Matthew 1

This is part of a Daily Devotional Orwell Bible Church prepares each week. You can get a copy from our Downloads and Literature page.

Matthew begins proving that Jesus is Israel’s promised Messiah and King by giving an account of Jesus’ ancestors. This account traces Jesus’ legal connection to Abraham and David, not his physical connection. One generation’s physical connection to the following generation is indicated by the word “begot” which means “was the father of.” However, this is not said of Joseph’s connection with Jesus! Instead, we read, “Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus who is called Christ” (v. 18). Jesus was not Joseph’s physical descendant, but he was Joseph’s legal heir as Jesus was born to Mary while she was Joseph’s husband and Joseph formally named him (vv. 21, 25).

Jesus’ birth to Mary while she was a virgin—unique and different from every other human being—needed explanation. Matthew details this in verses 18-25. Joseph was legally married to Mary but by Jewish custom was not yet living with her (vv. 18, 20, 24-25). Yet Mary was pregnant, not by natural means but supernaturally by the Holy Spirit’s life-giving power (v. 20; cf. Gen 2:7). Her child was thus fully God and fully man to save Israel from their sins (v. 21), exactly as the prophet Isaiah foretold 700 years beforehand (vv. 22-23; cf. Isa 7:14).

Truths to Nail Down and Meditate On

  1. God promised that Israel’s’ promised Messiah and King would be a descendant of David yet rule forever (2 Sam 7:13; Isa 9:6-7). This required a human being descended from Abraham and David who was also God, and only Jesus qualifies!
  2. God always fulfills his promises, no matter how impossible they may seem.
  3. God accomplishes his purposes in and through human history. Always view everything from God’s perspective, for that is the only correct point of view.
  4. While non-Jews would also be saved from their sins by Jesus, God’s promises of salvation were essentially connected with his chosen people Israel (cf. Gen 12:1-3; 18:18; 22:18; 26:14; John 4:22; Rom 3:1-2; 9:4-5).
  5. Jesus is sinners’ only hope of being saved from the power and penalty of sin. There is no other Savior for sinners.
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