Matthew 1:1-25, November 03, 2019

Matthew – An Introduction – Jesus Genealogy & Birth

Why Four Gospels?

God wants to give us a four dimensional view or four dimensional picture of Jesus.

Any one of the gospels gives us a picture or view of Jesus, but all four together give us a complete picture. 

Why is Matthew the First Gospel in the New Testament.

First – what is a gospel? It is a news bulletin that should be heard, therefore it should be read aloud – even if you are reading it alone. More to the point the gospels are extended news bulletins, especially Matthew and Luke.

Why do we have the gospels? As the church grew larger and larger, the number of disciples and actual witnesses of Christ’s deeds grew less and less. Thus a decision was made to provide written accounts – firsthand accounts!

So again, why is Matthew the first gospel when it was not the first gospel written (Mark was first written).

It is the gospel most intimately linked to the Old Testament and was very sensitive to the Jewish custom of not referring to the Kingdom of God directly, but to Heaven … May Heaven bless you, not May God bless you. 

This is shown by the use of the phrase Kingdom of Heaven in Matthew instead of Kingdom of God as in the other gospels.

Matthew refers to the Old Testament more often than any of the other gospels. Referring to the prophets Matthew uses the phrase (or some form of it) That it might be fulfilled sixteen (16) times. He has 29 direct quotes from the Old Testament and 121 allusions or indirect quotes from the Old Testament. He even makes sure in chapter two that Bethlehem is stressed as the birthplace of Jesus to conform with Micah 5:2  But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are small among the clans of Judah, out of you will come for me one who will be ruler over Israel, whose origins are from of old, from ancient times.

Matthew even though a hated tax collector was educated and may have been trained to be priest as his original name was Levi. 

Matthew 1:17 and 1:1 

Why three sets of 14? The pattern of ‘fourteen’, deliberately brought about by omitting names, is now emphasized. The idea is probably of ‘seven intensified’ / doubled, indicating here divine perfection with six sets of seven (Pett).  This may be in preparation for Isaiah 11:2 of the sevenfold attributes of the coming king – David and Jesus.  The Spirit of the Lord will rest on him—the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding, the Spirit of counsel and of might, the Spirit of the knowledge and fear of the Lord

Matthew 1:2-16

Let’s look at Jesus’ genealogy in each of the sets of 14 without the verse numbers so we may easily keep count of the three sets of fourteen. Beginning with Abraham Jesus his Jewish ancestry is emphasized.  In the first fourteen we find Tamar who sold herself as a prostitute to her father-in-law Judah to bring forth Perez and Zerah as noted in Genesis 38. Rahab a Gentile prostitute, for whom God saved from both judgment and her lifestyle of prostitution as seen in Joshua 2 and 6:22-23. Ruth a Moabite and Gentile until her conversion to the covenant of Israel as seen in the book of Ruth chapter one. 

In the second fourteen we begin with David and Solomon whose mother had been Uriah’s wife, Bathsheba an adulteress, with David whose story is in 2 Samuel 11. Guzik quotes Meyer saying “Men and women, notorious for their evil character, lie in the direct line of his descent. This was permitted, that He might fully represent our fallen race.” 

In the third fourteen we end with Mary the mother of Jesus and not Joseph as the father of Jesus. Instead Joseph was Jesus’ legal father. 

Matthew 1:18-25  The kindness of Joseph – why he was chosen.

Matthew 28:18-20 A quick look here to remind us the gospel of Matthew was not entirely focused on the Jews.