Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Matthew 1

The Genealogy of Jesus Christ

Matthew needed to convince the Jews that Jesus was the Messiah.  The Jews first requirement was they needed proof of a man’s ancestry before he would be considered for royalty.  Matthew begins his gospel by demonstrating the qualification of Jesus starting with his genealogy.  This is essential in establishing Jesus’ earthly right to the throne.  “A record of the genealogy of Jesus Christ the son of David, the son of Abraham..”Matt. 1:1.  Matthew shows Jesus’ genealogy from Abraham to David to the exile to Babylon and from the exile to Jesus’ birth.  Then Matthew shows Jesus heavenly origin in Matt. 1:18-25.  Jesus was legally in Joseph’s line, but Joseph was not his true father since Jesus was conceived of a virgin as prophesied in Isa. 7:14 – “Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign:  the virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.”

There are over 40 men’s names mention and only 5 women are mentioned in Jesus’ genealogy:  Tamar, Rahab, Ruth, Wife of Uriah (Bathsheba), and Mary.  Some of these women were not considered to be “good women”.  All but 1 were connected with some great sin.  Normally women were not included in genealogies.  Why do you think these are included here?  These were special women. 

Tamar was the forgotten woman.  Tamar was part of Judah’s family by married his son Er.  After he died, his brother Onan was to give her a son, but he practiced contraception so she did not become pregnant.  This was wicked in the Lord’s sight so he was put to death.  Judah told Tamar to go and live as a widow leaving her without an inheritance.  She was simply forgotten.  Tamar took matters into her own hands and tricked Judah to sleeping with her so she would bear a son.  See her story in Gen. 38.  Many people feel like they are forgotten, but Jesus died for all, forgetting no one!  He does not forget or forsake those who have trusted Him as Savior.  “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” - Heb. 13:5b.

Rahab was a prostitute.  She hid the Israelite spies protecting them from the king of Jericho.  Then when the city was destroyed, only her and her family were spared.  See her story in Joshua 2.  God can use people in His plans, even if they have done wrong things.

Ruth was the foreign woman.  After her husband died Ruth went with her mother-in-law back to her country and there she met Boaz.  They married and had a son named Obed who was the father of Jesse who was the father of David.  See her complete story in the book of Ruth.  God received this foreign woman into Jesus’ genealogy just as He receives those foreign to the church into His family. 

Bathsheba was the fallen woman.  She committed adultery with David.  She became   the mother of Solomon.  See their story in 2 Sam. 11-12.  We all fall into sin, but forgiveness is always available.

God loves everyone even the ones with bad reputations and who mess up.  Matthew probably included these women to remind us that God can use imperfect people.  Both men and women are made in God’s image – Gen 1:26-27.  In the fall of man, Gen. 3 both were sinners.  “There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” Gal. 3:28.

Mary was the mother of Jesus.  She is different from the other women.  She is known as the most blessed among all women.  She had the highest of all privileges.  When she heard from the angel that the miracle of God would take place within her through the Holy Spirit, she accepted it with faith.  “I am the Lord’s servant.  May it be to me as you have said.”Luke 1:38.  I am sure she went through public disgrace.  She was probably the talk of the town.  Even her family probably suffered.  But what an honor to be chosen by God to give birth to Jesus.  This was not the plan Mary had for her life, but she listened, trusted and obeyed God in this difficult situation.

What lessons do you learn from Mary?  We learn that we need to accept and trust what God has for us and don’t complain.  Just do it!  Don’t say, “I can’t”.  Don’t worry about what others think.  God is with you and will help you through it.  He has your best interest at heart.

The Birth of Jesus Christ

Joseph and Mary were promised to marry, but he thought Mary hadn’t been loyal to him and wanted to privately divorce her.  He was compassionate toward her showing the character of God.  God showed Joseph the truth in a dream and Joseph believed the Lord’s messenger and obeyed God’s message.  He proved his faith in God’s Word by not divorcing her.

Two names were given to Mary’s Son:  Jesus, meaning God is salvation (Jesus saved us when He paid the price for our sins by dying on the cross); Immanuel, meaning God with us (He is always with us even in times we don’t feel as if He is).

It was the ultimate blessing to be the parents of the Son of God.  They had the best seat in the house to watch God’s plan.  They received many rewards and blessings both here on earth as well as in heaven.

Do you know Christ as Jesus who saves you?
Are willing to let God lead you through difficult paths?
What do you need to let go and take a risk for Him?
Are you willing to give up what is safe for God’s plan?
Will you let God transform your heart?

Salvation is for all sinners.
All believers have equal privileges in God’s kingdom.
God often uses difficult circumstances to accomplish His will.
God uses imperfect people to accomplish His perfect plans.
Focusing on Christ strengthens us to make difficult counter-cultural decisions.
Immanuel is God’s perfect gift of grace.
Jesus is everything you need.

These notes are a result of my BSF study of the book of Matthew.  See you next week for insights into Matthew 2.

1 comment:

Truth and Freedom Radio said...

It's so wonderful to see how God took the broken people from the Old Testament mentioned in Jesus' genealogy, and from them brought forth our Lord and Savior.

It's a humbling vision of how God takes less than perfect people and accomplishes His perfect will through them.