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 pedigree of our Lord, as given by the Evangelist of the Gentiles, ends with a wonderful leap, a leap from earth to heaven. Noah was the son of Lamech, &c., &e. Enos was the son of Seth, Seth was the son of Adam, Adam was the son of — God. There is no bolder word in Scripture, none that strikes us with a deeper surprise and awe. Most of us have, doubtless, wondered at times why, when space was so valuable, Luke should have inserted in his Gospel "this barren list of names." But the pedigree is of immense value, if for nothing else, yet for this, that it connects the second Adam with the first, that it places a son of God at either end of the list; that it makes us out to be the children of God both by nature and by grace, by birth and by second birth. For, of course, if Adam was the son of God, we are all the children of God, since we are all children of Adam; there is a Divine element in our nature as well as a human element, a capacity for life and holiness as well as a liability to sin and death. In the light of our text —
I. EVEN THE MOST PERPLEXING FACTS OF OUR INWARD EXPERIENCE GROW A LITTLE MORE CLEAR TO US. Double or divided nature of which every man is conscious. In worst of men something good; something bad even in best. That which is good we derive from God, our true Father, the sole source and fountain of good; that which is evil in us we inherit not from Adam only, but from all our earthly parents.
II. SO DOES THE DEEPEST TEACHING OF THE NEW TESTAMENT BECOME CLEARER TO US: the philosophy which underlies the teaching of our Lord and of the two greatest of His interpreters, St. Paul and St. John. That teaching may be briefly summed up thus: Christ is the Eternal Word by whom all things were created, by whom therefore Adam, or man, was created. Hence Christ is, as St. Paul calls Him, the Head of every man. It is in Him that we live and move and have our being. Then, too, we begin to understand all those difficult and perplexing passages in the writings of St. Paul, which declare our essential oneness with Christ. The second Adam was before the first Adam, and called Him into being. Hence He could die for all. Hence He lives for all, and we all live in and by Him. In short, all the sentences of the New Testament, which have sounded most mystical and obscure, and which may have seemed too good to be literally true, become true and plain to us so soon as we understand that Adam was the son of God, and that Adam was made by Him without whom nothing was made, and apart from whom nothing can subsist.
III. THE PRACTICAL OUTCOME OF THESE THOUGHTS IS MOST WELCOME AND MOST PRECIOUS to as many of us as love life and desire to see good. For, however weak and sinful we may be, we have not, as we sometimes fear, to persuade God to enter into a fatherly relation to us, and to begin to love us. He is our Father; He does love us. Nor have we, as we still oftener fear, to ask Him to redeem us from the yoke and tyranny of our sins. He has redeemed both us and all men, once for all, by the incarnation and sacrifice of Jesus Christ our Maker, our Head, and therefore our Representative. We have only to recognize existing and accomplished facts. We bare only to believe that He is our Father, has been our Father ever since we had any being, and can never cease to be our Father. We have only to accept the salvation He has wrought, and which stands waiting for us and urging itself upon us. There need be, there can be, no change in God, or in the Son of God; it is we in whom a change is wanted. They are, they have done, they are doing, all that we can desire them to be or do. And so soon as we know that, and believe it, we shall become all that we desire to be, and receive all that we long to enjoy.
(S. Cox, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: 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,