“Knowing Your Heritage”
The Placing of a Son
Today’s Reading: (Eph 1:4-5)
Eph 1:4 According as he [God] hath chosen us [the saints] in (G1722) him [with Christ] before the foundation of the world, that we [the saints] should be holy and without blame before him [God] in love:
Eph 1:5 Having predestinated (G4309) [determined before] us [the saints] unto the adoption of children by (G1223) Jesus Christ [with Jesus Christ] to himself [God], according to the good pleasure of his will,
The Importance Of Adoption
The Lineage Of Jesus
The lineage of Jesus can only be established through Scripture.
The Bible does not contain a record of Jesus directly addressing Joseph as “father.” There are many passages however where Jesus spoke of God as “My Father,” but he also spoke to others about God being their Father, “your Father” (John 20:17; Mat 5:48, 23:9, etc.), which indicates that Christ considered God to be a Father to both Himself and others. This will be important later helping us distinguish what terminology is literal vs. figurative (or metaphoric).
Since we do not have any direct DNA evidence to confirm (or refute) the genealogy of Jesus to Joseph (Joseph was a descendant of King David – Mat 1:6-16. The genealogy in Matthew indicates that it was through the line of Joseph that Jesus had the right to inherit the throne of David as the King of the Jews. Mat 27:11). We must, therefore, take the scriptures to be true as written (Matthew 1:1; Luke 1:32, 18:38; John 7:42; 2 Timothy 2:8; Revelation 22:16). The only thing we can do is reason from the Word of God and consider how Joseph became the father of Jesus.
1) Jesus Is Called The “Son Of David”
Jesus is called the “son of David” in Matthew 1:1. A few verses later Joseph is called the “son of David” (Mat 1:20). However, we also know that Joseph, according to scripture, was not the actual biological father of Jesus (Mat 1:25). So what does this indicate?
Considering the facts and Jewish custom, it becomes clear that Joseph was Jesus’ legal father, which is probably better reflected in Luke, where we find Mary’s genealogy:
Luke 3:23 (KJV) “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 Greek word translated, “as was supposed” is nomizo and it also means “to do by law” or “to reckon by law.” So we understand this to say that Jesus was (by law) the adopted son of Joseph.
2) Jesus Was Called, “The Carpenter’s Son”
Jesus was called, “the carpenter’s son” (Matthew 13:55, Mark 6:3), a direct reference to others recognizing Joseph as his father.
3) Jesus Had Other Siblings
Jesus had other siblings. It’s thought (but not certain) that there were seven children in the family of Mary and Joseph. That’s based upon counting six siblings in this verse:
Mark 6:3 “Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary, the brother of James, and Joses, and of Juda, and Simon? and are not his sisters here with us? And they were offended at him.”
We know there were four brothers and at least two sisters. If there were no more than two sisters, by including Jesus, that means the family had seven children–a number that signifies completion throughout the Bible. That’s interesting and it sounds good, but remember we don’t know it to be a fact. The point here is that all of the other children in the family would have called Joseph “father,” so it’s very likely Jesus did also.
4) Mary, The Mother Of Jesus, Referred To Joseph As Jesus’ Father
Luke 2:41-47 Now his parents [plural, Mary, and Joseph] went to Jerusalem every year at the feast of the Passover. And when he was twelve years old, they went up to Jerusalem after the custom of the feast. And when they had fulfilled the days, as they returned, the child Jesus tarried behind in Jerusalem; and Joseph and his mother knew not of it. But they, supposing him to have been in the company, went a day’s journey; and they sought him among their kinsfolk and acquaintance. And when they found him not, they turned back again to Jerusalem, seeking him. And it came to pass, that after three days they found him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the doctors, both hearing them, and asking them questions. And all that heard him were astonished at his understanding and answers. (48) And when they saw him, they were amazed: and his mother said unto him, Son, why hast thou thus dealt with us? behold, thy father and I have sought thee sorrowing.
The Bible indicates that Jesus parents were Mary (his mother) and in verse 48 Mary referred to Joseph as Jesus’ father.
The Meaning Of Adoption
To adopt means to accept. To adopt a child means to accept that child as one’s own. When we think of adoption we think of it as a legal action by which a person takes into his family a child not his own, and usually not even related to him, for the purpose of treating him as and giving him all the privileges of his own child. In other words, it is action by which we take someone in, who is not part of our family, and grant them all the privileges of being our true child.
Adopted children are not connected by birth to their adopted parents. This is the very difference between an adopted child and a non-adopted child. The non-adopted child is connected by birth, by blood with his father and mother, while the adopted child by the act of adoption. This will later help us understand the relationship between God and the terminology “sons of God.”
It is always important that we retain the significance of Paul’s writings. (See: Sermon Notes: Ephesians 1:1-3) which states in part the following:
Paul, having been sent by Christ (Acts 9:15-16), was (the 14th and last apostle Christ sent out) therefore qualified to speak on behalf of Christ as to who Jesus was, and is (Acts 9:20 – the Son of God), and went out “proving it” (Acts 9:22). Paul wrote almost half of the New Testament. Next, to Jesus Christ himself, the apostle Paul is arguably the most influential Christian preacher, teacher, writer, trainer of pastors and evangelists in the first century A.D.
The word “adoption” is used 5 times in the Bible. Notably, it is only used by the apostle Paul. He uses the word three times in Romans 8:15, 23, 9:4, once in Galatians 4:5, and here in Ephesians 1:5.
Adoption is a Change of Relationship Status.
1. “Adoption” does not mean to be “made a son” but “son-placed.” In the Bible, the word “adoption” (G5206) is a translation of one Greek word, the word “υιοθεσία” (uiothesia). This word is composed of the word “uios” that means son and the word “thesis” that means placing. “Uiothesia” therefore means the “placing as sons” — the placing of someone as a son (whether in the family or outside) and making him (or her) a rightful heir.
2. An adopted son was someone who was deliberately chosen. It was a choice made by the adopting father to allow the adopted individual (usually a child, but not always) to perpetuate that father’s name and inherit that father’s estate.
When a woman marries and her name changes, she has absolutely no bloodline involved in her new surname until she has children. When she has children, she continues the family name of her husband and they carry on his and her bloodline. However, when one is legally adopted, they become a descendant of the adoptive parents. They are ‘authorized’ to carry on the family name and bloodline, thus they become heirs to estates and even thrones.
Note: That is why the scripture says that God would give Jesus the throne of his father David.
Luke 1:32 “He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David:”
The genealogy in Matthew indicates that it was through the line of Joseph that Jesus had the right to inherit the throne of David as the King of the Jews. The Davidic line was passed down through the sons of David, of which Joseph was a direct descendant of King Solomon. Therefore Jesus was also in the line of succession, with Joseph as his legal father.
Mary, however, was also from the tribe of Judah, but her lineage was not in the line of succession through Solomon. She was a descendant of David’s second surviving son with Bathsheba, Nathan.
How Can We Be Adopted
We Are Born Of God?
Although the words, “child” and the “son” of God are often used interchangeably, the word “child” probably has more to do with our membership in the family of God, and the word “son” more to do with our spiritual maturity or spiritual commitment and growth in God, as we accept and are willing to be influenced by the Holy Ghost (Spirit of God).
John 1:13 says we are born of God. John 3:3 says we are born again. John 3:8 says we are born of the Spirit. Six times in the epistle of 1 John we read that we are born of God.
1 John 3:2 says, “Beloved, now are we the sons of God…” the full realization of sonship awaits the coming of Christ. It is at that time that the adoption will be fully consummated.” That is why the apostle Paul says in (Rom 8:23) that we are “waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body.” This is all “according to the good pleasure of His will” (Eph 1:5).
To Be Continued…
Eph 1:6 To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.
Eph 1:7 In whom we have redemption (G629) [in exchange ] through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his [God] grace;
Eph 1:8 Wherein he hath abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence;
Eph 1:9 Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself:
Eph 1:10 That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him:
Eph 1:11 In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will:
Eph 1:12 That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ.
Eph 1:13 In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise,
Eph 1:14 Which is the earnest (G728) [pledge] of our inheritance until the redemption [exchange] of the purchased possession [the saints], unto the praise of his glory.
Eph 1:15 Wherefore I also, after I heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus, and love unto all the saints,
Eph 1:16 Cease not to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers;
Eph 1:17 That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him:
Eph 1:18 The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints,
Eph 1:19 And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power,
Eph 1:20 Which he [God] wrought in Christ, when he [God] raised him [Jesus] from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places,
Eph 1:21 Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come:
Eph 1:22 And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church,
Eph 1:23 Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all.