Matthew 1

1 Feb

Continuing to go through the book of Matthew looking at one chapter a day and offering a thought, question, or quote. This is cycle 2 of going through this book online. Today I am kicking back off again in chapter 1. Click here for last months thoughts on chapter 1 or here for whole Matthew series so far. Click here for sermon I gave at Ecclesia last December on Matthew 1:1-17 or here for 1:18-25.

Matthew 1:1 A record of the genealogy of Jesus Christ the son of David, the son of Abraham:

In the book Romea and Juliet, Shakespeare gives away the whole plot of the book in its opening lines:
Two households, both alike in dignity,
In fair Verona, where we lay our scene,
From ancient grudge break to new mutiny,
Where civil blood makes civil hands unclean.
From forth the fatal loins of these two foes
A pair of star-crossed lovers take their life,
Whose misadventured piteous overthrows
Doth with their death bury their parents̓ strife.
The fearful passage of their death-marked love
And the continuance of their parents̓ rage,
Which but their children̓s end, naught could remove,
Is now the two-hours̓traffic of our stage;
The which if you with patient ears attend,
What here shall miss, our toil shall strive to mend.

He begins the story by giving away the plot and conclusion. Two lovers scorn the feuds of their family and it wasn’t in the stars for their love to survive. He’s that good that he can give away the plot knowing that the story is so good that people will want to bear the “two-hour traffic of our stage.” Matthew’s story is similar in that in the first line he gives away the main content of what Jesus is about trusting that the story, the character, the magnitude of his life is so great that you will stay for the two hours of traffic that mark the remaining of the story Matthew is about to tell.

Several things would leap off of the page.

The first two words in greek are biblio geneosis which translates “The Book of Genesis”:
So if Genesis was about creation and God’s relationship with the birth of the world, then apparently this Jesus is going to be about some sort of new Creation that is occurring, something new being birthed.

Jesus Christ: Christ isn’t Jesus last name. Christ, in Hebrew is Mashiach (Messiah) and was the term for royalty, a king. Christ isn’t a last name but a job description. So this Jesus is going to be about a king and a his kingdom.

And in a whole list of names in which these next two will be repeated he says Jesus is the son of David, the son of Abraham. These two names are going to speak to the details of this kingdom.

Son of David speaks the length of his rule.
1 Chronicles 17:11-14
When your days are over and you go to be with your fathers, I will raise up your offspring to succeed you, one of your own sons, and I will establish his kingdom. He is the one who will build a house for me, and I will establish his throne forever. I will be his father, and he will be my son. I will never take my love away from him, as I took it away from your predecessor. I will set him over my house and my kingdom forever; his throne will be established forever.

Son of David speaks to the length of rule: Forever; never taken away; established; throne

Son of Abraham speaks to the universality or width of his rule.
Genesis 12:1-3
The LORD has said to Abram, “Leave your country, your people and your father’s household and go to the land I will show you.
“I will make you into a great nation and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all people on earth will be blessed through you.”

Genesis 18:18
“Abraham will surely become a great and powerful nation, and all nations on earth will be blessed through him.”

Genesis 22:17-18
“I will surely bless you and make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as the sand on the seashore. Your descendants will take possession of the cities of their enemies, and through your offspring all nations on earth will be blessed, because you have obeyed me.”

Son of Abraham speaks to the who, the people that belong to this kingdom:
“Nation; great; blessing”
“All people on earth will be blessed through you”
“All nations on earth will be blessed through him”
“All nations on earth will be blessed”

If being a son of David speaks of Jesus rule never ending then being a son of Abraham speaks to his rule that is ever growing, ever increasing, ever reaching to all people everywhere. This may be an obscure people group on the margins of the Roman empire but this kingdom is for the good, the blessing, of everyone everywhere.

And just like Shakespeare, Matthew gives away the plot, and believes that the story is so complelling that you will stay for the two hours of traffick onstage.

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