April 2 - Matthew 1
Watch this short summary video to see how beautifully crafted Matthew's gospel is.
DUTCH BINGO: If you either are Dutch or have spent any amount of time with Dutch people, you know we have a weird proclivity that causes us to open every conversation with a fellow Dutchman we've just met by trying to figure out how we know that person's relatives. Matthew opens his gospel (as Luke does from a different angle) with the ultimate round of Hebrew Bingo, tracing Jesus' lineage all the way back to the primary patriarch Abraham.
But don't skip over these sometimes hard to pronounce names too quickly. See how many of the names you recognize, and then remember the stories you've read about them; many of Jesus' ancestors had quite sordid lives. Look for the mention of three women in the midst of all of these men. What's significant about them? Also, everytime we see genealogies like this in the Bible, it's a reminder that we are not reading fictional stories; rather the Bible's narrative books are historical accounts of real people in real places who played a real role in God's unfolding drama of redemption.
THE NAME ABOVE ALL NAMES ISN'T VERY UNIQUE: The name Jesus is the most recognizable names in the world. 'Jesus' is actually a Greek translation of his name, which worked its way into Latin and English. Jesus' friends would have known him as Yeshua, which of course is the same name as the man who led God's people into the promised land: Joshua, meaning 'he will save his people' (v21). Lots of men were named Yeshua; it was a very common Jewish name. What makes Jesus Christ (or as the new NIV puts it in v18: 'Jesus the Messiah') so unique is what Matthew adds to the meaning of the name Yeshua: 'he will save his people from their sins.'
ACKNOWLEDGE WHO GOD IS: Rejoice that the sovereign, omnipotent God became Immanuel - God with us (v23).
ALIGN YOUR LIFE WITH GOD'S WILL: Pray that God will use your life to proclaim His salvation the way He used the generations that came before Jesus to showcase His faithfulness.
ASK GOD FOR WHAT YOU NEED: