Dec 22

Promises Kept

Todd Pruitt |Series: Advent |Matthew 1:1-17

Though they tell the same story and reveal the same Christ and the same salvation, each of the four Gospels are
unique in their own way. John begins with a beautifully worded theology of Christ. Mark is short and action
packed. Luke is filled with empathy and human interest. Matthew’s account seems specially tailored for a Jewish
audience. The readers are assumed to have a knowledge of Israel’s history and God’s law. Matthew goes into
greater detail concerning the life Christ’s disciples are commanded to live. The Sermon on the Mount explores
the searching demands of God’s moral law. There is more about the last judgment in Matthew’s Gospel. Matthew
“begins with a forbidding list of unknown names, and it deals at length with matters of law and tradition, of the
fulfillment of the Jewish Scriptures, and of Jesus’ confrontations with the Jewish leaders of his day” (France, 15).

By beginning his Gospel with the genealogy of Jesus, Matthew demonstrates a keen interest in showing his
readers from the outset that the birth of Jesus was the fulfillment of God’s promises to send a Savior to his
people. Jesus’ family tree proves that he is the Son of David, the fulfilment of biblical prophecy, the King who will
reign upon an eternal throne. “Of the increase of his government and of peace there will be no end, on the
throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish it and to uphold it with justice and with righteousness from
this time forth and forevermore. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will do this” (Isaiah 9:7).

As the promised seed of Abraham, Jesus is the fulfillment of the Covenant of Grace; the promise that God will
save his people by grace through faith alone. “And he brought [Abraham] outside and said, ‘Look toward heaven,
and number the stars, if you are able to number them.’ Then he said to him, ‘So shall your offspring be.’ And he
believed the LORD, and he counted it to him as righteousness” (Genesis 15:5-6). And: “I will make you
exceedingly fruitful, and I will make you into nations, and kings shall come from you. And I will establish my
covenant between me and you and your offspring after you throughout their generations for an everlasting
covenant, to be God to you and to your offspring after you” (Genesis 17:6-7).

Everything God has promised to do to save his people from their sin is answered by a resounding “Yes!” in Jesus
the Christ (2 Corinthians 1:20). Jesus is related to Mary through blood having been born to her naturally. The
significance of this is that Jesus took on human flesh. He was a true man. God entered our condition by taking on
a human nature. But it is also true that Jesus was conceived supernaturally by the Holy Spirit so that he lost none
of the fullness of deity (Colossians 1:19). And in this way Jesus is the Keeper of God’s promises; the one who
saves his people from their sin.

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