Updated: Dec 26, 2022
A GENESIS STORY (pt. 2)
From the first chapters of Matthew's gospel, we are considering the birth of Jesus and the story of Jesus. Matthew begins by giving Jesus' genealogy or genesis story. In doing so, he is placing Jesus at the center of Israel's story and the story of the Hebrew Scriptures (Old Testament).
In this mini-series, we are focusing on two names given to Jesus in (Matt. 1). Matthew records, "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." (Matt. 1:21 NIV). In our last lesson, we noticed the name Jesus means Yahweh. Matthew reveals Jesus as Yahweh-Saves. Continuing, we will see the second name Matthew records, "The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel" (which means "God with us"). (Matt. 1:23 NIV). God with us is a powerful statement. However, often we may feel as if God has abandoned us. Through Matthew, what can we learn about Immanuel-God with us?
In Matthew 2, we are given the birth narrative of Jesus. Stories we have often read or heard and have become quite familiar to most of us. During the time of King Herod, Magi from the east saw a star. Curious, they follow the star to Jerusalem and ask, "Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews?" (Matt. 2:2 NIV). Herod wants to know about this new King himself and sends the Magi to Bethlehem in search of the young child. The Magi come to Jesus to worship him, bringing gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. However, they are warned in a dream not to return to Hero