Sun, Dec 16, 2018
by Linda Evans
HopeFULL week three message from Linda Evans on December 16, 2018 at Community Church of Waterford, Goshen, Indiana. Matthew was written by a former tax collector, one of the 12 Apostles. It was written primarily for a Jewish audience and because of that, understandably, it has more Old Testament quotations and references than the other three gospels. Matthew emphasized Jesus as the King of the Jews. Matthew starts off with a genealogy lesson which I had read before but it always seemed a little dry to me. Matthew 1: 1-6 And this genealogy lesson goes on through verse 17. Remember that I said that Matthew was writing mainly to a Jewish audience? To a Jewish person, their lineage was tremendously important. Their ancestery gave them status and credibility and power and prestige. The thing that would have been shocking to the Jewish audience was Matthew didn’t try to cover over anything offensive or controversial. Matthew lists not only the important guys but also some gals (which would have been unheard of at this time in history). Women had no status, no power, no real significance. Matthew not only included women, he also included foreigners and some notorious sinners, too. Genesis 26:7 Matthew 1:6 Luke tells us WHAT happened. He gives us the detailed story and it is beautiful and amazing and leaves us breathless with wonder. Matthew tells us HOW it happened and it was messy! God used flawed, imperfect sinners time and time and time again and these were Jesus’ ancestors. Matthew 18:11 Jesus came from imperfect people, for imperfect people and in his ministry Jesus constantly associated with imperfect people and he continues to work in and through imperfect people today. GOD IS STILL IN THE BUSINESS OF RESTORATION AND HE IS DOING IT TODAY! RIGHT NOW! RIGHT HERE! Because he loved us enough to send the best gift imaginable…. His son, Jesus. This is the message of Christmas. Deuteronomy 32:4 Matthew 11:28-30 This first chapter of Matthew is so much more than a dull and boring list of names. It’s God saying… I loved these imperfect people with messy lives. I used them to further my kingdom. I love you. I can still use you. God says… 1. Bring me your mess. 2. Bring me your brokenness. 3. Bring me your discouragement. 4. Bring me your anxious heart. 5. Bring me your hopelessness. Love and peace and hope are waiting for you today and it began in the manger.