The first 4 chapters are pretty short and they each have their own theme, so I decided to include all of chapter 1 today. Once we hit chapter 5, we’ll start taking smaller bites. So start by reading Matthew 1:1-25 in a couple of different versions and read the Study Bible notes, if you have them. Make notes on what strikes you as you go and feel free to post them to the comment section, especially if it’s something I missed. Remember, I’m not doing any kind of theological exegesis here, I’m just going to make observations of things that I notice. I’ll post my observations after bullet points, and the questions after a diamond, like this:
It’s taking a long time to get to the actual Bible reading
◊ Is this really necessary?
Okie doke, here we go!
V3 – It’s unusual for Matthew to mention women in Jesus’ genealogy, especially since they were all (aside from Mary) either Gentiles, of questionable character, or both.
Some of the kings followed God, but some of them were atrocious.
V11-12 – Includes deportation to and return from Babylon – this “family” has gone through a lot!
Rahab was a prostitute, Tamar posed as one and Judah “took her home,” Solomon was born from one of history’s most notorious affairs. Jechoniah was an awful king and under his watch Israel was overthrown by Babylon. After so many kings, the line fizzles into obscurity until you come to a guy who’s just a carpenter.
◊ Are there things that I have done or that have been done/passed down to me by my family that I doubt God could/would redeem?
V18 – “Found to be with child from the Holy Spirit”!!!! That’s a lot for anyone to comprehend/swallow
V19 – Joseph, “a just man and unwilling to shame her”, balanced keeping his own name clear with having mercy on Mary (who could be stoned to death if he made a big deal.)
◊ Do I have mercy on people – even on their reputations? When I think they’ve done me wrong, do I keep it to myself?
V19 – Joseph resolved to divorce Mary – I’m assuming he didn’t pray before making that decision or he would’ve come to a different conclusion.
◊ Do I pray and consult with God before making decisions?
V20-24 – The angel was reassuring, but it probably didn’t make it much easier to deal with local gossip and obey God
◊ Am I willing to obey God even when it could negatively affect my reputation?
V21,23 – Jesus means Yahweh saves – He will save his people from their sins. Immanuel means God with us. His name says both who he is (God with us) and what he’s doing (saving his people.)
V23 – Jesus was God with us, not apart from us like the people were used to experiencing God in the temple – removed from the people by a curtain that only a few could pass.
V23 – Matthew makes the connection with the old prophecy. He’s helping the people to remember.
◊ How do I remember what God has said to me? What He has done for me?
Jesus’ birth is filled with so much drama and scandal, but it’s obviously orchestrated by God.
◊ Am I intimidated/driven off by drama and scandal when I should be examining it for signs that God is involved and perhaps I should be too? How can I tell the difference between scandal that God is involved in and scandal that I should stay far away from?
Wrap up your quiet time by praying through the following questions:
- Based on this passage of Scripture, what can I thank God for?
- What do these verses tell me about God and His character?
- Based on this passage, is there anything I need to confess to God and ask forgiveness for?
- What do these verses remind me to pray for others?
- What do these verses move me to pray for myself?
(Special thanks to Pastor Royce at Red Sea Church for teaching me to pray TACSI (Thanksgiving, Adoration, Confession, Supplication, and Intercession) as I read through Scriptures.)