Who is Jesus? According to Matthew 1:

Jesus is the embodied history and the fulfillment of the promises made to and through the family of Abraham, starting with Abraham and following the lineage of Isaac through King David, on to Jechoniah (at the time of the Babylonian captivity) and finding its completion in his birth as a child of Joseph. As the embodied history and fulfillment of the promises Jesus is recognized as the Messiah or the Christ and the continuation of the story of God's interaction with God's people as begun in the Old Testament.

Joseph and Mary, an engaged couple, were considered righteous in God's sight, and an angel of the Lord informed Joseph that they would become parents not in the usual way, but through a miraculous Holy Spirit conception. He was also told that this male child would "save his people from their sins," and be the promised sign of Isaiah 7:14, which meant that this son would be God's presence amongst them.

Big Idea: Jesus is the Messiah--the fulfillment of the promises of the Old Testament.

Profound Identity:
  • Jesus is the Messiah (Matthew 1:1, 16, 18).
  • Jesus was of the Abrahamic and Davidic line (Matthew 1:1-17).
  • Jesus was born to Mary and her husband Joseph (Matthew 1:16).
  • Jesus was conceived by a virgin through the power of the Holy Spirit (Matthew 1:18, 20).
  • Jesus' conception and identity was revealed/announced by an angel (Matthew 1:20).
  • Jesus' gender was revealed prior to his birth (Matthew 1:21).
  • Jesus was named by God (Matthew 1:21).
  • Jesus will save the people from their sins (Matthew 1:21).
  • Jesus will be called Emmanuel (Matthew 1:23).
  • Jesus is God's presence (Matthew 1:23).
  • Jesus is the promised sign and the fulfillment of prophecy (Matthew 1:23, Isaiah 7:14).

Questions Left: Why 14 generations, not 13 or 15? Does the birth and life of Jesus relate to the rest of the prophecy contained in Isaiah 7 and surrounding chapters? If so, how? If not, why not?

Prayer:

In one chapter so much is said about Your Son. More than I can fully comprehend/understand. It is amazing how easy it is to deny Your claims and Your announcement at a time when the world experienced a dramatic shift of reality.

God, right now, our society feels like it is going through another shift. There are many who are claiming or at least trying to claim that they know what this shift is all about. But I'm not sure any of us really know. God are you doing a new thing?

What must it have been like for Joseph hearing the news from Mary and then encountering your angel in a dream? I doubt I will ever hear a message as profound as that revealed to Joseph, but am I open to receiving the messages that you have for me? Help me to be open and responsive to You, O Lord.

Help me to recognize and embrace Jesus Christ for who Jesus really is! Help me to understand Your identity and to not be distracted or confused by the claims that others make for You. Help me to believe even when I doubt and to stand strong as a witness for You!

Be present amongst us and make us aware of Your presence. Save us from our sins and help us to remember that we have already been saved. Anoint us as witnesses of Your holy grace. Amen.

This blog entry is one of a series of entries in my quest to go chapter-by-chapter through the New Testament answering the question "Who is Jesus?"

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