Contradiction #3 – Who is the ‘Father of Joseph’?

MAT 1:16 And Jacob begat Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus, who is called Christ.

LUK 3:23 And Jesus himself began to be about thirty years of age, being (as was supposed) the son of Joseph, which was the son of Heli.

It seems that even among Christian scholars there is some ambiguity. Most of the timelines, commentaries and recent research show Luke to record the genealogy of Mary. and Matthew records the genealogy of Joseph. There’s a few reasons why people come to that conclusion (some of which are relatively convincing), but it seems that nothing adds up more than speculation.

So what are the speculations? One is that Matthew’s linage stem’s back to King David through Solomon and therefore satisfies the Old Testament prophecy requirements that the Messiah would be an heir of David. This is the legal application.

But actually by blood Jesus came from King David’s other son, Nathan. While this wasn’t the royal line of Kings, Jesus still come from the body of David. This second line is supposed to be recorded through Mary’s genealogy. So the implication of that is Mary and Joseph were in fact related 14 (i think) times removed.

So the question stands “Why didn’t Luke record ‘being the son of Mary, the daughter of Heli’ or ‘being the son of Joseph, the son-in-law of Heli”? The short answer is: it is seemingly unimportant to Christians because the main character of the story is Jesus. No one asks who Neo’s parents are in The Matrix.

But the long answer would involve going to extra-biblical references. It requires an understanding of the importance of genealogies in the first century context.  I think none of the above solutions are adequate, and place things upon the text that aren’t actually there to be read.

Grant Osborne, writes “Examining each genealogy closely reveals the authors’ different purposes. Matthew’s list resembles those used by rulers to justify their rank and status, and by families to determine connections to a common ancestor. Matthew arranges his genealogy into three groups of 14 names each. In Jewish gematria–a kind of numerology stemming from the fact that letters of the Hebrew alphabet were also numbers-names have numerical value. The three consonants for David add up to 14. So Matthew underscores Jesus’ kingly ancestry by working in groups of David, or 14.”

Matthew believed that the most effective and convincing way of recording the genealogy was to engage his audience with things they were passionate about. Matthew’s goal is to portray Jesus as the saviour, by pointing the reader back to Old Testament scripture and prophecy. On the one hand seems trivial to the 21st century reader, and it reminds us of really bad bible interpretation, and we feel that somehow the author is about to predict a date for the end of the world based on numerology. But on the other hand we must realise that for the author and his primary audience it was incredibly important and relevant.

Grant Osborne also observes Luke’s account: “Luke, on the other hand, begins his genealogy with “the Son, so it was thought, of Joseph” (3:23), and concludes with “the son of God” (3:38). At Jesus’ baptism, God declares Jesus “my Son” (3:22), and Jesus’ temptation begins with Satan recognizing him as “the Son of God” (4:3). Placed between Jesus’ baptism and temptation, Luke’s genealogy is meant to proclaim that Jesus is, indeed, God’s only Son.”

He goes on to say that Luke doesn’t group the names like Matthew, so is less concerned with the Jewish traditions. Luke does however place a strong emphasis on Jesus’ humanity by placing more common, unheard of names in the family tree. He also goes back to Adam suggesting that Jesus came for all mankind. Finishing with Adam, he moves straight into the temptation of Jesus. With Adam in the background of the readers mind, it is clear that he is using a literary technique to show that Jesus came to do what Adam could not.

In regards to the contradiction of genealogies, I hope you can see past the shallow view of the sceptic, and see that in accommodating humanity God has given us diversity in the scriptures whilst still remaining faithful to the truth. Mathew is pointing to a saviour, Luke is pointing to the one who can do what the first Son of God (Adam) could not. JESUS!

(Grant Osborne’s full article is: Christianity Today, Dec2009, Vol. 53 Issue 12, p56-56, 1p)

Kids are: Disciples in training. Not disciples in waiting.

When I started working at Creek Road Presbyterian Church I was reluctant to enter kids ministry. I felt it was a long way from where I wanted to serve. I’m so glad that I gave it a shot. In fact I have found it to be a time of great growth in my own spiritual journey.

Last term I had a great opportunity to do a Kids Talk as a guest at a Korean Presbyterian Church in Brisbane. It was totally awesome to see such a great community of kids all meeting together and being overly enthusiastic about learning God’s Word.

The Pastor, Matthew Kim, while introducing me raised just his pinky finger and said “You are little disciples”. It was really encouraging that those kids are learning what it means to share their faith at such a young age. Encouraging them to share the gospel and training them for a lifetime of ministry. (Sorry QTC…)

This is a video that was shown at our church earlier this year, and it really speaks for itself.

The children that are in your life are the church of tomorrow. What are you doing to encourage them to be the spiritual leaders that they need to be? These children will be the ones who pass Christ’s church on to future generations.

For more information on this video, or similar resources check out http://www.wymad.org.uk/

The Façade of Prosperity

You may or may not have heard the term prosperity Gospel. So what is it? In a nutshell, it is a message that portrays a God that promises health, wealth and prosperity based on our obedience. It swindles the good news that the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ was an act of salvation, and it places emphasis on a lie which tells people that God has promised them financial security and physical health.

 

As I have mentioned elsewhere I think that John Piper is a reliable source of biblical wisdom. Below is a video of his strong opinions of false teachings about the message of Jesus Christ. Below that, I have included some links to video sermons of people who, in my opinion, are selling an adulterated gospel message.


Here are a couple of video sermons from well-known preachers that clearly promote a gospel of prosperity. I pray that we will all guard ourselves from this teaching. Please excuse some of these videos in the fact that their up-loader has placed text and audio overtures on them. My goal is not to NAME AND SHAME these people, but rather I encourage you to join me in prayer that these highly influential ministers of Christ will see the truth in His message and will turn away from a message that downplays the true treasures that are found in Christ.

 

 

Look for the lack of scripture proofs, the emotional buy in and the adulterated gospel message. ie: the gospel message is “Be fruitful and multiply”… it makes me cringe.

What defines you? To whose family do you belong? Part 2

[Just a quick edit, if you didn’t read Part one, you can do so by clicking here ]

So, I was sitting in a chapel at the Army Recruit Training Centre in Kapooka, NSW. I was listening to the Padré retell a story of how Jesus and his disciples went from town to town sharing the good news about God’s Son. Read more What defines you? To whose family do you belong? Part 2

How well do you know the Gospel Message of Christ?

There are DIY guides to access the afterlife, 10 ways to perfection, 7 gospel truths, 2 ways to live, 1 way not to live and a really painful headache at the end of all that reading. Sigh. Why is the most influential and life changing story of mankind so simple yet so hard to understand? Wouldn’t it be easier if God wrote it down somewhere? Lucky for us, he did. Read more How well do you know the Gospel Message of Christ?