The Bible says
in Matthew chapter 1:1-17, “The book of
the generation of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham. Abraham
begat Isaac; and Isaac begat Jacob; and Jacob begat Judas and his brethren; And
Judas begat Phares and Zara
of Thamar; and Phares begat
Esrom; and Esrom begat Aram; And Aram begat Aminadab; and Aminadab begat Naasson; and Naasson begat
Salmon; And Salmon begat Booz of Rachab;
and Booz begat Obed of
Ruth; and Obed begat Jesse; And Jesse begat David the
king; and David the king begat Solomon of her that had been the wife of Urias; And Solomon begat Roboam;
and Roboam begat Abia; and Abia begat Asa; And Asa begat Josaphat; and Josaphat begat Joram; and Joram begat Ozias; And Ozias begat Joatham; and Joatham begat Achaz; and Achaz begat Ezekias; And Ezekias begat Manasses; and Manasses begat Amon; and Amon begat Josias; And Josias begat Jechonias and his
brethren, about the time they were carried away to Babylon: And after they were
brought to Babylon, Jechonias begat Salathiel; and Salathiel begat Zorobabel; And Zorobabel begat Abiud; and Abiud begat Eliakim; and Eliakim; begat Azor; And Azor begat Sadoc; and Sadoc begat Achim; and Achim begat Eliud; And Eliud begat Eleazar; and Eleazar begat Matthan; and Matthan begat Jacob;
And Jacob begat Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus, who is
called Christ. So all the generations from Abraham to David are fourteen
generations; and from David until the carrying away into
When you read a book probably the two questions you ask yourself first are: who is the author? And what is the book about? Knowing this information will greatly affect a readers perspective of what is read. The Bible is the book of God. God wrote it. It’s God Words. And its central theme is Jesus Christ. Jesus is the living Word. And the Bible is the written Word. And so now we come to the book of Matthew. The book of Matthew is an autobiography on the life of Jesus Christ. Christ Himself wrote it and Matthew penned it.
In Matthew chapter 1 we are given the genealogy of Jesus. This information is given to us for several very important reasons and all of these reasons serve the purpose of revealing to us important truths about who Jesus Christ is. Matthew 1:1 says, “The book of the generation of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham.” The genealogy of Jesus is traced from Abraham to David. These two men are mentioned in the very first verse of Matthew because God gave to both of these men some very great promises. The promises given to these men were both physical and Spiritual. And it is very important to remember that God always keeps and fulfills His promises.
Why do you think it would be important for us to
know that Jesus was a descendant of Abraham?
Because God promised Abraham in Genesis 12:2-3, “And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and
make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing.
And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth
thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.” The great
promise to Abraham was that all the world would be
blessed through him. There are many details that can be discussed concerning
Now, what about the fact that verse 1 says Jesus was of the lineage of David? What great promise did God give to King David? Well God promised King David in II Samuel 7:16, “And thine house and thy kingdom shall be established for ever before thee: thy throne shall be established for ever.” God promised David that of his descendants would come a King who would rule for ever. And guess what Jesus is; the King of Kings. And The Bible gives a wonderful and fearful description of Christ in Revelation 19:11-16 which says, “And I saw heaven opened and behold a white horse; and He that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He doth judge and make war. His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on His head were many crowns; and He had a name written, that no man knew, but He Himself. And He was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and His name is called The Word of God. And the armies which were in heaven followed Him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean. And out of His mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it He should smite the nations: and He shall rule them with a rod of iron: and He treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. And He hath on His vesture and on His thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.”
Humans are like sheep and they need a shepherd. People need someone to lead them and to guide them. Society is even structured around this need of men. Every country has a leader. However, throughout history most leaders have been cruel, unjust, and unmerciful oppressors of men. Even those who are not so are still imperfect at best. Thankfully, the day is coming when Christ shall rule the world and the hearts of men for all eternity. And Christ is faithful, true, righteous, just and merciful. And this is blessing is for all the world.
It is important to remember that the lineage given in Matthew chapter 1 is a physical lineage. In a way it is not really all that important who Jesus parents were or whether He was white, black or a Jew. Of course in a way it is important whom Jesus’ physical lineage is because of the promises given to Abraham and the Jews. But Jesus Christ existed before He came to this world in the flesh because He is God. The Gospel of John begins this way “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” Jesus is the Word. In fact Jesus created the world and us. What is important is the promises that are given to us; promises that Christ gave and that Christ fulfilled and that Christ will fulfill.
Now, look at beginning of the Gospel of Matthew. It’s a book; an autobiography, on the life of Christ. And Christ begins by tells us about two very important things in verse 1: that He is the King of Kings and that through Him are blessings. The first blessing is the greatest blessing of all; the forgiveness of sins.
The Bible goes on to say in Matthew 1:18-25, “Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as His mother was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost. Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing to make her a public example, was minded to put her away privily. But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost. And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call His name JESUS: for He shall save His people from their sins. Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call His name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us. Then Joseph being raised from sleep did as the angel of the Lord had bidden him, and took unto him his wife: And knew her not till she had brought forth her firstborn son: and He called His name Jesus.” The historical event recorded here in Matthew chapter 1; is actually the very first Christmas. And the true meaning of Christmas Day is to celebrate the birth of the Saviour of this world.
So, as we look at the details of this historical event; there are several things which should be very obvious. First that this birth was a miracle and second that this birth was the fulfillment of prophecy. Look at verses 18 and 22. Mary was found with child of the Holy Ghost. That which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost. In other words it’s the power of God; it’s not a normal human birth. There is something different about this child Jesus than all other men who have been born into this world, and that is: that this child is the Son of God. Not only is the birth of Jesus a miraculous birth of the power of God, but his birth is also the fulfillment of prophecy from God’s Word.
Verses 21-23 say, “And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call His name JESUS: for He shall save His people from their sins. Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Behold a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call His name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.” And this last verse is a quote from Isaiah which says, “Therefore the Lord Himself shall give you a sign; behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call His name Immanuel.” The prophecy that is fulfilled here reveals clearly the purpose that Christ came into the world: to save men from their sins, and in so doing; to bring them into a close relationship with their Almighty Creator. Surely Joseph and his wife knew these prophecies by heart. And they must have pondered them carefully. There is no doubt that they must have known who this child was. And so should you.
There will always be many in this world who will deny Christ. They will deny He ever existed or they will falsely declare that he was just a man. They will deny His divinity, because they do not wish to bow down to the King of Kings. However, it is impossible to honestly miss the point of this passage. That which was conceived was of the Holy Ghost. And that which was conceived was of a virgin. Some have even tried to argue that the Hebrew word used in Isaiah for virgin does not mean virgin. However, what would be so miraculous about a woman giving birth if she was not a virgin? A virgin conceived and this physical impossibility is a sign of the divinity of Christ.
God sent His Son into the world. God is the Almighty Creator. His Son did not have to die for our sins. And when He came into this world, Christ could have come by any means. Howbeit on that day, God chose to bring His Son into the world through the means of physical birth; a birth which took place at a poor, lowly stables of an inn. Yet, even veiled in the dross of the flesh and the lowliness by which He came; it is impossible to honestly not see the divinity of Christ. Plus, one day He is coming again and it will be in the fullness of His power and glory as the King of Kings.
The next thing that we learn through this passage of scripture, concerning the birth of Christ, are names given for the Messiah. Look at the name Immanuel. This means God with us. And why should Jesus be called Immanuel,; because Jesus is God in the flesh. God is with us indeed. It’s just as the apostle John wrote in John , “And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.”
We often identify who a person is by their name. Look closely at the two names mentioned here in Matthew chapter 1: Jesus and Immanuel. Jesus means Jehovah saves. And Immanuel means God with us. The story of Christ and the birth of Christ show us the desire of God. God created man to love Him and to walk in fellowship with Him. Each of us have sinned and turned away from God. So God sent His only begotten Son.
God came in the flesh to this earth. Jesus left the glory of the Father; the eternal and perfect glory, so that He might be garbed in the flesh with all of its pain and suffering. Jesus experienced the sufferings of life that we must all experience. And then he went beyond and faced things that no man has ever suffered or would be able to suffer: the cruel death on the cross for the sins of the entire world. This shows God’s great and eternal desire to be with us. And it is thus no small wonder the name of Jesus is Immanuel, which is to say God with us.
God didn’t have to come in the flesh. He didn’t have to send His only Son to die for our sins. But He did. This shows the great love of God. And this is the story of the birth of Jesus: the Christmas story.
Now then there is one more important lesson to learn from Matthew chapter 1 and this is through the lives of Joseph and Mary. Joseph and Mary were the parents of Jesus. God could have used anyone but chose to use Mary and Joseph. Why did He do this? Because of their evident desire to do what is right. The Bible says that Mary was a virgin. And the Bible says of Joseph in verse 19 that He was a just man. We see two great spiritual qualities here; sexual purity and justness. How many people in this world have such character? Not many. Sure all have sinned. And Mary and Joseph were sinners just as you and I. But it is evident by their lives that they desired what is right and because of this, God used them in a special way. What a privilege and what a blessing it must have been for them to be the parents of Jesus. The disciples spent three years with the Christ, but they spent 30; imagine the things they must have learned about God.
So we have seen God’s desire to draw men close to Him and this is evident because He sent His son. And now we have also seen in Mary and Joseph how God rewards those who diligently seek Him. Draw nigh to God and He shall draw nigh to you. Those who seek what is right and those who desire to be close to Christ will find there is a special opportunity for them to do so; just as there was with Mary and Joseph.
Now then, when you think of the story of Jesus and His birth remember this is the story of the King of Kings who came to seek and to save that which was lost. If you do not know Christ as your Savior then call upon Him right now and Jesus will save you from your sins.
Copyright; 2005 by Charles
F. (Rick) Creech
All Rights Reserved