Matthew 1:1 – “This is the genealogy of Jesus the Messiah the son of David, the son of Abraham:”
A short verse.Â The 16 words above (TNIV) translate only 8 Greek terms. ((Î’Î¯Î²Î»Î¿Ï‚ Î³ÎµÎ½ÎÏƒÎµÏ‰Ï‚ á¼¸Î·ÏƒÎ¿á¿¦ Î§ÏÎ¹ÏƒÏ„Î¿á¿¦ Ï…á¼±Î¿á¿¦ Î”Î±Ï…á½¶Î´ Ï…á¼±Î¿á¿¦ á¼ˆÎ²ÏÎ±Î±Î¼.))Â It not only summarises the following genealogy (1:1-17), but hints at key themes of the whole gospel.
We are being prepared for much more than merely the family history of Jesus.Â From verse one, the original hearers/readers of this gospel understood that this story was about Jesus, who is the ‘son of David’, the anointed long-awaited Davidic king, and a ‘son of Abraham’ par excellence, fulfilling (and thus redefining) what it meant to be a member of the people of God. ((cf. 3:9 – “And do not think you can say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ I tell you that out of these stones God can raise up children for Abraham.”))Â This is a prelude to a genealogy which hints that genealogical ties to Abraham have become irrelevant. ((Of course, I hasten to add, not ‘irrelevant’ in the sense that nothing before Jesus at all matters.Â The sharp discontinuity of the new does not do away with all continuity with the old.))
Correct me if I’m wrong, but that looks like Christology, Ecclesiology and Soteriology (and probably more than a dash of narrative theology) in one very small verse.