Summary: Matthew 1.18-25 The surprising birth of the Messiah

Matthew 1.18-25

The surprising birth of the Messiah


Last week I preached on Matthew 1.1-18 and today I would like to continue with the rest of this chapter.

So we will spend some recapping vs 1-17 before we move on to vs 18-25.

Please open Bibles

Mt 1.1-17 – mostly genealogy of Jesus. Exciting!

Explain significance for Jews of genealogy.

Explain how the genealogy was put in there by Matthew to prove that Jesus is the Messiah

- a Jew

- a descendent of David – the Messiah must be a descendent of David.

Vs 1 – Jesus son of David – Messiah for the Jews

Vs 1 – Jesus son Abraham – also Messiah for all people – not just Jews

- Gen 12.1-3

Genesis 12:1 Now the LORD said to Abram, “Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you. 2 And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. 3 I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”

So Jesus is not just the Messiah for the Jews but for everyone – including us, if we trust in Him for salvation for ours sins.

So genealogy is not to bore us – but to prove that Jesus is the real Messiah

- true son of David

- true son of Abraham.

But then in vs 16 there is a sudden surprise.

- something very unexpected.

MT 1:15 Eliud the father of Eleazar,

Eleazar the father of Matthan,

Matthan the father of Jacob,

MT 1:16 and Jacob the father of Joseph, the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus, who is called Christ.

In this verse it says that Jesus was born from Mary, who was the wife of Joseph. But, notice, that Jesus was not born from Joseph! When Mary fell pregnant, she was a virgin. In verse 18 it says that Mary became pregnant through the Holy Spirit. Therefore, Jesus did not have a human father! Now the genealogy, in the previous verses, is the genealogy of Joseph, not the genealogy of Mary, and therefore, in one sense, not the genealogy of Jesus! Now, why did Matthew use so many verses to speak about a genealogy that was not in fact Jesus’ genealogy? While the Bible does not clearly state why, I think that is possible to understand why.

Firstly, in Jewish culture, it was possible to adopt. Therefore, because Joseph was the husband of Mary, and Mary was the mother of Jesus, according to the law, Jesus was the son of Joseph. Therefore, according to law, Jesus shared the genealogy of Joseph. Legality is what was important, therefore Jesus truly was the son of Abraham and the son of David.

Secondly, which I think is more important, Matthew wanted to show that the spiritual origin of Jesus was more important that His human origin. During the lifetime of Jesus on earth, people considered that Jesus was the son of Joseph. Yes, it is important that Jesus was Joseph’s son according to the law. Because Jesus was Joseph’s son according to the law, just as we have already seen, Jesus was able to be the Messiah. But more important than any human genealogy was the spiritual origin of Jesus! Mary became pregnant through the Holy Spirit, therefore the father of Jesus was not Joseph, but rather, His father – was God!

In the Gospel of Matthew, 15 verses are used, in order to show the human origin of Jesus. 15 verses of Holy Scripture and then, in the 16th verse it says that Jesus was not the son of Joseph! Can you see the contrast? In the Gospel of Matthew, 15 verses are used in order to show the genealogy of Jesus. In order to prove that Jesus was the real Messiah and the real hope for both Jews and the whole world. The human genealogy of Jesus is very important.

Although this is so, the origin of Jesus from God is even more important. Truly, Jesus is the Son of Man. Jesus was a real human, but Jesus was not only a human. Jesus is also the Son of God.

So verses 1-17 tell us Jesus’ genealogy – concluding in vs 16 with the mysterious and tantalising wording, where Jesus is said to be Mary’s son – but says nothing about Him being Joseph’s son, at least by natural means.

So that’s a summary of verses 1-17, but now we want to go onto verses 18-25. But of course – the two sections are connected. And there is one interesting word that is used in both sections of chapter 1.

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