Hi, and welcome! My name is Mick and alongside my wife Tricia we have the great privilege of leading this amazing church STC Sheffield. It’s September 2018 and the beginning of our new Foundations podcast series. This year is going to be so exciting as we reflect on the four gospels, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John – four distinct snapshots of the life of Jesus. Each day there will be a relevant thought for the day based on the bible passage offered by one of our amazing staff team at STC Sheffield, a prayer and a song of worship. It really is a great way to build Godly Foundations in our lives as we follow Jesus. So let’s go!
Firstly, here’s a truth to remember: the Bible always points to Jesus – it’s his book! Today’s bible passage certainly points to Jesus – it’s Matthew 1:1-25 – do listen to the whole passage after the prayer and why not read it some time today. Today’s focus verse to reflect on is a familiar verse that is often heard at Christmas, “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel” (which means “God with us)”
Matthew’s gospel was written for a Jewish audience about 50 years after Jesus’ death and resurrection, so the story was still relatively fresh in the memory of the people. The story is about Jesus, the travelling rabbi from Galilee who was called the Son of God, the Messiah, the one the people had been waiting for, the one who had come to set people free from fear and despair to live a new kind of life of loving God, serving others and sharing a life of hope for the future. One of the challenges we face in our society today is that although our nation was founded on the Christian faith, we have as a culture forgotten this. We have forgotten the story of Jesus, the Son of God – the Prince of Peace in a world so often in conflict; the King of love in a world that is so often loveless. Our call as Christians is to remember again and tell the story of Jesus in our time.
Matthew begins with Jesus’ family tree in verses 1-17; these verses are often skipped over when we come across them or even not read at all as they just look like a boring list of names. However, they are a fascinating read because here are ordinary people just like you and me who made a decision to follow an extraordinary God. These verses are a great encouragement to us all because if God can use them he can certainly use you and me in our ordinary everyday lives!
We read in verse 21 that Jesus had come to ‘save his people from their sins’ – that’s what his name means, Jesus is the Saviour. Through his death and resurrection he has the power and authority to forgive us our sins. We all have times in our lives when we need forgiveness, when we long for an opportunity to start again with a clean slate. Times when we need help and strength as we face life’s challenges. Times when we need encouragement, someone to cheer us on. Times when we just wish someone would be there for us. Here’s the good news – today, right now there is someone who is there for us. His name is Jesus – he is Immanuel, God with us. With you and me today. Hallelujah!
“The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel” (which means “God with us)”
It’s amazing to know this truth today that God is with you and me. That Jesus walks with us every step we take today and as we share our days with him, our lives change for the better.
Foundations Podcasts are a great way to remember again our Christian heritage as we hear again and reflect upon the stories of Jesus in the four gospels. We shall consider over 220 Bible readings, reflections, prayers and worship songs between now and summer 2019 and we hope you can find time each day over these next months to ‘join us’ as the STC church family, as together we journey with Jesus, God with us, and see him break into our lives. Exciting!
Lord Jesus, thank you for this new day, a gift from you fresh off the shelf of heaven, never been used before! Help me always to remember that whatever the day brings you are with me and you walk beside me. Hallelujah! Amen
READING: Matthew 1: 1-25
This is the genealogy of Jesus the Messiah the son of David, the son of Abraham:
Abraham was the father of Isaac, Isaac the father of Jacob, Jacob the father of Judah and his brothers, Judah the father of Perez and Zerah, whose mother was Tamar, Perez the father of Hezron, Hezron the father of Ram, Ram the father of Amminadab, Amminadab the father of Nahshon, Nahshon the father of Salmon, Salmon the father of Boaz, whose mother was Rahab, Boaz the father of Obed, whose mother was Ruth, Obed the father of Jesse, and Jesse the father of King David.
David was the father of Solomon, whose mother had been Uriah’s wife, Solomon the father of Rehoboam, Rehoboam the father of Abijah, Abijah the father of Asa, Asa the father of Jehoshaphat, Jehoshaphat the father of Jehoram, Jehoram the father of Uzziah, Uzziah the father of Jotham, Jotham the father of Ahaz, Ahaz the father of Hezekiah, Hezekiah the father of Manasseh, Manasseh the father of Amon, Amon the father of Josiah, and Josiah the father of Jeconiah and his brothers at the time of the exile to Babylon.
After the exile to Babylon: Jeconiah was the father of Shealtiel, Shealtiel the father of Zerubbabel, Zerubbabel the father of Abihud, Abihud the father of Eliakim, Eliakim the father of Azor, Azor the father of Zadok, Zadok the father of Akim, Akim the father of Elihud, Elihud the father of Eleazar, Eleazar the father of Matthan, Matthan the father of Jacob, and Jacob the father of Joseph, the husband of Mary, and Mary was the mother of Jesus who is called the Messiah.
Thus there were fourteen generations in all from Abraham to David, fourteen from David to the exile to Babylon, and fourteen from the exile to the Messiah.
This is how the birth of Jesus the Messiah came about: his mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be pregnant through the Holy Spirit. Because Joseph her husband was faithful to the law, and yet did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly.
But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, ‘Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.’
All this took place to fulfil what the Lord had said through the prophet: ‘The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel’ (which means ‘God with us’).
When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife. But he did not consummate their marriage until she gave birth to a son. And he gave him the name Jesus.