What Am I?
“I speak every language and enter
every corner of the earth.
I bring information, inspiration and
recreation to all who heed my words.
I treat all persons alike, regardless
of race, creed, color, or condition.
I have power to stretch man’s vision,
to deepen his feeling, and to enrich his life.
I am a true friend, a wise counselor,
and faithful guide.
I am as silent as gravitation, pliant
and powerful as the elective currents,
And enduring as the everlasting hills.
I am the Bread of Life with the
message of salvation for every lost soul.
I am the Bible.”
The Foundation of All Faith
Matthew’s gospel is part of the Bible and the Bible is the Word of God. Concerning the Scriptures, Billy Graham correctly stated, “If you do not believe we have a revelation that is sufficient to give us an answer to our questions then you will never be satisfied, for all other discussion is speculative.”
If we believe that the Bible is God’s final word to man than all argument can stop. The priceless Book can be opened, and wonderful truths can be discovered. There is the revelation of the most unique and most wonderful Person in all the world, the Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus will be not only our Savior but our Shepherd to guide us through life and teach us how to live.
A Careful Consideration of Christ
As we read about Jesus, from Genesis to Revelation, we can prepare our hearts for the King of all kings. Some do not. They do not read the Bible, or do not read it carefully. Charles Spurgeon once said, “Some of our hearers do not desire to hear the whole counsel of God. They have their favorite doctrine and would have us be silent. Many are like the Scottish woman who, after hearing a sermon said, ‘It was very well if it hadna been for the trash of duties at the HINNER end.’” The Scriptures do set forth Christian doctrine, but also Christian duties, both of which are designed to delight the heart of the believer.
The Personal Nature of Saving Faith
The story is told of a man who used to say to his wife: “Mary, go to church and pray for us both.” Mary went to church and prayed. But the man dreamed one night, when he and his wife got to the gate of heaven, Peter turned to Mary and spoke to her alone saying, “Mary, you can go in for both.”
The man awoke and made up his mind that it was time for him to become a Christian on his own account. He had to prepare his own heart for heaven, and each one of us must do the same. Our studies in the Gospel of Matthew will help in that effort as we come to know Christ, the great and sovereign King. The Great Announcement is, “The King has come!”. The Great Invitation is, “Come to the King and enter into His kingdom.”
The Genealogy of Jesus
In verses 1-17 of chapter one we have the genealogy of the Lord Jesus. It is an impressive array of people, as Matthew traces the genealogy through Joseph who was the legal, but not the natural father of Christ. The purpose of this genealogy being traced is to establish the Lord’s claim, and right, to the ancient throne of David. He is the Messiah. In Luke 3:23-38 the genealogy of Jesus is traced through Mary back to Adam. Her genealogy establishes Jesus’ birthright and bloodline as the Son of Man.
It must never be forgotten that Jesus came in the flesh. One of the great heresies of the early Church was the denial that Christ had come in the flesh. This necessitated John to write,
“Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world. 2 Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God: 3 And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world” (1 John 4:1-3).
A Covenant with A King
According to 2 Samuel 7, God had made a covenant with King David. The Lord promised there would forever be a royal seed in his house. This promise was ultimately realized in the Person of Jesus Christ. That is why Matthew begins his work with the words, “The book of the generation of Jesus Christ, the son of David.” Study 1 Chronicles 17:11-14; 2 Chronicles 6:16
The Seed of the Saviour
Then, by referring to Jesus as the son of Abraham, the Holy Spirit moves the reader to remember that Jesus is to rule and to reign over the true seed of God. This is a spiritual seed. All who have the faith of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob are recognized as the true seed of God (Gal. 3:29).
“And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.”
As important as the patriarch is in Scripture, every person before Abraham, during his life time, and afterward who shares his faith are recognized as the true seed of God, and now belong to Jesus.
“Jesus, my Lord will love me forever,
From Him no pow’r of evil can sever,
He gave His life to ransom my soul;
Now I belong to Him;
Now I belong to Jesus,
Jesus belongs to me,
Not for the years of time alone,
But for eternity.”
A Dash of Unclean Blood
In verses 3-4 of Matthew 1, we observe the dash of unclean blood which entered the royal bloodline through a man named Judah, and his incest with Thamar. It is not a pretty story that we are to remember, but the Word of God is realistic. Men and women, and young people, are sinners by nature, and by choice. The perverted passions do break forth to bring sin and shame. Yet, Jesus is the Friend of sinners. Sordid sin does not keep a person from knowing the Saviour, but only a willingness to continue in sin. Let the word go forth,
“Christ receiveth sinful men,
Even me with all my sin.
Purged from every spot and stain,
Heaven with Him I enter in.
Sing it o’er and o’er again,
Christ receiveth sinful men.
Make the message clear and plain,
Christ receiveth sinful men.”
Just how far Christ is willing to go to demonstrate this great truth is revealed in verse 5 of Matthew chapter 1. Two women are mentioned in this verse: a Canaanite and a Moabitess. Both are Gentiles, which means that Gentile blood is mingled with the Hebrew strain. Because of this, when studying Jewish history, keep in mind there are three types of Jews. There is the Racial Jew. This refers to someone who has the genes of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
There is the Religious Jew. This refers to anyone who embraces Judaism. Gentile proselytes were welcome, reflected in the Moabites Ruth who said to Naomi, “And your God shall be my God” (Ruth 1:16). There is the Regenerate Jew. This refers to those who embrace Jesus as the Messiah. Our King has come to break down every partition wall. In His kingdom there is no Gentile nor Jew, no slave nor freeman, but all are one. The harlot Rahab, and the country girl Ruth shall both know the grace and mercy of the matchless Jesus.
Individuals Need Mercy
Individuals need much mercy as verses 6-9 reminds us. The record shows that David, the great king, was married to her that had been the wife of Uriah the Hittite. Centuries had passed, but the deed was done. The scars of the scarlet sin of adultery are not easily removed. Though God can, and does show much mercy and favor to the fallen, still the sharp reminder is there. We stand in amazement at the condescending grace of our great God who would appoint our Lord such a genealogy that includes such sinners. Then we take hope, for if God had mercy on them, perhaps He will have mercy on us.
Sinclair B. Ferguson has noted that how a person views God determines the quality and style of their Christian experience. If God is seen as loving, and merciful, then great sinners can find a great Saviour. The kings that are recorded in Matthew 1:10 needed a great Saviour. Not one of them was perfect, and some of them were as bad as fallen nature can become. Still, they too are listed in the Royal Family. Truly, salvation is not of blood, nor of birth, but of the free grace of God’s sovereign, selective, redeeming love.
The Burden of Bondage
In verse 11, attention is given to those that were carried away to Babylon. This was a terrible time in Jewish history.
God’s people in bondage.
God’s people in chains.
God’s people suffering the ravages of war, and the horrors of being conquered.
Perhaps you know of someone who is bound with chains of an addiction. Perhaps you yourself can identify with those who have been carried away to a spiritual Babylon. There is hope for deliverance. Jesus will come, as we come to Him.
“Out of my darkness into Thy light,
Jesus, I come to Thee!
Out of my weakness into Thy might,
Jesus, I come to Thee!
Thou who restorest sight to the blind,
Thou who art ever wondrously kind,
Rest from my load of sorrow to find,
Jesus, I come to Thee.
Jesus, I come to Thee,
Jesus, I come to Thee!
From Thy Safe keeping to never more stray,
Jesus, I come to Thee!”
The Humility of Majesty
The line of genealogy continues in verses 12-16. With one or two exceptions there are no great persons, and this too is significant. The prophets said that the Messiah was to be a “root out of dry ground.” From the glory days of King David and Solomon, the royal blood branch had withered, so that we find a family of low estate, and a humble carpenter named Joseph of Nazareth. It does not matter to Jesus. He cares not for pomp and ceremony. This King wants only what really matters, the hearts of His subjects. However, do not forget. Jesus is King. This is not something to be relegated to the future. Jesus is now, King of kings and Lord of lords.
Have you given King Jesus your heart? Are you prepared for the Second Coming of Christ?
Have you ever seen Him in all His splendor and glory?
He is not ashamed to be the Saviour of sinners.
“For as much then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, He also Himself likewise, took part of the same.”
As true humanity, Jesus is truly the Messiah, the Prince, which was to come. He is King of kings, and Lord of lords. Revelation 19:16; Revelation 17:14 (Reversed)
In the providence of the Lord, the recorded preparation for the King in Matthew’s gospel, began with David, the son of Abraham, and ended with Joseph, the husband of Mary. The great and the good, the wicked and the wretched, the pure and the profane, were united to bring forth the Royal King.