This brings us to the genealogy of Jesus. Luke 3 traces it all the way back to Adam. An interesting side-note--the tail end of verse 38 says “…Adam, which is the son of God.” Easily overlooked but it seems clear that it means that the human race can claim its’ lineage back to God. It works for me.
There’s another genealogy of Jesus in Matthew 1. It begins with Abraham, the father of Israel, and works its’ way up to Jesus. If one isn’t into reading the ‘begats’ or ‘sons of’ and comparing them against each other; it would be easy to overlook that, from Solomon to Jesus in Matthew, the lineage is different from that in Luke. Luke names Nathan instead of Solomon. And from there, the two are different all the way to Jesus.
So, how could this be? There are differing theories but the one that seems to fit concerns Joseph. In those days it was common for a widow to marry the brother of her husband if he died childless. Joseph’s mother could have been in such a situation. Joseph would actually be the son of Heli but in the eyes of the law, he was the son of Jacob. And the same may have been true with Heli and Jacob. They could have had the same mother but different fathers. Just look at how complicated genealogy can get!
It does give one some pause for thought. But, I like what Paul had to say on the subject of genealogy. To paraphrase it, he said not to concern ourselves with endless pedigrees, that it only leads to controversy and keeps us from our faith in the divine. (I Timothy 1:4)