One of the top inventions that changed the world is the creation of the movable type printing press. So German inventor, Johannes Gutenberg invented the printing press sometime between 1440 and 1450.
Although others before him including inventors in China and Korea, had developed movable type made from metal, Gutenberg was the first to create a mechanised process that transferred the ink from the movable type to paper. And with this process, printing presses exponentially increased the speed with which book copies could be made. And thus, they led to the rapid and widespread dissemination of knowledge for the first time in history. And the printing press of course permitted wider access even to Bibles which of course led to the Reformation or the rediscovery of the beautiful and precious truths of the untarnished Gospel that was mired in tradition for a very long time.
Now the gospel taught in scriptures alone that we are saved by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone, for the glory of God Alone, is a wonderful consequence of advancements in science. And the motto of the Reformation was Post Tenebras Lux which meant After Darkness Light. Now the coming of Jesus also presents a light after a long darkness. It was a spiritually dark time when the Jews were scattered in a diaspora and the Davidic line was not occupying the throne. And the people were waiting for centuries for there were no oracles, prophets or kings or any word from the Lord. There was silence for about four centuries. But then finally, heaven breaks its silence and it does so with the advent of the promised King Jesus.
Please open your Bibles with me to the New Testament book of Matthew chapter 1 verses 1 to 17. And I’ll be reading from the English Standard Version. Once again it’s Matthew chapter 1 verses 1 to 17.
Hear now the words of the true and the Living God. The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham.
Abraham was the father of Isaac, and Isaac the father of Jacob, and Jacob the father of Judah and his brothers, and Judah the father of Perez and Zerah by Tamar, and Perez the father of Hezron, and Hezron the father of Ram, and Ram the father of Amminadab, and Amminadab the father of Nahshon, and Nahshon the father of Salmon, and Salmon the father of Boaz by Rahab, and Boaz the father of Obed by Ruth, and Obed the father of Jesse, and Jesse the father of David the king.
And David was the father of Solomon by the wife of Uriah, and Solomon the father of Rehoboam, and Rehoboam the father of Abijah, and Abijah the father of Asaph, and Asaph the father of Jehoshaphat, and Jehoshaphat the father of Joram, and Joram the father of Uzziah, and Uzziah the father of Jotham, and Jotham the father of Ahaz, and Ahaz the father of Hezekiah, and Hezekiah the father of Manasseh, and Manasseh the father of Amos, and Amos the father of Josiah, and Josiah the father of Jechoniah and his brothers, at the time of the deportation to Babylon.
And after the deportation to Babylon: Jechoniah was the father of Shealtiel, and Shealtiel the father of Zerubbabel, and Zerubbabel the father of Abiud, and Abiud the father of Eliakim, and Eliakim the father of Azor, and Azor the father of Zadok, and Zadok the father of Achim, and Achim the father of Eliud, and Eliud the father of Eleazar, and Eleazar the father of Matthan, and Matthan the father of Jacob, and Jacob the father of Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom Jesus was born, who is called Christ.
So all the generations from Abraham to David were fourteen generations, and from David to the deportation to Babylon fourteen generations, and from the deportation to Babylon to the Christ fourteen generations. May the Lord add blessing to the reading of His word.
So today we’ll be starting a new series on the Book of Matthew. The first of the four gospels of the New Testament. And I believe it is fitting as well as providential that we are starting this series in a time where in the world traditionally celebrates the Christmas season or Advent.
Advent of course is the four weeks leading up to Christmas that commemorate the coming of our Lord Jesus while at the same time hoping and anticipating His eventual return. Now I mentioned Advent because the idea of God’s kingdom having been inaugurated but not yet consummated is something that Advent holds to and it is also the title of our series which is Kingdom Now And Here After.
Now, pertaining to the Book of Matthew, the Gospel does not actually mention that it was written by Matthew. But if you carefully observe the book, there is a clue that we can deduce as to the identity of the author. In his account of Jesus’ call of the tax collector, he calls himself Matthew without mentioning Levi his original name. In Matthew 9 9 this is what it says – as Jesus passed from there he saw a man called Matthew sitting at the tax booth and he said to him follow me and he rose and followed him. And in the next chapter in the enumeration of The Twelve, here’s what he says in the middle of it: Matthew 10 3 – Philip and Bartholomew; Thomas and Matthew the tax collector. The gospel of Matthew mentioning Levi as only Matthew is worth noting because the other two gospels that mentioned him and that’s Mark and Luke just give him uh referred to him as Levi and not Matthew. And they also don’t mention the fact that he was a tax collector, okay. So it appears that Jesus gave Levi a name similar to what He did with Simon who was also called Peter, okay. Matthew means ‘gift of the Lord’ and I believe that he cherished that given name by his Lord. Now the affirmation as to the identity of the writer of Matthew is also attested to by Church Patriarchs like Eusebius Origen and Irenaeus. And so in terms of canonicity and authorship as early as the first century, it was virtually unchallenged. But the church accepted that it was really the writing of the Apostle Matthew. Now this particular gospel was also written at a very early date prior to the destruction of the temple in AD 70 so between AD 50 and 60. Now I’m in agreement with this one a some of Christ’s teachings would not make sense anymore to that original audience if it was written post Temple period. The fact that Matthew wrote it in the gospels meant that when he started writing, there was still time to warn the brethren about things that will soon come to pass in his writings such as the destruction of the Temple. The temple also served as a record storehouse for nobility and royalty which meant that it would be fairly easy to check the claims of Christ’s genealogy found in Matthew with the temple prior its destruction. So the temple was a repository for a genealogical records. And so the destruction would also mean that the records would be lost. And so it would be hard to make verification and disclaimers if there’s a denial after that time period. But the fact that Matthew started his book with a genealogy meant that it was fairly easy for the people during that time to check the veracity of his claims.
The early dating gives us confidence as to the accuracy and precision of the events as they are described. As we know that the farther from the event a recollection is made, the higher the likelihood that there will be embellishments or exaggerations or inaccuracies that would happen okay. And that is why if we would study the life of Jesus even in a scholarly manner, no scholar worth his salt, would look at Quran. The Quran has an account of Isa al-Masih, that’s what, that’s how they call Jesus, and yet it was written seven centuries after the Life of Christ. And so it would be very hard to treat the Quran’s account of Christ as something nearing um accuracy or even believability.
Now speaking of audience, Matthew wrote this for the Jews. Now we know the gospels have their own particular focus. Mark we just finish it uh in April this year, it was about Mark presenting Jesus as a suffering servant but it was a hero story and so the series that we had was Jesus from suffering to Glory. Luke was talking to a gentile audience, the noble Theophilus. And so he presented Christ as the Son of man. John the most unique of the gospels, presented Jesus as the Son of God. And so Matthew, uh he was focused on, because he was talking to the Jews, he always referenced the Old Testament um this is also proven by the fact that whenever he referenced Jewish traditions and customs, he never took the time to explain them as opposed to proudly say Luke who took the time to explain customs for non-Jewish readers. Um, Matthew was also unique in referencing and using the term Kingdom of Heaven versus kingdom of God which was a very Jewish term. And um the fact that also Matthew used genealogy which was a Jewish thing proved that his early audience and original audience were the Jews as they were interested in lineage, okay. Now Matthew introduced the Messiah as the culmination of the prophecies and Covenants that God made first with Abraham and then also with King David. One last thing about Matthew is that he arranged his gospel thematically as opposed to strictly chronologically. And so there are sections wherein you will find certain teachings are grouped together, that’s because that’s the theme that Matthew is trying to present for that section. So the big idea of Matthew is Jesus is the long-awaited Messiah, King of the Jews. And to this end he uses the word ‘King’ 22 times in his gospel more than any other gospel book.
And so the message for us for this morning is simply this The Coming Of The Promised Messiah Is God’s Provision And Our Salvation Culminating In History. Once again, The Coming Of The Promised Messiah Is God’s Provision And Our Salvation Culminating In History.
Yung Pagdating ho nang Ipinangakong Mesias Ay Probisyon ng Diyos at ng ating Kaligtasan na Rurok o Tuktok ng Kasaysayan. The Christ event, His Incarnation is the very Apex of history. And we’ll be unpacking this message in two points. The first one being that Jesus is The Testament of God’s Provision. That all of the Old Testament prophecies, typologies, symbolisms find their ultimate fulfilment in Christ. And though not all prophecies came to pass at Christ’s first coming, He will fulfil them at His return. And the second point is that Jesus is the testimony of God’s salvation because there is no other name in Earth uh in heaven on Earth, under the Earth by which we can be saved except in Jesus.
So let us begin. The Testament of God’s provision. Verse 1 of Matthew tells us the book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ the son of David, the son of Abraham. Matthew opens his gospel by declaring Jesus as Messiah, the Son of Abraham and of David. Now as non-Jews, it would be very easy for us to wonder why Matthew began with a record of a family tree when he could have started with something maybe more exciting or colourful like maybe the flight to Egypt, you know, um, running away from threats in their life. But I want us to appreciate and acknowledge the fact that in this genealogy are actually found the essentials of our Christian faith, okay. I’ve been, uh this has been a very fruitful uh study as I’ve been preparing for this. There’s just so many teachings that we could glean from this that we could spend weeks just going through even just the names of the people who are included in the list. But for the sake of gravity, we’ll focus on the two
points I mentioned above and God willing it will be enough to grow your appetite to dig into this chapter more in your personal study time.
So Matthew actually begins the book by hearkening to Genesis. Now if you remember how the Apostle John started this epistle, he started with in the beginning was the word which was a reference to Genesis 1
1. Now the beginning of Matthew’s book is the book of genealogy of Jesus which hearkens back this time to Genesis 2 4 and Genesis 5. Okay, another word of stating this would be actually this is the book of the generations of Jesus Christ the son of David the son of Abraham. Now why do you think he makes a parallel to Genesis. I believe it is Matthew’s way led by the spirit to tell the audience pay careful attention to this. This is monumental, this is a pivotal point in history, this is the climax of the story of the world. And all that has been said before by the prophets, the priests, the oracles, now find their fulfilment in this story that is about to unfold. You are witnessing a new Genesis, okay. Now where else most of our favourite stories growing up would start with something like ‘once upon a time’ right or if you’re a fan of Star Wars ‘a long long time ago in a galaxy far far away.’
Matthew begins his book with the lineage of Jesus. Essentially what he’s doing is that he is rooting Jesus in history. Jesus was a real person. He was a historical figure, he had ancestors, he had parents, he had brothers and sisters, he had people who came before him, and also there would be people who would come after him. And the family tree records prove it. And again during this time the temple was still existing. It could be very easy for anyone to just go there and verify the records. Jesus was not some figment of the imagination. Jesus was an actual living, breathing, human being. Now modern scholars are, are now presenting something called the ‘Jesus’ Myth theory.
Essentially, it’s an expansion of the trilemma. If you guys are familiar with the trilemma, it’s Jesus’s either Lord, liar or lunatic. Modern scholars are saying we’re smarter than CS Lewis. Let’s add another one, L for legend, okay. Jesus was a legend, he wasn’t an actual figure, but He was an ideal that was written to to to the Jewish people to give them something to hope for, to give them something to look at. But He wasn’t an actual historical person. The claim that Jesus is merely legend or myth or fiction is absurd in the face of our records, in the face of what Matthew has written. Christianity is part of actual history. And what is beautiful about this actual history is that it’s not God telling us here are the things that you need to do. But it’s God coming into the world demonstrating what He does to save sinners like you and me. We have to remember brethren the gospels is not good morals and right conduct. The gospel is the good news that God Saves sinners.
Matthew at the very first verse establishes right away Christ is a fulfilment made by God to David and Abraham. Why? He refers to Jesus as the Christ.The Christ is the Greek term for the word Messiah or Mashiach the title of Jesus as the chosen one or the anointed of God.
The first verse give mention to the important names from Jewish history whom Christ is descended of, David and Abraham. Abraham of course is the progenitor of the Jewish people. He is their father so to speak. And God’s promise to Abraham is that in him, all the nations will be blessed. And here in Matthew he’s showing Jesus is the fulfilment of that blessing. Through Jesus, Abraham’s seed will truly be a blessing to all the nations. Jesus is also called the son of David. David was the king of Israel when it experienced its golden age, the height of the time of kings and God promised David that his kingdom would never end and that an eternal king would come from his own body. It was a promise that God made to David and so God, not David is the one who will make it happen. God is the one who will make it come true, and in the fullness of time God indeed made it happen in the birth of Jesus. And so we learned that Jesus truly is the fulfilment of God’s promise to Abraham and to David. Jesus being the fulfilment, not just of the Abrahamic Covenant, but also of the Davidic means that Jesus’s life is not just rooted in history. He is also the centre of history. Now of course when we’re reading the passages of of the Life of Christ, it may not look to be the case especially as Jesus life was pretty unremarkable. He was actually born in what could be considered a small backwater place. And yet now the way that we mark and set times and dates has forever been altered by the arrival of Christ. With all the dates prior to His coming being referred to as BC or Before Christ and the ones after His birth A.D or Anno Domini which refers to in the year of our Lord. And so, Christ being the centre of History it’s great news for us. Why? Because it’s an assurance that God’s sovereignty in ordering the affairs of the world to suit His purpose and to accomplish things for His glory will happen as he sees fit. Because God’s purpose is unbreakable, because His will is infallible, even when things go awry in our lives we can trust God that He will glorify Himself in our circumstances.
One thing that we also learned from Matthew’s presentation of Christ’s family tree is that Jesus is the only possible Saviour. Jesus is the only possible Messiah. I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but there’s actually something strange with the ordering placement and even the divisions of the genealogy. And Matthew comments on it on verse 17. He doesn’t want anyone to miss it and so he actually makes a point to comment about it. It says there so all the generations from Abraham to David were 14 Generations from David to the deportation to Babylon 14 generations and from the deportation to Babylon into Christ 14 generations. Now why do you think Matthew emphasised the number 14? It’s a recurring theme. It happens three times. Now one reason for this may be as an aid in memorisation. You have to understand the Jewish people have have an oral tradition. They make it a point to memorise the Torah. And so Matthew making the segments of each section 14 Generations would make it easy as well for those who’d want to memorise this to do it.
Knowing that each section has 14 Generations, whoever’s trying to
memorise will navigate and know if they missed a name or a detail if their count comes lower than 14. However, there’s another reason and it’s that repeating numbers and numbers as symbols are very important to the culture of the Jewish people. Now before we continue with this, I just want to clarify the Bible doesn’t want us to try and look for hidden codes and hit the numbers for special meanings in scriptures.
Okay, there are people who do that they call it the Bible Code that’s actually a misuse of scripture so please don’t try and do that. However we need to understand that the frame of the passage is in light of the original audience which were the Jews. And for them, numbers have a significance, okay. The interpretive key to the whole passage is King David. Notice how Matthew says Jesus is the Son of David even before saying He is the son of Abraham, right. The genealogy of Jesus Christ the son of David and then the son of Abraham. David’s Primacy is designed to highlight Jesus as the Messianic King. The first 14 generations show the line of Abraham all the way to the rise of the Davidic dynasty. The next 14 from King David to the Exile shows us the decline of the Davidic dynasty. That David commits murder and adultery and it goes downhill from there. The kingdom is divided and finally it falls. The third grouping begins with the lowest point of the Davidic dynasty. But it does not get better from there. And then Jesus is born. And what we can see here is that every person, with the exception of Christ in the genealogy, is a sinner. And yet in spite of all that, God’s faithfulness is shown in the preservation of that line. Even with the present sinfulness of man. God is the hero. God is the preserver. Matthew then uses the Davidic line to demonstrate that it is only Jesus who is the possible Messiah through the usage of the number
14. Now the Jewish people believe in something called Gematria, okay. Gematria is the practice of assigning numerical numbers to letters, okay. It’s very easy. Alef is one, Bet is two and then Gimel three, and so on and so forth. So, whatever their order in the alphabet that’s their numerical equivalent as well. Now the Hebrew alphabet does not have vowels and so whenever they would write the name of David, they would write it as D V D, right. Dalet Vav, Dalet, okay. So what’s the significance of 14? Dalet is actually the fourth letter of the alphabet. Alef, Bet, Gimel, Dalet. D. So that’s four and four, eight. Vav is the sixth letter. So Alef, Bet, Gimel, Dalet, Heh, Vav is six. So you have four, six, four, that’s fourteen. And so Matthew has essentially repeating David, David, David, as he continues to list down the names of Jesus’s ancestors. And this would not be lost to his Jewish readers. Gets kaagad nila yun. Kasi naiintindihan nila yun. Matthew is telling us that there are three groups of 14 and the final descendant that completes it, is none other than Jesus. And so this is the point of Matthew. One person before or after Christ could not qualify to be the Messiah. Siya lang yung pasok dun sa bilang na yun. That’s why Jesus is the only possible Messiah. He is the King of kings who is a direct descendant of David of the royal line. D.A. Carson comments observe that the numeric value of David in Hebrew is 14. By this symbolism, Matthew points that the promised Son of David, the Messiah has come. Not only that brethren. If you look at it even better, having three sets of 14 means that we have six sets of seven. I’m sure you’re very familiar with the number seven. It’s an important number in Scriptures. It is the number of completion and the number of rest. God rested on the seventh. Israel is also commanded in Leviticus to let the land rest on the seventh year to let the ground replenish its nutrients. Leviticus 25 talks about the seventh seven as the year of the Jubilee and the Year of Jubilee is special because in the year of the Jubilee, slaves are freed and all the debts are forgiven. Kahit hindi pa bayad, pinapatawad yung mga may utang, yung mga alipin, pinapakawalan.
Matthew is declaring Jesus is our Jubilee. Jesus is the one that sets us free from our sins. He is the one who pays for our debts, and He is our ultimate rest. Kailangan nating maintindihan ito. Bakit? God’s punishment to Israel for their unbelief is that they would never enter His rest. And yet, in sending Jesus in providing His Son, God grants ultimate rest. You know guys, the probability of Jesus fulfilling even just eight of the more than 42 plus prophecies concerning Him is one times 10 to the 17th power. So that’s 1 followed by 17 zeros. I don’t know how to call that numerically, yet amidst all that God not only provided Christ, who is the Son of David.
But in the fullness of time, God allowed each one of us here to hear the gospel message and to respond in faith, repenting of our sins in light of Christ’s finished work on the cross. Yan ho talaga yung testament of God’s provision. Hindi lang yung ginawa Niya two thousand years ago but that in the present time, natanggap natin yun. Ine-enjoy natin yun, tinatamasa natin yun. And so brethren, the challenge for us is simply this for us to Rejoice In God’s Providence In Grace In Our Salvation In Christ. Because the danger for us especially if we walk with the Lord for some time is we may grow cold in our faith, or have contempt because of familiarity. Alam natin yun, familiarity breeds contempt. And this may also be true with the christian life that if we don’t watch ourselves; if we focus on the wrong wrong things, we could end up dismissing the miracle of God’s saving grace and take it for granted which can result to us falling into licentiousness. Hindi lang po iyon ang prublema. The opposite can also happen. We may grow in great knowledge of the things of God but absent humility, absent love, we would become legalistic and ungracious, quick to point out other people’s mistakes, and having a critical spirit. Brethren we must avoid those extremes. Always be grateful and thankful for the gospel that God has given us. Preach it to yourself day in and day out as a matter of necessity. In growing humility and in love, even as we grow in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. The knowledge that Christ is our rest should make us rejoice because we realise we don’t have to work for God’s love. He gave it to us freely. It is constant. We should rejoice that we are in Christ because we don’t have to seek Christ’s approval. His affections are directed towards us if we are in Him.
Not only that, when we participate in the ordinary means of grace, God is the one speaking to us in the ministry of the word. God is the one feeding us in the sacrament of the supper. And God is the one reminding us we are united in Him and with each other with every baptism that we witness. And all of these things taken together, testify to one truth, that God loves His children and God Saves His children.
Which brings us to our next point, The Testimony Of God’s Salvation.
Matthew’s genealogy highlights the gentiles and the outsiders in Christ’s family. Here’s what we find if we go through the list again in verse 3, Judah the father of Perez and Zerah by Tamar. Verse 5 that’s Salmon the father of Boaz by Rahab and Boaz the father of Obed by Ruth. Verse 6 Jesse the father of David the king and David was the father of Solomon by the wife of Uriah which is of course Bathsheba. Verse 16 Jacob the father of Joseph the husband of Mary of whom Jesus was born who is called Christ.
Now we’ve established earlier Jews were very meticulous and careful when it came to genealogies and familial records. This was especially true again of nobility and royalty as those records established names and titles as well as proof of inheritance and provenance. Now given the situation, records were usually meant to highlight the best of the family, right. You would think that since it’s a royal line or it’s a noble line, they would only show kung sino yung mga pinaka-best of the best cream of the crop nung kanilang lahi. Similar to how a social media account would be a record of our best foot forward, most genealogies would also show the best and brightest of a family. Jewish society was also patriarchal which meant that writing women’s names was basically anathema to them. And yet one unique characteristic of Matthew’s account of Christ is that he mentions gentiles as part of the family tree. And even more astounding, these gentiles were the unmentionables. They were all women. Females within the family.
Matthew mentions Tamar, Rahab, Ruth and the wife of Uriah which is of course Bathsheba. And of course last but not the least is Mary. Now being a gentile is one thing, being a woman is quite another. They are supposed to be outsiders and yet God put them there. We can actually make a series out of all of those names. Kasi kung mapapansin niyo, meron ho silang ginawang masama, okay. We even consider them as bad grandmas or nasty nanas, okay. But their inclusion speaks of God’s Redemption of even those outside of the covenant family of Israel.
Tamar committed incest when she slept with Judah. Rahab was a prostitute from Jericho yet was admitted into the assembly. Ruth was a Moabite and a descendant of the incestuous relationship between Lot and his daughter. Deuteronomy actually warns that an Ammonite or Moabite will not be permitted to enter the assembly and yet Ruth became the great grandmother of King David himself. Bathsheba was not even named, okay. And I’ve just discovered she may not be an Israelite but a Gilonite, okay. Because her grandfather is a Gilonite which would make sense that Uriah is married to her. Walang issue kung asawa ni Uriah as a Hittite si Bathsheba kasi hindi siya Hudyo.
Kasi bawal sila mag inter-marry, okay. What was mentioned instead was that she was Uriah’s wife which brings to mind the crime against Uriah. Do you remember that Uriah was murdered because of the adultery of King David. King David is born, or rather the lion of Christ is born out of murder and adultery and incest. So what are we to make of this in light of their mention What we can see is that Christ’s lineage highlights that He didn’t come for the righteous but that for all the sinners. Sarap. The grace of God for sinners, pareho lang sila natin, makasalanan din sila. They are gentiles just like us which underscores the fact that Jesus did not only come for the Jews, but to save all the nations. Yung kaligtasan ng Diyos sa atin sa panahong ito ay, it makes sense because God is also our Savior.
The fact that Matthew used Jesus’s Greek title Christos instead of Mashiach tells us Matthew anticipated the salvation of the gentiles in Jesus. And we see the culmination of this dun sa Great Commission, that’s how he ended the book, right. Jesus is the Saviour of the world. Our Confession of Faith actually states this way chapter 8 Christ the mediator paragraph two the Son of God the second person of the Holy Trinity being very an eternal God the brightness of the Father’s Glory of one substance and equal with Him who made the world who upholds and governs all things He has made, made did when the fullness of time was complete take upon Him man’s nature with all the essential properties and common infirmities of it. Yet without sin being conceived by the Holy Spirit In the Womb of the Virgin Mary the Holy Spirit coming down upon her and the power of the most high overshadowing her and so what’s made of a woman of the tribe of Judah to the Seed of Abraham and David according to the scriptures so that two whole perfect distinct Natures were inseparably joined together in one person without conversion, composition or confusion which person is very God and very man yet one Christ the only mediator between God and man.
Alam niyo, nakakatuwa, even in the presentation of Christ. Christ is named as the legal heir of Joseph. But Matthew was very careful to show that Joseph was not actually the father of Christ. The way that he presented it Is by saying Jacob, the father of Joseph, the husband of Mary of whom Jesus was born who is called Christ. And so essentially what he’s saying there is that Jesus is also Son of God. He’s not, He may be the legal son of Joseph, but His origin is that He is Son of God of divine origin. So we need to, the challenge for us in light of all of these, that Christ is the only mediator between God and man, is for us to be passionate and intentional to proclaim the gospel to everyone we meet. And when I say everyone, I mean everyone.. from our family and loved ones, to our friends, to office co-workers and colleagues and even to complete strangers, okay. Kaya nga po sinimulan po natin kahapon formally yung ministry of public evangelism. Because we understand and realise that Christ saved us but He also saves others and the way that we can partner with Christ is to be obedient to the command to make disciples of all nations. Alam niyo po, brethren, there are only a few opportune times wherein people are more open to hearing about eternal matters or about Christ. One of them would be the death of a loved one, another would be our season right now, Christmas or Advent. Let’s not waste this time and instead capitalise on it. When the world is quite literally observing a tradition started because of Jesus’s birth. Alam niyo po, nakakalungkot..supposed to be Christmas is a time of hope and yet most of the suicides that happen in a year happen during Christmas season. Because it’s also a time of hopelessness for a lot of people. And so it will be very important for us to understand, now would be a perfect time to introduce hope to people in that hope is Christ. To let you know how serious I am, I want us to all understand that Christ, that like Christ, lahat naman tayo may pamilya heh. And so similar to Him, we have history. While we may not have as colourful a history as Christ, baka walang murder, incest, na nagaganap sa inyo, meron pa rin tayong skeletons in the closet. And ye if we go far enough, back in our ancestry, mauuwi tayo sa mga first parents natin, Adam, Eve. At pag umabot ho tayo dun, alam ho natin bad news yun. Bakit? Adam and Eve were sinners which means so are we. We’re in the same boat as they are. But friends, our story does not end there. Because God is rich in mercy. He provided a way for us to be reconciled in Him and that is by repenting of our sins and turning to Jesus Christ. It is a testament of God’s provision that you are hearing this message today. That there is a Promise that God gives and it is that EVERYONE WHO CALLS ON THE NAME OF THE LORD WILL BE SAVED.
Puwede niyo ho iyan itaga sa bato. Pangako ho iyan ng Diyos. One reason Matthew lists Jesus lineage is that Christ’s family tree is still growing. If you put your trust and faith in Christ Alone, then you will become a part of His family tree as well. A line that connects and writes straight from Jesus to you.
There’s a story of Pastor Matt Chandler befriending a single mother whose name was Kim. And they had an opportunity to invite her to a gospel concert and so she came. He was hopeful she would come to Christ but what happened during the concert was actually a disaster. So in the middle of the concert, the preacher came up and the preacher said I want to talk about sex, okay. And then he started rattling off statistics about STDs and he just straight up told people – people you don’t want syphilis do you, right? Nobody wants gonorrhoea, okay. And then he made a, he made an illustration his big illustration was that he got one freshly plucked rose, okay. And then he made a show of smelling it..hmm…ang bango. And then he threw it into the crowd and then he says – everyone, take a shot at it, okay, while I continue with my message. And so he continued sharing his message, And then at the end of his message, he asked for the rose back. Of course when the rose came back, it was already broken, okay.. uh the petals were falling off, it was drooping, it was ugly. And then he raised it high into his head and then he said – now who in the world wants this? Of course, implying nobody would. Uh and his message was essentially don’t be the rose. And when that happened, Pastor Chandler didn’t know what to do, alright. Of course after the event he didn’t hear from Kim for a couple of weeks until somebody contacted him that Kim, uh had an accident. And so he visited her. While they were talking she suddenly remarked – you don’t think I’m a dirty rose, don’t you? And his his heart sunk when he heard it but that was also an opportunity for him to share and to tell Kim that Jesus wanted the rose. That that was the message of Christianity. All of us were the dirty rose. We’re broken, we’re battered, we’re drooping, our petals are falling off, there’s no beauty left in us anymore. And yet, Jesus wants to save, redeem and restore that dirty rose. Who wants the rose? Jesus wants the rose. Knowing that there are many broken, hopeless, dying dirty roses in the world today. Let us bring that message that Jesus wants the broken, He wants the lonely, the hopeless, the restless, the tired and the hungry because Jesus is the Saviour of all sinners.
As we end, knowing we are recipients of God’s gracious Providence and even more importantly of God’s salvific grace, may all of us explode in Evangelistic Zeal and fervour especially as the world drowns in sin and hopelessness. We have a Saviour who entered humanity in humility at a time when it was in sin hopelessly lost. God’s love personified came down so that we could be saved by the greatest who became the least. Our greatest hopes and our deepest fears can find their satisfaction only in Jesus Christ. May the word of the Lord convicts us and cause us to humbly call upon His name Jesus our Messiah.
Let us pray our great God and gracious Father, we want to thank You for Your message to us for this morning. Lord, thank You that in the family tree of Christ is a snapshot of the essentials of the Christian faith. Lord there’s Your sovereignty, there’s the historicity of Christ. It also shows Him as central to human history, that history indeed is Your story of Your interaction with humanity. Lord, I thank You that You save the outsiders, the outcasts like us. Lord, I pray that as You’ve saved us, we will have that same Zeal to tell people about You especially at this time of Advent. Lord, I pray for our loved ones, our colleagues, mga kasama namin the next coming days. Grant us an opportunity an opening for us to talk to them about Christ. Of course leaving the results up to You kasi Kayo naman po yung Tagapagligtas. we give back all the glory praise and honour in Jesus’ name. Amen