The holy Evangelist Matthew begins his account of the Good News of Jesus Christ with the words: The Book of the Genealogy of Jesus Christ, the Son of David, the Son of Abraham. He traces the human ancestry of this man Jesus and attempts to establish his place in human history. He reveals the facts of this life that did not simply fall from heaven but grew on the tree of history that begins with the two great roots, namely, Abraham and David.
Because Matthew depicts Jesus, the man, his symbol as evangelist is the Son of man: the New Testament begins with man, just as the Old Testament begins with the mysterious soliloquy of the Creator: “Let us make man in our own image and likeness.” A man stands at the beginning of the New Testament and recalls to us the nocturnal vision in which Daniel sees four beasts arise out of the sea: images of the powers and forces of this world, of the kingdoms that share dominion over this world and determine the course of history.
Then, as a counter-movement to the emergence of the beasts from the sea, he sees a man come down from heaven: an image of the holy people, of the holy power of humanity amid the inhuman powers that come from the deep…Matthew’s genealogy is thus a witness to the fidelity of God, who fulfilled the promise made to Abraham that he would be the bearer of a blessing for all humanity. The entire genealogy, with all its aberrations and all its ups and downs, is a shining testimony to the fidelity of God, who kept his word despite all of humanity’s failures and unworthiness.
From: Dogma und Verkundigung, pp. 317-18