A Study of Matthew | Chapter 1
I decided to start sharing my personal Bible Study group notes with all of you. This is not an all inclusive study, meaning that every possible bit of information is included, for that is impossible. These are some of the main ideas that I pulled out for my personal study time and want to share with those in my Bible Study and now with you. Keep coming back each week as it continues.
The Book of Matthew
The purpose of the book of Matthew was to show Jesus as Messiah, the eternal king. For that reason the book is written in messianic language. It was written by Matthew (Levi), who is a tax collector who would become one of Jesus’s disciples. It was written around AD 60-65. It was written in a time where new Christians were torn between their ties to Judaism and this new sect of people who believe in Jesus as the Messiah. It was written 400 years after the last of the prophecies God granted to his people.
Verses 1-17 Matthew was writing this book to the Jews of that time and starts with a genealogy. This was one of the most important factors to the jews for who would be the Messiah. The lineage is also given to show God’s promises come true all the way from Genesis. The lists are made with 14 generations per part, but David is counted twice as he ends one part and begins another. Some of the generations were probably left out as this is a condensed list of history and the word “Father” is sometimes used as “ancestor of.” It starts with Abraham, moves to David, eventually coming to Jesus. Rahab was pointed out because even though she was a prostitute, God used her then and through her came the one who could forgive sins. There are 3 names left out, which are Ahaziah, Joash, and Amaziah possibly because of their tie to Ahab and Jezebel. The four women Jesus mentioned were either ethically compromised or raised questions about ethnicity. Two of them were not Israelite by birth. This goes to show that not everyone who is a child of God is going to fit a certain ethnicity or meet all of our expectations on a moral level completely. It is important to note that Joseph is not recorded as Jesus’s father. Mary and Joseph both came from King David’s lineage. Mary is tied to King David in the book of Luke. Joseph, however was legally considered Jesus’s father. Matthew went back to Abraham because he was writing to the Jews whose father was Abraham and Luke went to Adam because he was writing to gentiles and showed Jesus as the Savior of all people.
Verses 18-25 There are three steps to marriage in Jewish culture. 1) Two families agreed on a union. 2) An announcement is made which starts the engagement, which can only be broken through death or divorce. 3) They begin living together. The Holy Spirit provided the seed for the birth of the child. Isaiah 7:14 spoke about this day. All right then, the Lord himself will give you the sign. Look! The virgin[a] will conceive a child! She will give birth to a son and will call him Immanuel (which means ‘God is with us’). With the pregnancy of Mary, Joseph could have responded in two lawful ways, which was to call a divorce based on assumed infidelity or have her stoned. He got a message from God (through an Angel) who told him to not be afraid to take her as his wife because she was conceived by the Holy Spirit. He trusted God. They were to name the child “Immanuel”, which means ‘God with us’. This meaning was to be a physical one then spiritual.