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Christmas and The Scarlet Thread

“The record of the genealogy of Jesus the Messiah . . .” (Matthew 1:1)




With modern technology, it’s amazing how many ways we can trace our ancestry. We can do it by using various websites where we lose ourselves for hours tracing the line of our family. There are resources where a drop of blood or saliva can unlock the ethnic roots of our distant past, telling us about our family lineage. It would appear from just these two popular resources that our personal history is extremely important.

In the Book of Matthew, we find that the ancestry of Jesus is extremely important. The first verse read, “The record of the genealogy of Jesus the Messiah, the son of David, the son of Abraham” (NASB). In this specific genealogy, Matthew begins with Abraham (through the nation of Israel, cf. Gen. 12:2) and the Son of David (underscoring the promise given by God that David’s greater Son, would physically rule over a united Israel in the future, cf. 2 Sam. 7:8—16). Matthew then goes through great pains to trace out what has been called by many “the scarlet thread,” the physical ancestral line of the Messiah who was to be born (Matt. 1:2—17). This is Messiah who through His death, burial, and resurrection the world would receive the forgiveness of sins. Matthew’s tracing of His genealogy was important to the Jewish people, proving by genealogy that He was indeed the Promised One sent to them.

As we surround ourselves with immediate and extended family this Christmas season let us remember the family line of “the scarlet thread” of the One who through His death, burial, and resurrection has given us the greatest gift: the forgiveness of sins and peace with God. Amen.

Soli Deo Gloria!


Dr. Luther Smith, Program Director of the Undergraduate Biblical Counseling Department