Saturday before Epiphany

I John 5.5-13; Psalm 147; Luke 3.23,31-34,36,38

St Matthew’s Gospel begins with a carefully-crafted genealogy of Jesus in forty-two generations, back to the patriarch Abraham.  This Gospel was almost undoubtedly written by an observant Jew (it is very unlikely to have been the work of Matthew, the disciple of Jesus) who presents Jesus to fellow Jews as the fulfilment of the prophecies of Messiah.

St Luke also offers a genealogy of 76 names, beginning with Joseph, Jesus’ foster-father (Luke uses the circumlocution ‘Jesus … being the son, as it was thought, of Joseph….’) and going all the way back to Adam.  However dubious we may be about some of the names included, Luke’s point is clear: if the author of this Gospel was indeed Luke, the companion of St Paul [Philemon vs 24], and if indeed he was a Gentile [Colossians 4.11,14], it seems clear that he wants to present a Jesus whose coming to earth represented good news to all earth’s peoples, to all those descended from Adam.  His genealogy, as St Leo the Great (c 400-61) declared, shows that ‘both the first and the last Adam share the same nature’. [cf I Corinthians 15.45-49] 

Posted in Daily Reflection.