For one reason or another, some people do not believe that the Messiah was a Jew. In this Bible study we are going to take a look at the human genealogy of our Lord and see if Jesus Christ was a Jew or not.
The first thing we need to know is who was the first Jewish person in the Bible. The word Jew is used ten times in the Old Testament and each time the same Hebrew word is used. Lets take a look at the definition of Jew from the Strong's Concordance.
Jew 3064 Yehuwdiy (yeh-hoo-dee'); patronymically from 3063; a Jehudite (i.e. Judaite or Jew), or descendant of Jehudah (i.e. Judah).
3063 Yehuwdah (yeh-hoo-daw'); from 3034; celebrated; Jehudah (or Judah), the name of five Israelites; also of the tribe descended from the first, and of its territory.
We see that Jewish people by blood are a descendant of Judah. Judah is one of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel and he is the first Jewish person in the Bible.
So now that we know Judah was the first Jewish person of the Bible, lets take a look at the genealogy of the Messiah. For that we need to go to the gospel of Luke.
V23 And Jesus Himself began to be about thirty years of age, being (as was supposed) the son of Joseph, which was the son of Heli,
The "as was supposed" in this verse means as reckoned by law. In Matthew 1:16 we are told that Joseph was begotten by Jacob (not the same Jacob that had his name changed to Israel by God) and was his natural son. Joseph could be the legal son of Heli, therefore, only by marriage with Heli's daughter Mary and be reckoned so according to law. Joseph was Heli's son in law because he was the husband of Heli's daughter Mary.
So the genealogy given in Luke 3:23-38 is that of Mary, the mother of the Messiah. Lets skip down to verse 33.
V33 Which was the son of Aminadab, which was the son of Aram, which was the son of Esrom, which was the son of Phares, which was the son of Juda,
V34 Which was the son of Jacob, which was the son of Isaac, which was the son of Abraham, which was the son of Thara, which was the son of Nachor,
Juda 2455 Ioudas (ee-oo-das'); of Hebrew origin ; Judas (i.e. Jehudah), the name of ten Israelites; also of the posterity of one of them and its region. KJV - Juda (-h, -s); Jude.
The name Juda from verse 33 is of Hebrew origin and is spelled as Judah in the Old Testament. He was a son of Jacob and the first Jewish person in the Bible. God changed Jacob's name to Israel in Genesis 32:28 The Bible tells us that our Lord was a Jew because His mother Mary did have some Jewish blood in her as she was a descendant of Judah.
Mary's cousin Elisabeth (Luke 1:36) was of the daughters of Aaron (Luke 1:5) which makes Elisabeth a descendant of Levi. This also means that Mary, the mother of Jesus Christ was a descendant of Levi on her mothers side. The Levitical priesthood are descendants of Levi. Jesus Christ was both a Jew and a Levite.
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