Of all the events that have affected the course of history––wars, famines, technological breakthroughs, etc.––none compares to the coming of Jesus Christ. By His life, death, and resurrection, Christ, the Son of God, fulfills God’s plan of redemption and reveals to us the purpose for which we were created. In this message from Matthew 1–2, David Platt helps us see how Jesus changes everything.
I mentioned in the sermon last week from Ethiopia that our plan over the coming weeks is to look at marriage and money, two very important facets of our lives. We’re going to do that, Lord willing, over the next two weeks. But before we get there, we need to see the most important focus in our lives through an appropriate text in light of what I just shared. More than anything today, I just want us to see Jesus.
I have a very simple aim for the next few minutes we have together. My aim is to show you Jesus in God’s Word in such a way that by the time we’re finished a few minutes from now, you will love Jesus more than you love Him right now. My aim and my prayer is that God, by His Spirit through His Word, would lead you, no matter what’s going on in your life, to a greater love for Jesus than you have right now.
Some of you are exploring Christianity, so I’m praying that today for the first time you will feel affection for Jesus, that a strange affection will rise in your heart. Even if you’re not exploring Christianity—maybe you’re opposed to Christianity but you’re here for any number of reasons—I pray that something supernatural might happen in your heart today and you might experience an unexpected desire for Jesus. I pray that you would not resist that.
Then for those of you who have been followers of Jesus for 60 or 70 years, I pray that a few minutes from now you would feel fresh love for Jesus, and in loving Him more that you would experience deeper trust in Him with a deeper desire to follow Him and share Him with others. In our Bible reading this week—Luke 1-2, Mark 1, John 1 and Matthew 1-2—it’s been like Christmas in the summer. After reading through the Old Testament for six months, finally Jesus is here and Jesus changes everything.
Today I want to show you eight ways Jesus changes everything, starting in Matthew 1:1. This is how the New Testament of the Bible opens: “The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham.” Let’s stop there.
- Jesus redefines history.
The number one way Jesus changes everything is that Jesus redefines history. This first book in the New Testament starts with a genealogy—a list of names. Let’s be honest. It’s the kind of thing you skip over in your Bible reading, right? I’m not going to ask for a show of hands, but who skims when they get to this, thinking “Let me get to something good.” But this is not a list of names you want to just skip over. From the start of this book, Matthew—a disciple of Jesus—is showing that all of history has been pointing to Jesus.
Matthew calls this “the book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ.” In case you’re wondering, Christ is not His last name. Christ means Messiah or Anointed or Promised One. Ever since the entrance of sin into the world in the beginning of the Bible, God promised a coming Anointed One, a Messiah, Who would defeat sin and deliver people from sin. Remember Genesis 3:15? Right after sin entered the world, God said to the serpent, the tempter in Genesis 3:15, “I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring.” This is a picture of battle with sin in each of our hearts.
Then it talks about one offspring from the woman, “He shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel.” The tempter would bruise the heel of this One Who would come, but this One Who would come from the offspring of woman would bruise the tempter’s head. Some translations say, “He will crush your head.” Out of the gate, Matthew is shouting in verse one, “The Snake-crusher has come.” Jesus is the offspring from woman Who has come to conquer sin and Satan.
The rest of this chapter will tell us the miraculous story of how Jesus would be born uniquely from the offspring of woman, not of man. Not from Adam, the first man who succumbed to sin, from whom we have all inherited our sinful nature. This man Jesus would be unlike us. He would not succumb to sin; He would save from sin. But I’m getting ahead of myself.
Go back to Matthew 1:1, “The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the son of David.” Jesus is the offspring from David Who has come to reign as King forever. Remember 2 Samuel 7? We read that David wanted to build a temple for God, but God told him, “No, your son Solomon will do that.” In that passage, God promised David that his offspring would continue, then one from his line would reign as King forever. Listen to 2 Samuel 7:12-13 where God said to David:
When your days are fulfilled and you lie down with your fathers, I will raise up your offspring after you, who shall come from your body, and I will establish his kingdom. He shall build a house for my name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever.
Obviously that promise was initially just a reference to Solomon, but notice that it’s about more than Solomon, because the throne of his kingdom would be established forever. We read the same thing in 2 Samuel 7:16 where God said to David, “Your house and your kingdom shall be made sure forever before me. Your throne shall be established forever.” What we read in the rest of the Old Testament is that promise being repeated over and over and over again. Isaiah 9:6-7 talks about the Prince of Peace Who would come and sit on the throne of David. Jeremiah 23:5-6 tells about a King from the line of David Who would bring perfect justice and righteousness in the earth. Ezekiel 37:24-25 tells about a Davidic King Who would reign over a new covenant for all nations. We could go on and on.
The point is that throughout the Old Testament, God’s people were continually looking for a different king, unlike other kings, to come in the line of David. What Matthew is saying here is that the King has come. In fact, let me show it to you here in Matthew 1:17. As we read this list of names, it’s not actually a comprehensive genealogy. Not every descendent in the family tree is included here. Some entire generations are skipped. It’s like you get to pick and choose who’s in your family tree. Why did Matthew do this?
Verse 17: “All the generations from Abraham to David were fourteen generations, and from David to the deportation to Babylon fourteen generations, and from the deportation to Babylon to the Christ fourteen generations.” Why are there groups of 14? It all goes back to the Hebrew name for King David. We’re going to look at a little bit of Hebrew information, but hang with me—it will be worth it.
In Hebrew they have something called gematria, which basically means they assigned a numerical value to certain words or names based on the letters of the Hebrew alphabet that made up that word or name. For example, you would have a number associated with your name based on the Hebrew letters that were in your name. According to that system of gematria, you’ll never guess what the number associated with the name of King David was. Matthew puts an exclamation point on the fact that Jesus is from King David.
Now go back to verse one. Jesus is the son of David and also He’s the son of Abraham. So one more glance back at the Old Testament. Remember what we read in Genesis 12:1-3, when God said to Abraham:
Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you. And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.
Read on to Genesis 17:15-16, where God tells Abraham that he would bring blessing to all the nations and kings would come from his line. Genesis ends at Genesis 49:10 with a promise that from the line of Judah will come a King to whom “shall be the obedience of the peoples.” So now Matthew 1:1-2 says, “The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham. Abraham was the father of Isaac, and Isaac the father of Jacob, and Jacob the father of Judah.” See it. Jesus is the offspring from Abraham Who has come to bless all the nations.
You say, “What’s the point of all the Old Testament history, David?” Don’t miss this. The Bible is making clear in this passage that nothing in history is accidental. Nothing. Throughout its history from the
very beginning, everything in the Old Testament has been pointing to a King Who would come. Then from the first verse in the New Testament, the Bible is announcing, “The King has come. Jesus Christ, the Son of David, the Son of Abraham, is here.” He is the center of history.
This is really important for us to hear, because you are not at the center of history. I am not at the center of history. Our generation is not at the center of history. The United States of America is not at the center of history. Throughout history, billions of people have come; billions of people have gone. Empires have come; empires have gone. Countries, nations, kings, queens, presidents, dictators, rulers have come and gone. At the center of it all stands one person, Jesus Christ. He redefines history. That’s only one point. I’ve got to pick up the pace.
- Jesus reunites humanity.
Jesus redefines history and reunites humanity. Here we have this list of different people, different generations, from different backgrounds. There are men and women, Jews and Gentiles, from upper-class kings to a lower-class prostitute. But they all have one thing in common—they all point to Jesus. Hold your place in Matthew 1 and look ahead to Matthew 2. Let’s do a little Christmas in August, starting in verse one:
Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the east came to Jerusalem, saying, “Where is he who has been born king of the Jews? For we saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.” When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him; and assembling all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Christ was to be born. They told him, “In Bethlehem of Judea, for so it is written by the prophet: ‘And you, O Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; for from you shall come a ruler who will shepherd my people Israel.’”
Then Herod summoned the wise men secretly and ascertained from them what time the star had appeared. And he sent them to Bethlehem, saying, “Go and search diligently for the child, and when you have found him, bring me word, that I too may come and worship him.” After listening to the king, they went on their way. And behold, the star that they had seen when it rose went before them until it came to rest over the place where the child was. When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy. And going into the house, they saw the child with Mary his mother, and they fell down and worshiped him. Then, opening their treasures, they offered him gifts, gold and frankincense and myrrh. And being warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they departed to their own country by another way.
It’s actually pretty appropriate that we would read this several months after Christmas, because the wise men did not get to the stable and manger the same time the shepherds did. So all those nativity scenes we set up at Christmas are actually biblically wrong. They didn’t come until months later. In fact, the Word is prompting us to go to the attic, get out the decorations and put wise men up on the mantel in your home. When people come to visit and ask, “Why do you have wise men out during the summer?” you can say, “Because we are biblically accurate in our home, so we are celebrating the wise men now.” It’s a pretty fascinating story. There’s mystery around who these guys were. By the way, it never says there were just three of them. They also weren’t just some weird stargazers. These were well respected men with prominent religious and political influence. Their name literally means “great or powerful ones.” Their high position was also evident in the wealth they brought and the caravan they likely had alongside them. We learn about men like this in the book of Daniel. It’s likely they had been influenced by Jewish teachings from the Old Testament when the people of Israel had been scattered across the East during the exile. Now, through their study of the stars, they are drawn from the East to worship the King of the Jews.
There’s Old Testament background here and I wish we had time to look at all these stories, because nothing here is accidental. Back in the book of Numbers, Balak, the king of Moab, had called for Balaam, a magician or seer from the East, to come and curse Israel for him. If you remember the story, Balaam refused to do that. Instead, he actually blessed Israel. In his last words, this is what Balaam said, in Numbers 24:15-17:
And he took up his discourse and said, “The oracle of Balaam the son of Beor, the oracle of the man whose eye is opened, the oracle of him who hears the words of God, and knows the knowledge of the Most High, who sees the vision of the Almighty, falling down with his eyes uncovered: I see him, but not now; I behold him, but not near: a star shall come out of Jacob, and a scepter shall rise out of Israel.”
Balaam said from the people of Israel a star would come and a scepter—a king—would rise. A star would announce a king. Then as we continue reading in Numbers 24, we see this would be a King Who would save the people of God. Think about this. In Numbers, a well-respected magician, a seer from the East, told about a star and a King that would rise among the Jews. Now in Matthew, powerful and influential magicians, magi from the East, follow a star to see One born King of the Jews.
Everything here is purposeful. God is orchestrating history and arranging the planets and stars in the sky, to shout to the world that the King has come. Jesus is the King to Whom all nature points and He’s not just King of the Jews. These were non-Jewish men from the East, so what do they do when they get to Jesus? In a breathtaking scene, just imagine these prominent men from the East bow down and worship a Baby, because Jesus is the King before Whom all nations bow. Jesus has come as King, not just for one type of people, but for all peoples, for all the nations.
I’m telling you, I don’t make up this global mission stuff; it’s throughout the Bible. You can’t escape it unless you’re trying to ignore it. We know Jesus is the King of the nations. McLean Bible Church is made up of people from 100-plus nations and we’ve gathered all across Washington, DC, not because our politics are the same, not because our ethnicities are the same, not because our backgrounds are the same, but because we come from all kinds of places and we have one King. His name is Jesus. And Jesus reunites humanity, but we’re a human race that is marked by sin. So what does all this history mean for our lives?
- Jesus gives a fresh start.
This brings us back to Matthew 1 and the third way Jesus changes everything because to all who are caught in sin, Jesus gives a fresh start. I pray that these words will land on some hearts in a fresh way right now. You’ve got to see this.
In these first 17 verses, we have a list of names of sinner after sinner after sinner, story after story after story of sin. Judah and Tamar in verse three, who had twins by incest. Verse six, the story of David’s adultery with the wife of Uriah, whom David then murdered. Then we have evil king after evil king who led people into idolatry and immorality, eventually resulting in the destruction of Jerusalem and deportation to Babylon. Story after story of people who rebelled against God.
It’s pretty startling to think about. The great-great-great-great-grandparents of Jesus hated God and were leading others to hate God. But then, look at verse 18. Right after this whole list, Matthew writes, “Now the birth of Jesus Christ took place in this way.” I want you to circle that word “birth.” Do you know what that word is in Greek, the original language of the New Testament? We’ve done a little Hebrew. Now we’ll do a little Greek. That word for birth in the Greek is the word genesis.
This is pretty awesome when you think about it. In the very choice of language here, God is taking us back to the very beginning, when sinful humanity started, and He is saying, “I am bringing a new start. Jesus is a new genesis. He is a new beginning. So to all who are guilty of iniquity, Jesus comes to give you a new identity.”
His very name is the Greek version of the Hebrew word yeshua, or Joshua. It means “the Lord saves” or “Yahweh saves.” Just as God used Joshua in the Old Testament to lead His people into the Promised Land, so Jesus—“the Lord saves”—has come to lead people into eternal life. This is why we read in Matthew 1:
When his mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit. And her husband Joseph, being a just man and unwilling to put her to shame, resolved to divorce her quietly. But as he considered these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.”
Please hear this, especially if you’re exploring Christianity, or even if you’ve been opposed to Christianity. This is the reason Jesus came. He came to save you from your sin. Most everybody I talk to is hoping that when they stand before God one day, they’ll go to heaven because their good deeds will outweigh their bad deeds. They hope they will have done enough good to overcome their bad. But here’s the problem with that whole way of thinking. One sin against an infinitely holy God is worthy of infinite separation from Him. One sin. No matter how much good you’ve tried to do, you can’t erase that one sin. You’ve committed so many more sins than that—every one of us has. We’ve turned from God’s ways to our own ways.
But the beauty here is that you don’t have to try to overcome your bad with good. You are not saved from your sins because you are good enough. You are saved from your sins because Jesus is gracious enough, because Jesus has come to pay the price for all your sins. It’s not based on anything you could do to earn it. Jesus has died on a cross to cover over your sins. It’s the greatest news in the world. Today, you can be forgiven of all your sins before a holy God, not because you do enough good things, but because you trust in His grace.
How can you be saved? Simply by trusting in Jesus as your Savior. To all who are guilty of iniquity, He will give you a new identity—and not just that. Think of all the shame associated with some of these stories of sin: incest, adultery, Rahab a prostitute, even Ruth was a Moabite from a people known for their sexual immorality. But Jesus gives a fresh start to all who are stained by shame. He gives new dignity.
Let’s be honest. This is one crooked family tree. You might even ask, “Why are the names of such shameful sinners included in this line that leads to Jesus?” The answer is for the same reason your name is included in the line that leads from Jesus—totally by the grace of God. God sent His Son to save the undeserving and the unlikely. Just think about who was writing this. Matthew, the tax collector, who made his living ripping off the Jewish people. In Matthew 9, all the people Matthew invites to his party are moral reprobates. He knows he’s the least likely person to be writing this Gospel.
That’s what makes the gospel the good news that God saves us, not based upon our vain efforts at goodness, but based upon His supernatural gift of grace. Hear the good news that to every single person within the sound of my voice, in Jesus, you can have a totally new start with your sins totally wiped away. You can have a new identity and new dignity.
- Jesus gives fresh hope.
Many of these stories are so disheartening. What if these stories of sin and suffering and shame are all there is? How depressing that would be. Don’t miss the picture, because these stories are not the end. To all who have lost heart, Jesus gives fresh hope.
Do you ever look at the circumstances around you and think, “I just don’t see any hope of coming out from this”? Maybe you’ve sinned in a way you wish you could take back, but you can’t. You think, “That sin is going to define me for the rest of my life.” If you have ever thought that, or if you are thinking that right now, please hear this. Jesus gives you fresh hope, because Jesus ensures that sin will not define your life. No sin will define your life if you are in Jesus. As you read the stories in the Gospels over the next few weeks, you’ll see story after story of people who have sinned deeply. But when they encounter Jesus, everything changes. All the way to the cross, where a thief is dying next to him and asks for forgiveness, Jesus says, “Today you will be with Me in paradise.” Jesus ensures that sin will not define your life. That’s good news.
Then there are those who suffer as a result of sin maybe just because we live in a fallen world. Suffering is a reality. Your son is riding a bike, then in an instant everything changes. Of course you lose heart. This is your son. But for all who have lost heart, Jesus gives fresh hope, because He ensures that suffering will not be the end of your story. Mark it down. Suffering is not the end of Jake Castle’s story, because Jake trusted in Jesus, the One Who had saved him from his sins and came to conquer death itself. With Jesus, suffering will never be the end of your story. With Jesus, even earthly tragedy turns into eternal triumph. Jesus changes everything. Praise Jesus.
- Jesus’ presence will never leave you alone.
Matthew 1:22 says, “All this took place to fulfill what the Lord has spoken by the prophet: ‘Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel’(which means, God with us).” That prophecy was given 700 years before Matthew 1. Jesus is God with us. This is the astounding truth of Christianity. To so many it seems incomprehensible, but to those who believe, it is irresistible.
I remember sitting across the table from a group of men in the Middle East who told me God is too great and glorious to debase Himself by becoming a man like us. I said, “Let me ask you a question. In my life I once met a woman and my heart fell in love with her. When it came time for me to tell her that I loved her, do you think I got somebody else to go and tell her that for me? Or do you think I went and told her that myself?” They laughed and said, “Of course you went.” I said, “In matters of love, one must go himself, not send somebody else.”
That’s the point. Our God is so great, so glorious, that He has not just sent this prophet or that person, this messenger or that message. God has come Himself to us, because in matters of love, one goes Himself. Just think of it. The God Who spoke the world into being, Who rules and reigns over all creation, Who knows every star in the sky by name, Who tells every ocean wave where to stop, the God around Whom multitudes of angels worship and sing and praise continually day and night, the God Whose glory is beyond our imagination, Whose holiness is beyond our comprehension—this God is with you.
Jesus is the constant companion your soul craves. No matter what happens to you, no matter what happens around you, no matter what you go through, to all who trust in Jesus, you are never alone in this world. Do you ever feel lonely? Do you ever feel like others don’t understand what you’re walking through, what you’re experiencing? Have you ever been in a crowd full of people and you feel alone? Know this: Jesus has come so that you might never be alone. He will never, ever leave you alone.
- Jesus will never lead you astray.
Jesus’ guidance will never lead you astray. In the middle of Matthew 2, we read a quote from Micah 5:2 about the promise of a coming Messiah. If we had time, we’d do some comparisons between the two, but I’ll just tell you that the end of Matthew 2:6 says, “From you shall come a ruler who will shepherd my people Israel.” That picture of a shepherd is actually not in Micah 5:2; it goes back to 2 Samuel 5:2, where God anointed David as king over Israel. God told him, “You’re not just to lead My people; you are to shepherd My people. You don’t just rule over them, but like a shepherd with his sheep, you care for them. You protect and provide for them.”
This is the picture. Jesus has come, not just to reign over us as Lord, but to serve us as Shepherd. Do you ever wonder which direction to take in life? Do you ever wonder which decision to make in this life? Jesus is the wise Shepherd your soul needs. The One Who rules over you lays down His life as the Good Shepherd to lead you. You are never without the guidance of the Good Shepherd.
- Jesus’ Word will never let you down.
The Old Testament quotations just keep coming. In Matthew 2:15, after Joseph and Mary flee to Egypt and then return, Matthew says that was not by accident. He says, “This was to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet, ‘Out of Egypt I called my son.’” Just like God had brought deliverance from Egypt in the Old Testament, Jesus is coming out of Egypt to bring deliverance in the New Testament.
Then we get down to Matthew 2:17-18, where he quotes from Jeremiah 31:15-17. As families are weeping because babies are dying in Bethlehem, Matthew takes us back to Jeremiah 31, where families were weeping as they were being ripped apart from each other in the deportation to Babylon. In Jeremiah 31, God promises, “Just as I brought hope in Jeremiah 31 when I said, ‘You’ll have a future; this will not be the end of your story,’so I’m promising you now that this weeping you’re experiencing will not be the end of the story.”
The whole point is that God is always faithful to His Word. Jesus is the faithful Deliverer your soul desires. That means when you walk through suffering and trials, you don’t have to wonder if God’s Word is going to prove true. God’s Word will prove true every single time. Jesus is a picture of that. All
these promises that God had made over hundreds of years are coming to fulfillment here. The Bible tells us all of God’s promises are yes in Jesus (2 Corinthians 1:19). He is the picture of God’s faithfulness. I was talking to our middle school students yesterday and said, “I’m not going to ask for a show of hands, but I’m guessing that across this room there are some, maybe many, who have had people you trusted in your life who have let you down. There were people who have loved you for a little while, but then they left you.” I looked in the eyes of every one of those sixth, seventh and eighth graders, saying, “Know this. When you put your trust in Jesus, His Word will never let you down. His love will never let you down. I’m not saying everything will be easy. But know this: His Word will never let you down. He will always prove Himself faithful to you.”
- Jesus’ love is worthy of your life.
This is where everything comes to a head. Jesus is all these things we have just talked about which could all be summarized as Jesus is the One Whose love is worthy of your life. In the rest of the book of Matthew, we see this is the question over and over again: who is going to believe Jesus is worthy of their life? What we will see is that religious leaders reject Him and Roman rulers reject Him, but then a small band of disciples believe He’s worthy of their lives. Jesus changes their lives, then through them He quite literally changes the world.
This leads to the question I want to ask every single one of you today. Do you believe that Jesus is the One Whose love is worthy of your entire life? I ask it that way because there’s something you need to realize. Followers of Jesus are not people for whom Jesus is part of their lives. Followers of Jesus are not people who kind of do what they want with their lives, then tack on Jesus on Sundays. That’s not following Jesus; that’s patronizing Jesus. The curse of nominal Christianity is people who claim the name of Jesus but have no real love for Him or desire to follow Him as their life.
Followers of Jesus are not people for whom Jesus is part of their life. Followers of Jesus are people for whom Jesus is their life. I have good news for every single one of you. New, eternal life is possible for every single one of you right now in Jesus. When you put your trust in Jesus, then you can be sure that life is yours forever. No matter what unexpected thing happens to you this week, you can be sure that nothing in this world can take the life of Jesus away from you.
Please bow your heads with me. I want you to not be distracted in any way, but to focus. So if you bow your heads and close your eyes, I want to ask do you believe Jesus is the One Whose love is worthy of your life? I wish I could be sitting in front of every single person—from the youngest to the oldest, people with all different backgrounds and who are here for all kinds of reasons—and just ask that question.
Some of you came here today and your answer to that question has not been yes. For some, maybe your heart raises up and says, “Yes, I’ve believed that” for however long. But for others, that’s not been clear. Today I want to invite you to make that clear. I want to give you an opportunity right now to pray to God, saying, “I want Jesus to be my life.”
If that’s you, I want to invite you right now to pray and say in your heart, “God, I want Jesus to save me from my sin. I want Jesus to be Lord of my life. I want Jesus to be my life. I want to know this kind of guidance. I want to know this kind of companionship. I want to know this kind of love. I don’t want sin to define my life. I don’t want suffering to be the end of my story.” I urge you: trust in Jesus as your life today. You are not guaranteed tomorrow. I invite you to do that right now. Just say to God, “Today I trust in Jesus as my life.”
With our heads bowed and eyes closed, just between you and God, if you came in here today not trusting Jesus as your life but now are saying, “I want to trust in Jesus as my life,” I want to ask you to raise your hand right where you are. Before God, just raise your hand if you’re saying, “Today I’m trusting in Your love. I want Your love to define my life and Your hope to define my future. Not my sin, not my shame, not suffering.”
God, I praise You for all these hands and what they represent in hearts. Jesus, I praise You for giving new starts today. I praise You for giving fresh hope today. Jesus, You changed everything. We need You, we desire You and we praise You. We praise You for coming to save us from our sins. We praise You for coming to give us new life. All across this room, some for the first time, are receiving new life today.
And for all—whether for the first time today, or for some it was 60 or 70 years ago when they started this journey of life with You—God we pray that You would draw us into deeper and deeper and deeper experience and understanding of Your love and the life You’ve called us to. We pray for help, especially in light of what’s happened this week. We need Your help. We need Your grace. We need Your mercy. Lord, we don’t have answers to all our questions. We need Your promises that we can stand on, the hope You give us that suffering is not the end of the story.
We praise You for the life Jake Castle has in You—not had but has. We praise You for the life we have in You. We celebrate You, Jesus. We praise You, Jesus. We live in You, Jesus. We say together today, “To live is Christ and to die is gain.” In the precious name of Jesus, Who makes that possible, we pray. Amen.
How can we apply this passage to our lives?
According to the sermon, in what does Jesus redefine history?
How has Jesus fulfilled the prophecy of Genesis 3:15?
Why do we need to fundamentally see our identity as being in Christ? How does this shape our understanding of the global church?
How does Christ promise to be with us in this life?
Do you believe that Jesus is the One whose love is Worthy of your life?
Jesus Changes Everything
The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham.
Jesus redefines history.
I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel.
He is the offspring from woman who has come to conquer sin and Satan.
He is the offspring from David who has come to reign as King forever.
2 Samuel 7:12 – 13
When your days are fulfilled and you lie down with your fathers, I will raise up your offspring after you, who shall come from your body, and I will establish his kingdom. He shall build a house for my name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever.
2 Samuel 7:16
And your house and your kingdom shall be made sure forever before me. Your throne shall be established forever.
Isaiah 9:6 – 7
For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. 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.
Jeremiah 23:5 – 6
Behold, the days are coming, declares the LORD, when I will raise up for David a righteous Branch, and he shall reign as king and deal wisely, and shall execute justice and righteousness in the land. In his days Judah will be saved, and Israel will dwell securely. And this is the name by which he will be called: “The LORD is our righteousness.”
Ezekiel 37:24 – 25
My servant David shall be king over them, and they shall all have one shepherd. They shall walk in my rules and be careful to obey my statutes. They shall dwell in the land that I gave to my servant Jacob, where your fathers lived. They and their children and their children’s children shall dwell there forever, and David my servant shall be their prince forever.
So all the generations from Abraham to David were fourteen generations, and from David to the deportation to Babylon fourteen generations, and from the deportation to Babylon to the Christ fourteen generations.
Genesis 12:1 – 3
Now the LORD said to Abram, “Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you. And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.
Genesis 23:4 – 6
Behold, my covenant is with you, and you shall be the father of a multitude of nations. No longer shall your name be called Abram, but your name shall be Abraham, for I have made you the father of a multitude of nations. I will make you exceedingly fruitful, and I will make you into nations, and kings shall come from you.
Genesis 17:15 – 16
And God said to Abraham, “As for Sarai your wife, you shall not call her name Sarai, but Sarah shall be her name. I will bless her, and moreover, I will give you a son by her. I will bless her, and she shall become nations; kings of peoples shall come from her.”
The scepter shall not depart from Judah, nor the ruler’s staff from between his feet, until tribute comes to him; and to him shall be the obedience of the peoples.
Matthew 1:1 – 2
The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham. Abraham was the father of Isaac, and Isaac the father of Jacob, and Jacob the father of Judah . . .
He is the offspring from Abraham who has come to bless all the nations.
Jesus reunites humanity.
Matthew 2:1 – 11
Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the east came to Jerusalem, saying, “Where is he who has been born king of the Jews? For we saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.” When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him; and assembling all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Christ was to be born. They told him, “In Bethlehem of Judea, for so it is written by the prophet: ‘And you, O Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; for from you shall come a ruler who will shepherd my people Israel.’” Then Herod summoned the wise men secretly and ascertained from them what time the star had appeared. And he sent them to Bethlehem, saying, “Go and search diligently for the child, and when you have found him, bring me word, that I too may come and worship him.” After listening to the king, they went on their way. And behold, the star that they had seen when it rose went before them until it came to rest over the place where the child was. When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy. And going into the house, they saw the child with Mary his mother, and they fell down and worshiped him. Then, opening their treasures, they offered him gifts, gold and frankincense and myrrh.
Numbers 24:15– 17B
And he took up his discourse and said,”The oracle of Balaam the son of Beor, the oracle of the man whose eye is opened, the oracle of him who hears the words of God, and knows the knowledge of the Most High, who sees the vision of the Almighty, falling down with his eyes uncovered: I see him, but not now; I behold him, but not near: a star shall come out of Jacob, and a scepter shall rise out of Israel . . .
He is the King to whom all nature points.
He is the King before whom all nations bow.
To those who are caught in sin, Jesus gives a fresh start.
To all who are guilty of iniquity, Jesus [has come to] gives you a new identity.
Matthew 1:18 – 21
Now the birth of Jesus Christ took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit. And her husband Joseph, being a just man and unwilling to put her to shame, resolved to divorce her quietly. But as he considered these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.”
To those who have lost heart, Jesus gives fresh hope.
Jesus ensures that sin will not define your life.
Jesus ensures that suffering will not be the end of your story.
Jesus is the one whose presence will never leave you alone.
Matthew 1:22 – 23
All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet: “Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel” (which means, God with us).
He is the constant companion your soul craves.
Jesus is the one whose guidance will never lead you astray.
But you, O Bethlehem Ephrathah, who are too little to be among the clans of Judah, from you shall come forth for me one who is to be ruler in Israel, whose coming forth is from of old, from ancient days.
2 Samuel 5:2B
. . . You shall be shepherd of my people Israel, and you shall be prince over Israel.
He is the wise shepherd your soul needs.
Jesus is the one whose word will never let you down.
Jeremiah 31:15 – 17
A voice is heard in Ramah, lamentation and bitter weeping. Rachel is weeping for her children; she refuses to be comforted for her children, because they are no more. Thus says the LORD: “Keep your voice from weeping, and your eyes from tears, for . . . there is hope for your future . . .
He is the faithful deliverer your soul desires.
Jesus is the one whose love is worthy of your life.
Followers of Jesus are not people for whom Jesus is part of their life.
Followers of Jesus are people for whom Jesus is their life.