Matthew Chapter 1
(Read Matthew 1:1-17; Luke 3:23-38)
Matthew begins his gospel with the genealogy of Jesus Christ. The family tree of Jesus begins and ends with three great names in the Jewish history: Abraham, David, and Jesus. This is the story of God’s grace to mankind. It begins with the historical account of Jesus’ birth and shows his royal heritage. Matthew’s gospel shows that Jesus is the fulfillment of the Old Testament prophecies. The genealogy of Jesus reminds us that Jesus is a historical person. Matthew’s genealogy begins with Abraham and ends with Joseph. It covers two thousand years of history. When Old Testament genealogy ends in death, genealogy of Jesus ends in eternal life (Genesis 5:5; 1 Corinthians 15:45). The inclusion of women in the genealogy was not a usual Hebrew custom. Five women appear in the family tree of Jesus. They are Tamar, Rahab, Ruth, the wife Uriah (Bathsheba) and Mary. God used them to fulfill his plan of salvation. Tamar, Rahab, and Bathsheba were involved in sexual sin (Genesis 38; Joshua 2: 2; Samuel 11). Ruth was a Moabite widow and Mary, although innocent was falsely thought to be unfaithful to Joseph (Ruth 2:2; 1:19). These women faced great social difficulties, but God treated them mercifully. Despite their background, they had faith in God. This reminds us that God saves those who have faith in Jesus (Romans 1:16). God shows no partiality in saving sinners (Romans 2:11; 1 Corinthians 1:26-30). We are all sinners by nature and ungodly by actions. But God loves sinners and uses the outcasts for his saving purposes. This is the gospel proclaimed throughout the world. God wants us to accept the free gift of salvation by trusting in Jesus Christ. Are you saved? There is only one Savior. Jesus means "He will save his people from their sins" (Matthew 1:21).
The Birth of Jesus:
(Read Matthew 1:18-25; Luke 1:26-38; John 1:1-14)
Mary was engaged to be married to Joseph. Among Jews, marriage vows were made at the betrothal or engagement. Once engaged only a legal divorce could end the vows already made. It was during this interval; Mary was found with the child. Her pregnancy naturally would have been assumed to be the result of fornication (John 8:41). It was punishable by death (Deuteronomy 22:23). Being a just man Joseph decided to divorce Mary privately. But an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife, she is conceived by the Holy Spirit, she will have a son and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins” (Matthew 1:21). The name Jesus means “Jehovah saves”. Jesus is the Savior of the world (John 4:42). The purpose of his coming was to save sinners (Luke 19:10). Bible says that "All have sinned against God and came short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23). Jesus' birth was fulfillment of the promise of Isaiah 7:14. Jesus is the "Immanuel" which means “God with us”. This title reveals his deity. In the Old Testament, the greatest blessing of Israel was God lived among them (Exodus 29:46). When Jesus was among his people, God himself was with them (Matthew 8:23-27). Joseph took Mary as his wife. She remained a virgin until her son was born. The virgin birth of Jesus is the most essential Christian doctrine. No subject created more controversy than this doctrine. Virgin birth of Jesus proves his deity and preserve his humanity. It spares Jesus from the curse of Jechoniah (Matthew 1:11; Jeremiah 22:30). God sent his Son to provide salvation from sin and to restore our broken relationship with him. It shows how merciful, gracious, and forgiving is our God. Also, God sent Jesus to be with us so that we don't have to live in isolation from God. Jesus is the only remedy for sin and death. He promised his disciples that he will be with them always even to the end of the age (Matthew 28:20). This is the message of the gospel. Have you received Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior?