We Come from a Long Line of Love (Luke 3:23-38). Genealogies are and this genealogy is a part of the Bible we usually skip or scan over wondering why in the world they are even in there. They don’t seem important to us because our culture is not in tune with the importance of heritage and much less the need for godly heritage. But, realize there are some people who do not know who their parents are. Let me ask you how many can go back to your ancestor who first came to America? Perhaps your ancestors were Native Americans. How far back can you go? On my Father’s side I can go back to 1750 (close to 300 years). They could go back a thousands of years.


We Come from a Long Line of Love (Luke 3:23-38)

by Pastor Delbert Young


Sermon video

We Come from a Long Line of Love – Genealogy

Scriptures: 2 Timothy 3:16-17; Deuteronomy 7:9; Luke 3:23; Luke 3:23; Ephesians 1:5; Luke 3:31; 2 Samuel 7:11-13; Luke 3:34; Genesis 12:1-3; Galatians 3:16; Luke 3:36; Luke 3:38; 1 Corinthians 15:45-47; Revelation 21:27

Today we will talk about the genealogy of Jesus. After Jesus was baptized by John the baptizer, God the Holy Spirit descended on Jesus, and Father God spoke declaring Jesus his beloved son, Luke sites the genealogy. That seems a strange place to put the genealogy, or does it? Luke recorded seventy-six names (thirty-eight can’t be found any place else in the scriptures). Many are names difficult, for me impossible, to pronounce. It’s like a page out of an ancient phone book. I know you can’t wait for me to attempt to read the genealogy and all the “begats,” so let me first share a scripture with you.

2 Timothy 3:16-17 ALL SCRIPTURE is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.

So, don’t skip the genealogy. This lesson will be profitable for you. There’s gold in the genealogy. I remember the first time reading through the Bible and coming to genealogies. I was so intent on reading the entire Bible, I forced myself to read and attempted to pronounce every name. It was torture, but I did it. Delbert, did you say there is gold in the genealogy?

Genealogies are a part of the Bible we usually skip or scan over wondering why in the world they are even in there. They don’t seem important to us because our culture is not in tune with the importance of heritage and much less the need for godly heritage. But, realize there are some people who do not know who their parents are.

Let me ask you how many can go back to your ancestor who first came to America? Perhaps your ancestors were Native Americans. How far back can you go? On my Father’s side I can go back to 1750 (261 years). On my Mother’s side I can only go back to 1870 (141 years). My Mother’s side came to America through Canada from England and Ireland. I haven’t found yet from where my Father’s side came. Do you know why I don’t know and can’t find out? It’s because my ancestors didn’t think it was important.

In the days of the Bible, my knowing only 261 years about my genealogy would be a disgrace to my ancestors. I think it is today. I can only go back six generations. Jesus could go back seventy-five. Until me, no one knew much about us. I began searching years back. Before ancestry.com, Judy and I drove to Atlanta, drove to Indiana, searched newspapers, wrote letters and emails, and did all we knew to do. Recently, I learned someone in our church was good with ancestry.com. I got them to help me. I’ve since given all the information I’ve acquired to my children. I want them to know. It’s important to me. I want my grandchildren for generations to know who I was.

I want to make a point. If you didn’t, why didn’t you send pictures of your ancestry for the video just shown? I know you love your mom, dad, and grandparents, but if that’s as far back as you go then you don’t know who you are? How do you know your identity? Even if your ancestors were not so good, it’s valuable to know. Jesus had some rough, sinful ancestors. If your family was full of adultery, hate, addiction, divorce, and bad stuff, it’s valuable to know. I’m thinking of a family that came from some of that. Knowing it they said, “It stops here. We are not going to be them,” and they are not. They knew what to look for and exactly how the enemy attacked their ancestors. Knowing your past identity is important in working out who you want to become. “Well, who are you? Who, Who, Who, Who? I really want to know.” Do you? (Song by the Who)

In Bible times knowing ancestry was an establishing part of a person’s identity. People lived and remained closer. Today, because of fractured families through divorce, ease of travel, people moving, displacement, etc., people lose much of their identities and don’t know much about who they are. That’s not all bad. For example, how many are happy an ancestor moved to America? However, the bad part is most Americans have lost their identities.

There are some great things to learn, appreciate, and apply from the genealogies in the Bible. The first is we see how God is faithful and works generational.

Deuteronomy 7:9 KNOW THEREFORE that the LORD your God is God; he is the faithful God, keeping HIS COVENANT OF LOVE TO A THOUSAND GENERATIONS of those who love him and keep his commands.

We come from a long line of love and because Judy and I love God and keep his commands, the same God who has been faithful to love Judy and me will be faithful to love our children, their children, our great grandchildren, and on and on for a thousand generations. I learned my Great Grandmother Susan was a Holy Ghost filled woman. Now, here I am a Holy Ghost preacher. I have and cherish my Grandfather’s marked up Bible and his personal hymnal. One day, one of my grandchildren will cherish my Bible. Judy’s Grandfather was a God loving man. We will leave our children and grandchildren a little wealth, but the greatest gift we can leave them is our covenant of love with God.

Another thing we learn from genealogies is the contribution a person makes to their generation might not be the greatest lineage contribution. What I mean is we know nothing about most of those in the lineage of Jesus. It appears they contributed nothing. Some we know a small amount, and a few we know much. However, the primary reason for every single person, no matter what they contributed, was to bring Jesus. A man named Joda (Luk3:26) is as important and contributed just as much as King David (Luk 3:31) in that regard. The important thing is, knowing someone ahead of me may have done nothing spectacular, but they did make it possible for me to be here and to me and my children, they contributed plenty. Also, knowing my being here will make it possible for someone a thousand years from now to live is a great contribution I make and who knows, some place down my lineage, someone great might come. If I do my contribution correctly, I will be a part of Christ filling the planet. How proud I will be when they look back for me and say, “My Great, Great, Great, Great, Great Grandfather Delbert was a good man. He loved God. He loved his family. He was a preacher. I’ve listened to some of his sermons and read some stuff he wrote. I’m proud of my Grandfather Delbert. I’m here, have my identity, and covenant of love with God because of him.” When your generations look back at you what will they say?

Luke 3:23 Now Jesus himself was about thirty years old when he began his ministry. He was the son, SO IT WAS THOUGHT, OF JOSEPHTHE SON OF HELI

I will deal with this quickly and you can research it more on your own. Matthew’s and Luke’s genealogies of Jesus differ until we get to David. After David, they are the same. Why? Luke makes it clear with “he was the son, so it was thought, of Joseph.” Of course, we all know Jesus wasn’t Joseph’s son and Joseph’s father was not Heli. It was a man named Jacob. Heli was Mary’s father. Read it this way:

Luke 3:23 Now Jesus himself was about thirty years old when he began his ministry. He was the son, SO IT WAS THOUGHT, OF JOSEPH{but actually} the son of Heli

That makes sense to me. Jesus had to come through David and did, but then through David’s son Nathan, a brother of Solomon also from Bathsheba. Luke gives us the actual lineage of Jesus through Mary and her father Heli. I’m only touching this for some of you theologians who would question me if I didn’t answer the difference. We all should realize we learn interesting things about ourselves if we will search. I bet we all had a David and Bathsheba back there somewhere.

A beautiful point needing to be made is righteous Joseph adopted Jesus, protected him, and provided for him. I think of some of you men who married a single mom with a child or children. How amazing you are! Just as Joseph, you gave those children a great dad. You’ve loved them, protected them, and provided for them. You’re amazing. Also, if you, or someone you know cannot become pregnant think about adoption. Relate to the life of Jesus. After all, we are all adopted by Father God.

Ephesians 1:5 he predestined us to be ADOPTED AS HIS SONS through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will

Adoption is at the very core of Christianity because it’s at the very core of Jesus.

Jesus was about thirty years old when he began his ministry. I actually began my ministry around that time. I taught and became a part of church leadership. I was thirty-seven when I came to this area to pastor and thirty-eight when we began Life Gate. Even at 38, I was not prepared. I believe thirty is the earliest a person should attempt to begin a ministry. If Jesus wasn’t ready until thirty, I don’t know who would be. Time prior to that should be given to preparation, developing people skills, and growing in wisdom. It’s not about an early start. It’s about a late finish. Statistics say that 60% to 80% of those who enter the ministry will not be in it 10 years later, and only a fraction will stay in it as a lifetime career. 1500 ministers leave the ministry each month. Another 15% would leave if they could do anything else and 70% of pastors constantly fight depression.  Ministry may appear easy, but it’s extremely difficult. It killed John the Baptizer, killed Jesus, and killed every apostle. It’s a dangerous profession.

Interestingly, as we read the genealogy of Jesus, we find it full of some of the worst of sinners. Adam was a sinner? Noah got so drunk he passed out naked in his tent. Abraham impregnated a woman he wasn’t married to and gave away his wife twice to save his own life? Jacob was a shyster who deceived his only brother. Judah went with prostitutes and impregnated his own daughter-in-law. David was an adulterer and murderer because of Bathsheba. These people were people with problems just like you and me and our ancestors. Jesus’ ancestry included some very messed up dysfunctional families.

Jesus doesn’t mind getting involved in our messed up families. From every messed up family will come good things when God is involved. From messed up families he will raise up patriarchs and matriarchs. Though they all had their mess, they all had God. God isn’t looking for perfect people with perfect families. He’s looking for people who want him to be their God no matter what the mess. It’s not because we are good. It’s because God is good. That’s definitely what we see as we look through the list of names in the genealogy. God takes some of the worst, redeems them, and makes them monuments in a family’s genealogy.

Luke 3:31 the son of Melea, the son of Menna, the son of Mattatha, the son of NATHANTHE SON OF DAVID

David was a mess as we’ve discussed, but God made him a monument.

2 Samuel 7:11-13 …The LORD declares to you that the LORD himself will establish a house for you: When your days are over and you rest with your fathers, I will raise up your offspring to succeed you, who will come from your own body, and I will establish his kingdom. He is the one who will build a house for my Name, and I WILL ESTABLISH THE THRONE OF HIS KINGDOM FOREVER.

God chose David, a no one from nowhere keeping sheep, to be king. David’s life was a mess, but David loved God and was after God’s heart. God told David through him will come the King of Kings who will establish the throne of his kingdom forever. David passed God on to his generations. We do too.

Luke 3:34 the son of Jacob, the son of Isaac, THE SON OF ABRAHAM

Abraham was a mess who became a monument.

Genesis 12:1-3 The LORD had said to Abram, “Leave your country, your people and your father’s household and go to the land I will show you. “I will make you into a great nation and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed THROUGH YOU.”

Abram (Abraham) was a pagan in a pagan land worshiping idols and did not know God. However, God elected Abram, told him to move, and told him he would bless him in every way especially by making Abraham a nation. Strangely, Abraham had no children, or seed as the Bible calls it. God told Abraham he would and he did. Abraham passed God on to his generations. We should too.

Galatians 3:16 The promises were spoken to Abraham and to his seed. The Scripture does not say “and to seeds,” meaning many people, but “and to your seed,” meaning one person, who is Christ.

The great eternal nation came through Christ. It was not the Jewish nation. It is the Christian nation. God took a pagan person who had no children and filled the earth with his children through the seed Jesus.

Luke 3:36 the son of Cainan, the son of Arphaxad, the son of Shem, THE SON OF NOAH

Noah was a mess and in one, but Noah became a monument.

Genesis 6:5-8 The LORD saw how great man’s wickedness on the earth had become, and that every inclination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil all the time. The LORD was grieved that he had made man on the earth, and his heart was filled with pain. So the LORD said, “I will wipe mankind, whom I have created, from the face of the earth — men and animals, and creatures that move along the ground, and birds of the air — for I am grieved that I have made them.” But Noah found favor in the eyes of the LORD.

Noah lived in a most wicked time. We only think its bad today. There was a time when every inclination of the thoughts of man’s heart was evil all the time. It grieved God so badly God decided to annihilate mankind, but someone gave God a glimmer of hope. Someone began looking for God and Noah found favor (grace) in the eyes of the Lord. Something about Noah looked for God just like something in each of us looked for God. What was so special about Noah? Perhaps nothing outward, but inwardly Noah searched for God and that not only changed, but preserved his generations. None of us would be here had Noah not found God. I most likely would not be alive had I not found God and who knows what difference I’ve made for my generations because I found God. How about you and your generations? Their survival depends on your finding God. God made a covenant with Noah. God’s made a covenant with you. God wants to covenant with you and wants you to pass God on as Noah did.

Luke 3:38 the son of Enosh, the son of Seth, THE SON OF ADAM, THE SON OF GOD.

In connecting Jesus as the son of Adam, God is saying Jesus is fully human. In connecting Jesus as the son of God, God is saying Jesus is fully God.

We will look at this more next time with the temptation, but Jesus picked it up where Adam left off. The first Adam failed at temptation bringing death. The last Adam won bringing life.

1 Corinthians 15:45-47 So it is written: “The FIRST MAN ADAM became a living being”; the LAST ADAM, a life-giving spirit

Next time we will see the very first time Satan lost. This is why Luke placed the genealogy here. The purpose of a genealogy is to connect the first person with the last. The first person is Jesus. The last is God. Jesus will pick it up where Adam failed. It’s because Jesus knew who he was and his identity that he was able to defeat the serpent devil and pass on God to a thousand generations to come.

Because Jesus defeated Satan we are now added to the genealogy of God. It’s called the Lamb’s Book of Life.

Revelation 21:27 Nothing impure will ever enter it… but only THOSE WHOSE NAMES ARE WRITTEN IN THE LAMB’S BOOK OF LIFE.

The bottom line of the genealogies of Jesus is that we are in it. Is your name WRITTEN IN THE LAMB’S BOOK OF LIFE? A day comes when the names in the book are read. On that day it won’t be an endless list of boring names you scan or skip over. It will be for your name you diligently look. It will be the names of your children and the names of your grandchildren and the names of your grandchildren’s children for a thousand generations. It’s more important than can be expressed you have a godly ancestry passing on to you a covenant of love, but it’s just as important you pass on God and have a godly genealogy. It will all make sense to you then and you can thank every single one of them saying, “I COME FROM A LONG LINE OF LOVE.”

Other Related Sermons:

The Resurrection Proofed – Easter sermon video audio notes

Easter Nonsense – sermon video audio notes

I SEE GRACE pt 2 – Easter sermon video audio notes

Also see:

Sermons Change The World

Life Gate Church sermons by Delbert Young