Bible Walks & Talks: Matthew 1

Posted 1/21/22

EDITOR’S NOTE: This is the start of a new column, “Bible Walks & Talks” in which Annette Dammer will examine the New Testament one chapter at a time. If you’d like to join Dammer’s easy-going fellowship group, email her at dare2tri2001@yahoo.com with BIBLE in the subject line.

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Bible Walks & Talks: Matthew 1

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SUGGESTED READING: Matthew 1

EDITOR’S NOTE: This is the start of a new column, “Bible Walks & Talks” in which Annette Dammer will examine the New Testament one chapter at a time. If you’d like to join Dammer’s easy-going fellowship group, email her at dare2tri2001@yahoo.com with BIBLE in the subject line.

And on to Matthew 1.

Family is important. It brings comfort and company. In many ways, it determines how we get to know the people around us. Family history can even help our doctor prediagnose life-threatening diseases.

Though Jesus was not Joseph’s earthly son, he was lovingly raised and influenced by Joseph.

Their family’s place in the community would be greatly influenced by genealogy.

So, the New Testament begins with the earthly genealogy of Jesus, which means “The Anointed One.” The fact that Joseph is from the house of David determines the family’s trip to Bethlehem for Jesus’ birth. This fulfills the more than 700-year-old prophecy in Micah 5:2. “But you, Bethlehem… out of you will come for me one who will be ruler over Israel, whose origins are from of old, from ancient times.”

Matthew shares Jesus’ genealogy in Matthew 1:1. It begins with Abraham, climbs up the family tree to Jesse, then King David, then the wise King Solomon. Included in the rest of the tree are Jehoshaphat, Hezekiah, then Josiah at the time of the exile to Babylon. Many more generations lead up to Joseph’s father, Jacob. There were 14 generations from Abraham to David, 14 more to the Babylonian exile and again 14 to Jesus. (Matthew 1:2-17)

But all of this would have been fruitless, if Joseph had not accepted Mary’s unexpected child as his own. Originally, he meant to honor his fiancé with a quiet divorce. After all, they had never “known” each other; he followed the law and he knew this was not his child. (Matthew 1:18-19)

Instead, God had Mary and Joseph covered. He sent one of His angels to Joseph in a dream. The angel said, “’Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.’” (Matthew 1:20-21)

Jesus means “the Lord saves.”

“All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: ‘The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel’ (which means ‘God with us’).” (Matthew 1:22-23)

The prophet Isaiah recorded this 700 years before, “Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.” (Isaiah 7:14)

So Joseph wakes up and does exactly as commanded and marries Mary.

“But he did not consummate their marriage until she gave birth to a son.” So Mary is still a virgin at the time of Jesus’ birth. And to complete the commands, Joseph names the baby Jesus. (Matthew 1:24-25)

Family is important. It affects us. If we follow Jesus’ example, we will respect that. And if we are not given a healthy family of our own, we can build one. In God’s love, time and way.

Annette Dammer is a columnist, teacher, former children’s minister and author of the book “Ready, Set, Go! A Year of Object Lessons.” You may reach her at dare2tri2001@yahoo.com.

Scripture notations taken from The Holy Bible, New International Version, NIv, Copyright 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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