December 1

Texts: Genesis 22:18; 26:4; 28:14

Texts: (To Abraham in Genesis 22:18) "And in your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed, because you have obeyed My voice."  (To Isaac in Genesis 26:4) "And I will multiply your descendants as the stars of heaven, and will give your descendants all these lands; and by your descendants all the nations of the earth shall be blessed;  (To Jacob in Genesis 28:14) "Your descendants shall also be like the dust of the earth, and you shall spread out to the west and to the east and to the north and to the south; and in you and in your descendants shall all the families of the earth be blessed.   (NASB)

Matthew began his writing by declaring Jesus had the proper descendant credentials to fulfill God’s promise to the Jewish forefathers.  In chapter one he declared Jesus to be recognized as the legal son of Joseph.  Joseph was a descendant of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.  In chapter two, Matthew verified Jesus, a descendant of King David (1:6), was born in Bethlehem, the city of King David’s childhood (1 Samuel 16:1-13).

Matthew also saw Jesus, a descendant of David through Joseph (1:20), as the fulfillment of God’s promise to David (Abigail to David—1 Samuel 25:28; God through Nathan to David—2 Samuel 7:11; David to God—2 Samuel 7:28, 29).   

No devout Jew in Jesus’ time would consider seriously anyone to be the Messiah (Christ) if that person could not be connected to Abraham through Isaac and to King David.  Messianic expectations in Israel in Jesus’ time required both connections!  Neither a proselyte nor someone from any tribe other than Judah would receive broad-based acceptance among Israelites as the Messiah.

Matthew declared Jesus had the appropriate lineage.  He wrote to a people who viewed lineage as being essential in so many matters.  Jesus had the correct ancestors to be Messiah!

A fascinating thing about the preparation for Jesus’ mission was that God’s forgiveness was focused on repentance, not lineage.  No devout Jew would consider anyone the Messiah without the proper lineage.  However, the Messiah’s ministry would focus on repentance. Consider John’s statement in Matthew 3:7-9 and note, “. . . For I say to you, that God is able from these stones to raise up children to Abraham” (NASB).

Suggestion for reflection: In salvation matters, do you rely on who you are (lineage) or what you are (a penitent servant)?  (Read Matthew 8:5-13.)

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