Today’s reading is Genesis 8:1-10:32, Matthew 4:12-25, Psalm 4:1-8, Proverbs 1:20-23.
To recap what we have read so far, I would like to point out that the focus of the entire New Testament is revealed in the first send of the New Testament.
“This is a record of the ancestors of Jesus, the Messiah, a descendant of David and of Abraham.” That is the first sentence. What is the purpose of a first sentence? It is should be an attention grabber. This would have definitely been an attention grabber for the people of that time. You see, God had been silent. For 400 long years, there had been nothing to write down for people to read as insight into what God was up to. But then came the New Testament. And the first words would have been shocking, perhaps scandalous to some. You see, everyone knew the prophesies of the Old Testament of a coming Savior. And then there were these shocking words: This is a record… of Jesus, the Messiah. The Messiah had come?! It would have been very important to include in the first sentence that Jesus was a descendant of David and of Abraham, for only a descendant of David and Abraham could be the Savior, as many prophesies told. So, with this first sentence, Matthew had their attention.
As we read through the list of the ancestors of Jesus, we see names we recognize from our study of the Old Testament. In fact, to me they feel like old friends. They weren’t perfect people, but they were God’s people. And through them, God was weaving a tapestry of redemption, which was completed when a baby was born to a virgin in a quiet stable, in a small town.
This first sentence of the New Testament also reveals to us what the entire New Testament will be about…Jesus, the Messiah. As we study the New Testament, we will see the fulfillment of the Old Testament. As I have stated many times before, the Old Testament is Jesus concealed, the New Testament is Jesus revealed. May Jesus not only be revealed in our minds as we read through the Bible this year, may He also be revealed in our hearts and spirits.