Matthew – Day 4 – Signs of the Messiah
lease begin by reading the Shema out loud and continue trying to memorize it.
“Hear, O Israel. The LORD is our God. The LORD alone. Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. Amen.”
For four hundred years, from the end of the Old Testament in about 400 B.C. until the first writings of the New Testament, nothing was added to the Bible. The prophets became silent, and the Jewish people watched and waited for the Messiah to come. They had some clues as to what to be looking for in the Coming One.
Some 1,900 years previous, in Genesis 12:2-3, God spoke to Abram (Abraham) and said that “all people on earth will be blessed through you,” which meant that the Messiah (or Anointed One) would come from Abraham’s family.
In I Samuel 7:12-13, God tells David that he will “raise up your offspring to succeed you, who will come from your own body, and I will establish his kingdom. He is the one who will build a house for my Name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever.” This told the Jewish people that the Messiah would also come from David’s family.
Genealogies were very important to Israel, and the Jews kept meticulous records. There are family lists throughout I and II Chronicles and throughout other parts of the Jewish Bible. A person’s lineage was required to prove that they indeed were Jewish and, thereby, part of the nation of Israel and a recipient of Abraham’s promise. This documentation was also required in determining the inheritance of land (because everything was done by tribes) and in determining special assignments (such as serving as a priest). The genealogy was also important in establishing the family line of David in order to confirm the coming of the Messiah.
Matthew starts his book by giving Jesus’ family tree. The reason that he starts here is to show that Jesus had both Abraham and David in His lineage. This was important to Matthew’s Jewish audience because it was Abraham who first received the promise of the Messiah, and it was David, the great Jewish king, who was promised that his kingdom would last forever through the Messiah.
Read out loud Matthew 1:1-24. (Don’t get too hung up on the pronunciation of the names, but instead try to see if there are any names that you recognize from your familiarity of the Old Testament.)
As we read through Matthew, we will see references to the prophecies in the Jewish Bible that foretold of Jesus. As we work through this study, you might find it beneficial to keep a page entitled “Prophecies Fulfilled By Jesus.” Each time we come across a prophecy that was fulfilled, you can add it to that page. So the first two prophecies that Matthew documented that were fulfilled were: (1) that Jesus would come from the seed of Abraham and (2) that He would be in the royal line of David.
Read Isaiah 7:14 and Matthew 1:18-24.
What prophecy did Matthew document in these verses?
So the third prophecy that we see documented is from Isaiah 7, which states “the virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel.”
In the Jewish culture, names had meaning. They often painted a picture of what one would become. Sometimes, God changed a person’s name, such as Abram to Abraham or Sarai to Sarah, to signify a major change in that person’s life. Here the prophecy says that the baby will be called “Immanuel,” which means “God with us.”
One chapter. Three fulfilled prophecies from three different books in the Jewish Bible. This is just the beginning. The Bible is an amazing book that is tied together from beginning to end. There are many threads that continue throughout the Bible that cover thousands of years, and it all points to Jesus.