As we get into The Gospel According to Matthew, there are a few ideas we need to remember. A theme of Matthew is, If Jesus is the King where is the Kingdom? Second, The writer’s of the Gospels are technically anonymous, Christian historians have used evidence to conclude the writers.
Matthew had to establish the genealogy of Jesus to the Jewish people, because the Messiah had to come from a specific tribe and line. In the Old Testament the Messiah had to come from the tribe of Judah, and be in the line of David, and Matthew establishes both of these here. Luke also has a genealogy of Jesus, Luke’s focuses more on the bloodline of Jesus, where Matthew is more concerned about Jesus being the heir to the Israel throne (1). Matthew establishes the royal line of David through Joseph, the husband of Mary, and Luke establishes the blood line through Mary, Jesus’s mother.
Matthew 1 (ESV) is here
Matthew quickly begins by stating that Jesus is the son of David and the son of Abraham, us as Christians probably glance past this, as a first century Jew, this is a big claim. If we were Jews at the time we would understand he is claiming this is the promised blessing to Abraham, and the eternal heir to the throne David held (2,3).
Knowing Jesus is the promised Messiah is confirmed by fulfilling Old Testament prophecy, the blessings, and the miracles. The most important is the the fulfillment of the Old Testament prophecy. The Messiah had to be born in a specific time period, which we read in Daniel, had to be offspring of the woman (genesis), had to be born in Bethlehem, from the tribe of Judah and in the line of David. This is why the genealogy is very important, it must be correct for Jesus to be the promised one, and that is the claim Matthew is making here. Matthew names 42 generations, 14 from Abraham to David, 14 from David to the deportation to Babylon, another 14 from Babylon to Christ. Matthew may have used recording similar to Chronicles where kings and generations were skipped, but the genealogy is intact and correct.
Jesus also could not have been in the line of Jehoiachin (Coniah, Jeconiah), (Jeremiah 22-28-30), this was the exile to Babylon times, but God still honors his covenant to the line of David. This seems to invalidate the lineage of Jesus, which would disqualify Jesus as being the promised Messiah, but Got Questions has a good reconciliation of this problem.
Similar to the Book of Numbers, this may be a part of the Bible that Christians may skim over and not focus on. The historical significance of the genealogy is not something we should ignore, it is ingrained in the Jewish culture and helps frame up the picture of who Jesus is. It is one of the cornerstones in making the argument that Jesus is the promised savior.