Matthew Chapter 1
The First statement of the New Testament begins with something many overlook due to hard to pronounce names: Genealogies!
“The book of the generation of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham.”
While genealogies in the Word of God may not exactly issue some super spiritual truth to most of us, they are still quite important. Afterall…if it wasn’t important for us to know God wouldn’t have included it to us. This first statement starts off the New Testament with the proper focus…Jesus Christ. The focus is always Jesus, and we should NEVER forget that focus.
The biggest reason for including the genealogy of Jesus here is for the sake of prophecy. The Messiah had a specific lineage that He would be born to, and therefore to include the understanding that He indeed did fulfil those prophecies by showing the lineage, is important in removing the doubt. This helps specifically in the realm of those Jews who know the prophecies of Messiah. If they open the Word of God and they read they find out that first, Jesus was Jewish (modern Jews are actually taught growing up that Jesus was not a Jew! When they realize the truth…they begin to realize that Jesus truly is Messiah.) As you read the genealogies, try not to get confused or caught on unfamiliar names and so forth that would tempt you to skip it all. There’s nuggets of Truth and revelation in every word, even in these names. Take note also that the spelling of names are different for some of the names. The reason for this isn’t because of an error. It’s because of the names being Hebrew, but being written with a Greek spelling. We see this with different spellings of the same names today, across languages (Michael=Michele=Mikel). Don’t get confused or concerned.
In verse 18 we are finished with the genealogy of our Lord and move into the account of His birth, when Mary was engaged (“enspoused”) to Joseph, the Word of God became flesh through the Holy Spirit and Mary–a virgin–was to bear the Saviour of all, including her. In verse 19 we read: “Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing to make her a publick example, was minded to put her away privily.”
Joseph often gets a bad rep because of this. Yet the Word of God shows he was not only a just man, but did really love Mary. The law required that if a woman was found to have gotten pregnant before marriage then obviously in normal situations she has committed fornication and must be put to death. Joseph, as a just man, was torn. On one hand if he didn’t abide by the law then he’d be guilty as well. But on the other hand he loved Mary. So, he was going to put her away privately…just cover everything up so that he didn’t marry someone he thought was a fornicator, and also so that she wasn’t put to death (or him with her if the people decided they slept together before marriage despite being engaged). One question not asked is, how did Joseph find out about Mary being pregnant? It seems the only way was that after Mary had the visit from the angel, she told Joseph. And Joseph most likely believed the pregnancy part but not the angel part. This is why we see what we see in the next verse:
In verse 20-23 we see that Joseph himself had a dream, while he was thinking about how to “fix” this supposed mess he thought he was in. His fiance was pregnant, and the law said she was to die, and if he brought it up publicly they may even figure he was the one who got her pregnant and deserving of death also! So the angel of the Lord had to put his mind at ease as well and confirm that indeed Mary didn’t mess around but rather “…fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost.” Then Joseph is told how He is the Saviour the whole world has been waiting for, that has been prophesied of from nearly the beginning of time. He is assured that the prophecies are indeed fulfilled and Mary is still indeed a virgin. And this will be the one that people call “Emmanuel” (Greek spelling of the Hebrew name “Immanuel” from Isaiah 7:14).
In verse 24 Joseph raises from his sleep and decides against his plan to put Mary away privately, and instead fulfilled the marriage to her. Yet, he didn’t “know” her until after she gave birth to Jesus. The Bible with that word, isn’t talking about knowing about someone but rather they didn’t sleep with each other until she gave birth to Jesus.
The chapter closes with “and he called his name JESUS.” Amen! It’s a wonderful reminder to read and remember the account of our Saviour leaving heaven to put on flesh of man, and be born humbly…all for us to have a relationship with God the Father. The name “Jesus” means “God Saves.” It is prophetic in itself as well. So much in that name…Jesus!
We’ll look at chapter two tomorrow. Don’t be afraid to read ahead of these studies. I’ll do my best to try to explain each chapter, without going too deep into detail that may get some people lost on all the “bunny trails” that could have us going all over the Bible in one study! If you have any questions please ask! Let’s learn and let’s study!
May God continue to bless you mightily, and I will see you all tomorrow!
~In Christ always,