Together in the Word (Matthew 1)

This past Sunday (January 20) we studied Matthew 1. Below is a brief outline of the chapter, a few observations we discussed, and a couple applications we made together as we endeavor to “be doers of the word, and not hearers only” (James 1:22).

Chapter Outline

  • The genealogy of Jesus (vv. 1-17).
  • The birth of Jesus (vv. 18-25).

Observations

  • Two Old Testament promises are immediately shown to have their fulfillment in Jesus Christ (v. 1). Jesus is “the son of David” whose throne is established forever (2 Samuel 7:12-16; Psalm 132:11). He is “the son of Abraham” through whom all the nations of the earth are blessed (Genesis 22:18).
  • Jesus’s genealogy includes both Jews and Gentiles, men and women, the righteous and the unrighteous (vv. 2-16). In this we see God’s providence.
  • While the genealogy follows the pattern “[name] the father of [name]” (ESV), it concludes with “Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom Jesus was born” (16). This is the first reference to His virgin birth in the New Testament. (See also vv. 18, 23, 25.)
  • God is seen as Trinity: Father (v. 22), Son (v. 23), and Spirit (vv. 18, 20).
  • There is an example of fulfilled prophecy (v. 23), as Matthew sites Isaiah 7:14.
  • Several names and titles are ascribed to Jesus Christ. The name Immanuel tells us who He is, “God with us” (v. 23); the name Jesus tells us what He does, “save his people from their sins” (v. 21). (See also vv. 1, 16).
  • Joseph obeyed the command of the Lord immediately, taking Mary to be his wife (v. 24).

Applications

  • The diversity of the genealogy reminds us that anyone can be used of God and that past sins can be redeemed by God for His purposes.
  • The virgin birth assures us of Christ’s sinlessness and qualification to serve as our Savior.
  • Fulfilled prophecy shows us that God is trustworthy and that He keeps His Word.
  • That Jesus came to “save his people from their sins” (v. 21) means that we all have sin from which we need saving.
  • Joseph is a great example to follow: he was just, he was concerned for others’ reputation and welling being (v. 19), he obeyed the command of the Lord immediately (v. 24), and he exhibited self-control (v. 25).