05 January 2015

The ancestral credentials of the Jewish Messiah

Click here to read Matthew 1

Discussion questions

  • Why do you think the Gospel writer began with the genealogy of Jesus?
  • How useful do you think it was, both initially and in later years, for Joseph and Mary to have been given the name of their child, which means ‘the Lord saves’?

Share your thoughts below, or tweet with the hashtag #boundlessbible.

Going deeper - from 'Words of Life' 

Sunrise (freefoto.com)Today, we see how the meaning of the name – ‘He shall save his people from their sins’ – would come true. This would be Christ’s great work in the world, the great mission for which he came: to be the propitiation for human sin by the sacrifice of his own life, offered out of love.

His death would carry out the reconciliation between God and humankind and release us from the full power of sin, removing sin’s guilt from all who believe in Jesus Christ. Adam Clarke wrote: ‘The perfection of the gospel system is not that it makes allowances for sin, but that it makes an atonement for it: not that it tolerates sin, but that it destroys it.’

Through the Atonement we can have a personal relationship with God. He gave his own Son to die in our place so that he could receive the repentant sinner without compromising his righteousness and holiness. With a broken and contrite spirit, we pray for forgiveness based on what Christ did on the Cross.

In verses 22 and 23 of our reading today, Matthew says that with Jesus it would be the same as in the time of the prophet Isaiah, when the fulfilment of the promise of the deliverance of Judah from her enemies was guaranteed by a sign – the birth of a child named Immanuel.

In the face of an event of such magnitude as the Incarnation – offering salvation – people would recognise that God was with them. They would call him Jesus – Immanuel, ‘God with us’. God united with our nature; God with man, God in man through the influence of the Holy Spirit, in every action of our lives, to comfort, enlighten, protect and defend us here and for eternity.

Pray that ‘God with us’, who came at the first Christmas to be our Saviour from sin’s power, will enable us to live in the holiness that he expects of us – every day.

Beverly Ivany
'King of Kings' produced by Gary Rose; words and music by Stan and Janet Kelley
Sunrise courtesy of freefoto.com

Tags: Matthew