The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham.
In the last two posts, we’ve looked at the identity of Jesus in Matthew 1:1. We’ve seen Jesus as the Christ. We’ve seen Jesus as the Son of David, the promised Messiah of the Old Testament. In this post, we see Jesus called the Son of Abraham.
Abraham is the major figure of the Old Testament.
Abraham warrants mention given his theological significance in light of the Bible. Abraham is the Father of Israel, therefore all ethnic Israelites are related to him.
Abraham is the great patriarch of the Old Testament through whom the Lord had made his covenant promises of land, offspring and blessings.
Abraham – promise
In Genesis 22:18, the Lord had promised Abraham that through him, all the nations of the world would be blessed.
Jesus is the son of Abraham who brings the ultimate blessing to the nations. God’s blessing is to be found in Christ and advanced throughout the world by the spread of the gospel.
That idea will recur in this gospel, but most notably at the end of Matthew’s Gospel where the risen Lord Jesus gives the Great Commission to the disciples and tells them to go and make disciples of all nations (Matthew 28:19).
Abraham – promised Son
One of the great promises that the Lord made to Abraham was for a son.
Abraham and his wife Sarah were old, Sarah was beyond child bearing age. But the Lord promises a Son.
Isaac is born in Genesis 21. In Genesis 22, the Lord asks Abraham to sacrifice Isaac, his promised son.
Skeptics and atheists always have a field day with that passage. “How could God possibly ask Abraham to sacrifice his son?”
But the Lord intervenes and stops Abraham and provides a ram for him to sacrifice. The point was to ultimately point to the Lord who would provide the sacrifice.
This introduces us to the idea of substitutionary atonement. The ram died in the place of Isaac. And it also gives us a picture of the gospel. Abraham did not have to sacrifice his promised son. But the Lord would not withhold his only begotten son, Jesus.
Isaac is the promised son of Abraham. But Jesus is the descendant of Abraham who would be the ultimate and greater sacrifice.
The fact that Abraham was willing to make that sacrifice is also meant to be a picture of faith.
But even before that happened, in Genesis 15, Abraham believed the Lord’s promise that his offspring would one day outnumber the stars.
The text tells us that Abraham believed and it was counted to him as righteousness.
And that too points us to the gospel.
That we are not saved by works. We are not saved by what we do. We are saved by faith. Abraham believed. Everything else he did in his life was an outflow of that faith.
I mentioned in the beginning that Abraham is the father of Israel. But more importantly, because of his faith, Abraham is the Spiritual Father of all who trust and believe.
Through Abraham, in the Old Testament, before the law was given to Moses, we see what ultimately mattered and brought salvation. Faith. Believing in the Lord.
And it once again points us to why it’s important to begin this gospel by establishing that Jesus is a son both of David but also of Abraham.
Because Jesus is the Messiah from the line of David who had been promised. And he’s the one from the line of David through whom God would fulfill his promise.
And Matthew begins his gospel by telling us where the family of Jesus came from.
What better way is there to start this gospel?
We read John, and more systematic. We hear talk of eternal life and being born again. We read Paul’s letters, again, he’s very theological and systematic. Justification, sanctification, adoption, union with Christ.
Matthew is pointing us to historical theology and the history of salvation.
Jesus doesn’t appear in a vacuum. He doesn’t come from nowhere.
He comes in fulfillment of all that God had promised.
We see the Lord working throughout time.
And to know where Jesus comes from and to know what God had promised, it points us to the glory and the wonder of God’s salvation that he had worked for centuries leading up to Christ.
Because we see the plans of God, the power of God in achieving his plans, the faithfulness of God in the fulfillment of his plans.
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