Mary and the genealogies of Jesus – All of Mary

Learn a little more about the genealogies of Jesus Christ from the gospels of Saint Matthew and Saint Luke and discover how the Virgin Mary fits into them.

In this article, we answer Marcelo’s question regarding the genealogy of Jesus Christ, son of the Virgin Mary. The issue has its greatest difficulty in the fact that the genealogies of Jesus in the gospels according to Saint Matthew and Saint Luke do not mention Our Lady, but Saint Joseph as an ascendant of Jesus Christ. First, here’s the reader’s question:

God said, in the Old Testament, that Jesus would be a descendant of David and in the Bible we find that Saint Joseph was from the lineage of King David. How can we explain, to those who do not believe, that Mary Most Holy was also a descendant of David and that the Promise of God was fully fulfilled through Our Lady and without using genetic material from Saint Joseph?

The differences between the genealogies of Saint Matthew and Saint Luke

Regarding the two genealogies of Jesus Christ, Saint Matthew and Saint Luke, there are exegetes who claim that one of them is the genealogy of Saint Joseph and the other of the Virgin Mary. However, there is no proof of this thesis in the Scriptures. It is true that, according to Jewish Law, a man should take a woman from his own tribe or family (cf. Nm 36, 6.8). Therefore, it is possible that the Virgin Mary is also a descendant of David, like her husband Saint Joseph. However, we also do not have reliable sources in the Bible or in the Tradition of the Church that confirm this thesis.

When comparing the two genealogies, we see that there are significant differences between them. These differences are not explainable in the way we understand what a genealogy is today.

We are clearly facing a literary genre that seeks to discover a deeper meaning in history, which concerns the People of Israel and Christ, rather than reconstructing a well-documented family tree. Therefore, there is no concern about coherence between the two genealogies.

The theological meaning of the genealogies of Jesus Christ

Saint Matthew titles his genealogy: “Genealogy of Jesus Christ, son of David, son of Abraham” (Mt 1, 1). His intention is to illuminate not only the Hebrew origin of Jesus, calling him “son of Abraham”, but also his messianic character, that is, his connection with the great King of Israel: “son of David”.

By meditating on these characters, we understand why this passage of the Gospel, apparently dry and similar to a list of unknown names, is cherished and transparent for the Jewish-Christian reader. We also understand that the Evangelist’s intention was not to carry out detailed research into Jesus’ ancestors, but – using the history of Israel and its fundamental stages – to reveal the meaning of the figure of Jesus Christ within the salvation history of Israel. humanity.

We should not be surprised by the differences in Luke’s genealogy (3, 23-38), which does not occur at the birth of Jesus, as in Matthew, but at the beginning of His public ministry. Furthermore, in Luke’s Gospel we have an “ascending” genealogy, that is, one that starts from Jesus – “who was considered the son of Joseph” (v. 23) – to reach not only Abraham, as in Matthew , but even Adam. The last sequence in the genealogical chain is God himself: “son of God” (v. 38).

The Evangelist’s intention is not to present the ramifications of Christ’s family, but his intention is theological. Using materials from the history of Israel and sources difficult to identify, Luke wants to emphasize that salvation is directed to all men, when referring to Adam, and the divinity of Jesus Christ, when he calls Adam “son of God”.

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Continuity and rupture with the Old Testament

Regardless of the uncertainties and controversies that these and other interpretations may create, the fact is that it is not possible to say, from the Holy Scriptures, that Saint Joseph was the biological father of Jesus Christ, as some claim. In Luke, it is clear that Saint Joseph was “considered” (cf. Lk 3:23) by the Jews as the father of Jesus and not his legitimate father. Luke leaves no doubt that the Son of Mary is also “Son of the Most High” (Luke 1:32).

In Matthew, we see that the word “begat” runs through the entire genealogy: “Abraham begot Isaac. Isaac begot Jacob. Jacob begot Judah Jacob begot Joseph, husband of Mary, from whom Jesus was born, who is called Christ” (Mt 1, 1-16). However, at the end of the genealogy there is a break in the narrative. Matthew does not say that Joseph fathered Jesus, but only that from his wife, the Virgin of Nazareth, the Christ was born, that is, the Messiah expected by the Jews. This Gospel was written for Christians of Jewish origin and for them it is clear that Jesus Christ is the Messiah, but, at the same time, there is something new: Our Lady, the Immaculate Virgin, “conceived by virtue of the Holy Spirit” (Mt. 1, 18).

In the Gospel according to Matthew, we also see that there is no concern to show a family tree of virtuous people, as anyone would like to do. On the contrary, the Evangelist makes a point of showing that there are sinners in the descendants of Jesus Christ. He mentions that Salmon fathered Booz from the prostitute Rahab (cf. Mt 1:5); it says that King David fathered Solomon from Bathsheba, who was the wife of Uriah (cf. Mt 1:6). It is clear that Saint Matthew wants to show that there is continuity with the Old Testament and, at the same time, a rupture: Jesus Christ is the messiah expected by the Jews, from the descendants of Abraham and David, but he came into the world in an unexpected way . The Son of God became incarnate in the womb of the Virgin Mary, breaking with the descendants heir to Adam’s sin, to generate a new offspring: the children of the Immaculate One, of the new Eve, who are the descendants of Jesus Christ, the new Adam.

This was another article from the new theme: “Questions and Answers”, from the Todo de Maria blog. We invite you to participate by sending your question or topic suggestion for our posts. Thank you in advance for your participation! We also thank you, our readers, and we take this opportunity to ask you to share our content, so that the Virgin Mary is increasingly known and loved and, consequently, Jesus Christ is better known and loved.

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