( Sermon for the week of December 25th )
The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ,
the son of David, the son of Abraham.
Abraham became the father of Isaac, Isaac the father of Jacob,
Jacob the father of Judah and his brothers. Judah became the
father of Perez and Zerah, whose mother was Tamar. Perez became
the father of Hezron, Hezron the father of Ram, Ram the father
of Amminadab. Amminadab became the father of Nahshon, Nahshon
the father of Salmon, Salmon the father of Boaz, whose mother
was Rahab. Boaz became the father of Obed, whose mother was Ruth.
Obed became the father of Jesse, Jesse the father of David the
king. David became the father of Solomon, whose mother had been
the wife of Uriah. Solomon became the father of Rehoboam,
Rehoboam the father of Abijah, Abijah the father of Asaph.
Asaph became the father of Jehoshaphat, Jehoshaphat the father
of Joram, Joram the father of Uzziah. Uzziah became the father
of Jotham, Jotham the father of Ahaz, Ahaz the father of Hezekiah.
Hezekiah became the father of Manasseh, Manasseh the father of
Amos, Amos the father of Josiah. Josiah became the father of
Jechoniah and his brother sat the time of the Babylonian exile.
After the Babylonian exile, Jechoniah became the father of
Shealtiel, Shealtiel the father of Zerubbabel, Zerubbabel the
father of Abiud. Abiud became the father of Eliakim, Eliakim
the father of Azor, Azor the father of Zadok. Zadok became
the father of Achim, Achim the father of Eliud, Eliud the
father of Eleazar. Eleazar became the father of Matthan,
Matthan the father of Jacob, Jacob the father of Joseph,
the husband of Mary.
Of her was born Jesus who is called the Christ. Thus the total
number of generations from Abraham to David is fourteen generations;
from David to the Babylonian exile, fourteen generations;
from the Babylonian exile to the Christ, fourteen generations.
Now this is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about.
When his mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph, but before they
lived together, she was found with child through the Holy Spirit.
Joseph her husband, since he was a righteous man, yet unwilling
to expose her to shame, decided to divorce her quietly.
Such was his intention when, behold,the angel of the Lord
appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph, son of David,
do not be afraid to take Mary your wife into your home.
For it is through the Holy Spirit that this child has been
conceived in her. She will bear a son and you are to name him
Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.”
All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through
the prophet: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son,
and they shall name him Emmanuel,which means “God is with us.”
When Joseph awoke, he did as the angel of the Lord had commanded
him and took his wife into his home. He had no relations with
her until she bore a son, and he named him Jesus.
Merry Christmas everyone! This is the time that we celebrate the
birth of the Son of God who came down to us in a tent of flesh
as 100% God and 100% human in order to conquer death, conquer Hell,
and conquer Sin. Death is our price that we are to pay for the
sin that we perpetually committ. By being born of the Holy Spirit,
the True God-Man was crucified for no just cause by this world,
and lived a perfect life being the Son of God in a human tent of
flesh. The world owes Jesus His life back, and since Jesus is the
"I AM" who is the Creator, who is the One that talked to Moses
through the burning bush (and why we have Christmas tress in our
home) the world cannot give His life back. Their is no court or
no King or Emperor powerful enough to reverse His carried out
death sentence. Satan and hell have some abilities but not the
ability to give Life. By conquering His own Law by His own death
in the hands of this world, Jesus is able to save those souls
who do one thing..."FAITH"eth" in Jesus. Faith"eth" is a verb...
an action that we do by placing our will and our lives in His
care and direction.
Our reward? Eternal life and salvation from Death. Jesus is able
to give us Life by His death and resurrection which is the
NEW Covenant. His New Covenant is faith"ing" in Him and His
ability to grant us Eternal life comes from the fact that the
world and Satan killed The Son of God for no reason, and He
allowed Himself to be the sacrificed for all those who believe
in order to "catch 22" the Law of the world...the same "Law"
He has been giving this world a chance to complete...but has
Over and over, the Chosen People failed..."First to the Jews
and then to the Gentiles"...Christmas is our time to reflect
on the Gift of Gifts that Our Lord Jesus the Christ has given
those who faith"eth", those who choose Him and allow Him to
lead their lives. Rejoice for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand
and YOUR grave has been conquered!
Now let's look at this weeks reading...What are all of these
names at he beginning of the reading and why are they there?
Well, thankfully Matthew paid attention to the FACT that Jesus
by the lineage of Joseph is A DIRECT DESCENDANT of KING DAVID.
Remember King David and the prophecy surrounding him? Many
prophetic passages speak of a descendant of King David who
will rule Israel during the age of perfection. (Isaiah 11:1-9;
Jeremiah 23:5-6, 30:7-10, 33:14-16; Ezekiel 34:11-31, 37:21-28;
Hosea 3:4-5). According to Jewish sources, the Messiah will be
born of human parents and possess normal physical attributes
like other people. The Messiah must be descended on his father's
side from King David (see Genesis 49:10, Isaiah 11:1,
Jeremiah 23:5, 33:17; Ezekiel 34:23-24). Matthew presents the
facts as they are...Jesus is a direct descendant of King David
on His father's side, through the lineage of Joseph.
Jews believe that Jesus is not the Messiah because He was born
through a virgin and did not have a bloodline father.
Well, the Jews "err for not knowing their own scriptures".
Some Jews may think that the Messiah is a human with "god like"
qualities...then they do not know the definition of the Messiah.
If they believe that the Second Coming (to the Jews the First
coming) Messiah will be the Son of God...then how...by the
knowledge contained in the Scriptures...would the Son of God /
Son of Man be the Messiah AND be born into sin? We all have
two parents...and we all are born into sin since we are descendants
of Adam and Eve.
Let's look at why Jesus could not have a human bloodline father...
"Now this is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about. When
his mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph,but before they lived
together, she was found with child through the Holy Spirit. "
Sin passes through the lineage of the father, and thus in order
for Jesus to be born sinless, and to live free from sin,
He could not have been conceived by a human father.
The Holy Spirit, who is without sin had to conceive Jesus in
the womb in order for Jesus to forfeit or cancel out His own
commandment from the very beginning of Adam and Eve's fall out
of the Garden of Eden as spoken of in:
Death Through Adam, Life Through Christ
"12 Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man,
and death through sin, and in this way death came to all men,
because all sinned— "
Jesus as 100% God and 100% man could not be born into sin--the
sin that is inherited from all descendants of Adam. So the blessed
Mother of Jesus, Mary, was impregnated with Jesus by the only
pure source...the Holy Spirit. Jesus was ADOPTED by Joseph later
on as commanded by the Angel. Is an adopted parent still a parent?
Are the Jews looking for a way...THEIR way to discredit Jesus
as the Messiah? I understand what Old Testament scripture says
about the coming Messiah...and I understand why Jesus was born
the way He was.
At the time of Mary's pregnancy, she was engaged to Joseph...
and not married to Joseph. Jesus was born into this world and
not in the way we are born into to it for a very good reason...
HIS (Jesus') REASON AND HIS REASON ALONE. For starters, the
Son of God had to be born sinless! But allow me to interject
something here: How does man justify questioning the Creator
about the way He works? Surely the student isn't the teacher too?!
Since Joseph was engaged to Mary, the pregnancy was a troublesome
dilemma and probably frightening to Joseph.
Let's look at why...
"Joseph her husband, since he was a righteous man, yet unwilling
to expose her to shame, decided to divorce her quietly. Such was
his intention when, behold,the angel of the Lord appeared to him
in a dream and said,“Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to
take Mary your wife into your home. "
The Jews follow the Law (imperfectly) but zealously when it comes
to adultery. Throughout Jewish history, a woman would be stoned
to death for becoming pregnant with someone else's child while
engaged. Her sudden and unexplainable pregnancy would make it
seem to the Jews to be a case of adultery. In the time of Joseph,
the Jews could have stoned her to death as instructed in
Deut. 22:23-24, but the verse in Matthew tells us that she would
have lived a life in shame. Mary would have been a black sheep...
lower in societal worth than a thief and looked upon as prostitutes
were looked down upon. It would be a life of constant shame and
ridicule...probably physical assault would befall her at some
point by a few outraged Jews. It would have destroy her life
and would have affected her families lives. Joseph knew what the
Law said, and in all of his confusion...decided to divorce her
quietly. It makes me think that his plan was to marry Mary quickly
and then divorce her quietly, or Joseph planned to contact her
father and break off the engagement. The word divorce imply's
However, in this messy situation which is all the Lords plan
anyway's, it takes a messenger of the Lord called an "Angel" to
straighten things out. Joseph receives this angelic message
in a dream where he is instructed to take Mary and wed her.
This dream must have been a powerful and lucid in order to change
the mind of a man who has no idea how his loving wife to be
just got pregnant! What would you do? Would you take Mary as
your wife? Would an angelic message via your dreams change
your mind? I've seen enough in my own life to say..."Yes!"
But it would take an angelic message to diffuse me.
"For it is through the Holy Spirit that this child has been
conceived in her. She will bear a son and you are to name him Jesus,
because he will save his people from their sins.”
Joseph is told how Mary was impregnated...but this must have
seemed "Out of this world" because IT IS! It took an angel to
get the message through to Joseph, and it worked. Joseph is
also told the name of his son which would be "Jesus" because
He will save HIS PEOPLE from their sins. A side note:
this is a good time to reflect on this verse...Jesus did not
come to save everyone (even though everyone has the opportunity)
from their sins...only HIS PEOPLE will be saved from their sins.
That is important.
Let's look at the name of the Lord and what it means...
Mary's role is to bear a son, and Joseph's role is to adopt Him
by naming Him. By naming Him, Joseph makes Jesus his son and
brings Him into the House of David. The name Jesus,
"is the Greek form of the Hebrew YEHOSUA, which means:
"YHVH is Salvation". If you study certain areas of "advanced"
Jewish study...YHVH is the unknowable and unnameable "name"
(yes it doesn't make sense for a reason) of God.
YHVH "Limitless and The Creator". If the Creator is All Knowing
then He has the ability to come to us in whatever way He wants.
There are reasons for everything and reasons for what He did from
the time of the Creation of the world, to Adam and Eve, to Moses,
to His coming to walk among us as Savior, to His witness of us
now and His coming to be.
THERE ARE REASONS, HIS REASONS, FOR EVERYTHING.
The name Jesus means, the best I can say it in English is...
"I AM SALVATION" or YEHOSUA is salvation.
POWERFUL! Before Jesus was born Joseph and Mary knew this Son
would be the Messiah...the Lord Jesus planned it from the
foundations of the world!
"All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through
the prophet: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son,
and they shall name him Emmanuel,which means “God is with us.” "
Yes, the Creator who is The Messiah, who lived among us in a
tent of flesh with the name Jesus is the One who speaks through
the prophets. The Lord spoke through Isaiah in Chapter 7 verse 14
when Isaiah spoke these same words to King Ahaz.
Isaiah's prophecy was that a child would be born and that by
the time he reached maturity, the threat from the enemy would
have passed. Isaiah referred to a young woman and Matthew states
that Mary was a virgin. In Hebrew, EL is a short form of Elohim,
a name for God. Immanu-EL means,"God with us" a meaning which
Matthew spells out for non-Hebrew readers.
Emmanuel is not another name Jesus would be called...Jesus is
His name and Emmanuel describes His role.
"When Joseph awoke, he did as the angel of the Lord had commanded
himand took his wife into his home. He had no relations with
her until she bore a son, and he named him Jesus."
An angel appears to Joseph three times. Each time, Joseph
obey's the angel's commands without question and with faith"ing".
He does as commanded. To be righteous is to obey the Word of God
and Joseph's faith"ing" allows Jesus to be ADOPTED as a true
Son of David while Mary's role allows Jesus to be born the
Son of God. As stated in Holy Scripture, Joseph had no relations
with Mary until she gave birth to Jesus. Christians are divided
on this issue...some say that there was no need or desire for
Mary to have any type of "romantic" relations after giving birth
to The Messiah...one would think that this experience and role
would be too Holy for Joseph and Mary to even think of such a thing.
The other side sees marriage and marital relations as a God given
gift because marriage is of God, created by God. The marital
relations between a husband and wife is a true gift and is righteous.
What's the big deal? I believe that it is natural, and righteous
if Mary and Joseph did indeed engage in marital relations AFTER
the birth of Jesus because they loved each other and love is the
reason why they came together in engagement in the first place.
Who in this world would say that having healthy marital relations
with one who is your husband or wife is not a gift given and
protected by God? There is nothing wrong with that! Romantic
relations with one's husband or wife is not dirty or evil...
it is a worldly act that was instituted and created by God,
and for that reason, it is absolutely fine that Mary and Joseph
had marital relations after the birth of Jesus. Holy Scripture
says it, and I doubt that the marital "relations" spoken of in
Matthew implies that this meant dealings with the finances of
the household or who would baby sit Jesus! The Law is clear...
have romantic relations with your wife and enjoy...have romantic
relations with someone else's wife or a woman who will be
someone's wife and you commit adultery.
You could be stoned to death for adultery.
In conclusion, Joseph and Mary are blessed people for being the
two people who bring the kingship lineage together for the Messiah
to be born. The Jews expected and still await a king who will
unify and exalt them and the Jewish people...the Messiah chose
to come into this world the WAY HE WANTED not the way the Jews
wanted Him too. Why rescue the Jews from their oppressors when
oppression is of THIS WORLD anyway's? The Kingdom of Heaven is
NOT in this present world as we see it, thus the world and it's
problems are the dealings of mankind. We need to learn that this
life is our time to focus on what is truly important, living our
lives in order to build a relationship with the Lord and become
tool's of His Good Works. The works of mankind stay with mankind
and we must lift up our hearts, mind, and soul to what really
counts...and that is eternal life through the salvation of
Jesus Christ and acting in Faith in His Word and His Works.
Christ was born, Christ was killed, and Christ has risen!
Rejoice for Our Salvation has been sealed in a New Covenant by
God Bless you and your families this week.
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