As we turn our attention to the New Testament, Pastor Skip explains what transpired during the 400 years of silence since the Old Testament. Our firm grasp of the political setting, language, and Matthew's purpose and perspective establishes a solid foundation for understanding his gospel. In Matthew 1, we see Jesus revealed as the royal Heir to the throne of David—the Messiah, Immanuel: God with us.
From its opening genealogy through its careful record of Old Testament prophecies fulfilled, Matthew's gospel forms a bridge between the Old Testament and the New Testament. In this in-depth study by Pastor Skip Heitzig we'll consider Jesus' ancestry, birth, public ministry, death, and resurrection, and we'll gain a clearer understanding of Jesus as both Messiah and King.
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Hebrew terms: בית כנסת, Beit K'nesset: house of assembly; גָּאַל; gaal; redeem goel: kinsman redeemer; מָשִׁ֣יחַ; ma·shi·ach- Messiah
Greek terms: εὐαγγέλιον; euangelion-gospel; Βίβλος γενέσεως: book of genesis or origin; Χριστός; Christos-anointed, the Messiah, the Christ
Publications Referenced: Science Speaks, by Peter Stoner
Cross References: Genesis 12:3; Deuteronomy 23:3; 2 Samuel 7:16; Ruth 1:16; Isaiah 9:6-7; Matthew 9:9; Matthew 9:27; Matthew 12:23; John 3:16; Revelation 22:16
Topic: Genealogy of Jesus
Keywords: genealogy, ancestors, 400 silent years, time between the testaments
Turn to Matthew Chapter 1, maybe you're probably already there, let's pray together. Father, we are so grateful having been able to study through Genesis and through Exodus to now bounce into the New Testament, and to read a New Testament book before going back into the Old and seeing how it all ties together. Lord, I pray that you would help our minds to retain the information, but help our hearts to rejoice in the transformation that will occur because of it. Father, I especially am so thankful for a body that has been conditioned to loving scripture and to loving the depth of scripture, and studying it in-depth. Lord, I pray that as we grow together as a body on the same page literally, as well as figuratively, that we would, because of our nourishment, be good representatives of Jesus Christ in this community. It's in His name, we pray. Amen.
From the Old Testament to the New Testament, here is something that is helpful, just to frame a timeline. The Old Testament, the Old Covenant, the 39 books from Genesis to Malachi, were written over a period of over a thousand years, a thousand years plus. More history than that is included in the those 39 books, but it was written in about or over a 1,000 year period. Whereas, the New Testament the events that happened in a single lifetime. It's a much shorter period of time than the Old Testament. And yet, the Old Testament is what anticipates, looks forward to and predicts the New Testament. The Old Testament is waiting for the fulfillment of all of the promises that it is made, especially concerning Jesus Christ. So to get into the New Testament in the first book, we can't wait to piece those things together.
Now, here is a little formula that I found is very helpful in the relationship of the Old Testament and the New Testament. The New is in the Old contained, the Old is in the New explained. Once again, the New Testament is in the Old Testament, it's anticipated, it's spoken about. The New is in the Old contained, but the Old Testament is in the New explained. All that was promised is explained. And you're going to read especially in Matthew, this was written that it might be fulfilled, which was spoken of by the Prophet. That's a phrase that is mentioned 16 times in the Gospel of Matthew as the Old Testament is being fulfilled in the New Testament.
Now, between the Old and the New Testament are 400 years. 400 years often called 400 silent years. Not because nothing happened during those 400 years. In fact, what I would like to do for just a few moments is tell you what happened to bring you up to speed, because a lot has changed. But between the closing of the Old Testament book of Malachi and the opening of the first chapter of the Book of Matthew, 400 years, 400 silent years, they're called that because simply, God didn't say anything during those 400 years. There was no divine revelation given. After Malachi, there was a pause; God pushed the pause button, anticipating the forerunner. That was one of the last predictions that someone who would represent the Messiah would come on the same pointing the way to the Messiah, and that is John the Baptist.
So here is the deal. When we're in the Old Testament, we find out that Medo-Persia is in charge of the world when we closed the Old Testament. We opened the New Testament, and suddenly Rome is in charge. Not only that but the people are speaking a new language, the language of the captivity Aramaic, the language though that most people in the world are speaking and reading is Greek.
So a lot has changed. How do we get to that point? Well, if you will remember, and you don't have to turn though. You remember that Daniel was able to translate for Nebuchadnezzar a vision that he saw. Remember King Nebuchadnezzar saw that huge metallic image that had a head of gold and had chest and arms of silver, and it had a stomach and thighs of bronze, and then legs of iron and feet partly of iron and partly of clay.
And Daniel comes in, he goes, "I know what that's about. What you saw, Nebuchadnezzar, is a succession of world governing empires, kingdoms, beginning with you, Babylon, you're the head of gold, but after you, an inferior kingdom. The Medo-Persian Empire will come and take over," and they did. And then, that's where the Old Testament leaves off, the Medo-Persian Empire allowed the Jews to return back from their captivity. There was sort of a lagged time as people didn't want to build a temple, but they were into building their own homes until a couple of prophets come along and say, "Hey, is it time for you to build your own homes instead of building the Kingdom, building God's home in Jerusalem?"
And more or less, that's where the Old Testament stopped. But Daniel predicts two more kingdoms that will rule the Earth. The third kingdom is the kingdom of Greece, as history pans out from the New Testament perspective looking back, Greece ruled the world under Alexander the Great, and then eventually Rome. How did that happen? Well, while the Medo-Persian Empire enjoyed their newly found victory over the Babylonians, there was a man over in the west who was able to unite two countries, Greece and Macedonia. His name was Philip, Philip of Macedon. He was very successful, but he was now the rival empire in the west against Medo-Persia in the east. To make a long story short, Philip was assassinated, most believe by Medo-Persians.
But Philip had a young son named Alex, we know him as Alexander the Great. When he was growing up, his dad Philip didn't really see much hope for him because Alexander was a bookworm, he like to read a lot, and he was a kid indoors and not much outdoors. So to help him, he decided, "I better give him a tutor." And so, a tutor by the name of Aristotle helped young Alexander to become great.
Well, when Alexander was 19-years-old, his dad was assassinated. This did something inside of young Alex, he decided, "I'm going to take vengeance upon my enemies." And Alexander the Great took the banner of spreading Greek culture and Greek victory around the world, beginning with the Medo-Persian Empire, and he conquered them. In fact, so swift were his victories that even he himself was surprised. Within 10 years, Alexander the Great controlled the entire known world, all of it, from Egypt, to Syria, Asia Minor, Asia all the way to India, he was in charge of. When he was 29 years of age, he ruled the world and he was bored because there were no more worlds for him to conquer. Two years later, he died in Babylon of a drunken stupor. He died as a washed up drunk. Owned the world, controlled the world, not happy, miserable.
While he was dying, they asked him, "To whom shall your kingdom go?" And Alexander said, "Give it to the strong." Now, Alexander had four strong generals. One named Cassander, one named Lysimachus, one named Ptolemy and one named Seleucus. The kingdom was divided into four sections under those four generals. Cassander got Macedonia and Greece. Lysimachus took Asia Minor and Thrace. Seleucus took Asia, including Syria and Ptolemy took Egypt. For many years, there were rivals within that split kingdom as to who would be in charge, and the main rivalry took place between the kings of the north, that's the Seleucid Kings, the Syrian Kings, and the kings of the south, the Ptolemaic Kings, the Egyptian Kings.
Now, if you have a map, you now understand the dynamic because sandwiched in between the north of Syria and the South of Egypt is a little country known as Israel so always in their disputes with each other, Israel will get the brunt of it. They're the ones who are going to be in the crossfire. And that's exactly what happened. For years and years and years, Israel was in the crossfire.
However, there was one notable king of Syria named Antiochus IV, remember that, Antiochus IV. Antiochus IV gave himself the illustrious name Antiochus or Theos Antiochus, Theos Epiphanes, which is, "I am god manifest in human flesh." He had a pride issue. He even had coins minted that said he was the victorious illustrious one, god who came down to the earth. He so hated the Jewish people that they became the subject of his attack. He marched on them several times, he stopped the sacrifices in the temple at one time, it was so dramatic that the Jews called this the abomination of desolation. He loved and worshipped the god Zeus. He commanded that a pig be killed on the altar of sacrifice in the outer court of the temple, that the temple be desecrated, that all of its holy vessels be taken and ceased, that circumcision would be stopped and that everyone would worship Zeus.
Horrible period of time, and this continued until 165 B.C. When a group of people down south of Jerusalem, in a little tiny village named Modin. This group of Hasmonean priests said, "We're not going to worship Zeus." And when one of the legates, one of the representatives of the Syrian Empire was there commanding the people of his village to worship Zeus, there was pushback by Mattathias, and he revolted, and it staged a Maccabean revolt that continued with him and his sons under the leadership of his most famous son Judas Maccabees. You probably heard of the Maccabean revolt, if you haven't heard of that, at least of you've heard of Hanukkah, right, the Jewish holiday, that's how it developed.
Eventually, they were able in 165 B.C. to push out the Syrians completely from Jerusalem and start temple worship once again to Yahweh, raving the temple of the false worship to Zeus. And as legend says, there was only one cruise of oil that would light that Golden Menorah for one day. But miraculously, it lasted eight days, and that's where Hanukkah or the festival of lights was born.
So, Hasmonean Jewish revolt, they got control back of their city of Jerusalem. They had control of Judah once again. And this continues until 63 B.C. when the Roman Emperor Pompeii takes over everything, and the Romans marched throughout the known world, including Israel, including Jerusalem. And now, once again, Judea, Jerusalem, the Jews are under foreign occupation. This time, not Medo-Persia, not Greece but Rome. Just like Daniel predicted, the Roman Empire took over the world.
Now, something else to fill in the gap, the Greek language as proposed by Alexander and then his four generals, had become a language that took over the entire world. Because it was so exact, it was so complete with its tenses and its cases and the ability to communicate in such an exact way, it became the lingua franca of the world, everybody spoke it, it was the trade language everywhere. It was so important that 72 Hebrew scholars in 285 B.C in Alexandria Egypt took the Hebrew Scriptures and translate it into the Greek text, it became known as the Septuagint Version of the Old Testament. And it is that version that is quoted most often in the Old Testament. Everybody is speaking Greek in the exact language; the Greek language becomes what most speaks.
There is something else. The temple that had been rebuilt from the Old Testament times, it fallen because of the Babylonian captivity, it was rebuilt under Ezra and the Nehemiah and Zerubbabel. Herod the Great, when he is in charge of the area of Judea decides to sort of build a temple on steroids. That's the best way I can describe. I mean, he took what Solomon did and made it even more grand huge. It makes the tabernacle look like you don't even want to mention it. Huge.
So now, you have this enormous temple in Jerusalem and you have an office in Judaism that has never been anywhere in the Old Testament you never read of a synagogue in the Old Testament, never once. Suddenly, you come to the New Testament and it's the synagogue of the Jews or this synagogue here and you have multiple synagogues in the city of Jerusalem along with the temple. The synagogue we believe came from the necessity of the Jews in foreign captivity, since they had no temple there, to device a way to go through the laws of the Old Testament and meet together. So in Babylon, they developed a synagogue in Hebrew, synagogue, the gathering together, the place where you gather together. And they would gather together, read the scriptures and make comments. The rabies would say, "This is what Moses meant and this how we apply to our lives."
So now, we opened the pages of the New Testament, Romans in charge and we know why. A temple and a synagogue are present and active, and now we know why. People are speaking Greek as well as Aramaic, and now, we know why so all of that brings us up to speed historically for the New Testament.
Now, we have the first four books known as Gospels. Gospel is an English word, it's an Anglo-Saxon word, it originally is called "God's Spell" and God's Spell means good news. The Greek word "Euangelion" is translated gospel, but it means the good, and principally, it's the good news about Jesus Christ. There are Four Gospels. These bother some people. I don't know why. It delights me, because -- I'll put it to you this way. Remember the old movies, the old black and white. Have you ever sit down and watch an old black and white movie and it's like, "Man, this camera angle has been on this actor for like 10 minutes now, could they like switch to another angle because this is getting like really boring?" And you compare an old movie with very few rapid technical changes to a new movie where it's like--and it's like--keeps you going. And for people like me with attention deficit disorder, that's what I've been told that I have by a few good friends. The newer forms of communication are good for me.
So when you look at the Four Gospels, it's as if the Holy Spirit is the producer of the film of the life of Jesus, and he has four different camera angles, the authors of which have a different agenda, materially selected and placed in those Gospels specifically to tell a different side of the story of Jesus Christ. Now the first three Gospels, Matthew, Mark and Luke, are called Synoptic Gospels, because they follow a synopsis, the same material, the same outline, the same approach. John departing that approach and writes it completely different. But all four of them, the three synoptics as well as the Gospel of John, all have a particular emphasis. Matthew is emphasizing Jesus as the sovereign, the King, the Lord, the one predicted by the Old Testament. Mark portrays Jesus as the Servant, the one doing, going out immediately and accomplishing the will of God. Luke portrays Jesus as the Son of Man, relating to mankind, one of us, compassionate, showing emotions, give the title and often repeated in Luke, the Son of Man.
The Fourth Gospel speaks about the Son of God. All Four Gospels have an audience in mind. Matthew was written by a Jew for the Jews. That's why I mentioned 16 times in this book, he will say, "This was done so that it might be fulfilled what was written by Isaiah or Jeremiah or whatever prophet." He is showing the Jewish people, "This man Jesus, fulfilled prophecy." It was written to the Jew. The Gospel of Mark was written to the Romans, to show that Jesus was the perfect servant, completely, immediately doing the will of his master, something a Roman would respect.
And that's why you read so often in the Gospel of Mark, the word "immediately", and, and, and then Jesus -- it's just it's like a script of somebody busy working, fulfilling his master's will. Luke was written for the Greeks, the Greeks emphasize the perfect man, Jesus is seen as the perfect man, the son of man. John was written really for the whole world, for God so love the world, John 3:16. And the idea is that we might believe in him. These things were written that we might believe that Jesus is the Son of God.
Now, besides having those emphases, they have another kind of emphasis. Matthew emphasizes what Jesus said. That's why in the Gospel of Matthew, don't be surprised when you read about these great discourses that are covered in-depth like the Sermon on the Mount and other ones by Jesus. What Jesus spoke is important to Matthew. What Jesus did was important to Mark. So it's a shorter Gospel and it's rapidly moving in its phase. Luke is emphasizing how Jesus felt. He is the Son of Man, He related to us, He shows compassion, He has a love for people, He reaches out as seen what he says, what he does, the miracles he performs. But John, as we have been studying on Sunday morning is not really about what Jesus said or about what Jesus did or about how Jesus felt, it's really about who Jesus was, and that's why he is given a lofty place. So that's sort of in summary fashion, introductory fashion. We haven't even gotten to first one. It helps us understand the Gospels.
Now, the title says the Gospel according to Matthew -- who is Matthew? Tax collector, he works for the IRS, which means everybody hated him. In those days, people hated the IRS even more -- can you believe it -- than they do today. Here is why. Rome occupied the land, anybody that would work for the enemy and any kind of social service, including collecting their taxes was seen as a sworn enemy, considered scum of the earth, as low as a prostitute. And so, you would often have couple the phrase "tax collectors and sinners" in the same sentence, because they didn't see a difference. One was as bad as the other. One was the other.
Let me tell you how taxes work. They were much less fair than they are today. there was such a thing in those days called tax farming, and senators or wealthy citizens get this, purchased the ability to collect taxes for five years from the central government of Rome, over an area. So a senator or a wealthy citizen would fork up the money, buy the right to farm the taxes and would collect the taxes from the people, and whatever more beyond what was required by Rome, they could keep for themselves. That's why they were so hated, because they knew these tax collectors were stiffing them or telling them really what was owed and making a profit off the backs of the working person. Hence, tax collectors were ostracized. If not legally, officially, certainly, practically, they were kept out of temples, they were kept of synagogues. And no wonder, I believe, when we get to Matthew 9, if that's before the lord comes back at this rate. No wonder in Matthew 9 when Jesus just what's up to Matthew, just what's up to him and says, "Matthew, follow me." That was enough. I mean, I used to read and go, "And he like dropped everything and followed him?" Nobody had spoken a nice word to him in like 10 years, let alone a religious person like a Rabi saying, "I am choosing you to follow me." It's like, "I'm dropping everything, I'm with this guy." Because Jesus invited and pay attention to somebody that no one had any regard for at all.
By the way, we know Matthew is Jewish because his original name was Levi, probably from that tribe. Now, we have verse one. The book of the Genealogy of Jesus Christ, the Son of David, the Son of Abraham the book begins with two words in Greek, "Biblos Geneseos", the Book of the Genesis or the origin or it says here genealogy, but it's the Book of the Genesis of Jesus Christ, the Origin of Jesus Christ.
Now, what follows are probably not your favorite verses, in fact, probably most of you don't have any of the genealogy or the names underlined. You probably don't say, "My life verse is like Matthew 1:4." Because Matthew 1:4 has all those names and like, "I don't even know how to say that name. Who cares about that name?" Why are genealogies so important and why do we begin the greatest story ever told with a genealogy? It sounds so boring. Not to a Jewish person, it was paramount. Let me explain that. If you had land and you are in a tribe, you would want to know your genealogy and pass the genealogy on because if you ever had to sell that land, and that land could ever be purchased again by a kinsman redeemer, a "Goel", you had to prove the genealogy to get the land back. And so that the land could stay within the tribal allotment, so genealogy is really important, number one.
Number two, if you were a priest, get this. You had to prove your genealogical ladder all the way back to Aaron unbroken, unbroken, you had to show every single generation from where you are all the way back to Aaron unbroken or you couldn't service a priest. If a priest were to marry a woman, a Levi, she had to prove her genealogy for at least five generations. When we come to the book of Ezra and the Nehemiah when they come back from the captivity, the priest Ezra described Ezra, looks for the genealogical records of some people who come back Babylon and go, "I'm a priest, I want to serve in the temple," but they were disbarred from serving because it says their genealogical records were not found. If you can't find the record, you can't prove that you're all the way back to Aaron, you do not serve.
So it was important for land transaction, it was important for the priesthood, but that makes it all important for the Messiah. If you're going to say, "This guy is the Messiah." The first question is, "Prove it. Where was he born? What tribe does he come from?" There are predictions made in the Bible of what tribe he used to come from and where he used to be born. "If you're telling me this one is the Messiah as fulfilled by all of the prophets of the Old Testament, I want some genealogical records." Several years ago, a man walked into my office and told me he was Jesus. I looked up at him and I said -- and first of all, I was disappointed, but I didn't tell him that. I looked at him and I said, "Okay, what tribe are you from?" That was my first question, "What's your tribal allotment?" And he looked at me like I was from the moon. I don't think he even answered the question. And then I said, "Okay, let me ask you this question. Where were you born?" And he said, "I was born in Pittsburgh." That's when I asked him to leave my office and never come back. It wasn't Bethlehem, it wasn't the tribe of Judah, I knew right of the back, this can't be the Messiah, this can't be Jesus.
Interestingly, two weeks ago, I get a postcard from Jesus. Well, at least he said he was Jesus and he gave me a website and he said, "It's not everyday that you get a postcard from the returned resurrected Christ." And it was handwritten. And also, it was from the Pennsylvania area, I don't know if it was the same guy or not.
So, this is the book of the genealogy or the genealogical record of Jesus Christ, the Son of David, the Son of Abraham. The Son of David is a messianic term. When you read the Son of David, it means more than just a descendant of David, but it is used in a special term to refer to the anticipated Messiah that was to come. That is why when Jesus was out healing people -- you read it in the Gospels -- the question was, "Could this be the Son of David?"
Now, they knew he was a descendant of David but in using the term "Could this be the son of David", unmistakably they meant the one predicted that would rule and reign and bring in the kingdom that son of David because this, "Could this be the son of David?"
When Jesus is going Jerusalem on their way to Jericho, the beggar says, "Son of David, have mercy on me." The Bible closes in Revelation 22 with Jesus saying, "I am the root and the offspring of David." So the son of David, when you read that, it's a messianic term. It's the son of David or descendent of David and son or descendent of Abraham.
Now, we'll read all the way through the verse 17. We're going to read three sections of 14 generations, 42 generations are listed from Adam to Christ. They're broken up mnemonically. That is in three sections of 14 so there is literary as well as genealogical symmetry. Now, why would they do that? I'm glad you ask. They employed this kind of mnemonic devices, so you could memorize this. You go memorize this. Yeah, people memorize their genealogical records. In fact today, it is very common among African tribes for them to be able to trace their lineage all the way back generation after generation, names, names, names.
This is before computers. This is before typewriters. This is before the printing press. Everything was written by hand on scrolls and so people memorize things and genealogical records especially this important of a messiah would have been memorized. So, it's placed on an easy format.
Abraham begat Isaac; and Isaac begat Jacob; and Jacob begat Judas and his brethren; And Judas begat Phares and Zara of Thamar; and Phares begat Esrom; and Esrom begat Aram; And Aram begat Aminadab; and Aminadab begat Naasson; and Naasson begat Salmon; And Salmon begat Booz of Rachab; and Booz begat Obed of Ruth; and Obed begat Jesse; And Jesse begat David the king; and David the king begat Solomon of her that had been the wife of Urias; And Solomon begat Roboam; and Roboam begat Abia; and Abia begat Asa; And Asa begat Josaphat; and Josaphat begat Joram; and Joram begat Ozias; And Ozias begat Joatham; and Joatham begat Achaz; and Achaz begat Ezekias; And Ezekias begat Manasses; and Manasses begat Amon; and Amon begat Josias; And Josias begat Jechonias and his brethren, about the time they were carried away to Babylon: And after they were brought to Babylon, Jechonias begat Salathiel; and Salathiel begat Zorobabel; And Zorobabel begat Abiud; and Abiud begat Eliakim; and Eliakim begat Azor; And Azor begat Sadoc; and Sadoc begat Achim; and Achim begat Eliud; And Eliud begat Eleazar; and Eleazar begat Matthan; and Matthan begat Jacob; And Jacob begat Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus, who is called Christ.
So, all the generations from Abraham to David are 14 generations. From David until the captivity in Babylon are 14 generations from the captivity in Babylon until Christ are 14 generations. So, we have that symmetry. And we deal with here the three major stages of Jewish history. From the patriarchy of Abraham to the monarchy of David, that's stage one. From the monarchy of David to the captivity of Israel, that's stage two. From the captivity of Israel to the nativity of the messiah, that's stage three. So, all three major stages are covered.
Now, what's cool about this and we'll mention a few names, there's some pretty great names in this genealogy but there are some surprises in the genealogical record. Have you ever had a relative or maybe you have one, maybe there's a relative somewhere in your family and it's the one you don't mention that often. Is that weird uncle maybe was imprisoned for most of his life or just went off the deep edge and you just don't bring him up much. Jesus had a lot of them in his family tree. This is the family tree and there are nuts on the family tree, some great ones like Abraham and David but some not so great ones as we have seen. So, some of them were just surprised to read.
Let me give you a few things because I do believe we have time. Here is the deal. Either way we're going to end on time. It's just a matter of how much we're going to cover.
As I read through this, there is just something that it comes to the forefront of my mind, it's going to be very obvious but it needs to be underscored. The Bible always makes an appeal to history. The Bible isn't just a spiritual book apart from the historical record and documentation in which it resides as a context. It has a literary. It has a historical context. The Bible is history. The Bible appeals to the facts of history. It's not some weird methodological book like the Greeks have about winged-horses flying up and things that never existed or don't make sense. It appeals to history.
In fact when it comes to Jesus Christ, we're dealing with someone to whom every time we write a check or leave a single day, we pay tribute to the fact that he divided time from B.C. to A.D. No check is valid. Now document is considered valid unless it bears testimony at the top or at the bottom of the birth of Jesus. As soon as you write the date, you've attested to the fact that in our calendar, we are recording the fact that Jesus split time. It appeals to history. It also appeals to prophesy. Matthew will demonstrate that Jesus was predicted over and over and over again throughout the Old Testament and will appeal to prophecy. This was written that it might be fulfilled by the prophet.
When I was born, nobody predicted my birth. There was never a family meeting they'll say it's Uncle Fred. Lou and Agnes will have a son. His name shall be Skip. No predictions were made. It was just another birth. But Jesus uniquely three-hundred and thirty times was predicted in the Old Testament. Think about that number over 300. We think about three-hundred and thirty times.
Now, I will say that when my son was born, I had people coming up and make predictions. They would say, "The Lord spoke to me and told me you're going to have a girl." Others came up and said, "The Lord spoke to me and told me you're going to have a boy." Well, there's only a fifty-fifty chance here, right? It's not like, "Wow, big margins!" 50-50 and some were right and the others we stoned because they were false prophets. No, I'm just kidding.
What makes Jesus so unique is the number of predictions that he fulfilled from the Old Testament. And some of those predictions were made by or two. Some of the ones listed in the genealogical record. To Abraham for example mentioned in verse one, God said, "In you all the families of the earth will be blessed." All the families in the earth will be blessed. I believe that ultimately. It's not about the fact that the Jewish people had a lot of Nobel prizes in their history though they did, but ultimately the world would be blessed by bringing forth the most important Jewish person ever and that is the messiah, Jesus. That's how the world gets blessed. One day, he will rule and reign overall.
To David also mentioned in the genealogical record for you and for your house, you will have a kingdom that will endure forever. Isaiah said, "Unto us a child is born. Unto us a son is given." The government will be upon his shoulders. His name will be called wonderful councilor, mighty God, prince of peace, everlasting father, upon the throne of David and over his kingdom to order it and establish it from this time forth even forever more. Those are just three. There are three-hundred and thirty predictions that are made.
If you can find the book by Peterson or called Science Speaks, I recommend it to you. Let me tell you who he was. Peter Stoner was a mathematician and an astronomer.
I had to slow down because I didn't want to say an astrologer. That wouldn't be good for him. He was a mathematician and an astronomer and was a professor emeritus at Westmont College in Santa Barbara California. Stoner was a believer and as a mathematician and understood the Science of Probability Statistic Giving. He calculated the odds of Jesus Christ fulfilling the predictions made.
I'll just give you a summary form. It's a short little read but it's filled with statistics. Peter Stoner said, "The odds of Jesus Christ or for that matter, any person in history fulfilling eight not 300, eight predictions that Jesus fulfilled then he listed several of them." The odds of anybody fulfilling that eight would be one and ten to the 17th power. To illustrate it and you're heard me do this before. Stoner said, "You could take the entire State of Texas or some people in Texas likes to say the sovereign nation of Texas." And you could fill the state with silver dollars two feet thick. If you pre-mark the silver dollar and blind-folded a man and sent him throughout the state of Texas to find the silver dollar you marked, the odds would be one and ten to the 17th power, or the odds of one man in history fulfilling only eight predictions.
Then Stoner said, "The odds of Jesus or for that matter, any man in history fulfilling 16 prophecies would be one in 10th to the 45th power. Using silver dollars, Stoner said, "With that many silver dollars, you could have a ball", and this is how big the ball is, follow me here. The center of the ball to measure from the center of the ball to the outer edge circumference of the ball would be 30 times the present distance of the earth to the sun. That's 93 million miles times 30. That's the measurement from the center to the outside edge. That's how many silver dollars you'll need. Paint one. Send someone in the ball to find the silver dollar. It's the same odds of Jesus fulfilling 16 of those predictions. It's a fun little book because then Stoner goes on and he says, "For the odds of Jesus Christ fulfilling that eight", not 16, but I don't know what was it, 48, that was it, 48 prophecies, "would now be one in 10 to the 157th power." And Stoner, instead of using silver dollars, that's an impossibility to even get that big and visualize it. He starts using electrons. And can you imagine selecting and choosing an electron.
So, it's just a fascinating and it's called Science Speaks by Peter Stoner. It was published years ago. I have a copy as a mathematician and as somebody who studied probability. He showed that the Bible always appeals not only to history but also to prophecy and Matthew does as well several times in this book.
Now, go back and notice some of the names. Abraham, he's mentioned right off the bat. He's a man of faith, right? We read about him. But he was also a man of unbelief, wasn't he? Twice, he lied about his wife being a sister because he didn't trust God. David is also mentioned in verse one and other verses. First King, greatest king of Israel, man after God's own heart, also an adulterer and a murderer and a cover-up artist. In verse two, Jacob is mentioned. If you remember your Bible, you know that he was a classic sh--. Notice what's named after him, Judah. Judah was a womanizer. And as you start going through this, I hope you're starting to see a personal connection, a personal application. Do you ever feel because if you're on failure, "I'm not worthy to be in God's family. I'm so corrupt. I recognize my own sin. I try and I fall and I fail. I'm just not worthy." Let me just say you're in great company. Right here in the genealogical record, notice the ones the Bible includes to place in the genealogical records of Christ.
If you're going out on a verse three, you start noticing something very strange for a genealogical record, the mention of women in it.
That never happened. Four women are mentioned and they're not the greatest women. Women were not considered worthy enough in those days to be placed in genealogical records, only men, only males. And that's simply because women were regarded -- this is not a biblical concept, it was a customary concept that a woman is regarded as the property of her father and eventually the property of her husband.
And so right off the bat, in the gospel of Matthew, we start seeing the door of liberation being opened. And it wasn't glorious time then who liberated women? It was Jesus Christ. Their women are included in his genealogical record. Let me tell you how bad it was back then. There was a prayer that some Pius man would pray daily in a way like this, "God I thank you that I'm not a slave, a gentile, or a woman." It's how bad it was. They're included here.
And the first one on verse three is Thamar, do you remember from Genesis Chapter 38? She dressed up like a prostitute and lured her father-in-law and they're having sexual relations incest and twins came from that, because of that relationship. She is mentioned in the record of Christ.
In verse five, Rahab is mentioned. Rahab, the woman who lived in Jericho head the two spies also called "Rahab the Harlot". She was converted to Yahweh. She believed in God after those two spies came. And we're saved at the battle of Jericho, next in line chapter five or verse five, Ruth. Ruth is a great gal but not genealogically. She was a Moabite. And Moab was a country that came from an incestuous relationship between lad and his daughters. In Deuteronomy 23 it says, "No Moabite shall enter the congregation of the Lord up into the 10th generation", but she was the one who was also converted. She said to her mother-in-law after all men died in that family, "Where you go, I will go. Where you lodge, I will lodge. Your people will be my people. Your God will be my God." And she becomes a great grandmother of King David.
If you look also in verse six, it says -- they didn't mention her name, David the King begat Solomon by her who had been the wife of Uriah that's Bathsheba. She was a gal bathing on the rooftop. When David looked and looked again and fixed his eyes on her and lost it after her and committed adultery with her and got her husband killed and you know that story. The first son of that relationship died. The second son was Solomon. He is included, son of David, second or third king of Israel.
If you were a historian going through this genealogical record, you'd go through here and you'd mused -- you'd say, "If somebody ransacked the Old Testament and tried to find and make the Hall of Shame rather than the Hall of Fame", but I love this. Jesus, the friend of sinners, even in this record shows how God throughout history has reached out to different people to make them his friends.
Now, we get to verse 18. Let's see if we can finish that verse. Now, the birth of Jesus Christ was as follows. May I just say in case some of you don't know, Christ is not his last name. It's his title. And yet, it would seem some people think it's his last name. I remember hearing a person, I think it was at the hospital I worked out, yield out, Jesus H. Christ. And I looked up to him and I said, "Excuse me but I don't know if you know this or not, but Christ wasn't his last name." He go, "What?" I guess I got him in mid-rant and he was upset but I corrected him.
It wasn't like the Christ family and there was Joseph Christ and Mary Christ and little Jesus and the mailbox read the Christ's family. His name was Yeshua ben-Yosef, Jesus the Son of Joseph, of Nazareth, Jesus of Nazareth.
And he had to be distinguished that way because it was a common name. And a lot of kids were named Joshua. Jesus is the equivalent of Joshua, Yeshua. It means salvation. Christ is the Greek equivalent "Christos" of the Old Testament Mashiach, the Hebrew Mashiach or Messiah. And by the way, the idea of Messiah, the word means to rub or to smear. And it comes from the inaugurating process of kings and priests when they would pour, rub, and smear olive oil over a person. And so Messiah simply means the anointed One of God. He is the one God anointed to be the savior and ultimately the king. He's the messiah. He had been long awaited for generations when he came on the same.
And this is how it happened. After his mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child by the Holy Spirit. Then Joseph, her husband, being a just man and not wanting to make her a public example was minded to put her away secretly. But while he thought about these things, behold an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream saying, Joseph, Son of David, showing the relationship of Joseph and I'll tell you why probably next week because I'm looking at the time, the relationship in the lineage historically, legally of King David because the greater son of Joseph will be his adopted son Jesus. "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 and you will bring forth a son. And we'll call his name Jesus. You will call his name Jesus for he will save these people from their sins." So, this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet saying, "Behold, the virgin shall be with child and bear a son and they will call his name Emmanuel", which is translated "God with us." Then Joseph being aroused from sleep that is the angel, the Lord commanded him and took him to his wife and did not know her until she had brought forth her first born son and called his name Jesus.
Now, I wanted to finish the chapter at least technically. I can say we covered chapter one. But there's much more to say. Let me just sort of bring this to a close by saying that in those days, sexual purity was regarded as the highest possible gift a person could give to another person on their wedding day that they had saved themselves for each other. So to be found pregnant, when she was found pregnant, was at least were they not being ostracized in the very least and in the very most, she could have been stoned to death as well as the man who did it and here's why.
Every relationship began with an engagement and then followed with a betrothal, that's what we're dealing with here, the betrothal. The engagement began when you were a baby, just a little tike, a little lad, or a little lust. And you may not even know the person you're going to marry. You will meet them later on; your parents would tell you. You don't choose them. Your parents will choose them for you. Parents have friends that have a nice little girl and you have a beautiful little boy and you'd go, "She's a cute little girl and we are in this tribe and so let's drop engagement papers."
Now, why was that done? Because it was believed that such a choice as marriage was too important and too delicate to leave to the dictates of ones own heart, that the hardest deceitful and wicked and I know we all want to choose our spouse, but I know a lot of people have had done that and it didn't always work out as well as it perhaps should have. So, that was the idea. Let's protect that marriage.
So, engagement started early. About a year before the marriage ceremony was the second face, the betrothal. It was a legal contract. You were legally married during the betrothal, we would call that the engagement. It's the equivalent of being engaged. That's where you get to know each other. You talk and you share background. There are no sexual relations whatsoever.
The only way to unbind the betrothal is with a legal divorce. It was still binding that if the husband or the betrothed man before the wedding day died, she was called a virgin who is a widow. And that's a phrase you'd find in Paul's writings, a virgin who is a widow. That is she is betrothed but they didn't have the wedding day, he died.
Joseph finds out Mary is pregnant. He knows he didn't do it. He can only assume another man did it. He's heartbroken. He's crashed. But he loves Mary and respects her so much. He doesn't want the public shame, the public scorn or the stoning and decides, "I can do it privately and it will protect her at least for a while until she really shows. The first several months, I can get her situated." And then the angel visited and said, "Don't be afraid."
Now, we're out of time and we'll talk next week about something very interesting and very crucial, very cardinal in your faith, it's called "The Virgin Birth". And even though certain scientists will say, "Well, you know, Virgin Birth, a part in Genesis they call it isn't unusual among some species, some oracles and they will show several organisms that can do it. It never happened before at a human level.
We will talk a little bit about biblical part in a Genesis Virgin Birth next week. Also, something else very interesting, there's not one genealogy but there's two genealogies and they're both completely different. One is found in Matthew and one is found in Luke. And why that is, it's so crucial because without it, without it, mankind would be absolutely doomed forever just a little teaser until next week.
Let's pray. Father, we thank you. We thank you. I marvel every time I get a chance to read through the Word of God, some new sections, some section to be refreshed on, some portion -- some verses to dig deep into, I marvel at the intricacy of your spirit and super intending the writing of it. The prophecy is included and that the history that has appealed in the midst of it. And Lord, we walk away with an even greater respect for the book that we call the Bible, the Scriptures. Father in heaven, we believe ultimately you, you wrote it and you super intended it.
And you mend us the main object of this book to be your son, the Lord Jesus Christ. We have sinned just in even snippet form that the Old Testament, the old is in the new or the new is in the old contained and the old is in the new explained. Thank you Lord that we live in a country where it's not illegal to have a portion, a copy of the Scriptures. We know there are countries where people are killed and found with one, or if Jesus is mentioned there are people or followers of him. Lord, I pray that we would take advantage and become intense students of the Word of God that we might go out from here and bless our community and bless our nation, our world, as truth bearers. In Jesus' name. Amen.