Genealogies might seem boring to modern readers, but within the names of these generations are the promises God has made to creation from the beginning of Genesis. We miss all the ways the beginning of this Gospel connects the Old and New Testaments, showing a continuous story of God’s presence in the world. As we dive into this study of Matthew, we will begin to discover the true depth of these promises as God arrives in the flesh among us.
One of the most revered ﬁgures in the Bible is Moses: the prophet who escaped Egypt, the wilderness, and climbed a mountain to teach God’s people the way. This week we ﬁnd a new Moses has arrived, and he’s going to go beyond anyone’s expectations.
The promise of Immanuel is not just a promise of an incredible arrival, but of consistent presence throughout the ups and downs of life. Jesus walks with many kinds of people who all respond to him differently. In every circumstance, Jesus invites us to a lifelong walk of discipleship.
“Who do you say that I am?” So many people witnessed the miracles, the teachings, the compassion. Yet only a few believed. In Peter’s simple testimony of Jesus the Messiah, the disciples begin to understand, even if they continue to misinterpret Jesus’s teachings.
After such an exciting arrival, Jesus begins to share the promises his disciples will need for an uncertain future. As he begins to face his ﬁnal days, Christ must teach his disciples and give them one ﬁnal promise.
In the proclamation of John the Baptist, promises of the Hebrew scriptures are realized. “One who is more powerful than I is coming….” How do we know that Jesus is the one we have been waiting for? In the proclamation of his baptism and the temptation in the wilderness, we ﬁnd Jesus is worthy of the tasks ahead of him.
Humanity is broken in so many ways. Throughout history this is proven over and over again. In these chapters we ﬁnd a glimpse into what is possible instead of the brokenness. Jesus heals the sick, in more ways than one: physical, spiritual, and relational.
Within the miracles of Matthew chapters 14 and 15, Jesus does things only God can do. Feeding thousands, having power over creation, and even welcoming the enemies of Israel. The Kingdom of God was proclaimed by John the Baptist, and it has arrived in the presence of Jesus.
This is the royal entry for the King that all Israel has been waiting for. Shouts of Hosanna, cloaks laid before him, and a simple donkey all point to one thing: the promised Son of David has ﬁnally arrived to take his place in Jerusalem. But it is not the place the people had hoped for.
God is with us. In our best moments and in our worst moments, God chooses to remain with us. There is no better way to show this promise of God’s presence than the cross, death, and resurrection of Jesus. He returns to us again and again, and promises to be with us always through the Holy Spirit.