Prophecies about Jesus: His family line

When a job is advertised there is usually a job description and a list of essential requirements (like qualifications, skills, and experience). What were the essential requirements for the Jewish Messiah? One of them is one’s family tree.

Prophecies about the family line of the Jewish Messiah can be traced through the Old Testament and its listed in detail at the beginning of the New Testament (Mt. 1:1-16).

A descendant of Abraham

God told Abraham, “all peoples on earth will be blessed through you” (Gen. 12:3NIV). This means that one of his descendants will bless all the earth.

Fulfillment: His name is in Christ’s genealogy (Mt. 1:1; Lk. 2:34). And Paul said that the covenant promises given to Abraham were fulfilled in the person and work of Jesus Christ (Gal. 3:16).

But Abraham had eight sons (Gen. 25:1-2).

A descendant of Isaac

God told one of these sons, Isaac, “through your offspring all nations on earth will be blessed” (Gen. 26:4). Once again, this means that one of his descendants will bless all the earth.

Fulfillment: His name is in Christ’s genealogy (Mt. 1:2; Lk. 2:34).

But Isaac had two sons.

A descendant of Jacob

Isaac told one of these sons, Jacob, “May He [God] give you and your descendants the blessing given to Abraham” (Gen. 28:4). And God repeated His promise to Jacob saying, “kings will be among your descendants” (Gen. 35:11-12).

Fulfillment: His name is in Christ’s genealogy (Mt. 1:3; Lk. 2:34).

But Jacob had twelve sons.

A descendant of Judah

Jacob said about one of his sons, Judah, “The scepter [rule] will not depart from Judah, nor the ruler’s staff from between his feet, until he to whom it belongs shall come and the obedience of the nations shall be his” (Gen. 49:10).

Fulfillment: His name is in Christ’s genealogy (Mt. 1:3; Lk. 2:33).

But Judah had five sons (Gen. 46:12).

Then there is a gap of 9 generations (about 650 years) to Jesse.

A descendant of Jesse

Isaiah wrote, “A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse; from his roots a Branch will bear fruit” (Isa. 11:1). And then he describes the Messiah’s millennial reign (Isa. 11:2 – 12:6).

Fulfillment: His name is in Christ’s genealogy (Mt. 1:3; Lk. 2:33).

But Jesse had eight sons, and David was youngest (1Sam. 16:10-11).

A descendant of king David

The prophet Nathan told David about a descendant of his, “He is the one who will build a house for my Name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever (2 Sam. 7:13).

Fulfillment: His name is in Christ’s genealogy (Mt. 1:6; Lk. 2:31). And the angel Gabriel told Mary, “You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus … The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David” (Lk. 1:31-32).

So only descendants of king David meet this requirement to be the promised Messiah. It’s an essential requirement for the job.

And we know that Jesus Christ was the only person to meet all the essential requirements to be the promised Jewish Messiah.

Fortunately for us, Jesus was a Savior and deliverer for Gentiles as well (Mt. 22:1-14). The invitation goes out to everyone, but only a few accept it (Mt. 22:14). For them Paul says, “the blessing given to Abraham might come to the Gentiles through Christ Jesus” (Gal. 3:14).


Father God, we thank you for promising to send a Messiah into this world. Your great plan of salvation was announced to Abraham about 4,000 years ago. And Jesus fulfilled this prophecy about 2,000 years ago. He satisfied this essential requirement for our Savior. He had the right ancestry.

So, we offer thanks and praise for all that you have done through Jesus. In Christ’s name, Amen.


Inspired by Did Jesus Fulfill the Prophecies about the Messiah? By Don Stewart.

G Hawke

About George Hawke

I live in Sydney, Australia
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