Matthew Chapter 1

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1: The book of the generation of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham. The key to understanding Matthew Chapter 1 is found in its first verse and is illumined in his 17th verse. Three personages are mentioned in verse 1: Christ, David, and Abraham. These three are the point of Chapter 1 and perhaps the rest of Matthew. But for now, let's limit our study to verse 1 and how it relates to the rest of Chapter 1. Matthew, the author, separates the chapter into 3 sections. Verse 17 says as much when it indicates that his genealogy is separated into 3 sections of 14 verses each. From Abraham to David, from David to the Exile, and from the Return to Christ Jesus. The same grouping as in verse 1. And why? It is important for Matthew's readers to know that Jesus was born as the Messiah, that he is descended directly to King David, and that he has been called with the same mission as Abraham...uniquely called by God to be a blessing to all the other nations through the chosen nation Israel. Everything that has happened in the Original Testament will find its fullest meaning and understanding in Christ's presence in this world. So Chapter One starts out with a promise of ultimate fulfillment... The whole of the Hebrew story is, according to Matthew, to be found completed in Christ Jesus. Yes? SO the readers/hearers would want to know.. how so? To what end? And what does it mean for me and my family? Verse 1 sets up the entire first chapter of Matthew. Chapter 1 sets up the entire book of Matthew. edit

2: Abraham begat Isaac; and Isaac begat Jacob; and Jacob begat Judas and his brethren; edit

3: And Judas begat Phares and Zara of Thamar; and Phares begat Esrom; and Esrom begat Aram; edit

4: And Aram begat Aminadab; and Aminadab begat Naasson; and Naasson begat Salmon; edit

5: And Salmon begat Booz of Rachab; and Booz begat Obed of Ruth; and Obed begat Jesse; edit

6: And Jesse begat David the king; and David the king begat Solomon of her that had been the wife of Urias; edit

7: And Solomon begat Roboam; and Roboam begat Abia; and Abia begat Asa; edit

8: And Asa begat Josaphat; and Josaphat begat Joram; and Joram begat Ozias; edit

9: And Ozias begat Joatham; and Joatham begat Achaz; and Achaz begat Ezekias; edit

10: And Ezekias begat Manasses; and Manasses begat Amon; and Amon begat Josias; edit

11: And Josias begat Jechonias and his brethren, about the time they were carried away to Babylon: edit

12: And after they were brought to Babylon, Jechonias begat Salathiel; and Salathiel begat Zorobabel; edit

13: And Zorobabel begat Abiud; and Abiud begat Eliakim; and Eliakim begat Azor; edit

14: And Azor begat Sadoc; and Sadoc begat Achim; and Achim begat Eliud; edit

15: And Eliud begat Eleazar; and Eleazar begat Matthan; and Matthan begat Jacob; edit

16: And Jacob begat Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus, who is called Christ. edit

17: So all the generations from Abraham to David are fourteen generations; and from David until the carrying away into Babylon are fourteen generations; and from the carrying away into Babylon unto Christ are fourteen generations. edit

18: Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost. edit

19: Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing to make her a publick example, was minded to put her away privily. edit

20: But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the LORD appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost. edit

21: And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins. edit

22: Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, edit

23: Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us. edit

24: Then Joseph being raised from sleep did as the angel of the Lord had bidden him, and took unto him his wife: edit

25: And knew her not till she had brought forth her firstborn son: and he called his name JESUS. edit

Creative Retelling of Matthew Chapter One

Mary’s First Child: Scripture Paraphrase

It is a beautiful morning in Bethlehem; I’m off to a good start. As the sun rises, the roosters are singing their morning song, and I breathe in the humidity of the morning dew, although combined with the smells from the stable, turns out a bit unpleasant to my nostrils. But I’ve woken up peacefully after a long night, the cows have disturbed my slumber but I quickly recover. All of the exhaustion in me is now gone after the long night I had. I feel as if it was all a dream, how exquisite yet unbelievable were these past hours that are all now a memory that will never be forgotten. Yet I wake up, and this is all still my reality. It feels surreal but I am rejoicing as I sit here, quietly observing my beautiful son as he serenely sleeps, taking in this moment that won’t last very long. And I cherish this moment so strongly, because I know that my son will not always be in the peace he is in now as he dreams, for this is my blessing and will once be my tragedy, but I still smile because he is here and he is perfect. He is everything I ever imagined, no, he is far better than what I have imagined. He is God in the figure of a newborn. It is only day one and the love I have for this creature is greater than the love I’ve had for anyone in my entire life.

I remember how my life was before I found out I was having him. I slowly relive every event from the time I received the news, until now. My name is Mary, and I am 14-years-old. I’ve humbly served God my whole life, and I’ve given my all to Him and have lived and walked according to His law. It has been a privilege to know Him, from when I was born until this moment and always will be. God has blessed me greatly, and it all began when I had just turned 13. You see, apart from some of my friends that are mothers or in the process of, and every other mother out there, my son was not brought into earth by my own will and attempt, nor was he conceived by Joseph and me. We were only preparing for marriage when I turned out to be with child, and we are not married yet but still betrothed. I must sound quite silly at the moment but allow me to explain myself before you make a decision as to whether I am a fool or really telling the truth. First I must say that my son is a miracle, for I am a virgin. For years, the words of a prophet of the Lord, Isaiah have been spoken among our people about a Savior that was to come into earth in the form of a man. A Messiah and he were to be from the genealogy of Abraham and King David, which Joseph is a descendant of. The Son of God sent for a special purpose: To die for the sin of humanity. He was to be born from a virgin and this is where I come in. When I was 12-years-old (almost 13) I was only getting to know Joseph, my husband. He was a man who served and loved God as much as I do. And not only that, he was also very good-looking and I was blessed to have found the man of my dreams. Joseph is the split image of tall, dark, and handsome. He has beautiful brown eyes, and long black eyelashes. He is well-fed and his arms are broad since he is a carpenter. His words are honest and no less, his voice is soothing yet firm. It took him some time to open up and share more than a nod or a smile, he is careful of what his truthfulness might divulge but he never hurts people with brusqueness. People respect him because he is rather “serious” for his age, but I’ve discovered that there is benevolence underneath the hard-shell. He is close to turning 19, and God has blessed me with this man, for as you know that once upon a time I became pregnant while I was recently engaged to Joseph. After the semi-arranged engagement of Joseph and I, and I mean semi as in our parents “paired” us up but were not exactly forcing us to become pledged, but simply to get know each other and see if any interest would grow amongst ourselves; at least according to them, anyway. But to make a long story short, nevertheless the one on how I met Joseph, we eventually connected. After a month or so, God allowed a life-changing event occur in my, so I thought, average life. I was in my small room engaged in my preferred afternoon activity as I sowed a new tunic for my father, and that particular day I chose to use the color blue. There is light coming from my small window, and every now and then the sunlight is covered by the clouds in the sky so my room gets darker and I didn’t complain because it gets very warm in my room when the sun hits directly. Eventually my sewing was interrupted because I became distracted by a unique brightness that came from my window. I did not understand what was going on, and a tall man who was dressed in white appeared and it seemed as if the light was coming from him. The person was not a man but an angel of the Lord and I did not realize this until he spoke to me. I was completely paralyzed as he told me “Do not fear Mary, you are favored before God.” And I immediately began to praise God, for I could not believe what I was experiencing and he continued “Mary, the Spirit of the Lord has come upon you and has done a miracle in your womb. He has placed a baby in you, although you are a virgin. You will have a son, and you will name him Yeshua and He will be called the son of God, the holy one.” I agreed with the angel and accepted his words, but it was difficult to understand. My marriage process was not done yet. I was still betrothed and I was untouched. I knew I have found favor with God and not because I am better than any woman in Galilee or anywhere else, but because I know I am faithful to God. His purpose has to be fulfilled and the Holy Spirit made a miracle in my womb.

There were many things going through my mind that day. How was I going to explain this to mom and dad? How was Joseph going to understand? What can I say so that they believe me? My mind froze and I could not think of what to say, and so I planned to get away for a while. Only for a few months, until I could figure out how to face my family and my betrothed. I thought of my relative in Judea, Elizabeth. She should be able to help me; she was pregnant after years of trying to have a baby. She was a barren woman but the Lord made a miracle in her as well. I felt in my spirit that she was going to support me, so I asked mom and dad if I could pay her and her husband Zechariah a visit. Thank God they didn’t demand an explanation as to why all of a sudden I wanted to leave. I packed my belongings and took off as soon as I could. I took the shortest route to Judea and was eager to see her. How joyful was the moment that our eyes met. As soon as I entered her home, she almost ran to me. Her belly was perfectly shaped in its roundness and she put my hand on it to feel her baby after we greeted each other, and we were filled with great joy and laughter. Her baby was leaping in her womb! She said “Mary, you and the child in you are blessed! You have believed God’s promise upon you.” I knew Elizabeth was filled with the Spirit of God and that God had revealed my pregnancy to her. I glorified the Lord with my mouth and I praised His name at that very moment. For three months I stayed with Elizabeth and we both grew more excited everyday. She named her son John. I will never forget those days.

On my way back, I realized that I had to tell Joseph once we faced each other, and was nervous about how he was going to take it. I knew that the past three months at Elizabeth’s house were preparing me for this moment. I thought about every possible reaction he could give me and replayed the worst assumptions over and over in my head, which made it more difficult for me to face him. The next day after I arrived, I kept stalling. I’d pace back and forth, looking for things to do until I ran out of them. I prayed for confidence and then I went to look for him in the afternoon and I found him sitting under the tree where we always shared our thoughts with one another, only at a few steps distance from the back of my home. I started to cry when I saw him because of how nervous I was. “Mary, what’s wrong? Why are you crying?” he asked. And I replied “I’ve received news from an angel of the Lord, and they are overwhelming Joseph. I am pregnant.” Then his expression turned from concerned to upset and quietly but angrily he said “How are you pregnant? We haven’t even had our wedding yet, and we have not sinned against the law, not one night. Mary, have you committed adultery against me?” I could not explain to him how it happened, I told him that it was a miracle and that I’ve always been faithful to him and to God but he didn’t let me finish and got up and walked away. It was worse than what I expected because in me there was a hope that he would understand. Two days later, I hear him calling out for me when I was feeding the cattle in the morning. He said “Mary, I am sorry for my reaction. I felt betrayed and I felt as if the importance that I gave to this marriage was only an illusion. I planned to quietly divorce you, but I believe you now. An angel of the Lord came to me in a dream and he told me to take you as my wife because the baby in you is conceived from the Holy Spirit and he said that I am to name him Yeshua because He will save people from sin. I am wrong for having assumed that you were unfaithful to me.” When I heard Joseph telling me all of this, I wanted to cry of gratification. I knew this was from God because the angel was sent by Him to speak to us. Now it was time to leave Galilee before my neighbors noticed that I was pregnant.

The perfect event took place as we thought of a way to leave without explanation. Caesar Augustus wanted to hold a census and everyone was ordered to go back to their hometown and register. I felt strange for leaving my parents again, but this had to be done. We left to Bethlehem and not long after arriving the time came for me to give birth to my son Yeshua. I was eager to see what he looks like. I praised my God when I felt the pain in my womb. It was time to meet my blessed child. But let me tell you, nothing hurts more than delivering a child. Not falling, not any wound, not being hit by a stick. I was ready for him to come into this world but Joseph could not find a place for me to give birth. I couldn’t breathe as his family told us that the house had no space for us. How could this be happening? I thought. I asked God to give me patience and the strength to wait. It was almost impossible to me. But it only made sense, since they were probably all here registering for the census. Joseph decided to stay in the stable behind his ancestral home because he saw the pain through my expressions. I could not remember much of what happened after we settled in the stable, but although I felt that my body could take this pain no longer, my son still arrived. And I felt a sense of relief, which meant that it was over. The pain began to cease and I heard the cry of my child. Joseph and I cried together upon his arrival. He was so small, yet the most beautiful being I have ever seen. I couldn’t quite make out who he looked like, but he was truly God-like. He was striking to my eyes. He wasn’t thin, nor was he too round. He fell perfectly in the middle. When I held him, he stopped his cry and he made cooing noises that were melodious to my ears. I fed him. Then he fell into a deep sleep. I observed his features as he slept. Yeshua has no hair, and his skin almost gleamed in the night. He felt softer than the fabric I sew together. He was so petite that didn’t want to stop holding him. I wanted to guard him with my life so that no harm comes upon him, but I knew he was safe here and so I wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a small manger. I observed the night, and I realized how dreamlike it looked. The stars were shining more than ever, and there was a star that stood out more than the rest. I couldn’t stop looking at it and thinking about the beauty of God. Joseph noticed it as well and he smiled at me. “I love you, Mary,” he said. “And I love you, Joseph. You’ve been more than good to me. You will be a wonderful father to Yeshua,” I replied. Such great happiness took over me that I could not contain myself from smiling as I observed the night and relaxed with the sound of crickets chirping and my baby breathing. Not only was our son born but now our marriage can be consummated. Joseph and I simply sat quietly and meditated on the magnificence of God.

Not long after the birth of my son, there was a group of shepherds that came to visit us. They explained that they were interrupted from attending their flock in a supernatural way. They came to see our son because an angel of the Lord came with other angels and they were praising God and they announced to the shepherds that the Messiah had been born. They wanted to see our baby, and they declared blessings upon him. They glorified God after they saw my son and witnessed what the angel announced to them. They asked us a few questions about how we’re feeling and as we shared our story with them, we all praised and glorified God. After they left, I fed Yeshua again and put him back on the manger. His serenity was contagious and Joseph and I could not hold the exhaustion any longer. It was time to sleep. The night felt complete, and the first step of God’s divine purpose was complete.

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