November 28 – Matthew 1:1-17

Biblical authors are never include information unnecessarily. In his opening genealogy, Matthew is making an incredible statement. That statement: the rightful king both of the Jews and, according to the redemptive logic laid out in the Old Testament, of all nations is about to be born. Both the symbolism and the particular names that Matthew chose are consequential, but the author is driving the start of this gospel in a deliberate direction. For Jews, this is the best of news because the lineage and symbolism point to their fulfillment and ultimate rest from exile. And in a time when the authority of the king was of great consequence, and when the nation of Israel had been without a king for several centuries, this statement had significant implications for everybody.

For us today, both in 2021 and this season of Advent, it shows the long arc of God’s plan for the world and reminds us that our faith is grounded in the everlasting kingdom, and encourages us to place our hope in the King whose kingdom is both already here and will one day be fulfilled.

Questions for Discussion

• Rather than reading back through Jesus’ genealogy in Matthew 1, we’re going to look at some history leading up to Jesus’ birth. We’ll start with Abraham, the first name in Jesus’ lineage. Could someone read Genesis 12:1-4 for us?

• What all is God promising to Abraham here?

• Why do you think God wanted to work specifically through Abraham’s family?

• How can this passage help us understand God’s plan for the world?

• Let’s turn to 2 Samuel 7:8-17. Could someone read that for us?

• By this point in history God has given Abraham’s family, the Israelites, the promised land and David is their king. What all is God promising to David here?

• How might this build on the promises God made to Abraham?

• Last one: turn to Isaiah. Could someone read 7:14 and then 9:6-7?

• How do all these promises connect with Jesus’ birth?

• How can these passages encourage you to worship Jesus this Advent?