This free Christmas Bible study on Jesus’ family tree explores the lineage of Jesus as described at the beginning of Matthew’s gospel.
The Apostle Matthew starts his Christmas story with a genealogy. You heard that right. Before any action, Matthew gets academic with a long list of names — tracing the family tree of Jesus.
Genealogies were a big deal in Jewish culture. These ancestry accounts were a reminder of their families’ heritage and resilience. When a family member looked at a genealogy, pride pumped through their veins because it was a reminder of how far God had taken them. War didn’t kill them. Sickness didn’t stop them. Exile didn’t break them. Famine didn’t consume them. Line by line, a lineage shows the love of God.
Because he was writing to a Jewish audience, Matthew kicked off the Christmas story with a genealogy. He tediously traced the family lineage of Jesus as far back as he could. Every line reveals a powerful truth — God has been up to something big from the very beginning. Matthew went through all the work of researching and writing this section to show us that Jesus came from a dysfunctional family. While it sounds surprising, we can find hope in that.
HERE IS HOW THIS FREE CHRISTMAS BIBLE STUDY BREAKS DOWN:
Part 1: The Dysfunctional Family Tree of Jesus
When skimming the genealogy of Jesus, there are a lot of names. Some names you may know from Sunday school and some you’ve likely never heard of before. Each name represents a real person with a real story. Each name speaks to God’s plan for the people of Israel. Every name proves that God has a massive purpose that may take generations to unfold. Each name is a testament to God’s faithfulness.
Scripture: Matthew 1:1-17
Part 2: CHRISTMAS IN CRISIS — AN ANCESTOR OF JESUS
Ruth became the great grandmother to King David. Then, a few hundred years later, Jesus was born from the line of Judah. When Matthew lays out the lineage of the Messiah, Ruth is celebrated. She’s like an ornament on the family tree of Jesus. Ruth, who showed up in the dysfunctional family tree of Jesus, is proof that God moves in ways both big and small. This Christmas, it’s pivotal that we focus on being present. Like Ruth’s simple story, seemingly small experiences often trigger massive impact. Small moments may make this your best holiday ever. Look for them!
Scripture: Ruth 3-4
Part 3: THE NAME ABOVE ALL OTHER NAMES — JESUS
As we work down the dysfunctional family tree of Jesus, there is a gift at the very bottom. Matthew’s genealogy concludes with, “Mary was the mother of Jesus who is called the Messiah” (Matthew 1:16). The whole reason behind this genealogy was to end up here — Mary and Jesus. Every hard-to-pronounce name was making way for the Savior of the world. Matthew wanted to show how God’s story of redemption was being told for generations. From princes to peasants, every person’s life told a powerful story. While every name is certainly significant, they all pale in comparison to the last two: Mary and Joseph.
Scripture: Luke 1:39-45
THIS FREE CHRISTMAS BIBLE STUDY JESUS’ FAMILY TREE INCLUDES:
–Small group guide (intended for stand-alone small group)
–Graphics to reinforce this content on social media
–Bonus devotional eBook on the Lord’s Prayer
This small group Bible Study on Jesus’ Family Tree is based on a free sermon series! Click here to view the Dysfunctional Family Tree of Jesus Sermon Scripts.