A basic rule of good writing is to make sure you grab your reader’s attention with the first line.  So, it may strike us as rather odd that Matthew begins his gospel with a genealogy. We may even mutter to ourselves (silently, of course!), “Borrrrrrr-ing!”  Or, “what’s up with all the ‘begats’ and the long list of obscure names”.  But I suspect Matthew’s first readers would have been riveted.  This genealogy is no ordinary family tree.  It is at once a bold claim about a recently crucified Jew and an intriguing riddle that challenges us to go beyond appearances to see Jesus as a new kind of king for a new kind of people.