"Please open your Bibles to the gospel according to Matthew." This morning, we are beginning a study of this wonderful gospel. Over the next few years, we will simply walk, passage by passage through this book. I trust that God will teach us greatly in the years to come. I trust that we will respond obediently to the things we learn. In Men's Equippers, we have been preparing ourselves for this study by reading this gospel over and over and over again Furthermore, many of the men in this room have spent a considerable amount of time and effort memorizing much of the overall story-line of Matthew's gospel, which will certainly help them to retain much of what we study.
But with all that we will learn, the thing that I hope we learn most of all is what Matthew is trying to communicate. In some sense, the book of Matthew looks like a biography of the life of Jesus. It begins with His birth and ends with His death and resurrection. But it isn't written simply to give a chronology of Jesus' earthly ministry. Matthew's purpose was reveal to us who Jesus was.
My burden as we go through this gospel is that we would constantly be confronted with Jesus Christ, as He really is. He is focal point of our whole faith. It is because of this man, Jesus, the God-man, who lived in the land of Palestine some 2000 years ago, that we are meeting here together this morning. Many of us here have placed our faith and our trust in His work on the cross. He is our Savior. He is our hope. He is our joy.
I trust that as we examine His life upon this earth, it will create in us a greater longing to know Him, to love Him, to trust Him, and to obey Him. If this is not our end result, our study in this gospel will be in vain. Sure, we may know more of the facts concerning the life of Jesus, but cold facts apart from a longing for His presence among us amounts to nothing. It would be like a football team, amassing huge yardage statistics -- first down after first down after first down, without scoring any points. It would be like a farmer driving up and down in his field with his tractor, but never planting seed. It would be an exercise in futility if our study on this gospel doesn't change us.
The early apostles were arrested for preaching that Jesus is the only One who can save us from our sins. Peter stood before Annas, the high priest, the rulers, and elders, and scribes and testified boldly that "there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men, by which we must be saved" (Acts 4:12). It says in the very next verse, those who "observed the confidence of Peter and John, and understood that they were uneducated and untrained men, ... were marveling, and began to recognize them as having been with Jesus" (Acts 4:13). Being with Jesus changed them!
As we learn from Matthew's account of the life of Jesus Christ it will be as if were are with Jesus, Himself. My burden is that God would change us, like He changed the first disciples who followed Him. It will be my goal to present Him before you with greater and greater clarity each week.
Many people, across our nation, love to pick up the Sports Page and read what their hero did the night before. The gospel of Matthew is a "Sports Page" (of sorts) devoted completely to giving us the news of Jesus Christ. It gives us the highlights of His life. It ought to fascinate us and give us much reason to dig deep into the depths of it, to find out all that we can about our Wonderful Savior.
I would like to read the first 17 verses of Matthew's gospel as we begin.
1. The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham.
2 To Abraham was born Isaac; and to Isaac, Jacob; and to Jacob, Judah and his brothers;
3 and to Judah were born Perez and Zerah by Tamar; and to Perez was born Hezron; and to Hezron, Ram;
4 and to Ram was born Amminadab; and to Amminadab, Nahshon; and to Nahshon, Salmon;
5 and to Salmon was born Boaz by Rahab; and to Boaz was born Obed by Ruth; and to Obed, Jesse;
6 and to Jesse was born David the king. And to David was born Solomon by her [who had been the wife] of Uriah;
7 and to Solomon was born Rehoboam; and to Rehoboam, Abijah; and to Abijah, Asa;
8 and to Asa was born Jehoshaphat; and to Jehoshaphat, Joram; and to Joram, Uzziah;
9 and to Uzziah was born Jotham; and to Jotham, Ahaz; and to Ahaz, Hezekiah;
10 and to Hezekiah was born Manasseh; and to Manasseh, Amon; and to Amon, Josiah;
11 and to Josiah were born Jeconiah and his brothers, at the time of the deportation to Babylon.
12 And after the deportation to Babylon, to Jeconiah was born Shealtiel; and to Shealtiel, Zerubbabel;
13 and to Zerubbabel was born Abihud; and to Abihud, Eliakim; and to Eliakim, Azor;
14 and to Azor was born Zadok; and to Zadok, Achim; and to Achim, Eliud;
15 and to Eliud was born Eleazar; and to Eleazar, Matthan; and to Matthan, Jacob;
16 and to Jacob was born Joseph the husband of Mary, by whom was born Jesus, who is called Christ.
17 Therefore all the generations from Abraham to David are fourteen generations; and from David to the deportation to Babylon fourteen generations; and from the deportation to Babylon to [the time of] Christ fourteen generations.
Some claim that genealogies like this are about as exciting as a phone book. It simply lists names after names after names. However, phonebooks do have a purpose. Likewise, Matthew had a purpose in writing his gospel (as well as this genealogy). Unfortunately, Matthew nowhere gives to us an explicit purpose statement of why he wrote. Luke wrote his gospel to give exact details to Theophilus, that he might know the exact truth about Jesus (Luke 1:4). John wrote his gospel that you might believe that Jesus is the Christ, and that by believing, you may have life in His name (John 20:31). There aren't any verses like this in Matthew. Yet, there are some clues that we can pick up to see why Matthew wrote this gospel (and included this genealogy).
We get our first clues in the first verse: "The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham." I am going to take my outline from this single verse this morning. I will have four points....
Let's look at the first point, ...
1. Jesus Christ
Jesus here is identified with His name and with His title.
Jesus was His name that Joseph gave to Him in obedience to what he was told in a dream by an angel. Joseph was instructed concerning Mary in 1:21, "And she will bear a Son; and you shall call His name Jesus, for it is He who will save His people from their sins." Jesus' name meant, "salvation." Wrapped up in the name of Jesus was His purpose -- He came to save. Joseph, in obedience to the angelic dream "called His name Jesus" (1:25). Jesus was His earthly name. Little boys and girls would call Him Jesus, just like any of you might be called, "Luke" or "Tim" or "Aaron."
Christ was His title that describes Jesus' role for Mankind. The word, "Christ," literally means, "anointed," which came to be used of the Messiah. It describes the one who would come to redeem Israel. The Jews of that day were eagerly looking for and expecting the Messiah to come.
John looked for the Messiah. John initially identified Jesus as the messiah (John 1:29-34). Philip, one of John's disciples, told Nathanael, "We have found Him of whom Moses in the Law and also the Prophets wrote, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph" (John 1:45). I can almost hear the excitement in Philip's voice of finding Him whom the Jews sought for years.
However, while in prison, he began to have doubts, so he sent word to Jesus, "Are You the Expected One, or shall we look for someone else?" (Matt. 11:3). Notice the mind-set of John here. He is looking. He is anticipating. He wants to know if Jesus was the one he was looking for. If so, his searching was over. If not, he needed to keep his search going.
The Jews looked for the Messiah. Some Jews were eagerly looking for the Christ and asked John, if perhaps he was the Christ (Luke 3:15). John had to tell people that he wasn't the Christ.
Luke records for us a man named Simeon, who was "looking for the consolation of Israel. ... It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord's Christ" (Luke 2:26,27). This man was expecting to see the Christ. When he did see the child, only a month old, he said, "Now Lord, you let your bond-servant depart in peace, according to Your word. My eyes have seen Your salvation" (Luke 2:29-30). Also in the temple was Anna, who served "night and day with fastings and prayers" (Luke 2:37). When she saw Jesus, she began to speak of Him to those worshipers who "were looking for the redemption of Israel" (Luke 2:38). The redemption of Israel was to be accomplished through the Messiah.
Foreigners looked for the Messiah. Look over to chapter 2, verse 1, "Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judae in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem, saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we saw His star in the east, and have come to worship Him" (Matt. 2:1-2). Even from a far and distant land, the news of the Jewish Messiah had reached their ears and they made great effort to come and see Him.
The disciples on the road to Emmaus describe exactly what the Jews were hoping for. They had hoped for a physical redemption, which Jesus' suffering and death obviously had not secured for them. As one of them said, "We hoped that it had been he who should have redeemed Israel; and, besides all this, today is the third day since these things were done" (Luke 24:21). But after the resurrection of Jesus, His disciples began to understand what the Messiah would be like. Peter preached at Pentecost and identified Jesus as the Messiah, "Let all the house of Israel know for certain that God has made Him both Lord and Messiah -- this Jesus whom you crucified" (Acts 2:36). Peter later preached Jesus, as "the Messiah appointed for you" (Acts 3:20).
Jesus was His earthly name. Christ was His title. These two concepts come together nicely in verse 16, "and to Jacob was born Joseph the husband of Marry, by whom was born Jesus, who is called Christ [or Messiah]" (1:16).
Let's look at our next point, ...
2. Son of David
"Son of David" identifies Jesus as having royal blood.
The concept of a King is a little foreign to us in the United States. In our country, we elect our ruler by vote. Provided you are more than 35 years of age, and that you were born in the United States, you may become the leader of our country. You simply need to convince enough people to vote for you and you can become the most powerful person in the world.
This isn't so in other nations of the world, including Israel at the time of Jesus. In other nations, when the king dies, his son becomes king in his place. When the new king dies, his son becomes king. There is no vote. The next in line becomes a king (unless you have a hostile takeover, which frequently occurred in the history of Israel). In these nations, ancestry is all important, rather than votes. One of the purposes of the genealogies was to be able to prove ancestry.
The Old Testament prophesied that when the Messiah would come, he would come from the line of David.
The Jews knew this very well. For instance, at times, they used the term, "the Son of David" to refer to the Messiah. In Matthew 12:23, the people responded to Jesus miracles by saying, "This man cannot be the Son of David, can he?" The phrase, "son of David" is used in a technical way to mean, "the Messiah." Likewise, in Matthew 21:9, the multitudes cried out, "Hosanna to the Son of David; Blessed is He who comes in the name of the LORD; Hosanna in the highest" -- A clear Messianic reference from Psalm 118.
In Matthew 22:42, Jesus asked the Pharisees a question, saying "'What do you think about the Christ, whose son is He?' They said to Him, 'The son of David.'" When the Jews answered this question, it demonstrated that they clearly understood the teaching of the Scriptures -- that the Messiah would be the son of David. This is the point of Matthew including this genealogy in the first chapter of Matthew. Jesus qualified as the Messiah, in part, because he was the son of David. This is taught in several places in the Old Testament.
The most prominent passage in all of the Old Testament that teaches that the Messiah would come from the line of David is found in 2 Samuel, chapter 7. Turn there. It is a Bible reference that you ought to remember. This passage is often referred to as "The Davidic Covenant." It is a key text in all of the Bible, because it points to God's sovereign, gracious dealings with David.
The context of this passage is David, desiring to build a temple for God. God told David that his son would build a temple, but that his kingdom shall endure forever.
2 Sam. 7:12-16
12 "When your days are complete and you lie down with your fathers, I will raise up your descendant after you, who will come forth from you, and I will establish his kingdom [i.e. Solomon].
13 "He shall build a house for My name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever.
14 "I will be a father to him and he will be a son to Me; when he commits iniquity, I will correct him with the rod of men and the strokes of the sons of men, [and Solomon did indeed sin greatly]
15 but My lovingkindness shall not depart from him, as I took [it] away from Saul, whom I removed from before you.
16 "And your house and your kingdom shall endure before Me forever; your throne shall be established forever."'"
In verses 12-13, we see that God is addressing the time in which David would pass away and what Solomon would do. God said that He would establish Solomon's kingdom (verse 12) and that Solomon (not David) would build the temple (i.e. house) (verse 13). In verse 14, the LORD speaks of the discipline He will inflict upon Solomon when he sins. But notice the language that God uses in His pronouncement of a blessing upon Solomon. Something more is going on here, than a mere blessing to David [or to Solomon, for that matter]. Verse 16 says, "And your house and your kingdom shall endure before Me forever; your throne shall be established forever." These are words of enduring faithfulness to the house (and kingdom) of David.
God's faithfulness to David is seen especially when Solomon sins greatly. Turn over to 1 Kings 11, where we see God's anger with Solomon in light of his great sin.
Hundreds of years before a king was established in Israel, God had told the nation that the king, "shall not multiply horses for himself, nor shall he cause the people to return to Egypt to multiply horses, ... neither shall he multiply wives for himself, lest he heart turn away; nor shall he greatly increase silver and gold for himself" (Deut. 17:16-17). Yet in each of these areas, Solomon had sinned. He multiplied horses (1 Kings 10:26-29). He multiplied wives for himself (700 to be exact) (1 Kings 11:3). He increased silver and gold for himself (1 Kings 10:14-22).
God had every right to destroy Solomon. Yet, God said, in effect, "If it weren't for the Davidic Covenant, I would have thrust you off forever." (1 Kings 11:13). Let's read of God's anger and His faithfulness to His promise.
1 Kings 11:9-13
9 - Now the LORD was angry with Solomon because his heart was turned away from the LORD, the God of Israel, who had appeared to him twice,
10 - and had commanded him concerning this thing, that he should not go after other gods; but he did not observe what the LORD had commanded.
11 - So the LORD said to Solomon, "Because you have done this, and you have not kept My covenant and My statutes, which I have commanded you, I will surely tear the kingdom from you, and will give it to your servant.
12 - "Nevertheless I will not do it [i.e. tear the kingdom from you and give it to your servant] in your days for the sake of your father David, but I will tear it out of the hand of your son."
13 - "However, I will not tear away all the kingdom, but I will give one tribe to your son for the sake of My servant David and for the sake of Jerusalem which I have chosen."
Notice God's faithfulness. He said, "I will surely tear the kingdom from you" (verse 11), yet, "for the sake of your father David, ... I will not tear away all the kingdom." So God didn't destroy Solomon's kingdom, based solely upon a promise that God had made earlier to David. The Bible tells us that after Solomon, the nation of Israel split in two, ten tribes went to the north and were governed by Jeroboam, son of Nebat (i.e. not son of Solomon). Two tribes went to the south and were governed by Solomon's son Rehoboam, through which the kingly line of David was preserved in Judah in the South.
Furthermore, throughout the history of Judah, God was faithful to preserve the kingly blood line. We see son after son after son after son become King in place of his father, all because of God's covenant with David in 2 Samuel 7.
God was faithful, despite great sin.
Turn over to 1 Kings 15. Here we will see another king, who was great in his wickedness, yet God being faithful to the covenant of David.
1 Kings 15:1-4
1 - Now in the eighteenth year of King Jeroboam, the son of Nebat (in the north), Abijam became king over Judah.
2 - He reigned three years in Jerusalem; and his mother's name was Maacah the daughter of Abishalom.
3 - And he walked in all the sins of his father which he had committed before him; and his heart was not wholly devoted to the LORD his God, like the heart of his father David.
4 - But for David's sake the LORD his God gave him a lamp in Jerusalem, to raise up his son after him and to establish Jerusalem;
Though Abijam sinned greatly, God was faithful to His promise to David in 2 Samuel 7. A few years later, a similar thing happened with Jehoram. Yet, God was faithful to His promise to David in 2 Samuel 7.
2 Kings 8:18-19
And he (Jehoram) walked in the ways of the kings of Israel, just as the house of Ahab had done, for the daughter of Ahab became his wife; and he did evil in the sight of the LORD. However, the LORD was not willing to destroy Judah, for the sake of David His servant, since He had promised to give lamp to him through his sons always.
God was faithful, despite great attempts to overthrow the kingly line.
One instance comes to mind. Turn to 2 Kings, chapter 11.
Here, we will see the story of Athaliah, who tried to assert herself to gain authority over the nation of Judah. Ahaziah was a direct descendent of David and was king upon the throne. When he died, his mother, Athaliah, wanted to become Queen of Judah, she went to great attempts to do so. She tried to kill every possible heir to the throne, which would have eliminated the Davidic, kingly line. She murdered every one of her grandchildren, but one. Let's read the details....
2 Kings 11:1-3
1 - When Athaliah the mother of Ahaziah saw that her son was dead, she rose and destroyed all the royal offspring [i.e. all of her living children and grandchildren].
2 - But Jehosheba, the daugher of King Joram, sister of Ahaziah, took Joash the son of Ahaziah and stole him from among the king's sons who were being put to death, and placed him and his nurse in the bedroom. So they hid him from Athaliah, and he was not put to death.
3 - So he was hidden with her in the house of the LORD six years, while Athaliah was reigning over the land.
Joash was just a little baby and totally helpless. He was still nursing. Yet, in God's sovereignty, the kingly line of David was preserved because of the heroic actions of Jehosheba, according to His faithfulness to the covenant which God had made with David (in 2 Samuel 7). In 2 Kings 11:4-21, you can read of how Jehoida orchestrated the overthrow and subsequent murder of Athaliah when the child, Joash was seven years old (see verses 4-21).
God was faithful, in light of what He did in the north.
In the south, God protected the kingly line of David. In Judah (in the south), all 19 kings could trace their lineage back to David, as his direct descendent. For 500 years, God preserved the line of David in Judah. But in the north, 9 out of the 20 kings were not direct descendants from the king before. Furthermore, there are several instances (three in particular) when the offspring of the kings were totally eliminated, so as to prohibit the possibility of a descendent coming to the throne. In each of these instances, a prophet of God had first predicted what would happen.
Here are a few examples, ...
1 Kings 15:29 - "And it came about, as soon as he [i.e. Baasha] was king, he struck down all the household of Jeroboam. He did not leave to Jeroboam any persons alive, until he had destroyed them, according to the word of the LORD, which He spoke by His servant Ahijah the Shilonite."
1 Kings 16:11-12 - "And it came about, when he [Zimri] became king, as soon as he sat on his throne, that he killed all the household of Baasha; he did not leave a single male, neither of his relatives nor of his friends. (12) Thus Zimri destroyed all the household of Baasha, according to the word of the LORD, which He spoke against Baasha through Jehu the prophet."
2 Kings 10:17 - "And when he [Jehu] came to Samaria, he killed all who remained to Ahab in Samaria, until he had destroyed him, according to the word of the LORD, which He spoke to Elijah."
These verses only is only serves to heighten our awareness of God's sovereignty in the history of His control over the seed that would come through the line of David.
Let's look at one last prophecy with respect to David and his descendents. Turn to Isaiah, chapter 9. We know of this passage, because it is often quoted during the Christmas time. It speaks of the son that that will be born. I bring this up, merely because of its mention of Messiah being in the line of David. Here was Isaiah, prophesying 700 years before Jesus was born that God would establish "His government of peace, on the throne of David."
For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us;
and the government will rest on His shoulders;
And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace
There will be no end to the increase of His government or of peace,
On the throne of David and over his kingdom,
To establish it and to uphold it with justice and righteousness
From then on and forevermore.
The zeal of the LORD of hosts will accomplish this.
Turn back to the gospel of Matthew. When Matthew says in the first verse, "The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the son of David," those to whom Matthew wrote would understand that Jesus indeed had a right to be a king, as the son of David. In fact, that is why Jesus was born in Bethlehem. Luke calls Bethlehem, "the city of David" (Luke 2:4), of which Micah, the prophet prophesied that the Messiah would be born there (Micah 5:2). There was no doubt that Jesus was the son of David. Certainly, if there was doubt, we would have seen many argue against Jesus that He wasn't from the lineage of David. The criticism never comes. This is the point of Matthew and the reason he included this genealogy in His gospel.
Jesus was His earthly name.
Christ was His title.
"Son of David" identifies Jesus as having royal blood.
"Son of Abraham" identifies Jesus as having Jewish blood.
Obviously, if you were a descendent of David, you were a descendent of Abraham. Nevertheless, Matthew takes some pains to explicitly point this out. Abraham is known as the "father of faith." To say that you were a son of Abraham is to say that you were a Jew -- the people that God chose to bless. Time and time again, you see the Jewish people always boasting that they are children of Abraham and boasting of Abraham's greatness. At one point the Jewish leaders questioned Jesus, "Surely You are not greater than our father Abraham!" (John 8:53).
When you think of David, I want you to think, 2 Samuel 7. When you think of Abraham, I want you to think, Genesis 12. Let's turn there to see the importance of this man, Abraham. In Genesis 12, we have the Abrahamic Covenant. In Genesis 1-2, we have the creation account. In Genesis 3-5 we have the account of the fall of Adam and its effects. In Genesis 6-10, we see God's reaction to the wickedness of men. In Genesis 11, we see God scattering the nations. In Genesis 12, we see God coming to one man, Abram (later named Abraham) who was scattered to Ur of the Chaldeans. God simply appeared to Abraham. It wasn't anything that Abraham had done. It wasn't because Abraham was so righteous. God simply chose to bless Abraham....
1 - Now the LORD said to Abram,
"Go forth from your country, and from your relatives And from your father's house, To the land which I will show you.
2 - And I will make you a great nation, And I will bless you, And make your name great; And so you shall be a blessing;
3 - And I will bless those who bless you,
And the one who curses you I will curse.
And in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed."
In this passage, there are essentially three promises given.
1. Land. In verse 1, he is told go "Go ... to the land which I will show you." Later in verse 7, God said, "To your descendants I will give this land" (i.e. the land of Palestine).
2. Nation (sometimes called, seed). Verse 2 says, "I will make you a great nation" Later in 15:5, God took Abraham outside and said, "Now look toward the heavens, and count the stars, if you are able to count them. ... So shall your descendants (i.e. your seed) be."
3. Blessing. Notice again verse 2, "I will bless you, and make your name great; And so you shall be a blessing." Look also at the end of verse 3 - "In you all the families of the earth shall be blessed."
It was really through Abraham that great blessing would come upon the world. Paul picked up on this in Galatians 3:8, where he said the gospel was preached through this promise, "all the nations shall be blessed in you."
This was the point of Matthew. The Messiah would come from the Jews. He would be a blessing to the whole world. We come back to Matthew 1:1.
Jesus was His earthly name.
Christ was His title.
"Son of David" identifies Jesus as having royal blood.
"Son of Abraham" identifies Jesus as having Jewish blood.
Thus far, this morning, we have covered but one verse in Matthew. We have 1070 to go. To encourage you that we can move a little bit faster than we have, in the last five minutes that we have, let me draw things to a close as we look at our last point this morning...
Matthew gives the genealogy in three parts, as verse 17 sums up for us. Fourteen generations in each section.
1. From Abraham to David (verses 2-6a)
In the first section, against all convention with genealogies, four women are listed in the genealogy from Abraham to David. Tamar (verse 3), Rahab (verse 5), Ruth (verse 5), and Bathsheba (verse 6).
Three of these women were far from virtuous. Tamar posed as a prostitute and bore a child through her father-in-law, Judah. Rahab was a prostitute by trade. Bathsheba (not even listed by name) was involved in adultery with David. On top of that, Ruth was a gentile from Moab -- a despised country in Israel's sight.
These verses are a message in itself of God's grace. Among the ancestors of Messiah were woman, to whom God demonstrated his grace and kindness.
2. From David to the deportation to Babylon (verses 6b-11).
In this section, there are generations that are skipped. When we try to match the names up from this genealogy with the names given in Kings and Chronicles, they just don't match. There are gaps. Particularly, between Joram and Uzziah (verse 8), there should be three kings: Ahaziah, Joash, and Amaziah. Yet, they are excluded.
This is probably in an effort to keep the generations from David to the deportation to a nice round fourteen for the purpose of ease of memory. It's not a problem, because the purpose of this genealogy isn't to give exact details on the lineage of Joseph, as much as it is to demonstrate that Joseph was of the line of David. Furthermore, we see in verse 1 that Jesus is called, the "son of David, son of Abraham," thought Jesus wasn't their direct descendant.
3. From the deportation to Babylon to Jesus (verses 12-16).
Even this section communicates to us of God's grace to preserve the line of David even when the nation was exiled to a far and distant foreign land. The northern country of Israel was destroyed, but God preserved the blood-line of the throne even in the exile of the southern country of Judah.
As we finish, I want to footnote a few difficulties in this genealogy and help you reconcile the difficulties in your mind.
Problem #1: If you count up the names in each of these sections, you get ...
13 generations in the first section.
14 generations in the second section.
13 generations in the third section.
Most solve this problem by simply counting David twice and counting Jesus, the two main figures in the genealogy. There is some warrant for this, because these are the only two people in the genealogy with titles. David is called "the king" in verse 6 and Jesus is called, "the Christ" in verse 16).
Problem #2: It is difficult to reconcile this genealogy with the one that Luke gives in chapter 3 of his gospel.
Perhaps the best explanation is that this genealogy here traces the line of Joseph, while Luke traces the line of Mary.
Despite these difficulties, here is the main point and we best not forget it. When Jesus Christ was born, He was born a King of the line of David.
- The Magi came looking for a king, "Where is He who has been born King of the Jews?" (2:2).
- When Jesus enters Jerusalem in Matthew 21, Matthew speaks of Him as the coming King (21:5).
- When Jesus was crucified, the charge against Him, as put above His head, was that He was "The King of the Jews" (27:37).
- When Jesus began His preaching ministry, He began by proclaiming, "The kingdom of heaven is at hand" (4:17), because the King was near!
- When Jesus taught, one of His predominant themes was the kingdom. He spoke about the "kingdom of heaven" almost 30 times -- once per chapter.
- When His disciples went out, they preached, "The Gospel of the Kingdom" (i.e. the King is here!)
This gives us a hint as to what Matthew's theme is. Matthew's purpose was to reveal to us who Jesus was. He presents Him firs as a King. As we begin to deal with Jesus in this gospel, we are going to be dealing with a King, who demands our submission. The role of a king is to reign. This was the purpose of several of our songs this evening: Crown Him with May Crown, All Hail the Power of Jesus' Name, He is Lord.
Are you submitting to King Jesus? The last parable Jesus told concerned the Son of Man coming in His glory (Matt. 25:31-46). He pictures Himself as a King, dividing between the sheep and the goats. Will you find yourself as a sheep or as a goat in His coming? In the weeks, months, and years to come, may we find ourselves desirous of our coming King!
This sermon was delivered to Rock Valley Bible Church on
December 9, 2001 by Steve Brandon.
For more information see www.rvbc.cc.