Matthew 1:1

The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham.

You've probably never read the genealogy of Christ in Matthew, have you?  Most people haven't.  That's okay.  Genealogies are a snooze–unless you know something about the people in them.  Then they get interesting.  Matthew's audience knew about these people.  They were Jews, you see, and naturally interested in whether Jesus was, in fact, the "son of David, the son of Abraham".  A proposed Messiah who, whoever nifty, was not sprung from the line of David and who did not, in fact, fulfill what the prophets of Israel had prophesied was not Messiah.  God gave these criteria to Israel for a reason: the Messiah was to be rooted in history and reality, not in wishes and cloud cuckoo myth.  It's part of what happens when the Word is made flesh: he had to come from somewhere and have a particular blood type, hair color and lineage.  That's what real people have and Jesus is real, not a wish.

Mark Shea


Mark P. Shea is a popular Catholic writer and speaker. The author of numerous books, his most recent work is The Work of Mercy (Servant) and The Heart of Catholic Prayer (Our Sunday Visitor). Mark contributes numerous articles to many magazines, including his popular column “Connecting the Dots” for the National Catholic Register. Mark is known nationally for his one minute “Words of Encouragement” on Catholic radio. He also maintains the Catholic and Enjoying It blog and regularly blogs for National Catholic Register. He lives in Washington state with his wife, Janet, and their four sons.

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