2022 website 1200x800 11

Matthew 1:1–16

‘…and Jacob the father of Joseph, the husband of Mary, and Mary was the mother of Jesus who is called the Messiah.’ (v16)

The start of Matthew’s Gospel gives us the genealogy of ‘Jesus the Messiah’ (v1).

This may seem like a strange start to the nativity story, but being able to trace their lineage was important to the predominantly Jewish audience to which Matthew was writing.

Matthew traces the family tree of Jesus from Abraham, an important and central figure to the Jewish people.

The family tree of Jesus is both a source of encouragement and challenge for us today. It can be easy to consider the Christmas story as a fairy tale or fable, putting it on our bookshelves alongside other stories such as Snow White, or Jack and the Beanstalk!

Yet to those who might doubt the authenticity of Christ’s birth or even His historical existence, Matthew’s family tree reveals Jesus to be the Jesus of history – we do not put family trees in fairy tales!

As a result of the fact of Jesus’ birth, we have to respond very differently to the Jesus of history than to some sort of fictional character.

Matthew’s Gospel tells us clearly from the outset, this is historical fact, this is truth, this is Jesus!

As we celebrate the birth of Jesus this year, two thousand and twenty two years after the first nativity, we celebrate that God Himself has broken into this world, in the flesh.

Each of us are called to herald this, to announce the greatest day in history – the fact of God with us.

A PRAYER TO MAKE: ‘Lord, thank You that You broke into history, that You live today, that You call us to respond to Your call on our lives. Amen.’
AN ACTION TO TAKE: What difference does it make to you knowing the reality of Jesus’ existence?
SCRIPTURE TO CONSIDER: Psalm 119:159–160; Luke 1:1–4; Heb. 13:7–8; Rev. 22:12–21
Micha Jazz is Director of Resources at Waverley Abbey, UK.