at the very beginning of his book as through the genealogy of Christ, Matthew was telling us that the Messiah had come.

When you look in the book of Matthew, you will find writings that mention the kingdom of heaven numerous times; Matthew is the only gospel author to include teachings of Jesus, while also mentioning a “church.” This goes with Matthew’s focus that Christ had come to establish his kingdom on the earth.

When you look at the book of Matthew and the fact that the New Testament starts with the genealogy of Jesus, it shows how important it is for each of us to understand our ancestors and their genealogy. As we do our family history research, we can learn a lot about ourselves and our ancestors that have gone before us.

The Hummel Family is a website all about Family History research. Our focus is on Swedish, German, English, Scottish, and American Genealogy. We also talk a lot about Asia and China as we had ancestors who spent many years in China.

You are welcome to join us and become part of our community by signing up for our FREE newsletter, The Hummel Family; sign up by clicking here.

What Is The Purpose of Genealogy?

Genealogy aims to study family, family history and trace our lineage or ancestors. The purpose of genealogy goes far beyond our ancestors’ dates, names, and places. As you do your genealogy, you learn more about your family and yourself. Genealogy helps unite and link families together by discovering things that you did not know about your family.

By clicking here, you can learn more about Genealogy by reading our blog What Is The Purpose of Genealogy?.

What Does It Mean When The Bible Says To Avoid Genealogies In Titus 3:9?

In Titus 3:9, the Apostle Paul was not condemning genealogy. Instead, the Apostle Paul warned us about bragging about our genealogy or making up false information about our ancestors so that w look good. The Apostle Paul was not against genealogy or about us discovering our ancestors.

By clicking here, you can learn more about Genealogy by reading our blog What Does It Mean When The Bible Says To Avoid Genealogies In Titus 3:9?.

Anita Hummel

Hi, I am Anita Hummel. I live in Hanoi, Vietnam. I love to share with you about my family history and the many parts of the world our ancestors have lived.

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Why Did Matthew Start His Gospel With The Ancestors Of Jesus?