Bible Study: Matthew 1

Matthew is the first book of the New Testament. This is where Jesus is first introduced, as He is the pinnacle height of all human history. The long-awaited Messiah is finally here. Why is this important? Because prior to Christ, there was no hope of human redemption. Since Adam sinned in the Garden of Eden, all of the seed inside of his body (the entire human race that would come forth into existence) fell with Adam and the rest of the world.

“Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned” (Romans 5:12)

Unfortunately, that one sin of Adam effected the entire human race and the world around us. This is because sin brings death and separates us from God’s holy perfection. Many people blame God for the problems around us in this world and shake their fists at Him – this is complete foolishness, because in reality they should be shaking their fists at themselves. We as humans are the ones who sin, not God. Look at this world and tell me, is God the one murdering, raping, being hostile, cursing, and sinning? No, it’s humans. It is prideful to place the blame of our sins on a holy, perfect, righteous God. And of course, pride is the original sin. So it’s no wonder why so much of the human race as enough pride to be shaking their fists, angry at the Creator of Heaven and Earth (all the while enjoying His creation!)

“How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High. Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit.” (Isaiah 14:12-15)

As we can see, the first sin ever committed was by Satan himself, in heaven. And what was his sin? Pride. Pride for thinking he can be more glorious, more high than God himself. Can you guess what Adam’s first sin really was? If you guessed pride, you are correct. It wasn’t about eating a piece of fruit that caused humanity to fall and be separated from God, it was disobeying God. And any disobedience in God stems in pride. Pride, because we think we know better than God not to obey Him and His commands. Pride, because we want our own way, not God’s way. So, the devil was the first sinner in Heaven, and his sin was pride. Now, let’s zoom in on the Garden of Eden where Satan tempts the first human beings to sin now – human beings in which he has a deep hatred for. Why? Because human beings are made in God’s image.

“So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.” (Genesis 1:27).

“Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden? And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden: But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die. And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil. And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.” (Genesis 3:1-6)

Zooming on on Genesis 3, we see that Satan lured Eve into disobeying God and eating the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, and Adam followed suit. Because Satan fell due to his pride, he tempted Adam and Eve to likewise be prideful in disobeying God, just as he did in Heaven. Eating the piece of fruit was so much more than just eating a piece of fruit. It echoed the pride of Satan in Heaven, and the root of it is pride against God, wanting to be like God.

They weren’t satisfied with just being human and being under the Lordship of Christ. They wanted more. This is what caused the fall of humanity, and this is in the heart of every human: pride.

“As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one. Their throat is an open sepulchre; with their tongues they have used deceit; the poison of asps is under their lips: Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness: Their feet are swift to shed blood: Destruction and misery are in their ways: And the way of peace have they not known. There is no fear of God before their eyes.” (Romans 3:10-18)

Can you see how pride would be the root of all sin? It’s the first sin that took place in Heaven and then in the Garden of Eden, and it’s the root of all sin in humanity today and through all generations. Think about it: all sin is disobedience to God, and disobedience to God means you are being rebellious to your Creator. And the truth is, is that we all are. We are all sinners, we all have pride. We have all fallen, and we all deserve judgement for our sins which includes hell. We have all been separated from God, because He is holy and we are not.

This is why we need Jesus.

Let’s get back to Matthew now. Here comes the introduction of Jesus Christ. He had long been prophesied over the span of thousands of years. Matthew starts by listing Christ’s genealogy. This is important because it displays that Christ indeed came through Adam, like all human beings, yet did not sin (because He is God). Another important aspect is that this genealogy also displays that Jesus came from the line of David, which is important because the Messiah was repeatedly prophesied to come from the seed of David.

“Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost.” (Matthew 1:18)

The text goes into declaring that Mary became pregnant not through sexual intercourse, as all humanity does, but from the Holy Spirit – this is to show that Christ, though He is man, He is not merely man but God in the flesh. He was conceived in a virgin through the Holy Spirit. This means, though He was born as a descendant of Adam, He is not under Adam’s fallen nature that was given to all humanity. He is outside the sin that took place in the Garden of Eden. Humanly speaking, Jesus was born through the line of Adam, but spiritually speaking, Jesus was not under the fallen nature of Adam because He came from God and he is God.

“And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name Jesus: for he shall save his people from their sins.” (Matthew 1: 21)

Jesus is a powerful name, and has abundantly powerful meaning behind His name. His name means salvation, and He is what all of humanity desperately needs. Because all of humanity has fallen because we come from Adam, who sinned in the Garden of Eden, we were separated from God. Jesus is the One who can restore us to God, the way it was originally intended for humanity prior to Adam’s sin. Through Jesus and only Jesus, we can be reconciled to God.

It is imperative to let go of our pride and humble ourselves under God. He literally made us, shouldn’t we submit to Him? Coming to Christ in trust and faith, repenting and turning to our Creator in humbleness will lead to all abundant blessing. He will forgive us of all our transgression against Him. He is so ready to forgive, but it takes receiving His forgiveness and grace. That’s all it takes – letting go of our pride, and trusting in Jesus.

Why is Jesus the One to save us from our sins?

Because humanity could never be sinless, which is the only way to be restored to God and enter eternity in His presence. Jesus, being both fully man (born from a woman) and fully God (conceived by the Holy Spirit), He is the one who lived that sinless, perfect life for us, and died for our sins. He became the sacrifice for our sins, because sin = death. All of God’s judgement and ager went on Jesus on the cross of calvary. And now, if you repent and trust in Christ, you will be given God’s endless grace and mercy, and be forgiven of your sins. When this happens, all of Christ’s perfection now rests upon you, and God only sees Christ’s perfection when He looks at you. He no longer sees your sin, and you will no longer be judged and sent to eternal damnation for your sins.

“For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.” (1 Corinthians 5:21)

It’s both incredibly simple, yet hard. Simple, because all it takes is putting your faith and trust in Christ, yet it’s hard. Why? Because it means that you have to let go of your pride. Satan is a real entity and he wants to ensure people stay away from God and rebel against Him, just like he did in the Garden of Eden with Adam and Eve. He’s still doing that today. He hates human beings because they are made in the image and likeness of God, and so he wants as many people to go to hell as possible. There is spiritual warfare at work to keep people in their sin and pride and not trust in Jesus Christ.

Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.

Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.” (James 4:7-8)

Jesus lovingly came to this broken, sinful world, and lived a perfect life. He sacrificed His perfect life for our sins, so that we may have His perfection resting upon us like a blanket, and that we can salvation and be reconciled to God. Jesus is the height of human history, no other will ever do what He did. And all who come to Him will be given forgiveness, redemption, and God’s endless grace.