Why is the genealogy of Jesus so important? Matthew 1:1-17

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Small Group Guide:

Open with prayer.

Go around and give everyone a chance to share about how the past week has been. What’s one highlight? What’s one lowlight?

If your small group has talked about it before, feel free to use this time to hold people accountable to what they’ve asked to be held accountable for previously, and go through the “missional” part of this discussion guide.

The Genealogy of Jesus Christ

The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham.

Abraham was the father of Isaac, and Isaac the father of Jacob, and Jacob the father of Judah and his brothers, and Judah the father of Perez and Zerah by Tamar, and Perez the father of Hezron, and Hezron the father of Ram,[a] and Ram the father of Amminadab, and Amminadab the father of Nahshon, and Nahshon the father of Salmon, and Salmon the father of Boaz by Rahab, and Boaz the father of Obed by Ruth, and Obed the father of Jesse, and Jesse the father of David the king.

And David was the father of Solomon by the wife of Uriah, and Solomon the father of Rehoboam, and Rehoboam the father of Abijah, and Abijah the father of Asaph,[b] and Asaph the father of Jehoshaphat, and Jehoshaphat the father of Joram, and Joram the father of Uzziah, and Uzziah the father of Jotham, and Jotham the father of Ahaz, and Ahaz the father of Hezekiah,10 and Hezekiah the father of Manasseh, and Manasseh the father of Amos,[c] and Amos the father of Josiah, 11 and Josiah the father of Jechoniah and his brothers, at the time of the deportation to Babylon.

12 And after the deportation to Babylon: Jechoniah was the father of Shealtiel,[d] and Shealtiel the father of Zerubbabel, 13 and Zerubbabel the father of Abiud, and Abiud the father of Eliakim, and Eliakim the father of Azor, 14 and Azor the father of Zadok, and Zadok the father of Achim, and Achim the father of Eliud, 15 and Eliud the father of Eleazar, and Eleazar the father of Matthan, and Matthan the father of Jacob, 16 and Jacob the father of Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom Jesus was born, who is called Christ.

17 So all the generations from Abraham to David were fourteen generations, and from David to the deportation to Babylon fourteen generations, and from the deportation to Babylon to the Christ fourteen generations.



Have you ever started reading the Bible, only to get to a long, boring list of names? Worse yet, when you do start to read the names, most of them are completely foreign to you! Today, we look at the list of names that Matthew, inspired by the Holy Spirit, starts off his account of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. 


Message Outline:


By taking a look at this genealogy of Jesus, we are reminded of: 


1. We are reminded of God’s promises.
Matt. 1:2, Gen. 12:3, 18:18, 22:18, 26:4, 28:14, Phil. 4:19, Rom. 8:28, 1 John 1:9
2. We are reminded that Jesus is king.
Matt. 1:1, 6, Rev. 17:14, 19:16, Acts 17:7, John 14:6, 1 Tim. 2:5
3. We are reminded that Jesus is the fulfillment of prophesy.
Matt. 1:17, 5:17-18, Luke 24:4, Is. 7:14, 9:6-7, 53:1-12
4. We are reminded that God uses people of all people.
Matt. 1:3-6, 2 Pet. 3:9, 1 Tim. 2:4, 4:10, Titus 2:11



Reflecting on God’s Word


Getting Started

  • Have you ever come across a genealogy before in Scripture? What was your attitude towards it? Did you read through it, or did you skip past it? 
  • Did you have any idea that genealogies could hold such important information? 
  • Read 2 Timothy 3:16 and Hebrews 4:12. In the future, how can you have a better attitude towards genealogies that are found in God’s Word?


Diving In 

Read Matthew 1:1-2. Abraham was the beginning of the nation of Israel, and Matthew, led by the Holy Spirit to do so, makes it well known that Jesus comes from the lineage of Abraham. Why do you think that is so important? 

  • By showing us that Jesus comes from Abraham’s lineage, Matthew reminds us of God’s promise to Abraham. Read Genesis 12:3, 18:18, 22:18, 26:4, and 28:14. How does remembering that help you in your faith? Which of God’s promises do you need to remember better?


Read Matthew 1:1 and 1:6. Similarly to pointing out how Jesus is in the lineage of Abraham, Matthew shows us that Jesus is also in the lineage of King David. Why do you think that is so important? 

  • By showing us that Jesus comes from David’s lineage, Matthew reminds us that Jesus is King. How would remembering that help you to glorify God better in your life? 


Read Matthew 1:17. Matthew points to the fact that Jesus is a fulfillment of Old Testament prophecy. Why would that have been important to his original audience? 

  • How does realizing that Jesus is the fulfillment of prophecy change the way you read the Old Testament? 
  • While reading the bible, have you ever realized when the Old Testament is foreshadowing Jesus?


Read Matthew 1:3-6. Almost all of the people that Matthew lists in the genealogy of Jesus are men. However, in addition to Jesus’ earthly mother, there are 4 women mentioned. Why do you think they were mentioned? 

  • If you don’t know much about these 4 women that are mentioned in Jesus’ genealogy, take some time and read about them in Genesis 38, Joshua 2, Ruth 1-2, and 2 Samuel 11-12. 
  • What are some common characteristics of these 4 women? 
  • Why do you think Matthew was led by the Holy Spirit to include  these 4 specific women in Jesus’ genealogy? 


Applying the Scripture

What are your biggest takeaways from this passage of God’s Word? 

  • What practical step(s) do you need to implement in your life to apply what God has taught you in this passage of Scripture? 
  • How would applying this affect your life and your relationship with the Lord? 
  • Who can you ask to keep you accountable to applying this to your life?




Prayer Time:

Pray for each other in your small group to be faithful take the step(s) that you shared above. Pray for each other and the interactions that they have with those who don’t know Jesus. Pray that God would soften the people’s hearts to what He has for them. Pray that God would give everyone opportunities to share the Gospel.

Staying Missional:

Share spiritual/missional conversations you’ve had where you live, work, and play:

Who did you have a conversation with that took a spiritual/missional turn this week?
What questions did you ask to discover where God is at work in their life, even if they are not aware?
How were you able to share your story of life change or how you have experienced Jesus?
How can you be intentional this week with people where you live, work, and play to have spiritual/missional conversations if the opportunity arises?
Who in your life do you think could be discipleable or open to spiritual/missional conversations?

What’s next?

Discuss the next step for your small group. When will we gather again and what purpose will it fulfill?