I find it interesting that Matthew presents the genealogy of Jesus in the fist part of his book. Matthew’s focus in writing was to reach those of Jewish background, specifically Jewish converts to Christianity.
I read in my study Bible about why this was important, and I’m sure some of you have heard this before. But, I thought it important enough to pass on this morning.
“Matthew is very concerned to present Jesus as the son of David…Moreover, he carefully arranges the generations in each of the three groups so that they number fourteen. Not only is this an especially sacred number, because it is twice seven or sabbath, but, more important, it is the numerical equivalent of the name of David, the Great King! That is, the Hebrew letters which spell the name of David (and which also stand for numbers in hebrew) add up to fourteen. this intricate arrangement of the genealogical table can hardly be accidental. It is matthew’s way of emphasizing that jesus is the promised Son of David, fulfilling the Messianic prophesies.”
Seems Matthew had a thing for special meanings, maps and numbers – as you may have seen in David Murrow’s book, “The Map“.
The message for me lies in how Matthew found his audience and presented his testimony in a language they could understand. It makes me rethink who is “my audience” for my testimony. What am I doing to present the gospel in a language they can understand? Am I even thinking about that? I am now!