Today’s reading: Matthew chapter 1
Many of us are familiar with this text because of the Christmas story. Perhaps reading it along with portions of Luke have become part of a family tradition.
As I read through this first chapter, I have to admit there was a time when most of what I saw was “so-and-so begat so-and-so”. If, while you are reading a chapter of “begats”, you ever wonder why they are included, perhaps that is a good time to ask the Lord, “what is it that You would like to show me about this?”. If you are tuned in and open to receive, He will give you an answer. Perhaps not in that very moment, but it will come!
I love, for example, that Rahab the harlot was part of the lineage of Jesus (Joshua 2:1); and Ruth the Moabite as well. Although the law of Matrilineality (tracing of Jewish descent through the maternal line) may have been in effect by the time of Jesus birth, both of these women were not of Jewish heritage. I believe there is a reason why Matthew wants us to know that, although Jesus fulfilled this law through Mary, He inherited his lineage of the house of David through Joseph.
I have also always been fascinated by the significance of the 14 generations (verse 17: “from Abraham to David are fourteen generations; from David to the deportation to Babylon, fourteen generations; and from the deportation to Babylon to the Messiah, fourteen generations”). It is a good thing Jesus did not have children, else there would be someone out there somewhere who would have figured out who the 14th generation son was, and named a date for the second coming!
What I love most about this chapter, however, is found in verse 23, “God with us”. Let that sink in on you for a moment. He who planted the ear, hears, and He who formed the eye, sees. He is near. For those who believe, His presence is in us. Are you seeking Him today?
“I love those who love me; And those who diligently seek me will find me.” Proverbs 8:17, NASB
Today’s reading: Matthew chapter 1, NASB
The record of the genealogy of Jesus the Messiah, the son of David, the son of Abraham:
Abraham was the father of Isaac, Isaac the father of Jacob, and Jacob the father of Judah; and his brothers. Judah was the father of Perez and Zerah by Tamar, Perez was the father of Hezron, and Hezron the father of Ram. Ram was the father of Amminadab, Amminadab the father of Nahshon, and Nahshon the father of Salmon. Salmon was the father of Boaz by Rahab, Boaz was the father of Obed by Ruth, and Obed the father of Jesse. Jesse was the father of David the king.
David was the father of Solomon by Bathsheba who had been the wife of Uriah. Solomon was the father of Rehoboam, Rehoboam the father of Abijah, and Abijah the father of Asa. Asa was the father of Jehoshaphat, Jehoshaphat the father of Joram, and Joram the father of Uzziah. Uzziah was the father of Jotham, Jotham the father of Ahaz, and Ahaz the father of Hezekiah. Hezekiah was the father of Manasseh, Manasseh the father of Amon, and Amon the father of Josiah. Josiah became the father of Jeconiah and his brothers, at the time of the deportation to Babylon.
After the deportation to Babylon: Jeconiah became the father of Shealtiel, and Shealtiel the father of Zerubbabel. Zerubbabel was the father of Abihud, Abihud the father of Eliakim, and Eliakim the father of Azor. Azor was the father of Zadok, Zadok the father of Achim, and Achim the father of Eliud. Eliud was the father of Eleazar, Eleazar the father of Matthan, and Matthan the father of Jacob. Jacob was the father of Joseph the husband of Mary, by whom Jesus was born, who is called the Messiah.
So all the generations from Abraham to David are fourteen generations; from David to the deportation to Babylon, fourteen generations; and from the deportation to Babylon to the Messiah, fourteen generations.
Now the birth of Jesus Christ was as follows: when His mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child by the Holy Spirit. And Joseph her husband, being a righteous man and not wanting to disgrace her, planned to send her away secretly. But when he had considered this, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife; for the Child who has been conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. She will bear a Son; and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.” Now all this took place to fulfill what was spoken by the Lord through the prophet: “behold, the virgin shall be with child and shall bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel,” which translated means, “God with us.” And Joseph awoke from his sleep and did as the angel of the Lord commanded him, and took Mary as his wife, but kept her a virgin until she gave birth to a Son; and he called His name Jesus.