Chapter 9 begins: “So all Israel was recorded in genealogies, and these are written in the Book of the Kings of Israel” (9:1). Real families. Real people. Real experiences. The Bible is different from other “holy books” in so many ways! One great difference is that the Bible is largely narrative. It tells a story, the story of God’s promises and their fulfillment, the story of human sin and God’s redemption. Every year we read the Bible, we find ourselves immersed in this narrative and, though there are sections that can seem tedious for reading (Can anyone say “genealogies?” 😊), even these are so significant. The New Testament begins with Matthew recording the genealogy of Jesus, the Messiah.
The last entry in Jesus’ family genealogy reads: “and Jacob the father of Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom Jesus was born, who is called Christ” (Matthew 1:16). Ah! The descendant of Abraham! The son of David! The one whose name was called “Jesus!” “When Joseph woke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him: he took his wife, but knew her not until she had given birth to a son. And he called his name Jesus” (Matthew 1:24-25). The stories and the history and the genealogies . . . well, they are about this Jesus.
There is no name so sweet on earth,
no name so sweet in heaven,
the name before his wondrous birth
to Christ the Savior given.
We love to sing around our King,
and hail him blessed Jesus;
for there's no word ear ever heard
so dear, so sweet as “Jesus.” -- George W. Bethune (1858)