Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Jesus: the Son of Abraham and Son of David

"The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham." (Matthew 1:1)

This past Sunday, I began preaching on the Gospel of Matthew. Matthew begins with the genealogy of Jesus Christ (1:1-17). While the purpose of this genealogy might not be evident at first glance, a closer look will show that Matthew is emphasizing that Jesus is the heir of David and of Abraham, reviving the hopes that seemed dashed by the Babylonian deportation. You can listen to the sermon here, but in summary, here are four implications for our understanding of Jesus.

First, as the promised heir of Abraham, God’s blessings and curses are based on your relation to Jesus. They are not based on your relation to the modern state of Israel. Rather, just as the Father said to Abraham, “I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse” (Gen. 12:3), so He promises this to Jesus. By extension, this can apply to the church, those united to Jesus - to persecute them is to persecute Christ - but the main point is that your relation to Jesus as the Savior, whether you receive Him or reject Him, determines whether you are favored by God or cursed.

So align yourself with Jesus by faith, so that you might be blessed. Woe to those who reject Him. Galatians 3:25-29 says that those who believe in Jesus, those who have put Him on in baptism, become Abraham’s offspring and inherit his promised blessing.

Second, as the heir of Abraham and David, Jesus brings God’s blessing to the nations (Gen. 12:1-3, 22:18, Ps. 72:17). He accomplishes redemption and sends out His disciples to bring this blessing to all nations. Not only does this redemption save people from death and judgment, but it also teaches them true righteousness and gives them a heart to practice it.

Just as it was the mission of the old covenant people to bring God's blessing to the nations, so it is our mission today. Yet the source of blessing is not ourselves, but Jesus. We do not proclaim ourselves - we proclaim Christ! We bring this blessing to the nations both as a city on a hill, living distinctly as Christ’s disciples in a way that attracts unbelievers (Matt. 5:13-16), as well as disciples sent out into the world to brings others in (Matt. 28:18-20).

Third, Jesus is the Davidic king who rules over God’s people. He delivers them, establishes righteousness and peace, and subdues His enemies (2 Sam. 7, Ps. 2, 72, 110). This is how He brings blessing to the nations, expanding the kingdom to the ends of the earth. “All authority” is basic to “go therefore.” In Matthew, the gospel is called the “gospel of the kingdom,” the glad tidings of the blessed reign of good King Jesus.

So rejoice in these tidings, declare them, and joyfully serve your king. Find security knowing that Jesus is a powerful king, a merciful king, and your king.

Fourth, as the Davidic king, Jesus builds God’s house (2 Sam. 7:12-13). But He does not build a temple building like Solomon. Rather, he builds the temple of the Holy Spirit, the church. He comes as Immanuel, God with us (Matt. 1:22-23), and at the end of this Gospel, Jesus says He will be with us, even to the end of the age (Matt. 18:20). So the church is the dwelling place of God. And it is in Matthew 16:18 that Jesus says “on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.”

So do not fear for the church. Jesus is with us yet, and the gates of hell cannot thwart Him. He is gathering His church, building it up by His grace, teaching and training it by His word.

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