The Sign of Immanuel – Part 1 (Matt 1:18-25)

(Continuing in our pre-Christmas series through Matthew chapters 1 and 2, focusing on the Old Testament background. Read Matt 1:18-25.)  It’s Christmas afternoon. Things are quietening down after lunch. Everyone’s well fed and starting to get that glazed look in their eye. It’s about time for a nap. And then, probably from one of the older… Continue reading The Sign of Immanuel – Part 1 (Matt 1:18-25)

A Very Matthean Christmas – Part 3 (Matt 1:1-17)

The final unexpected character in Jesus’ family tree (see the previous two days’ posts) isn’t even named. So far we’ve seen Tamar, involved in one of the earliest sex-scandals in Israel’s history. Then Rahab, a Canaanite prostitute. And Ruth, a Moabite woman. All giving us clues as to what Jesus was going to be about… Continue reading A Very Matthean Christmas – Part 3 (Matt 1:1-17)

A Very Matthean Christmas – Part 2 (Matt 1:1-17)

Yesterday we began looking at the genealogy (list of ancestors) in Matthew 1:1-17, and read the story of Tamar, who features in it. We saw that far from airbrushing the skeletons in Jesus’ family tree out of his presentation, Matthew draws attention to them. Yesterday, it was a sex-scandal. Today, we see two Gentiles (non-Israelites),… Continue reading A Very Matthean Christmas – Part 2 (Matt 1:1-17)

A Very Matthean Christmas – Part 1 (Matt 1:1-17)

Only ten shopping days until Christmas. If that statement’s not enough to make you put your daily Bible reading on hold until the New Year, the next one might be: Over the next three days we’re looking at Jesus’ genealogy in Matthew’s gospel. You know, the list of names of who “begat” whom. But before you… Continue reading A Very Matthean Christmas – Part 1 (Matt 1:1-17)