Chapter 1


1:1-17 One of the first things Matthew sets out to prove is that Jesus is a true descendent of David, evidence that He is the Messiah (2 Samuel 7:16; Psalm 89:35-37; Isaiah 11:1,10). This he does going back to Abraham. Luke 3:23-38 also gives a genealogy of Jesus but it is different. How do we account for that? If you put the two genealogies side by side the first thing you notice is that Matthew’s goes forward in time while Luke goes backward. Matthew goes from Abraham to Jesus, while Luke goes from Jesus to Adam. But even with this factor taken into account, the names in the genealogies are different. In particular, Matthew says, “Jacob [was] the father of Joseph, the husband of Mary” (1:16). Luke says, “Joseph [was] the son of Heli” (3:23). How can Joseph have two fathers? He can if Heli is actually his father-in-law. This would make Matthew’s account the genealogy of Jesus through Joseph. Luke’s genealogy is through Mary. Jesus had two genealogies for the same reason we all do. He had two parents.
1:18-21 A marriage engagement was so binding in the 1st century that it could not be broken without a divorce. For one year a couple was pledged to one another, but did not live together. If the pledge was broken and the husband did not give the wife a get, a certificate of divorce, she would be forbidden to remarry by Jewish custom.
1:22-25 The word for fulfill in v.22 is pleroo. It is used 16 times in Matthew. Every time it refers to a prophecy fulfilled both during the time of its writing and during Jesus’ time as well. Isa 7:14 received a double fulfillment. It was fulfilled in Isaiah’s day by the birth of a child which showed king Ahaz that God was still with His people and he did not need to form an alliance with the Assyrians. The Hebrew word for virgin in Isaiah is almah and means “a woman of marital age”. The Greek word in Matthew, parthenos, means the same thing. Mary was a virgin in the truest sense of the word. Verse 22 may not be as clear as we would like, but vs.25 leaves no doubt. But the mother prophesied of in Isaiah, the first fulfillment, was not one who had been totally chaste.


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