A Significant Introductory Statement
Text: Matthew 1:1-17
The statement that the Apostle Matthew wrote to introduce his Gospel couldn’t be clearer or more compelling and arresting.
“The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ,
the Son of David, the Son of Abraham.”
There is no question as to how Matthew regarded Jesus Christ. With clear intention, and with firm belief, the author gave notice that he was going to present Jesus as both “The Son of David” and “The Son of Abraham”.
“THE SON OF DAVID”
The term may seem straightforward and simple enough, but how did Matthew employ this phrase with reference to Jesus? Read in the plain and ordinary sense of the word, it could simply mean that Jesus came from the family of Judah, as David did. However, this interpretation would make poor sense. Why would Matthew begin his Gospel with such a plain statement?
From the way Matthew traced the genealogy of Jesus (Matthew 1:6-11), it is quite obvious that he was trying to prove that Jesus really came from the Davidic line of kings! Israel had been without a king for ages! The Romans ruled Palestine! What could have been Matthew’s reason for raising up the issue of the bloodline of Jesus?
THE PROMISE OF GOD TO DAVID
God made a solemn promise to David on one occasion. He declared,
“And your house and your kingdom shall be
Your throne shall be established forever.”
2 Samuel 7:16
What exactly did God have in mind when He said these words to David? Could He have meant it in the physical sense of the word? The history of ancient Israel would suggest to us that God had in view a different, and even greater perspective than the mere maintenance of the royal line of David.
God had in mind His Messiah when He spoke of the eternal kingdom of God. We have to turn to the Prophets of God in order to understand this important theological perspective.
THE THEOLOGICAL PERSPECTIVE OF THE PROPHETS
The Prophet Isaiah spoke of how one day, God would give to Israel a Son to sit upon the throne of David. He foretold,
“For unto us a Child is born,
Unto us a Son is given;
And the government will be upon His shoulder.
And His Name will be called
Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Of the increase of His government and peace
There will be no end,
Upon the throne of David and over His kingdom,
To order it and establish it with judgment and justice
From that time forward, even forever.
The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this.”
The Prophet Jeremiah added another vital theological perspective in the following text.
“‘Behold, the days are coming,’ says the Lord,
‘that I will perform that good thing which I
promised to the house of Israel and to the
house of Judah:
In those days and at that time
I will cause to grow up to David
A Branch of righteousness;
He shall execute judgment and
righteousness in the earth…’
For thus says the Lord: ‘David shall never
lack a man to sit on the throne of the house
The significance of the contribution of Jeremiah is that he wrote these prophetic words in the context of the New Covenant! Note the context stated in a previous text.
“Behold, the days are coming, says the Lord,
when I will make a New Covenant with the
house of Israel and with the house of Judah –
not according to the covenant that I made with
their fathers in the day that I took them by the
hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt, My
covenant which they broke…
But this is the Covenant that I will make with
the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord:
I will put My law in their minds, and write it on
their hearts; and I will be their God, and they
shall be My people…”
Matthew wrote his Gospel to present Jesus as the Christ, the Messiah and King who fulfilled the promises found in the Scriptures! He was The Son of David! What wonderful ramifications there were with the coming of Jesus the Messiah! The promise that God gave to David had a deep theological perspective that many Jews failed to comprehend. The Apostle Matthew wrote with a deep sense of conviction as to his faith in Jesus the Messianic Son of David. All Israel must know that their Messiah had come! To this end he took up the challenge to write his Gospel.