Matthew 1: Bible Study Guide

40-BSG-1A: WORSHIP GUIDE.

Matthew 1: Worship Guide/ 40-BSG-1A, (Matthew 1:18-25)/ Theme: Christ – fully human, fully God/ Hymn: “Live out Thy life within me” (SDAH 316).

Exploration: The Genealogy of Jesus Christ — (Gen. 5:1–32; 11:10–26; Ruth 4:18–22; 1 Chr. 1:1–4, 24–27, 34; 2:1–15; Matt. 1:2–17; Luke 3:23-38); The Birth of Jesus (Matt. 1:18-25; Luke 1:26-28; 2:1-7)

Reflection: The first part of this chapter deals with the Genealogy of Jesus Christ. The second part briefly discuses the birth of Jesus. In Mt. 1:18, Joseph is heartbroken, assuming that Mary (his pregnant wife-to-be) has been unfaithful. Not wanting to disgrace her, he determines to break their engagement secretly (v. 19). In a dream, Joseph is reassured that Mary’s pregnancy is caused by the Holy Spirit (v. 20). The Angel tells Joseph that Mary will bare a Son and that he shall be named “Jesus” (v. 21). This Son, conceived without the aid of a human father, is the fulfillment of Isaiah’s prophecy (Isa. 7:14). The last two verses comments on The Marriage following the dream: Joseph takes Mary to be his wife (vv. 24-25).

Devotional Implication:– “Now the birth of Jesus Christ took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit.” (Matthew 1:18, ESV)

“Why is the virgin birth important to the Christian faith? Jesus Christ, God’s Son, had to be free from the sinful nature passed on to all other human beings by Adam. Because Jesus was born of a woman, he was a human being; but as the Son of God, Jesus was born without any trace of human sin. Jesus is both fully human and fully divine. The infinite, unlimited God took on the limitations of humanity so he could live and die for the salvation of all who believe in him.

Because Jesus lived as a man, we know that he fully understands our experiences and struggles (Hebrews 4:15–16). Because he is God, he has the power and authority to deliver us from sin (Colossians 2:13–15). We can tell Jesus all our thoughts, feelings, and needs. He has been where we are now, and he has the ability to help.” [Bruce B. Barton, Matthew, Life Application Bible Commentary, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, 1996), 15].

The Gospel’s Voice: This section is written as if God were speaking directly to you—Because He does. What does the LORD say to me this morning? My son, more than 4000 years before Christ was born in Bethlehem, I had a plan to save you (Gen 3:15). Christ came in order to reach you: dying for you on the Cross that you might have eternal life (John 3:16-17). Because of Christ’s death, you now have access to throne of God, where “every spiritual blessing” are in Christ, even “eternal life.” But first, you must repent your sins and believe. Would you?

My Desire: By God’s grace, I want to – 1. Ask to be born of the Holy Spirit (Mt 1:18); 2. Have Joseph-like character: righteousness (Mt 1:19); 3. Abstain from sexual relationship before marriage (Mt 1:18-19, 25); 4. Listen to, obey, follow the Lord’s commands/ directives (Mt 1:20); 5. Believe in the LORD Jesus Christ and the Salvation He accomplished for me on the Cross of Calvary; 6. Thank God for the promise of His presence with me: “Emmanuel” (Mt 1:23).

Have A Blessed Day: “But to as many as did receive and welcome Him, He gave the authority (power, privilege, right) to become the children of God, that is, to those who believe in (adhere to, trust in, and rely on) His name.” (John 1:12, AMP)

Worship Through Singing: “Live out Thy life within me” (SDAH 316).

40-BSG-1B: PRAYER GUIDE.

Matthew 1: Prayer Guide/ 40-BSG-1B, (Matthew 1:21)/ Theme: Saved from Sin/ Hymn: “Tell me the old, old story, Of unseen things above” [Author: Kate Hankey]

Key Text: “And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.” (Matthew 1:21, NKJV)

Opening Remarks: Jesus came in this world primarily to die on the cross and “save his people.” Yes, He was known as the Great Teacher, Physician, Miracle Worker, Compassionate Savior, etc. All these are true but, the main reason He came was to “save” His people from sin (Lk 19:10); to “destroy the works of the devil” (1 Jn 3:8); and the power of sin and death (1 Cor. 15:55–57; Rom. 8:2)

“This name of “JESUS” condemns people, for it says they are sinful and need saving. This message is not palatable to many folk, but it is the main reason Christ came to earth the first time. “All have sinned” (Romans 3:23), but many do not think they have sinned and resent being called a sinner and in need of a Savior. But all men need Jesus.” –[John G. Butler, Analytical Bible Expositor: Matthew, (Clinton, IA: LBC Publications, 2008), 18].

Jesus came in order to save His people from their sins. “We have no evidence that we are his people unless we are saved from the power and dominion of sin. A mere profession of being His people will not answer. Unless we give up our sins; unless we renounce the pride, pomp, and pleasure of the world, we have no evidence that we are the children of God. It is impossible that we should be Christians if we indulge in sin and live in the practice of any known iniquity.”

“That all professing Christians should feel that there is no salvation unless it is from sin, and that they can never be admitted to a holy heaven hereafter unless they are made pure, by the blood of Jesus, here.” — (Albert Barnes’ Notes on the Whole Bible)

Beloved, as we come to the today’s Prayer Session, we are invited to—1. Admit that we all sinners in need of the Savior; 2. Confess/ Repent of our sins; 3. Ask for God’s grace/ mercy; 4. Make a commitment to cling to Jesus and never go back to our old-sinful ways.

Values to Build On: The desire to know more about Jesus Christ — History of Jesus Christ/ Divinity of Jesus Christ/ Incarnation of Jesus Christ/ Mission of Jesus Christ/ Jesus Christ, the Savior of the World/ Names, Appellations, and Titles of Jesus Christ/ Prophecies concerning the Coming of Jesus Christ.

Sins to Avoid/ Confess: Failure to believe that Jesus is the Messiah; Failure to follow in the pathway of righteousness; Adultery (David & Bathsheba); Sexual relations before/ outside marriage; Failure to ask to be energized by the Spirit; Failure to adhere to specific divine instructions.

Something to Thank God For: 1. His promises in delivering His people through terrible times (the Babylonian captivity, Mt 1:11–15)/ 2. The believer’s privilege in sharing the blessings of Abraham (righteousness, Rom 4:11, 16) and in the eternal reign promised David (Ps. 89:3-4)/ 3. The Christmas story: “For unto us a Child is born” – (Isa 9:6; cf. Isa. 7:14; 11:10; 44:6; Mt 1:23; Lk 1:35; 2:11)/ 4. Deliverance from sin: “for He will save His people from their sins.” (Mt. 1:21)/ 5. The promise of Immanuel, –“God with us.” (Mt 1:23).

People to Pray For: The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ is inclusive: Patriarchs – (Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Judah); Gentiles women (Tamar, Rahab, Ruth, Bathsheba, Mary) who were grafted into the family of God; Good kings; Evil kings, who did what was evil in the sight of God, nevertheless, they are listed here. What’s the point? We save a loving, forgiving, gracious God. Christ says – “I am not come to call the righteous but sinners to repentance” (Lk 5:32). No one in this list was perfect! Likewise God is extending this invitation to you today – to come: “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” (Matt. 11:28)

Issues to Pray For: Forgiveness of Sin; Faithfulness; Righteousness; Justification; Revenge/ Retaliation; Seeking the will of God (revelation); Prophecies concerning the Second Coming of Jesus Christ.

Today’s Promise: “Little children, let no one deceive you. He who practices righteousness is righteous, just as He is righteous. He who sins is of the devil, for the devil has sinned from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil.” (1 John 3:7–8, NKJV)

Note: Scroll down to Section (40-BSG-1Z) for a Closing Prayer. May God Bless You!

40-BSG-1C: INTRODUCTION.

The Book of Matthew 1/ Introduction/ 40-BSG-1C, (Matthew 1:1-17)

“In composing an account of the life of Jesus designed primarily for readers of Jewish birth (see p. 273), Matthew begins in typical Jewish style by giving Jesus’ family pedigree. Because the coming of Messiah is a matter of prophecy, he shows that Jesus of Nazareth is indeed the One to whom Moses and the prophets bore witness. Inasmuch as Messiah was to be the seed of Abraham (Gen. 22:18; Gal. 3:16), the father of the Jewish nation, and of David, founder of the royal line (Isa. 9:6, 7; 11:1; Acts 2:29, 30), Matthew presents evidence that Jesus qualifies as a descendant of these two illustrious men. Without such evidence, His claim to Messiahship would be held invalid, and additional proofs could be dismissed without further examination of His claim (cf. Ezra 2:62; Neh. 7:64).”

“At the time Matthew wrote, it was probably possible to verify his genealogy of Jesus by comparing it with accessible public records. A large part of it (vs. 2–12) could be checked against OT lists (1 Chron. 1:34; 2:1–15; 3:5, 10–19). The fact that, so far as we know, no contemporaries of Matthew, even the avowed enemies of the Christian faith, ever challenged the validity of this family pedigree is excellent testimony favoring the genuineness of the genealogical list.” – [Francis D. Nichol, Ed., The Seventh-Day Adventist Bible Commentary, (Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1980), 5:276].

40-BSG-1D: TODAY’S CHAPTER

Matthew 1: Bible Reading Plan/ The Book of Matthew 1/ Theme: Genealogy of Jesus (1:1-17); The Birth of Jesus (1:18-25).

Matthew 1 (NKJV) — 1 The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the Son of David, the Son of Abraham: 2 Abraham begot Isaac, Isaac begot Jacob, and Jacob begot Judah and his brothers. 3 Judah begot Perez and Zerah by Tamar, Perez begot Hezron, and Hezron begot Ram. 4 Ram begot Amminadab, Amminadab begot Nahshon, and Nahshon begot Salmon. 5 Salmon begot Boaz by Rahab, Boaz begot Obed by Ruth, Obed begot Jesse, 6 and Jesse begot David the king. David the king begot Solomon by her who had been the wife of Uriah. 7 Solomon begot Rehoboam, Rehoboam begot Abijah, and Abijah begot Asa. 8 Asa begot Jehoshaphat, Jehoshaphat begot Joram, and Joram begot Uzziah. 9 Uzziah begot Jotham, Jotham begot Ahaz, and Ahaz begot Hezekiah. 10 Hezekiah begot Manasseh, Manasseh begot Amon, and Amon begot Josiah. 11 Josiah begot Jeconiah and his brothers about the time they were carried away to Babylon. 12 And after they were brought to Babylon, Jeconiah begot Shealtiel, and Shealtiel begot Zerubbabel. 13 Zerubbabel begot Abiud, Abiud begot Eliakim, and Eliakim begot Azor. 14 Azor begot Zadok, Zadok begot Achim, and Achim begot Eliud. 15 Eliud begot Eleazar, Eleazar begot Matthan, and Matthan begot Jacob. 16 And Jacob begot Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus who is called Christ. 17 So all the generations from Abraham to David are fourteen generations, from David until the captivity in Babylon are fourteen generations, and from the captivity in Babylon until the Christ are fourteen generations. 18 Now the birth of Jesus Christ was as follows: After His mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Spirit. 19 Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not wanting to make her a public example, was minded to put her away secretly. 20 But while he thought about these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take to you Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. 21 And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.” 22 So all this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying: 23 “Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,” which is translated, “God with us.” 24 Then Joseph, being aroused from sleep, did as the angel of the Lord commanded him and took to him his wife, 25 and did not know her till she had brought forth her firstborn Son. And he called His name Jesus.

40-BSG-1E: TEACHING OUTLINE.

Bible Study Guide/ Teaching Outline/ Matthew 1, (40-BSG-1E)/ Theme: Genealogy of Jesus (1:1-17); The Birth of Jesus (1:18-25).

An Overview: The genealogy of Jesus Christ in the line of Joseph is here presented: from Abraham and David, (Mt 1:1-17). The Virgin Birth: Mary miraculously conceives. Joseph, her fiancé in dilemma, receives a visit from an Angel — directing him to take Mary home, and to call the newborn Son, Jesus. This is stress to coincide with the prophet Isaiah’s prediction (Is. 7:14; cf. Mt 1: 22-23). Joseph thus obeys, and Jesus is born, (vv. 24-25).

Characters: God, Christ, Holy Spirit, Joseph, Mary, generations of Christ from Abraham to David.

Key Text: “Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,” which is translated, “God with us.” (Matthew 1:23, NKJV)

Key Word: Christ, ‘christos’ – (Messiah, or Anointed One, Mt 1:1); Genealogy, (Mt. 1:2-17); Virgin Birth (Mt. 1:23).

Striking Verses: Matthew 1:2, 3-6, 7-10, 11-16, 17, 18, 19, 20-21, 22-23, 24-25.

Division of Main Points — Genealogy of Jesus (1:2–17); The Virgin Birth: God becomes human (1:18–25)

Biblical Events – [Events Occurring]: The births of Jesus and John the Baptist are foretold • Mt 1:18–24/ An angel appears to Joseph • Mt 1:18–24/ Jesus is born in Bethlehem • Mt 1:25/ Jesus is circumcised • Mt 1:25

[Events Mentioned]: Isaac is born • Gen 21:1–7 (Mt 1:2)/ Rebekah gives birth to Jacob and Esau • Gen 25:24–26 (Mt 1:2)/ Leah has four sons • Gen 29:31–35 (Mt 1:2)/ Tamar gives birth to Perez and Zerah • Gen 38:27–30 (Mt 1:3)/ Boaz and Ruth marry and have a son • Ruth 4:13–17 (Mt 1:5)/ Solomon is born • 2 Sam 12:24–25 (Mt 1:6)/ Jehoiachin is taken into exile • 2 Kings 24:10–16; 2 Ch 36:10 (Mt 1:11)/ Zerubbabel leads a group of exiles to Judah • Ezr. 2:1–70 (Mt 1:12)

Biblical Phrases – “The virgin shall be with Child;” …  “God with us.” (Matt. 1:23)

Issues for Further Study – Significance of Abraham, David; Signs of the times; Mission of Jesus Christ; Angel of the Lord; Virgin Birth; Divinity of Jesus Christ; Holy Spirit the life-giver; God’s love, mercy, faithfulness.

Striking Facts: The genealogy of Jesus Christ shows that – 1. Jesus is the legal heir to the throne of David (Mt 1:1–2); and to the promises made to Abraham (Rom 4:11, 16). Remember, God gave to Abraham and his seed (the Messiah) the promise of blessings for the whole world (Gen 12:1-3; 22:18).

  1. It shows all the descendants of faith that they have a part in Christ (Mt 1:2)

  2. It symbolizes God’s glorious mercy (Mt 1:3–6).

  • In the Gentile Tamar being saved, (Gen 38:24).

  • In the Gentile Rahab being saved, (Josh 2:1).

  • In the Gentile Ruth being saved, (Ruth 1:1).

  • In the sinful woman Bathsheba being used by God, (2 Sam 11–12).

  1. It demonstrates that God’s grace is not inherited; it is given to those who obey and follow Him: The bad kings did not inherit the righteousness of the good kings (Mt 1:7–10).

  2. It emphasizes the power of God to keep His promises: In delivering His people through terrible times (the Babylonian captivity, Mt 1:11–15); In sending forth the Christ, the Messiah (Mt 1:16).

  3. It symbolizes three generations of spiritual history (Mt 1:17).

  • From Abraham—David: The birth and growth of Israel

  • David—Babylonian captivity: The decline and enslavement of Israel

  • Babylon—Christ: The liberation and triumph of Israel

Part 2 of Matthew 1 discuses the Unusual Events of the Divine Birth of Jesus (Mt 1:18–25).

  1. His birth was of the Holy Spirit (Mt 1:18).

  2. His birth created a great predicament on Joseph (Mt 1:18–19).

  3. His birth necessitated a special revelation from God (Mt 1:20–21).

  4. His birth was a fulfillment of prophecy (Mt 1:22–23; Isa 7:14).

  5. His birth stirred a great obedience within Joseph (Mt 1:24–25).

Key Thought: Jesus Christ was, in accordance with the OT prophecies, conceived of the Holy Spirit, born of a virgin (Isa 7:14). He was both Son of Man and Son of God, thereby being qualified to “save His people from their sins” (Mt 1:23). The author of Hebrews amplifies this concept of Christ’s saving power, saying — “Therefore, He (Jesus Christ) is also able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them.” (Hebrews 7:25, NKJV)

“Though Matthew expounds nothing of its significance here, the virginal conception has regularly been understood as a way by which Jesus could be both fully human and fully divine. His father, in essence, was God, through the work of the Holy Spirit; his mother was the fully human woman, Mary. As fully God, Jesus was able to pay the eternal penalty for our sins (v. 21) for which finite humanity could not atone. As fully human he could be our adequate representative and substitutionary sacrifice.”—[Craig Blomberg, Matthew, The New American Commentary, (Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 1992), 22:58].

“The New Testament begins with the life, death, and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. No part of the Bible is so important as this, and no part is so full and complete. Four distinct Gospels tell us the story of Christ’s doing and dying. Four times over we read the precious account of His works and words. How thankful we ought to be for this! To know Christ is life eternal. To believe in Christ is to have peace with God. To follow Christ is to be a true Christian. To be with Christ will be heaven itself. We can never hear too much about Jesus Christ.” – [J. C. Ryle, Expository Thoughts on Matthew, (New York: Robert Carter and Brothers, 1860), 2].

Admonitions: “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.” (John 1:14, NKJV) “But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name:” (John 1:12, NKJV)

Warm Up Questions:

  1. What is the main content of this chapter?

  2. What does the chapter say about God?

  3. What is the meaning and the significance of the word Christ (christos) in Mt 1:1?

  4. Jesus Christ is referred to as “the Son of David, the Son of Abraham.” Why?

  5. Identify the four gentiles’ women in the genealogy of Jesus. Why are they included here?

  6. What remarkable events are taking place surrounding the Birth of Jesus?

  7. Why is the Virgin Birth (Mt 1:18) so important to the Christian faith?

  8. What do you think is the main point God is making by including this chapter in the Bible?

  9. What response do you think this chapter should inspires us to do?

40-BSG-1F: DOCTRINAL/ THEOLOGICAL.

Bible Study Guide/ Doctrinal or Theological Issues/ Matthew 1, (40-BSG-1F)/ Theme: Virgin Birth.

“Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel.” (Isaiah 7:14, NKJV) “So all this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying: “Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,” which is translated, “God with us.” (Matthew 1:22–23, NKJV)

“Joseph and Mary had experienced no sexual contact with each other, as the phrase before they came together indicates. Sexual purity is highly regarded in Scripture, in both testaments. God places great value on sexual abstinence outside of marriage and sexual fidelity within marriage. Mary’s virginity was an important evidence of her godliness. Her reason for questioning Gabriel’s announcement of her conception was the fact that she knew she was a virgin (Luke 1:34). This testimony protects from accusation that Jesus was born of some other man.

But Mary’s virginity protected a great deal more than her own moral character, reputation, and the legitimacy of Jesus’ birth. It protected the nature of the divine Son of God. The child is never called the son of Joseph; Joseph is never called Jesus’ father, and Joseph is not mentioned in Mary’s song of praise (Luke 1:46–55). Had Jesus been conceived by the act of a man, whether Joseph or anyone else, He could not have been divine and could not have been the Savior. His own claims about Himself would have been lies, and His resurrection and ascension would have been hoaxes. And mankind would forever remain lost and damned.

Obviously Jesus’ conception by the Holy Spirit is a great mystery. Even had He wanted to do so, how could God have explained to us, in terms we could comprehend, how such a blending of the divine and human could have been accomplished? We could no more fathom such a thing than we can fathom God’s creating the universe from nothing, His being one God in three Persons, or His giving an entirely new spiritual nature to those who trust in His Son. Understanding of such things will have to await heaven, when we see our Lord “face to face” and “know fully just as [we] have been fully known” (1 Cor. 13:12). We accept it by faith.

The virgin birth should not have surprised those Jews who knew and believed the Old Testament. Because of a misinterpretation of the phrase “A woman shall encompass a man” in Jeremiah 31:22, many rabbis believed the Messiah would have an unusual birth. They said, “Messiah is to have no earthly father,” and “the birth of Messiah shall be like the dew of the Lord, as drops upon the grass without the action of man.” But even that poor interpretation of an obscure text (an interpretation also held by some of the church Fathers) assumed a unique birth for the Messiah.

Not only had Isaiah indicated such a birth (Isa. 7:14), but even in Genesis we get a glimpse of it. God spoke to the serpent of the enmity that would henceforth exist between “your seed and her [Eve’s] seed” (Gen. 3:15). In a technical sense the seed belongs to the man, and Mary’s impregnation by the Holy Spirit is the only instance in human history that a woman had a seed within her that did not come from a man. The promise to Abraham concerned “his seed,” a common way of referring to offspring. This unique reference to “her seed” looks beyond Adam and Eve to Mary and to Jesus Christ. The two seeds of Genesis 3:15 can be seen in a simple sense as collective; that is, they may refer to all those who are part of Satan’s progeny and to all those who a part of Eve’s. That view sees the war between the two as raging for all time, with the people of righteousness eventually gaining victory over the people of evil. But “seed” also can be singular, in that it refers to one great, final, glorious product of a woman, who will be the Lord Himself—born without male seed. In that sense the prediction is messianic. It may be that the prophecy looks to both the collective and the individual meanings.

Paul is very clear when he tells us that “When the fulness of the time came, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman” (Gal. 4:4). There is no human father in that verse. Jesus had to have one human parent or He could not have been human, and thereby a partaker of our flesh. But He also had to have divine parentage or He could not have made a sinless and perfect sacrifice on our behalf.” – [John F. MacArthur Jr., Matthew, MacArthur New Testament Commentary, (Chicago: Moody Press, 1985), 1:16–17].

40-BSG-1J: QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS.

Bible Study Guide/ Matthew 1, (40-BSG-1J)/ Questions and Answers.

[1] Discuss the following names/ phrases: Jesus, Jesus Christ, the Son of David, the Son of Abraham (1:1).

What is the significance of each to the Jews, the Author’s immediate audience? Matthew is saying to them that this Jesus is indeed a fulfilment of promised Messiah in the OT.

Jesus. Gr. Iēsous, equivalent to the Heb. Yehoshua‘, “Joshua” (see Acts 7:45 and Heb. 4:8, where Luke and Paul refer to Joshua as “Jesus”). The name has generally been taken to mean “Jehovah is salvation” (see Matt. 1:21).

Today, names are but little more than identification tags. But in Bible times a name was chosen with the greatest of care because it signified the faith and hope of the parents (see PK 481), the circumstances of the child’s birth, his own personal characteristics, or was related to his life mission—particularly when the name was divinely appointed.

The name Jesus is fraught with historic and prophetic memories. As Joshua led Israel to victory in the earthly promised land, so Jesus, the Captain of our salvation, came to open for us the gates of the heavenly Canaan. But not only is Jesus the Captain of our salvation (Heb. 2:10), He is also “the Apostle and High Priest of our profession” (Heb. 3:1). The high priest, upon the return from Babylonian captivity (see on Ezra 2:2), bore the name Joshua (Zech. 3:8; 6:11–15). As Hosea (the name is identical in the Hebrew with the Oshea of Num. 13:16) loved an undeserving wife, sought in vain, for a time, to win her affections, and finally bought her back at the slave market (Hosea 1:2; 3:1, 2), so Jesus came to set the human race free from the slavery of sin (Luke 4:18; John 8:36).

Christ. Gr. Christos, a translation of the Heb. Mashiach (see on Ps. 2:2), “Messiah,” meaning “Anointed,” or “Anointed One.” Before the resurrection, and commonly so in the four Gospels, Jesus is generally referred to as the Christ, making the term a title rather than a personal name. After the resurrection the definite article was generally dropped from common usage and “Christ” became a name as well as a title.

In OT times the high priest (Ex. 30:30), the king (2 Sam. 5:3; cf. 1 Sam. 24:6), and sometimes prophets (1 Kings 19:16) were “anointed” upon consecration to holy service, and were therefore mashiach, “anointed” (Lev. 4:3; 1 Sam. 24:6; 1 Chron. 16:21, 22). In Messianic prophecy the term came to be applied specifically to the Messiah, who, as Prophet (Deut. 18:15), Priest (Zech. 6:11–14), and King (Isa. 9:6, 7), was the One ordained to be our Redeemer (Isa. 61:1; Dan. 9:25, 26). As Prophet He came to represent the Father before men, as Priest He ascended to represent men before the Father, and as King He liberates those who believe in Him, not only from the power of sin in this life, but also from the kingdom of sin—and reigns over them in the kingdom of glory.

Christos is from chriō, a verb which means, “to rub,” “to massage,” “to anoint.” In the NT, Christ is said to be “anointed” (Luke 4:18; Acts 4:27; 10:38; Heb. 1:9).

Used together, as in Matt. 1:18; 16:20; Mark 1:1; etc., the two names “Jesus” and “Christ” constitute a confession of faith in the union of the divine and human natures in one Person, of belief that Jesus of Nazareth, Son of Mary, Son of man, is indeed the Christ, the Messiah, the Son of God (see Acts 2:38; etc.).

Son of David. “This was the popular designation by which rulers (Matt. 22:42; Mark 12:35; Luke 20:41) and common people (Matt. 9:27; 12:23; 15:22; 20:30, 31; 21:9; Mark 10:47, 48; Luke 18:38, 39; cf. John 7:42) alike referred to the expected Messiah. Its use as a Messianic title points to an understanding of the prophecies predicting the Davidic descent of the Messiah. To a people weary of the Roman yoke it implied also the restoration of their kingdom to the independence and prosperity of David’s illustrious reign. David himself had understood that the promise of a son to sit upon his throne (2 Sam. 7:12, 13; Ps. 132:11) would be fulfilled by the one who was to redeem Israel (Acts 2:29, 30; see on Deut. 18:15). Again and again the prophets of old spoke thus of the Messiah (Isa. 9:6, 7; 11:1; Jer. 23:5, 6; etc.). NT writers repeatedly apply the title “seed of David” to Christ (Rom. 1:3; 2 Tim. 2:8; etc.). As the Son of David, Jesus became heir both to David’s throne and to the Messianic promises given to David.”

Son of Abraham. “Among the heroes of faith, Abraham had the distinction of being called the “Friend” of God (James 2:23; cf. 2 Chron. 20:7; Isa. 41:8). Because of his faithfulness (see Gal. 3:7, 9) Abraham was selected to become the father of God’s chosen people. The promise that in his seed all nations of the earth should be blessed was, according to Paul, a definite Messianic prediction (Gen. 22:18; cf. Gal. 3:16). In harmony with his endeavor to convince the Jews of the Messiahship of Jesus, Matthew appropriately and purposefully carries Christ’s genealogy back to Abraham, whereas Luke, writing for Gentile Christians, considered it essential to trace Christ’s ancestral record back to the father of our race. To show that Jesus descended from Abraham, and was thus eligible for consideration as heir to the promises made to him, was sufficient for Matthew’s purpose. See on John 8:35, 39” — [Francis D. Nichol, Ed., The Seventh-Day Adventist Bible Commentary, (Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1980), 5:276–277].

[2] What five women are mentioned in Matthew’s list? (3, 5, 5, 6, 16) Tamar, Rahab, Ruth, Bathsheba, Mary.

Tamar was an adulteress – Genesis 38:1-30. “Jacob’s son Judah (patriarch of the line of Judah) had three sons: Er, Onan, and Shelah. A woman named Tamar married Er, but then Er died, leaving her a widow. Since it was required that the next of kin care for a brother’s widow, Tamar was given to Onan, but he also died. Shelah was still a boy and could not marry Tamar, so Judah asked her to return to her father’s house and wait until Shelah was grown up. However, once Shelah was old enough, Judah did not honor his promise. Tamar remained an unmarried widow. Tamar then went into town disguised as a prostitute, tricked Judah, and got him to sleep with her. She then became pregnant by Judah and bore twin sons named Perez and Zerah.” — (Got Question Ministry/ “Who was Tamar in the Bible?”)

Rahab was a prostitute from pagan Jericho (read Joshua 2:1-13). She was a Canaanite, who were the hated enemies of Israel. The most remarkable deed of Rahab was actually telling a lie, to protect two spies of Joshua. Hence, it is strange that a Harlot, a Canaanite, and a liar is known as a distinguished Bible figure. You wouldn’t think she would have much chance of making the list of renowned biblical characters, but there she is.

Uriah’s wife, Bathsheba, was the woman David had seduced and whose first child had died, but through whose subsequent son Solomon the royal line was traced.

Ruth was a Gentile, Boaz a Hebrew. Ruth  was not even a Jewess at all, but a Moabitess. Moabites and their descendants were not allowed near the assembly of the Lord. Ruth became the wife of Boaz, and ancestress of David. It took the grace of God to befriend a bitter woman as Naomi became, but Ruth was bound to her mother-in-law by the cords of love, (Ruth 1:16-17).

“When the fifth woman, Mary (Matt. 1:16), was mentioned in the genealogy, an important change occurred. The genealogy consistently repeated, the father of, until it came to Mary. At that point Matthew changed and said of whom was born Jesus. The “of whom” is a feminine relative pronoun (ex hēs), clearly indicating that Jesus was the physical Child of Mary but that Joseph was not His physical father.” – (Louis A. Barbieri Jr., The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures, 1985, 2, 18).

[3] Matthew could not have found a more amazing selection of women wherever he had looked within the pages of his Bible. Why did he choose them?

“It is clear from Mark 6:3; Galatians 4:4 and Revelation 12:1–5 that people were well aware there was something strange about the birth of Jesus. It was different. The Jews put about the rumour that he was the illegitimate child of a Roman soldier and Mary. Nobody thought he was simply the child of Joseph and Mary. So Matthew may well be alluding to such rumours when he points out that in Jesus’ ancestry there are notorious women. Sinners they may be, but God works to rescue sinners and to use them in his service. Here at the outset of the Gospel, Matthew goes out of his way to show that the barriers between men and women are broken down: women share in the official genealogy of the Messiah alongside men. The barriers between Gentiles and Jews are broken down too: Ruth plays her part in the coming of one who was to be not only Messiah of Israel but Saviour of the whole world. And the juxtaposition of sinful women like Bathsheba and Tamar with Mary, the gentle mother of Jesus, shows that the barriers between good people and bad people have also come crashing down. As Paul put it, ‘There is no difference, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by his grace’ (Rom. 3:22–24). At the very beginning of the Gospel the all-embracing love of God is emphasized. Nothing can stand in its path. There is nobody who does not need it. Maybe the genealogy is not so dry after all!” — [Michael Green, The Message of Matthew: The Kingdom of Heaven, The Bible Speaks Today, (Leicester, England; Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2001), 58–59].

[4] What phrases show the virgin birth? (Mt 1:18, 20, 23, 25)

  • “Now the birth of Jesus Christ took place under these circumstances: When His mother Mary had been promised in marriage to Joseph, before they came together, she was found to be pregnant [through the power] of the Holy Spirit.” (Matthew 1:18, AMP)

  • “But as he was thinking this over, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, Joseph, descendant of David, do not be afraid to take Mary [as] your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of (from, out of) the Holy Spirit.” (Matthew 1:20, AMP)

  • “Behold, the virgin shall become pregnant and give birth to a Son, and they shall call His name Emmanuel—which, when translated, means, God with us.” (Matthew 1:23, AMP)

  • “But he had no union with her as her husband until she had borne her firstborn Son; and he called His name Jesus.” (Matthew 1:25, AMP)

[5] What is the meaning of “espoused” or “ betrothed” in verse 18?

“The narrative implies a distinction between betrothal and marriage. From the moment of her betrothal a woman was treated as if actually married. The union could be dissolved only by regular divorce. Breach of faithfulness was regarded as adultery, and was punishable with death (Deut. 22:23, 24), and the woman’s property became virtually that of her betrothed, unless he had expressly renounced it; but, even in that case, he was her natural heir.” – [Marvin Richardson Vincent, Word Studies in the New Testament, (New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1887), 1:12].

[6] What is the difference between “save from sins” and “save in sins”? (21) Deliverance

“This shall be his great business in the world: the great errand on which he [Jesus Christ] is come, viz. to make an atonement for, and to destroy, sin: deliverance from all the power, guilt, and pollution of sin, is the privilege of every believer in Christ Jesus. Less than this is not spoken of in the Gospel; and less than this would be unbecoming the Gospel. The perfection of the Gospel system is not that it makes allowances for sin, but that it makes an atonement for it: not that it tolerates sin, but that it destroys it.” – (Adam Clarke).

[7] What is the meaning of Emmanuel? (23) God with us! Jesus Christ is God who voluntarily became flesh (Phil 2:5-11); God incarnate, God with us in Person – who walked like men, ate, talked, etc., and “was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin” (Heb. 4:15).

[8] Can you give the origin, Biblical historicity of this name, Emmanuel? Yes.

“The sign-child foretold by the prophet Isaiah in conversation with Ahaz, king of Judah (Is 7:14), applied by Matthew to Jesus of Nazareth (Mt 1:23). Alarmed at an alliance between Pekah, king of Israel, and Rezin, king of Syria, against Judah (Is 7:2, 5, 6), Ahaz turned to Tiglath-pileser III, king of Assyria, for help (2 Ki 16:6–9; 2 Chr 28:16; Is 8:9–12). Anticipating imminent attack, Ahaz went out to inspect the water supply of the city. Isaiah met him on the way with the message not to fear Pekah and Rezin but to trust in the Lord (Is 7:4–7; 8:13, 14). In token of the promised deliverance, Isaiah, whose name means “Yahweh saves,” foretold the birth of a son to be named Immanuel, meaning “God is with us,” as a token and reminder of God’s abiding presence.”

“Before this sign-child should reach the age of accountability Pekah and Rezin would both fall before the Assyrians (ch 8:7, 8, 16). This prediction, made about 734 B.C., was literally fulfilled. Tiglath-pileser captured Damascus and killed Rezin 2 years later (2 Ki 16:9, 10), then devastated Gilead and Galilee, took a vast number of captives, and arranged for the assassination of Pekah (2 Ki 15:29, 30; 1 Chr 5:26; Is 8:4). The kingdom of Israel disappeared altogether 12 years later, with the fall of Samaria to the Assyrians in 723/22 B.C. (cf. Is 7:8). Repeated Assyrian invasions during the next few years also devastated all the land of Judah, except for Jerusalem itself (2 Ki 18:13 to 19:34; 2 Chr 32:1–20; Is 36:1 to 37:20). Nevertheless, God was with His people to spare the remnant in Jerusalem in a miraculous way (2 Ki 19:35–37; 2 Chr 32:21, 22; Is 37:21–38).”

“Had Ahaz trusted the Lord, Judah would have been spared this fearful experience altogether, as implied in the name of the sign-child—“God is with us” (Is 7:14). But Ahaz’ persistent refusal to rely on the Lord instead of on the Assyrian alliance resulted in great suffering for Judah (ch 8:7, 8, 21, 22). In irony the prophet speaks of Judah as Immanuel’s land—“God is with us”—comparing what actually took place with what might have been (vs 8, 10).”

“Matthew (Mt 1:23; cf. Is 7:14) quotes Is 7:14 and applies it to Christ. The name Immanuel thus originated in an actual historical situation as a promise that God would be with His people to deliver them from their immediate enemies. But Isaiah also looked forward by inspiration to the time when God would send His own Son, the true Immanuel, who would deliver His people from all their enemies. By inspiration Matthew thus picked up the prophecy of Isaiah and declared that it was to meet its fulfillment in the person of Jesus Christ, who was born of a virgin, and who was in the supreme sense “God with us.”—[Siegfried H. Horn, The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Dictionary, 1979, 521].

40-BSG-1K: DISCUSSION QUESTIONS.

Bible Study Guide/ Matthew 1, (40-BSG-1K)/ Discussion Questions

To Think About And Discuss[1] Planning-– “Matthew provides an exhaustive list of Jesus’ ancestors, beginning with Abraham. This genealogy demonstrates God’s long-range plan to save the human race. He made sure to cover every step and prepare every person to participate in the line of Christ.” (NKJV Maxwell Leadership Bible/ Matthew 1:1–17). How doe this fact help you appreciate the LORD more?

[2] According to Mt 1:18, Jesus had no human paternity but was supernaturally conceived by “the power of the Holy Spirit.” It’s not surprising then that He knew where He came from and the source of power within Him when confronted by demons and satanic forces. How can we be courageous when dealing with evil forces having known our originality (John 1:12) and that the same Spirit promises to dwell in us? (read 1 Cor. 6:19; 3:16; Rom 8:9; Jn 14:26)

[3] In Matthew 1:16, the Author does not say that Joseph was “the father of Jesus” but only that he was “the husband of Mary” and that Jesus was born of her. Why is that?

[4] The Biblical truth of the supernatural conception of Jesus was disbelieved by many Jews (then) and by some (even this day). The Devil hate this verse. He has twisted the parentage of Jesus into lies. For instance, John 8:19 and 8:41 comes to mind where some were suspicions of the “virgin birth” of Christ. How can you use Matthew 1:18 to set the record straight?

For Further Study[5] The genealogy of Jesus Christ is full of sinners. Names like Tamar, Rahab, Bethsheba are included here. Similarly, bad kings — those who disobeyed Yahweh, are mentioned here: Roboam; Abijah (abijam, 1 kings 15:3-4);  Jehoakim; Jehoshaphat and Jehoram. This fact tells us that God’s grace is unmerited, it is inclusive, it is given and extended to sinners! How can you use the record of the genealogy to witness to someone who feels like he/she has sank into sin and can not be accepted by God?

For Self-Examination[6] “For He will save His people from their sins” (Mt 1:23). God does not save us “in” our sins; but “from” our sins. Think of this verse: “What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it?” (Romans 6:1–2, NKJV). How can you help someone who abuses the grace of God? In other words, he/she has refused to ‘turn away” from evil ways/ behaviors. What further Scriptures would you use to stress the importance of genuine repentance and the grave danger of neglecting necessary reforms in ones life?

For Life Today[7] Engagement was a legally binding commitment in ancient Judaism. Jewish couples often wed when the young man was about 18 and the young woman was in her very early teens. Prior to marriage they would not live together. Furthermore, they were expected to refrain from sexual relations until after their wedding ceremony. Sexual intercourse outside marriage is sin. How can you use Joseph impeccable character to prepare young people in this generation?

[8] Because of the pregnancy, Mary’s reputation, honour, and her life (future) were at stake. Thus, Joseph wanted to rescind the betrothal “secretly.” In moments of “fiery trials” – when nobody can understand you no matter how you explain yourself, where do you go for help? How do you deal with character assassinations, innuendos, insinuations, etc.

For Going Deeper[9] Consider again the major truth of Salvation expressed in this chapter. How does Mt. 1:21 and Mt 18:11; Lk 19:10; Jn 1:29; 3:16-17; 12:47; Act 3:26; 4:12; 1 Tim 1:15; Rev. 7:14 expand your understanding of this truth?

For Personal Implications[10] Joseph knew that if Mary had been unfaithful to him it would be impossible to go through with the marriage. Yet his nature as “a just man” (Mt 1:19) also did not want to make this an unnecessary hardship or stigma upon Mary. Therefore, Joseph made the understandable decision to seek a divorce quietly. What a lesson! How many of us today would prefer to seek revenge in such situation? What does the Bible tech about revenge and retaliation?

[11] “These verses (Mt 1:1-17) begin the New Testament. Let us always read them with serious and solemn feelings. The book before us contains not the word of men, but of God. Every verse in it was written by inspiration of the Holy Ghost.

Let us thank God daily for giving us the Scriptures. The poorest Englishman who understands his Bible, knows more about religion than the wisest philosophers of Greece and Rome.

Let us remember our deep responsibility. We shall all be judged at the last day according to our light. To whomsoever much is given, of them much will be required.

Let us read our Bibles reverently and diligently, with an honest determination to believe and practice all we find in them. It is no light matter how we use this book. Eternal life or death depends on the spirit in which it is used.

Above all let us humbly pray for the teaching of the Holy Spirit. He alone can apply truth to our hearts, and make us profit by what we read.” – [J. C. Ryle, Expository Thoughts on Matthew, (New York: Robert Carter and Brothers, 1860), 1–2].

40-BSG-1Y: NIGHT DEVOTION.

A Devotional Thought corresponding with the Today’s Bible Reading Plan/ Theme: The Gracious God./ Key Text: Read Matthew 1:1-17.

Matthew’s genealogy begins with Abraham and ends with Joseph (2, 16). In this portion of Scriptures, there are five women mentioned: Tamar, Rahab, Ruth, Bathsheba, and Mary (3, 5, 6, 16). Please note that these were all sinners, saved by Grace!

“Learn from this list of names, that God always keeps His word. He had promised, that in Abraham’s seed all the nations of the earth should be blessed. He had promised to raise up a Saviour of the family of David. (Gen. 12:3; Isaiah 11:1.) These sixteen verses prove, that Jesus was the son of David and the son of Abraham, and that God’s promise was fulfilled. —Thoughtless and ungodly people should remember this lesson, and be afraid. Whatever they may think, God will keep His word. If they repent not, they will surely perish. —True Christians should remember this lesson, and take comfort. Their Father in heaven will be true to all His engagements. He has said, that He will save all believers in Christ. If He has said it, He will certainly do it. “He is not a man that He should lie.” “He abideth faithful: He can not deny Himself.” (2 Tim. 2:13.)

Learn next from this list of names the sinfulness and corruption of human nature. Observe how many godly parents in this catalogue had wicked and ungodly sons. The names of Roboam, and Joram, and Amon, and Jechonias, should teach us humbling lessons. They had all pious fathers. But they were all wicked men. Grace does not run in families. It needs something more than good examples and good advice to make us children of God. They that are born again are not born of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. (John 1:13.) Praying parents should pray night and day, that their children may be born of the Spirit

Learn lastly from this list of names, how great is the mercy and compassion of our Lord Jesus Christ. Think how defiled and unclean our nature is; and then think what a condescension it was in Him to be born of a woman, and “made in the likeness of men.” Some of the names we read in this catalogue remind us of shameful and sad histories. Some of the names are those of persons never mentioned elsewhere in the Bible. But at the end of all comes the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. Though He is the eternal God, He humbled Himself to become man, in order to provide salvation for sinners. “Though he was rich, yet for our sakes he became poor.”

We should always read this catalogue with thankful feelings. We see here that no one who partakes of human nature can be beyond the reach of Christ’s sympathy and compassion. Our sins may have been as black and great as those of any whom St. Matthew names. But they can not shut us out of heaven, if we repent and believe the gospel. If Jesus was not ashamed to be born of a woman, whose pedigree contained such names as those we have read to-day, we need not think that He will be ashamed to call us brethren, and to give us eternal life.”  – [J. C. Ryle, Expository Thoughts on Matthew, (New York: Robert Carter and Brothers, 1860), 3–4].

Have a Good Night: “For both He who sanctifies and those who are being sanctified are all of one, for which reason He is not ashamed to call them brethren,” (Hebrews 2:11, NKJV)

40-BSG-1Z: CLOSING PRAYER.

Closing Prayer/ Matthew 1, (40-BSG-1Z)/ Is there a prayer for me to pray/echo in this chapter?  Yes.

Prayer: Father, we thank You for Your word in Matthew chapter One. We thank You for Jesus Christ -the Saviour of the World – who came to die for us, in order that none should perish… but all who believe might have everlasting life!

We thank You for astonishing set of facts we have discovered in this chapter thus far: that You are a loving, faithful, forgiving, and gracious Father — who keeps His promises. We thank You for giving us this Jesus.

We thank You for the wonderful love, relationship between Jesus Christ and His people: that He who created us was not ashamed to humiliate Himself and decided to be born as a babe in order to save us! What a wondrous love! May Your Spirit help us to believe in Jesus; claim and proclaim these promises again and again, saying — “For unto us a Child is born, Unto us a Son is given; And the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” (Isaiah 9:6, NKJV)

We thank You for the precious promise of Emmanuel, “God with us” (Mt 1:23). We know that Your Son Jesus Christ is indeed our Emmanuel — God with us; God in us; God for us! We know that You are Jehovah, our righteousness. We thank You for that.

Father, we know that even in the midst of “fiery trials” we are not alone; that Emmanuel will always be with us (Ps. 23:4; Isa 43:2; Mt 28:20). Remind us that, above all else, Emmanuel desires to dwell in us/ with us here (Ps 91:1-2; Jn 15:1-8; Rev 3:20) and one day in your eternal kingdom (Jn 14:1-3; 17:24; Rev 21:1-5). Therefore, loving Father, may You help us to accept, believe and obey Jesus Christ now—before it is too late (Rev. 22:11) when His work will have been done in the Heavenly Sanctuary, and the door of mercy will be closed. Help us by faith to draw near the cross of Jesus now: to repent all our sins, and approach Your throne of Grace with total confidence (Heb 4:14-16).

As we begin this Book, may Your Spirit help us to see Jesus clearly and accept Him as our Lord and Saviour. May our minds be opened that we may listen attentively to what the Spirit is saying to us, and make necessary changes we ought to. Father, may You forgive us our sin, iniquity, and transgression. Sanctify us, and prepare us for Thy kingdom. We thank You Lord, and ask these things, believing and trusting in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.