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Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Matthew Chapter One

Matthew Chapter One

This Gospel includes a genealogy. Obviously the lineage of Jesus as an identifier of Jesus’ authority had become important. Speculation on the need to define Jesus’ identity could run rampant and many questions could be asked but not fully answered. I think it is safe to leave it at there was a need in the community to define Jesus’ identity and this genealogy fulfills that need. It is a marker to Jesus as the Christ through both kingship (Son of David) and spiritual heritage (Son of Abraham). Jesus fulfills the role of earthly king and spiritual priest according to his genealogy. It is a distinctly Jewish lineage naming all the important Jewish figures, which make the inclusion of four Gentile women all the more prominent.

The birth of Jesus, through Mary, is told through Joseph. A Jewish tale. Joseph would do the right thing, which was to divorce her quietly. The compassionate thing would be to take her in and raise the child. And after a visit by an angel that also becomes the right thing to do. Interesting how the compassionate thing and the right thing merge after a divine intervention.

Through God, and Joseph’s obedience, Jesus is brought into the world. He has a divine purpose of which Scripture has spoken. Every section in the first few chapters of Matthew is supported with quotes from the Hebrew Scriptures, the Old Testament. Joseph (and Mary) take it in stride. Certainly that says much about their characters.

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