My Corner Online


Reading through the Gospels 13

Luke 3:23-38 and Matthew 1:1-17


Luke 3:23-38 also gives an accounting of the genealogy of Joseph, but it says his father is Heli.  The genealogy goes upwards from Jesus to Adam and God.  It is understood that women could not be included in the genealogy, so Heli is actually Joseph's father-in-law, meaning the Luke version is Mary's genealogy. May this is what Dr. Luke means by his words in parentheses "as was supposed." In this way, the Bible shows us that both Mary and Joseph are descendants of the line of David, making the prophesy in the old testament doubly true.  Descending from Adam would relate Jesus to all nations. As in my notes for Luke 1-4, Dr. Luke did not include Joseph's account of the birth because he most likely was not alive or able to interview Joseph.  His accounts are very much by Mary's view, so he most likely interviewed Mary.  This would make sense that Mary gave him her genealogy.

Luke wrote the genealogy at the beginning of Jesus's ministry and Matthew wrote it at the beginning of his Gospel.



Matthew 1:1-17 gives an accounting of the genealogy of Joseph, with is father being Jacob.  This genealogy goes downwards from Abraham to Jesus.  Joseph, however, is Jesus's adopted father and not a blood lineage as through Mary, but rather a legal lineage. This genealogy shows Jesus's Judean roots.  Abraham was the father of the Israelites through whom all nations were to be blessed (Genesis 12:3). David's line was promised a kingly Messiah (2 Samuel 7:12-16).  There are four women listed in this genealogy:  Tamar (sold herself as prostitute to her father-in-law Judah to give birth to Perez and Zerah), Rahab (God saves her from judgment of prostitution), Ruth (from Moab) and Bathsheba, wife of Uriah (adulteress with David). Since women are not usually listed, we ponder why these four women are listed.  God can take unlikely people and use them in great ways.