1:1-1:17 A King’s geneology
As you scan through the list of names in Jesus’ geneology, having just finished reading the Old Testament, how many names do you recognize? (*note that Jeconiah is the same name as Jehoiachin. He’s the king that surrendered to Nebuchadnezzar and didn’t get killed…hmmm, I wonder why?)
Why was it important for Matthew to prove that Jesus came from the line of David?
1:18-1:25 Old Testament Type Visitations
How did God communicate with Joseph? What was the message?
What OT prophecy was fulfilled in Jesus’ birth?
2:1-2:12 Emerging from Persia
At this point it is important to remember Daniel. Daniel was a wise man from the East. Daniel had heavily influenced the power structures and the wise men in his day. Remember, that through Daniel’s faithfulness, Nebuchadnezzar publicly declared Jehovah as the Lord of All. It is also important to remember that Persia was responsible for allowing the Jews to return and rebuild the Temple. 400 years later it is reasonable to believe that some “wise men” or “astrologers” from the Persian people may still have been holding on to Daniel’s prophecies and the Jewish teachings (don’t forget that radical preacher, Ezekiel, in Babylon), wondering if the talk of a coming Jewish Messiah that would rule the world was legitimate. Something appeared in the stars that indicated to the wise men that the event had taken place and the new age of the Messiah was dawning.
Where was Jesus when the wise men visited him?
If you were Mary and Joseph, how would you have felt after receiving these kinds of gifts from these kind of men?
2:13-23 Emerging from Egypt
Why was Herod set on killing Jesus?
Where did Joseph take his wife and child?
What prophecy was fulfilled by moving to Egypt?
What other story do you know of God’s children being kept alive in Egypt and then returning to the “Promised Land” after it was safe?
In many ways, Matthew is showing us that Jesus is two things. First, He is the nation of Israel itself, having been taken to Egypt and brought up out of it again. Secondly, he is showing us that Jesus is Moses. We will see later on that Jesus is taking over Moses’ role as the prophet and law-giver for the people of Israel to lead them to a new promised land.