In our Sunday School class we’ve been going through the book of Matthew, and so I’ve decided to start posting our lessons in condensed form here on the Manifest Blog. I think we’ll call them Matthew Mondays.
So let’s start in Matthew chapter 1.
Matthew starts out with the genealogy of Christ. Early on in my walk with Christ I looked up what the names in the genealogy meant and was amazed to find that from Adam to Jesus the names come together to present the salvation story. Here is the translation below:
Man is appointed mortal sorrow, but the Blessed of God will come down teaching that his death shall bring the despairing rest and comfort. He will be a renowned healer, possessing a mission that joins division. God’s shepherd will twine the branches, through the exhalation of His spirit.
The father of a great multitude laughs; he prevails with God through the praise of the Lord breaching divisions. Rise up; my people is liberated by a helper that rewards a servant with strength, a gift well-beloved who pays the price to enlarge the people. The father of the Lord is the physician.
The Lord is a judge elevated with strength from God. He is the perfection, the faithfulness, the fire, and the stability of God. He was asked of God to break up confusion. He is the father of praise, the resurrection of God. In court, He is just in His preparation, His vengeance, and His confirmation. God is His praise. In the courts of God, His gift undermines wrath and increases salvation.
You can see the break down of this translation on the post entitled The Genealogy of Christ (Matthew).
Secondly, there’s the virgin birth. There’s some speculation that Mary had to be born without sin in order for Jesus to be born without sin, but that wouldn’t make any sense unless her parents were born without sin, and their parents, and their parents . . . all the way back to Adam. Of course that isn’t the case.
However, God does say that He visits the iniquities of the fathers onto the third and fourth generation, and not the iniquities of the mothers, which means that a virgin birth would in essence not pass on original sin and give Jesus a clean slate at birth. He wasn’t born into sin, and unlike Adam, He resisted the temptation to sin when it was presented. You can read more about this idea in the post entitled Why a Virgin Birth?
The application we can take away from these two points in Matthew chapter one is that God is in control of every detail. He knew what His plan was before Adam and Eve ever ate the apple, and He knows every detail about your life: past present and future. He knew what everyone’s names would be in Jesus’ genealogy, and some of them He audibly gave before they were born, and some of them He changed while the person was alive. He knew that sin would be passed on through the fathers and that there would be a virgin birth. We know because it’s prophesied hundreds of years in advance.
Here’s the rub: You’ll never do anything that surprises Him, and though things might surprise you, He saw them coming before time began and has plans for everything that happens in your life.
I for one find this incredibly comforting. There is rest in God’s omniscience.