Jesus Changes Everything
Nearly four hundred years after the last Divine revelation, Matthew breaks the silence with his dramatic opening—of a genealogy: “The book of the generation of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham.” For a modern reader, a genealogy – a boring list of names – can hardly be the exciting beginning of a book. But for the faithful Jews, who had been waiting and looking (for millennia!) for the coming of the Messiah, that solemn declaration must have immediately grasped their attention and heightened their expectations.
Quoting extensively from the Old Testament Scriptures, Matthew proves that Jesus of Nazareth is indeed THE Messiah, who came to restore and establish the throne of David forever. Skillfully organizing the selected accounts of Jesus’ teachings and miraculous works, Matthew powerfully demonstrates that Jesus is the promised Seed of Abraham to bless all nations. However, Matthew also records that, while most people welcomed Jesus as a great teacher, healer, and provider, no one – not even His closest disciples – understood that Jesus’ primary mission to accomplish was to be “Immanuel.” He did not come to rule politically or militarily, but to offer Himself as the sin-offering before God the Father, so that His people might be able to dwell with God.
As you read through the Gospel according to Matthew this month, notice the people’s misguided enthusiasm to make Jesus their king. Then examine your expectations for Jesus. Why do you follow Jesus? What would like Jesus to do for you? Are your expectations in keeping with what Jesus is trying to accomplish? Are you interested in what Jesus is interested?