Why a list of names to begin the story of Jesus (Matthew 1)? What is its personal application to you?
First of all, you as an individual is of great value to God. Therefore he remembers names, knows you by name and calls you by name. You are personally known by God (Pslam 139, Isaiah 43:1, John 10:3b).
Secondly, he has a plan. The list of names shows us that God was working his plan through these people down the centuries to bring Jesus to this world. Though you may not understand the big picture now, know that your role in God’s plan is important, significant and critical. You can be a vital link to lead others to Jesus!
Finally, most of the people in the list had failures, sins and mistakes in their lives. They experienced God’s grace when they repented. You too can find God’s grace that came through Jesus. Just as those people were not rejected because of their blemishes you too can find acceptance and favour with God even after your failure.
Note that the list of Names ends with Jesus. Your past is dealt with in him. From now on, in Jesus, it is a new beginning. The old has gone, the new has come (2 Corinthians 5:17). Thank God for it.
The Genealogy of Jesus