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Thursday, December 3, 2015

Bible opened to Matthew 1


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"The record of the genealogy of Jesus the Messiah, the son of David, the son of Abraham" (Matthew 1:1). "All peoples on earth will be blessed through you" (Genesis 12:3).
"But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which will be for all the people" (Luke 2:10).

I have met a few people who have impressive ancestries. They can trace their family roots back to an ancient country or may have particular family members who would be familiar to most of us. Of course, it's more interesting if you're a member of that family lineage!

Abraham Clark
How many of you know much about your own genealogy? I don't know a whole lot about mine, although I do know I am of German descent on both sides and have heard that one of my ancestors was Abraham Clark, who signed the Declaration of Independence. I always liked hearing my Aunt Mary telling about Clark since my middle name is Clark as was my dad's.

There's a lot of interest in this subject and the internet has been a valuable source for those trying to find their roots with popular sites such as ancestry.com. There are those who can trace their lineage back hundreds of years and know who their ancestors are. Hope, who is now with the Lord, was a member of the church we served in Massachusetts. She was able to trace her genealogy all the way back to the Mayflower and in fact all the way back to Norman in 1,000 AD!

But sadly in our broken world with so much immorality and fragmented families there are many who do not even know their own birth father, let alone their grandparents and previous generations.
In fact many are so focused on the present and so disconnected to any heritage that they have no interest at all.

The New Testament begins with the genealogy of Jesus Christ, a detailed accounting of His ancestors going back to Abraham. Luke has a similar record but his goes all the way back to Adam! These genealogies may not make for the most interesting reading but the entire Bible, including the genealogies, is inspired by God. Yet many of us would admit the genealogies are not among the more exciting or necessarily edifying portions of the Bible and we tend to skim over them, particularly the longest in 1 Chronicles 1-9!

The genealogies of Christ, in both Matthew and Luke, are in the context of the Christmas stories.
But all Scripture is profitable and even these genealogies are inspired truth and have lessons for us. They also foundationally place the truth presented in Scripture in the context of real history.

Matthew was one of the original disciples and his gospel was primarily intended for those with a Jewish background. Thus Matthew's genealogy begins with Abraham.

The genealogies firmly place Jesus Christ in history. He is not a fictional phantom who appears out of nowhere. Many of the names in His genealogy can be studied in the Old Testament.

The genealogy of Jesus Christ begins with the summary in the first daily text prior to filling in the detail. "The record of the genealogy of Jesus the Messiah, the son of David, the son of Abraham" (Matthew 1:1). In doing so he mentions the two most significant names in our Lord's human genealogy; Abraham and David.

As you know, Jesus wasn't literally the son of David who lived about 1,000 years before His birth. Nor was David literally the son of Abraham who lived about 1,000 years before David's birth. The detailed genealogy which follows fills in these gaps.

However this introductory summary is vitally important because it establishes that Jesus Christ had two descendants that figure in so powerfully in the Old Testament Messianic prophetical promises. Since Matthew was written primarily to the Jews this was a very important truth to establish. God had specifically promised that the Messiah would be a descendant of both Abraham and David.

AbrahamToday let us consider Abraham, the father of the Jewish nation and all who have faith in the true God.  Abraham received a great promise during his original call; "all peoples on earth will be blessed through you" (Genesis 12:3). The apostolic preaching of the early church clearly identifies this promise as fulfilled in Christ (Acts 3:24-26). The apostle Paul in Galatians states that the Gospel was announced in advance to Abraham in this call. Galatians 3:9 states that, "those who have faith are blessed along with Abraham." Many readers will recall the action packed children's song, "Father Abraham had many sons. Many sons had father Abraham. And I am one of them and so are you. So let's just praise the Lord…" And, of course at the end of the song we all fall down from exhaustion!

This promise to Abraham was "All peoples on earth will be blessed through you". Wherever you are reading this you are among the "all peoples!" Praise God! This is echoed in the angelic proclamation at the birth of Christ, who announced "good news of great joy that will be for all the people" (Luke 2:10). This Christmas season let us remember the tremendous blessings we all have as spiritual children of Abraham through the work of the promised Messiah, Jesus Christ!

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer: Father, regardless of our birth genealogy, whether we're born to peasant or royalty, when we are born into the Kingdom of God we become Your children and all are on equal standing at the foot of the cross. We are not just born into Your Kingdom but we were purchased with the precious sinless blood of Jesus. There is no higher calling and no greater privilege granted to the human race. Thank You for the spirit of sonship that invites each of us to call You Abba Father. This is possible only because of Christ Jesus who gave His all that we be born again and receive eternal life. Amen.

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Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

"Who Am I
?"  Video  Casting Crowns

"I'm A Child Of The King"  Video  George Younce and Brock Speer and Homecoming Singers

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Scripture references are from The Holy Bible: New International Version. © 1984 by International Bible Society; NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1995 by The Lockman Foundation, New King James Version (NKJV) Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. and the King James Version.

Personal Mission Statement: "I am created by God to bring Him glory. Through God's Son Jesus Christ I have been redeemed and make it my life's goal to please the Lord. My mission in life is to honor God through my faith and obedience and prepare myself and all whom I may influence for eternity."

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