Text: Matthew 1:1-17
Big Idea: Every Life Matters to God
Summary: Jesus’ genealogy contains some unexpected names. If we pay attention to the names we wouldn’t expect to see, we can discover an important truth about the love of God.
1. Women matter to God
* Tamar (vs 3)
* Rahab (vs. 5)
* Ruth (vs. 5)
* Bathsheba (6)
2. Foreigners matter to God
* Tamar was from Timnah (a Philistine city)
* Genesis 38
* Rahab was from Jericho (a Canaanite city)
* Joshua 2
* Ruth was from Moab (Israel’s sworn enemy)
* Ruth 1
* Bathsheba was married to a Hittite (she may or may not have been a foreigner)
* 2 Samuel 11
3. Sinners matter to God
1. Tamar dressed like a prostitute to seduce her father-in-law
2. Rahab was known to be a prostitute in Jericho
3. Ruth is not explicit listed as a sinner
4. Bathsheba had an affair with King David
In Mark 2:17, Jesus said, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I came not to call the righteous, but sinners.” These surprising inclusions in the genealogy of the greatest man who ever lived remind us that God love everyone and desires all to be saved. It doesn’t matter who you are, where you’re from, or what you’ve done… You matter to Jesus.
Text: Matthew 1:6-12
Big Idea: Right or Wrong?
Summary: In these verses, fourteen kings of Judah and Israel are listed. If you look up the record of each king in the books of Kings and Chronicles, you’ll discover that half of those listed in Matthew 1 did good in the eyes of God and half of them did evil. Use this unique truth to teach some important principles about God’s nature and work in this world.
1. Increased power and prestige are not always a result of righteous living.
* Matthew 5:45 - He makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust
* Don’t assume that earthy success is a sign of God’s blessing
2. Difficulties and suffering are not always a result of evil living.
1. Luke 13:1-5
2. Don’t assume that earthly difficulty is a sign of God’s anger
3. God’s plan is never derailed by wicked leaders
1. Even the most evil kings in Judah did not change God’s promise to David or His plan for redemption
2. Don’t despair when you deal with difficult leadership. God is still on the throne.
Nobody is perfect. Like this list, all of us are a combination of good and bad. We should never deceive ourselves to think that our goodness is enough to please God. Just as the flawed line of Jewish Kings required God’s intervention to repair a broken line of succession, we need God’s intervention to fix our broken lives. Just as Jesus was the perfect King for Judah, He is also the perfect King for us. Choose to accept Jesus’ goodness as your own!
Text: Matthew 1:18-25
Big Idea: Character Matters
Summary: Within this story about Joseph’s interaction with an angel, we can observe much about Joseph’s character. Although he doesn’t get a lot of “screen time” in the New Testament, and although he almost never speaks, his life is one to be emulated. Within this story, we can discover five character traits of Joseph which are worth imitating.
1. Joseph valued purity.
* vs. 18 “before they came together”
* vs. 25 “but knew her not”
* Patience is a virtue.
2. Joseph valued justice.
* vs. 19 “being a just man”
* Doing the “right” thing is always the best thing.
3. Joseph valued mercy.
* vs. 19 “unwilling to put her to shame”
* Be merciful as your Heavenly Father is merciful.
4. Joseph valued wisdom.
* vs. 20 “as he considered these things”
* Wisdom rarely comes easily or quickly. It requires taking time to listen to and consider multiple viewpoints/options.
5. Joseph valued obedience.
* vs. 25 “And he called his name Jesus.”
* The most important thing anyone can do is figure out what God has said to do and to do it.
In Philippians 3:17 and 4:9, Paul encourages believers to follow the example of those who can point them to Jesus. In this passage, Joseph serves as an example of someone who can help us look more like Jesus. Everyone can identify with Joseph. We all have room for improvement in at least one of these areas.
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