Summary: The coming of Jesus was the fulfillment of the promises of God.

A Messiah of Heritage

Text: Matt. 1:1-17


1. Illustration: A Jewish father was concerned about his son. He had not truly raised him to be grounded in the faith of Judaism… So, hoping to remedy this he sent his son to Israel so the boy could experience his heritage. A year later the young man returned home. He said, "Father, thank you for sending me to the land of our Fathers. It was wonderful and enlightening. However, I must confess that while in Israel I converted to Christianity." "Oh (groan) what have I done?" the father thought. So in the tradition of the patriarchs he went to his best friend and sought his advice and solace. "It is amazing that you should come to me," stated his friend, "I too sent my son to Israel and he returned a Christian." So in the traditions of the Patriarchs they went to the Rabbi. "It is amazing that you should come to me," stated the Rabbi, "I too sent my son to Israel and he returned a Christian. What is happening to our sons? “Brothers, we must take this to the Lord," said the Rabbi. They fell to their knees and began to wail and pour out their hearts to the Almighty. As they prayed, the clouds above opened and a mighty voice stated, "Amazing that you should come to Me. I, too, sent My Son to Israel..."

2. Most of us when we come upon a list of genealogies in Scripture have a tendency to skip over them because they a long, difficult to pronounce, and what can we really get out of them anyway?

3. However, we must remember that "all Scripture is God-breathed and useful to teach what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives" (2 Tim. 3:16).

4. For example, from the genealogy of Jesus in Matthew’s gospel we learn that Jesus had a:

a. Royal Foundation

b. All-inclusive Foundation

c. Grace Foundation

d. Second Chance Foundation

e. Hopeful Foundation

5. Read Matt. 1:1-17

Proposition: The coming of Jesus was the fulfillment of the promises of God.

Transition: Most importantly, Jesus had...

I. A Royal Foundation (1)

A. Descendant of David and Abraham

1. Matthew’s whole purpose in writing this gospel was to prove that Jesus is the long awaited Messiah of Israel.

2. He begins this gospel by saying, "This is a record of the ancestors of Jesus the Messiah..."

a. Matthew makes his point clear in the opening words of his genealogy: a record of the ancestors of Jesus the Messiah, literally, the "book of the genesis of Jesus the Messiah."

b. Does the name Genesis ring a bell for anyone?

c. Matthew gets this phrase from passages in Genesis ("the book of the generations of" in Gen 2:4; 5:1; 10:1, translated "account of" in the NLT), but his use of the phrase contrasts drastically with the use in Genesis.

d. Genealogies like those in Genesis typically list a person’s descendants after this phrase, rather than his ancestors.

e. Matthew’s point here is profound: so much is Jesus the focal point of history that his ancestors depend on him for their meaning (Keener, IVPNT Commentary: Matthew, 53).

3. He goes on to say that Jesus is "a descendant of David and of Abraham."

a. Matthew calls Jesus son of David, a title of the rightful heir to Israel’s throne. Other lines of evidence support the claim that Jesus’ family stemmed from this royal lineage, and ancient Jewish scholars never bothered to try to refute it (Keener, 51).

b. This is important because God had made a promise to David that the Messiah would come from his lineage.

c. Thus Matthew opens and closes the genealogy with a title for Jesus that is significant but rare in his Gospel: Messiah.

4. Next Matthew calls Jesus son of Abraham.

a. This is especially significant because subsequent chapters further portray Jesus as Israel’s representative, the epitome of its history.

b. As the heir of Abraham par excellence, Jesus can communicate Abraham’s promised blessings to his people (Keener, 52).

c. Genesis 12:3 (NLT)

I will bless those who bless you and curse those who treat you with contempt. All the families on earth will be blessed through you.”

B. Royal Priesthood

1. Illustration: People will pay big bucks to be royal. A scrap book that once belonged to Britain’s Queen Victoria is now up for auction, and the current high bid is £53,400 (101,117.42 dollars). One of the bidders is hoping to prove royal heritage through a hair that belonged to Victoria contained in the memorabilia. But, to be of regal birth, one doesn’t need to be descended from the great kings and queens of history. One only needs to believe in Jesus Christ.

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