We are beginning a new series this coming Sunday.  We are going verse by verse through the Gospel of Matthew.  This is the sermon for Sunday March 20th, 2011.

Matthew part 1

Jesus – Son of Abraham; Son of David.

Matthew 1:1 NIV – 1 This is the genealogy of Jesus the Messiah the son of David, the son of Abraham:2 Abraham was the father of Isaac, Isaac the father of Jacob, Jacob the father of Judah and his brothers,
3 Judah the father of Perez and Zerah, whose mother was Tamar, Perez the father of Hezron, Hezron the father of Ram, 4 Ram the father of Amminadab, Amminadab the father of Nahshon, Nahshon the father of Salmon, 5 Salmon the father of Boaz, whose mother was Rahab, Boaz the father of Obed, whose mother was Ruth, Obed the father of Jesse, 6 and Jesse the father of King David. David was the father of Solomon, whose mother had been Uriah’s wife, 7 Solomon the father of Rehoboam, Rehoboam the father of Abijah, Abijah the father of Asa, 8 Asa the father of Jehoshaphat, Jehoshaphat the father of Jehoram, Jehoram the father of Uzziah, 9 Uzziah the father of Jotham, Jotham the father of Ahaz,
Ahaz the father of Hezekiah,  10 Hezekiah the father of Manasseh, Manasseh the father of Amon,
Amon the father of Josiah,  11 and Josiah the father of Jeconiah and his brothers at the time of the exile to Babylon. 12 After the exile to Babylon: Jeconiah was the father of Shealtiel, Shealtiel the father of Zerubbabel, 13 Zerubbabel the father of Abihud, Abihud the father of Eliakim, Eliakim the father of Azor, 14 Azor the father of Zadok, Zadok the father of Akim, Akim the father of Elihud, 15 Elihud the father of Eleazar, Eleazar the father of Matthan, Matthan the father of Jacob, 16 and Jacob the father of Joseph, the husband of Mary, and Mary was the mother of Jesus who is called the Messiah. 17 Thus there were fourteen generations in all from Abraham to David, fourteen from David to the exile to Babylon, and fourteen from the exile to the Messiah.

Introduction

We are beginning our verse by verse series into the book of Matthew this morning.  I think that it is important to tackle and unpack a Gospel book, so for several weeks, we are going to look into Matthew.  We will then eventually find a good stopping point, then look into another book, then we will come back to this one.

Of all the Gospels, Matthew is the most Jewish in it’s tale of the good news of Jesus Christ.  We must keep that in mind as we open up the text to study.

Matthew (whose other name was Levi) was a tax collector that Jesus called to follow Him.  In this culture, tax collectors were known as hated sinners – people who worked for Rome, collected taxes, and taking a cut of it for themselves.  So it is a sinner that Christ calls to follow Him.  Let’s look at the story of his calling before we unpack the text.

Matthew 9:8-13 – 9 As Jesus went on from there, he saw a man named Matthew sitting at the tax collector’s booth. “Follow me,” he told him, and Matthew got up and followed him. 10 While Jesus was having dinner at Matthew’s house, many tax collectors and sinners came and ate with him and his disciples. 11 When the Pharisees saw this, they asked his disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?” 12 On hearing this, Jesus said, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. 13 But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice.’ For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.”

You see, Matthew was a sinner that Jesus called to follow Him.  We have some similarities to Matthew, we are sinners, people who deserve the wrath of God.  Men and women who set at the table of sin, filling up ourselves with our own desires.  But Jesus has approached us and said, “Follow me.”   Why?  Because He has come to call sinners, like you and me, to repentance.

Now it is easy to just skip this portion of Scripture; after all, it is just a genealogy, and we can’t learn anything from a genealogy; can we?

Well, this morning we are going to look at why this genealogy is important.  Let’s begin.

It shows that Jesus was a real person, not a myth.

  • During Biblical times genealogies were very important.
  • Think of them as a resume’ – it listed the family history and pedigree of the person.

Within Jesus genealogy, we see the mention of two names – Abraham and David.

  • This is very important, because it is basically showing us that the covenants that God made with both Abraham and David has been fulfilled through Jesus Christ.
  • The Covenant with Abraham – He is the offspring of Abraham that the Lord promised to him.

Genesis 22:18 – …through your offspring all nations on earth will be blessed, because you have obeyed me.

  • Covenant of David – He is the promised Son who would rule the earth from David’s throne forever.

Psalm 89:3-4 – 3 You said, “I have made a covenant with my chosen one, I have sworn to David my servant, 4 ‘I will establish your line forever and make your throne firm through all generations.’”

All the names listed in the genealogy are real, historical people.

  • This is a very important point.  Many within the genealogy listed here can be found in the Old Testament Scriptures.
  • This shows that Jesus was not a myth of the Apostles imagination in order to start a new movement, but a real historical person.

It shows that He was truly Jewish.

  • Why is this so important?  Because He had to live under the Mosaic Law in order to fulfill it.
  • In fact, one of Jesus ministries was to fulfill the Mosaic Law.
  • Notice what Matthew records about this in his Gospel.

Matthew 5:17-18 – 17 “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. 18 For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished.

It shows that Jesus came through sinners, to save sinners.

Some within His genealogy were notorious sinners.  Let’s look at a few.

  • Abraham – lied about his wife twice in order to protect himself.
  • Jacob – betrayed his brother and deceived his father.
  • Judah – had sexual relations with his daughter-in-law and she became pregnant.
  • Tamar – the daughter-in-law who had sexual relations with her father-in-law.  She dressed up as a prostitute to seduce him.
  • Rahab – a Gentile prostitute who hid the spies from Israel from the Jericho authorities.
  • David and Bathesheba – had an adulterous affair while she was married to Uriah.  David then had Uriah killed in battle by having him on the front lines and the rest of the army withdrawing while he still fought.
  • Solomon – heart was turned from God by his many wives.
  • Rehoboam, Jehoram, Amon, and Jeconiah – all evil kings of Judah who followed godly kings of Judah, they turned their back on God and turned the nation of Judah away from Him.
  • Manansseh – the most wicked king of Judah.
  • The point being that Jesus did not come from an innocent line of perfect people, but people with fallen natures just like us in order to save His people from their sins.

It shows that His coming was at God’s perfect timing.

Matthew 1:17 – Thus there were fourteen generations in all from Abraham to David, fourteen from David to the exile to Babylon, and fourteen from the exile to the Messiah.

  • This shows that God had an exact time and plan and purpose for the coming of Jesus.  He didn’t just look down and say, “I better do something now before it is too late.
  • But His coming was at a specific time, determined by God the Father.

Conclusion

As we conclude this morning, know that Jesus came to save sinners, like us, from their sins.  That is what the abundant life is all about – saving us from ourselves.

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