What Do You Mean by the “42nd Generation?”
Numbers in the Bible do have some significance. And the number 42 has generally been considered to represent the coming of Christ. Take a look at Matthew, chapter one. It tells the genealogy of Jesus. Verse 17 says “Thus there were 14 generations from Abraham to David, 14 from David to the exile to Babylon, and 14 from the exile to Christ.”
The problem is if you count up all the generations, they only add up to 41. We know that the Bible does not lie, so what’s up? Either the Holy Spirit made a mistake, or there’s a mystery we need to try to understand. There are only 13 generations from the exile to Jesus. But the text says “to the Christ.” Matthew 1:16 says, “Mary of whom was born Jesus, who is called Christ.” The 42nd generation is between Jesus and Christ.
Jesus came to earth, undressing all the way to enter his humanity. Jesus was the man part of God and Christ is the God-part. Yes, they are one and the same, but they are also different. The 42nd generation that this text is talking about not only was Christ himself, but also is us, the body of Christ. And to that extent, the 42nd generation will come about when Christ is formed in us as the body of Christ.
Mathew 16:13 says, “When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi; he asked his disciples, “Who do people say the Son of Man is?”
They replied, “Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.”
“But what about you?” He asked. “Who do you say I am?”
Simon Answered, “You are the Christ, the son of the Living God.”
“Who is the Son of Man?” Jesus asks, narrowing it down. Jesus always narrows it down, “What about you, Peter, rock (church)?”
And the Church has locked itself down very often in a sinful simplistic acceptance of the wonderful Jesus as savior. It has refused to grow up into Christ. That’s why Paul said, “I labor until Christ is found in you.” The whole point of the Church is to get Christ formed in us. We must get past elementary things. We must move beyond the need for more inner healing and deliverance. If you have that need, get it and let’s go. Get healed. Get over it. Let’s get out of the bed. We need the bed. We have got plenty of beds, but churches are more than hospitals. You can stay in the hospital while you get healed, but you need to walk in health.
And we are going to labor, and we are going to preach it and we are going to try to live it until Christ is found in it and then we get the prize.
We might just be the 42nd generation.