The Gospel According To Matthew Introduction
“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”
“But without faith it is impossible to please Him [God], for he [or she] who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.”
“So, then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God.”
The Gospel According To Matthew was written by Matthew an apostle of Jesus Christ.
The Something To Consider and the Something Else To Consider commentary notes are taken from the book entitled The Gospel Of Matthew, copyright 1920 by F. M. Braselman, and authored by Charles Rosenbury Erdman, 1866 – 1960.
The Something More To Consider, the A Few Final Words, and The Closing sections of each chapter of this book as well as the opening sub-titles have been inserted by Son Room Publishing for further explanation, for ease of reading, and clarity between adjoining text, and are not to be considered part of Scripture.
Published by Son Room Publishing
The Gospel According To Matthew – Volume 1
All Scripture unless otherwise indicated are taken from the New King James version of the bible which does not exceed 50% of the actual text of this book in order to abide by copyright laws in effect at the time of the writing of this book.
Edited and published by Son Room Publishing
“And the Word of the LORD was published [spread] throughout all the region.”
Acts 13.49 TNWB
Compiled in 2015 by Michael L. Merryman, published 2016
in co-operation with Son Room Publishing.
The front cover halftone reproduction by William Hale, Hurlbut’s Story Of Jesus,
copyright 1915, by L. T. Myers and now public domain.
Printed in the U.S.A. by Son Room Publishing and distributed
by S.D.I. Scripture Distribution Institute.
Electronic copies may be obtained from Son Room Publishing by
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Section 1: The Early Events Of Jesus The King
The Genealogy Of Jesus Christ
Obedience Without Debate
Scripture To Consider:
“The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the Son of David, the Son of Abraham: Abraham begot Isaac, Isaac begot Jacob, and Jacob begot Judah and his brothers. Judah begot Perez and Zerah by Tamar, Perez begot Hezron, and Hezron begot Ram. Ram begot Amminadab, Amminadab begot Nahshon, and Nahshon begot Salmon. Salmon begot Boaz by Rahab, Boaz begot Obed by Ruth, Obed begot Jesse, and Jesse begot David the king.”
“David the king begot Solomon by her who had been the wife of Uriah. Solomon begot Rehoboam, Rehoboam begot Abijah, and Abijah begot Asa. Asa begot Jehoshaphat, Jehoshaphat begot Joram, and Joram begot Uzziah. Uzziah begot Jotham, Jotham begot Ahaz, and Ahaz begot Hezekiah. Hezekiah begot Manasseh, Manasseh begot Amon, and Amon begot Josiah. Josiah begot Jeconiah and his brothers about the time they were carried away to Babylon.”
“And after they were brought to Babylon, Jeconiah begot Shealtiel, and Shealtiel begot Zerubbabel. Zerubbabel begot Abiud, Abiud begot Eliakim, and Eliakim begot Azor. Azor begot Zadok, Zadok begot Achim, and Achim begot Eliud. Eliud begot Eleazar, Eleazar begot Matthan, and Matthan begot Jacob. And Jacob begot Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus who is called the Christ.”
“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 generations.” Matthew 1.1-17
Something To Consider:
The opening chapters of Matthew may be regarded as an introduction to the gospel. They concern the ancestry, birth, and infancy of Jesus, and the preparation for His public ministry. Each of these facts and events is so related as to reveal the distinct purpose of the writer and the distinguishing features of his narrative. Thus, Matthew is the gospel of the King, and this book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, this birth roll, which begins the story, is empathically the genealogy of a King.
The book of Matthew is designed to show that Jesus was the lawful heir to the throne of David. It differs essentially from the genealogy recorded by Luke. The two lists of names diverge after the mention of David. Some have conjectured that Luke gives the natural as distinct from the royal line. Others have supposed that Luke gives the lineage of Mary.
As to the true explanation of this divergence no agreement has been reached, but the important point is obvious. Luke, who paints the portrait of the ideal Man, traces the genealogy of Jesus to Adam, the father of the race; but Matthew, who draws for us the picture of the King, records the royal ancestry of Jesus. He traces the line from Abraham but mentions David in whom the family attained the royalty which was lost at the captivity and regained in Christ.
The genealogy omits several names in the royal line, but this does not destroy its value. It indicates, however, that the word begot, does not mean, literally that the person named was the father of, but was the legal ancestor, so that Joseph is shown to be the heir of David and because of his marriage to Mary, her Son, Jesus, becomes in all reality the Son of David, the eternal King.
Matthew, however, is the gospel of the Messiah. The King he described is emphatically the King of the Jews. In Him the inspired prophecies are fulfilled. What more fitting opening could be suggested than this genealogy which points backward to the whole history of the Hebrew people? It is no barren and lifeless list of names! But rather, it awakens the most sacred of ancient memories; it embodies the most glorious hopes; it forms the best conceivable link between the Old and the New Testament, and it is not lacking in spiritual significance.
Something Else To Consider:
This genealogy is divided into three sections representing fourteen generations each. The division of Matthew’s list of names is indeed characteristically Jewish, as it combines the divine number three, with twice the sacred number seven. These sections cover three great periods of Jewish history before the time of Christ. The first is the period of the Patriarchs and Judges. beginning with Abraham there appears the succession of heroes who made the name of Israel famous. The mention of Ruth is made, whose romance forms the most charming story prose of the East, and of Jesse, and of David his royal son.
The second period is that of the monarchy which attained its splendor in the days of David and Solomon. It is, however, a period of decline and human failure. Something of revival and glory is suggested by the names of Jehosophat, Hezekiah, and Josiah; but the mention of Rehoboam, Ahaz, and Manasseh suggests the degeneration and apostasy which resulted in the tragedy of the nation of Israel being taken into captivity.
With a few exceptions that persons named as belonging to the third period, covering the six hundred years between the monarchy and Christ, are shrouded in dateless and unbroken darkness. Thus, the story outlined by the genealogy of Jesus is one of mingled paths and glory, of heroism and disgrace; but its three distinct divisions with their fascinating and diverse characters remind us that through the troubled centuries, through the changing scenes, by patriarchs, kings, and priests, by men illustrious and obscure, God was preserving a line and accomplishing a purpose, until at last appeared One who, as the Son of David, was destined to be the source and center of universal rule, and as the Son of Abraham, the source and center of universal blessing.
Matthew is also the gospel of Rejection. It is in harmony with this picture that the genealogy of Jesus contains names which the Jews, or Jewish leaders, might gladly have removed for their suggestions of disgrace and other names which recall apostasy from God, the breaking of His covenants, and the refusal of His offers of mercy. Most of all it is noticeable that Matthew includes four names which cause surprise. they are the names of women and therefore unusual in such a Jewish genealogy, and they are the names of three women who were guilty of gross sin, and two were members of hated and heathen races.
It may be that they were intended to suggest that the king whom the Jews or Jewish leaders rejected was a Savior who identified Himself with sinful humanity, who offered pardon and high privilege to all repentant offenders, and who promised to Jew and Gentile alike the blessings of His transforming power. It may even be an indication that, as the royal line had been preserved in extraordinary and irregular ways, so that the last step would be the most marvelous of all, the miraculous birth of Jesus, the Son of the Virgin Mary, the reported Son of Joseph.
It may be suggested further that, as this gospel so emphasizes the final triumph of the King, it is not unnatural that the royal line from which Jesus came had for a time lost its glory and had been hidden in obscurity. Thus, the monarch who was despised and rejected and was nailed to a cross by His enemies, will ultimately appear as the true Son of David, and will restore the vanished glory and the rightful Heir of Solomon, as the Prince of Peace, and as the undisputed universal King.
Something More To Consider:
Matthew has given us the genealogy of Jesus without the removal of several spiritual rascals hiding within the family tree of Joseph, Mary, and Jesus. I love that about the bible! It contains the truth and nothing but the truth from Genesis through Revelation. The bible does not seek to smooth over the small bumps in the road of life, nor fill the potholes of humanity, or straighten the crookedness of the human race of which we all belong to and in times past, very much resembled many of life’s spiritual rascals.
Matthew began his gospel thesis with the words; “The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the Son of David, the Son of Abraham.” Jesus Christ, the Son of David and the Son of Abraham! The true Jewish mind, as should the true born-again Christian believer, who faithfully searches the Scriptures; should automatically be reminded of Abraham’s son Isaac. Our minds and hearts should be easily triggered with awe and reverence by the words God spoke to Abraham in Genesis chapter 22.
Beginning in verse 1 we are told, “Now it came to pass after these things, that God tested Abraham, and said to him, ‘Abraham!’ And Abraham said, ‘Here I am.’ And God said, ‘Take your son, your only son, whom you love, Isaac, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I will tell you.'” In verse 3 of Genesis 22, we are given Abraham’s immediate response to God’s surprising command to offer Isaac as a sacrificial offering.
Without hesitation, without any debate, without any deliberation or request for further explanation or clarification, Abraham moved forward in absolute obedience. The record reveals, “So, Abraham arose early in the morning and saddled his donkey and took two of his young men with him and Isaac his son; and he split wood for the burnt offering and arose and went to the place of which God had told him.”
Yes, Matthew has given us the genealogy of Jesus going back to Abraham, but God’s Holy Spirit and the written, preserved, and revealed Word of God has given us a lesson of a lifetime concerning obedience without debate. Abraham did not debate God regarding God’s commandment to offer to God Isaac, the one thing above all other things Abraham most highly treasured and valued in life!
Therefore, the biblical and spiritual object lesson could not be clearer. God requires our obedience without debate! God requires our obedience to His written Word without hesitation, just as He required Abraham’s obedience to God’s spoken Word. How are we doing in the classroom of the Holy Spirit?
A Few Final Words:
Our total obedience without debate to God’s written instructions should be a very high priority in life this side of the grave! The problem arises when obedience to God’s Word is overshadowed by other things, other people, other agendas, and other more personal pleasing priorities.
And so, in the quiet of the moment, in the silence and absence of these other things, other people, other agendas, and other more personal pleasing priorities, we all have an eternal opportunity to not merely learn more about the genealogy of Jesus, but we all have an opportunity to learn more about obedience to God’s Word without debate and without our hesitating!
What will be our response? Will we remain among the family tree spiritual rascals or worse, spiritual rebels unwilling to learn the lesson of obedience without debate and on God’s terms? Will we respond as did Abraham? Will we arise early and saddle our resistance to the Holy Spirit and ride off into the sunset of the rest of our lives in total obedience to God without debate, without hesitation, without deliberation, and without demanding any further explanation?
Our decision to this all important and all revealing question is one we must make on a daily basis! Therefore, let us truly consider the question, for God already knows our honoring or dishonoring answer. Let us face this lesson of a lifetime concerning obedience with every intention of honoring our Father in heaven, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit, our Helper!
We cannot change one rebellious act or event as we look back over the vast span of our own lives before coming to Christ. Our past will forever remain just that, our personal past. But if we have been forgiven by way of our true confession and Christ’s atoning blood, then our past must not, cannot, and should not interfere, interrupt, or worse, mandate our present, and or our future. For according to the apostle Paul and the inspiration of God preserved for us in 2 Corinthians 5.17; “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he [or she] is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold all things have become new.”
But are we truly in Christ, or are we of this corrupt world? Are we allowing this world’s greedy system and the evil ruler of this world to railroad our becoming obedient to God’s Word without debate? Are we willing to pledge our total allegiance to Jesus Christ and the written Word of God without hesitation? Our present, our future, and the present and future of our loved ones depend on our answers to all of these important questions!
Our Father in heaven, help us in learning the lesson of a lifetime concerning our total obedience to the written Word of God without debate and without any hesitation on our part. Teach us to honor You by our honoring Your Word, of whom is Jesus, the Word of God come in the flesh. In Him Always, Amen!