Amazing Grace | Matthew 1:1-17
The Gospel of Matthew was written by Matthew the tax collector. The Gospel according to Matthew is written to demonstrate the fact that Jesus is the Christ, the predicted Messiah, the King of the Jews, who was rejected by his own people, who was accepted by the Gentiles, and who someday will return to reign as King of kings and Lord of Lords. It is the story of the King who comes, the King who is rejected, and the King who will return.
The presentation of the King.
If a king is to be heralded as a king, then it must start with the proof that he comes from the royal line. Matthew is doing that in Matthew 1:1-17. The Jews were tenacious about their pedigrees. And if anybody was going to be presented to them as a king, it was absolutely essential that he have the pedigree to prove it.
Matthew 1:1 This is the genealogyof Jesus the Messiahthe son of David, the son of Abraham: This is the story of how Jesus Christ came to be. This is the record of his origin, the record of his ancestry.
Iēsous Christos is the Greek equivalent of the Old Testament Yeshua which means “Jehovah saves.”
Matthew gives the whole list of genealogy.
The Genealogy of Jesus the Messiah
|1This is the genealogyof Jesus the Messiahthe son of David, the son of Abraham:|
|2Abraham was the father of Isaac, Isaac the father of Jacob, Jacob the father of Judah and his brothers, 3Judah the father of Perez and Zerah, whose mother was Tamar, Perez the father of Hezron, Hezron the father of Ram, 4Ram the father of Amminadab, Amminadab the father of Nahshon, Nahshon the father of Salmon, 5Salmon the father of Boaz, whose mother was Rahab, Boaz the father of Obed, whose mother was Ruth, Obed the father of Jesse, 6and Jesse the father of King David. David was the father of Solomon, whose mother had been Uriah’s wife, 7Solomon the father of Rehoboam, Rehoboam the father of Abijah, Abijah the father of Asa, 8Asa the father of Jehoshaphat, Jehoshaphat the father of Jehoram, Jehoram the father of Uzziah,||9Uzziah the father of Jotham, Jotham the father of Ahaz, Ahaz the father of Hezekiah, 10Hezekiah the father of Manasseh, Manasseh the father of Amon, Amon the father of Josiah, 11and Josiah the father of Jeconiah[c] and his brothers at the time of the exile to Babylon. 12After the exile to Babylon: Jeconiah was the father of Shealtiel, Shealtiel the father of Zerubbabel, 13Zerubbabel the father of Abihud, Abihud the father of Eliakim, Eliakim the father of Azor, 1 Azor the father of Zadok, Zadok the father of Akim, Akim the father of Elihud, 1 Elihud the father of Eleazar, Eleazar the father of Matthan, Matthan the father of Jacob, 16and Jacob the father of Joseph, the husband of Mary, and Mary was the mother of Jesus who is called the Messiah.|
|17Thus there were fourteen generations in all from Abraham to David, fourteen from David to the exile to Babylon, and fourteen from the exile to the Messiah.|
Where did Matthew get this Genealogy?
In the OT there are several such lists. In Ruth 4, you have genealogy of 10 names, Perez all the way to David. Matthew could have taken names from here. In 1 Chronicles 10:10-19 we have a whole list of names. 16 names could have been taken from there.
Sometimes the names are different from the OT.
This is because some people had different names. For example king Uzziah is also called king Azariah.
Sometimes the line is not through the firstborn.
We have Isaac and Jacob both are not the first born.
Three Prominent People in the Genealogy.
The Genealogy of Jesus the Messiah
Matthew 1:1 This is the genealogyof Jesus the Messiahthe son of David, the son of Abraham:
Matthew 1:17 Thus there were fourteen generations in all from Abraham to David, fourteen from David to the exile to Babylon, and fourteen from the exile to the Messiah.
We have three prominent people here: Abraham, David, Jesus Christ
This genealogy is connecting there prominent people: Abraham, David, and Jesus Christ.
Abraham: Abraham is the father of Israel. God chose him in Genesis 12:1 to bless him. In Genesis 13:3, God chose Abraham be a blessing to the nations, a blessing to all the people of the world. God did not choose him because he was the best person, but God choose him because God wanted to bless the whole world through him.
David: David is the second kind of Israel. God promised David that his kingdom will continue. It will be an everlasting kingdom.
2 Samuel 7:16 Your house and your kingdom will endure forever before me; your throne will be established forever.
Jesus is the son of David.
The list is in three parts: Abraham to David, David to Exile, Exile to Jesus.
Mathew mentions it as there are 14 generations in between.
Actually speaking 14 generations are not 14 generations. Jehoram the father of Uzziah, (there are three generations in between. Sometimes it is the grandfather instead of the father. So these 14 generations is not only 14. So, Matthew has some other meaning of 14. Hebrew alphabet has numbers associated with it. This is the name of David which is 14 in the Hebrew alphabet.
Grace abounding in the history of three eras.
Matthew 1:17 Thus there were fourteen generations in all from Abraham to David, fourteen from David to the exile to Babylon, and fourteen from the exile to the Messiah. Notice that? Three eras.
The first period is the period from Abraham to David. That’s the period of the patriarchs and the period of the Judges. Patriarchs like Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses and Joshua and the great judges like Deborah, Barak, Samson, Jephthah etc.. It’s that great period of heroism when Israel was made famous. You have people even like Ruth and people like Jesse, the father of David. Ah, it was a period of greatness.
Israel became a glorious nation.
The second period is the period from David to the exile of Babylon. It’s a period of decline. The first is a period of ascendency, as Israel goes from non-existence at Abraham’s time and oblivion to fame where Israel goes from victory after victory. The second period is the period of the monarchy which was a period of decline. And as soon as the monarchy came with Saul, things started to go downhill. Israel ends up in Assyrian and Babylonian captivity.
The third period is from the captivity unto Christ. You don’t know anything about that period. It’s a period of 600 years. Names we don’t even know: Abihud, Eliakim, Azor, Zadok, Achim, Akim, Eliud, Eliud, Eleazar, Matthan, Jacob.
We don’t know these people. Oblivion.
So the story of Israel is the story of three eras of glory, decline, and oblivion; nevertheless through that nation that the Messiah comes. That is Amazing grace. God has worked through great and not so great people to bring his son, Jesus into the world. He’s the King of grace.
So Matthew has creatively put three parts to this genealogy based on the name of David, so that we will know that the line of Jesus is through David.
Two Genealogies Of Jesus In The NT.
There are two genealogies of Jesus in the NT. One in Matthew 1 and one in Luke 3. The Genealogy in Matthew is a descending record from Abraham to David to Joseph to Jesus. But the genealogy in Luke is the reverse. It is an ascending genealogy. It starts with Jesus and back through Mary, to David, to Abraham to Adam.
David’s two sons have come in both these genealogies. Matthew follows the royal line through David and Solomon. Through Solomon Mathew leads us to Joseph. But David had other sons, one was Nathan. And Mary’s line came through Nathan. So what you have is one line coming down through David, Solomon, Joseph and Jesus. You have another line going up through Mary, Nathan, David. So both Mary and Joseph are in the line of David.
So lineally bloodline Jesus is of David. Legally as heir to the throne he is of David, both by his mother and his father. He is the actual seed of David through Mary. He is the legal heir of David through Joseph.
Now Look at Matthew 1:16 Jacob the father of Joseph, the husband of Mary, and Mary was the mother of Jesus who is called the Messiah. Isn’t that interesting? It is written that Joseph was the husband of Mary, not the father of Jesus. Joseph was not the father of Jesus in a human way. He was born not of Joseph. He was born of Mary.
And so every way possible Jesus Christ had the right to rule. The father was the one who granted the royal line. The mother was the one who granted the royal blood to Jesus.
There are so many people mentioned in this genealogy or family tree of Jesus. If you take a character study of all these people, not all are good people. God used them in his amazing grace to bring forth his son.
Abraham: Abraham was a man of faith but he is not the best example. He did so many mistakes. Twice Abraham lied to rulers that Sarah was his sister to save his life. In Genesis 12, Abraham lied to Pharaoh that Sarah is his sister. In Genesis 20, Abraham lied to Abimelek that Sarah was his sister. He did not protect his wife and was willing to give her to Pharaoh. Abraham had a son through Hagar, the bond servant.
Judah: The line of Jesus is through Judah, son of Jacob, not Joseph the favorite son. Jesus is called the lion of the tribe of Judah. Judah is not a nice guy. It was Judah’s idea to sell Joseph into slavery. It was Judah who committed incest with Tamar, his daughter-in-law.
David: David is a man after God’s own heart, but David is not a good example David did so many mistakes and the greatest is his adultery with Bathsheba and the murder of her husband, Uriah.
Solomon: Solomon was not wise. Yes, he built the temple of God but in 1 kings 11:7-8, he dedicated other temples for other gods. 1 Kings 11:3, Solomon had 700 wives and 300 concubines. 1 Kings 9:15, he made people do forced and bonded labor for building the Lord’s temple, his own palace, the terraces, the wall of Jerusalem etc.
Rehoboam: The son of Solomon was worse than his father.
Hezekiah & Manasseh: Hezekiah was a very good king. The Bible says that the Lord instructed the prophet Isaiah to tell King Hezekiah of Judah that he was going to die, 2 Kings 20:1. Hezekiah pleaded for his life. The Lord then responded to his prayer and told him that he would live an additional fifteen years. In that 15 years he had another son, Manasseh. The good things Hezekiah did, his son overturned it. His son Amon was worse but he was killed early.
Jeconiah: He cut the prophesy scroll of Jeremiah. So there is a curse on the family line of Jeconiah. Jeremiah 36:30 Therefore this is what the Lord says about Jehoiakim king of Judah: He will have no one to sit on the throne of David; his body will be thrown out and exposed to the heat by day and the frost by night.
Jeremiah 22:30 This is what the Lord says: “Record this man as if childless, a man who will not prosper in his lifetime, for none of his offspring will prosper, none will sit on the throne of David or rule anymore in Judah.
Judah’s and Israel’s kings were so wicked that God did not want their seed to sit on the throne of David or the Messiah to come in their line. Finally, Jesus came in the same line. This is amazing grace.
So in this list of genealogy there is no hiding of anything. It is Amazing grace that Jesus came in this line. God worked with imperfect people to accomplish his purpose.
Women Are Mentioned In This Genealogy
In Jewish geologies women did not matter. Here 5 women are mentioned but some important women are not mentioned. Sarah, Rebecca, Leah the mother of Judah is not mentioned. Instead we have Tamar v3, Rahab v5, Ruth v5, Mrs. Uriah v6, and Mary v16.
Who are these women?
Tamar: Tamar was the wife of Judah’s son and Tamar was a Canaanite. The story in Genesis 38 regarding Tamar is not a nice story. Tamar’s twin boys are born because Tamar dresses as a prostitute and seduces her own father-in-law.
Rahab: Rahab in Joshua 2 is a Canaanite, outcast, a Gentile, a professional prostitute. Remember the 2 spies stayed in her house. Not a nice story. She decided to stand for the Lord and God brought her into his lineage. From her came Boaz. And do you know something about Boaz? Oh, what a godly man. What a gracious man he is.
Ruth: Ruth was a Moabitess. If you read Genesis 19, the beginning of Moab is not at all nice. The daughters of Lot makes their father drunk have these children through incest.
Bathsheba: If you ask Solomon who is your father? He would say, “King David.” Who is your mother? Mrs. Uriah, Bathsheba. The woman whom David took from his loyal soldier. Not only he took someone’s wife but he devised a wicked plan to kill him. David was a great guy, but really not that good man or a great man.
All these 4 women are not even Jews, they are Gentiles.
In almost all the culture of the world, women are helpless. But in the line of Jesus, women are pulled inside. Not only that, gentiles are not an afterthought in God’s plan.
In Matthew 2 we see the wise men who come to worship Jesus. they are the first ones to worship Jesus. The wise men who are not from the Jewish people, they are the ones to worship him. Even today, we who are not Jews have come to worship the Lord. Gentiles are not an afterthought, we are in the plan of God.
That is why Matthew says in 28 in the Great Commission of Jesus Christ to go and make disciples of all nations.
In the genealogy of Jesus Christ:
You’ve got two prostitutes, one born out of incest, and an adulteress.
You have got some wicked kings whose deeds are so bad.
Now what do you think the message is? God is a God of what? Amazing Grace.
1. God Is A God Of Grace.
The birth of Jesus, the genealogy of Jesus is a message of God’s Amazing grace. Are you glad about that Amazing grace?
Psalm 130:3-4 3If you, Lord, kept a record of sins, Lord, who could stand? 4But with you there is forgiveness, so that we can, with reverence, serve you.
This morning this Amazing grace is available for those who turn to him. You may have messed up, you may have blown it up but God is willing to give you his grace this morning. This great and magnificent king works with messy people. While we were yet sinners Christ died for us.
When Jesus come into this world he identified with us sinner. Let it be known to anybody who listens Jesus Christ is the friend of sinners. And he himself said it. “I have not come to call the righteous, but – ” what? “ sinners to repentance.” Jesus said, “The sick need a doctor.” Jesus is here for those of us who are sick. The good thing is that we need the healing of the doctor. How does Jesus heal us, by his love and grace.
2. The Grace Of God Is Available To Us Through Jesus Christ.
God is a God of grace and he pulls us into his grace. Tell Lord thank you for your Amazing grace for a sinful person like me. You have cleansed me and forgiven me.
3. Jesus Is The Royal King And He Wants Us To Have His Royalty.
He is a royal king but he was to pull us into his royalty. We are not royalty, but we are pulled into his royalty.
Illustration: of adoption of a slum boy
Jesus comes and picks up people who trust in him from a messed world, a messed up life into royalty. We become heirs of God.
This royalty is different from worldly royalty. If you want to know how to be in the kingdom royalty, you need to look at the King in the gospels. You need to see how the king behaves. He washes the feet of his own disciples. He is the servant king. This is a different kind of kingship. In the worldly kingship, others serve the king, but this king serves his people. If we follow this king he will lead us to serve others.
If you want to know more, look at the life of the apostle Paul. Read about his life, you will find royalty in the Kingdom of God.
The message of the coming of Jesus is that God comes into our world and pulls us into his greatness and love. His way of doing that is by grace. But when this Amazing grace comes into our life, this grace working in our lives.
Titus 2:11-12 11For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. 12It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age,
Titus 3:7 so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life.
God is a God of love and grace, so we are pulled into his grace by his royalty. Once we are pulled into his royalty, his grace starts working in our lives. Our identity now is in Christ. in this kingdom, our biological and other identities are secondary. We are one in Christ. there is no cast differences in Christ, our identity must come from Jesus. God chose us.
The Amazing grace of God now starts working in us so that we can be royal like Christ.
Will you allow that royalty to work in your life and allow the love of God to invade your lives and transform your life. Amen!