Matthew was the consummate Jewish evangelist. He had come to faith in Jesus and now had a burden to see his Jewish brothers and sisters come to the same saving faith. As a Jewish man, he understood just what it would take to convince his people. It started with proving that this man Jesus, who the Jewish people would know as Yeshua, fulfilled the required prophecies. First and foremost, he had to establish the proper lineage.
Of all of the prophecies regarding the Messiah, there were two that had to precede the rest. First, the Messiah had to be Jewish, a descendant of Abraham through Isaac and Jacob. Second, he had to be a descendant of David in order to sit on his throne as king. Matthew begins his proof with the statement, “The record of the genealogy of Jesus the Messiah, the son of David, the son of Abraham” (Matthew 1:1). It is interesting to note that the only other genealogy of Jesus is found in the Gospel of Luke, who takes His lineage all the way back to God. For the Jewish people, it was a given that God was the ultimate creator. It was more important to show that the Messiah was a descendant of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and thus Jewish, and that He had the right to sit on the throne of David.
God promised Abraham not once, but twice, that through his seed all the nations of the earth would be blessed (Genesis 12:3; 18:22). Through Jacob, God promised that the rule of Israel would be forever in the hand of the tribe of Judah (Genesis 49:10). And He promised King David, “…your throne shall be established forever” (2 Samuel 7:19). At this season for remembering His birth, Matthew teaches us that even Jesus’ lineage is the fulfillment of prophecy, as it was written.