Sermon: Jesus, The Messiah-King from the Line of David Matthew 1:18-25

Jesus, The Messiah-King from the Line of David

Matthew 1:18-25

Truth Taught- The Messiah-King is Conceived of the Holy Spirit and Born of the Virgin Mary

 

Introduction

If we do a study of the Kings of Israel and Judah we discover very quickly that the majority of the kings were evil and did not obey God. Every king that Israel had was evil all 19, in fact. Judah had a few considered good but Judah had mostly evil kings. Why does this matter? Well it matters because we also learn very quickly that we cannot put our trust and hopes in any person. We must never think that people will ever save us. We cannot put our trust in kings, presidents, politicians, church leaders, Popes or anyone else. People will always fail to save us. But there is this One King…If God was going to save His people through a King, there had to be something different take place. Something outside of the norm would have to happen in order for God’s King to actually save His people.

The reign of this special King is foretold throughout the Old Testament in places like…

Jeremiah 23:5–6 (ESV)

“Behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when I will raise up for David a righteous Branch, and he shall reign as king and deal wisely, and shall execute justice and righteousness in the land. In his days Judah will be saved, and Israel will dwell securely. And this is the name by which he will be called: ‘The Lord is our righteousness.’

Every time a new king ascended the Davidic Throne the people had high hopes that maybe this would be the one God promised, the righteous branch, and every time they were disappointed. Israel and Judah endured many many evil kings while they waited for the Promised Messiah, the King who was the Son of David and David’s righteous branch. The truth was David had many unrighteous branches. Israel had 20 evil kings and Judah had 19 kings and none proved faithful to the degree the OT spoke of.

So, something different will need to happen in order for a King to be the Deliverer and One who would be just and righteous.

Last time we saw that Jesus was from the Davidic line and that He was the descendant that finished the third group of 14 showing that He alone qualified by birth to be the Messiah. As great as Matthew’s lineage of the Jesus was it sort of ends not with the bang we might have hoped for but rather…
Matthew 1:15–16 (ESV)

15 and Eliud the father of Eleazar, and Eleazar the father of Matthan, and Matthan the father of Jacob, 16 and Jacob the father of Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom Jesus was born, who is called Christ.

I’m not sure you caught it last time but Matthew goes to great lengths to actually show us Joseph’s lineage not technically Jesus’.

One key that Matthew highlights is that Jesus the Messiah is from the line of David but not from the flesh of David. This is how God did it. This is how God saved His people by a King. Jesus came from the Davidic line through Joseph. Jesus was the rightful heir to the Throne of David and at the same time was not of David’s flesh. This is the key role Joseph played in Jesus’ life. Jesus was the rightful heir to the Davidic throne through Joseph.

How will God save His people through a King? Let’s pray and discover together the amazing plan God had through the centuries to save His people through His anointed King.

Prayer

Matthew 1:18–25 (ESV)

18 Now the birth of Jesus Christ took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit. 19 And her husband Joseph, being a just man and unwilling to put her to shame, resolved to divorce her quietly. 20 But as he considered these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. 21 She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” 22 All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet:

23    “Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son,

and they shall call his name Immanuel

(which means, God with us). 24 When Joseph woke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him: he took his wife, 25 but knew her not until she had given birth to a son. And he called his name Jesus.

In God’s sovereignty His plan was as good as accomplished. From Joseph’s perspective there were still a couple of issues God needed to resolve. He needs Joseph to go through with the betrothal and final marriage with Mary even though she is clearly pregnant and in order for Jesus to be in the line of David, Joseph needs to accept Jesus as his own Son by adoption. Let’s look together at how God works through this just and merciful man named, Joseph…

  1. The King Conceived of the Holy Spirit (1:18-20)

18 Now the birth of Jesus Christ took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit. 19 And her husband Joseph, being a just man and unwilling to put her to shame, resolved to divorce her quietly. 20 But as he considered these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit.

I want to work our way through this section (18-20) to discover some facts concerning the conception of Jesus the Messiah.

            Joseph and Mary Betrothed-

The ancient practice prior to the formal marriage was a yearlong betrothal. The Bride to be would remain in her family’s home until the year was up.   People say that the betrothal is like our engagement but that’s not really the case. A betrothal was a formal declaration that took place, which could only be dissolved through a formal act of divorce. They were considered, in a very real sense, husband and wife without living together and without any sexual union. In fact our text already declares them husband and wife…19 And her husband Joseph

The issue from Joseph’s standpoint is that Mary is clearly showing and he knows the baby is not his because he’s one who is just before God, observing the Jewish tradition and Law. He thought he knew Mary. He thought she was the one. He thought she was the one he could spend the rest of his life with worshipping God together as they walked in faithfulness to God’s commands. Joseph is confused and disappointed to say the least.

            Joseph’s Character-

19 And her husband Joseph, being a just man and unwilling to put her to shame, resolved to divorce her quietly.

Joseph had the right to divorce Mary because, as it seemed, she was an adulteress. He had a few options…He could have divorced her in a way that would bring further shame on Mary and her family. He could have made a public spectacle of her. In OT law, adultery could even have the death penalty associated with it through stoning, though rarely practiced. Instead because he was a just man he simply wanted to end the betrothal as quietly as possible and not bring any more disgrace upon Mary than she would already have being an unwed mother in ancient Israel. Joseph shows kindness and mercy even in this situation…he was a just man.

With God All Things are Possible-

As Joseph is working out what he’s going to do and how he would handle this issue of his wife-to-be being pregnant God steps into the equation.

20 But as he considered these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit.

Notice what the angel tells Joseph. He calls him Joseph, son of David. We already in past weeks learned the significance of that title clearly pointing to the fact that Joseph is from the Davidic line.

Next, he learns that Mary is as pure and godly as he had hoped and that her pregnancy had divine attributes connected to it. Here we see a supernatural conception.

Luke 1:26–38 (ESV)

26 In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, 27 to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. And the virgin’s name was Mary. 28 And he came to her and said, “Greetings, O favored one, the Lord is with you!” 29 But she was greatly troubled at the saying, and tried to discern what sort of greeting this might be. 30 And the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. 31 And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus. 32 He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David, 33 and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.”

34 And Mary said to the angel, “How will this be, since I am a virgin?”

35 And the angel answered her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy—the Son of God. 36 And behold, your relative Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son, and this is the sixth month with her who was called barren. 37 For nothing will be impossible with God.” 38 And Mary said, “Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her.

Yet, as Gabriel told Mary on that fateful day more than two thousand years ago, nothing is impossible with God (v. 37). Jesus had no ordinary origin but was conceived through the direct intervention of the Holy Spirit. Luke’s amazing account really is similar to the creation account in Genesis. As The Holy Spirit hovers over the face of the deep in God’s creation so the Holy Spirit seems to hover over Mary to create within her womb a baby. God is doing something very unique here.

The Mediator had to be a true human being because only a human being could atone for human sin (Heb. 10:1–18). The sinful nature we inherit from Adam makes it impossible for a fallen human being, one conceived and born through ordinary means, to atone for sin (Rom. 5:12–21). Case in point, all the Kings of Israel and Judah. God overcame this problem via the virgin conception of Jesus, providing a Mediator who is truly human, born of Mary, but not tainted by Adam’s sin. In the incarnation, the Son of God truly became flesh (John 1:14) — He took on a true human nature — and He did so without inheriting corruption because of the Spirit’s work. Belief in the virgin birth is crucial to salvation, for this miracle is the means by which God gave us a sinless Mediator.

Please understand everyone involved understood that this is highly out of the ordinary. This is a supernatural act of God. Virgins don’t have babies, plain and simple but with God all things are possible and this special King would be the Savior of His people.

So, God overcomes Joseph’s concerns by telling him what had happened to Mary.

  1. The King Who Is Savior and God (1.21-23)

21 She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” 22 All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet:

23    “Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son,

and they shall call his name Immanuel

(which means, God with us).

  1. The King Named Jesus

21 She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.”

It was the ancient custom for the Fathers to name the children. Ladies, I’m not sure how this would go over today but that was the practice in ancient Israel. Notice closely who names the child. God does and then Joseph does. 21 She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus.

When God names Jesus He is shown to be God’s Son and when Joseph names Jesus He is shown to be accepted and officially adopted by Joseph and in that instant, the Virgin Born Son of God becomes the rightful heir to the Davidic Throne. The Davidic covenant is fulfilled. One key point is that Joseph accepts and names Jesus.

The other point is the meaning of the name Jesus…

Jesus is given the name Jesus because He will save His people from their sins. Jesus means Yahweh Saves. Now there is a King that His people can put their trust and hope in. Notice, Jesus will not save His people from Roman domination or save them from any other world power or army. He did not come to restore Israel’s military and make them a world power as many had hoped. He didn’t come to return Israel to be a world power like she was under King David and Solomon. Notice something else, Jesus’ mission is not even to save His people from hell. He did not come so we can experience an eternity of comfort. He came to save us from our sins. That is Jesus’ mission, that’s what He was called to do and He did it perfectly.

  1. The King Called Immanuel

22 All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet:

23    “Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son,

and they shall call his name Immanuel

(which means, God with us).

Matthew introduces us to his first OT quotation. The way Matthew typically quotes from the OT is like he does here. It goes something like this…This was to fulfill what the Prophet wrote…he does this in this case. All this took place refers to all the events, Mary being pregnant by the Holy Spirit, Joseph being told in a dream, Joseph naming the baby and Joseph adopting the baby as his own.

So what Matthew wants us to see is that these events were alluded to by Isaiah.

Isaiah 7:10–14 (ESV)

10 Again the Lord spoke to Ahaz: 11 “Ask a sign of the Lord your God; let it be deep as Sheol or high as heaven.” 12 But Ahaz said, “I will not ask, and I will not put the Lord to the test.” 13 And he said, “Hear then, O house of David! Is it too little for you to weary men, that you weary my God also? 14 Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.

In Isaiah’s day there was a miraculous birth. It was a pregnancy and birth that took place during a time of increased hostilities between Israel and Assyria. This text is either speaking of Ahaz’s wife or Isaiah’s wife. At any rate this particular woman would become pregnant and carry the child to term and give birth. This birth would mean that God had spared them from hostile attack and slaughter from the much greater army. The child would be a sign that God was with them. This was the first part of Isaiah’s dual fulfillment prophecy.

In Joseph’s case Mary wasn’t just his wife but she was his virgin wife. Jesus wasn’t just a sign that God was with them He was the greater fulfillment God Himself being with His people. So, Matthew quotes the Isaiah, Immanuel Sign passage to show that Jesus being born of the Virgin Mary and adopted by Joseph was the greater and final fulfillment of the Isaiah prophecy.

  1. Joseph Did All God Commanded Him
    24 When Joseph woke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him: he took his wife, 25 but knew her not until she had given birth to a son. And he called his name Jesus.

So this section ends in triumph. God worked through His servant Joseph to accomplish all His plans for the birth of Jesus.

Joseph took Mary to be his wife and Jesus was named by Joseph the name God gave Him.

So, Jesus of Nazareth is now securely adopted as the Son of David the rightful heir to David’s throne and born of the Virgin Mary.

Application

Joseph’s obedience was fueled by his belief. Our obedience is also fueled by our belief.

Even though what Joseph was commanded to believe had never happened before and was seen as an impossibility he was called on to believe what God had told him, your wife to be is pregnant and still a virgin and I want you to adopt and name the baby Jesus. He did all God commanded him even though he didn’t fully understand or see the ultimate plan of God. He was part of the plan of God and it required his belief and obedience.

Beloved, it’s the same for us. Is there a promise of God you struggle to believe? Is there an area of your life where you’re not obedient? Understand if there is an area where you’re not obedient then there is a promise you don’t believe. They are always connected because belief always fuels obedience. Rather than asking God to make you more obedient ask Him to reveal a promise to you that you don’t fully believe.

God’s Son was given the name Jesus and was called Immanuel, which means, God with us. Joseph believed all God told him…

We have the Immanuel promise in Hebrews 13:5, Jesus tells us that He will never leave us or forsake us. He is Immanuel, God with us.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

*Resources Used:

Matthew by D A Carson in the Expositor’s Bible Commentary

A Theology of Matthew by Charles Quarles

A Gospel of Matthew by France

Matthew by Craig Bloomberg

Matthew by Doriani

Matthew by Charles Price

Matthew by Leon Morris

Blue Letter Bible

RC Sproul Ligonier Ministries

 

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