and ends with Jesus who is the son of Joseph, Luke begins with Joseph and ends with Jesus as “the son of Adam, the son of God” (Lk. 3:38). In dealing with these strong differences, Brown comments that
"it is possible to have conflicting genealogies of the same person if those genealogies have different functions. Only one or neither of them may be historical in terms of traceable biological lineage, but both of them may be accurate in terms of the function they serve, e.g., Matthew's intention to show that Jesus is the Davidic Messiah, and Luke's intention to show that Jesus is the Son of God" (1993:85).
Through distinct means Matthew and Luke accomplish different ends. Matthew appeals to his Jewish readers by grounding Christ’s heredity in Abraham and his Gentile readers by including non-Jews in the genealogy. Luke appeals to the Gentiles by tracing Jesus back beyond Abraham to Adam and his Jewish readers by essentially affirming Matthew’s genealogy back to Abraham.
Brown would also posit that the genealogies are different because their communities were substantively different (contra Franklin): "If Luke traces Jesus to Adam, that may reflect the fact that his is a Gospel written for the Gentiles of the Pauline churches. In a mixed community, Matthew could appeal to Gentile Christian interest by tracing Jesus to Abraham" (1993:90). It is further set forth by Brown that the Gentile Christians would have no trouble understanding the placing, omission of names and the counting of the generations because there have been found "classical parallels to almost every aspect of the Matthean genealogy” (1993:589-590).
So far this section has stressed how the genealogies have furthered the particular message Matthew and Luke wanted to share. This message was shaped by an apparent difference in the communities they addressed. The distinct messages sent to differing communities is further illustrated in the infancy narratives.
Franklin proposes that "Luke's infancy narratives can be seen as a determined response to the stories he found in Matthew" (1994:364). Franklin interprets Matthew's story of the Magi to reflect his hostility towards the Jews who are pictured as not being aware of the Messiah's birth. Luke, in reacting to this story, replaces it with the visit of the shepherds which affirms the faith of Israel. On this and other points, Franklin states that "it seems likely that Luke's position was such as to understand the significance of the Matthean stories and consciously to reject it" (1994:374).