Matthew begins with the family tree of Jesus. Even though Joseph was not Jesus’ paternal father, he was still Jesus’ legal father, and so Matthew gives Joseph’s genealogy. Matthew also compresses some of the family tree so that it will show a pattern of “14 generations” – showing God’s timing and plan – Jesus was born at just the right time.
Matthew also highlights 4 women in his genealogy – a very unique feature. Two of these women were not Jewish (Gentiles), which shows the universal salvation of God. Two of these women also have unique and scandalous features to their childbirth, which not only shows that God loves sinners, but sets up the story of Mary’s birth. Mary’s birth did not have sin – but it was unique. Matthew is trying to communicate how God works in history, and how the birth of Jesus is the plan of God.
A family tree is sometimes the part we skip over, but each of these lives has a story. We have a story as well, and our families are a big part of who we are. We are also a part of God’s family tree – passing on the truth to the next generation.