FAMILY TREE - The family of Jesus

Have you ever stopped to consider, why Jesus (not Muhammed, Ghandi, the Pope, or some other person yet to come)? How can anyone be certain that Jesus is the one Messiah promised in Scripture long ago anyway? Jesus self-proclaimed that He was the way, truth, and life and that no one could come to the Father in Heaven except through Him (John 14:6). But are His words all we have to go by? How can we know that He is truly God’s Son and our source of hope, not just at Christmas, but all year long?

Over and over, the Bible claims that God is love and that He loves us as His creation. Because of His love, He promised a way of salvation - the opportunity to be reconciled into a right relationship with Him, forgiven eternally for our sin. But what good would God’s way of salvation be if it was unclear or never revealed to us? 

It wouldn’t be, right? 

The Bible also tells us that God is not the author of confusion (1 Cor. 14:33) and is too loving and too kind to leave us guessing about the way to be made right with Him. 

Ultimately, God had a plan for salvation before man even sinned and that plan was always Jesus.

2 Timothy 1:9-10 says, For God saved us and called us to live a holy life. He did this, not because we deserved it, but because that was his plan from before the beginning of time—to show us his grace through Christ Jesus. And now he has made all of this plain to us by the appearing of Christ Jesus, our Savior. He broke the power of death and illuminated the way to life and immortality through the Good News.

Throughout time and the recording of the scriptures, God has faithfully pointed directly to Jesus as Messiah so that there would be no room for doubt or uncertainty. 

Throughout the Old Testament, the Messiah, or Promised One, was FORETOLD

There were prophesies, or claims of future events, made about Him - some hundreds and others even thousands of years before He was born. They would describe His bloodline, His birthplace, His character, and His life events. There were not just a handful of these prophecies made - there were over 300! The God of the Bible  wanted it to be clear who the Messiah was so that His people would recognize Him once He arrived. 

Mathematician Peter Stone dug into the numerical certainty that Jesus is indeed the Messiah. He did this by computing the statistical probability that one man could fulfill the prophecies recorded in Scripture. After all, we can say Jesus lines up with what was foretold, but couldn’t many other people too? Peter Stone’s answer? Definitely not. Stone calculated that a person would have a 1 in 100 quadrillion chance of fulfilling just eight of the 300 prophecies. Statistically, it is improbable, if not impossible, that one person would fulfill even just a few of these prophecies made in Scripture by chance. Jesus filled more than a few or even just eight.

Through Jesus, the prophecies FORETOLD were FULFILLED - every single one. 

Stick with us this Christmas season as we dig into the prophecies surrounding Jesus’ birth and look at their fulfillment in the Christmas story. God FORETOLD. Jesus FULFILLED.

SCRIPTURES
2 Timothy 1:9-10 | For God saved us and called us to live a holy life. He did this, not because we deserved it, but because that was his plan from before the beginning of time—to show us his grace through Christ Jesus. And now he has made all of this plain to us by the appearing of Christ Jesus, our Savior. He broke the power of death and illuminated the way to life and immortality through the Good News.


Matthew 1:1-17 | This is a record of the ancestors of Jesus the Messiah, a descendant of David and of Abraham: Abraham was the father of Isaac. Isaac was the father of Jacob. Jacob was the father of Judah and his brothers. Judah was the father of Perez and Zerah (whose mother was Tamar). Perez was the father of Hezron. Hezron was the father of Ram. Ram was the father of Amminadab. Amminadab was the father of Nahshon. Nahshon was the father of Salmon. Salmon was the father of Boaz (whose mother was Rahab). Boaz was the father of Obed (whose mother was Ruth). Obed was the father of Jesse. Jesse was the father of King David. David was the father of Solomon (whose mother was Bathsheba, the widow of Uriah). Solomon was the father of Rehoboam. Rehoboam was the father of Abijah. Abijah was the father of Asa. Asa was the father of Jehoshaphat. Jehoshaphat was the father of Jehoram. Jehoram was the father of Uzziah. Uzziah was the father of Jotham. Jotham was the father of Ahaz. Ahaz was the father of Hezekiah. Hezekiah was the father of Manasseh. Manasseh was the father of Amon. Amon was the father of Josiah. Josiah was the father of Jehoiachin and his brothers (born at the time of the exile to Babylon). After the Babylonian exile: Jehoiachin was the father of Shealtiel. Shealtiel was the father of Zerubbabel. Zerubbabel was the father of Abiud. Abiud was the father of Eliakim. Eliakim was the father of Azor. Azor was the father of Zadok. Zadok was the father of Akim. Akim was the father of Eliud. Eliud was the father of Eleazar. Eleazar was the father of Matthan. Matthan was the father of Jacob. Jacob was the father of Joseph, the husband of Mary. Mary gave birth to Jesus, who is called the Messiah. All those listed above include fourteen generations from Abraham to David, fourteen from David to the Babylonian exile, and fourteen from the Babylonian exile to the Messiah.


DISUCSSION
  1. What is God’s plan for salvation?
  2. Since Jesus was part of God’s plan since the beginning of time, in what ways does the Old Testament point us to Him?
  3. Look over Jesus’ lineage or family tree. What names on the list do you recognize? What do you know about them?  
  4. This week, we will see that the Old Testament prophesies about who the Messiah, or promised Savior, would be related to. Why would it be important for people to know about Jesus’ family before He was born?
  5. How can looking back at Jesus’ family tree and Old Testament prophesies help strengthen your faith (or trust) in Jesus?
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