The genealogy of Jesus in Matthew 1 probably is not anyone’s favorite Advent passage. But it was included for at least two important reasons. First of all, it demonstrates that Jesus was a descendant of both Abraham and David, and therefore had a legitimate claim to the throne of Israel. But the long list of names, along with the failures of so many of them recorded in the Old Testament, helps us to better understand how long, and through how many unworthy sons of David, God’s people had been waiting. As the end of the chapter explains, the reason for the wait is that a very particular Son of David was needed. Only the One who was also “Immanuel” (God with us) could truly “save his people from their sins.” As we wait for the second coming of Jesus, we too need to be reminded that only he can deliver us from our own sin and death, and only he brings justice, righteousness and peace to the world.