Working His Purpose Out
Today, on Christmas, I want to tell You, Lord, how much You mean to me. I bless Your name and worship You.
Read MATTHEW 1:1-25
Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
“Though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you through his poverty might become rich” (2 Cor. 8:9). How rich we are, indeed!
What is the point Matthew is trying to make in beginning his Gospel in this apparently tedious way? His concern is not so much “What did Jesus do?” as “Who is he?” Matthew’s first readership was probably Jewish, and so he is saying to them, “I want you to take seriously what he says because of who he is.” In tracing the genealogy from Abraham, he shows that Jesus was a true Jew. In taking his line through Judah to David, he is claiming that Jesus stands in the royal line, with a claim to the throne of David. To help us to see that Jesus is the goal of the whole list, Matthew arranges the names into six groups of seven names ― seven being a symbolic number, and Jesus being born at the start of the seventh seven ― as the climax of the whole list. So, Matthew says, this birth is the one Israel has been anticipating for many years, and is part of God’s amazing plan. The hand of the Lord was there, preparing for the birth of the Messiah.
Matthew includes five women in the record (3,5,6,16), which is not a normal thing to do in a genealogy. Some of these women seem strange choices (Tamar, who pretended to be a prostitute to make her father-in-law, Judah, recognize his ill-treatment of her; Rahab, a Canaanite prostitute; Ruth, a Moabitess; and Bathsheba, seduced by David). God works in ways we don’t expect, Matthew seems to be telling us, so watch out for what he’s going to do now. Then he tells us that the Messiah is going to be born miraculously, as foretold many years ago (23), as he rescues people (21) by coming to earth (23) and does things that might be regarded as inconceivable ― all part of God’s amazing plan.
Ask God to show you how he’s working out his purposes today, keeping his promises, fulfilling his purposes and blessing those who trust him.
Gracious God, truly Your ways are not my ways, but they are wonderful. You surprise me with what You do and how You do it. On this special day I offer my praise.
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