Matthew 1 – You and I are Broken

Too bad no one has discovered a “most popular baby names” document from ancient Israel.  I bet there would be some interesting ones, including some of the tongue-twisters in the genealogy that Matthew gives us!  🙂  Thankfully, though, providing a list of potential baby names was not Matthew’s purpose.  Whew.

So why did Matthew write the opening pages the way that he did?  To give genealogical and religious validity to the identity of Jesus?  Yes.  To remind his original and future readers that God’s sovereignty is unshakable?  Probably.  But what else?

I wonder, as I read the text this afternoon, if part of Matthew’s purpose can be discerned near the end of the first chapter.  Matthew includes the words of an angel “he will save his people from their sins” and the words of a prophet from long ago “God with us“.

I have to confess that when I hear “God with us“, I often think of comfort, compassion, care.  Wow, the God of the universe came down to us?  What a picture of his love and concern!  And there is truth in that.  Deep truth.  But only partial truth.

The reason Jesus became “God with us” is that we desperately need to be saved from our sins.  Some might think that is an offensive statement.  But is it?  Here is what I see on news sites today:  Terror attacks in France, Trayvon Martin shooting, Bill Cosby accusations, rental scams, and Boko Haram.  We are sinful people, who do sinful things, and we need someone to save us!  That is reality.  Our world is broken.  And that means you and I are broken.

Hmm … so what do I (and you) do with this?  While it is tempting to tell ourselves that sin is “out there” (just look at the news, right?), the reality is that sin is “in here” (in my life and in your life).  That is why you and I are so desperately in need of “God with us“.  Why have no other hope.

Well, that was a deep first day.  Whew.  What will be discovered tomorrow?  I am looking forward to the story that God will unfold through the Gospel of Matthew …


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