Homilies on Luke: Fragments on Luke

By Joseph T. Lienhard; Origen | Go to book overview

HOMILY 28 Luke 3.23-38

On the Savior's genealogy, and on the fact that in Matthew and Luke
different ancestors are recorded for him.

OUR LORD and Savior was greater than Melchizedek, whose genealogy Scripture does not trace. Now, the Lord is described as being born according to the order of his ancestors. Although his divinity has no human origin, for your sake he willed to be born, since you have your origin in flesh. But the evangelists do not give the same account of his genealogy. This fact has disquieted some people very much. Matthew begins to construct his genealogy from Abraham, and reaches the point at which he says, "But the birth of Jesus Christ was thus,"1. and describes him not at the time of his baptism but at the time at which he came into the world. Luke, in contrast, when he explains his genealogy, does not proceed from the earlier to the later; instead, after he had already said that Jesus was baptized, he traces his ancestry all the way back to God himself.

2. Nor are the same persons mentioned in his genealogy when his descent and his ascent are traced.2. Matthew, who makes him descend from the heavenly regions, mentions women--not any women at all, but sinners, and those whom Scripture had reproved. But Luke, who tells of Jesus at his baptism, makes mention of no woman. Matthew, as we said, names Tamar who, by deception, lay with her father-in-law; and Ruth, the Moabite, who was not from the race of Israel; and Rahab--

____________________
1.
Mt 1.18.
2.
Cf. Julius Africanus, Letter to Aristides (PG 10.52-64). Aristides was a friend of Origen who also explained the two genealogies of Jesus.

-115-

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