How can Jesus be the Son of David when he's not Joseph's biological son?
by Questioning Christian
As you pointed out, we know for a fact that Jesus is not Joseph's biological son, Luke 3:23, but we cannot overlook the possibility that Joseph and Jesus were distantly related blood relatives through sharing some common ancestors in the lineage of King David. Your question assumes something we don't know and cannot prove, that Jesus was not a blood relative of Joseph. I believe Jesus was related by blood to Joseph although Joseph was not the biological father of Jesus.
Matthew and Luke's genealogies are presented for a practical purpose, to show us the real humanity of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. He was truly God yet He was also truly human. Matthew 1:1 tells us this is "the book of the generation of Jesus Christ." Although Matthew 1:16 seems to indicate that this is the genealogy of Joseph (the legal but not the biological father of Jesus), we approach the question with God's assurance that this is "The book of the generation of Jesus Christ."
That is enough for us to trust the accuracy of the genealogy, that it IS indeed the genealogy of Jesus' human ancestors. Because of their similarities then, both Matthew and Luke give the genealogy of Jesus.
Luke 3:23 seems to indicate that Dr. Luke is giving the genealogy of Joseph although some understand Luke to be giving Mary's genealogy. Luke carefully parses his words so that readers understand Joseph is not the biological father of Jesus, Luke 3:23.
Matthew, Luke and God were no doubt well aware that presenting these genealogies this way would raise questions. Therefore Matthew and Luke were careful to also indicate that Jesus is Messiah, God in the flesh, Matthew 1:23, Luke 1:35, 47.
Here are the facts we have
Something to consider:
- God tells us that Matthew's genealogy IS the generation of Jesus Christ, Matthew 1:1.
- Since Matthew and Luke's genealogies are similar, we know that both genealogies trace the human Jewish lineage of Jesus based on Matthew 1:1.
- Since Joseph is not the biological father of Jesus, Luke 3:23, how do Matthew and Luke's genealogy relate to Jesus?
- We know that Jesus is the biological son of Mary, Matthew 1:16, Luke 2:16.
- We can't prove that Jesus is not a distant blood relative of Joseph.
- The most plausible explanation of the genealogies is that Mary and Joseph were distant blood relatives, related to each other through their common descent from King David.
- As blood relatives, they shared some of the same relatives, some of the same bloodlines and therefore similar genealogies. So Matthew 1 and Luke 3 give the genealogy of Mary, Joseph and Jesus as God intended us to have it.
Some Bible teachers work it out this way. God made an unconditional and everlasting covenant with David in 2 Samuel 7:10ff.; see also Jeremiah 33:7ff., Ezekiel 37:14-28, note particularly v. 26. That covenant was temporarily interrupted when God set aside King Jeconiah, Jeremiah 22:28-30, 33:20-26.
Jesus had legal right
to the the throne of His father David through his step-father Joseph, via Matthew's genealogy. The covenant right
of Jesus to sit on the throne of David is established through Mary, via Luke's genealogy.
These explanations (1) fit all the facts given in scripture without questioning the trustworthiness of scripture, (2) preserve the clear teaching of scripture that Jesus was virgin born without a man being involved, Matthew 1:23, Luke 1:34, and (3) answer your question: How can Jesus be the son of David? Click here to add your comments.
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