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“Jesus Was Born, Who is Called Christ”

December 26, 2021

Teacher: Daniel Baker
Scripture: Matthew 1:1–25

“Jesus was Born, Who is Called Christ”

Matthew 1:1–25 – December 26, 2021


Introduce Matthew 1:1 and then Andrew Peterson’s “Matthew’s Begats” by Melanie McLeod and “the von Trapp family sisters”

A. Choosing baby names can happen for a lot of different reasons.

  • Name you (parent) like…
  • Predict middle school—how will others twist it?
  • Name works if Secretary of State…or an author…
  • A meaning that you appreciate…
  • Or the creative approach…
  • But with the birth of our Savior, what he’s CALLED has to do with WHO HE IS and WHAT HE CAME to do.

B. In Gospel of Matthew, Matthew uses WHAT JESUS IS CALLED so we know who Jesus is from the first pages of his gospel.

  • Some authors want the identity of the central character to be a mystery and be revealed gradually.
  • Not Matthew. Clear on page 1.

C. We’ll think about what Jesus is called to understand who he is and what he came to do. Quotes from Matthew:

  • “Jesus was born, who is called Christ” (1:1–17)
  • “You Shall Call His Name Jesus” (1:18–21)
  • “They Shall Call His Name Immanuel” (1:22–25)

D. Prayer

I. “Jesus Was Born, Who is Called Christ” (1:1–17)

A. 1:1 – “Son of David, the Son of Abraham” – Isn’t that out of order?

  • Matthew’s emphasis is Jesus as Son of David—the King!
  • Son of Abraham—the blessing on the nations.

B. 1:2–17 – Quick, What’s 3x14? “David!”

  • The emphasis is on “David the king”
  • High point of genealogy before Christ is “David the king.
  • Not just “king,” but “the king.”
  • 14 men in VV. 6–11 but only David called “king.”
  • Then the fascinating comment in V17.
  • Around time of Christ Hebrew number system where letters had numerical value. 1-9 were 1st nine letters. Letters in “DAVID” were 14.
  • “D” (dalet) = 4, “V” (waw) = 6, 4-6-4 and add them together you get 14.
  • Why Matthew organizes with pattern of 14.
  • Why David? Because of 2 Sam 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. 13 He shall build a house for my name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever. (2 Sam 7:12–13)

C. Four fascinating exceptions: Tamar, Rahab, Ruth, Bathsheeba.

  • Tamar likely a Canaanite. Child w/ Judah but isn’t his wife (Gen 38).
  • Rahab is introduced as a prostitute from Jericho (Josh 2).
  • Ruth is from Moab (Ruth 1).
  • Bathsheeba is called here “the wife of Uriahthe Hittite, likely to show that Solomon’s mother was a Hittite, a Canaanite.
  • Why would Matthew include these women?
  • For three of them, they had a past—ties to Jesus’ purpose.
  • All four are Gentiles—ties to Abraham’s promise and God’s plan:

“In your offspring shall all the nations of the earth be blessed, because you have obeyed my voice.” (Gen 22:18)

  • He’s the Christ for the nations, the blessing on the nations.
  • The Great Commission:

 And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” (Matt 28:18–20)

  • Reminder of Providence—God’s plan of salvation happens according to “the strange and unexpected workings of Providence,”[1] and none more “strange and unexpected” than how Christ himself comes to Mary!

D. Application

  • First takeaway from the genealogy: He has a genealogy.
  • In Jesus, the Creator becomes the creature; the Son of God becomes Son of Mary; One who made Adam and Eve becomes a descendent of Adam and Eve; Sinless one enters into the line of sinners.
  • Second, he’s the FULFILMENT of all the OT hopes and promises.
  • Richard Hays:

Matthew leaves nothing to chance: he repeatedly erects highway signs in large letters to direct his readers, making it unmistakably explicit that Jesus is the fulfillment of Israel’s Scripture.
Richard B. Hays, Echoes of Scripture in the Gospels[2]

II. “You Shall Call His Name Jesus” (1:18–21)

A. Read Matt 1:18–21.

B. 1:18 – “Betrothed” – Engaged but legally binding, broken only by divorce. Why Joseph is called “her husband” (V. 19), must “divorce” (V. 19) to break it off.

C. 1:18, 20 – “With child from the Holy Spirit…that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit”

  • Not just the Son of Mary but also the “Son of God

D. 1:19 – For Joseph this is uh, er, complicated.

  • His solution? To divorce her—because he was “a just man.”
  • But he loved her, so he would do it quietly.
  • It was an angel that would change his mind.

E. 1:21 – “Call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.”

  • Not obvious till we remember that “Jesus” is Grk for Heb. “Joshua.”
  • Jesus’ given name would have been Joshua.
  • Joshua means “Yahweh saves.”
  • Reminder of Jesus’ PURPOSE — to accomplish the salvation God planned.
  • But also Jesus’ IDENTITY — He is Yahweh!

F. Application

  • He came to save us…because we need to be saved.
  • Like a ship sinking.
  • You’re on the ship and suddenly you’re adrift at sea, going to drown.
  • A rescue boat comes by and offers to help.
  • You say, “I’m okay. Just out for a swim. I don’t need to be saved.”
  • If you said that—deceived, don’t understand the danger you’re in.
  • Jesus came to “save his people from their sins.”
  • We’re all in that predicament, only rescue is in Jesus the Savior.
  • We might wish for another way, but there is no other way.
  • Only in that baby born of the Spirit, named Joshua, “Yahweh saves.”

III. “They Shall Call His Name Immanuel” (1:22–25)

Read Matt 1:22–25.

1:22 – “Fulfill” is one of Matthew’s favorite words.

  • He is constantly pointing out Jesus “FULFILLS” a specific word from the Prophets.

This time, Isaiah 7:14.

  • Isaiah originally spoke this to king Ahaz. Probably a fulfillment at the time of Isaiah, but scholars debate this.
  • What is clear, though, is the fulfillment with Mary.

Says a virgin—Grk., Parthenos—conceives.

  • The Parthenon in Greece a temple dedicated to Athena Parthenos, “Athena virgin.” Parthenon means, “House of Parthenos,” “house of virgin.”
  • And not just any son—call his name William or Daniel, like we did. Strong names.

“Call his name Immanuel”

  • But Immanuel—In the Hebrew this word has three parts. A preposition, “With.” A pronoun, “Us.” A name, “El” (God). Jesus is “With–Us–God.”
  • A perfect book-end to match the last sentence of Matthew’s gospel:
  • And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” (Matt 28:20)


  • Passage starts and we think it’s good news because God is fulfilling his promises—Son of David, Son of Abraham.
  • But then we realize he’s doing far more than we expected.
  • Not just sending a person to be the Messiah, the deliverer.
  • God Himself Will Be the Messiah and Be With Us!
  • Single moms, difficult marriages, anxieties that keep you up at night— God with us.
  • With us in a way no person can be with us—24/7 in the deepest parts of our soul.
  • Chronic pain, broken relationships, loneliness—in all these places, Jesus is Immanuel, God with us.
  • As the NT unfolds we learn that salvation doesn’t just mean Christ is “near us” but “in us.”
  • Apostle Paul, “Christ in us, the hope of glory”:

To them God chose to make known how great among the Gentiles are the riches of the glory of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. (Col 1:27)


Christmas and the giving and receiving of gifts.

  • Not everyone does that.
  • But this is a gift God wants you to receive.
  • A gift you have to receive yourself. No one else can do it for you.

Receive God’s gift.

  • The Messiah.
  • The Savior.
  • Immanuel
  • Receive it—John 3:16

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16)

Savor God’s gift.

  • If you’ve received Christ, God hasn’t been stingy to you.
  • Our hearts want things—some deep, significant
  • We’re tempted to think, don’t want “Christ” but “Christ AND.”
  • Christ AND…car…job…$...spouse…easier life…health…
  • Need to keep these in perspective.
  • Like receiving inheritance. Get Christ, get $1B. “Christ AND” is + 1$.
  • Not to trivialize your desires, just to put them in perspective.
  • If you have Christ you have the greatest thing you can receive.

Take comfort in God’s Gift.

He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? (Rom 8:32)

  • God has given you the greatest thing.
  • But he also promises it won’t be the only thing.

Prayer and Song, “King of Kings”

[1] D.A. Carson, Matthew, EBC (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1984).

[2] Richard B. Hays, Echoes of Scripture in the Gospels (Waco: Baylor University Press, 2016), 106.

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