- Sermon Notes
Name Above All Names
ILLUS – Trip to Israel with Pastor Rich. While I was blessed with the opportunity to see so much biblical history and learn about the efforts of Israel to defend herself against her enemies, one location gave me a glimpse into the future, the Eastern Gate!
1. Why is the Eastern Gate significant?
a. The Eastern Gate was sealed shut in AD 1540–41 by order of Suleiman the Magnificent, a sultan of the Ottoman Empire.
b. But in Zechariah 14:4-5, we are told that when Messiah comes “His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, which is in front of Jerusalem on the east; and the Mount of Olives will be split in its middle from east to west” due to an earthquake. Then the Lord will enter Jerusalem through this gate and defeat all of Israel’s enemies.
Zechariah 14:9, And the LORD will be king over all the earth; in that day the LORD will be the only one, and His name the only one.”
2. This is where it will all happen, the Eastern Gate!
3. But if you ask a Jew today, they will tell you that Jesus is not their Messiah. Jesus will not enter the Eastern Gate because He is not qualified to be their King.
4. So, how can we, as Christians, be certain that Jesus is truly Messiah, the King, the One whose “name is the only one,” the Name Above All Names? The Gospel of Matthew gives us the answers.
READ: Matthew 1:1-17
1. The author of the Gospel of Matthew is the Apostle Matthew.
2. External and internal evidence supports Matthew’s authorship.
a. External Evidence: Many early church fathers cited Matthew as the author of the Gospel, including Clement of Rome, Polycarp, and Justin Martyr.
b. Internal Evidence: There are more references to coins than any other Gospel which is what you would expect from a tax collector! Secondly, Matthew continually refers to himself as a tax collector whereas Mark and Luke only use the term once because of the negative connotations.
3. This Gospel was written between AD 40 – 60.
a. The date range is supported by the fact that there is no reference to the Fall of Jerusalem (AD 70), and
b. That Matthew calls Jerusalem the “Holy City” in Matthew 4:5 and 27:53 which implies it has not been destroyed at that time the Gospel was written.
4. Matthew wrote this Gospel primarily for Jews.
a. Unbelieving Jews would have been impressed with the number of Old Testament quotes (50 direct quotes, more than any other Gospel) and over 75 allusions to OT events; each confirming that Jesus is Messiah.
b. Believing Jews would have been energized by Matthew’s Gospel to stand firm in their faith as they await the return of their Savior and King!
5. The theme of Matthew’s Gospel is to declare that Jesus is the promised Messiah, the King of the Jews!
Transition – Why does Matthew begin his Gospel with a genealogy? Because the first thing a Jew would say in response to the claim that Jesus is the Messiah is, “Prove it! Prove that Jesus is qualified to be Messiah!” The genealogy of Jesus is the first step in doing just that!
I. Jesus’ Family Tree Qualifies Him as Messiah (1)
A. The Messiah must be the son of David
1. The Jews take genealogies seriously!
ILLUS – The Temple Institute and the preparations for the Third Temple
2. Notice that Matthew lists David, the great king of Israel, before the father of the nation and father of our faith, Abraham. Why?
3. Because God promised David that one of his descendants would rule as King on the throne of David forever!
2 Samuel 7:12-13, “When your days are complete and you lie down with your fathers, I will raise up your descendant after you, who will come forth from you, and I will establish his kingdom. He shall build a house for My name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever.”
4. But today, Jews say that Jesus died, therefore He cannot be the Messiah, their King!
ILLUS -Pastor Rich’s question to our Jewish host during a Shabbat dinner in his home regarding Isaiah 53
APPL – Jesus’ death did not disqualify Him as Messiah. His resurrection three days later confirmed He is Messiah, King of the Jews! Listen to the words of Jesus, after His resurrection, to two disciples on the road to Emmaus…
Luke 24:25-27, And He said to them, “O foolish men and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken! Was it not necessary for the Christ to suffer these things and to enter into His glory?” And beginning with Moses and with all the prophets, He explained to them the things concerning Himself in all the Scriptures.
APPL – Jesus had to endure the cross to pay the penalty for our sin before He could be crowned King and sit on the throne of David forever!
APPL – Then how will the Jews respond when Jesus returns, and they realize they crucified their Messiah, the King?
Zechariah 12:10, “And I will pour out on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the Spirit of grace and of supplication, so that they will look on Me whom they have pierced; and they will mourn for Him, as one mourns for an only son, and they will weep bitterly over Him, like the bitter weeping over a first-born.”
B. The Messiah must be the son of Abraham
1. Next, Matthew lists Abraham, the father of the nation of Israel and the father of our faith. Why?
2. God promised Abraham that through him all the nations of the earth would be blessed.
Genesis 12:3, “And I will bless those who bless you, and the one who curses you I will curse. And in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”
Genesis 15:18, On that day the Lord made a covenant with Abram, saying, “To your descendants I have given this land,”
3. The Apostle Paul sheds light on the Messianic significance of God’s promises to Abraham.
Galatians 3:16, Now the promises were spoken to Abraham and to his seed. He does not say, “And to seeds,” as referring to many, but rather to one, “And to your seed,” that is, Christ.”
APPL – In the first verse of Matthew’s Gospel, Matthew shows that Jesus is rightly related to two major covenants, the Davidic and Abrahamic covenants, which qualify Him to be the Messiah, the King! If this was not so, then we might as well pack up and go home!
Transition – Not only does the genealogy of Jesus reveal that He is qualified to be Messiah, it also calls us to …
II. Come Just as You Are (2-17)
A. Come all who are rejected, weary, and broken
1.This is not your typical family tree. It seems that God was specifically making a point by including people that Jews would not want to have in their genealogy.
2. Matthew lists four women, Tamar, Rahab the harlot, Ruth, and Bathsheba the wife of Uriah the Hittite.
3. In that day, if you wanted a credible testimony, you would not include women!
a. Women had no legal standing, no inheritance, and could not testify in court
b. Women were considered property, a “thing” to be possessed, not a person.
Quote: A Jewish Man’s prayer
APPL – But Matthew includes women, some who were Gentiles, to show that Jesus came for men and women alike for all have equal standing and value in His sight. Jesus broke down the dividing wall by elevating the status of women, slaves, and Gentiles!
Galatians 3:28-29, There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s offspring, heirs according to promise.
4. Tamar was a widow who was promised to have one of Judah’s son to continue the line of her deceased husband. But Judah was more concerned about himself, than his dead son’s line. After many years of waiting for Judah to give her his third son in marriage, she disguised herself as a prostitute in order to have relations with Judah and thus continue the line of her husband. Word got back to Judah that Tamar was pregnant, so Judah wanted her put to death. But when it was revealed that he was the father of her children, Judah declared,
Genesis 38:26, “She is more righteous than I”
5. Next is Rahab, the harlot, who married Salmon. When Joshua sent spies into the Promised Land to check out Jericho, the spies hid in Rahab’s home. Because she helped the spies, she and her family were saved when Jericho fell. The writer of Hebrews honored her faith by mentioning her in Hebrews 11…
Hebrews 11:31, By faith Rahab the harlot did not perish along with those who were disobedient, after she had welcomed the spies in peace.
APPL – Notice that Matthew did not call her a “harlot” because in Christ all things are made new!
6. Ruth was a Moabitess, the widow of a Hebrew man. She was a faithful and gracious woman, but she was excluded from God’s covenant blessings because the Moabites did not give Israel food and water when they were wandering in the desert. When her mother-in-law, Naomi, decided to return to Israel after the death of her husband and two sons, Ruth said that she wanted to go with her, promising…
Ruth 1:16, “Do not urge me to leave you or turn back from following you; for where you go, I will go, and where you lodge, I will lodge. Your people shall be my people, and your God, my God.”
7. The Book of Ruth is a beautiful love story and picture of Christ’s love for His bride, the Church. She married Boaz and became the great grandmother
APPL – These three women give us a glimpse into the heart of God for the rejected, weary, and broken.
Matthew 11:28, “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.”
B. Jesus is the hope of sinners
1. The fourth woman, Bathsheba, is not mentioned by name in the Hebrew for the text literally reads, “her of Uriah”.
2. She was a married woman who had an affair with King David, the “man after God’s own heart”. She became pregnant, so David tried to cover up the affair by ultimately having Uriah murdered.
3. But what is done in the darkness, God reveals in the light! Nathan the prophet, confronted David and David repented, but the child from his union with Bathsheba died.
4. Later, God graciously gave the couple another child, a son, and they named him Solomon!
APPL - Through this failure, David, and we as well, learn a valuable insight regarding the heart of God towards sinners…
Psalm 51:17, “The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and a contrite heart, O God, You will not despise.”
5. Finally, there is Manasseh, the most wicked king in Judah’s history. He “provoked the Lord to anger”, by practicing witchcraft, divination, and sorcery. He even made his sons to pass through the fire. Yet, when he was brought into exile, he repented, like David, and God forgave him.
2 Chronicles 33:12-13, And when he was in distress, he entreated the LORD his God and humbled himself greatly before the God of his fathers. When he prayed to Him, He was moved by his entreaty and heard his supplication, and brought him again to Jerusalem to his kingdom. Then Manasseh knew that the LORD was God.
6. Matthew could relate to all of these individuals in Jesus’ family tree, just like you and me.
a. He was a tax collector. Tax collectors were considered traitors because they purchased the right from Rome to make money off their countrymen by collecting taxes. They were known for their corruption and were equated with the worst of sinners.
b. But Jesus reached out to Levi, son Alphaeus, for that is the name given to him at birth. Levi repented of his sin and invited all of his sinner friends to meet Jesus, the Messiah, the King.
c. He was given a new name, Matthew, which means “Gift of God” and went on to write this Gospel so that we may discover what he did, Jesus is the Messiah, King of kings and Lord of lords!
APPL – Are you weary, broken, weighed down because of sin? Come to Jesus and His throne of grace.
Hebrews 4:16, Let us therefore draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
Matthew 1:1-17 NASB