Matthew 1:1-17 Jesus’ Pedigree

The family tree of Jesus Christ, David’s son, Abraham’s son:

2-6 Abraham had Isaac,
Isaac had Jacob,
Jacob had Judah and his brothers,
 Judah had Perez and Zerah (the mother was Tamar),
Perez had Hezron,
Hezron had Aram,
 Aram had Amminadab,
 Amminadab had Nahshon,
 Nahshon had Salmon,
Salmon had Boaz (his mother was Rahab),
Boaz had Obed (Ruth was the mother),
Obed had Jesse,
Jesse had David,
and David became king.

6-11 David had Solomon (Uriah’s wife was the mother),
Solomon had Rehoboam,
 Rehoboam had Abijah,
 Abijah had Asa,
Asa had Jehoshaphat,
 Jehoshaphat had Joram,
 Joram had Uzziah,
Uzziah had Jotham,
Jotham had Ahaz,
Ahaz had Hezekiah,
Hezekiah had Manasseh,
Manasseh had Amon,
Amon had Josiah,
 Josiah had Jehoiachin and his brothers,
 and then the people were taken into the Babylonian exile.

12-16 When the Babylonian exile ended,

Jeconiah had Shealtiel,
 Shealtiel had Zerubbabel,
 Zerubbabel had Abiud,
 Abiud had Eliakim,
 Eliakim had Azor,
Azor had Zadok,
 Zadok had Achim,
 Achim had Eliud,
 Eliud had Eleazar,
 Eleazar had Matthan,
 Matthan had Jacob,
Jacob had Joseph, Mary’s husband,
the Mary who gave birth to Jesus,
 the Jesus who was called Christ.

17 There were fourteen generations from Abraham to David,
another fourteen from David to the Babylonian exile,
and yet another fourteen from the Babylonian exile to Christ.

Jesus’ Pedigree

Jesus, I understand a little better your pedigree. I sometimes boast that I may contain some ‘blue blood’ as we call it. I think it makes me more important because the world appreciates status. However, my pedigree is nothing compared to yours. In fact it makes mine look petty. It shows all my posturing as self-interested nonsense that takes the focus off of where it should be. No-one had your heritage. You were born of God the Father and you were of a conjunction of priestly and kingly lines as far as your earthly parents go. Which makes me wonder whether we should think of Mary as your mother in the same biological way as we think of our own mothers. I have tended to think of Mary as a detached participant in the salvation story. I have also just this moment thought clearly of Joseph’s role as your adoptive father. I balk if someone refers to my adoptive children and then asks after their real father. In a sense, Mary and Joseph were your real parents. They changed soiled baby clothes when you pooped yourself. They rocked you to sleep at night. How could you, with all that status, allow Joseph and Mary to do that? Admittedly, you wouldn’t have known much when they were holding you, but in Heaven before you came down, you must have seen how it all would play out. There is such dependency in allowing a carpenter from Nazareth and his wife to rock you to sleep. There was trust. In a sense, you had faith in them. It was a faith made secure in the utter surety of the outcome, a bit like our faith in you.

Just like my son will trace his line through the Earl of Powys, so you could trace your line through the kings. When you were born there was a mark on you as someone special: A hidden king.

Jesus, I want to know you as a humble king. The kind who commands all respect and authority, but allows someone else to change his diaper.


  1. What kind of men were the ancestors of Jesus?
  2. What kind of women were included?
  3. What kind of pedigree does Jesus have?
  4. How do you react to people with grand heritage?
  5. How does Jesus’ earthly heritage affect your relationship with him?

About Plymothian

I teach at Moody Bible Institute in Chicago. My interests include education, biblical studies, and spiritual formation. I have been married to Kelli since 1998 and we have two children, Daryl and Amelia. For recreation I like to run, play soccer, play board games, read and travel.
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2 Responses to Matthew 1:1-17 Jesus’ Pedigree

  1. Carrie says:

    1. Many of his ancestors were kings (but many made poor decisions).
    2. The women mentioned were prostitutes and adulterous (were of lineage of Jesus)
    3. Amazing line of royalty/kings. His mother and father were just simple people. A virgin and a carpenter.
    4. They are interesting to me, along with celeberties, but I tend to put them as equals to the everyday person.
    5. I want Jesus to be my friend, my confidant, my go-to person. I want to see him as the man he was and share life with him!

  2. Kelli says:

    I have just been studying Ruth, so I must admit that I had a sort of “go, Ruth!” response to seeing her name there again. I have always said that I admired and respected Ruth. But I hadn’t read her story in a long time. She was a woman of faith and sacrificial love. And I love that–as a Moabite–she is included in the line of Christ.

    I realize reading this passage tonight that I do have a hard time grasping Jesus’ humanity and what that means. For some reason, it’s easier for me to think of him as God. I look forward to exploring that truth with more intentionality this time through.

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