The Son of Abraham

The introduction to the Gospel of Matthew declares that Jesus was the “Son of Abraham,” a declaration of far more significance than another name on a genealogical chart. He was nothing less than the heir of the Covenant promises made by the God of Israel to the Patriarch. His identification as Abraham’s “son” points to the theme of fulfillment that dominates Matthew. In the man of Nazareth, all the promises of God began to find their “Yea, and their Amen”!

The Book of Genesis traces Abraham’s lineage to the first man, Adam, a line that included many righteous men. Yet in Matthew, rather than Adam, the starting point is Abraham, the line that culminated in the arrival of Israel’s Messiah - (Matthew 1:17).

Farmland - Photo by Stephen Talas on Unsplash
[Farmland - Photo by Stephen Talas on Unsplash]

Not only is the Patriarch pivotal to Israel’s history, not only did the Covenant begin with him, but the appearance of the true “
Seed of Abraham” in “Galilee of the Nations” is its climax. Jesus of Nazareth is the anointed Son of God who brings the promises of Yahweh to fruition:

  • Now to Abraham were the promises spoken, and to his seed. He says not, ‘and to seeds,’ as of many, but as of one, ‘And to your seed,’ which is Christ” – (Galatians 3:16).

God promised to bless Abraham’s “Seed.” Nations and kings would come from him, and in him, “All the tribes of the Earth” would be blessed. From its inception, the Covenant envisioned the inclusion of the “Nations of the Earth.” It was never limited to the tiny country of Israel or the biological descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob - (Genesis 12:1-3, 17:4-8).

In the Gospel of Luke, the angel Gabriel announced that God was about to fulfill His Covenant promises, especially those made to Abraham and David:

  • You will conceive in your womb and bring forth a son, and call his name JESUS. He shall be great, and be called the Son of the Most High: and the Lord God will give unto him the throne of his father David. And he will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom, there shall be no end - (Luke 1:31-33).

In her song celebrating what God did for her, Mary invoked the Abrahamic Covenant and linked it to the miraculous child in her womb:

  • (Luke 1:47-55) – “My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior. For he has looked upon the low estate of his handmaid… He has given help to Israel his servant, that he might remember mercy, as he spoke to our fathers, TOWARD ABRAHAM AND HIS SEED FOREVER.”

The birth of her child was in fulfillment of the promise “to Abraham and his Seed.” Mary’s reference to his “mercy being to generations and generations” echoed God’s Covenant with Abraham - “Your seed after you throughout their generations.”

Yahweh sent his Son as promised, and now he rules over all the nations of the Earth in fulfillment of that promise. As Zacharias, the father of John the Baptist confirmed in Luke’s account:

  • (Luke 1:68-73) – “Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel; For he has visited and wrought redemption for his people and raised up a horn of salvation for us In the house of HIS SERVANT DAVID, as he spoke by the mouth of his holy prophets that have been from of old… To show mercy towards our fathers and REMEMBER HIS HOLY COVENANT; THE OATH WHICH HE SWORE TO ABRAHAM OUR FATHER.


Physical descent from Abraham alone does not qualify anyone for membership in the Covenant community. Ishmael was his biological son but did not receive the promise. Likewise, Jacob was accepted by God, but Esau was rejected. Being the true “Son of Abraham” entails much more than any biological relationship.

Stars - Photo by Jesse Sewell on Unsplash
[Stars - Photo by Jesse Sewell on Unsplash]

Famously, John the Baptist warned the leaders of Israel 
NOT to appeal to their descent from Abraham to validate their covenant status, as Matthew informs us:

  • (Matthew 3:9) – “And they were being baptized in the Jordan River by him, openly confessing their sins. But seeing many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming to his baptism, he said to them, Broods of vipers! Who suggested for you to flee from the coming wrath? Bring forth fruit worthy of repentance; and THINK NOT TO SAY WITHIN YOURSELVES, WE HAVE ABRAHAM AS OUR FATHER. I say to you, God is able out of these stones to raise up children to Abraham.

Repentance and submission to the Messiah, the true “Seed of Abraham,” are mandatory to enter the Kingdom. Moreover, in John’s declaration, the term “stones” is metaphorical and refers to the Gentiles who would be brought into the Covenant, just as Yahweh promised Abraham. Compare the following words of Jesus with those of Yahweh to Abraham - (Genesis 13:14-16, Matthew 8:8-12).

The conclusion of the Gospel of Matthew also recalls the Covenant with Abraham and the messianic promises to the House of David:

  • And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, All authority has been given to me in Heaven and on Earth. Go, therefore, and make disciples of all the nations” - (Matthew 28:18-19).

The Messiah’s departing command echoes the promise in the Second Psalm to give him the “nations as your inheritance, and as your possession, the ends of the Earth.” Likewise, the promise to “bless all the nations” in Abraham reverberates in his words. He is the True and Greater “Son of Abraham.” Therefore, he now has “all authority” in Heaven and on Earth.

Accordingly, he now sends his disciples as his envoys to announce the Good News of his sovereignty over the Earth. The messianic age, the Era of Fulfillment, arrived in earnest in the ministry, life, death, and resurrection of Jesus, and this glorious message is now heralded to men and women whenever and wherever his words and deeds are proclaimed.




Salvation for All Nations

God has Spoken!