Pastor’s Bible Reading Schedule: Numbers 23-25; Matthew 1
Matthew presents Christ as the King, and chapter one and two establishes His right to that kingship. It is both interesting and significant that since the destruction of the Temple in A.D. 70, by Titus, no genealogies exist that can trace the ancestry of any Jew now living. The primary importance of that fact is, for those orthodox Jews who still look for the Messiah, a new messiah’s lineage to David could never be established. Jesus Christ is the last verifiable claimant to the throne of David. In my trips to Israel, it is so sad to see these Jews, who are very serious about their religion, looking for the One who has already come. They make their way to the Western “wailing” Wall and pray for the Messiah to come and bring peace to Israel. Israelites have always been careful about the tribes. When Joseph and Mary went to pay taxes in Bethlehem it was because they were of “the house and lineage of David.” In other words, they were from the tribe of Judah. In verse 18 the Bible says, “Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise…” It is a beautiful picture of God’s sovereignty and His plan for man. There is a priority put on the fact that Mary was a virgin. “…when as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost.” The Jews had an espousal period, where the Jewish couple was considered married, although they had never consummated the marriage. The young espoused husband would leave his espoused wife go to his father’s farm, or another way of making a living, and establish an ability to make a wage for his new family. He would often build a house there and then return for his bride. Upon returning for his bride, there would be the wedding feast that would last a week or two, and then he would take his bride to the place he had prepared and consummate the marriage. Matthew, alone gives the exception clause for divorcement for fornication. (Matthew 5:31-32; 19:9) It was because of this espousal period that allowed for the man to divorce his espoused wife if, while he was away, she was found unfaithful to him; he could “put her away.” Her fornication was punishable by death. Joseph finds Mary great with child and “is minded to put her away privately.” Joseph did not want to stay married to a woman who had been unfaithful, but he did not want to see her stoned. However, an angel of the Lord appears to him and says, “…fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost.” The virgin birth is so critical to our salvation. It was the only way a sin nature would not be passed down; therefore Jesus was born without a sin nature, because He was born of a virgin. This made Him a valid candidate to be the Lamb of God that would take away the sin of the world. A perfect plan, by a perfect God was designed in order to solve the sin problem of man. Hallelujah, What a Savior!
• Lord, please help me to rest in your sovereign plans. I know the plans you have for me are good and not evil. Thank you for sending your Son to die in my place and provide to me salvation.
• Lord, thank you for the details of your plan. Thank you for keeping your promises and providing a Savior to the world and a King for Israel. Just as you kept your promise to send the Messiah, I know you will keep your promise to one day have King Jesus sit on the throne and rule as King over all the world.
• Lord, thank you for the privilege to share the good news of the gospel to a lost world. The news that Jesus came to “save His people from their sins.”