Beginnings are important.
You start a building with a strong foundation. You begin a paper with a solid introduction. First impressions influence how a connection plays out.
Matthew serves us two important themes that are foundational for his understanding of who Jesus was and is.
Jesus is king.
What’s your lineage? Do you have an interesting heritage? Jesus has royal ancestry and yet that wasn’t his claim to fame. It was merely a foundation upon which he would reveal himself to be the ultimate king. And much to the surprise of his contemporaries, he proves to be a completely different kind of king! Jesus is at the same time more powerful than any royalty, yet he seeks to serve and sacrifice and save. Relationship with Jesus evokes the reverence and supremacy of a king, and the love and connection of a friend.
Jesus is “God with us.”
When the angel comes to Joseph in a dream, he establishes another foundational piece of this story. Jesus is “God with us” and came to “save his people from their sins” (Matthew 1:21-23). You’ll learn more about the term “Messiah” as we read through this study, but it’s important to notice that Jesus’ coming was proclaimed and anticipated. God’s plan is not limited to our timing and His seeking to meet us and save us does not waver.
Today as we start, consider Matthew’s foundation of the story of Jesus. He is the long-awaited and powerful king, yet accessible and seeking relationship with each one of us. I encourage you to hold those often-competing images in your mind and humbly present a prayer for these next 4 weeks to Jesus who is both powerful and present.
-Jon Noto, Community Life Pastor