The Book of Genesis
The Book of Genesis
Why does Matthew call his gospel “The book of the generation (birth) of Jesus Christ” (Matthew 1:1), while he wanted to relate the economy of salvation wrought by the Lord Jesus Christ on earth?
The Greek original word translated as “generation” γενέσεως also means genealogy -as lineage-, and genesis -as creation.
It means the salvation which Christ came to accomplish on earth is the fulfilment of God’s promise revealed to us from the beginning (genesis). This continued through the ancestors of Christ Abraham and David.
The verse from Matthew recalls the book of Genesis: “This is the book of the generations of Adam.
In the day that God created man, in the likeness of God He made him (Genesis 5:1). This time, however, there is a new generation (birth giving - creation) for mankind that had fallen in the old times and for whom God was incarnate as a savior.
He uses the word birth- generation- not “creation”, because Jesus existed before his birth from Mary.
This is why the Apostle Paul comments on the word “seed” -or lineage-, which God used while talking to the serpent following the fall: “And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head ”(Genesis 3: 15).
Saint Paul says that the “seed” promised to fulfil salvation through Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob is Christ. “and to Abraham were the promises spoken, and to his seed; He doth not say, 'And to seeds,' as of many, but as of one, 'And to thy seed,' which is Christ” (Galatians 6:13).
This is confirmed by the Virgin Mary who said: “as He spoke to our fathers, to Abraham, and to his seed to the age” (Luke 1:55).
It is really a wonder that God becomes Man by the Incarnation of Jesus Christ, but it is even more wondrous that if we live this Incarnation we become gods by grace.
Professor Habib Lavant
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