Establishing an Important Truth
Text: Matthew 1:1-17
Matthew arranged the genealogy of Jesus in a three-tiered structure of fourteen generations each. He wrote,
“So all the generations from Abraham to
David are fourteen generations, from
David until the captivity in Babylon are
fourteen generations, and from the captivity
in Babylon until the Christ are fourteen
What did Matthew mean when he wrote these words? What must stand out is this all-important truth. He wanted to demonstrate that the Lord was a faithful promise-keeping God.
Matthew wanted to show that God had been faithful in the keeping of His promise made to Abraham. Israel would have perished from the face of the earth, if God had not been faithful in keeping His promise! The passing of time would never change an all-important truth! God never breaks a promise that He has made.
THREE BROAD HISTORICAL PERIODS
It is interesting to note how Matthew neatly divided Israel’s checkered history into three broad periods.
1. Patriarchal Period to the Monarchial Period (Matthew 1:2, 3-6, 17)
The person Matthew singled out for special mention was Abraham. The history of Israel began with just one man!
2. Monarchial Period to the Babylonian Captivity (Matthew 1:7-11, 17)
Matthew focused his attention on David and his royal line. Sadly, he recorded the fact that the royal line ended in Israel being in captivity in Babylon.
3. The Captivity to Coming of Christ (Matthew 1:12-17)
Matthew’s obvious focus was Jesus! He was THE focal point now! The Birth of Jesus was the PINNACLE of Israel’s history!
GOD’S PROMISES TO DAVID
As much as God made promises to Abraham, so did God make special promises to David. Let us look at some of these promises.
“I will set up your seed after you, who will
come from your body, and I will establish
And your house and your kingdom shall be
established forever before you. Your throne
shall be established forever.”
2 Samuel 7:12, 16
David absolutely believed in this promise of God. He replied,
“For Your word’s sake, and according to Your
own heart, you have done all these great things,
to make Your servant know them.
Therefore You are great, O Lord God. For there
is none like You, nor is there any God besides You,
according to all that we have heard with our ears.
And who is like Your people, like Israel, the one
nation on the earth whom God went to redeem
for Himself as a people, to make for Himself a name-
and to do for Yourself great and awesome deeds for
Your land – before Your people whom You redeemed
from Egypt, the nations and their gods?
For You have made Your people Israel Your very
own people forever; and You, Lord, have become
2 Samuel 7:21-24
As God had kept His promises to Abraham, so had He kept His word to David! This was Matthew’s comprehension of God!
PROMISES CONCERNING THE MESSIAH
The prophets of old proclaimed many promises concerning God’s Gift of a Messiah. Let us consider some of these promises.
“There shall come forth a Rod from the stem
of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his
This Messianic prophecy was made with reference to the royal line of David. The Messiah would come from David’s line! (“Jesse” was the name of David’s father). The prophet Isaiah made many other references to the Messiah.
1. He prophesied that the Messiah would be born of a Virgin (Isaiah 7:14).
2. He spoke of how this Messiah would be King (Isaiah 9:6-7).
3. He spoke of how the Gentiles would seek Him for salvation (Isaiah 11:10)
Matthew concluded his brief outline of Israel’s history with these words.
“And Jacob begot Joseph the husband of
Mary, of whom was born Jesus who is called