I know that Z just recommended this book, but I am doing the same. Knowing Jesus is a great book for anyone that struggles through the Old Testament in how it to the New. Here is a cool quote:
"When Matthew announces Jesus as the Messiah, the son of Abraham, then, it means not only that he belongs to that particular people ( a real Jew, as we have just seen), but that he belongs to a people whose very reason for existence was to bring blessing to the rest of humanity. He shared that mission, and indeed, as the Messiah, he had come to make it a possibility and a reality at last. A particular man, but with a universal significance."
Here is another quote where Wright is discussing the line of Jesus and how only a few women are named and these women are not jews.
"But probably more significant is the other thing they (the women of Jesus' genealogy in Matthew) all have in common. They were all, from a Jewish point of view, foreigners."
"The implication of Jesus being the heir of Abraham and his universal promise is underlined: Jesus the Jew, and the Jewish Messiah, had Gentile blood!"