Reposted from The Cripplegate.
The gospel of of Matthew was the first biblical book to be written in over 400 years. And Matthew breaks the centuries of silence with…a genealogy.
He has a strategic reason for doing so—the goal of his book is to persuasively argue that Jesus is the Messiah, and so he starts by tying the person of Jesus to the history of the Jews, and particularly to the lines of David and Abraham.
Matthew is aware of the end of the story before he pens the beginning. He knows that Jesus was the Messiah, was crucified, resurrected, and ascended into heaven. More importantly, he knows why Jesus was rejected. In fact, the seeds of Jesus’ rejection were already sown in Jewish history. The very reasons the Pharisees, Sanhedrin, et. al., rejected Jesus were already evident in the ancestry of the Savior.
Last week we saw that the Jews rejected Jesus because he taught a salvation by faith apart from works, even though that is the consistent testimony of those in his genealogy. Today, we see a second reason Matthew opens with a genealogy:
The Jews Rejected Jesus because of the global nature of his message.
Jesus intentionally brought his message to outcasts. He preached “the gospel of the kingdom” to sinners, tax collectors, adulteresses, and zealots. But he also brought his message to Gentiles.