*Below is Andrew’s outline from Sunday’s sermon, not a word for word manuscript. This is meant as aid in seeing the thought and direction of the sermon.

“Call Me Ishmael” (Moby Dick)

“It was the best of times it was the worst of times….” (A Tale of Two Cities)

‘It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen’ (1984)

‘It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife’ (Pride & Prejudice)

The opening of a book says a lot about where the author is going. It sets a standard; it lures you in or makes you more intrigued by what is to be said. It is not meant to be quickly passed over, but t be savored as it lays a foundation.

For our Advent series this year we are going to spend time in the Advent narrative of Matthew chapters 1-2. We will be exploring the narrative of Christ birth and why it is so foundational.

Today we begin with some very important first word:

I. The Beginning

Matthew 1:1 ESV

The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham.

From the beginning of Matthews text, he grabs us with words that echo back through the whole of the OT:

The Book of the genealogy: Gen 2:4Gen 5:1

Genesis 2:4 ESV

These are the generations of the heavens and the earth when they were created, in the day that the Lord God made the earth and the heavens.

Genesis 5:1 ESV

This is the book of the generations of Adam. When God created man, he made him in the likeness of God.

We are drawn into the story that is in many ways a continuation of what has gone before. It is a new chapter in the expanding work of God.

-So right here at the beginning we know this Book is about something new and something old.

-It is now about Jesus Christ

-Christ being a title” Anointed” not a last name. It is the messiah, the one promised who was to come.

We see the impact immediately this new story is of the promised one of God, The Son of Abraham the Son of David:

Genesis 12:2–3 ESV

And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”

2 Samuel 7:11–16 ESV

from the time that I appointed judges over my people Israel. And I will give you rest from all your enemies. Moreover, the Lord declares to you that the Lord will make you a house. When your days are fulfilled and you lie down with your fathers, I will raise up your offspring after you, who shall come from your body, and I will establish his kingdom. He shall build a house for my name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever. I will be to him a father, and he shall be to me a son. When he commits iniquity, I will discipline him with the rod of men, with the stripes of the sons of men, but my steadfast love will not depart from him, as I took it from Saul, whom I put away from before you. And your house and your kingdom shall be made sure forever before me. Your throne shall be established forever.’”

Into the world the promised on who will bless the nations and establish a kingdom and save his people has come.

And that’ just the 1st line.

Matthew is originally written to a Jewish audience and the impact would not have been lost on them

(Let us not become numb to the wonder and beauty of God’s providence in fulfilling his divine plan)

Now what is key here is also we are talking about the reality that the hope of the world is Human (he is also divine as we see through next week and especially in John), but for Matthew here he is highlighting the fact that God’s promise came to humanity in humanity. In the OT we have seen the manifestation of God speaking to Joshua before Jericho, we see him promising to Abraham a son, we have seen in appear as a man, but here and now he comes fully clothed in human flesh with a true lineage.

He has a human family:

II. The Family of Jesus

Ill:  This past week you may have spent some time with several generation of your family.

Family gatherings remind us Where we come from, as we look back, we can see some good and for some, some bad.

Jesus family tree is not a pretty one, it is a mess just like the people whom he has come to save.

Matthew breaks Jesus family tree down into 3 division with the kings squarely in the middle

First:

A. Pre-Dynastic Israel (2-6a)

Matthew 1:2–6 ESV

Abraham was the father of Isaac, and Isaac the father of Jacob, and Jacob the father of Judah and his brothers, and Judah the father of Perez and Zerah by Tamar, and Perez the father of Hezron, and Hezron the father of Ram, and Ram the father of Amminadab, and Amminadab the father of Nahshon, and Nahshon the father of Salmon, and Salmon the father of Boaz by Rahab, and Boaz the father of Obed by Ruth, and Obed the father of Jesse, and Jesse the father of David the king. And David was the father of Solomon by the wife of Uriah,

The genealogy beginning with Abraham gives us a far overview of the books of Genesis through to Ruth

The Patriarchs open the geology by rooting Jesus in the line of Abraham following the biblical genealogies laid out in the OT.

 Reminding us again and again it is to the children of promise whom Christ was born (many of the names are not the first sons but rather down the line)

The pre-King genealogies feature 3 well known women:

The three women in this section are well known throughout history. How their stories begin is very different than how they each ended.

Tamar, Rehab, Ruth

-Tamar, listed in Ruth 4 as a blessing

Ruth 4:12 ESV

and may your house be like the house of Perez, whom Tamar bore to Judah, because of the offspring that the Lord will give you by this young woman.”

Known though probably more so for the infamy of Gen 38 (Where she seduces Judah after he has dealt faithlessly with her in not giving her to his youngest son in marriage)

-Rehab not listed in any other genealogies (assumed to be the Rehab of Joshua) the prostitute who choose to hide the spies and then join Israel

-Ruth known for being a Moabite woman of great love for her mother-in-law. (The Moabites were not to be accepted in the assembly of the Lord for up to 10 generations. (Ruth’s timeline borders this dating) Deut 23:3-4

Women were not that uncommon in OT genealogies, especially in 1 Chronicles when dealing with the mothers of the kings.

But it is a beautiful picture of God’s faithfulness of how these women all three outside the kingdom were brought into the people of God and became the mothers of Kings, and ultimately the Christ.

The text then brings us to the kings of Judah. David’s kingdom of Saints and sinners: Beginning with himself.

B. Dynastic Israel (6b-11)

Matthew 1:6–11 ESV

and Jesse the father of David the king. And David was the father of Solomon by the wife of Uriah, and Solomon the father of Rehoboam, and Rehoboam the father of Abijah, and Abijah the father of Asaph, and Asaph the father of Jehoshaphat, and Jehoshaphat the father of Joram, and Joram the father of Uzziah, and Uzziah the father of Jotham, and Jotham the father of Ahaz, and Ahaz the father of Hezekiah, and Hezekiah the father of Manasseh, and Manasseh the father of Amos, and Amos the father of Josiah, and Josiah the father of Jechoniah and his brothers, at the time of the deportation to Babylon.

We begin with David’s greatest sin, which brought it time Israel’s greatest King, buy God’s grace in spite of David.

1 Woman: Unnamed but known- Bathsheba

Unfortunately, the Kings of Judah are a hot mess of righteousness and sinfulness. (Rehoboam begins by forsaking wisdom)

Non-perfectly righteous. many steeped in their own arrogance and pride. Those who start well rather end there.

And those who start in sin, usually continue till the end (Manasseh being a random exception for his repentance found in 2 Chronicles.)

Each of these men can be found in the Books of Kings and chronicles with their lives put on display.

(Overview some of them)

(Matthew leaves out several of the Kings of Judah- Ahaziah, Joash and Amaziah as we see it is purposeful)

Yet from the kings we saw the failure of the kingdom of Judah and in it the judgement of God leading to the Exile:

But God was still faithful

C. Post-Dynastic Israel

Matthew 1:12–16 ESV

And after the deportation to Babylon: Jechoniah was the father of Shealtiel, and Shealtiel the father of Zerubbabel, and Zerubbabel the father of Abiud, and Abiud the father of Eliakim, and Eliakim the father of Azor, and Azor the father of Zadok, and Zadok the father of Achim, and Achim the father of Eliud, and Eliud the father of Eleazar, and Eleazar the father of Matthan, and Matthan the father of Jacob, and Jacob the father of Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom Jesus was born, who is called Christ.

This final grouping contains very few names that we know anything about: After Zerubbabel who is seen in Ezra the rest are lost to history until we arrive at Jospeh.

But the fact that we don’t know anything about them doesn’t make them any these important. God was still working

Here again we see God’s hand working in the silence much like the book of Esther. you don’t need the hand of God hitting you in the face to know He is at work. So, for each generation He was at working to bring about the Plan of salvation and preparing to enter into history to save His own.

So, on through to Joseph, we see each generation progress.

-next week we will see Jospeh is not the blood father of Jesus, but the legal father of Jesus.

-Matthew her lays out for us the truth that Jesus is the true king of Israel (but as we see Matthew unfold, we are approach with the fact that this king is unlike any other) even the best kings of Judah failed.

-He is the king and the Christ again a title of who he would be not a last name. He is the promised son of Abraham & David the one promised to Adam who would crush the serpent’s head. For God is faithful:

III. God is Faithful

Matthew 1:17 ESV

So, all the generations from Abraham to David were fourteen generations, and from David to the deportation to Babylon fourteen generations, and from the deportation to Babylon to the Christ fourteen generations.

The conclusion of the genealogy has in many ways been lost to history in its full meaning some will speculate that the 14 generations reflect the number 14 as the name of David (using Jewish numerology). Others it is the combination of 6 sets of seven. The coming together of God and Man.

The second I prefer as it brings together the reality of who Jesus was beginning the genealogy of 1-16 together with the virgin birth that will conclude chapter 1

Unfortunate we are left with mostly speculation at this point, but when we see it in light of the text it is clear Matthew is reminded us that God was faithful to His promise to bring salvation to his people. From every era and Covenant God is at work. He was leading all of History to this moment. They were not accidents, they were planned.

God is faithful:

In this genealogy we have seen that He is Faithful:

– To save broken sinners (No one is beyond his forgiving work)

From every corner of the World

– To uphold his promises (God is faithful through his timing not our desires) This timeline covers almost 2000 years.

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