Jesus the King, Messiah, God, King, the Lord, and God’s beloved son
Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to be baptised by John. But John tried to deter him, saying, “I need to be baptised by you, and do you come to me?” Jesus replied, “Let it be so now; it is proper for us to do this to fulfil all righteousness.” Then John consented. As soon as Jesus was baptised, he went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting on him. And a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.”
Matthew 3:13-17 (NIV)
This week we are going to properly start our study of Matthew which will carry us through to the end of the season. Matthew is one of the four books of the bible referred to as the gospels, which recount the life, death and resurrection of Jesus. Matthew is a great book which is really concerned with pointing to Jesus as the fulfilment of the Old Testament but it is quite lengthy which means we will be doing somewhat of a highlights tour as we move through. Because of this, today we’re going to have a skim through the first 3 chapters of Matthew, which point to Jesus as being the Messiah, God, King, the Lord and ending with today’s passage which shows us Jesus is God’s beloved son.
Jesus is the Messiah.
Matthew opens with a genealogy containing a truck load of curly names. It traces from Abraham to Jesus. Abraham was the father of the Israelite nation, whom God made a covenant, a promise, with in Genesis 15 saying in verse 5; “He [God] took him outside and said, “Look up at the sky and count the stars—if indeed you can count them.” Then he said to him, “So shall your offspring[a] be.”
But because of sin’s entry into the world, the Israelites failed to identify themselves as God’s people throughout the Old Testament. They needed a saviour, a Messiah from Abraham’s line; Jesus. Verse 17 tells us; “Thus there were fourteen generations in all from Abraham to David, fourteen from David to the exile to Babylon, and fourteen from the exile to the Messiah [Jesus].”
Jesus is God.
The next part of chapter 1 is Joseph and Mary being told that Mary will have a virgin birth. Verse 18 tells us that “…Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be pregnant through the Holy Spirit.” This obviously provided some problems for Joseph, who was at this stage pledged to be married to Mary, but an angel appeared to Joseph saying ““Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.”
All this took place to fulfil what the Lord had said through the prophet: “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel” (which means “God with us”).”
Jesus is King.
The next section, the start of chapter 2, opens with Jesus’ visit from the three wisemen carrying gold, frankincense and myrrh, which no doubt you’ve all heard about before. They ask in 2:2; “Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.” And again in verse 6 they refer to Jesus as God’s “ruler who will shepherd my people Israel.’” It’s important to note here, that whilst Jesus was very much the fulfilment of the Old Testament, the story of the Israelites, Jesus came in the New Testament to bring God’s love to the whole world (go read Ephesians 2:11-22).
Jesus is Lord.
After reading about how Jesus and his family had to flee their home town Nazareth to escape being killed, eventually returning to it, we read about a slightly odd dude called John the Baptist, who was proclaiming this message at the start of chapter 3; ““Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.” This is he who was spoken of through the prophet Isaiah: “A voice of one calling in the wilderness,‘Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for him.’” (Matt 3:2-3) He refers to Jesus as Lord, a term that captures Jesus authority, position, sovereignty with regard “the kingdom of God”.
Jesus is God’s beloved son.
In todays passage we read pretty clearly, that after John the Baptist baptised Jesus, God says of him “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.”
Now, this really has been a very quick overview of these first 3 chapters and there is heaps to be said here about what it means for Matthew to present Jesus in this way, but unfortunately we just don’t have the time to discuss them all properly. What we can say is that Matthew has explicitly given us Jesus’ titles; his CV, his rank and role, right at the very start of his gospel that we might have these things in mind as we continue to read. And these will be the themes that we pick up in more depth as we continue to explore the book of Matthew. So I guess, these are the questions/challenges to us that flow out from that today are;
Do you ever really reflect the ‘incredible-ness’ that Jesus was God? That his was a miraculous birth? But at the same time, that he was also 100% human; he was born as a man.
How often do you think of Jesus as your King and Lord? Not only is He your saviour, but he is King – powerful, authoritative, sovereign; deserving of all praise, thanks and obedience. To think more on this, have a read through Hebrews 1.
Do you ever consider how much God must have loved his Son? And how much it must have pained him to lose him? Or how much Jesus loved His Father and how much it would have pained Him to be lost?
Considering these things, do you appreciate that amazingly, Jesus left his exalted position in heaven, to come to earth to save you and I? Individuals within the enormity of the universe. Do you properly acknowledge Jesus as Messiah, who came to save you? Do we really ever think about the fact that all throughout history, God has been working in order to bring his people to himself?
Do you consider Jesus as any of these things? Is he just a good teacher or maybe not even an historical figure to you? Have you challenged these thoughts or asked anyone about them?
If you have any questions, feel free to ask or come along to Barney’s at 6.30pm on Sunday.
Joe Hockey, club chaplain
first published 5-5-2018