On completing this lesson you should be able to achieve the following goals:
1. Tell the story of God’s promises of the kingdom in the Old Testament; from Genesis to their fulfillment in Matthew.
2. Explain to someone who asks how the Bible teaches that Jesus Christ is the only one in all the universe who can bridge the gap between God and Man.
Read carefully Matthew 1:18-25
Practice in observing
Were Mary and Joseph married or only pledged to be married when Mary was found to be pregnant?
What was Joseph going to do when he knew Mary was pregnant?
To whom did the angel appear in this passage?
According to the angel:
a. what would be the name of the boy that was to be born?
b. by whom had Mary conceived this child?
Who said that the name of the son of the virgin would be “Immanuel” (God with us) – an angel or a prophet?
After hearing the angel’s message, what did Joseph do?
Train yourself to read with care and get into the habit of tacking out the basic facts from each Bible passage as you have done here.
Open your Bible at Matthew 1 and at Luke 1, marking with bits of paper.
Read Luke 2:4
Before going to Bethlehem (where Jesus was born) Mary and Joseph lived in the town of in the province of.
It was to this town of Nazareth that an angel come to two different people with the marvelous announcement of the coming birth of Jesus. To whom did he make this announcement:
in Luke 1:26, 27?
in Matthew 1:20?
Read Luke 1:26. In which town did the angel make these announcements?
There was a period of several months between them, during which Mary went on a long journey to the house of Elizabeth her relative. Read Luke 1:56.
Read Luke 1:36, According to the angel, was Elizabeth a relative of Mary, or not?
Elizabeth was the future mother of John the Baptist, was Jesus, therefore, a relative of John, or not?
Mary had to make a long journey to get to Elizabeth’s house. In which province did Elizabeth live? Read Luke 1:39-40.
God announced the coming birth of Jesus on occasions by the mouth of an . The first announcement tois found in the Gospel of whereas the second announcement was made to and is found in the Gospel of. Both announcements took place in the town of. They were separated by a period of at leastmonths during which Mary stayed in the house of her relative, Mary had to undertake a long journey towards the until she came to the province of . After several months she returned to her own house in the town of in the province of .
Practice in explaining
When Mary got back home to Nazareth, she was already 3 months pregnant, although she was pledged to be married to Joseph.
Among the Jewish people a couple “pledged to be married” had COMMITTED themselves to be married. We would consider them to be engaged, with one important difference: this commitment to each other could not be broken except by divorce or the death of one person.
Read Matthew 1:18. The fact that Mary was pregnant before having sexual relations with Joseph proves that Joseph was NOT the of Jesus.
Matthew 1:16 says that Joseph was the “Husband” of Mary of whom was born Jesus,” but it doesn’t say that Joseph was the father of Jesus, which is the word used of ALL the other ancestors in turn.
Now we can understand the importance of the basic message of the announcements. The angel announced to both Mary and Joseph the marvelous news that God Himself was to be Jesus’ father.
Mary, in her confession, asked: “How will this be, since I am a virgin?” The angel answered: “The holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God.”
Who, then, was Jesus’ father?
Practice in applying
Now, how can we apply this great truth to our own lives? We can see that it is the basis of our Christian faith itself. Only someone who has both a divine and a human nature can bridge the gap between God and men that has been caused by sin.
Who then is the only one who can save us?
To know the will of God is the highest of all wisdom. Living in the center of God’s will rules out all falseness of religion and puts the stamp of true sincerity upon our service to God. You can be miserable with much, if you are out of His will; but you can have peace in your heart with little, if you are in the will of God. You can be wretched with wealth and fame, out of His will; but you can have joy in obscurity, if you are in the will of God. You can have agony in good health, out of His will; but you can be happy in the midst of suffering, if you are in God’s will. You can be miserable and defeated in the midst of acclaim, if you are out of His will; but you can be calm and at peace in the midst of persecution, as long as you are in the will of God. The Bible reveals that God has a plan for every life, and that if we live in constant fellowship with Him, He will direct and lead us in the fulfillment of His plan.
(From Day by Day with Billy Graham by Joan W. Brown)
We have no excuse for abandoning God. He protects, provides, and leads us like a shepherd. We must always put our faith and trust in Him. Plans rarely turn out as we intended. Accidents happen. People move, die, or grow cold toward us. What is your anchor in a changing world? Thank God today for the immense security he provides.
The Genealogies-Part One
Open your Bible to Matthew 1:1 which tells us that we are about to read the record of the Genealogy of Jesus Christ. A Genealogy is a list of one’s ancestors.
Christ’s genealogy was written in the official books of the Public Register. The Jews guarded these documents with a great amount of exactness for thousands of years.
According to Jewish custom, the man of the family, even though not the father of the child, was the Legal Guardian of the child.
In the Gospels there are two genealogies.
One is Mary, Jesus’ real mother, the other one is of Joseph, Jesus Legal Guardian.
A study of Mary’s genealogy in Luke reveals another hidden point – it begins with Joseph’s name! Once again some knowledge of Jewish custom throws light on this difficulty because the Jews always always registered the genealogy of the women under the name of her husband.
Presenting this genealogy was one of the most interesting ways that Matthew could begin a book for a Jewish audience. Because a person’s family line proved his or her standing as one of God’s chosen people, Matthew began by showing that Jesus was a descendent of Abraham, the father of all Jews and a direct descendant of David, fulfilling Old Testament prophecies about the Messiah’s line. This is the first of many proofs recorded by Matthew to show the Jesus is the true Messiah.
More than 400 years had passed since the last Old Testament prophecies, and faithful Jews all over the world were still waiting for the Messiah (Luke 3:15). Matthew wrote this book to Jews to present Jesus as King and Messiah, the promised descendant of David who would reign forever (Isaiah 11:1-5). The Gospel of Matthew links the Old and New Testaments and contain many references that show how Jesus fulfilled Old Testament prophecy.
Jesus entered human history when the land of Palestine was controlled by Rome and considered an insignificant outpost of the vast and mighty Roman empire. The presence of Roman soldiers in Israel gave the Jews military peace, but at the price of oppression, slavery, injustice, and immorality. Into this kind of world came the promised Messiah.
In the first 17 verses we meet 46 people whose lifetimes span 2,000 years. All were ancestors of Jesus, but they varied considerably in personality, spirituality, and experience. Some were heroes of faith-like Abraham, Isaac, Ruth and David. Some had shady reputations-like Rehab and Tamar. . Many were very ordinary – like Hezron, Ram, Nahshon, and Akim. And others were evil – like Manasseh and Abijah. God’s work in history is not limited by human failures or sins, and he works through and in any people. Just as God used all kinds of people to bring his Son into the world, he used all kinds today to accomplish his will. And God wants to use you.
The exile occurred in 586 B.C. when Nebuchadnezzar, King of Babylonia, conquered Judah, destroyed Jerusalem, and took thousands of captives to Babylonia.
Because Mary was a virgin when she became pregnant, Matthew lists Joseph only as the husband of Mary, not the father of Jesus. Matthew’s genealogy gives Jesus’ legal (or royal) lineage through Joseph, Mary’s ancestral line is recorded in Luke 3:23-38. Both Mary and Joseph were direct descendants of David.
David and Svea Flood, a young Swedish missionary couple, were on fire for God when they arrived in Africa in 1921. They were determined that they would do pioneer work among unreached people, but the Africans were hostile and the climate was deadly. Soon after the birth of their second child, Svea died. The pain was too much for David. Doubts consumed him. Why had God let them down when they had sacrificed everything for Him? Had God forgotten them? Were they on a fools errand? For all their work they had only one convert, and he was a child.
His daughter Aggie, however, thought about him often. She had learned about the work he and her mother had begun in Africa, and she wanted to talk about it with him. After high school and further study at North Central Bible College, she married Dewey Hurst and together they served in various ministries with the Assemblies of God. But she longed to visit her father and her homeland of Sweden.
Finally, she took him in her arms and told him she loved him and that God had taken care of her through the years.
Indeed, God had done far more than that. There in his grimy bed with tobacco juice running down his unshaven face, her father heard for the first time that the little boy who had been converted through his and Svea’s ministry had won his village of 600 people to Christ,, and had gone on to be a great leader in the church. It was an emotional moment for him, and through his daughter’s urging, he recommitted his life to God. There was joy in that tiny apartment that day, and neither of them could know that David had only six more months more to live.
(From Stories of Faith by Ruth A. Tucker)
God gives blessings to people according to his will. Be grateful for all the blessings God has given you. God wants to love, protect, and bless us if only we will let him. Our pride, envy, stubbornness, and disobedience deprive us of God’s eternal blessings. Don’t let anything hinder your relationship with him.
Matthew traced the genealogy back to Abraham, while Luke traced it back to Adam. Matthew wrote to the Jews, so Jesus was shown as a descendant of their father, Abraham. Luke wrote to the Gentiles, so he emphasized Jesus as the Savior of all people.
Matthew breaks Israel’s history into three sets of 14 generations, but there were probably more generations then those listed here. Genealogies often compressed history, meaning that not every generation of ancestors was specifically listed. Thus the phrase “the father of” can also be translated “the ancestor of.”
“David was the father of Solomon, whose mother had been Uriah’s wife. (Matthew 1:6)
No matter how hard we try, our bad habits stick with us! Our sin does too. It’s like a sticky spiderweb we walk into. The harder we try to get it off, the worse it gets!
King David’s sin certainly stuck to him. His adultery with Bathsheba followed him all the way to the New Testament and into the genealogy of Jesus! However, this verse isn’t here to remind us of David’s sin, but to teach us of Jesus’ forgiveness. Jesus’ human ancestors were far from perfect. Yet He was not ashamed of them, but listed them for everyone to see! His forgiveness is for them too. He came to remove all of our sins so they would no longer stick to us!
Sometimes our sins may seem too big to be forgiven, too numerous to be forgotten, or too stuck to be removed. But Jesus’ forgiveness is greater than all our sins. The blood of Jesus shed on the cross was of such value that there is no sin that can separate us from the love of our Savior. That was true for David, and it is true for you and me as well.
Dear Jesus, thank You for Your forgiveness, which is greater than all my sins.
What titles does Matthew assign Jesus in verses 1 and 16? What is the meaning of each title?
Which people do you recognize in this genealogy? What do you remember about each of these people? Which people on the list are the most significant in establishing who Jesus is?
Why do you think some women were named when it was not the custom to include women’s names in genealogies? What do you know about these women?
Into what three sections does Matthew divide his genealogical table? What great event climaxes each section? From the promises to Abraham (Ge 12:2-3; 17:6-8)), why is it significant that Jesus is Abraham’s son (Gal 3:16-18)? From 2 Samuel 7:11-13, why is it significant that he is David’s son as well? Of what does that assure us?
If Luke’s genealogy (Lk 3:23-38) goes all the way back to Adam to emphasize the universality of the gospel, what is Matthew’s point in beginning with Abraham? What does this account of lineage say to Matthew’s Jewish readers?
What does it mean to you that God’s promises are trustworthy over the generations?
At what point in your life have you most felt Jesus’ presence?
What are the significant people in your spiritual upbringing? What has been passed on to you spiritually from your forbearers?
Read Luke 3:23-38
Imagine the Savior of the world working in a small-town carpenter’s shop until he was 30 years old! It seems incredible that Jesus would have been content to remain in Nazareth all that time, but he patiently trusted the Father’s timing for his life and ministry. Thirty was the prescribed age for priests to begin their ministry, (Numbers 4:3). Joseph was 30 years old when he began serving the king of Egypt (Genesis 41:46) and David was 30 years old when he began to reign over Judah (2 Samuel 5:4). Age 30, then, was a good time to begin an important task in the Jewish culture. Like Jesus we need to resist the temptation to jump ahead before receiving the Spirits direction. Are you waiting and wondering what your next step should be? Don’t jump ahead – trust God’s timing.
Heli may have been Joseph’s father in law. If that were the case, this would be Mary’s genealogy that Luke may have received personally from her. It is fitting that Luke would show Mary’s genealogy because of the prominence he gives women in his Gospel.
If Matthew’s genealogy starts with Abraham to demonstrate God’s working through the chosen people, what is Luke’s point in going all the way back to Adam (v. 38)? What do Adam and Jesus have in common? Why else might he include this genealogy (see 1:27, 32, 69)?
In this genealogy, which names stand out to you? What do you remember about them? What can you conclude about Jesus’ “earthly ancestry” from what you know of these people?
How has Jesus been like a “new Adam” for you – giving you a fresh start at life? How does Jesus sonship (v. 22) form the basis for the way the Father sees you? What kinship do you sense with Jesus?
At what time(s) in your life have you felt God’s special touch, as if something new was beginning for you? What happened?
BIO:William Ashley “Billy” Sunday
Evangelist. Billy Sunday was born at Ames, Iowa. Since his
father died when he was less than a year old, Billy was
raised in an orphanage. He became a professional baseball
player, and played in the National League for seven years. He
was converted to Christ through the street preaching of Harry
Monroe of the Pacific Garden Mission in Chicago.
After entering the ministry, he preached in the army
camps during World War I, and later held citywide meetings in
the various cities across America. In one meeting in Phila-
delphia, over 2,300,000 people attended during a period of
eight weeks. He held campaigns for over 20 years and liter-
ally “burned out” for Christ. This man, whose preaching was
also influential in the support of the Prohibition Amendment
to the Constitution, witnessed 19 conversions in his last
sermon, before his death.
ARTIST’S NOTE: The colors refer to his colorful ministry. His
pyrotechnics and explosive messages are pictured in the