Monday, January 30, 2012

120130 - Matthew 01-02 - Preparation and yearning for Messiah: its results and why it matters

Monday SOAP: Matthew carefully ties Christ with the royal line of Judah, since Christ had to be the Son of David (1:1, 22:42-45, Isa. 9:6-7; Jer. 23:5-6). We know the names and stories: Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Judah, Tamar, Rahab, Boaz, Ruth, Jesse, David, Solomon, Asa, Jehosaphat, Uzziah, Hezekiah, Josiah, Zerubbabel... Matthew carefully explains the meaning of the names "Jesus" and "Emmanuel." Then he carefully provides numerous prophecies about important events in Jesus' life. He tied it all together: Old and New Testaments and the yearning for Messiah.

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(Why "SOAP?" See http://www.enewhope.org/firststeps/journaling)
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S: Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us. (Mt 1:23/Isaiah 7:14). And thou Bethlehem, in the land of Juda, art not the least among the princes of Juda: for out of thee shall come a Governor, that shall rule my people Israel. (Mt 2:6/Micah 5:2) And was there until the death of Herod: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Out of Egypt have I called my son. (Mt 2:15/Hos. 11:1) In Rama was there a voice heard, lamentation, and weeping, and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children, and would not be comforted, because they are not. (Mt 2:18/Jer. 31:15) And he came and dwelt in a city called Nazareth: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophets, He shall be called a Nazarene. (Mt 2:23/Isa. 11:1 [probably]).

O: Matthew quickly establishes what the Old Testament is really all about: laying a foundation for Christ, in genealogy, in foreshadowing pictures, and in direct predictions like the ones quoted above. It's apropriate that the Old Testament closes with Malachi and the New Testament opens with Matthew. Malachi warns the people to get ready for Messiah, (4:5,6), because He will come suddenly. (3:1) Matthew begins the process of explaining how it wasn't just Malachi, but the whole Old Testament that prepared them for Christ.

A: Like Jesus said, "Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me." (Joh 5:39) "For had ye believed Moses, ye would have believed me: for he wrote of me." (Joh 5:46). He complained that the people were "slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken..." (Luke 24:25) and asserted that the "volume of the book"
was written about Him. (Heb. 10:7/Ps. 40:7)

We need a renewed preparation - a reexamination of the ministry of John the Baptist, straightening out the highway for Him, leveling out the mountains and valleys, turning the hearts of the children to the parents and parents to children. And after our self-preparation, we need to be prepared to see Christ and reveal Him in this same way. Without these preparations, there are some people we will never reach. "And the witness to all nations" (Matt. 24:14) will not be complete.

P: Father, turn our hearts to you and your ambition, your Kingdom and glory, your wonderful plan for the nations. Let our feet be shod with the preparation of your gospel, out of eagerness for our Lord's return.

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