The title is taken from the gospel of John and was spoken by Pilate when he returned Jesus to the Jews after interrogating Him and finding no fault in Him.
The deity of Jesus has been solidly affirmed in recent columns. Now Christmas, the celebration of the birth of Jesus, is quickly approaching. The humanity of Christ is as significant as His deity and is addressed numerous times in the Bible.
“For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus…” 1 Timothy 2:5
The humanity of Jesus is first seen in the third chapter of Genesis when God proclaimed that the ‘Seed of the woman’ would be at enmity with Satan and would ultimately destroy him.
Inasmuch as Jesus was a man, it stands to reason that His human ancestry can be traced. The lineage of Jesus is a significant aspect of understanding the Bible. Jesus’ ancestry can be linked to the covenant God made with Abraham.
“Now the LORD had said to Abram: ‘Get out of your country, from your family and from your father’s house, to a land that I will show you. I will make you a great nation…I will bless those who bless you, and I will curse him who curses you; and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.’” Genesis 12:1-3
Interestingly Abraham was told to leave his home country of Ur which later became the center of the Babylonian kingdom and is presently the nation of Iraq.
The above covenant with Abraham is significant because it is the announcement of not only the beginning of the nation of Israel, but also the church, i.e. the sons of Abraham through faith.
“Therefore know that only those who are of faith are sons of Abraham.” Galatians 3:7
Recall Abraham had two sons, one the product of Abraham and Sarah’s lack of faith named Ishmael and then Isaac the son of promise. The lineage of Jesus through Isaac is so significant that it is mentioned multiple times in the Bible.
“But God said to Abraham… ‘For in Isaac your seed shall be called.’” Genesis 21:12
“…nor are they all children because they are the seed of Abraham; but, ‘In Isaac your seed shall be called.’” Romans 9:7
Consider the latter words of the covenant God made with Abraham i.e.
“I will bless those who bless you, and I will curse him who curses you…”
Ishmael was 13 years old when Isaac was born. When Isaac was weaned Abraham made a great feast to honor the occasion. Ishmael was present also.
“So the child (Isaac) grew and was weaned. And Abraham made a great feast on the same day that Isaac was weaned. And Sarah saw the son (Ishmael) of Hagar (Sarah’s Egyptian maid)…scoffing.” Genesis 21:8-9
The Hebrew word for ‘scoffing’ has several synonyms including mocking, ridiculing, and cursing.
The enmity between Ishmael and Isaac was noted two millennia later in Paul’s writings.
“Now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are children of promise. But, as he who was born according to the flesh then persecuted him who was born according to the Spirit, even so it is now. Nevertheless what does the Scripture say…the son of the bondwoman shall not be heir with the son of the freewoman.” Galatians 4:28-30
The enmity between the brothers will continue until the end of the age, therefore, it is very important to fully understand that Jesus is of the lineage of Isaac.
The New Testament book of Hebrews likewise notes that the covenant with Abraham would be perpetuated through Isaac and Jacob.
“By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to the place which he would receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going. By faith he dwelt in the land of promise…dwelling in tents with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him…” Hebrews 11:8-9
The human lineage of Jesus is reaffirmed in the opening chapter of Matthew.
“The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ…the Son of Abraham: Abraham begot Isaac, Isaac begot Jacob, and Jacob begot Judah…and Judah begot Perez…” Matthew 1:1-2