I am fascinated by the geneologies in the Bible. Perhaps this stems from the fact that I can only trace my roots to my great grandparents. They fled famine in Ireland and military conscription in Hungary. I do not know the origins of my maiden name. It seems to be a truncated version of a longer name. Was it English or Scottish?
Jesus' geneology winds its way through the Old Testament and is laid out for us in Matthew and Luke's gospels.
Matthew starts with Abraham and ends with Joseph. This is the geneology that names Tamar, Rahab, Ruth, and Bathsheba by name. This is the geneology that lists Solomon, Hezekiah and Josiah. The Jews remembered God's promise to David and looked for the Messiah to come from this line of kings. This was the geneology that gave Jesus his pedigree. His credentials. His name.
In the seventh chapter of 2nd Samuel, Nathan delivered God's promise to David, "...I will raise up you offspring to succeed you, who will come from your own body, and I will establish his kingdom. He is the one who will build a house for my Name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever." These were the words the Jews held onto with hope. Four chapters later David and Bathsheba sinned. Chapter twelve details the showdown between David and Nathan. Remember Nathan.
Luke's geneology starts with Mary's father and works backward to Abraham and back even farther to Adam. The two geneologies trace the same path from Abraham to David. After David, for the most part, they part ways. The words Nathan, the son of David absorbed my whole attention. Nathan. Jesus physically descended from David but it wasn't through Solomon. It was through Solomon's brother, Nathan. I would have to imagine that this Nathan was named after the prophet. Perhaps David chose this name to express gratitude. Nathan dared to confront him in his sin. Obedience was restored to David's life through that confrontation.
Nathan. While all eyes were on King David's successors, the DNA that would create Jesus' physical body was being passed from generation to generation in the shadows. The lesser men and women carried this honor. This speaks of intentional humility. God planned the humble birth of his son long before there was no room at the inn.
It does not matter that I know little of my own geneology. It does make a difference to my faith to know the geneology of Jesus. When I wade into the names that make up Jesus' lineage, I am again left in awe of the deliberate way that He chose to interact with humanity.