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The Genealogy of Jesus

Renewing Your Mind / R.C. Sproul
The Cross Radio
December 5, 2021 12:01 am

The Genealogy of Jesus

Renewing Your Mind / R.C. Sproul

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December 5, 2021 12:01 am

We mustn't skip over the genealogies in Scripture, for they are filled with often-untapped theological riches. Today, R.C. Sproul continues his series in the gospel of Luke, examining how Luke's detailed genealogy of Jesus reveals Him to be the Redeemer of Jews and gentiles alike.

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Today on Renewing Your Mind. Luke's gospel contains a detailed genealogy of Jesus. There's a good reason for it. One thing about which Lucas so so concerned is the historical reality of the person and work of Christ elegy goes all the way back to Adam.

More than 70 generations more detail than we find in Matthew's gospel to them Renewing Your Mind, Dr. RC Sproul explores this rich history and explains why we would consider it necessary to include such a comprehensive record, we find it in Luke chapter 3 I recall several years ago. Dr. of Ministry program in the seminary where I had to teach a course in communication and one of the aspects of that particular course was in the science of oral interpretation and it was my task to teach the clergy how to read the text of Scripture, but I would give each of the students an assignment where they had to prepare for the next day, a dramatic reading of a particular text, but there was one student in the class who was particularly loud noisy someone breaks a but also dramatic and expressive, and so I assigned him the reading of the genealogies. It was like giving him the assignment of reading from the telephone directory and so he started in by saying Jesus was the son of Joseph, the son of Eli, the son of Matt Hatch and he had us on the edge of our chairs as he took us through the entire genealogy and I stood there and applauded him for successfully completing the assignment.

But what do with a genealogy from Matthew genealogy of Jesus is traced to Abraham and it's clear that what Matthew is trying to communicate to all who read his gospel that Jesus is the son of Abraham which would be of extreme importance for any Jewish audience. Yet at the same time. Luke is not satisfied to trace the genealogy of Jesus simply to Abraham but he goes before Abraham all the way back to Adam and Eve and beyond where he shows that this wanderer was a descendent of Adam was also the son of God that point, we have the scratch our heads and say why. Well let me take a few moments this morning and I hope this doesn't bore you to death, but this is the text that we have to look at me suggested there are some important considerations here in the genealogies in the first instance, any time we have a book of the Bible in front of us and were trying to interpret it and what we want more than anything else is to be accurate in our interpretation. As you know the world is filled with distortions and inaccurate conclusions drawn from Scripture, we have to be careful of what it is that we infer from the pages of Scripture and in the difficult task of getting an accurate understanding and interpretation of Scripture there certain things that help us.

Obviously the words that are written are very very important.

If were going to interpret the Bible accurately. We want to know what the words that were used in the original text actually meant and she started furious. New Testament student, and you're interested in the meaning of the Greek words of the text. You look at a simple Greek English dictionary and you look up the Greek word, and it might give you two or three English words by which that Greek word is properly rendered, but in our last generation New Testament scholarship has received one of the greatest benefits of tools that we've ever known, and that is the tool called Carol's theological dictionary of the new testament, and that is something that is nothing short of amazing. Because cattle might take the word. For example, pistachio or press thoughts that means space and you look at a normal Greek English dictionary and the will to give you two or three words.

Like to believe her to trust her to have faith and then you go you open up cattle on the pages of that big in the print is that small is filled with footnotes and it'll give you 35 pages defining the meaning of the Greek word press law serve to solve many to believe the holiday spent so much time doing what they do is that they examine every time that word occurs in the Gospels every time that word occurs in the epistles. Every time that word occurs in the early church. The church fathers. Every time that word occurs in the Septuagint, the Greek translation of the Old Testament and then beyond that, every time the word occurs in classical Greek literature, such as in Greek poetry of Euripides and so so by the time you read that 35 pages of exclamation or explanation of the meaning of that Greek word you have a pretty solid understanding of what it means. But still, even if you know the words exactly what you may notice in your text of what we've just read that in the genealogy of Luke. It says so and so's the son of Joseph, the son of malathion, the son of Amos you notice in your Bible.

If it's anything like mine that the words Sunday or son of his italicized why sent because the Greek is some of the simply says so-and-so was up so-and-so who was him so-and-so was out of sorts are good and the grandson, the great-grandson of the adopted son word son doesn't occur in the original language. There so if you know the words you still have a lot more work to do. However, here's were born with one of the most important things that we study to get up better accurate understanding of the Bible is the original setting in which the book of the Bible was written and that include questions like this who wrote it to was it written and what was the occasion of its having been written because of I know wrote, and I know to what was written and I know what it was written those three factors will go a long way in helping us to glean the exact meaning of the text.

I don't know if you notice that in my preaching and teaching or in Berks preaching and teaching than ever we get a citation from the book of Hebrews. Characteristically, you'll hear say the author of Hebrews says or the book of Hebrews sets. Why don't we just say the name of the author because we don't know who wrote the slow, most of us don't know who wrote the Bruce, I think I do. But that's another story for another day.

But in any case, if we know for sure who wrote Hebrews. It would help us to unpack some of the controversial difficult texts such as Hebrews 6 and again was it written wasn't written to simply to Palestinian Jews wasn't written to Alexandrian Jews, but most importantly, why was it written. What occasion the writing of the book of Hebrews, what is that discussion in Hebrews 6 about about those who were the taste of the heavenly word in this impossible to restore them again to repentance, and so on what seemed to suggest that Christians can fall away and lose their salvation, which was an issue. The early church debated with a vengeance and was an issue that made the conclusion of the book of Hebrews in the New Testament Canon problematic at the beginning that very text. What was the issue we don't. There are three or four options and so what I'm saying to please us if we know who wrote Hebrews was written on why it was written so much as a theological dispute about the six chapter the 10th chapter. For example, would go away. So what does that have to do with the genealogy, glad to say something about this or I could just say the benediction we can all go all but one of the things that New Testament scholars in their investigation, seek to do is to reconstruct as reasonably as possible. The order and the manner in which the Gospels were written. We always make the distinction between the synoptic Gospels and the Gospel of John. Why because the synoptic Gospels Matthew Mark and Luke focus their attention almost totally on the life and ministry of Jesus, whereas in John's Gospel.

Two thirds of his gospel cover the last week of Jesus life and so the focus on John's Gospels much more theological than it is biographical and we see that the stakes in the New Testament the Gospels give us principally narrative, not exclusively, but mostly narrative and then the epistles give us what we call didactic literature that is they epistles interpret the narrative the Gospels tell us what happened and the epistles tell us the meaning or the significance of what happened. So trying to reconstruct the the way in which the Gospels were written this important matter. Anderson there is debate as to which one was first, the vast majority say that Mark was written first and John's Gospel was written last there was a movement in the middle of the 20th century by some scholars argue that John was written first rather than last. But again, that's another story. But looking at Matthew Mark and Luke. If you examine those three gospel you will see that almost everything that is found in that short little Gospel of Mark is also found in Matthew and Luke and so scholars speculate and they say in all probability when Matthew wrote his gospel, and when Luke wrote his gospel they had Mark's gospel in front of them and they used Mark's gospel as one of their sources for composing their own gospel.

Then if you look carefully at Matthew's gospel, and it looks gospel you will see that there is material in Matthew's gospel, my going too fast and in Luke's gospel is his earlier loss in our sleep last night, but he got us there right now that there is material in Matthew's gospel and in Luke's gospel, and the both Matthew and Luke. That's not in Mark, so the conjecture then is well. In addition to Mark Matthew Luke probably had another resource in front of them that Mark didn't use maybe another series of sayings or documents or an oral tradition whether was written or oral. We don't know but the abbreviation for that theory is that they call it the Q source to from the German word koala, which means source or fountain simply means Matthew, Luke used the source that Mark didn't have so far so good then why go through all this while the most important reason is for this after you go through all the stuff that's common with Mark and all the stuff that's common with Q, then what's left is the material in Matthew, it's only in Matthew and the material in Luke, this only in Luke and when you look at that isolated portion of Luke's gospel and Matthew's gospel something jumps out at you can't miss it. And that is in the material that is unique to Matthew that almost all of it exclusively deals with the application of Old Testament prophecy to Jesus claims as being the Messiah. And when you say that it's clear of the nose on your face. Matthew obviously writing for a Jewish audience and so when you pick up his book. You have to realize how this book was written for Jews, even though I'm not a Jew.

I can still learn from is still the word of God. But his primary audience in the first century was to the Jewish community then you pick up looks gospel and you isolate all the stuff that's in Luke's gospel that's not in Matthew or Mark are in the queue but is unique to Luke jumps out at you. What is that Lucas clearly writing to Gentiles and for Gentiles because his great stress here is on the universality of the Lordship of Jesus Christ that Jesus is not simply the Savior of the Jew's but that he is the Savior of the Gentile and that the kingdom of God is not limited to the geographical borders of Palestine, but the kingdom of God is as far as the east is from the west for every Tongan tribe and nation. And so we have this keen interest in the gospel to the Gentiles. Now there's a little quiz in the New Testament who was the apostle to the Gentiles.

Did Christ call out and specifically task to be the apostle to the junta. He was a Jew educated you.

In fact, the most educated Jew in Palestine Saul of Tarsus and the apostle Paul was given the mission to go to the ends of the earth to take the gospel beyond Judea and Samaria and Galilee, and Asia minor to Rome to Greece to all these different places and one of his companions on his missionary journeys just happened to be the author of the Gospel according to St. Luke and so we say why does Luke and his genealogy not stop with Abraham. Why does he go to who is the representative of the whole human race. What Luke is doing right here in the third chapter before he begins the account of Jesus public ministry is introducing Jesus whose infancy he has recorded with all this great information that is given us as the Savior of the world of Jew and Gentile. Here's another little pedantic point but I don't think it's so insignificant. We asked why does Luke take the genealogy all the way to Adam well obviously it's for what our just said to show that the gospel is not just for the Jews, but for Gentiles as well, but I'm going to suggest there's another reason in here. This would get me a lot of debate in the theological world because nowhere in Luke's gospel does Luke ever mention the role of Jesus as the new Adam as the second Adam, which is so important to the teaching of the apostle Paul, but here Luke mentions Jesus dissent from the first Adam and it's inconceivable to me that one. Paul and Luke were carrying on their missionary journeys that were the tall wooden live had discussions with Luke about the significance of Jesus as the new Adam to redeem us from the failure of the first Adam and so by looking at the genealogies we get a hint we get a little glimpse of Luke's concern and I like to think that his version is from Mary side of the family, but I can't prove that beyond a shadow of a doubt that one of the chief objections to that is that genealogies were not Women because among the Jews. It was always concerned with the manuals and it's been said that the gospel of Luke is the ladies home Journal of the Bible.

One of the things that's peculiar to Luke's gospel is that he has more references to Jesus dealing with women than any of the other gospel. So the Jesus is not just the Savior of the Jews is not just the Savior of the Gentiles is not just the Savior of Madden. Please also the Savior of women.

All of this implied but not explained in the genealogy of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Finally, one thing about which Lucas so so concern is the historical reality of the person and work of Christ, the presence of this extended genealogy that Luke provides going beyond the limits of what Matthew gives us underscores in red Luke's concern that the history and the account that he is given is not of a mythological figure who lives up somewhere in the mythological realm of Mount Olympus, but is one who came in space and in time and date in the fullness of time to be our Savior. And when he finishes the genealogy he moves them quickly to test that Jesus faces, even as the first Adam was tempted in the garden. So now the new Adam is tempted by Satan in the so there is a reason why the genealogy that we read in Luke's gospel goes all the way back to Adam Dr. RC Sproul's message today is from a comprehensive sermon series that he preached at St. Andrews Chapel. The churchy copastor for many years and each Lord's day, we returned to the series here on Renewing Your Mind with thankful for Dr. Sproles careful study and you can find this same detail in his commentary on Luke's gospel.

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Next Sunday we turn to chapter 4 in Luke's gospel where we will learn about Jesus encounter with Satan in the wilderness. Join us for the message titled, the temptation of Jesus here on Renewing Your Mind