“So all the generations from Abraham to David are fourteen generations; and from David until the carrying away into Babylon are fourteen generations; and from the carrying away into Babylon unto Christ are fourteen generations.” Matthew 1:17
Look at the names in this one verse of scripture!
Abraham, the father of Israel, the first to be found justified through faith. He was given a promise that his seed would be as the multitude of the stars, or the sand of the sea, blessed beyond measure over all mankind, simply because he believed.
King David, who has the heart of The Lord, and after whom the keys to the kingdom are named, and who allowed himself to be led in the Spirit to reign as king over his brethren. He lived an imperfect life, and was yet loved by God, forgiven of the sins he committed, even as king, for he was repentant in heart, and God blessed him with a new heart that yearned for more of God.
Jesus, the Christ, God among us, miraculously born of a virgin that He would die for mankind, the Savior, both Man and God, the only Way to eternal life in Heaven.
This one verse names the milestones achieved on behalf of the plan of salvation culminating in the birth of Jesus. They are set at fourteen generational intervals, which begs the question. Why name the time of the carrying away into Babylon in verse seventeen, versus Jechonias, who is named in verses eleven and twelve? I believe that reason is that the taking away to Babylon shows us two important things.
Primarily, it shows us that God does not lie. He had warned the people over and over that if they would not turn away from their idolatry, He would remove His hands of protection from them, and they would die or be taken prisoner. Whether they believed God or not, and whether they believed the prophets used as messengers or not, did not matter. God does not lie. So, they refused to listen and they died or became captives. The captives were carried away to Babylon, thus proving God’s Word is true.
Secondarily, it shows that God’s Promises are also true, because having been taken captive, they could then be rescued. God said He would rescue them after a time. Turns out, that time was fourteen generations, because He did send His Son to rescue the world.
So, we have in this verse:
• Justification by faith.
• Confession and repentance of sin.
• God’s people being forsaken due to unrepentant hearts.
• Rescue and redemption by the Savior.
So, here’s the message:
We are selfish at heart and, apart from God, we make the poorest decisions and must pay the consequences of our actions. If we simply believe Him, turn away from those sins and turn to Him, He will give us new hearts and save us from ourselves, because of the shed Blood of the Lamb, Who was born for this purpose.
This applies to both sinner and saint. Jesus Christ crucified is the solution to every problem. His sacrifice is the Way to an intimate relationship with the Father. That, after all is said and done, is the reason He was born to us in the first place.
Christmas is about Christ coming to us as the greatest gift of Love from God. It’s not about the lights, the trees, the wreaths, the expensive gifts, the carols, or all of the bull in which the world has drowned the message. It’s about the baby Boy that would grow into the Man that would bear a Cross and redeem all of mankind.
As we celebrate with family and friends, may we see that, even in His genealogy, everything that He is to us is apparent, and remember all of those things that He is to us. He truly is Emmanuel, God among us.