Monday, December 7, 2009

The Christmas story part 1: Matthew 1

I have been trying to figure out what I should write about next. Since it is Christmas time I thought it would be best to touch on the Christmas story itself. We have all read these following verses at this time of year, but I wanted to try and look a little deeper behind them. Over the next couple of weeks I wanted to see if God had anything new to tell us. This world needs more of Jesus’ story, so why not go back to the very roots? I admit that it has been very hard to study God’s word of late. It just isn’t saying much to me. Hopefully this basic story we all know will have something new to say.

6and Jesse the father of King David.
David was the father of Solomon, whose mother had been Uriah's wife, -- Matthew 1:6

On the surface this is just a list of names. Matthew wanted to establish Jesus’ genealogy from a human perspective and show that His birth was the fulfillment or prophecy. His lineage goes back to Abraham through David, Solomon, and the kings of Israel. The mention of Uriah is important because it ties in God’s grace to this story. Remember, a critical aspect of Jesus was His humanity. Uriah was a man that David cheated by stealing his wife, then putting him in harm’s way so he would be killed. As great as David was, this was not his proudest moment. This doesn’t taint Jesus’ lineage, but it does show that he was willing to be associated with some of the darker elements of humanity. He was coming to save us from moments like this.

We will see a different genealogy of Jesus when we take a look at the Christmas story in Matthew. This author, however, seeks to emphasize Jesus’ human characteristic s and background. Families were very important in ancient Israel at the time. Even then, very few people could trace their roots as far back as what is listed here. We can rarely do that today with modern methods of information. By establishing Jesus’ lineage, Matthew was setting the tone for a remarkable story.

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