Summary: There are 3 proofs of His right to royalty in Matthew 1: His Coming, His Claim, & His Character.
The Gracious King
A Study of Matthew’s Gospel
A crown, a robe, or a scepter usually identifies kingly royalty. King James V of Scotland would on occasion lay aside the royal robe of king and put on the simple robe of a peasant. In such a disguise, he was able to move freely about the land, making friends with ordinary folk, entering into their difficulties, appreciating their handicaps, sympathizing with them in their sorrow. And when as king he sat again upon the throne, he was better able to rule over them with fatherly compassion and mercy. Though he put off a royal robe and took on a beggar’s coat, His royalty remained. He did not cease to be a king. He is more of a king – when we recognize such compassion and grace.
The Gospel of Matthew identifies a King, without a robe, a crown, or a scepter. Nevertheless, this King still deserves the honor of our worship and the right to reign over the nations. Virtually every paragraph of Matthew points to something of His kingship.
Christmas, the season of the Incarnation, by it’s purest account, is a season of worship.
It stretches back in history to the gifts of the Magi or the three kings from the east, laying down their gifts of frankincense, gold, and myrrh before Jesus to worship Him. When they searched for Him in Jerusalem, their seeking was embodied in a question: Where is He who has been born King of the Jews?
Note the contrast with Pilate…
Matthew 27:11 Now Jesus stood before the governor. And the governor asked Him, saying, “Are You the King of the Jews?” So Jesus said to him, “It is as you say.”
Matthew 27:34 And they put up over His head the accusation written against Him: THIS IS JESUS THE KING OF THE JEWS.
The Magi worship. Pilate is unsure and becomes party to His shameful death.
What will you do with Jesus? With the appropriate recognition of His rightful kingship, we should worship Him, too. That is Matthew’s point, to present us with the rightful King, worthy of our worship.
There are 3 proofs of His right to royalty in Matthew 1: His Coming, His Claim, & His Character.
1. A King’s Coming
Jesus’ coming fulfills prophetic promise. The Prophet’s foretold it…
Jeremiah 23:5-6 “Behold, the days are coming,” says the LORD, “That I will raise to David a Branch of righteousness; A King shall reign and prosper, and execute judgment and righteousness in the earth. In His days Judah will be saved, And Israel will dwell safely; Now this is His name by which He will be called: THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS.”
Micah 5:2 “But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, Though you are little among the thousands of Judah, Yet out of you shall come forth to Me The One to be Ruler in Israel, Whose goings forth are from of old, from everlasting.”
In particular, Psalm 72 heralds the coming of the King…
Matthew’s genealogy is really a proof of God’s order and timing. Look at verse 17 again. This is rather astounding. From the OT to the NT, from Abraham to Christ, God has planned and maintained the flow of history. In Scripture, the number 7 or any multiple of 7, symbolizes a completion of time or purpose.
Here’s Matthew’s point – God is in control and His promise of Messiah is for real! Paul concurred with that point…
Galatians 4:4 But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son...
Consider the history summed up in this genealogy… It is marked by gross sin (Abraham, Judah, David), blatant idolatry, captivity in Egypt, captivity in Babylon, a succession of flawed kings, and hostile enemies, yet God’s plan is carried out to completion. It is as if God is saying, The famine in Egypt couldn’t starve My plan. 400 years of slavery in Egypt and another 70 in Babylonian captivity couldn’t shackle My plan. Murder, corruption, and idolatry could not stop My plan!
The lesson for us is clear - Jesus is a King of Divine promise, ordered and preserved by God for the right to rule. There are a couple of truths we need to grasp from this.
First, when your life seems out of control, God is always in control and wants to manifest the rule of His Son in your life to bring you hope, faith, and peace.
Secondly, we also need to consider that, while more prophecy remains to be fulfilled, God will certainly fulfill it. Jesus will come again to reign completely.
Matthew 24:30 The sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.