Names, Names, and More Names


“All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness…” (2 Timothy 3:16)

Raise your hand if you believe that the verse you just read is true. I hope you do, because the portion of Luke you are about to read is a list. It’s composed of seventy-seven names. It’s long. It’s dull. It seems somewhat pointless. And yet, it’s God-breathed. It is also placed in a seemingly peculiar place at the end of the third chapter of Luke. But its placement carries great significance.

  • God’s timing and placement of matters in our lives are sometimes mysterious but always meaningful. When was the last occasion God’s timing was puzzling to you?


23 Jesus, when he began his ministry, was about thirty years of age, being the son (as was supposed) of Joseph, the son of Heli, 24 the son of Matthat, the son of Levi, the son of Melchi, the son of Jannai, the son of Joseph, 25 the son of Mattathias, the son of Amos, the son of Nahum, the son of Esli, the son of Naggai, 26 the son of Maath, the son of Mattathias, the son of Semein, the son of Josech, the son of Joda, 27 the son of Joanan, the son of Rhesa, the son of Zerubbabel, the son of Shealtiel, the son of Neri, 28 the son of Melchi, the son of Addi, the son of Cosam, the son of Elmadam, the son of Er, 29 the son of Joshua, the son of Eliezer, the son of Jorim, the son of Matthat, the son of Levi, 30 the son of Simeon, the son of Judah, the son of Joseph, the son of Jonam, the son of Eliakim, 31 the son of Melea, the son of Menna, the son of Mattatha, the son of Nathan, the son of David, 32  the son of Jesse, the son of Obed, the son of Boaz, the son of Sala, the son of Nahshon, 33 the son of Amminadab, the son of Admin, the son of Arni, the son of Hezron, the son of Perez, the son of Judah, 34  the son of Jacob, the son of Isaac, the son of Abraham, the son of Terah, the son of Nahor, 35 the son of Serug, the son of Reu, the son of Peleg, the son of Eber, the son of Shelah, 36 the son of Cainan, the son of Arphaxad, the son of Shem, the son of Noah, the son of Lamech, 37 the son of Methuselah, the son of Enoch, the son of Jared, the son of Mahalaleel, the son of Cainan, 38 the son of Enos, the son of Seth, the son of Adam, the son of God.

English Standard Version, copyright 2001 by Crossway Bibles. Used by permission. All rights reserved.


  1. The previous portion of Luke ended with Jesus’ baptism and God’s declaration of Jesus’ divinity. Then, the very next verse says that Jesus was the son of whom (vs. 23)?
  2. What does this imply about Jesus?
  3. How does it help you relate to Jesus, knowing that he was both fully God and fully man?
  4. The genealogy ends with “the son of Adam, the son of God” as well. Why is it significant that Luke related Jesus’ human ancestry back to the first man and to God?


The genealogy of Jesus helps us understand that Jesus was fully man. He lived and breathed, and played and worked; he celebrated and suffered. He had a mother and father and siblings; he had uncles and cousins, and he dealt with the conflict that can occur within a family. He was as much human as he was God. The placement of this genealogy reinforces that. Luke set the stage for us, more than two thousand years later, to learn the best way for a human to relate to God. We watch and emulate Jesus… for he was both!

  • Express your gratitude to Jesus that he was willing to come to Earth and endure all its hardships so that you could relate to God in the flesh.
  • Ask God to show you how to improve your relationship with him and with others as you learn from and emulate Jesus.