Friday, September 11, 2020

Matthew 1 - Part 2


Read Matthew 1

I describe the genealogy of Jesus provided in the first part of this chapter as one soap opera followed by another.  I provide a taste of the humanness of what happened on the way to Jesus, and you might think back to Genesis when God formed Adam from the dirt and thought was that the best soil he could find.

Regardless of how I frame this, the genealogy should be a good prompt for you to visit some of those Old Testament stories.

Today, we see why Matthew is seldom the selection for the Christmas program.  Nothing about Caesar Augustus and the census.  No shepherds watching their flocks by night.  No Mary visiting Elizabeth.  No angelic visit to Mary. No Mary’s Song.  No Zechariah’s Song.  Matthew has no music.

And there is no—wait for it—no room at the inn part either.

Matthew gets down to the nitty gritty.  Mary is pregnant by the Holy Spirit.  Joseph still loves Mary but isn’t buying this story.  He waited for marriage.  Why couldn’t she?

He was not going to make a big deal of it.  He could have, but just decided to end their betrothal with a simple but quiet divorce.  Back in the day, it was more than just getting back the engagement ring.

Betrothal was marriage without the consummation.  So, a divorce was needed to wrap up the whole thing.

But we know that didn’t happen.              

But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit.  She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.”

Joseph did what he was told by the angel in his dream.  He didn’t question if it was the wine or the jalapenos on his nachos that he ate while commiserating with his buddies.  He didn’t wonder if this was just a stray thought that came from binge-watching too much Netflix.

He did what he was instructed. It was required to fulfill scripture.  The angel did not give him these instructions in this dream, but he had no sexual relations with his wife until after the birth of Jesus.

Maybe he understood the magnitude of what was happening.  And he gave the child the name Jesus.

OBTW—the angel referred to Joseph as the son of David.  David’s dad was named Jacob.  So, what’s up with that?  Check out the lineage that preceded this section. The angel knew Joseph’s lineage even if those around him were not quite as informed.

The account of Matthew about the life of young Jesus is different from Luke.  You don't get anything in Mark or John. 

But your journey has begun.  I spoke Wednesday night about how to get a Marine to laugh in your face.  Tell them that you almost joined the Marines.  There are plenty of other noble professions and callings, but never tell a Marine you almost joined.

I put the same challenge to you.  Don’t stand before Jesus and say, I almost read your word daily.  You do know that reading the verse of the day is not really daily reading. 

Jesus won’t laugh in your face but I think you will have an image in your mind of him on the cross.  Do you really want to tell him, I almost read your word daily?

It’s a simple thing.  It doesn’t take that long.  Whatever is competing for your time can be put aside for 10 minutes.  That’s about one-half of one percent of the time you have in any given day. 

Hopefully, you take a little longer to digest and meditate upon what you have read.

How many grew up hearing that breakfast was the most important meal of the day.  That was the mantra I heard when I was raising my kids.

They were wrong.  The word of God is the best and most important meal of the day.  Man shall not live by bread alone but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.

Do the thing!  It will take us all the way to Palm Sunday 2021.

OBTW—we will have people assigned to watch the clock on New Years Eve to make sure it doesn’t go from 11:59 to 11:60. We are putting 2020 in the books.

Do the thing.  Read your Bible daily.  Share with each other.


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