Q. The question I have is this; family lineage was traced through the father, not the mother, if I am not mistaken. Since Joseph was not the biological father of Jesus, why is Jesus considered to be descended from the house of David? A friend of mine recently asked me this question, and I found that I did not have an answer. I think that I must be missing something, I just don’t know what it is. Thank you very much.
A. From the genealogies of Matthew 1 and Luke 3 we know that both Joseph and Mary were from the tribe of Judah and the House of David.
Joseph was a descendant of Solomon’s (Matt. 1:6) and therefore a member of the royal line (Luke 2:4). But at the time of the Babylonian captivity the Lord had cursed the royal line, saying no son of Jehoiachin’s would ever sit on the throne of David (Jeremiah 22:30). This disqualified all of his descendants, including Joseph.
Mary was from the line of Solomon’s brother Nathan, (Luke 3:31). So she was also of the house of David, although not in the royal line.
When they married, Joseph became the Lord’s legal father, in effect adopting Him. Being the biological son of Mary, He was of the house of David. As the adopted son of Joseph, Jesus gained legal standing in the lineage of David as well. But since He was not Joseph’s biological son he escaped the curse and became the only man in the last 2600 years qualified to take the throne of His ancestor David, as the angel Gabriel promised He would (Luke 1:32).