Summary: Matthew reminds his readers that the coming of Jesus was anticipated for centuries.
Sing We Now of Christmas 2
“Come, Thou Long-Expected Jesus”:
The King was Expected
Introduction: Christmas is a time of expectations. We expect family to be together for better or worse! We expect to get a gift and sometimes even have expectations for that gift thus sometimes meaning an unfulfilled expectation. I believe in Christmas being a time of continual expectation and so I put off gift buying until the last minute and then wrap a picture of what will be arriving by mail sometime after Christmas!
Matthew’s gospel account of Jesus begins with that same concept. A gift is coming but it will not arrive for several centuries (so my family should be appreciative that it is only days!). He begins his story of Jesus with a genealogy! If there is a more boring way to start a book I am not sure what it would be, but Matthew is writing to Jews to whom ancestry was important to let them know the King is coming! He traces Jesus’ ancestry back to Abraham and David to remind them and us that “the King was expected”.
1. The King came despite man’s sinfulness.
v. 1 – Prequel – The story of a promised King!
First, we get the back story of His earthly beginnings.
Jesus – “Jehovah saves”
Christ – not His last name - “anointed or promised One”
The fulfiller of prophecy.
He is a Jewish man – traced His lineage to Abraham.
v. 2 – “begot” – typical Jewish ancestral language.
“Jacob” – not the first born. Jacob stole the birthright and was a schemer and liar like his dad and grandfather.
“Judah” – Jacob’s fourth son through whom Messiah would come.
Matthew then does something highly unheard of in Jewish genealogies; he introduces the names of women! Jewish men thought little of women and would daily pray, “I thank God I am not a Gentile dog, a slave, or a woman.” Not only are they women but some are Gentile women and most have some sordid sexual past.
v. 3 – “Tamar” – Her story is in Genesis 38. She was a Gentile married to Judah’s son but he died before they had children and so his brother was supposed to father children with her but he refused and God killed him. She dressed up like a prostitute and seduced Judah, her father-in-law and ended up getting pregnant from him!
No one looks good in this story, which reeks of greed, deception, illegitimacy, prostitution, sexual lust, and even the hint of incest.
-- Rob Salvato, pastor, Calvary Chapel, Vista, CA
v. 5 – “Rahab” – Gentile prostitute that helped Israelite spies in Jericho in Joshua 2.
“Ruth” – Another Gentile from a cursed people, the Moabites. They were cursed because their tribe began when Lot’s daughters got him drunk and slept with him in order to have children through incest. YUCK!
v. 6 – Bathsheba (unnamed) committed adultery with David and her husband was murdered to cover it up.