Monthly Archives: July 2015

A Virgin Mom and a Fulfilled Promise.

One of the most notable features of Matthew’s gospel is his use of the Old Testament. He repeatedly points to the Old Testament and shows Jesus Christ as the fulfillment of OT prophecies. One of the best examples is Matthew 1:22-23. 
Matthew cites Isaiah 7:14, a prophecy about a virgin conceiving and bearing a son. Matthew clearly sees Jesus birth as a fulfillment of that prophecy. He writes, “All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet” (vs. 22). The birth of Christ actually fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah 7. This is not to suggest that the prophecy had no immediate referent. It simply means the ultimate fulfillment of the prophecy was the birth of Christ.
What does this mean for us? It is a reminder that God keeps His promises and His Word is trustworthy. First, God always keeps His promises. Always. Second, God’s Word is trustworthy. We can read and obey God’s Word because we know it is true and can be trusted.

He Will Save His People from Their Sins

After Matthew provides the geneology of Jesus, he discusses his birth (or rather, the events surrounding his birth). Mary, a young virgin, will miraculously conceive a child. Joseph, her betrothed, is obviously troubled (what would YOU think if your fiancĂ© told you she was pregnant but was still a virgin?). Joseph determined to privately divorce Mary so as not to bring her shame, but an angel appeared to Joseph and affirmed Mary’s story.
The angel also spoke to Joseph, and he told Joseph two things: the name of the baby and the mission of the baby. First, the baby’s name: Jesus. Jesus is a Greek name taken from the Hebrew name Joshua, which means “Yahweh saves.” Indeed! Second, the baby’s mission: to save His people from their sins. It is easy to see the connection between His name (Yahweh saves) and His mission (to save His people from their sins). Jesus came to save people from their sin.
While some would argue verse 21 teaches limited atonement, two things are worth noting: there are no atonement terms mentioned (ransom, propitiation, etc.), and “His people” likely refers to Israel considering the context of the chapter and the book as a whole. One thing is clear: Jesus Christ died on the cross to pay the penalty for our sins!
Thank God for sending His Son Jesus Christ to do what we could never do: save us from our sins! We are completely unable to save ourselves, but God made a way through the death of His only Son. Praise Him for His glorious grace!

Jesus, the Son of Abraham and the Son of David.

Matthew begins his gospel with these words: “The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham” (Mathew 1:1). What is the significance of Jesus’ association with David and Abraham? Why would Matthew draw attention to this?
Numerous scholars have pointed out that Matthew seems to direct his gospel to the Jewish people. He assumes his readers are familiar with many Jewish customs and repeatedly cites the Old Testament to support his claims. So, when he introduces Jesus Christ, it is natural that he would connect Jesus to David and Abraham, two heroes of the faith. It goes beyond connecting Jesus to two important Jewish figures, though. Matthew intends to show that Jesus is the climax of the promises made to Abraham and David.
Both Abraham and David were the recipients of covenant promises. In Genesis 12, God promised to bless Abraham by giving him land, growing his family into a great nation, and blessing all the world through him. In 2 Samuel 7, God promised David He would establish an everlasting kingdom through his offspring. Both of these promises were ultimately fulfilled in Christ! He is the One who has blessed the nations by dying for the sins of the world and offering grace and forgiveness to all who will repent and believe! He is the One who has established a kingdom that knows no end and will continue for eternity! He is the King of Kings! Praise God for His faithfulness!

Grace in Jesus’ Geneology.

I am starting a new study of Matthew in my devotional time, and I plan on sharing some thoughts from each section on my blog. I hope some of these insights will encourage those of you reading them.
In Matthew 1:1-17, Matthew presents the geneology of Jesus from Abraham to Joseph, the husband of Mary. The geneology contains some of the great heroes of the Old Testament, including Abraham and David. Yet the most the striking element of the geneology is the inclusion of four women with shady pasts. Tamar, Rahab, Ruth, and Bathsheba all had checkered pasts and still managed to find their way into the family tree of Jesus.
Tamar dressed up as a prostitute and slept with her father-in-law. Rahab was a prostitute before she met the Israelite spies. Ruth was a pagan Moabite before following Noami and marrying Boaz. Bathsheba committed adultery with David. Each of these women were sinners, but they found themselves in the family tree of Jesus Christ, the Son of God and Savior of the world.
The inclusion of these women in Jesus’ family tree reminds us of the grace of God. Each of them were sinners, yet God used these women to give us His Son, Jesus Christ. God’s grace is big enough to forgive the prostitutes, the pagans, and the adulterers…and it is big enough for you!