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"A Knight's Tale": Jesus Honors His Ancestors

The movie A Knight's Tale, set in medieval England, tells the story of a young would-be knight named Ulrich. In those days, men had to be descended from noble stock in order to become a knight. But Ulrich does not have a drop of royal blood in him. Even so, he attempts to secure his place in history by winning a famous tournament.

It is traditional for the knight's squire to introduce him at such tournaments, usually delivering a grandiose recitation of the knight's royal lineage. In this scene, Ulrich's squire is a young Geoffrey Chaucer. People in the audience smile as Chaucer cranks up the hype like a modern-day puffmeister:

I cannot look upon my Lord Ulrich, for I weep to see his shining face. My Lord is a gift to your eyes, for we shall never, ever see his like upon this Earth again. I would list his lineage if it served to honor him. Most men here—it's sad, but it's true—they look to their past to prove their worth; they look to the deeds of their fathers.
Now, Sir Ulrich has great ancestors, make no mistake about that. Sir Chirard von Richbach, Duke Guelph of Saxony, Van Misch IV out of Brunswick—but these great, great men pale into insignificance next to him. I do not list them to honor him; I list him to honor them!

That was all hype, of course, but that last line captures the essence of Jesus' genealogies in Matthew 1 and Luke 3. Jesus Christ "has great ancestors—make no mistake about that! But these great men (and women) pale into insignificance next to him. I do not list them to honor him; I list him to honor them!"

Content: Rated PG-13 for some action violence and brief nudity

Elapsed time: DVD Deleted Scenes, "Chaucer's Second Speech"

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