Summary: WHat we can learn from Matthew’s Genealogy
Intro: Do you remember the Disney cartoon version of Robin Hood? I used to love watching that and recently we’ve gotten it at home and I have sat and watched it with my kids and I still love it. Robin Hood is the dashing hero who brings relief and care to a poor oppressed people, who are under the rule of Prince John. Prince John fancies himself a king and takes everything that the poor people own for himself. Robin Hood serves the true King and spends the movie robbing the rich to give to the poor. The entire movie builds up to the end when the true King returns and order is restored to the country.
Or more recently, we have the movies based on the Tolkien trilogy: The Lord of the Rings. The basis is the same. Evil is running rampant and for order to be restored, the king must rise and take his rightful place. In this story, the King turns out to be one of the main group of characters. He has been walking among them, living with them, fighting by their side and they never knew he was the king until the proper time came and he returned to his throne.
Today we begin a look at the Book of Matthew. The theme is similar to these stories. Evil and corruption reign and the world is in need of salvation. A people wait for their king to come and most don’t recognize the fact that He’s there walking among them. Matthew is the story of this King. It covers His birth, His death, His claims, His laws, and it looks at what makes this king different than any other in the history of the world. In Tolkien’s novels, the return of the King brought peace and prosperity. In Matthew, this King brought upheaval and turmoil. It changed the way things had always been, it challenged the authorities of the day, it shook the foundations of ritualistic religion, and it led to the King being sentenced and crucified just like a common criminal. But the return of this King brought something more than peace and prosperity for that day. The return of this king, His triumphal resurrection from the grave, His defeat of death and hell, and His victory over sin brought with it a peace between God and man that was from that moment and will stretch into eternity. The story has been copied, the themes have been played out in the stories of men for centuries, but the original Return of the King is a story unlike any other because of what it means for every man, woman, and child on the face of the Earth.
These other stories are entertaining. They are fun to watch or to listen to, they are full of suspense and drama, but they can’t compare to the original. This story is life changing. This story is not always comfortable because to believe this story is to radically change the way that we think and live, it’s to give control over to another, to the only one who truly knows who we are and what’s best for us. This is the story of a King who changed all of history, but it’s also the story of the King who changes individual lives, like mine and like yours. Many who are sitting here this morning can give testimony to the life changing power of this King.
Introduce the Study Questions and the Verse Book.
When I was a kid, baseball was my passion. I thought about it every waking moment and dreamed about it when I slept at night. Babe Ruth was my hero and I knew everything that there was to know about him. I read every book I could, I watched every documentary. I memorized his stats and could tell you how many home runs he hit in any given year and what his batting average was. I studied this man. I wanted to be just like him.
Babe Ruth was not a man worth following, Jesus Christ is and yet so often as Christians, we fail to study the life that He lives, the commands that he left, and the Truth that He taught.
As Christians we are to 1JN 2:3 We know that we have come to know him if we obey his commands. 4 The man who says, "I know him," but does not do what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in him. 5 But if anyone obeys his word, God’s love is truly made complete in him. This is how we know we are in him: 6 Whoever claims to live in him must walk as Jesus did.
walk as Christ did. We are to be a reflection of Him to this world and we cannot be that without knowing Him and we get to know Him by studying the Word that he left behind, specifically the accounts of His life and words found in the Gospels.