Recently, while preparing a sermon on the genealogy of Christ in Matthew 1:1-17 I was pondering the implications of the placement of the Greek word "genesis" in verse 1. Often the word is rendered "genealogy." But the text itself says literally "the book of the genesis of Jesus Christ" in the Greek. Some commentators have suggested that the original intent of Matthew was to conjure up the idea of the first book of the Old Testament, Genesis, in the minds of his Jewish listeners. This seems to be a reasonable interpretation which has huge implications.
If you look at history through the lens of creation you notice it is one long trajectory punctuated by mankind. The pivotal point is the incarnation of Christ (see diagram). It is as though there are two fulcrums pointing in toward the center of human history, the en-fleshing and resurrection of the Son of God, the first-born of the new humanity. On one side the creation begins with the natural order and culminates with Adam (humanity) and on the other side it starts with Christ (the new humanity) and culminates in the restoration of the natural order. The seed of the new creation is present now in the people of God even as the creation waits in eager expectation for the full revelation (our transformation on the Day of Christ's return). The creation will then be set free (Romans 8:19-23).
And now some implications from the text of the genealogy. The four women from the genealogy, Tamar, Rahab, Ruth, and Bathsheba all share one common trait. They are unexpected persons in the lienage of Messiah. Two of them are Gentiles, one probably is and the other may be a Gentile. Gentiles and women. This is the last thing a 1st Century Jew would expect to see so prominently held up in the line of Messiah unless...
...unless it is viewed through the lens of the New Genesis where divisions of the futility of the Fall are done away with:
"There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus." Galaltians 3:28 (ESV)