The Family Tree
"You are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy
nation, a peculiar people; so that you may set forth the
wondrous deeds, displaying the virtues and perfections, of Him
Who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light."
There is a generation, chosen from the foundation of the world,
to reveal God's glory. A people designated, within the present
disorder and futility, to manifest the very character of his
substance. All creation eagerly waits, with earnest expectation,
for the unveiling of this elect seed. The Prophets declared it,
the Law foreshadowed it, and Jesus revealed it.
In Matthew chapter one there is a mystery hidden within the
lineage of Joseph the husband of Mary, mother of Jesus. This
account is introduced as "the book of the generation
of Jesus Christ," the Son of David, the Son of
Abraham. (Mat. 1:1).Verse seventeen shows us the listing can be
divided into three groupings. The first segment starts with
Abraham and ends with David. The second division begins with David
and concludes with the deportation into Babylonian. The third and
final section commences with the removal to Babylon and
consummates with Christ. We are told each of these three
segments, contain fourteen names, bringing the total to forty-two
generations (Mat. 1:17).
It is important, for every student of the Scripture, to
acknowledge the Bible is mathematically perfect, and God's truth
exact and systematic. Knowing this will allow one to recognize
what appears to be a disharmony, in the Scripture, is in reality a
hidden treasure. Remember, "it is the glory of God to
conceal a thing: but the glory of kings is to search out a
matter." (Pro. 25:2; 1 Cor. 2:9ff; Eph. 1:17f; Col.
Now, what is so mysterious about the genealogy of Matthew
chapter one? Let us tally the names listed, according to the
pattern found, in verse seventeen. The first grouping, verses 2-6,
concurs with the clear statement of verse seventeen, by containing
fourteen generations. The second segment, verses 6-11, is also in
agreement by showing fourteen generations. However, the third and
final section, beginning in verse twelve and ending with Jesus,
who is called the Christ, contains only thirteen
The conflict is apparent. While verse seventeen shows the total
number of generations should come to forty-two, the count has
revealed there are only forty-one names in the complete
The discovery of this seeming discrepancy leaves us to
question: Did Matthew make a mistake by miscounting the
generations he listed? Or have the translators erred by leaving
out a name found in the original text? After diligently
looking into this matter one must conclude, the answer is an
unequivocal, No!—On both counts!Still others may question
the absence of the five kings in this genealogy. However, God
removed them from the record for very specific reasons. This
leaves us with the question: Where is the missing
Despising the Shame
Since Jesus, Whom God designated both Lord and Christ, is the forty-first
generation, He must be the Procreator, or Father of the forty-second
generation, who also is termed: "Christ."
With respect to Jesus having children Isaiah prophesied,
"Constraint and judgment took him: AND WHO WILL DECLARE
HIS GENERATION? For He is CUT OFF out of the land
of the living; because of the rebellion of my people." (Isa.
53:8ff). This is a Hebraism and it clearly states the physical
bloodline of Jesus was terminated at Calvary. He died without
leaving an heir to carry on His name or family genealogy.
The ultimate disgrace was to be "cut off"
without leaving a descendant to carry on the family lineage. It
was such a dishonorable thing God made provision within the law to
insure against it. (De. 25:5ff). Now concerning children Solomon
wrote, "Sons are an heritage of the Lord; the fruit of the
womb is a reward. Like the arrows in the hand of a mighty man are
the sons of one's youth. How happy is the one who has
filled his quiver with them!" (Ps. 127:3ff).
However, "instead of the joy," which
could have been his by leaving an heir, Jesus "endured the
cross, despising the shame and is now seated at the right
hand of the throne of God." (Heb. 12:2f Wms., Gspd.,
Lam., CLNT). Leaving us to question with Isaiah: "Who
will declare His generation?"
He Will See His Seed
The Prophet Isaiah further announced, "They assigned
Him a grave with the criminals and with a wealthy man when He was
dead. It was Jehovah who purposed to crush and afflict Him;
although He had done no wrong, neither was deceit in His mouth.
Yet, when Jehovah makes His soul an offering for sin, he will
see his seed, he will prolong his days, and the purpose of
Jehovah will prosper in His hand" (Isa. 53:9f; 1Pe.
This is not declaring Jesus was married and had children before
He died, as some claim. However, it does express His obedience to
death at Calvary, fulfilled the Father's purpose and assured Him
of seeing His seed, or descendant. This prophetic promise is a
vivid and explicit reference to "the missing
generation" of Matthew chapter one.
A Seed - A Generation
With respect to the missing generation David prophesied, "A
seed will serve Him; it will be accounted to the Lord for a
generation. They will come, and declare His righteousness to a
people, yet to be born. They will proclaim it is
finished!" (Psa. 22:30ff).There is a seed, which
serves God, and it is categorized as a generation of the Lord.
Unquestionably this speaks of the seed promised to Jesus in
Isaiah's prophecy. It is the forty-second generation of
Matthew chapter one.
David's prophetic declaration further reveals it is a
corporate seed. Not an individual, but a people chosen by
God before the disruption of the world, holy and flawless in
His sight (Eph. 1:4f). God through foreknowledge has predestined
this seed to be placed as a corporate son into the family
of God, and all creation waits with eager anticipation for their
unveiling (Rom. 8:19; Eph. 1:3f). Before the foundation of the
word God destined this chosen generation. They are conformed to
the image of the Firstborn. So that Jesus Christ becomes the
original seed in many brethren (Rom. 8:18, 29; Col.
This promised seed are to declare the Lord's righteousness to a
people, yet to be born. Bearing witness to all creation that is
obligated to the debt of sin, this seed will declare, "It
is paid in full." It is this "seed—generation,"
who will restore, raise up, and repair the depletions of many
generations. They will be named the Priests of the Lord even
Ministers of God. All who see them will acknowledge THEY ARE
THE SEED WHOM THE LORD HAS BLESSED. (Isa. 61:4ff).
The Covenant Seed
Three individuals - the Woman, Abraham, and David - received
promises regarding "the seed." God
desiring to show, beyond any doubt, the unchangeableness of his
purpose confirmed the promises with an oath. (Gen. 3:15; 22:15ff;
2 Sam. 7:12ff; Acts 2:29f; Heb. 6:13ff).
Speaking in terms of human relations, when a covenant or
contract has been guaranteed it puts an end to all disputes and
contradictions. Because it has the validation of a supreme
authority, no one can set it aside, make it void, take away from
it, or add to it. (Heb. 6:13; Gal. 3:15).
Who Is Christ?
When God spoke the promises to Abraham and His seed, He did not
say, "to seeds," as referring to many, but
with reference to one, He said, "and to your seed, which
is Christ!" (Gal. 3:16; Acts 2:30).
When Paul refers to "one seed," he is speaking
of God's promises being made to one variety,
as opposed to many varieties of seed. The category
is clearly defined as Christ! Let us put it another way. If
we had two packets of seed, one containing carrot, squash, radish,
and watermelon seed; the other containing forty kernels of corn,
which packet contains only one seed? Unquestionably the
packet of corn, because every seed is identical. Both
Jesus, who is pure and those who are being purified are all
out of one seed: for this reason he is not ashamed to call
them brothers. (Rom. 8:29; Heb. 2:11, Mof., NEB., Con.,
Bas., Knox, Wey.).
Moreover, as the forerunner and perfecter of the faith, Christ
Jesus, obtained the promise becoming the source and origin of our
life. Because of this He is also called "the
everlasting Father." (Isa. 9:6; Joh. 1:1ff, 14; Col.
1:15ff; Rev. 3:14). Prophetically, the Firstborn Seed said, "I
and the children whom God gave me" will make evident
his wondrous accomplishments. By this we will display his virtue
and perfection. (Isa. 8:18; Heb. 2:13; 1 Pet. 2:9). In Christ
Jesus we are all children of God through faith. For as many as
have been initiated into union with Christ, have put on Christ.
Now, since we belong to Christ, it follows we are Abraham's seed .
. . which is called Christ . . . and heirs of the
promise, even joint-heirs with Christ (Gal. 3:16, 26ff, 29; Rom.
The Christ Defined
The word Christ is a transliteration from the Greek
language. If we were to translate this word into our common
language we would better understand what is being said concerning
the seed of promise. It should be rendered anointed,
and is synonymous with the Hebrew word Messiah. This
term is used in the Hebrew Scripture for those who are the Lord's
anointed ones. Specifically, it was used only in reference to the
kings, priests, and prophets who were considered to be God's
The Body of the Seed
As the human body is a unity and yet has many parts, and all
the parts, though numerous, form only one body, so it is
with Christ also! For one Holy Spirit has initiated us
into one body. It makes no difference whether we
were Jews or Gentiles, slaves or free, male or female, we have now
become one new man in Christ Jesus (1 Cor. 12:12f; 2
Cor. 5:17; Eph. 2:11ff).
Jesus revealed this concept when He spoke of reproducing the
life of this unique Seed. He said, "if the seed-corn does
not fall into the earth and die, it remains alone: But if it
die, it will bring forth many seed." (Joh. 12:24).
The principal is clear, "what is sown is not brought to
life, except it die first." (1 Cor. 15:36). But if it
dies it will become multiplied many times.
When someone plants a kernel of corn it grows up: first, the
blade, then the ear, and finally the mature corn in the ear. We
might say, "One kernel becomes a corporate expression
of the original corn?" Likewise, God sent forth Jesus as
a unique seed of life in the earth. He was planted in death so
that in resurrection He might become "the first born
among many brothers." (Rom. 8:29).