DUNCAN/The promised Messiah has come
Please turn in your Bible to the Gospel of Matthew 1:1-17. We use this word, gospel, in different ways. Sometimes we use the word gospel to refer to one of the four books which begins the New Testament. Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John are all called gospels. That is, they are books which record the message of the acts of God for the salvation of His people. Thus, a gospel is a record of what God has done to save sinners through the incarnation, the earthly life, the mighty acts and the suffering and death and resurrection of His Son, Jesus Christ. The gospel of Matthew, it is said is written to convey the gospel to the Jews. It is written in language and in style and in concept designed to appeal to those who knew the Old Testament and whose thought world had been formed by allegiance to the God of Israel.
Matthew is emphasizing five important truths in this passage which records the genealogy of Jesus Christ. First of all, Matthew shows us that Jesus is the Messiah. Secondly, Matthew is aiming to show that Jesus is the Son of David, and thus fulfills all the specific Davidic covenantal promises of the Old Testament. Thirdly, Matthew is interested in showing that Jesus is the Son of Abraham. Matthew is showing us that Jesus is the fulfillment of the covenantal promises to Abraham. Thirdly, Jesus is both truly divine and truly human. He was supernaturally conceived, indicating His divine origins and character, yet he took on flesh, so as to sympathize with sinners, and stand in their place. Fifthly and finally, Jesus Christ is the only Savior of the world.
I. Jesus Is The Messiah.
Matthew’s great purpose in setting down this genealogy in chapter 1 is to bring home the point that Jesus is the Messiah. In other words, Jesus is the one sent by God to deliver Israel from her sin and oppression. In verse 1, we read what is effectively the title of the genealogy, the record of the genealogy of Jesus, the Messiah. Already, Matthew identifies Jesus as the Christ. And one of the great emphases of the Gospels is that Jesus chose to come. As Messiah, He was not only born, but He came. Jesus came as the Messiah appointed by God, anointed by God, equipped by God, sent by God, and He came voluntarily to save us. Jesus is the fulfillment of the Old Testament hope of Israel.
II. Jesus Is The Son of David.
Matthew calls Jesus the son of David. When Matthew says that, he is telling us that Jesus is the one in whom we find the fulfillment of all the promises that were made to David. In fact, the whole genealogy is structured around David’s house. If you look at verses 1-6, you see the origins of David’s line from Abraham to David’s father. Then, if you look at verses 7-11, you see the rise and the decline of the house of David. If you look at verses 12-17, you see the descent into obscurity into the house of David. In fact, it is almost if the house of David is going to go extinct. It is going to go underground. It ceases to rule in Israel. But isn’t it beautiful that just when you think David’s line has become extinct, then the root comes from the stump of Jesse. Matthew is reminding us that Jesus is the fulfillment of the promise that God had given to David in II Samuel chapter 7:12-13, when he promised to put on David’s throne a son who would rule forever and ever.
III. Jesus is the Son of Abraham.
In verse 1, Matthew is also reminding us that Jesus is the fulfillment of all the promises of God to Abraham. He is the fulfillment of the substitution on Mount Moriah when that ram was caught in the thicket bush and substituted for Isaac. This genealogy begins with a supernatural birth, for Abraham and Sarah came together and yet they were beyond the age of child bearing, and it ends with a supernatural birth. It begins with the birth of Abraham’s son, Isaac, and ends with the virgin birth of Christ. All of these themes are recorded to remind us that Jesus is the Messiah. He is the one hoped for by the people of God.
IV. Jesus Is Truly Divine and Truly Human.
Another important theme that this genealogy teaches us is that Jesus is both truly divine and truly human. The supernatural conception of Christ is meant to point to His divine origins and character. We are told explicitly in verse 16 that Jacob was the father of Joseph, the husband of Mary, by whom Jesus was born. Isn’t it interesting how carefully Matthew states that? Joseph is not his physical father. He is the father in a legal sense, in covenantal sense, but Jesus is born of Mary. This itself is designed to point to the truth that Jesus is divine. He is the Son of God.
Christ is the Son of God, but He is also truly human. He was a legitimate child born of the line of David. This is significant, because in Matthew’s time, both the Jews and the Romans were accusing Christ of being illegitimately conceived. And so Matthew defends the legitimacy of Christ’s birth, and the circumstances of His birth against the attacks of the first enemies of Christianity. Jesus’ humanity is one of the most important doctrines of Christianity and it is one of the most important doctrines for our comfort. If Christ is not fully human, He is incapable of sympathizing with our weakness as human. But Scripture tells us that He is fully human, and he has experienced our temptation and weakness. Thus, this passage teaches us that Jesus is divine, and that Jesus is human.
V. Jesus Is The Savior Of The World.
Finally, this genealogy is designed to show us that Jesus Christ is the only Savior of the world. He is the redeemer of all kinds of people. Have you looked over this genealogy? The names that we read bring to mind so many stories. In this genealogy are listed both good men and bad men. Good women are listed in this genealogy and women of doubtful backgrounds are listed in this genealogy. Jesus is the Savior of all kinds and types of men and women. You see, my friends, we need to know and understand this truth because it is important for our salvation and growth in grace. For if you will embrace Jesus as the Messiah, as Son of God and Son of man, as the only Savior of the world, you will find in Him delights which transcend your ability to comprehend. Jesus is our all in all. By God’s grace, may we trust in Jesus alone for salvation.