Matthew 1

The Gospel of Matthew is a vital connector of the Old Testament to the New Testament. In fact, no book in the New Testament makes a better book to start the New Testament and connect it to the Old Testament than Matthew. And the first chapter of Matthew is especially vital in connecting the Old Testament to the New Testament. The Old Testament saw Christ in the future; the New Testament sees Christ in fulfillment and begins with the fulfillment of Christ right in the very first chapter of Matthew (see Matthew 1:22). Matthew 1 may be divided into two major parts as follows:

  1. The Ancestry of Christ (Matthew 1:1-17)
  2. The Arrival of Christ (Matthew 1:18-25)


Matthew 1:1-17

The introduction of Jesus Christ in Matthew begins fittingly with His human ancestry. Later the Gospel of John will begin with the Divine ancestry of Christ. Christ was both man and God so the Gospels give both ancestries.

1. The Preface of the Ancestry (Matthew 1:1)

"The book of the generation of Jesus Christ" (Matthew 1:1). There are other "generations" in the Bible. They speak of history. The first "generations" concerns creation—"These are the generations of the heavens and the earth" (Genesis 2:4). The New Testament also opens with "generations." It is the last "generations" in the Bible It is the climax of all "generations." It is the "generations" of Jesus Christ and declares that the theme of the New Testament is Christ. Significantly, Christ is the very first person mentioned in the New Testament. So from the very first verse of the New Testament, the spotlight is on Jesus Christ. While this "generations" refers specifically to the human pedigree of Christ, in principle it also refers to and introduces the earthly history of Jesus Christ on earth.

2. The Purpose of the Ancestry (Matthew 1:1)

"The son of David" (Matthew 1:1). The purpose of this ancestry is to give the royal pedigree of Jesus Christ to prove His claim to the throne of David. It was promised to Abraham that Christ should descend from him (Genesis 12:3; 22:18), and it was promised to David that Christ should descend from him (2 Samuel 7:12; Psalm 132:11). So for Christ to claim to be the Messiah and the inheritor of David's throne, it must be established that He is the son of Abraham and the son of David. This ancestry does indeed prove that Christ is Whom He claimed to be, namely, the Messiah and King of Israel. This ancestry thus provides a great connecting link to the Old Testament. Though Christ had the pedigree to claim He was the Messiah and King of Israel, He was still rejected by Israel, which is the root cause of their present-day problems. However, had the Israelites in Christ's day earnestly checked the ancestry of Christ, they would have known, without question, that Jesus Christ was indeed the inheritor of the crown of David. He has the royal pedigree to prove it!

3. The Prince in the Ancestry (Matthew 1:6)