The Only Begotten Son

maryMatthew 1:1 (KJV) The book of the generation of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham.

Matthew 1:18 (KJV) Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost.

This is the time of year that we focus on the birth of the Lord Jesus Christ. We have begun what the Church calls “Advent”. An “Advent” is the arrival of an event or a person that changes human history in a significant way. We have – in my lifetime – seen ..

The ADVENT of Television
The ADVENT of Computers
The ADVENT of the Internet
The ADVENT of Social Media
The ADVENT of the Smart Phone

Each one of these things – along with their creators – made a significant contribution (for better or for worse) to humanity. But there is one Advent that we recognize every year about this time. That fallen angel Lucifer – also known as Satan (and yes, I believe there is a Satan, for I see his handiwork every day) doesn’t want you to know about this Advent. He attacks this Advent in subtle ways. But Satan cannot overpower the significance of this Advent. It is the Greatest Advent in all of human history.

It is the ADVENT of Jesus Christ.
His ADVENT changed history and humanity forever.
This is what Christmas is about.

1 We See In Matthew Chapter 1 Verses 2-17 A History We Cannot Ignore. When people read the Bible (and few read the Bible anymore – I hope you are one of the few!) they come to passages like we find at the beginning of Matthew. They start reading:

Matthew 1:2-7 (KJV) Abraham begat Isaac; and Isaac begat Jacob; and Jacob begat Judas and his brethren; 3 And Judas begat Phares and Zara of Thamar; and Phares begat Esrom; and Esrom begat Aram; 4 And Aram begat Aminadab; and Aminadab begat Naasson; and Naasson begat Salmon; 5 And Salmon begat Booz of Rachab; and Booz begat Obed of Ruth; and Obed begat Jesse; 6 And Jesse begat David the king; and David the king begat Solomon of her that had been the wife of Urias; 7 And Solomon begat Roboam; and Roboam begat Abia; and Abia begat Asa;

They get about this far and think “What in the world? Begat? This is boring!” So they skip forward, but in so doing miss something very important.

  • Why did Matthew go through such a boring list of names?

  • And what does “Begat” mean?

The word “Begat” (the Greek γεννάω gennaō) is used 39 times in this text. The word means “to be fathered by or to be born of”. This is an unbroken genealogy which starts with Abraham and ends at Joseph, the earthly Stepfather of Christ. This list of names is important because it established the legal, Jewish right of Jesus Christ to be the King of the Jews, the Promised Messiah. There are TWO ROOTS to this Family Tree. Those roots are found in verse 1:

Matthew 1:1 (KJV) The book of the generation of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham.

a Abraham Is A Root Because God Made A Promise To Abraham. When God met Abraham (this is recorded in the very first Book of the Bible) the Lord promised him:

Genesis 12:1-3 (ESV) “Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you. 2 And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. 3 I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”

God promised Abraham – a childless old man – that He would “make of you a great nation”. This meant that Abraham, a man who could NOT naturally have children would SUPERNATURALLY be given a child.

His wife Sarah – well past child bearing years – would have a child, and that child would have children that would develop into “a great nation”. But this wasn’t all of God’s promise. God told Abraham

in you ALL the FAMILIES of the earth shall be blessed”

God promised Abraham “there will be an ADVENT through you that will impact human history”. God promised Abraham that something WORLD CHANGING would happen through Abraham. God said later in

Genesis 18:18 (ESV) … Abraham shall surely become a great and mighty nation, and all the nations of the earth shall be blessed in him?

The Messiah – the Savior of the world – would come through Abraham. Many have come and claimed to be Messiah’s or Saviors. There have been Mohammeds, Buddhas, Hubbards, Smiths, Russels, gods and goddesses that people have followed after. But God promised the Messiah, the One and only Savior of the world would come to us through the Lineage of Abraham, And God keeps His promises. God repeated this promise in:

Genesis 22:18 (ESV).. and in your offspring shall all the nations of the earth be blessed, because you have obeyed my voice.

God is “not slack in His promises”. Though this genealogy in Matthew 1 focuses on God’s promise to the Jews, it also fulfills God’s promise to the Gentiles. The Apostle Paul declared:

Galatians 3:6-9 (KJV) …. Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness. 7 Know ye therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham. 8 And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all nations be blessed. 9 So then they which be of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham.

We have an Amazing God Who keeps His Promises. The Messiah would come, and His lineage could be traced through Abraham. But this is not the only Root of this blessed Tree:

b David Is A root Because God Made A Promise To The Shepherd King David.

Matthew 1:1 (KJV) The book of the generation of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham.

The Messiah would not just be descendant from Abraham, but He MUST be Descendant from the Shepherd King David. I often wondered why, of all the people on the face of the earth, why it was

to shepherds who were watching their sheep by night (Luke 2:8-14)

that the Angel of the Lord went to first on the night that Jesus came into the world. When

the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us (John 1:14)

wasn’t there anybody else outside at night that needed that good news? I suspect that the reason God told the shepherds first is because these people were doing the lowest and the least job. I can imagine them gathering around a campfire, cold and lonely, talking among themselves how one of their own was chosen by God to be King of Israel. Oh what a rags to riches story that would be! It would be like working in a hot sweaty factory and one of those who suffered with you was suddenly promoted to President of that Company! What a great story that would be! The David that Jesus came from is King David, the King who was Shepherd, a lowly Shepherd, until God called him. God promised David:

2 Samuel 7:8-13 (ESV) … ‘Thus says the Lord of hosts, I took you from the pasture, from following the sheep, that you should be prince over my people Israel. 9 And I have been with you wherever you went and have cut off all your enemies from before you. And I will make for you a great name, like the name of the great ones of the earth. 12 … I will raise up your offspring after you, who shall come from your body, and I will establish his kingdom. 13 He shall build a house for my name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever.

The Messiah had to come from the line of David, of the house of Judah. The Messiah would be legally entitled to be King of Israel serving on an eternal Throne. The Messiah – also called “Shiloh” (Hebrew שִׁילֹה Shiyloh)

Genesis 49:10 (NASB) “The scepter shall not depart from Judah, Nor the ruler’s staff from between his feet, Until Shiloh comes, And to him shall be the obedience of the peoples.

“Shiloh” means “He Whose It Is”. The throne of Judah, the throne of David would be occupied by mere mortals until “He Whose it is” would come. The King of Kings and Lord of Lords, the King of Israel, the Savior of the world was, is, and always will be Jesus Christ. Others are faint shadows of “He Whose it is”. Jesus Christ is the Promised Messiah. He comes from both Abraham and David, and is the fulfillment of God’s Promise!

2 God’s Promise Is Always Fulfilled, Regardless As To What Man May Do. When a school bus crashed the other week and six children were killed because of human carelessness I had people ask me:

Was this God’s intent?
Did He want those children killed?
Is God really in control?

When horrible things happen we are tempted to think that God lost control of the steering wheel. But God never loses control, even when people make bad decisions.

When things happen that we don’t understand God tells us:

Psalm 46:10 (ESV) “Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!”

Romans 8:28 (ESV) And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to [his] purpose.

At the end of this genealogy we read:

Matthew 1:17 (KJV)17 So all the generations from Abraham to David are fourteen generations; and from David until the carrying away into Babylon are fourteen generations; and from the carrying away into Babylon unto Christ are fourteen generations.

Do you see what this text is telling you? Here is a bunch of names – many of which we do not know literally from Adam – but God had a plan. Read the text again:

All the generations from Abraham to David ARE FOURTEEN GENERATIONS

and from David until the carrying away in Babylon are FOURTEEN GENERATIONS

and from the carrying away into Babylon unto Christ are FOURTEEN GENERATIONS

This is not just some random list of names. This list is precise. It goes from fourteen to fourteen to fourteen. God is specifically in control. Every name on this list is there because God allowed it to be on the list.

Are these perfect people?
Are you kidding me?

a Consider The Life Of Isaac, The Promised Child. Abraham had this child by Sarah he was a hundred years old.

Surely this Child would be phenomenal. He was.
He was a phenomenal milksop.

He let people walk all over him. When others challenged his right to his father’s wells, Isaac just moved away and let them have them. God affirms His Covenant with Isaac in

Genesis 26:4 (ESV) I will multiply your offspring as the stars of heaven and will give to your offspring all these lands. And in your offspring all the nations of the earth shall be blessed,

and yet just two verses later we read:

Genesis 26:6-7 (ESV) .. Isaac settled in Gerar. 7 When the men of the place asked him about his wife, he said, “She is my sister,” for he feared to say, “My wife,” thinking, “lest the men of the place should kill me because of Rebekah,” because she was attractive in appearance.

The man would not even protect his wife. Isaac was a poor parent, and he ignored the directives and prophecies of God. This led to his son Jacob to deceive his older brother Esau in order to get the blessing of his father. God would keep His promise in spite of Isaac’s shortcomings.

b Consider The Life Of Jacob, Isaac’s Younger Son. Jacob is a con man. He cons his father Isaac into blessing him instead of his older brother. But God told the mother of these two children Rebekah:

Genesis 25:23 (ESV) And the Lord said to her, “Two nations are in your womb, and two peoples from within you shall be divided; the one shall be stronger than the other, the older shall serve the younger.”

It was God’s intent that Jacob be the one whom the lineage of Christ would go through. Yet did God ask Jacob and his mother to deceive? No. God does not appreciate lying. The Bible tells us that there will be no liars in Heaven (Revelation 21:8). God says:

Proverbs 12:22 (ESV) Lying lips are an abomination to the Lord, but those who act faithfully are his delight.

God does not condone sin – but Jacob was going to be the one through Whom Messiah would come. If Rebekah and Isaac had honored God’s will then it would have happened righteously. Nonetheless, God is in control.

c Consider The Lives Of Judah And Thamar (verse 3). Jacob had twelve children, but only Judah (the KJV translators here use Judas) was to rule over these twelve. Judah was to be the Tribe of Israel where the Ruler or King came. Tamar’s husband died, and the third son of Judah was supposed to marry her. He refused to do so, so Tamar committed incest with Judah (you can read about this in Genesis 38). God does not condone sexual sin, but condemns it, but

God does not condemn the innocent Child who had nothing to do with that union.

I have heard people justify abortion in the event of rape – but why penalize the child because of the evil of the parent? All life matters. All life is valuable. All are made in the image of God!

Matthew 1:3 (KJV)3 And Judas (Judah) begat Phares (Perez) and Zara (Zerah) of Thamar; and Phares begat Esrom; and Esrom begat Aram;

d Consider The Lives Of Perez and Zerah (see Genesis 38:27-29) who were twins. In the case of twins the firstborn was the one who came from the womb first. Zerah stuck his hand out first and the midwife tied a scarlet thread on his hand, but then Perez was born first.

The scarlet thread of the midwife was on Zerah,
but the Scarlet Thread of the Messiah was on Perez
God is in control, no matter what man might do

e Consider These Imperfect People And How God Used Them. I’d love to go through all of these names today, but time just doesn’t permit it. But I do want to look at just a few more names in this list of forty two men and four women.

Matthew 1:5-6 (KJV) And Salmon begat Booz (Boaz) of Rachab (Rahab); and Booz (Boaz) begat Obed of Ruth; and Obed begat Jesse; 6 And Jesse begat David the king; and David the king begat Solomon of her that had been the wife of Urias (Uriah);

Salmon begat (fathered) Boaz of Rahab

Rahab was a prostitute, a woman who sold herself to others. When Israel was going to go into the Promised Land Rahab hid the spies in Jericho (see Joshua 2:1ff). Rahab believed on the God of Israel, the same God Who loves us. Rahab was saved by Grace. The Old Testament doesn’t tell us all the details, but in the New Testament we see an ex-prostitute in the lineage of the Messiah.

God saves whosoever will.
God has a purpose for whosoever will.
God loves whosoever will.
God changes whosoever will come unto Him in faith.
Boaz begat (fathered) Obed of Ruth

Ruth was descended from the Moabite people, a hated people. The Moabites originated from Lot committing incest with his eldest daughter (see Genesis 19:32-27). The Moabites tried to stop Israel from going into Canaan (see Exodus 15:15), and became one of the most hated enemies of Israel. She was a Gentile, despised, but God loved her. God loves everyone. The Apostle Peter said:

Acts 10:34-35 (ESV) “Truly I understand that God shows no partiality, 35 but in every nation anyone who fears him and does what is right is acceptable to him.

God does not look at your color.
God does not look at your past.
God does not care where you came from,
Nor does He care what you think you’re worth.
God loves you, and calls you to His side.
He calls you through the Messiah, Jesus Christ our Lord!

and God will forgive. He does not condone sin, but He does forgive.

Even David Himself failed.

David the king begat Solomon of her that had been the wife of Urias (Uriah)

David took another man’s wife, then had that man named Uriah killed. God does not condone murder. God does not condone adultery. Yet God does not punish the innocent Solomon for his parents sins. The lineage of the Messiah continued through flawed people,

Begating and begating

But I want you to notice something interesting.

3 Joseph Did Not “Begat” Jesus. The lineage of the Messiah is traced from Abraham, through David, and up to Joseph, where we read:

Matthew 1:16 (KJV) And Jacob begat Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus, who is called Christ.

The text doesn’t follow the pattern of …

Joseph begat Jesus of Mary

It doesn’t say that. The birth of Jesus is not tied to Joseph, but to Mary. The Bible goes on to say:

Matthew 1:18 (KJV) Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, BEFORE THEY CAME TOGETHER, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost.

Mary and Joseph were engaged to be married. Before they came together sexually, before they “slept with one another” as people so flippantly say,

She was found with Child OF THE HOLY GHOST (Spirit)

Christ was supernaturally born. The Word became flesh and dwelt among us. The Bible says that the sign of the Messiah, the Savior is that He would be born of a virgin

Isaiah 7:14 (KJV) Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.

Matthew 1:22-23 (KJV)22 Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, 23 Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.

God would enter humanity. Every birth is a miracle, but Christ’s Advent is a double miracle. He was born of a virgin. He was born of God. God became man, not through perfect man, but the perfect came through the imperfect because God is always in control.

It is this same God that calls you to salvation.

God sent His Son into this world to be our Messiah. Jesus Christ was and is without sin,

Hebrews 7:26 (ESV) …. holy, innocent, unstained, separated from sinners, and exalted above the heavens.

Jesus came to this earth to pay for our sins, and to call whosoever will, whosoever broken, whosoever will believe in Him to salvation. Jesus Christ is the Greatest Gift you can receive this Christmas. Receive Him. Believe Him. Follow Him, to the glory of God in the highest!

May God lead a lost soul to Himself through His Word and Spirit!

About bibleteacherorg

A searching Pastor, I am looking for a people who love the Lord and love one another. Daily I pray for the Church. Most of what the world sees today is not the Church, but clubs pretending to be the Church. God is calling to Himself a people willing to be righteous, not self righteous, serving not served. I am called to pastor God's people, those who want to change the world by willingly and willfully following Jesus Christ. Only God is able to change the world, and we must follow His Christ. He is able! Praise His Name! Come quickly Lord Jesus!
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