FAQ: Was Jesus a Jew (Matthew 1:1-16)?

The word "Jew" is a shortened form of the old English word "Judean," referring to the descendants of the patriarch Judah, one of the twelve progenitors of the tribes of Israel. In the New Testament genealogies, both Jesus' mother Mary and His stepfather Joseph are listed as descendants of Judah, through the line of David (Matthew 1; Luke 3). Jesus was not only a descendant of Judah, a Jew, but He was also of the Davidic, kingly line of Judah. Several verses refer to Jesus as "Son of David" (e.g., Matthew 15:22; 21:9; Mark 10:47).

God inspired the apostle Paul to write: "For it is evident that our Lord arose from Judah" (Hebrews 7:14). In Revelation 5:5, one of the twenty-four elders calls Jesus "the Lion of the tribe of Judah." Long before His birth, it was prophesied that Shiloh—the Messiah, the Prince of Peace—would come from the tribe of Judah (Genesis 49:10).

In His conversation with the woman at the well, Jesus says, "You [Samaritans] worship what you do not know; we [Jews] know what we worship, for salvation is of the Jews" (John 4:22). Jesus uses the pronoun "we," clearly including Himself among the Jews. The Jews, however, rejected Him, as John 1:11 says, "He came to His own, and His own did not receive Him."

Paul speaks of God "sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh" (Romans 8:3). Christ took on the flesh and blood of His physical parent Mary (Hebrews 2:14). Jesus was born as a human being by a divine begettal into the nation, area, and family of Judah. Yes, Jesus certainly was a Jew!

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