Who Did I Come From? And Does it Even Matter?

Emma VanDeVelde
header for Who Did I Come From? And Does it Even Matter?

The Grandfather Effect is a gripping new storytelling podcast from Moody Radio’s Brian Dahlen. The podcast follows Dahlen’s family and their rocky road from relational brokenness to reconciliation. The seven-episode series takes you on an emotional journey into their secrets, faith, sins, and attempts at forgiveness. You can listen here.

Let’s go back in time for a second: Spring. Second grade. Sunday school. At this point, you’re getting into a groove in your short, little life. You have friends that you’ve been in class with since kindergarten. Your mom lets you pick out what shirt you want to wear to church (blue stripes of course). You’re getting pretty good at school and really good at reading.

The Genealogy of Jesus

So what do you do when the teacher asks if someone can read Matthew 1 out loud? You raise your hand, of course! You know what’s up. You graduated from The Beginner’s Bible after the first grade! You take a big breath…and begin.

“Verse one. The record of the genealogy of Jesus the Messiah, the Son of David, the Son of Abraham”

Okay, okay. Not too bad. You’ve heard this passage around Christmas time, and your dad told you that a “genealogy” is different from the “Genie” that you saw in Aladdin last week. You remember how to say it.

However, as you continue reading, you come to a scary realization. You don’t know ANY of these names. Where did all of these “Z’s” come from? Who in the world is Perez? Rehoboam? Zerubbabel?! Your hands start to sweat, and you read as fast as you can so that no one will notice that you have no idea what you are saying. You come to verse 16.

“Jacob was the father of Joseph the husband of Mary, by whom Jesus was born, who is called the Messiah.”

Phew. Some familiar players. Mary and Joseph. I know the parents of Jesus. After all, everything comes back to Him, right?!

Ok, reader. You can come back to modern times now.

Ever been there? Maybe not as a second grader, but have you ever been tempted to skip over the genealogies laid out in scripture? Maybe because you don’t know the stories of the people it discusses? Maybe because you don’t see how those people could be relevant to the life of Jesus? Or maybe out of fear?

Even more than today, family of origin mattered in the ancient near east. Names mattered. Lineage was paramount in evaluating the life of a person, which provides weight to the question in John 1, “What good could come from Nazareth?”

We can see in Scripture the weight of the Prince of Peace, King of Kings, the Messiah born to a virgin and a carpenter’s son. Born into humility. Identifying Himself as lowly and gentle.

There is weight to this…weight to the lineage through which Jesus entered the world.

Our Genealogies

So if this is the case with Jesus, is it with all of us too? Does our genealogy matter? Does it matter who we’ve come from and who will come after us? Have you considered how your genealogy – your people and places – have determined who you are? Have you considered the mental, physical, and spiritual implications of where and who you came from?

In the first episode of The Grandfather Effect we hear Brian ask why his Grandfather disowned his family and how this affected who he has become. The mystery sparks a curiosity, not only concerning what transpired, but how these events formed him.

As you listen to the episode, reflect and pray over the following questions…

  1. Who is my family both spiritually and otherwise?
  2. How has being a part of my family formed me into who I am?
  3. Are there patterns in my family that God needs to redeem? If so, where do I begin asking God for help?
For Further Reading:

Parenting With Scripture

by Kara Durbin

Train your child in the way he or she should go, moment-by-moment with God’s Word. Parenting with Scripture is an easy-to-use...

book cover for Parenting With Scripture