Summary: Shows from Matthew 1:1 that God fulfilled His promise to provide a sacrifice and a king through Jesus, "the son of Abraham and the son of David."
“The Promise Fulfilled”
Westmoreland Church of Christ
February 20th, 2004
Matthew 1:1, “A record of the genealogy of Jesus Christ the son of David, the son of Abraham:”
We Christians are a funny bunch. Have you ever stopped to think that we are the only religion that has the main religious work of another religion within our own bible? Think about it. What we call the Old Testament is really the holy book of the Jewish religion, and the New Testament is the holy book of the Christian religion. Yet, when you pick up just about any “Holy Bible” there they are, both books, given equal importance. That’s pretty strange: you wouldn’t dream of finding a Muslim Koran in the same book as a Buddhist holy work. But the Christian bible has the Jewish bible almost as an introduction to it, bound in the same leather. That has confused a lot of people in the past. I’m sure many a person has started to read the bible to learn more about Jesus and like most people would, have started at the beginning. You would read for a long time before you would even come across the name Jesus if you did that...over half the book goes by before you ever hear about Jesus. There have been people throughout the ages who have tried to make the case that the Christian bible would be better off without the Old Testament, but they have never gotten very far, and for good reason.
You see, by and large, the Christian bible does not make much sense without the Jewish bible: that is to say, you need to have the Old Testament to understand what God is doing in the New Testament. Even though Jesus came from heaven, he didn’t just drop into the world unannounced and unforeseen. Oh no, God had Jesus in mind from the time that Adam and Eve first sinned in the Garden of Eden. All throughout the Old Testament God had been telling us that he would send a savior to save us from our sins. In the first book of the Old Testament, Genesis, God said to the devil in Genesis 3:15, “And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel.” In other words, there will be hatred between us and the devil, and even though the devil struck at his head on the Cross of Calvary, Jesus rose from the grave and will ultimately crush his head in the final victory. Then, in the last book of the Old Testament God promises that He will send a savior. Malachi 4:2 speaks of Jesus when it says, “But for you who revere my name, the sun of righteousness will rise with healing in its wings.” So, from beginning to end and all in between the Old Testament tells us that God is sending a savior for the world, and that savior is Jesus. So, that’s why we have the Jewish holy book in our own bible, for sets the stage for Jesus coming into the world. You can’t understand the New Testament unless you understand the Old Testament: the God described there, the sin described there, the promises described there, and most importantly, the savior described there.
And that’s where the book of Matthew comes in. It is the first book of the New Testament for a reason because what it does is to provide a bridge from the Old Testament to the New Testament. Ultimately, Mark, Luke and John tell the same story, but Matthew alone is careful to show that Jesus is the savior that was foretold in the Old Testament. The first readers of Matthew were Jews who had converted to Christianity... or were thinking about converting. They had to be convinced that Jesus was a part of God’s plan. They were very religious people, and they wouldn’t just believe any new religion. They only way they would worship Jesus was if they were sure that Jesus was the Messiah, the Savior, that God had promised from Genesis to Malachi. So, Matthew is very thorough in showing how Jesus fulfilled the prophecies of the Old Testament. Over and over Matthew quotes the Old Testament to prove that Jesus is the Savior foretold by God so many centuries before his birth.
You might be thinking, “That’s all fine and good, but I’m not Jewish and don’t really need to be convinced to change from Judaism to Christianity.” That may be true, but Matthew is still very interesting for us Gentiles, for it shows that Jesus was foretold many years before his birth. It also shows us the reason for why we need a savior in the first place, for it is in the Old Testament that we read the stories of mankind’s sin and rebellion that led to our distance from God. But most importantly, we obtain from Matthew and the Old Testament a picture of who Jesus really is. There are a lot of images of Jesus that we take for granted which come straight from the Old Testament. Savior, Messiah, Lamb, Shepherd, Promise, and King are all titles that only make sense when you understand the story of the Old Testament.