Friday, July 15, 2011

Matthew: Chapter 1

Genealogies are only interesting when we remember each name represents a living being--a person with joys and heartaches just like you and me. Each name is a story of a life touched by Jehovah! Obviously, this is a special genealogy as it proclaims Jesus Christ’s legal right to the throne. The genealogy in Luke will trace Mary’s family line but this is Jesus’ adopted father--and his lineage was perfectly in place (of course) for the prophesied Messiah. Christ, by the way, simply means Messiah; Christ is actually Jesus' title. Jesus, of course, means Savior. The book of Matthew was written to speak to the Jews specifically. A neat parallel to Genesis is seen right at the start with the phrase ‘book of the generations of Jesus.’ Genesis 5 spoke of the generations of Jesus. The key difference is that in Adam, all die but in Christ Jesus, all are made alive!

As a woman, this genealogy is especially interesting since female names were not typical aspects of a Hebrew genealogy. Just as generations of wives have taken husband’s last names for their own, Hebrew lineage was recorded in the man’s name. More startling is the fact that the women are not women of Israel and not all of stellar repute. God chose not to do that in this inspired genealogy--and the women included tell a story of grace and redemption! When we wander back into the Old Testament, we will look at their lives more closely--or perhaps you will wish to on your own. They have much to teach us!

When the begats are completed, the glorious truth of the virgin birth is presented. The commentary offers extensive word analysis to support the virgin birth. It seems clear to me that if Jesus were simply born in the natural way, he would be but a man--not Emmanuel: God with us. The virgin birth cannot be thrown away. Our Messiah (Christ), our Savior (Jesus) is God. It is a mystery we will explore for all eternity; the love that propelled Him, the power that proved Him is endlessly amazing, is it not?

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