An Introduction to the Story of Jesus (Matthew 1:1-17)

First Baptist Church http://fbcbartow.org

“An Introduction to the Story of Jesus”

(Matthew 1:1-17)

Series: God’s Fulfilled Promise [on screen]

Rev. Matthew C. McCraw, EdD

First Baptist Church, Bartow, Florida

July 8, 2018

Introductory Comments:

This morning we are starting a new series about the story of Jesus as given to us by the apostle Matthew. 

Our series in the gospel of Matthew is called, “God’s Fulfilled Promise.”

Now, there must be a good reason that I entitled it, “God’s Fulfilled Promise.”

Indeed, there is. 

You see, Matthew was written by one of the apostles of Jesus, a man by the name of  . . . Matthew. 

Matthew was a Jewish tax collector, who sometimes also went by the name, Levi.

Matthew, although a Jewish man, was probably not well loved by the Jewish people because he worked for the Roman government collecting taxes. 

It’s said by historians and theologians that tax collectors would often take advantage of the people and collect more money than was necessary and would pocket the extra money. That would generally make people not be too fond of you. 

In fact, tax collectors were often lumped into the same category as “sinners.” Jesus was said to associate with “tax collectors” and “sinners.”

However, Matthew was changed by Jesus. Jesus said, “Follow me,” and Matthew followed Him. 

Matthew no longer cheated people; he gave up his sinful life and started following Jesus faithfully. 

Has anyone here ever been changed by Jesus?

In order to let others know about the life-changing power of Jesus, Matthew sought to write down the account of the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus. 

(pause)

Matthew’s gospel is particularly Jewish in nature. It often quotes the Old Testament to show fulfillments of prophecies, it has an intentional style that points out Jesus as the Messiah, and its beginning starts off with a purposeful account of Jesus’ Davidic and Abrahamic genealogy. 

Matthew wants to let his Jewish readers, and everyone else, know that Jesus is God’s fulfilled promise; hence the name of our series. 

Let’s pray as we get started with the passage today. 

(Prayer)

More Introduction to the Book

Before we go into the passage, let me give you a little more background on the gospel of Matthew. 

First of all, the gospel itself does not mention that it was written by Matthew, but church tradition has told us this and we have no good reason to doubt that. 

It is traditionally thought to have been written around the 50s or 60s AD although we don’t know for sure when it was written. 

Again, Matthew wrote this account of the work of Jesus in order to demonstrate that Jesus of Nazareth was, indeed, the promised Messiah. 

With that in mind, let us now turn to the passage. 

Read the Passage

Read Matthew 1:1-17

1 An account of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the Son of David, the Son of Abraham:

2 Abraham fathered Isaac,

Isaac fathered Jacob,

Jacob fathered Judah and his brothers,

3 Judah fathered Perez and Zerah by Tamar,

Perez fathered Hezron,

Hezron fathered Aram,

4 Aram fathered Amminadab,

Amminadab fathered Nahshon,

Nahshon fathered Salmon,

5 Salmon fathered Boaz by Rahab,

Boaz fathered Obed by Ruth,

Obed fathered Jesse,

6 and Jesse fathered King David.

David fathered Solomon by Uriah’s wife,

7 Solomon fathered Rehoboam,

Rehoboam fathered Abijah,

Abijah fathered Asa,

8 Asa fathered Jehoshaphat,

Jehoshaphat fathered Joram,

Joram fathered Uzziah,

9 Uzziah fathered Jotham,

Jotham fathered Ahaz,

Ahaz fathered Hezekiah,

10 Hezekiah fathered Manasseh,

Manasseh fathered Amon,

Amon fathered Josiah,

11 and Josiah fathered Jeconiah and his brothers

at the time of the exile to Babylon.

12 After the exile to Babylon

Jeconiah fathered Shealtiel,

Shealtiel fathered Zerubbabel,

13 Zerubbabel fathered Abiud,

Abiud fathered Eliakim,

Eliakim fathered Azor,

14 Azor fathered Zadok,

Zadok fathered Achim,

Achim fathered Eliud,

15 Eliud fathered Eleazar,

Eleazar fathered Matthan,

Matthan fathered Jacob,

16 and Jacob fathered Joseph the husband of Mary,

who gave birth to Jesus who is called the Christ.

17 So all the generations from Abraham to David were fourteen generations; and from David until the exile to Babylon, fourteen generations; and from the exile to Babylon until the Christ, fourteen generations.

(pause)

The book of Matthew is a demonstration of God’s fulfilled promise of the coming Messiah, Jesus.

As we look at this passage, some may be tempted to skip over it because it’s mostly a list of names. 

However, when we look at this passage, there are two things we must understand. 

First, . . .

I. We must understand the historicity of Jesus [on screen]

It’s imperative that we understand that Jesus really lived. He really walked on the earth, He was really born of Mary, He walked, He talked, He was an actual human being. 

The Jesus of the Bible existed in real space and time in history. 

(pause)

Now, some may look at this genealogy of Jesus and question it. Why?

First of all, this genealogy differs somewhat from the genealogy found in Luke’s gospel.

There could be a few reasons for that. 

First, some suggest the differences can be explained simply by the fact that Matthew’s genealogy follows the line of Joseph, while Luke’s follows the line of Mary. 

Another explanation is that Luke would give the literal blood ancestors while Matthew would give the legal ancestors, or those who would adopt children in order to keep the family line alive. 

Secondly, another interpretive challenge from this passage is that some of the generations seem to be missing. In other words, not every father is mentioned. 

However, this is easily explained as well. 

For instance, I am from the line of Curtis McCraw, but Curtis McCraw is not my father; he was my grandfather. 

In fact, where the Christian Standard Bible says, “fathered,” could also be translated as, “was the ancestor of.” For instance, it could just as easily read as “Abraham was the ancestor of Isaac.” This would not have been foreign to a Jewish person at the time. 

So, while people may try to poke holes at the historical reality of Jesus, they will fail. 

If you want to study more on this I refer you to the books Evidence that Demands a Verdict by Josh McDowell and The Case for Christ by Lee Strobel. 

(pause)

It’s also worth noting two more factors about the genealogy:

First, Matthew mentions five women in Jesus’ genealogy, which is uncommon in ancient Jewish times. This is perhaps to show that God was working through ordinary people, as well as Old Testament patriarchs and kings, in order to accomplish something extraordinary. 

The women mentioned were Tamar, Rahab, Ruth, Uriah’s wife (Bathsheba), and of course, Mary. 

(pause)

Also, it’s worth noting and clarifying that Matthew did not list Joseph as Jesus’ father. Even though Matthew follows Joseph’s line, he doesn’t actually say that Joseph was his father. 

Look at verse 16, 

16 and Jacob fathered Joseph the husband of Mary, who gave birth to Jesus who is called the Christ.

Joseph was Mary’s husband, but not Jesus’ birth father. This keeps in view that Jesus was conceived by God Himself and not by a human father. 

(pause)

It’s important that we don’t skip over the genealogical record of Jesus because it’s important that we understand the historicity of Jesus. 

Second, . . .

II. We must understand the prophetic lineage of Jesus [on screen]

One of the reasons that Matthew was so intentional in pointing out the lineage of Jesus was to show how Jesus was the fulfillment of that which was prophesied generations before His birth. 

Even in verse 1, Matthew is intentional about pointing out the monumental figures in this genealogy.

Look again at verse 1. 

An account of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the Son of David, the Son of Abraham.

Here are the monumental figures in this genealogy: Jesus, David, and Abraham. 

Well, what was prophesied regarding Jesus, David, and Abraham?

Let’s look. 

First, see God’s promise to Abraham. Listen to Genesis 12:1-3. 

1 The Lord said to Abram:

Go out from your land,

your relatives,

and your father’s house

to the land that I will show you.

2 I will make you into a great nation,

I will bless you,

I will make your name great,

and you will be a blessing.

3 I will bless those who bless you,

I will curse anyone who treats you with contempt,

and all the peoples on earth

will be blessed through you. [on screen]

What God promised to Abraham would only be partially fulfilled in Abraham himself. The blessing to all the peoples of the earth would be seen in its totality in Abraham’s descendant; the Messiah, the Christ, Jesus the Anointed One. 

(pause)

Speaking of God’s promises through the line of David, God’s Word says in Isaiah 9:6-7,

6 For a child will be born for us,

a son will be given to us,

and the government will be on his shoulders.

He will be named

Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,

Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.

7 The dominion will be vast,

and its prosperity will never end.

He will reign on the throne of David

and over his kingdom,

to establish and sustain it

with justice and righteousness from now on and forever.

The zeal of the Lord of Armies will accomplish this. [on screen]

We also see in Jeremiah 23:5-6,

5 “Look, the days are coming”—this is the Lord’s declaration—

“when I will raise up a Righteous Branch for David.

He will reign wisely as king

and administer justice and righteousness in the land.

6 In his days Judah will be saved,

and Israel will dwell securely.

This is the name he will be called:

The Lord Is Our Righteousness [on screen]

We see that there is a promised ruler, a promised King, from the line of David, who will lead God’s people. Matthew points out to us that this King is Jesus! He is the fulfillment of the promise that came to David. He is the blessing from the line of Abraham. He is God’s fulfilled promise!

(pause)

Concluding Thoughts:

We must understand the historicity and the prophetic lineage of Jesus. 

Matthew writes so that we can know that Jesus is God’s fulfilled promise. 

As we begin our journey in the book of Matthew, let us begin with that foundation. 

Our bottom line this week is . . .

Bottom Line: We can have confidence in God’s promises being fulfilled in Jesus.  [on screen]

(repeat)

That’s why Matthew wrote His gospel, as did all the other gospel writers for that matter. 

There are other sources as well that point to the validity of the claims of the Bible and of Jesus Himself. He’s not just part of a fairytale. He is truly the Messiah. 

As we move through this series, challenge yourself this week in the following ways:

Weekly Challenge: [on screen]

  1. Spend some time asking yourself who Jesus is.  [on screen]

Who do you believe that He is?

Was He a real person?

Was He the Messiah?

  1. Spend some time asking yourself why Jesus came.  [on screen]

What do you think was Jesus’ purpose?

Do you think it was necessary that He was the fulfillment to prophecy?

Why did He come to earth?

Closing:

Listen, church, if Jesus did not really live, if He is not really the fulfillment of the promises, He is not really our Savior. 

All that we believe in our church hinges on Matthew’s claim that Jesus is God’s fulfilled promise. 

(pause)

He is the Messiah. He is our Savior. He can change our lives!

Have you been changed by Jesus?

(Gospel Presentation)

(Closing Prayer)

Invitation Song – I Surrender All

Benediction:

Don’t forget about the VBS luncheon today after service in the Ministry Center. Lunch will be provided. We need all those volunteering to be there if you can. 

Join us tonight at 5:30 for our study called “On Mission Every Day.” Tonight we are learning about the practices of the mission. Our topic will be, “Increasing.” I hope to see you there. 

Let’s dismiss by singing the Doxology. 

(Sing Doxology)

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