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                        "THE GOSPEL OF MATTHEW"

                 The Genealogy Of Jesus Christ (1:1-17)

INTRODUCTION

1. We begin our study by reading the first seventeen verses of Matthew
   (Mt 1:1-17)

2. In 2Ti 3:16-17, we are told that ALL scripture is profitable
   a. This includes such sections as the one we have just read
   b. Though some may consider it a dry, laborious genealogical table
      of names...
      1) It is profitable for doctrine
      2) It is profitable for instruction in righteousness

3. My objective will be to share some spiritual thoughts that can be
   gleaned from this scripture

[Since Matthew is the only one of the four gospel writers to begin his
gospel with a genealogical record of Jesus, let me first suggest a 
reason why...]

I. WHY MATTHEW BEGINS WITH THIS GENEALOGY

   A. IT IS CONSISTENT WITH THE NATURE AND PURPOSE OF HIS GOSPEL...
      1. It has been observed that:
         a. Matthew wrote for the Jews
         b. Mark wrote for the Romans
         c. Luke wrote for the Greeks
         d. John wrote for the church
      2. Matthew's gospel was designed to convince Jews that Jesus is
         the Messiah
         a. Fulfillment of Jewish prophecy is a recurring theme - e.g.,
            Mt 1:22-23; 2:4-6,14-15,17-18,23
         b. Genealogy was certainly important to the nation of Israel 
            - Gen 5, 10, 1Ch 1-9

   B. TO SHOW THAT JESUS FULFILLS TWO MESSIANIC PREREQUISITES...
      1. The Messiah had to be a descendant of Abraham - cf. Gen 22:18
      2. The Messiah had to be a descendant of David - cf. Isa 11:1-2,
         10
      -- Mt 1:1 proclaims this to be true of Jesus, and Mt 1:2-17
         demonstrates it

[Whatever else Jesus may have done, if He was not a descendant of 
Abraham and David, He could not be the Messiah.  So a gospel directed
especially to the Jews would naturally settle this issue before 
proceeding.  Now let's note some...]

II. SIGNIFICANT FEATURES OF THIS GENEALOGY

   A. THE WAY IT IS DIVIDED...
      1. Into three sections of fourteen names each - Mt 1:17
         a. Abraham to David
         b. David to the Babylonian captivity
         c. Babylonian captivity to Jesus
         -- This may have been to facilitate committing to memory
      2. Which may explain why some names were omitted
         a. Between Joram and Uzziah there were three kings (Ahaziah,
            Joash, & Amaziah) - cf. Mt 1:8
         b. But such omission was not unusual in Jewish genealogies; 
            minor figures were often deleted
         -- The main purpose was to establish essential connections,
            not minor details

   B. JESUS' "LEGAL" RIGHT TO DAVID'S THRONE IS ESTABLISHED...
      1. Not His "fleshly" right, for Matthew describes Jesus as the
         adopted son of Joseph
      2. Luke records the "fleshly" ancestry of Jesus in Lk 3:23-38
         a. A record of His ancestry from His mother's side
         b. Where He is shown to have descended from David through 
            Nathan, not Solomon
         -- A careful study of Lk 3 confirms this
      3. This helps to answer a puzzling dilemma found in the OT
         a. God promised that the Messiah would come from the loins of
            David
         b. But a descendant through Solomon, Jeconiah (Mt 1:11), was
            so wicked that God promised none of his descendants would
            rule on the throne of David - Jer 22:24-30
         c. How then would God fulfill His promise to David?
            1) By a descendant from a son other than Solomon
            2) Which Jesus was, having descended in the flesh from
               Nathan
      4. So Jesus is both "legal" and "fleshly" heir to the throne of
         David...
         a. "Legal" heir by virtue of His adoption by Joseph, 
            descendant of Solomon
         b. "Fleshly" heir by virtue of His birth by Mary, descendant
            of Nathan

   C. THE INSERTION OF FOUR MOTHER'S NAMES...
      1. They are unique, not only to be included in such a list, but
         in that:
         a. Three were tainted in regards to moral purity
            1) Tamar played a harlot
            2) Rahab was a harlot
            3) Bathsheba was an adulteress
         b. Ruth, though morally sweet and noble, mingled the royal
            blood line with Gentile blood!
      2. Why mention these four women?  Perhaps to suggest...
         a. The relation of Christ to the stained and sinful?
         b. Jesus would be a King to show mercy and pity to harlots,
            and open His kingdom to include Gentiles?

[Whether this was Matthew's intention here, he does illustrate later
that Christ extended mercy to the morally repugnant and would enlarge
His kingdom to include all nations.

Finally, let's consider...]

III. LESSONS TO BE LEARNED FROM THIS GENEALOGY

   A. GOD ALWAYS KEEPS HIS WORD...
      1. He made promises...
         a. To Abraham
         b. To David
         c. Through Isaiah
         ...and the coming of Jesus, son of David, son of Abraham,
         fulfilled that promise!
      2. We can therefore have confidence that God will keep His word!
         a. E.g., the promise of His Son's final coming - cf. Ac 1:9
         b. There is no need to lose heart!
            1) The duration between this promise and its fulfillment
               has barely reached the time between the promise made to
               Abraham and its fulfillment!
            2) I.e., 2000 years passed, but God still kept His promise
               to Abraham
            3) Likewise He will keep His promise to us!

   B. GODLINESS IS NOT INHERITED...
      1. Many godly fathers have had ungodly sons!
         a. Solomon had Rehoboam
         b. Hezekiah had Manasseh
         c. Josiah had Jeconiah
      2. As it has been said, "God has no grandchildren"
         a. Being a child of God does not insure that your children 
            will be God's children!
         b. As parents, let us...
            1) Be diligent to raise our children in the "nurture and 
               admonition of the Lord"
            2) Not lose heart when our children stray (even Manasseh
               eventually repented)

   C. THE GREATNESS OF OUR LORD'S MERCY AND COMPASSION...
      1. Jesus humbled Himself when He came to this earth in the 
         likeness of men - cf. Php 2:5-8
      2. He did this for our sakes!
         a. To taste death for everyone - He 2:9
         b. To help bring us to glory - He 2:10
         c. To deliver us from the fear and power of death - He 2:14-15
         d. To become our merciful and faithful High Priest - He 2:
            16-18

CONCLUSION

1. All this and much more, Jesus did by becoming what the first 
   seventeen verses of Matthew's gospel proclaims:  "...the Son of 
   David, the Son of Abraham"

2. This genealogy of Jesus Christ...
   a. Establishes the right of Jesus to be the Messiah
   b. Reminds us of God's mercy
      1) In the lives of Rahab, Ruth, and Bathsheba
      2) In our own lives by fulfilling His promise to send Son to die
         for our sins

Have you received the mercy God offers through "Jesus Christ...the
Son of David, the Son of Abraham"?
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