Walker, MN

December 2, 2018 “Who Is Jesus? The Son of David” Matt.1:1,6,17
{5 part series: son of ~ David, Abraham, Solomon, Mary, Sinners; Concordia Sem}


Dear brothers & sisters in Christ,

For these Sundays in Advent, we’ll do a little ‘series’, concentrating on the genealogy of Jesus as it appears in Matthew chpt.1., ….as we heard: “The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham. And let’s recall how that listing ended: “…Matthan the father of Jacob, and Jacob the father of Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom Jesus was born, who is called Christ.”
Who is Jesus? He’s the ‘son-of’. WE believe He’s the Son-of-God; but he’s also the son of /David, /Abraham, /Solomon, //Mary, & he’s in the line (or lineage) of many sinners. Who is Jesus? Today, he’s the son of David.
Since the dawn of time =from Adam & Eve= about 60 billion people have walked on Planet Earth. Of those 60 billion people, only a handful have made any real, lasting impression on the world = many, for being terrible. In that handful of people, just one stands far-above all of the others: Yeshua; Jesu; Jesus.
Jesus +never sat down to write a book, and yet millions of books have been written about him. +He never painted a picture, and yet the world’s great art has Jesus as its source for inspiration. +He never trained an army, and yet millions of his followers have fought & died in His Name. +Jesus never traveled very far from his birthplace, and yet his testimony has gone around the world millions of times. +In his lifetime, Jesus only had a handful of real, regular followers, but today about 33 percent of the world’s population follows him = 2.4 billion people
To not hear of Jesus is a shame; to ignore Him is disastrous; to reject Jesus…is fatal.
But to know Jesus is to admire & respect him; to believe in him is to honor & obey him;
to trust Jesus makes a person a new person, who has a new life within one’s own soul/spirit. To know Jesus is to be changed by Him. So, the question we began with is thee most important question we can ever ask: Who is Jesus?
The OT prophets must’ve asked a similar question because =with the Spirit= they spoke of the One-to-come, the Messiah = he was their focus.
After his arrival, the NT writers had a much more clear picture, and =with the same Spirit= they presented a clearer answer, so that WE would know & trust in this one, unique SON. Matthew is the one who anchors Jesus in a family-tree so that we can know ‘who is Jesus?’
In V.17 he writes: “A record of the genealogy of Jesus Christ the son of David … Thus there were fourteen generations in all from Abraham to David, fourteen from David to the exile to Babylon, and fourteen from the exile to the Christ.”
Jesus is the Son of David, and David was a king. Sons of kings become kings, or rulers. Americans have rulers; but our rulers are politicians, who are different than kings. For one thing, politicians will make big promises. In 2004, John Edwards said, “We will stop Diabetes, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s!” In 2008, Barack Obama said “people will look back and say that this is the day the oceans stopped rising;…we are the ones we’ve been waiting for.’ In 2012, Newt Gingrich said, “We will put a colony on the moon by 2020!”
Unlike kings, politicians have to get elected, & they’ll say almost anything to get elected. In this last election cycle, we heard a lot of farfetched things. People don’t want to hear slogans like: ‘vote for me ~ I’ll leave you alone & keep everything the same’. No, in America, we want leaders who will promise us ‘the moon’ ~ even if we doubt they can deliver it.
Kings aren’t elected & they don’t campaign; they are born & anointed. So, too, Jesus was a different kind of leader, for God promised a special king. Jesus was the son of David-the-king & yet he was David’s ‘Lord.’ So, when Matthew applies this ‘royal lineage’, he uses a different term: Christ. He doesn’t say ‘this is the genealogy of King Jesus,’ he says:
‘this is the genealogy of Jesus – the Christ.’

Children sometimes misunderstand ‘Christ’ as just Jesus’s last name; but that’s not it. He is Jesus–of-Nazareth, but ‘christ’ is a title =like ‘king’= but much bigger. Christ is the Greek translation of the Hebrew word “Messiah,” which means “anointed one.”
The literal key to unlocking the OT is understanding that there would be just one messiah; just one man anointed with the HSp of God to be king over all of heaven & earth.
That One would establish God’s Kingdom & accomplish God’s mission. As Messiah,
this particular king would be promised, compassionate, rejected, and victorious.
It was important that the promise of this real Messiah could be traced. He would come from the line of Israel’s David; the David descended from Abraham-the-Hebrew. He’d be born in David’s city, Bethlehem; but he would establish a heavenly throne with the whole earth as his footstool. Matthew lays out the genealogy to demonstrate that Jesus is this particular, real & promised king; the Christ, the Messiah, the Son of David.
When Matthew writes his gospel, about 15 years after Jesus ascended, Israel had been without a legitimate king for hundreds of years. Now, Matthew declares, ‘a king has finally come to sit on David’s greater throne: King Jesus!’ Matthew hammers this truth home by quoting 10 specific Old Testament promises, “that -what was spoken- might be fulfilled” = he says. Matthew also makes over 250 connections to the OT to prove the answer to that question: who is Jesus? Jesus is THAT promised king.
Jesus is also the compassionate King. David’s armies killed enemy armies. Jesus doesn’t come to physically drive out Israel’s worldly enemies. Jesus comes to bring-in ALL who are outcast from God. This, too, is evident in Matthew’s family-tree. In the ancient world, people traced their ancestry thru the father, so Matthew’s genealogy is predominantly male; but it isn’t exclusively male. There are 4 women in his list: Tamar, Rahab, Ruth & Bathsheba.
*Why include those 4, and not include Israel’s great matriarchs: Sarah, Rebekah, or Rachel ?
All four of the women mentioned are outsiders to Israel. Tamar & Rahab were Canaanite; Ruth was a Moabite, and Bathsheba was a Hittite like her husband Uriah. These non-Hebrews each had another stigma (or disgrace) attached to her. Tamar was dishonored by her brother-in-law, & later she deceived her father-in-law into sleeping with her so she could conceive children. Rahab was a prostitute. Bathsheba committed adultery with King David. Ruth grew up worshipping the horrible & immoral false gods of Moab.
The Jews would’ve been embarrassed to have a king with such a tainted family-tree. They expected a Champion-leader who would come with strength & power, not compassion. He would drive out their Roman oppressors, destroy the immoral false gods, and crush the nations to establish Israel’s rule over all. But according to the OT promises, Messiah would come & be the most compassionate of all.

With his first advent, Jesus doesn’t come to judge, condemn, or kill the nations;
He comes to save & forgive the nations. In compassion for all mankind, Jesus brings outcasts home to God, and he removes the shame of those ‘castaway’ people = like Tamar, Rahab, Ruth, & Bathsheba.
This compassion is a good overview of all of Matthew’s Gospel. *Who does Jesus spend his time with? Outcasts; like Matthew himself =a despised tax-collector. Jesus gets close to the dishonored, the disregarded & diseased, to people who were separated from society.
In fact, Jesus gets so close to the detestable sinners that their sin rubs off on him, so that he becomes despised & rejected. Our promised king would be compassionate, said Isaiah,
SO THAT he would carry our diseases & sorrows; by his wounds we would be healed.
Some Bible commentators point out that 3 of the 4 women in Matthew’s genealogy were tangled up in sexual sins; either their own, or exploited by others. In our day, 1 in 4 women, & 1 in 6 men will be exploited or abused in that way at some point in their lives; and many more get tangled up in immorality. That’s something people carry with them, like a wound.
Our promised & compassionate king Jesus is able to take & carry these wounds of ours;
and our Messiah helps & heals his people to put that shame far behind us. To know this king is to become a new person.
That’s good news = not just for 1 in 4 or 1 in 6, but for ALL of US. It doesn’t matter which sins cause our ugly, haunting shame; all sins are the cause of us being outcasts away from the Holy God. Jesus becomes the promised solution for us all; whether it’s the guilt of sins done by us, or sins done to us; sins of ignorance or sins of rebellion. *How are we going to deal with our shame? People have tried every way: they try to /eat it away, /drink it away, /drug it away, /work it away, /play it away, /explain it away, /cry it away, /or bury it away.
But it doesn’t go away; a spiritual problem needs a real spiritual solution.
Altho He belongs to the perfect Triune family, king Jesus descends from his throne, bringing compassion, and joins us in our imperfect human family. He joins us in our ugly shame to give us a new identity. Our sins make us feel worthless, & the world calls us damaged-goods, but King Jesus says we are forgiven, clean & new; *who should we believe?
The Son of David really had no other reason to come among sinners except to help & rescue us. The OT prophesied that Messiah would be king, compassionate & rejected.
In His day, there were many elite politicians, and know-it-all leaders in & around the temple. To the Jewish rulers, Jesus was the wrong kind of king. Sure, maybe he was part of the thousands that had descended from David, and part of the hundreds that were born in & around Bethlehem. But nothing good ever came out of Nazareth! Jesus was from the wrong place; /Jesus associated with the wrong people, /preached the wrong message, /appointed the wrong disciples, /carried out the wrong mission, /& offered the wrong redemption.
They flatly & violently rejected him, just as the prophets foretold. The whole thing boiled-over on Good Friday. Matthew writes, “Above his head they placed the written charge against him: THIS IS JESUS, THE KING OF THE JEWS.” (27:37). But the truth could not be destroyed by man’s rejection; heaven holds the victory. As written in Isaiah 53: “…when his soul makes an offering for guilt, he shall see his offspring; he shall prolong his days; the will of the Lord shall prosper in his hand.”
And on the Third Day this victory was proved true. This Messiah is: king, compassionate, rejected, but victorious. He declares: “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to Me.” That’s what we would expect of a true King, to have all authority. The Son of David has the authority to /forgive us, /instruct us, /correct us, /teach & guide us into living as his righteous & holy people. He says: ‘come & follow Me.’
He earned & showed that authority by coming to us, and serving us at the cross, and bringing outcasts into his kingdom, and making us new. His kingdom is still open to all outcasts & sinners. So, the Son of David says, ‘go, and be making more disciples among all people, by baptizing and by teaching everything I have commanded you. I am with you always to the end of the age.’
*Who is Jesus? He is the fulfillment of the promise to be The Son of David; our compassionate, rejected, & victorious king =The Christ= who forgives, protects, guides,
& is leading us in His eternal kingdom.