Summary: Relating two aspects of the birth of Jesus Christ; the ordinary and the extraordinary.
Intro: -Read John 3:16-18
-Sometimes it is true that we remain insensitive to how much someone else loves us, until we have failed them. Only then, to discover that it makes no difference at all in their love for us. Their love, therefore, becomes a kind of love that is neither deserved nor owed. Yet, it immediately and unceasingly sets itself to the task of healing the violated relationship caused by our failure.
Such were the circumstances through which we were made aware of how much our Father in Heaven loves us. The continuing level of our unfaithfulness served only to accentuate the continuing intensity of His love, until that love became incarnate. Incarnate is a word that describes the element of being “embodied in the flesh; in human form.”
In relationships, a point arises when it no longer works to tell a person you love them. In Jesus of Nazareth, God came among us to woo us away from our unfaithfulness, by loving us with a love that had to be made flesh for that love to be made known. And so John says in the first chapter of his Gospel, “The Word became flesh and made His dwelling among us. We have seen His glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth” (Jn 1:14). The Word became Flesh
We have recorded in the Bible two accounts of this Word becoming Flesh. Onne account is written by Matthew and the other by Luke. Let’s read the birth stories together. Go ahead and turn to Luke 2 and when you have marked that, turn to Matthew 1 and we will read Matthew’s articulation first. (Read Matt. 1:18-2:1-12 then Luke 2:1-20).
You may or may not have noticed that these two birth stories are somewhat different. Matthew, for example, records an angel of the Lord visiting with Joseph. While Luke highly illustrates how the angels visited with the shepherds. Luke offers names such as the Christ and Lord, while Matthew stresses the name Immanuel. And there are many other differences that we could make note of, but instead, I would like to draw your attention to another aspect of both the Gospel of Matthew and the Gospel of Luke.
Both of these Gospels place a genealogy immediately before the birth account. A genealogy? Have you ever read a genealogy, especially one that did not pertain to you or your family? They can be rather boring, unless you have a specific agenda for reading and researching one, but these two genealogies are quite different from the typical genealogy that we may think of today. And despite that these two genealogies concern the same person, Jesus Christ, it is interesting that there exists a few substantial differences between the both of them:
1. When you read them, you will notice that Luke’s genealogy is in reverse order of Matthew. Luke begins with Joseph and traces back to Adam, while Matthew begins with Abraham and comes up to Joseph.
2. Luke relates Jesus’ connection to all of humanity. Matthew relates Jesus’ connection with the Jews.
Keep those differences in mind for a moment and we will come back to them in just a moment.