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Genealogies

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Luke 3:23-38

Introduction:  Today’s study centers on Luke’s genealogy.  It seems like a waste of space to most of us to include such material in the Bible.  But remember, the Bible was not originally written to us, but to the 1st century people.  We can learn things from this section of Scripture.

I. About age 30    vs. 23

    A. Mature

1. Bill ?

2. If we wait til we are prepared, most opportunities will pass us by.

3. On the other hand, there is a reason church leaders are “elders.”

    B. Approximate

         1. Cannot be used for dating

         2. And He was Jesus beginning about years 30. 

             a. ὡσεί: a degree which approximates a point on a scale of extent, either above or below; about, approximately.

             b. Now Jesus himself was about thirty years old when he began his ministry.  NIV

             c. And Jesus himself began to be about thirty years of age,   KJV

             d. He, namely Jesus, when he made a beginning, was about thirty years of age,[1]    Distinguish from Father in vs. 22

II. Genealogy     vs. 23-38

    A. Reasons for

         1. Establishing the humanity of Jesus  Son of God (vs. 22), descended from Adam (vs. 38)

2. Important to Jews, not so much to the Gentiles

         3. Genealogies established individual identity; reflected, established, or legitimated social structures, status, and entitlements to office; functioned as modes of praise or delineations of character or even as basis of exhortation.1

    B. Problems

         1. Different from Matthew

             a. Could have come from LXX instead of MT

             b. Neither genealogy is 100% accurate according to Western logic.

             c. Luke could be tracing Mary’s ancestors

             d. Luke could be tracing Jesus’ ancestors through the line of David’s son, Nathan, instead of Solomon   Jeremiah 22:24-30   No mention of any of the kings after Solomon

         2. Some of the names Luke uses, do not appear in OT

3. Many spelling differences

    C. Characteristics

         1. Reversed from Matthew

         2. 78 names if you include God

         3. Reversing the list, starting with Adam, and dividing the genealogy into sets of seven, places the following key figures in the seventh position: Enoch (v 37), Abraham (v 34), David (v 31), Joseph (v 30), Jesus (v 29), Joseph (v 24), Jesus (v 23).[2]

III. Lessons

    A. Age and maturity are related, but not absolutely dependent on each other

    B. God’s details may not be the same as ours

    C. All people come from God

    D. Jesus came from God in a special way

Conclusion:  There is value in all the Bible.  I prefer spending my time on Scriptures that benefit me personally, not genealogies.  But as you have seen, we can learn even from odd (to us) sections of Scripture.


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[1]Nolland, J. (2002). Vol. 35A: Word Biblical Commentary : Luke 1:1-9:20. Word Biblical Commentary (166). Dallas: Word, Incorporated.

[2]Nolland, J. (2002). Vol. 35A: Word Biblical Commentary : Luke 1:1-9:20. Word Biblical Commentary (168). Dallas: Word, Incorporated.

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