Himself Took on Our Infirmities, and Bare Our Sicknesses (Matt 8:17)

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Advent Day 17

That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet, saying, Himself took our infirmities, and bare our sicknesses (Matt 8:17).

Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted” (Isa 53:4).

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In the midst of a chapter in Matthew that chronicled healing and casting out demonic oppression, Scripture reveals Jesus as the Suffering Servant—the One who carries our illnesses with all authority of the Son of God, the Incarnate God in flesh through His Spirit’s conception (Matt 8:29; Luke 1:35 ). As the Son, Jesus has the very nature and character of God. Jesus cleansed a leper with the touch of His hand (8:3), healed the centurion’s servant through the power of His word (vv. 7,13) healed Peter’s mother-in-law by the touch of His hand (v. 15), cast out the many possessed with devils by casting out spirits (v. 16), rebuked the raging sea through His own command (v. v. 28), and exorcised two demoniacs with the one-word “Go” (v. 32). Matthew wrote in 8:16 that Jesus, “cast out spirits with his word, and healed all that were sick.”

The messianic nature fulfills the words of Esaias in Isa 53:4 by Jesus taking our infirmities and bearing our diseases: “Himself took our infirmities, and bare our sicknesses.” Took and bare together encompass the Hebrew bore from Isa 53:4 (Bullinger). The verb bore (Heb: נָשָׂא; nasa’) means to lift, lay upon, or carry (qal perfect). Conjugated in the qal, active tense perfect, it points to the actions of Jesus the Messiah.

But, what did Jesus lay upon Himself? The verb nasa’ signifies sin and the making atonement for it. Jesus the Suffering Servant, who did not come in sinful flesh, would bear all infirmities and take away the sin of humanity—diseases, griefs, and punishment of the world. He would bare sin on the Cross at Calvary so that His children would be dead to sin, but alive in righteousness (1 Pet 2:24).

Jan Paron, PhD

12.15.20
(Excerpt from Incarnational Theology of Emmanuel in the Book of Matthew)

The Coming King: When Love Arrived (Matt 21:5)

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Advent Day 13

Say to the Daughter of Zion, See, your King comes to you, gentle and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey (Mat 21:5; Zech 9:9).

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Often titled Jesus’ triumphal entry into the city of Jerusalem prior to His crucifixion, signaled a journey of life or death for the people in the crowd that surrounded Him that day. Who was in that crowd? The mix of people reflected Jews in Jerusalem for the Passover feast who came out to greet Jesus having heard He resurrected Lazarus from the dead, and those following behind Him, mainly His disciples (Matt 21:9; Mark 11:9). But also among this crowd stood the Pharisees, displeased over Jesus’ public honoring (Luke 19:39). The excitement from the crowd even caught the attention of the rest of the city.

Did the crowd recognize that Love had arrived as the King who came riding in a donkey? This very King, God manifested in flesh as Jesus, traveled the road to the Cross for the greatest and ultimate display of love—The Messiah who would redeem humanity at the Cross as their Conqueror over sins. What greater love than this! Let’s reflect on how those present may have responded to Jesus’ query to His disciples in Luke 9:18: “Who do the crowds say that I am?” —The pilgrims at the Feast, Jesus’ disciples, the Pharisees, and the city inhabitants.
For the multitudes of Jews who went to meet Jesus on the road he traveled into Jerusalem, the pilgrims at the Feast, their spreading of palm branches before Him may have signified recognition of their awaited messiah who would liberate them in victory from Roman occupation. They looked at the raising of Lazarus as a sign. Perhaps, in affirmation of Jesus as their political and national King of Israel they shouted “ Hosanna! Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord: Blessed be the kingdom of our father David, that cometh in the name of the Lord: Hosanna in the highest” (Mark 11: 9-10).

In Hebrew, Hosanna means “save indeed.” However, during the time of Jesus, it had evolved into a greeting that expressed a wish rather than a fact. Also, Jews greeted pilgrims arriving into Jerusalem with “Blessed in the Lord’s name be he who comes, Even the king of Israel.” Thus, did those who went to meet Jesus affirm Him as their Messiah or acclaim Him as a special dignitary entering the city?

For His disciples that had been with Him when He called Lazarus out of the tomb and raised him from the dead bore witness. Luke 19:28 describes them rejoicing and praising God for all the mighty works they had seen. However, they did not understand the recognition until Jesus’ glorification. John 12:16 explained “they remembered that this had been written of him and had been done to him.”

For the Pharisees viewing the procession, it further demonstrated their contempt toward Him and possibly envy, when murmured to one another, “You see that you can do nothing; look, the world has gone after him.” (John 12:16-19 RSV). Some of the Pharisees from the crowd even asked Jesus to control His disciples (Luke 19:39).

For those in the city they suspiciously asked, “Who is this?” Instead of shouting “Hosanna.” The crowd informed them, “This is Jesus, the prophet from Nazareth of Galilee” (Matt 21:11). In reality, Jesus rode into Jerusalem as the Suffering Servant, the Love who had arrived in Jerusalem. He later experienced extreme physical and emotional pain to accomplish His mission of atoning love in His glorification at the Cross.

Despite the crowd laying palm branches and shouting Hosanna, the entry into Jerusalem did not bring Jesus joy. Luke 19:41 described Him weeping over Jerusalem as He beheld it. He lamented their fate of forfeiting the peace that belonged to them. In John 12:37, Scripture highlighted the Jews unbelief. Despite Jesus’ numerous signs, they believed not in Him.

Those who acknowledge Jesus as the Messiah, walk the pathway of life that led to His victory over sin at His crucifixion. In Col 2:15, Paul wrote that Jesus triumphed over principalities and authorities. As the Conqueror, He defeated sin. His death brings eternal life. Christ proved His immense love by dying for us.

Jan Paron, PhD
12-11-20

(Excerpt from the Theology of Emmanuel in the Book of Matthew)

Seeking the Star of Jacob: Where Can God Be Found (Unabridged Sermon)

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Advent Day 12

2Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem, 3Saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him (Matt 2:1-2).

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With the constant broadcast of bad news, the media inundates the public with a daily narrative of despair and bleakness to create the sense of a dark, dark winter ahead due to the pandemic effect. I imagine some may have cried out in discouragement: God, where are you? Where can God be found? But, I’m here to tell you today–based on the story of the magi in Matt 2 as its backdrop–of a long-lasting truth from an everlasting Savior in this advent season–one of hope…one of love…one of joy…and one of peace, 

Where can God be found? God made Himself known to man in the Son of God as deity incarnated in humanity as Jesus or Emmanuel, God with us–The agency of God’s Spirit conceived Jesus in the expectant Mary, a child born in humanity and Son in divinity (Isa 9:6a; Matt 1:23a,b)–Emmanuel, God’s revelation of  Himself as the Light that shines in the darkness, that darkness cannot overcome (John 15:1).

Over 2,000 years ago, the Gentile magi came from the east asking the question, “Where is the One who has been born King of the Jews? (Matt 2:2). Though a Roman title for Israel’s monarch, prophecy fulfilled a much greater role in Jesus as King of the Jews–the King who descended from the Davidic line having a God identity. The Matthean infancy narrative in 1:22-23 first explained Jesus’ kingly nature as God with Us who “will save His people from their sins.” Reading on from the infancy narrative in this same book, the author portrayed Jesus as the King of the Jews. This echoes Num 24:17 as the Star out of Jacob as well as Isaiah 60:1, “arise, shine, for thy light is come.” As the book of Matthew unfolds, the author uncovers a full portrait of Jesus as the Servant-King.

Where can God be found? The magi located God in flesh, Emmanuel, in the village of Bethlehem, the city of David in Judah. They honored Him as a great king by worshiping or paying homage to Him. Why does the fulfillment of two prophecies from Numbers and Isaiah hold importance echoing the magi matter? Because it points to where God abodes for all men–the Light dwelling among His people accessible even to the pagan Gentiles. For “from Sheba shall come: they shall bring gold and incense; and they shall shew forth the praises of the Lord (Isa 60:6b). God will remember His covenant with Israel and save them, but also will give salvation to the Gentiles (Rom 11:27). 

Where can God be found? We need not look far to find Emmanuel, God with us. Through the sealing of His Spirit we find Him dwelling within us in our tabernacle. Through Jesus’ Spirit we inherit His divine nature. During Advent from November 29 to December 24, we celebrate and affirm He who lives in us remembering His hope, love, peace, and joy. 

Hope 

The magi arrived in Jerusalem seeking the King of the Jews to worship Him. They made their entrance into Jesus’ early life with a trip based on hope and faith, after traveling from a distant land somewhere in the East. Quite possibly, they traveled from Parthia, off the Persian Gulf over the International Highway from Southern Iraq and Iran through Syria and finally to Jerusalem. The trip posed many risks for them. While wise men often paid tribute to kings, they journeyed over land traveling 500 miles to the Jerusalem area. If they went by camel, the trip would have taken them approximately 25-50 days at 10-20 miles per day over rough terrain. Also, they carried a valuable cargo of gold, frankincense, and myrrh equivalent to several million dollars in today’s economy. Perhaps, soldiers accompanied them as protection, which would have intimidated local leaders as they passed through various villages. The trip into Judea further carried political risk that Herod Antipitas the king  and the Romans could have viewed as an act of war. It had not been that long ago that Judea had been under Parthian control as they supported the Hasmonean Dynasty that ruled the land before Herod and the Romans took over. Between the distance, terrain, economic, and political dynamics, the trip carried many risks. 

But, notice how Scripture describes the star in Matt 2:2 as “His star,” meaning it signified “the one who has been born king of the Jews,” none other than Jesus. Matthew 1 and 2 unpack His identity in the infancy narrative giving a periscope view of Him: Jesus, called the Christ in His genealogy (Matt 1:16), meaning the Messiah, the Anointed One; Jesus, who would save His people from their sins (1:21); and God with us, Emmanuel (v. 23). He is our Hope!

The general New Testament definition from Vine’s Expository Dictionary described hope as a favorable and confident expectation. How did the magi possibly know where to find Emmanuel? God sent a supernatural star to them where He chose to reveal Himself in Emmanuel, God with us–the Hope of Salvation. They believed and acted upon the hope they saw.

Where can God be found? God with us, the Hope of our Salvation, dwells in His redeemed. God with us provides us the object upon which hope comes (1 Tim 1:1). The New Testament describes hope with three adjectives: good (2 Thess 2:16), blessed (Titus 2:13), and living (1 Pet 1:3). Hebrews adds a better hope because of the better New Covenant in Jesus. While the magi journeyed to find Him, even in the face of many risks, they followed His star as a guide. Our better Hope lives within us illuminated by the light from His star–the Holy Ghost!

Love

Interestingly, Matthew contrasted two kings of the Jews in the passage about the magi: Herod and Jesus, former self-serving and latter a servant to others. The kingship of Jesus roots itself in prophecy and will result in the salvation of His people. While Jesus loved His people so much He died for them as their King so they would live, Herod slew his Bethlehem subjects; children (two and under) so that he could live and reign as king. Love as a deliverer distinguishes Jesus as the heavenly Star and Scepter, while hate in suspicion characterized Herod as a temporary, earthly king.

The genealogy of Jesus in Matt 1, identified Him as the Messiah, the King of Israel. As King David’s descendant to the throne of Israel, Jesus fulfills the greater reign and authority of the Almighty promised in the Old Testament. In Num 24:17, Balaam prophesied the Messiah’s future comings in kingdom language as the Star out of Jacob and the Scepter that would rise out of Israel. The Star out of Jacob refers to the Son of David–the incarnation of the one true God who dwells among His people–who would redeem His people from their sin. The scepter describes His authority over kings, peoples, and nations. In Jesus second coming, He will rule with a scepter taking His rightful place with authority over worldly kingdoms (Rev 12:4; 19:15). 

The Roman senate appointed Herod, king of the Jews. He came from south of Judea in Idumea, the second son of Antipater. Herod descended from the Edomites, whose ancestors converted to Judaism. Herod was raised as a Jew, albeit in name only. He made a number of achievements including liberating Jerusalem in 38-37 BC, which also made his control over Judea complete. However, achieved his kingship through deceit, bribery, assassination, and cruelty. He did anything but liberate the Jews.

Where can God be found? Jesus died to offer eternal life by His unconditional grace that only comes through His great love for us! We must accept the love offered in absolute, perfect expression among men in the Lord Jesus Christ (2 Cor 5:14; Eph 2:4; 3:19; 5:2).

Joy

For one special event in history, the God who rules the heavens chose to reveal Himself–the Lord is come, Joy to the world to those who know Him–where pagans looked (cf. Acts 19: 12, 15-20). God illuminated the pathway to Jesus with a supernatural sign, just as He led his own people by the fire and cloud in the wilderness (Exod 13:21-22).

The Magi commonly would represent the Persian king to honor a reigning king. They were sages, wise men, and astrologists often in positions of responsibility commanding respect because of their wisdom. They prophesied, explained omens, interpreted dreams, and practiced divination (Dan 2:2, 48; 4:9). God used these pagan Gentiles entering into Jerusalem to announce the birth of a king. More than likely, they came with a large caravan and caught the attention of Herod and everyone else in Jerusalem. 

A star guided the magi to the King of the Jews whom they sought. Jesus’ Spirit serves as the believer’s guide–a light in the darkness for His complete joy. Herod and the scribes knew where the Messiah would be born according to Scripture, but did not act on it in faith.

Where can God be found? Matthew 2:9-10 says that when the magi  “heard the king, they departed; and behold, the star which they had seen in the East went before them.The magi did not have to look for the Child because the star literally stood over the place where Jesus lay. When the wise men saw the star, they rejoiced with “exceeding great joy” (2:10). Exceedingly means that joy overwhelmed the wise men. May I suggest the Magi recognized the presence of God Himself in the Christ child whom they would worship as a cause for joy. Likewise, Jesus’ star stands over us to let us know of His presence. That same star serves as a type to locate “God with us” in every believer. Jesus promises us in the book of Mathew’s close in chapter 28:20 with the words “and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age. Amen.” Look at the star that stands over us for Emmanuel.

Peace

God alone provides our source of peace. God robed in humanity as Emmanuel reflects the full embodiment of Him. Therefore, Jesus–God with us–manifests Yahweh Shalom (Judg 6:24 ) in His fulfilled nature as the Lord is Peace. The Hebrew word for peace, shalom, means wholeness in all of life, completeness, welfare, and safety. The Lord came to sinful humankind, historically first to the Jews and then to the Gentiles, desiring to enter into a relationship with them to give them His peace. He established with them a covenant of peace, which He sealed with His presence (Num 6:24-26 ). 

Herod sought to destroy Yahweh Shalom viewing the infant Jesus as a threat to his rule. However, the pagan Magi looked for Jesus so they could worship Him. God never held the Gentiles as an afterthought in His redemptive plan, but they had been part of His work in history from the beginning.

Where can God be found? He offers redemption through His Name to all people. With redemption comes His peace. The name Yahweh Shalom represents His self-revealed character in Emmanuel– God with us–as the Lord is Peace. When we come to Him in worship, we feel the  holy presence of His perfect peace in harmony with our Savior.

Closing

The story of the Magi and the star that guided them accomplished many purposes in the infancy narrative of Jesus: it acknowledged the birth of the King–the Star of Jacob and Scepter of Israel, gave access to the Gentiles, fulfilled prophecy, and guided the Magi. It was a divine, heavenly sign God used for a historical purpose. Though news of the Star of Bethlehem signaling a new ruler troubled King Herod, it serves as a divine, heavenly reminder to believers in Christ of the Deliverer who ushered in a new Kingdom. Perhaps, God plans to send another with the Christmas Star to appear on December 21, that God with us still provides hope, love, joy, and peace.

Jan Paron, PhD

12.10.20

Preached at Lighthouse Church of All Nations (12.9.20)

Thy Kingdom Come, Thy Will Be Done (Matt 6:10)

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Advent Day 11

Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven (Matt 6:10).

In the fullness of time, the kingdom came nigh. God incarnated Himself in Jesus as Emmanuel, the Dayspring from on high (Luke 1:78). The conception of the Holy Ghost in the virgin Mary initiated the kingdom (Matt 1:23). God with us–the appearing of the Mighty God, our Father–rules over the true kingdom on earth and heaven, as Star in the first coming and Scepter in the second (Num 24:17). Glorious like a star, the Bright and Morning Star (Rev 2:18; 22:16), Emmanuel shined His light in dark places to bring salvation (2 Pet 1:19) during His earthly ministry. He governs the kingdom with all authority to rule as a scepter fulfilling the future kingdom in which there will be no end (Isa 9:6-7; Dan 7:13-14; Luke 1:32-33; Rev 11:15).

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Jesus reigns over no ordinary kingdom, rather one messianic with all divine power in this present age and that to come. Thy kingdom come in Matt 6:10 reflects not only Emmanuel in His future second coming but also His desire for His servants to broaden kingdom purposes after His first coming during the Church Age. His servants spread His kingdom with their beatitude character qualities and actions (Matt 7:16, 20; John 13:35; 1 John 3:10).

Jan Paron, PhD

12.9.20

(Excerpt from the Incarnational Theology of Emmanuel in the Book of Matthew)

The Authority of “I Say Unto You” (Matt 5:21-22)

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Advent Day 10

Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time…(22) But I say unto you (Matt 5:21-22).

In Matt 5:21-48, Scripture presents six antitheses to reframe the Law of Moses. These opposite statements pair “Ye have heard” with “But I say unto you” to form six contrasting, new thoughts about the Law that Jesus taught (e.g., 5:21-22, 27-28, 31-32, 33-34, 38-39, 43-44). He introduced the Law in a new frame of Kingdom culture with full Messianic authority as the Incarnate God who became the Law with the form and purpose of the Word to fulfill it.

On the heels of the beatitudes (vv 1-12), the God who gave the Law to Moses mediated through angels, incarnated Himself in Jesus to become the Law (cf. Gal 3:13). God with us needed no mediators since He took on the identity of the Son superior over angels in the form and purpose of the Word (John 1:1; Heb 1:4). For this reason, He Himself could reformulate prophetic and rabbinic declarations and teachings with greater authority to proclaim it Himself for the coming Kingdom at hand.

Under the old covenant, rabbinical Torah teachings began with “Thus saith Lord.” However, Emmanuel, God with us, came not to destroy the Law but fulfill it (5:17; 9:13; 10:34, 35; 20:28) to save His people (1:21). Therefore, through His words, deeds, death, resurrection, and ascension He demonstrated God’s presence among His people (1:23) Thus, He came to complete the Law and purpose for which it existed (Isa 55:10-11).

Jesus has the authority to promote the Law of God because He fulfilled the Law and the Prophets to culminate the Law (Rom 10:4). He declared the importance of His fulfillment by punctuating it with a verily, meaning amen (Matt 5:17)! His authority derives itself from the embodiment of the invisible God with us in Jesus, which gave Him full rights to state “But I say unto you.” Thus, Jesus’ fulfillment illustrates the King who descended from David, as God directly speaking and dealing with man. Jesus—Emmanuel, God with us—has scriptural authority through His kingly assent from the Davidic lineage and having a God identity.

Jan Paron, PhD

12-8-20

(Excerpt from the Incarnational Theology of Emmanuel in the Book of Matthew) #advent2020#apostolicpentecostal#onenessofGod

The Kingdom of Heaven Is at Hand (Matt 4:16)

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Advent Day 8

The people which sat in darkness saw great light; and to them which sat in the region and shadow of death light is sprung up. (17) From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand (Matt 4:16-17).

Picking up where John the Baptist ended due to His imprisonment, Emmanuel transitioned to His teaching ministry throughout Galilee of the Gentiles (Isa 9:1) in the center of Herod’s kingdom (vv. 14-17; cf. Mark 1:21; Luke 4:31). While John the Baptist announced the conclusion of the old covenant, Jesus revealed the new with the long-awaited kingdom of heaven (kingdom of God) at hand. In Jesus, the kingdom has come. He brought the kingdom’s mission and purpose to Capernaum, a densely populated village strategically located by the Sea of Galilee for ministry and ripe to meet the multitudes due to its many bustling crossroads. Gentiles also heavily populated Galilee.

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Though the Jews rejected Him as such in Nazareth, He brought nigh the kingdom of heaven continuing His ministry in Galilee. Emmanuel’s presence–God with us–brought a broad light to a people darkened by oppression from Roman occupation. Converging on the crossroads of Galilee, He walked among people both diverse ethnically as well as politically, yet similar economically working the land or sea. As the monarch over the kingdom of heaven, it signifies Jesus’ rule and His unchallenged reign or authority (Ps 103:19). Jesus inaugurated the kingdom in the fullness of time–the arrival of Israel’s expected King (Mark 1:15); the Messiah redeemed it through His death and resurrection (Col 2:14-15); and He will return it during His final, righteous reign (Dan 7:14; Rev 19:16). 

The Light, both divine and human, comprises the full character, personality, and quality of the one God (John 10:30; 15:9-10). In Emmanuel, the invisible God revealed His express image (Phil 2:9-11; Col 1:1:15). Therefore, Jesus fulfilled Isa 9:12: “The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light: they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined” (cf. Matt 4:16). The Light preached repentance of sin to prepare them for His kingdom (4:17). Emmanuel made His presence known to them (Luke 17:20-21) teaching, preaching, and healing all manner of sickness and disease throughout Galilee (e.g., Matt 4:23; Mark 1; Luke 4). He took on the human role of.servant “to give His life a ransom for many” (Mark 10:25). To the Gentiles, the Light would bring revelation in His first advent (Luke 2:32a). To the Jews, God with us walking among His people would deliver them offering the covenanted kingdom to Israel as the promised Redeemer and glory of His people Israel (Luke 2:32b). The  Light dawning in the darkness and shadow of death would return them from exile (Isa 9:12; cf. Matt 4:16-17), and shine in glory on Israel in His second advent (Luke 2:29-32).  

Jan Paron, PhD

12.6.20

(Excerpt from The Incarnational Theology of Emmanuel in the Book of Emmanuel)

Emmanuel: Generation of Jesus According to Matthew

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Advent Day 7

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 (Matt 1:17).

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The Gospel of Matthew begins with the genealogy of Jesus Christ. Written to the Jews, the author’s intent was to identify Jesus as the Messiah, the King of Israel. By way of ancestry, Matthew links Jesus with two great figures in the history of Israel: King David and Abraham. These men represent the two major Old Testament covenants, Abrahamic and Davidic. The author supported his Gospel’s theme with this connection by showing throughout that Jesus is the Son who partially fulfilled and will completely fulfill the promises of these two covenants at His first and second comings. His death and resurrection would be the basis for their fulfillment. Next, the genealogy of Jesus not only is a historical fact, but an account with a strong support base in the Scripture. Scripture includes portions of Jesus‘ genealogy throughout select books of the Old Testament. This shows the Messiah’s lineage as part of Scripture. Matthew based his record of the Lord’s genealogy on the inspired Word, and the early church used it as a witnessing tool to both Jews and Gentiles.

Genealogical Periods

The Holy Spirit opened Matthew’s understanding and guided him to find Christ’s genealogy in Scripture. However, Scripture did not record parts of this genealogy. The Jews after their return from the Babylonian exile demonstrates one example. Matthew does, though, connected the vast gap between Zerubbabel and Jacob, the father of Joseph. According to Matthew, this period covers fourteen generations, but what Matthew recorded sufficiently connected Jesus of Nazareth with the Old Testament. Luke, using the genealogy of Mary, traces Christ’s lineage back to David, and then back to Shem, the son of Noah, and then back to Adam. Here, the author identified Jesus with the human race and qualified Him as Savior. Matthew used portions of Scripture along with historical records to establish the royal lineage of Jesus of Nazareth as King of Israel. Matthew divided his genealogy into three periods of fourteen generations each: The first called the period of patriarchs runs from Abraham to David; the second, the period of kings, ranges from David until the last king going into exile in Babylon; and last called the post exile, from Babylon until the birth of Christ. The last period covered the full, 600-year period up to Christ’s birth without mentioning everyone in this line. It stayed silent on the four hundred years between the Old and New Testaments, as well as the partial period of two hundred years after the exile. Matthew’s approach proved the royal lineage of Jesus through Joseph, His legal father.

The Expression Begat

Once Matthew arrived at “Jacob who begat Joseph” (Matt 1:16 KJV), he did not use this expression about Jesus. Instead, Matthew writes “Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus, who is called Christ” (v. 16). Jesus has no biological father in the natural sense of the term. To prove the virgin birth, Matthew showed that Jesus was not begotten by a human. The Holy Ghost conceived Jesus in Mary’s womb, making Jesus the Son of God (v. 18) and then fulfilling the prophecy that Christ would be born of a virgin (Isa 7:14; Matt 1:21-23). Matthew’s genealogy commonly used begat. The expression [Greek: gennaó, γεννάω] speaks of the procreation of offspring. The names in Matthew’s genealogy are descendants by procreation. Luke dis not use this expression. Instead, Luke featured the form the son of [Greek: huios, υἱὸς’], meaning child by procreation; however, this meaning permits a wider range of kinship. One does not have to be a son by direct generation. Jesus was thought to be Joseph’s actual son (Luke 3:23). Luke’s genealogy traced Jesus’ lineage back to David through Nathan, the son of Bathsheba, called Bathshua (1 Chron 3:1, 5). Jesus had a biological link to King David through His mother. On the other hand, Jesus only had a legal link through Joseph.

Closing

Matthew’s presentation of the genealogy of Jesus Christ is unique. He presented Jesus as the Messiah, King of Israel foretold in Scripture. He identified Jesus with the two major covenants God made with Abraham and David. As the promised descendant of both men, Jesus is the Son who fulfills both covenants so that both Jews and Gentiles could be blessed with eternal redemption. Against the Jewish custom of women absent in a man’s genealogy, Matthew recorded the mother of Jesus and four women. Though four of these women have questionable pasts, one sees this as message of God’s grace. Also, the author’s mention of some of Israel’s greatest men and their failures are a testimony to God’s mercy and His willingness to restore sinners and fulfill covenant promises.

Next, this genealogy presented the New Testament truth that the Gentiles also would become part of the family of God. God’s grace has made the new birth a reality for all nations. This fulfilled the promise to Abraham that all nations would be blessed in his seed, Jesus Christ. The gaps in Matthew’s genealogy serve as a reminder that every name was not needed, but the recorded connections identify Jesus as David’s royal heir. The apparent distinction between the way Matthew and Luke list descendants is unique. While begat speaks to biological descent, son of can have a more remote relationship (son-in-law, grandson, etc. speak to this fact). When Matthew arrives to Joseph in his genealogy, the author took care that his words did not obscure one of Christianity’s most important truths, the virgin birth of Christ. Luke’s genealogy identified the Son of God with the human race. Uniquely, the virgin birth makes Jesus a part of the human race. His coming would deliver us from sin, its curse and death by taking these things upon Himself. The Holy Ghost imparts to us all the blessings of eternal life that Jesus died and rose for us to have (Gal 3:13-14). This genealogy was a powerful witness then and is to us today.

Pastor Daryl Cox 12.5.20

For full article see https://specs12.wordpress.com/2013/01/12/the-generation-of-jesus-christ-according-to-matthew/

Reprinted from All Nations Leadership Institute, Jesus Across the Gospels

The Matthean Portrait of the King

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Advent Day 6

The Gospel authors centered their accounts on the revelation of God in Christ. It made their witness both scriptural and undeniable before an unbelieving world. Without God becoming man to die for humanity’s sins, He could not fulfill His redemptive purposes. Each Gospel’s view overlaps one to the other for interaction and account clarity. Matthew presented Jesus as a King-Servant, while Mark showed Him as a Son-Servant of the Lord. Luke testified Jesus as both Savior and Son of man. John concluded by proclamation and exposition, Jesus is the Son of God, God and man. As each account declared, His life’s purpose was to die and rise for sinners. Each book regardless of its perspective, leads to His crucifixion and resurrection. Mark’s Servant, although presented as King in Matthew, died; Luke’s Man, also called the Son of God in John, suffered crucifixion. The authors did not give a complete biography of His life. Instead, they presented a complete scriptural portrait of Jesus Christ, proclaiming His Gospel and forming the basis of New Testament writing and doctrine.

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Matthew: Jesus, the King-Servant

Matthew wrote his Gospel to Jewish believers calling it the book of Jesus’ genealogy (Matt 1:1). It traces Jesus’ descent and describes His life based on Scripture. Proclaiming Him King of Israel, Matthew ancestrally linked Jesus to King David and Abraham through Joseph, Mary’s husband, revealing the two great covenants God established with them. This identified Jesus as David’s seed, Israel’s promised King (Davidic Covenant) and Abraham’s son in whom all nations would be blessed with salvation (Abrahamic Covenant).

The Davidic and Abrahamic covenants present Christ’s first and second comings (Gen 22:18; 2 Sam 7:11-14). His first coming brought Abraham’s promised blessing of justification for everyone by crucifixion. His return will bring kingdom establishment and blessing for Israel and all nations. Matthew thoroughly confirmed Jesus’ kingship throughout his Gospel with teachings, miracles, prophecy fulfillment, along with statements and acts of authority; however, Jesus did not fulfill His reign. Instead, Israel in unbelief, rejected their king and crucified Him so God’s promised blessing in Abraham’s son will come to all nations by faith through the Holy Ghost (Gal 3:13-15).

Matthew’s addition of Jesus’ virgin birth account to His genealogy gave essential significance to His identity. It revealed Abraham and David’s seed as the Lord God of Israel in flesh and why so many Scriptures came to fulfillment (Matt 1:21-23). Being literally Emmanuel, God with us as man, Jesus’ kingship had divine honor and authority—not human, although He descended from David and Abraham.

Matthew fashioned his writing with a kingdom emphasis affirming Jesus as Messiah-King, but midway through his narration he transitioned presenting Jesus as Jehovah’s Servant (12:15-21; Isa 42:1). Using Isaiah’s prophecy in light of Israel’s initial rejection, Matthew guided his narration of Christ, the obedient Servant, to His final rejection by Israel while continuing a literary emphasis on God’s kingdom. In obedience, the rejected King postpones Israel’s messianic kingdom for humanity’s salvation (Matt 21:43). Along with kingdom emphasis, Matthew presented the continuous theme of redemption. Before Christ comes to reign, He will give Jews and Gentiles an opportunity to enter His kingdom.

Pastor Daryl Cox

12.4.20

(Excerpt from Jesus Across the Gospels: A Portrait of Who Jesus Is)

God’s Beloved Son to Israel (Matt 3:16-17)

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Advent Day 5

And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him: (17) And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased (Matt 3:16-17).

While the angel of the Lord revealed Emanuel as God with us among His people who would deliver them from their sin (Isa 9:6a; Matt 1:23a,b), God publicly announced Jesus as His beloved Son in the account of His baptism in Matt 3:16-17. All of the Gospels record the baptism. Central to the accounts brings to bear God’s anointing of Jesus as the Messiah.

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Isaiah 40:3, 5 point to the revealing of the Lord’s glory in His divine nature, the Lord Himself, for all humanity to see in the wilderness alongside the river Jordan (Mat 3:1; Mark 4:1). In the isolation of a dry and arid place, Jesus’ baptism occurred. “The glory of the Lord shall be revealed” (Isa 40:5a NKJV). Son reflects a messianic title. God confirmed Jesus as His begotten and beloved Son, the express image of Himself and embodiment of the one God of Israel for all humanity to see as Emmanuel (Ps 2:7). Hall and Bernard (1993) explained Jesus while on earth “voluntarily took on the form of a servant, but His divine nature did not change” (Doctrines of the Bible; Matt 3:15; 12:17-18; 17:5). This led to a fulfillment of the Abrahamic covenant addressed in Jesus’ genealogy in Matt 1:1; namely, Jesus blessed all nations because of His judgment on the cross for both Israel and the Gentiles.

In John 1:33-34, the author extended Jesus’ identification with “Upon whom thou shalt see the Spirit descending, and remaining on him, the same is he which baptizeth with the Holy Ghost. And I saw, and bare record that this is the Son of God” (John 1:33-34 KJV). The Spirit of God descending like a dove provided the sign for John the Baptist to which he bore record of Him as the Son of God. On the other hand, the voice from heaven in Matt 3:17b provided a sign to the people. Both signs validate Jesus, the Son of God, having the same nature and very character of God and perfect humanity without sin. They simultaneously manifest God as Father, Holy Spirit, and incarnate in the Son. Thus, the heavenly voice and dove bear witness to Jesus as Messiah and Son of God to Israel, the incarnation of the one true God.

Jan Paron, PhD

12.3.20

(Excerpt from The Incarnational Theology of Emmanuel in the Book of Matthew)

Finding the Star out of Jacob (Matt 2:1-2)

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Advent Day 4

After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east arrived in Jerusalem, 2 asking, ‘Where is the One who has been born King of the Jews? We saw His star in the east and have come to worship Him.’ (Matt 2:1-2 KJV).

In Num 24:17, Balaam prophesied His future coming as the Star out of Jacob and Scepter who would rise out of Israel. Star means king, while the full phrase Star out of Jacob refers to the Son of a David. Scepter interprets as the Messiah. Jesus fulfilled scripture by coming with His first advent as the Star and Scepter to redeem and deliver His people from sin; and will come again to conquer God’s spiritual enemies for Israel’s ultimate redemption. Jesus, God with us, fulfilled the hope of salvation. The birth account of the Star of Jacob and the Scepter to Israel—Jesus—opens in Matt 2 with the Magi coming from the east to Jerusalem searching for the King of the Jews. How did they possibly know this? God sent a supernatural star to them! 

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Commonly, the Magi would represent the Persian king to honor a reigning king. They were sages, wise men, and astrologists often in positions of responsibility commanding respect because of their wisdom. They prophesied, explained omens, interpreted dreams, and practiced divination (Dan 2:2, 48; 4:9). The Hebrew Bible forbids divination and astrology (Deut 4:19). In fact, the Magi were hostile to Daniel. Although the Greco-Romans viewed them favorably, the Jews did not consider them as outsiders to the faith. God used these pagan Gentiles entering into Jerusalem to announce the birth of a king. More than likely, they came with a large caravan and caught the attention of Herod and everyone else in Jerusalem.

What did the Star of Bethlehem do? How does it apply to believers today? 

It acknowledged the birth of a king. The Magi had come to Jerusalem because they expected to find a Judean king there. God used the supernatural and unlikely people to get our attention to reveal King Jesus. The pagan Magi responded to Jesus from divine means. 

It gave Gentiles access to the Messiah. The Magi were pagans, not Jews but Gentiles. They worshipped the heavenly bodies and elements. Gentiles never were an afterthought in God’s plan, but had been part of his work in history from the beginning.God offers redemption through Jesus for all people. Christ’s disciples have the responsibility to let everyone know about Him

It fulfilled prophecy. Micah 5:2 prophesied  Bethlehem as the Messiah’s birthplace, because the Messiah was to be a descendant of David, and Bethlehem had been David’s hometown. Bethlehem was 5 miles south of Jerusalem. Just as the Star of Bethlehem  prophetically supported King Jesus’ birth announcement according to Scripture, it confirms the truth and unity of the Bible. 

It guided the magi to where God chose to reveal Himself. For one special event in history, the God who rules the heavens chose to reveal Himself where pagans were looking (cf. Acts 19: 12, 15-20). God illuminated the pathway to Jesus with a supernatural sign, just as He led his own people by the fire and cloud in the wilderness (Exo 13:21-22). Jesus’ Spirit serves as the believer’s guide-a light in the darkness. Herod and the scribes knew where the Messiah would be born according to Scripture, but did not act on it in faith. 

The Star of Bethlehem accomplished many purposes in the infancy narrative of Jesus: it acknowledged the birth of the King-the Star of Jacob and Scepter of Israel, gave access to the Gentiles, fulfilled prophecy, and guided the Magi. It was a divine heavenly sign God used for a historical purpose. Though news of the Star of Bethlehem signaling a new ruler troubled King Herod, it serves as a reminder to believers in Christ of deliverer who ushered in a new Kingdom.  

Jan Paron, PhD

12-2-20

(Excerpt from The Incarnational Theology of Emmanuel in the Book of Matthew)