-Matthew begins his focused gospel aimed at the Hebrew people to convince them of the promised Messiah in the person of Jesus Christ with the genealogy of the Savior, fourteen generations from Abraham (the father of the Jewish nation) to King David (the king with the eternal Kingdom promise) and fourteen generations from him to the deportation to Babylon in 586 B.C. and fourteen generations to the Messiah’s birth (Matthew 1:17). This list includes all sorts of characters that God used in the saga of bringing redemption to earth. There are great people of faith in the list like Abraham, Isaac, Ruth, David, and Josiah. There are also some shady characters like Rahab and Tamar along with the evil kings of Manasseh and Abijah. Some were completely ordinary like Hezron, Ram, Nahshon, and Achim. *Application* The point is that God works through history in through human failures and triumphs. He is the One superseding with an overarching will that is going to climax in an eternal consummation of victory for His glory along with those who chose Him.
-Matthew now describes the birth story of the Savior beginning with Mary and Joseph’s betrothal. Before they came together in sexual intimacy, Mary was found to be with child by the Holy Spirit. This fulfilled the Isaiah 7:14 prophecy, which Matthew points out (Matthew 1:18, 22). Joseph, when he found out that his fiancé was pregnant, proposed to do a righteous thing and put her away secretly so that she would not be stoned to death according to the Law (Deuteronomy 22:13-21). God had a third option for the situation. He sent an angel in a dream to the righteous Joseph telling him the truth of what was going on and that this Child would be the Savior of people’s sins with the Name of Jesus (Matthew 1:20-21). Joseph awoke and did as the angel of the LORD commanded him, and took Mary as his wife, “but kept her a virgin until she gave birth to a Son, and he called His Name Jesus (Matthew 1:24-25). *Application* The prophet Isaiah told us that Christ Jesus would be called Immanuel (God with us). This is the beginning of how He came to be with us. He is still with us today in the Person of His precious Holy Spirit. Thank God that He is “with” us!
Verses to Memorize: Matthew 1:17, 21