Matthew 1 - Jesus is the Christ who was to come
The text that we read this morning will also be the text that we will consider for our Christmas Eve service.
Our text today is going to be Matthew 1:1 which says, “The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham.”
We will also consider Matthew 1:18-25,
Now the birth of Jesus Christ took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit. 19 And her husband Joseph, being a just man and unwilling to put her to shame, resolved to divorce her quietly. 20 But as he considered these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. 21 She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” 22 All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet:
23 “Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel”
(which means, God with us). 24 When Joseph woke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him: he took his wife, 25 but knew her not until she had given birth to a son. And he called his name Jesus.
The theologian, A.W. Tozer once said, “What comes into our mind when we think about God is the most important thing about us.”
We do not need to search long to discover what Matthew thought about when he considered God. In the very first chapter of his gospel we find that His mind would immediately think about Jesus Christ. From the very beginning of this gospel Matthew is bold, clear and unashamed to declare that Jesus is Immanuel – God is with us.
Dr. Steven Lawson said, “Who you believe God to be, what He is like, is the single most important factor in your life. High views of God lead to high and holy living. A high view of God leads to exalted, transcendent worship of God. But a low view of God will lead to low and base living.”
Matthew was a former tax collector. At one time he cared so much about amassing money at the expense of his countrymen that he was hated and despised by the Jewish people. But one day, while he sat at the tax collector’s booth, he met a man who called out to him saying, ‘Follow me’. In that moment, Matthew traded in his old life for a new life which would be characterized by a high and holy calling. Matthew traded in his lucrative business to become a worshiper of God.
Matthew could not be more clear about who we ought to think about when think about God. He testifies that Jesus is the Christ who has come to save His people from their sins. Jesus is the long-awaited king and deliverer.
Matthew, like the apostle John, takes every opportunity to boldly declare, “That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon and have touched with our hands, concerning the word of life – the life was made manifest, and we have seen it, and testify to it and proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and was made manifest to us – that which we have seen and heard we proclaim also to you, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ. And we are writing these things so that our joy may be complete.” (1 John 1:1-4)
Matthew reveals his thoughts about Jesus so clearly when he divides Matthew 1 into two sections and begins each of the sections with a common theme – Jesus is the Christ.
In Matthew 1:1 he begins this gospel with these words, “The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ”.
In Matthew 1:18 he writes, “Now the birth of Jesus Christ took place in this way.”
Everything in this chapter, and everything in this entire gospel, is written to testify to the fact that Jesus is the Christ.
As we celebrate Christmas this week our thoughts are to be upon the person of Jesus Christ. As we reflect upon Jesus every one of us is to worship with a high and exalted praise. Jesus is the Christ, the anointed one. He is the long-awaited king and deliverer. He is the Son of the Living God. This was the message of all of the disciples as they went out at the risk of their own lives to declaring, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” (Matthew 16:16)
To that end, so that we can incline our hearts to worship Jesus this Christmas season as the Son of the living God, we turn our attention now to the Gospel of Matthew.
In this chapter we are given two namesfor the promised Christ: Jesus and Immanuel. This morning we will be primarily concerned with the name of Jesus. And at our Christmas Eve service we will consider the fact that Jesus is Immanuel, God is with us!
Jesus means, ‘Yahweh saves’. Matthew, the former tax collector, wants everyone to know that Jesus has come into the world to deliver His people from their sins. This is the greatest gift that anyone can receive because sin is our greatest danger. Sin brings upon us physical, emotional and relational death. Sin also brings upon us spiritual death. Sin separates us from God and if unresolved it will bring upon us the wrath of God.
The forgiveness of sins can only be received by those who have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. There is no other name given among men by which you must be saved. (Acts 4:12)Matthew says this clearly when he writes, “She will bear a son, and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.” (1:21) Jesus alone can save. Jesus alone can grant peace between God and His people.