Advent Devotional - Dec 22 - Matthew 1:1-2:12

Read Matthew 1:1-2:12

Contemplate: Remember that there was over 400 years of silence from God between the end of the Old Testament and the beginning of the New Testament? We have already covered the whole history of God’s promises from Abraham onward. Now Matthew starts his gospel by connecting all those dots. The genealogy of Jesus that is recorded here shows that Jesus has a direct connection to Abraham and that he is in the lineage of David. This shows that the promises to Abraham and to David are fulfilled in Jesus. Matthew 1:21 tells us that the name Jesus is the Greek form of Joshua, which means “the Lord saves” (remember Joshua 3 on December 9?). He will be called “Immanuel” and he will be living proof of the presence of God and the faithfulness of God to save his people (remember Isaiah 7-8 on Dec. 15?). After Jesus is born, Magi from the east (pagan astrologers) find him in the little town of Bethlehem (remember Micah 5 from Dec. 19?). The fact that Gentile wise men come to worship Jesus as King proves two points: 1) The Messiah is a banner for the nations; he will be a light to the Gentiles (remember Isaiah 11 from Dec. 17?). 2) Matthew’s main audience is the Jews, so writing that the pagan Gentiles realized Jesus is king shows how delusional the Jews were. It would make you embarrassed as a Jew to watch Gentiles be smarter/wiser than you.

Pray: Praise God for how he has superintended all of history to fulfill his promises in the person of Jesus Christ. Marvel at how the prophets looked ahead to Jesus. Give the Lord thanks for his faithfulness.