Friday after the Twenty-Fifth Sunday after Trinity Sunday
Scripture: St. Matthew 1-2 (NKJV)
1:1 The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the Son of David, the Son of Abraham:
2 Abraham begot Isaac,
Isaac begot Jacob,
and Jacob begot Judah and his brothers.
3 Judah begot Perez and Zerah by Tamar,
Perez begot Hezron,
and Hezron begot Ram.
4 Ram begot Amminadab,
Amminadab begot Nahshon,
and Nahshon begot Salmon.
5 Salmon begot Boaz by Rahab,
Boaz begot Obed by Ruth,
Obed begot Jesse,
6 and Jesse begot David the king.
David the king begot Solomon by her who had been the wife of Uriah.
7 Solomon begot Rehoboam,
Rehoboam begot Abijah,
and Abijah begot Asa.
8 Asa begot Jehoshaphat,
Jehoshaphat begot Joram,
and Joram begot Uzziah.
9 Uzziah begot Jotham,
Jotham begot Ahaz,
and Ahaz begot Hezekiah.
10 Hezekiah begot Manasseh,
Manasseh begot Amon,
and Amon begot Josiah.
11 Josiah begot Jeconiah and his brothers about the time they were carried away to Babylon.
12 And after they were brought to Babylon,
Jeconiah begot Shealtiel,
and Shealtiel begot Zerubbabel.
13 Zerubbabel begot Abiud,
Abiud begot Eliakim,
and Eliakim begot Azor.
14 Azor begot Zadok,
Zadok begot Achim,
and Achim begot Eliud.
15 Eliud begot Eleazar,
Eleazar begot Matthan,
and Matthan begot Jacob.
16 And Jacob begot Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus who is called Christ.
17 So all the generations from Abraham to David are fourteen generations, from David until the captivity in Babylon are fourteen generations, and from the captivity in Babylon until the Christ are fourteen generations.
18 Now the birth of Jesus Christ was as follows: After His mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Spirit. 19 Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not wanting to make her a public example, was minded to put her away secretly.
20 But while he thought about these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take to you Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. 21 And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name JESUS, for He will save His people from their sins.”
22 So all this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying: 23 “Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,” which is translated, “God with us.”
24 Then Joseph, being aroused from sleep, did as the angel of the Lord commanded him and took to him his wife, 25 and did not know her till she had brought forth her firstborn Son. And he called His name JESUS.
2:1 Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, 2 saying, “Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we have seen His star in the East and have come to worship Him.”
3 When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him. 4 And when he had gathered all the chief priests and scribes of the people together, he inquired of them where the Christ was to be born. 5 So they said to him, “In Bethlehem of Judea, for thus it is written by the prophet:
6 ‘But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are not the least among the rulers of Judah; For out of you shall come a Ruler Who will shepherd My people Israel.'”
7 Then Herod, when he had secretly called the wise men, determined from them what time the star appeared. 8 And he sent them to Bethlehem and said, “Go and search carefully for the young Child, and when you have found Him, bring back word to me, that I may come and worship Him also.”
9 When they heard the king, they departed; and behold, the star which they had seen in the East went before them, till it came and stood over where the young Child was. 10 When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceedingly great joy. 11 And when they had come into the house, they saw the young Child with Mary His mother, and fell down and worshiped Him. And when they had opened their treasures, they presented gifts to Him: gold, frankincense, and myrrh. 12 Then, being divinely warned in a dream that they should not return to Herod, they departed for their own country another way.
13 Now when they had departed, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream, saying, “Arise, take the young Child and His mother, flee to Egypt, and stay there until I bring you word; for Herod will seek the young Child to destroy Him.”
14 When he arose, he took the young Child and His mother by night and departed for Egypt, 15 and was there until the death of Herod, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying, “Out of Egypt I called My Son.”
16 Then Herod, when he saw that he was deceived by the wise men, was exceedingly angry; and he sent forth and put to death all the male children who were in Bethlehem and in all its districts, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had determined from the wise men. 17 Then was fulfilled what was spoken by Jeremiah the prophet, saying:
18 “A voice was heard in Ramah, lamentation, weeping, and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children, refusing to be comforted, because they are no more.”
19 But when Herod was dead, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt, 20 saying, “Arise, take the young Child and His mother, and go to the land of Israel, for those who sought the young Child’s life are dead.”
21 Then he arose, took the young Child and His mother, and came into the land of Israel. 22 But when he heard that Archelaus was reigning over Judea instead of his father Herod, he was afraid to go there. And being warned by God in a dream, he turned aside into the region of Galilee. 23 And he came and dwelt in a city called Nazareth, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophets, “He shall be called a Nazarene.”
St. Matthew’s Gospel begins with a three-fold genealogical record. The first record starts with Abraham, who believed the promise of Jesus, the coming Savior. Genesis 15:6 says of Abraham, “And he believed in the LORD, and He accounted it to him for righteousness.” Later when some Jews rejected Jesus, but claimed to be sons of Abraham (Matt. 3:9), Jesus corrected them, “If you were Abraham’s children, you would do the works of Abraham” (John 8:39). They did not believe in God’s Son, nor did they do the fruits which flow from faith, as Abraham did.
The second record starts with King David. Even the Pharisees agree that the Christ would be his descendant. Matthew 22:42 says, “Jesus asked them saying, ‘What do you think about the Christ? Whose Son is He?’ They said to Him, ‘The Son of David.'”” Jesus is that promised Christ “who was born of the seed of David according to the flesh” (Rom. 1:3). Salvation by faith in Jesus was rejected by some Jews, even though “David also describes the blessedness of the man to whom God imputes righteousness apart from works” (Rom. 4:6).
The third record starts with the Babylonian exile. With the coming of the birth of Jesus it was time for repentance and a return to the Promise. It was time to reject a false trust in works and leave behind the works of the sinful flesh. “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near” (Matt. 3:2). The Magi came seeking the promised King of the Jews, while King Herod sought to kill Him. And the chief priest and teachers of the law had answers, but no faith.
We pray: Immanuel, Lord Jesus Christ, lead us to repentance and firm trust in Your salvation for us. Amen.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.