Matthew 1:1-17 (Week 1 – A Thrill of Hope Christmas Series)
Jason White






Many of us tend to skip over reading the genealogy sections of Scripture; however, in the opening verses of Matthew’s gospel, we experience a thrill of hope as we see the fulfillment of covenant promises made in the Old Testament.

A Thrill of Hope Christmas Message Series – Week 1 (Mt 1:1-17).





Sermon Audio Transcript
And thank you, Dickey, family for leading us on this first Sunday of Advent, this is something that we're going to do each and every Sunday for the next four weeks. So we're going to have different families up here, leading us during this time. And I think it's because it's going to be a really great way for us to continue to stay focused, of course, on what this season is all about. And to be honest, I think that's something that we we need, we need it in our own lives, we need it in our world, because, gosh, as great as this season can be, and as much of the things that we are looking forward to, as we see the decorations come out, and the the all the lights on people's homes and the parties and the family gatherings and the things that we look forward to in this season. Let's be honest, I mean, this season can really also be a difficult time for many of us, because the struggles and the things that we go through in life just seem to get magnified during this time of year. I mean, there's so many things that are always going on in our lives that struggle with mental health issues, depression and anxiety, the struggle with with stress, the struggle with self image, and even the addictions that we carry, sometimes the struggle with pain and, and illnesses, the struggle with relationships, and, and finances and, and school and in bullying and bad grades and you know, the loss of loved ones, all of that stuff just seems to get magnified during the holiday season, the loneliness gets even worse, the stress is even higher, the pain flows even deeper, and just on and on and on. And then when we experience those things, and then they get magnified during the holiday season. I mean, it's one of those things that can just really be hard, can really begin to weigh on us it can begin to rob us of our joy and maybe maybe even cause us to lose the hope that we were just talking about a second ago. And a lot of times as we begin to fare feel that despair and the hopelessness in our lives, the struggles are there, the conflicts there, the pains there, then we begin to look out in the world will begin to look anywhere in everywhere that maybe we can find some hope and begin to experience some hope in our lives. But again, let's be honest, the more we look out in the world to find those kinds of things. What we're often met with is more struggle, more despair, more conflict, more pain, and even more suffering. Every time we turn on the news. Every time we scroll through our devices, we're hearing about wars, we're hearing about people who are being assaulted people who were kidnapped people who are being tortured. Every time we turn on the news, we're seeing people fighting and bickering and arguing about all kinds of things, people who are cancelling each other out because of their stances on things, the polarization and the divide in our country among political lines. I mean, you look around in this world for hope, and all you see is more struggle and pain and more despair. We say you start to wonder sometimes is there really anywhere that we can turn? Is there any hope that can be found? And of course there is it was what the Dickey family was just referring to hope is actually found in a baby who was born in a manger over 2000 years ago. And we have been celebrating his birthday ever since. Can you imagine that we celebrate someone's birthday, every single year, and have been doing so for over 2000 years. See the eyewitnesses of Jesus's life and the events that took place were enough to convince them that he was much more than just a good man that he was much more than just a good teacher that he was much more than just a wise and a kind and compassionate person who lived once upon a time in history, there was enough evidence to convince them that he really was God, that He accomplished something while he was here on earth that not only changed their lives, but changed the entire world. And they wrote about his birth because of that they wrote about his life. And they began to connect the dots along the lines of history and the things that were foretold about One who would come one day long with what it was that he was doing and what that means for us today. And one of the places that we see where the gospel writers were writing about the birth of Christ is in the very first book of the New Testament of our Bibles. It's the Gospel of Matthew. And while Matthew only devotes two chapters to the birth of Christ in the events surrounding the birth of Christ out of the 28 that he wrote total, there's still enough there to, I think, fill us with hope. And so starting today and over the next four weeks, we're going to be looking at the Christmas story through the perspective through the eyes of Matthew. And we're calling this series of thrill of hope. Because I think that when we go through this verse by verse over the next few weeks, the things that you'll see here and how they apply to each and every single one of our lives, really will cause us to feel and experience a thrill of hope. And so we're diving into the very beginning. We're starting with Matthew chapter one, verse one. Let's see what he has to say. He says, this is the genealogy of Jesus the Messiah, the Son of David, the son of Abraham. He says Abraham was the father of Isaac, Isaac the father of Jacob, Jacob the father of Judah, and his brothers Judah, the father of Perez and Zerah, whose mother was Tamar Perez, the father of hezron hezron, the father of ram, ram, the father of a minute DAB omitted dad, the father of the Shan Shan, the father of sound and sound and the father of bow is whose mother was Rahab bow as the father of Obed, whose mother was Ruth Obed, the father of Jesse and Jesse, the father of King David. He goes on and says David was the father of Solomon, whose mother had been Uriah as wife Solomon the father of Rehoboam, Rehoboam, the father of bida bida, the father of Asa ASA the father of Jehoshaphat, Jehoshaphat, the father of Jehovah, Jehoram Jehoram the father of Yuzawa, Yuzawa, the father of Jotham, Jotham, the father of Ahaz, as the father of Hezekiah, Hezekiah the father, Manasa Manasa, the father of a man, a man, the father of Josiah, and Josiah, the father of chikungunya, and his brothers at the time of the exile to Babylon. After the exile to Babylon Jack and I was the father of Shealtiel Shealtiel, the father of the rebels rebel, the father of a by who by who the father of La ocho Millia, welcome the father of Azar Azar the father of Zadar, Zadar, the father of a keen Hakim, the father of ballyhooed Ella hood, the father of Le Azar, le Azar, the father of mythos, mythos, the father of Jacob, and Jacob, the father of Joseph, the husband of Mary. And Mary was the mother of Jesus who is called the Messiah. Thus, there were 14 generations and all from Abraham to David 14, from David to the exile to Babylon, and 14 from the exile to the Messiah.I knew you would be filled with a thrill of hope, after I read all of those, some of you are probably wondering, Is he really? I mean, is he really going to read every single one of those names, but I did promise you a thrill of hope. And so I wanted to make sure that I could deliver for you. Let's be honest, right? I mean, we see genealogies we see that written in our Bibles, and the first word that comes to most of our minds is boring, right? I mean, come on, why is this here? And for even those of us who read our Bibles quite often, and really dive into it, to see what truth is found there and how it applies to our lives today, we come across a section like this. And we just skip to verse 18. Right? I mean, that's where we start, we just skip the entire section, because it just doesn't seem like there's much there. But we've got to stop when we see those things, honestly. And we've got to ask, why would Matthew take the time to include this in his historical account about Jesus, I mean, in other words, if Matthew included this in his account, there's a pretty good reason most likely for it. And so maybe you and I just need to dig a little bit deeper. And the place I think, for us to start is what he said in verse one, because he kind of summarizes all of these things, and really a lot of what he's trying to say throughout the entire Gospel that he's writing. So he said back in the very first verse of chapter one, that this is the genealogy of Jesus, and he uses three names, or three titles for Jesus here. He says that he's Jesus, the Messiah, he says that he's the son of David, and that he's the son of Abraham. And then when we go through the genealogy, he's proving to you that he's a son of Abraham, that he's a son of David, and he is Jesus, therefore, the Messiah. And so I want to just talk about each one of these terms a little bit more in depth, because what Matthew was writing here to the original audience, who was mostly a Jewish audience, you just see those three terms that someone is using to refer to who Jesus really is someone that they had been hearing about in his life, and now he's writing and recording the events of his Like to convince them of who he is, then that alone is enough to fill that audience with a thrill of hope. Could this be the one that these things actually apply to? And so the very first one, or that I'm going to start with in kind of backwards reverse order. So he refers to him as the son of Abraham, because that goes the furthest back, right? Abraham was, of course, a key person that we see in the Bible as a key person in history, which just is really all of God's story, his story, right. And we're introduced to Abraham whose name was actually Abraham before God changed it to Abraham, all the way back in the beginning, all the way back in the book of Genesis, I, one of the key things that we see communicated to Abraham is found in Genesis chapter 12. In the first three verses where it says this, The Lord had said to Abram, go from your country, your people and your father's household to the land, I will show you, I will make you into a great nation, and I will bless you, I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse and then watch this, all peoples on earth will be blessed through you. This is a promise. This is a promise that God was making to Abraham. It's also what is known as the Abrahamic covenant God was entering into and making a covenant with him saying, I will do these things here. These are the things that I will accomplish. And so when we see Matthew, referencing him as a son of Abraham, he's trying to convince and show us and prove to us that he is in the line of Abraham, whom this great nation was built, and whom the peoples on earth would all be blessed through that he was prophesying to Abraham, that through this lineage, one was coming. And Matthew saying Jesus is that one, he's the son of Abraham, that was referred to here, the one that would bless all people. So again, the original audience, those who are Jewish, and in Matthews time are looking at that and going, Oh, maybe there's some hope. Maybe he really is the son of Abraham. But of course, it wasn't just that it was also the title Son of David, which was, again, a very key title, a very key figure throughout the nation of Israel, this nation that God had promised through Isaiah, that he would build and David became a king in this great nation. He was one of the early kings, and he was known as the greatest king in all of Israel. But one of the other things that we know about David is that God made another one of those promises just like he had made to Abraham, to David and entered into a covenant with him. And we see that written about and Second Samuel says, The Lord declares to you that the Lord himself will establish a house for you, when your days are over, and you rest with your ancestors, I will raise up from your offspring to succeed you your own flesh and blood, and I will establish His Kingdom notice all the I Will statements when God is entering into these covenants, things he will do your house, and your kingdom will endure forever. He termed there before me, your throne will be established again, for ever, God promises. God promises that one of David's ancestors would always be on the throne of David. And so once again, he's writing and establishing the genealogy to prove that he is a son of David, he's tied to him, and that he's the one that was written about that would be on this throne forever. And of course, if you go on and read the rest of Matthew, this is the very beginning. And we're talking about his birth and him entering into this world, you know, that eventually he went to the cross, that He was raised from the dead and that he ascended back to heaven, and he is sitting at the right hand of God, he is sitting on his throne, and ruling and reigning right now. This was a covenant promise that was made to David and fulfilled through Jesus, once again, you would see how this would cause a thrill of hope to begin to rise up among the Jewish people that he was writing to. Of course, the final one is that he's simply stating that Jesus is the Messiah, literally, if you were reading it in Greek it would say Jesus, the Christ, is what it literally says. But of course, Christ isn't Jesus's last name. Christ is Greek for the Hebrew word Messiah, which means anointed one, and this term this this title was one that was referred to but all these promises all All of these promises that we see throughout the Old Testament where God was saying, I'm sending someone who will be a light, and of hope to the people to come one day. And really both of these terms, not just this one, but the Son of David and the son of Abraham, among the original audience carried kind of these messianic overtones in them. And so for them to see three titles, I mean, this these two that carry messianic overtones, and then him saying that he is the Christ, he is the Messiah, the one that was talked about there would have caused a thrill of hope, because, quite honestly, most of them were probably losing hope. Many of them were probably filled more with despair, because they had been occupied by Rome, they were under oppression, they had been wondering if God was doing anything in their world. I mean, it had been 400 years since the time the last thing was written in the Old Testament to what's being written in Matthew, it seemed like God was silent. They look around, and they see struggle after struggle, after struggle in their own lives, they find all the struggles and the conflict that's going on in the world. They can't find any hope there. It doesn't seem like God is doing anything as he's sitting up on his recliner with his bag turn to us and his feet up on there drinking a glass of sweet tea and don't even care about what is going on here. I don't know why I had to be sweet tea, but it was okay. But in there filled with this despair, wondering these things, is that really true about what's going on. And then all of a sudden, you begin to see that Matthew here is trying to paint the picture that God has not forgotten about his people, that God has not forgotten about his promises, that he is fulfilling His promises and had fulfilled them in and through Jesus and gods that should cause when we see that same kind of thing that he's saying to those that he was even originally writing to, that should cause a thrill of hope to rise up in our own lives. Because that means if he proved to them, that God was at work in the middle of their darkness, in their struggles in the looking out to go is God even involved in anything right now, where many of us look around and see and wonder the same thing right now that we go, okay? If this shows that he was up to something, even during those times when they were going through similar things to us, that means he must still be at work doing something today, as well. And so this is the main thing that we see. And then as he goes on throughout the genealogy, we just begin to get more and more proof of those things that he was up to and what he highlights there. So let me just kind of highlight three general things that we see in the genealogy that I think help bring us and remind us of the hope that we find in Christ, the very first thing that you would have seen and he summarized this at the very end and verse 17, is that there were three sets of 14 generations that he listed. Now, why did Matthew list exactly three sets of 14 most commentators believe it was for memorization purposes, people memorized genealogies back then was before the printing press, and, of course, the internet. And so people memorized things, and most commentators believe that this is why he did that it could have been though some of them say that it was to highlight David as the key figure within this. Because if you add up the numeric value of the consonants in his name in Hebrew, it actually equals 14. And so a lot of people think that he was trying to highlight David being the key figure here, it could have been for the memorization purposes could have been for a number of things, any and all the above. But the thing that I want you to see here is that in order to arrange it into three sets of 14, he had to leave some people out.There were more than 14 in each set, but he had to leave some people out to make it 14. And so it was easy to memorize or to highlight the points of the things that he was doing. And the point is that if you're going to have to leave some names out, who were you most likely going to leave out. Kind of those that wouldn't give you such a good name, right? If you're trying to prove the point that Jesus is the Messiah, then wouldn't you want to highlight only the best of the best to connect him to those people to say see how good the line is that he's from, but Matthew doesn't leave out any of the sketchy people that's kind of a backward or he includes some pretty immoral people within this list. Some of them were even kings of this nation that God had established through them King Ray, a bow on King, a biotech King Joram, for example. I mean, you look at some of the things that they did, and it was bad things. I mean, really bad things that made life bad for a lot of people during their rule in their reign. But these kings weren't the only ones either. Again, you may have noticed that this list included some women in it as well, which by the way, was not a very common thing to include in generations, women were seen as property back in this particular day and age women didn't have very many rights, if any rights during this time. And so once again, if you're trying to establish the credibility of Jesus and highlight things, and you're including immoral people, and you're including women, why in the world would he do that? A lot of people think as far as this one goes, that he was trying to Matthew was coming alongside of what Jesus did. And we saw throughout His earthly ministry, where he elevated the status and value of women. It's obvious the way Jesus treated women and the things that he did and taught that he elevated the status of women. And so Matthew may be coming along initially, just to highlight the work of Jesus in that way. Some of these were Gentiles. And it could be that he was trying to say this was for all people, the fulfillment of that Abrahamic covenant that was for all people, not just the Jewish people. But again, the other thing that you would see in this list of women is that they weren't always filled with the greatest of character either. And so while he included some really bad kings, and some people who did some really sketchy things, we see some of these women in kind of the same light, but one of them was, had committed adultery, a couple of them had been prostitutes, and one of them just had a crazy messed up story that if you've never read it in the Bible, you wouldn't even believe it was in here and that these things actually happen. I read her name earlier in the list of genealogy and her name was TMR. Those of you who have read your Bibles, you know that Tamar is found in the Old Testament, you can read about her if you never have in Genesis 38. I can't go into all the details, but I'll just give you some of them to help you kind of see how interesting it really is that he would mention her in a list of genealogy, right. I mean, the thing was, Tamar was the wife of Judah, one of Judas three signs and and Judas son eventually died, the one that she had been married to, and it was common in this day and age, it was expected in this day and age that one of the brothers would marry the wife and continue the family line have children. And so one of his brothers did marry Tamar. But this brother intentionally avoided having children with her, and he actually dies as well. So now you've got two of the brothers who are dead, and only one left, and Judas kind of like, hey, there's no way I'm letting you marry my last sign, because both of them have been married to you. And both of them have died. And once again, you're the common denominator here, right? I'm about to lose my third son. So she gets really upset. And she dresses up like a prostitute knowing that Judah already had kind of a weakness for that kind of thing. And he ends up acquiring her services, and she does get pregnant. And when Judah sees his daughter in law begin to show and that she is pregnant, pregnant, he threatens to kill her and have her killed but Taymor then goes and grabs this belt of Judas, which he had kept from that night and showed it to him. And he learned Oh, okay, I'm actually the father of this child that I'm so upset about that she is having here. I mean, this is one messed up story that we see is included in the Bible. And not only is it included in the Bible, and linked to Tamar. But Matthew, who could have left her out, by the way, decided to include her in here. Why in the world? Would he do that? No, I think a couple of reasons. Number one, it shows us that God is working, even when things aren't going well. And even when people are making bad choices that would seem to go against his plans and activity to move things forward in a manner where he can accomplish those promises, even in times where evil is taking place. And things were not going well for people. And there might have been little hope at those times. It shows us that God was still actually working to bring about the fulfillment of these promises that He had made to bless all people. The other thing I think it shows is that God can work in and through even the mistakes that you and I make. Sometimes you may think that the mistakes that you have made in life kind of disqualify you from being used by God in some ways in the way that we see Matthew, including and showing her and some of the others who made unwise choices and God still was in the business of using and working through Eve And those things somehow, for his good for our good and his glory and to accomplish his purposes shows us, oh, he can work in and through me too, in spite of my past and the things that I've made some unwise choices in those areas of all of our lives. And so guys, when we look at this genealogy that seems boring at first glance, and a lot of times, we often skip over here, what it is that we see, we see the dots being connected, we see these promises that were made 1000s of years before and all of the connections that were being made to show us that God was at work, and that this is the person that had been talked about from that whole time, I think, yeah, no, it doesn't mean, it should fill all of us with that thrill of hope that we've talked about many times. Today. Remember that God did all this too. He had made all those promises we talked about. And he fulfilled all of those promises, all so that he could be in a relationship with you, those promises and those covenants were necessary, because sin had entered into the world and broken the relationship that God had with his people in the very beginning with Adam and Eve. And because it had been broken, and because of his love, and his desire to bring eternal life to us and be with Him forever. He made these promises, he made these covenants that he would send a rescue or he would redeem us from the sin that we were in. And so just know that as we see this too, and the fulfillment of those things. It's because of the fact that God was chasing after in running after you, because you couldn't be in a relationship with him because of the sin in your life. And because of what we read throughout the rest of Matthew, and we see him taking all of our sins to the cross and defeating him through the power, or through the death that he experienced on the cross after dying for them himself. And rising from the dead, we know that He has given us the chance to have our sins forgiven, and to enter into that relationship that we were created to have with him and experience eternal life with Him. And it's a gift that he gives to us that we just have to receive by faith. And so that's the first thing that we see here, even through what Matthew is beginning to say that if he is the fulfillment of these promises, than he is the one through whom you can enter back into a relationship that you were meant to be in. And so if you've never put your faith and trust in Jesus for salvation, you've never experienced His forgiveness and His Gracie and His grace and mercy for eternal life. No, that is available to you today. No matter who you are, no matter where you've been, no matter what it is that you've done. Jesus came and was born into this world to die, so that you could be forgiven and receive that eternal life, would you receive it today? There's hope, you'll have assurance and hope of eternal life being spent with him. The other thing that I think this means as far as the way it applies to us, for those of us who have said yes to Jesus, again, it shows us for those of us who have already received him that God is still working for our good, even amongst the mess amongst our bad choices, he can still take those and work and maneuver them and show us and reveal things and still accomplish things throughus that really matter. What we see is that in this dark world, when we look out and we just wonder, God, are you really even doing anything? I mean, it just seems like you're not. We hear about all of the things going on and around. Here we go, okay. This proves that God was at work during these kinds of things throughout history, he must still be at work today. And we find hope in that to know that he is still sitting on the throne. And he's still doing something behind the scenes, even when we can't see it. And so we have hope, that it's for our good and his glory, and that we'll see it in the long run. And even if we don't get to, that we have the HOPE of eternal life being with him, where there's no more suffering, no more pain, and we get to spend eternity with Him in glory. And that's going to be a great day. Let's pray. Father, we are so so grateful for the promises that you made to Abraham, a promises that you made to David the promises to send the Messiah. And we've seen today that Jesus says the fulfillment of those promises and we thank you for not leaving us to our own, that you intervene, that you fulfill those promises, we find out God, I just pray for any of those who are here today any of those who are watching online in this moment have never received your grace and Your mercy and forgiveness that that Jesus you purchased for them after being born into this world, that you might open up their hearts and minds to see you clearly this morning. And to take a step of faith. And if that's you, and you're here today, or you're watching in this moment, and you just, you know the depth of your sin, you know, you're separated from him. You know, you've never said yes to Him, you're ready. You can receive it by faith by just praying a simple prayer, you could say something like this right now, in this moment, you could just say it in the quietness of your heart, Dear God, I recognize that I'm a sinner, and that my sin separates me from you. But thank you for sending Jesus to be born into this world, to die for me. And my sense. Right now, in this moment, I put my faith and my trust in you, to forgive me to be my Lord and Savior, would you come dwell in me, and be my guide and be my hope, Be my source for life. Lord, for any of those who may have prayed that prayer in this moment, I just pray that you would fill them with a thrill of hope, hope to know that they've been changed in this moment that you're gonna lead to something different happening in their lives. Jesus for those of us who are just going through some real struggles some hard times, and I know they're being maybe even right now magnified by entering into this holiday season. Would you remind us through this text today, that you're still sitting on your throne, that you're the God who has his fingerprints all throughout history, to move the world according to where you want it to go? Where you're leading it to go. And we find hope and assurance that you're working for our good and your glory in and through it all. We keep our eyes fixed on you. And we pray at all in your name Jesus. Amen.