Jesus as the End to Exile
Matthew chapter 1 opens with a long genealogy that is easy to skip over. However, understanding the Biblical theme of Exile allows us to see that Matthew is actually making a bold proclamation. The Jews in the first century considered themselves as still in the period of exile. (They were living under foreign occupation, after all.) But Matthew is announcing that Jesus is the "End to Exile"--both for the Jews of the first century and for us today.