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Thus It Began


Matthew 1:1-16

Glad you are here.  What better way to start off a new year than reading about the beginning of our Lord and our Savior and His life on this earth.

Every year at this time I extend a challenge to you…last year the challenge was “To Try or Help Turn Someone’s Life Right Side Up.”

Here is your challenge for this year. Your challenge for this year is to LEARN MORE ABOUT JESUS!

So, my challenge to you this year is to focus on Jesus…learn more about Jesus…

Today, most people look at these first 16 verses and simply skip over them.

What we should bear in mind though, is that Matthew is writing primarily for Jews.

And this genealogy is important to us also because it, along with the rest of the chapter, proves…confirms…assures us of who Jesus really is…it confirms our faith.

Now, let me give you just a little bit of background information.

Most scholars believe that this gospel was written somewhere around 65 A.D…or some 30 years after the crucifixion and ascension of Christ.

So, Matthew writes this to “fully win the Jews for Christ”…to gain those who were still not converted and to reassure those who had been.

The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham.

First he refers to Him as Jesus Christ.

But then he also refers to Him as Christ…Messiah…”anointed.”

But then Matthew says that Jesus is the “son of David.”

And when He refers to Jesus as the “son of Abraham”, it was through Abraham that the “seed would come through which all nations would be blessed.”

Now, there are some things about this genealogy that are quite interesting.

But the most interesting verse in this genealogy is vs. 16.

…and to Jacob was born Joseph the husband of Mary, by whom was born Jesus, who is called Christ.

So Matthew makes sure that his readers know that Joseph was not Jesus’ physical father…but he was Jesus “legal” father…and thus Jesus is the “rightful heir to the throne of David”…a throne that 2 Samuel 7:16 says is “established forever.”

And not only that, according to Matthew, Jesus is the climax of three fourteens…look at vs. 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.

Here you have three 14s.

Some of these Jews rejected Him when He came…some were still not sure…so here in 17 verses Matthew tells them…and he tells us that He is:

But now, let’s go on…let’s read starting in vs. 18…Matthew is going to give us more convincing evidence about who Christ is:

18 Now the birth of Jesus (Jeshua…Savior) Christ (Messiah) was as follows. When His mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child by the Holy Spirit. 19 And Joseph her husband, being a righteous man, and not wanting to disgrace her, desired to put her away secretly. 20 But when he had considered this, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife; for that which has been conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. 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.” 22 Now all this took place that what was spoken by the Lord through the prophet might be fulfilled, saying, 23 “Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and shall bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,” which translated means, “God with us.” 24 And Joseph arose from his sleep, and did as the angel of the Lord commanded him, and took her as his wife, 25 and kept her a virgin until she gave birth to a Son; and he called His name Jesus.

In the “legal” since Joseph was His father…but ultimately how was Jesus conceived?

Joseph wanted to put her away secretly. Why didn’t he?

“And Isaiah was one of your most respected prophets…and do you know what he said about Jesus 700 years before?”

So what has Matthew said about Jesus?

Do you believe that? If not, why not? That is why Matthew writes this…to give you convincing evidence of who Jesus is…to convince those of you who have not been converted that Jesus is the Savior…and to reassure those of you who may not be sure.

This genealogy tells us that Jesus came from some place.

Today, brothers and sisters, we are the people of God…His kingdom…we are the people He is counting on to fulfill His plan…there is no plan B…there is no B team…we are it!

Now, I want you think about Jesus’ genealogy again…the people that are listed here.

Somebody taught me the Bible…someone encouraged me along…the first I remember was my mom…she first introduced me to God…and to Jesus…and some of the stories…she would be in my genealogy.

What would your spiritual genealogy look like?

I also wonder, is there anyone out there that would write my name down in their genealogy?

How did Joseph respond to the angel?

I am encouraging you to have the same spirit that Joseph had.