Jesus, The Fulfillment of the Old

Good morning, and praise the Lord for another day. As you sit down, pour a cup of coffee, and get ready to reflect on today’s readings, I am pleased to present to you the beginning of the Gospel of Matthew. At first glance, perhaps the most boring bible verse out of all of them, one that makes you wonder why Matthew would spend so much time talking about generation after generation of impossible to pronounce names.

If you are tempted to read only the first line and then give up and read something better like a dictionary or car manual, I implore you to take another look. There is a reason that Matthew is so specific about the generations before Jesus.

We have a set of three groups, with fourteen generations in each. Perhaps the important number here is not fourteen, but instead the number seven. Seven is seen throughout scripture as the number of perfection or fulfillment. As we all know, Jesus came to fulfill the prophecies of the Old Testament. Do the math, when you add up all the groups you have six groups of seven generations each until we finally see the last group, the generation of the Messiah. This final group completes seven groups and symbolizes that Christ came to fulfill all that came before.

We see a similar symbolism at the Wedding at Cana. Six jars of overflowing wine (a biblical symbol for God’s love) appeared as the first of Jesus’ miracles, with himself being the seventh and never-ending outpouring of love. We see it again with the woman who had six husbands and Jesus came and invited her into his love as the seventh.

Numbers are important in the bible. This seemingly boring Gospel passage shows us that Jesus became a man to restore, to fulfill, to give his perfect love, and to reunite us to the Father. Numbers don’t lie, and neither does our Lord. He fulfills his promise in our lives every day, all we have to do is accept this gift of perfect and limitless love. When was the last time you did? From all of us here at Diocesan, God Bless!

Tommy Shultz is a Solutions Evangelist for Diocesan. In that role, he is committed to coaching parishes and dioceses on authentic and effective Catholic communication. Tommy has a heart and a flair for inspiring people to live their faith every day. He has worked in various youth ministry, adult ministry, and diocesan roles. He has been a featured speaker at retreats and events across the country. His mission and drive have been especially inspired by St. John Paul II’s teachings. Tommy is blessed to be able to learn from the numerous parishes he visits and pass that experience on in his presentations. Contact him at