Jesus’ Kingly Blessings for the Nations: A Missiological Understanding of Matthew 1:1
This article argues that Matthew 1:1 and Matthew 28:18–20 frame the gospel of Matthew. Both texts portray Jesus as the true seed of Abraham and the true son of David. As the Son of David, Jesus has all kingly authority in heaven and on earth, and, as the offspring of Abraham; Jesus is the one through whom God fulfills his promise to Abraham that through Abraham's offspring all the families of the earth would be blessed. Now, Jesus, with all his kingly authority, blesses all peoples with salvation, as the Church makes disciples of all nations.
In his introduction (Matt 1:1), Matthew portrays a twin
ancestry of Christ Jesus as the Son of David and the Son of Abraham. Jesus’ two
ancestral links become central themes that Matthew develops throughout the
book. Matthew 28:18–20 is the climax of these themes and their missiological
application. My aim is to demonstrate that Matthew’s epilogue (28:18–20) is the
sum and zenith of the twin ancestry of Christ, as the nations are blessed with
the gospel through the divine offspring of David and Abraham.
To prove this, I must show that Matthew 1:1 corresponds to Matthew
28:18–20, that Matthew concludes (28:18–20) where he began (1:1), showing
Christ as the distinct Son of Abraham and divine Son of David through whom the
nations are blessed. To make that connection, we
will first examine how Matthew develops the theme of Jesus’ ancestral identity,
beginning with Christ’s genealogy:
First observation: Note that the genealogy
begins (1:1) and ends (1:17) with an intentional focus on David and Abraham as
the key figures. The genealogy runs from Abraham to David, to the exile, and
then to the Christ (1:17) who is the both the seed of Abraham and the Son of David
(1:1). Primarily, Matthew wants us
to understand that Christ is the one in whom God fulfills his promises to
Abraham and to David.
God called Abraham from Ur of the Chaldeans and promised him that
he would bless him and make him a blessing (Gen 12:1–3). Through Abraham all
the families of the earth will be blessed (Gen 12:3). After Abraham exhibited
his willingness to offer Isaac as a sacrifice to God, God renewed his covenant
with Abraham, saying, “In your offspring shall all the nations of the earth be
blessed, because you have obeyed my voice (Gen 22:18).” After Abraham died, God
repeated this promise to Isaac (Gen 26:4) and to Jacob (Gen 28:14), implying
that there is a future offspring yet to be born.
Jacob’s children lived in Egypt, afflicted for four hundred years
(Gen 15:13; Acts 7:6–7). God, through Moses (Exod 3), rescued them and brought
them to the Promised Land because of his covenant with Abraham (Gen 15:16; Exod
2:24). While in the Promised Land, God raised judges who led Israel (Judg 2:16–23),
until Israel asked for a king, Saul (1 Sam 8). Because of Saul’s sins and
failure to obey God, God rejected Saul from being king of his people, removed
the dynasty from his house (1 Sam 15:10ff), and chose David to rule Israel (1
Sam 16:1; Acts 13:22). In his reign, David desired to build a house for God to
dwell in and God made a covenant with him, promising, “I will raise up your
offspring after you, who shall come from your body, and I will establish his
kingdom. He shall build a house for my name, and I will establish the throne of
his kingdom forever (2 Sam 7:12-13).” After David died, the kingdom was divided
(1 Kgs 12), Israel and Judah both going into exile because of sin (2 Kgs
17:7–18; 25:1–30). God continued to speak through the prophets, promising that
he would restore his people and David would reign over them (cf. Ezek 34:23;
37:24; Isa 16:5). God promised to raise a new king to David’s throne (Jer 23:5;
Jer 33:15). Isaiah identified this king as a divine child who would reign on
David’s throne forever (Isa 9:6–7). At the conception of Christ, the angel of
God identified Jesus as the son of David whose reign will be eternal (Luke
1:32–33). Matthew calls Christ the son of Abraham and the son of David.
Second observation: Against all human
reasoning, through women like Tamar (1:3), a woman of questionable character
(Gen 38:12–19), Rahab, a prostitute (Matt 1:5; Josh 2:1; 6:17), Ruth, a gentile
(Matt 1:5; Ruth 1:4), Bathsheba, an adulteress (Matt 1:6; 2 Sam 11:3–4), and Mary, a virgin (1:16),
God brings forth his Son, the seed of David and Abraham. God shows us his
glorious freedom to work all things according to the counsel of his will. The
presence of Gentiles (Rahab, Ruth, Bathsheba, Tamar) in Jesus’ pedigree shows
him as the all-inclusive Savior; Jesus saves both Jews and Gentiles.
Because God’s promise to Abraham could not fail, the deportation
to Babylon did not thwart his plans (1:11–12). Neither did the failure of a
covenant head—David’s adultery with Uriah’s wife from which Solomon came (1:6). Nothing stops God from
fulfilling his promises to Abraham and David.
Third observation: Apart from the genealogy in
Luke, Matthew 1:1-17 is the only genealogy in the New Testament. There are no
genealogies in the NT except those in Matthew and Luke because all of the OT
genealogies were tracing the line of the promised Seed, which has found its
ultimate fulfillment in Christ, the Seed of Abraham and the son of David.
1. Jesus Christ the Son of David
During David’s reign over Israel, Yahweh gives him rest from all
his surrounding enemies. David then desires to build a temple for Yahweh (2 Sam
7:1–3). Through the prophet Nathan, Yahweh tells David that he will not build
such a temple but his son will because David’s hands are bloody (2 Sam 7:4–11).
Yahweh makes a covenant with David:
When your days are fulfilled and you lie down with your fathers, I
will raise up your offspring after you, who shall come from your body, and I
will establish his kingdom. He shall build a house for my name,
and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever. I will be to
him a father, and he shall be to me a son. When he commits iniquity, I will
discipline him with the rod of men, with the stripes of the sons of men, but my
steadfast love will not depart from him, as I took it from Saul, whom I put
away from before you. And your house and your kingdom shall be made sure forever before
me. Your throne shall be established forever.’” In
accordance with all these words, and in accordance with all this vision, Nathan
spoke to David (2 Sam 7:12–17).
David’s son from Bathsheba (1 Kgs 1:11; Matt 12:42), builds a temple for God
and rules over Israel, partially fulfilling the Davidic covenant (2 Samuel
7:13). Yet, he cannot be the son who reigns forever because he sins, marries
700 wives, has 300 concubines, and makes treaties with the nations, contrary to
the word of Moses in Deuteronomy 17:14–20. Moreover, in 580 BC Nebuchadnezzar
sacks Judah. He takes the Jews captive, and Solomon’s kingdom and temple are
left in ruins. After the exile, the kingdom is never fully restored.
Later, through Haggai, God promises that he will make Zerubbabel,
who is also listed in the genealogy of Matthew (1:12), a signet ring—that is,
Zerubbabel, one from David’s line, will become Yahweh’s authorized
representative on earth (Hag 2:23). Like Solomon, Zerubbabel
dies, and the promises of the Davidic covenant await fulfillment.
After the exile, when the writer of Chronicles recounts the
Davidic covenant, he foresees a Davidic son who will be sinless and thus
intentionally leaves out the phrase in 2 Samuel that says “When he commits iniquity, I will discipline him with the rod of men,
with the stripes of the sons of men.” The chronicler says:
When your days are fulfilled to walk with your fathers, I will
raise up your offspring after you, one of your own sons, and I will establish
his kingdom. He shall build a house for me, and I will establish his throne
forever. I will be to him a father, and he shall be to me a son. I will not
take my steadfast love from him, as I took it from him who was before you, but I will
confirm him in my house and in my kingdom forever, and his throne shall be
established forever.’” In accordance with all these words, and in accordance with all
this vision, Nathan spoke to David (1 Chro 17:11–15).
prophets also foresee that God will raise a new Son of David who will sit on
David’s throne (cf. Isa 9:7; 16:5; Jer 33:17; 19–26). After David and Solomon
have passed from the scene in Israel’s history, there is still an expectation
for a new Son of David who will shepherd God’s people, be a prince over them
(cf. Ezek 34:23:24), reign forever, and cause them to walk in the statutes of
Yahweh so that they enjoy the promised land forever (cf. Ezek 37:24–25).
1.1. He is King
The son of David was to reign over God’s people (2 Sam 7:12–17) as
their king. From beginning to end, Matthew portrays Jesus as this King. Jesus
is born King of the Jews (Matt 2:2) and he dies King of the Jews (Matt 27:37).
The kingdom that has lacked a king since the deportation to Babylon now has the
promised king, Christ. With the coming of Jesus, the hopes and prophecies of
Ezekiel are fulfilled (cf. Ezek 34; 37).
When the wise men from the east (possibly Babylon) come to Bethlehem, they
proclaim Christ as the King of Jews (Matt 2:2). That Gentiles are the first to
recognize his kingship may hint to the fulfillment of the Abrahamic covenant
(Gen 12:3; 28:14). Matthew’s amalgamations, “the King of the Jews” (Matt 2:2) and “his star” (Matt 2:2), are reminiscent of Numbers 24:17, which says
“a star shall come out of Jacob, and a scepter shall rise out of Israel” (Num
24:17). Jesus is the star that has
arisen out of Jacob, and the scepter, King of the Jews, who has risen out of
Although death signified that neither Solomon nor Zerubabel was
the promised king, Matthew stresses Jesus’ kingship even more at his death than
his birth. The phrase “the King of the Jews” occurs four times in Matthew, once
in the birth narrative (Matt 2:2) and thrice in the death narrative (Matt
27:11, 29, 37). He is mocked as King of the Jews (Matt 27:28–30) and killed
because of this claim (Matt 27:11–12), and on his cross it is written, “This is
the King of Jews” (Matt 27:36–38). The way Matthew strategically places this
phrase, “King of the Jews,” at the beginning and ending of the Gospel intimates
that it helps frame his book around Jesus’ kingship, a theme that begins from
the very first verse when Jesus is called the son of David.
1.2. He Has Authority Over All Things
Jesus, the son of David, exercises dominion over sicknesses,
diseases, and demons. His authority and his reign
know no bounds. His rule is not limited to the Jews; he rules over all
things—demons, Satan, and everything under the sun.
The phrase “Son of David,” apart from its first occurrence in 1:1,
occurs nine other times in Matthew. The title appears to be used in three ways,
giving us a glimpse of the Jewish understanding of who Jesus is as the Son of
David. First, as Son of David, Jesus is Lord (Matt 15:22, 25; 20:30, 31).
Second, he is merciful (Matt 9:27; 31). “And behold, there were two blind men
sitting by the roadside, and when they heard that Jesus was passing by, they
cried out, ‘Lord, have mercy on us, Son of David!’” (Matt 20:30). Third, as Son of David,
Jesus has authority to heal all manner of diseases (Matt 9:27–29; 20:29–34) and
to free people from demonic oppression (Matt 12:22; 15:21–28).
When Jesus displays his authority over demons and diseases, “all
the people [are] amazed, and [say], ‘Can this be the Son of David?’” (Matt
12:22–23). This again shows that the people are still expecting the Son of
David to appear after Solomon has passed from the scene. Moreover, they are
expecting that the Son of David’s reign will extend beyond Israel to the
spiritual realm, even over demons.
As Jesus said (Matt 12:42), something greater than Solomon is
here. Jesus, the Son of David par excellence, is not only greater in authority,
but also wiser than Solomon whose wisdom amazed the world and attracted the
queen of Sheba and others (Matt 12:42). He is the wisdom of God (1 Cor 1:30)
who draws all nations to himself.
1.3. He Represents David and Yahweh
Jesus’s ascension to the Mount of Olives, as he moves toward the
cross, possibly echoes 2 Samuel 15:30. France observes, “While the route over
the Mount of Olives was the normal
route from the east, Jesus’ use of the donkey at that point may also have been
intended to remind the pilgrims of the peaceful yet triumphant return of King
David back over the Mount of Olives by which he had fled during Absalom’s
rebellion (2 Sam. 15:30), when he too presumably rode on a donkey (2 Sam.
16:1–2).” If Matthew intends to evoke
2 Samuel 15:30, then Jesus goes to the Mount of Olives in his time of
trouble—facing the crisis before him in Jerusalem—just like David his father
according to the flesh (Rom 1:2; Matt 21:1; 24:3; 26:30). Matthew 21:1 not only
evokes 2 Samuel 15:30, but also evokes the messianic prophecy of Zechariah
The prophet Zechariah prophesies that in the coming day of Yahweh,
Yahweh’s feet “shall stand on the Mount of Olives that lies before Jerusalem on
the east, and the Mount of Olives shall be split in two from east to west by a
very wide valley, so that one half of the Mount shall move northward, and the
other half southward” (Zech 14:4). “The newly formed valley will serve as a
means of escape for the remnant in Jerusalem and as a way of Yahweh’s
victorious processional to Zion.” Zechariah’s imagery, a
valley that provides escape, is reminiscent of the valley that God formed for
his people to cross the Red Sea on the day of their redemption. Zechariah
foresees a day when Yahweh will reveal his power by striking all the peoples
with plagues, as he did when he fought against Egypt in the Exodus (Zech
14:12ff; Exod 15), and “living water” will flow out of Jerusalem (Zech 14:8;
cf. John 4:10; Rev 22:1). Then, “Yahweh shall be king over all the earth. On
that day Yahweh will be one and his name one” (Zech 14:9).
These prophecies find penultimate fulfillment in Jesus’ first
coming and final fulfillment in the second coming. In Matthew, Jesus stands on
the Mount of Olives, fights demonic powers for his people, triumphs over them
at the cross, paves the way for a new Exodus (the redemption of God’s people
from sin), and gives himself as “living
water” to his own (John 4:10). This Jesus and Yahweh are one.
Worship also signifies Jesus’ deity in the book of Matthew. Jesus
receives worship at his birth, as Gentiles worshipped him (Matt 2:11), and in
the city of Jerusalem, as children cry, “Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed
is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest!” (Matt 21:9,
cf. v. 15). After Jesus’ resurrection, his followers see him and worship (Matt
28:9,17). Jesus is the Son of David according to the flesh, and the Holy Spirit
declares him the Son of God with power (Rom 1:3–4) by his resurrection from the
dead. He is the divine Davidic Son, worthy of worship like his Father. As the
Son of David, Jesus has all authority, shares in divinity with God, and reigns
over all things as King of kings.
2. Jesus Christ, the Son of Abraham
When God calls Abram, he promises Abram a blessing and promises
that all the families of the earth will be blessed through him (Gen 12:1–3).
Later, when Abraham demonstrates his fear of Yahweh through the sacrifice of
his son, Isaac, God tells Abraham that it will be through his offspring that
God blesses all the families of the earth (Gen 22:17–18). The line of Abraham’s
offspring continues from Isaac to Jacob whose sons become an entire
nation—Israel (Exod 4:22–23). Israel, Abraham’s corporate seed, does not
mediate the blessing of Abraham to the nations. Instead, because of their
disobedience, they are kicked out of the Promised Land, just as Adam is kicked
out of Eden (Gen 3:23).
God promises Abraham land, seed, and blessing. Not only Abraham,
however, will be blessed; all the people groups of the world would be blessed
through him. God confirmed this promise to Isaac and Jacob (Gen 26:3–5;
28:13–15; 35:9–12). Isaac and Jacob partially fulfill the promise of the seed.
The multiplication of the seed begins with the children of Jacob, the nation
Israel, in Egypt. By the hand of Moses, God rescues the multiplied seed of
Abraham, Israel, and brings them to the Promised Land. In the land, Saul
becomes king over Israel, but God rejects him because of sin and raises David.
After David, Solomon reigns but the kingdom divides after him, and the two
kingdoms later go on exile (2 Kgs 17:7–41; 25:1–26). The prophets threaten
judgment, but also hope for a new covenant (Jer 31:31–34; Ezek 36:26–27) and a
universal blessing (Isa 9:2–7; 19:16–25; 55:3–5; Mic 4:1–5; 5:2–4; Ps 22:27),
through a future son of David (Isa 9:2–7; Mic 5:2–4). In the NT, Jesus comes as
the son of David and son of Abraham, who mediates the universal blessings
promised to Abraham (Gen 12:3) and David (Isa 55:3–5).
Jesus Christ, the true and perfect Son of Abraham, comes and
succeeds where Israel failed. He does so, while representing the nation of
Israel. Following his birth, Jesus descends to Egypt and is “exodused” out of Egypt. Out of Egypt God
calls his Son, just as he did Israel (Matt 2:13–15; Hos 11:1). Continuing in
his exodus, Jesus goes through the waters at his baptism like the corporate
seed of old at the Red Sea (cf. Matt 3:16; Exod 14; 1 Cor 10:1–4). At Jesus’
baptism, God declares from heaven, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well
pleased” (Matt 3:17), echoing his declaration to Pharaoh, “Israel is my
firstborn son” (Exod 4:22).
Just as God leads Israel into the wilderness (Deut 8:2–3), so the
Spirit drives Jesus into the wilderness for forty days and forty nights
immediately after his baptism (Matt 4:1–2; Deut 9:9). Jesus fights temptation when
the devil tempts him in the wilderness, just like the corporate seed of Abraham
(Israel) (cf. Matt 4:1–11, cf. Ps 106:14; Heb 3:8, 17). Unlike Israel, however,
he succeeds in this temptation, as he does not give into the allurement of the
Although Jesus represents Israel and keeps God’s law in their
place, Matthew demonstrates that Jesus intends to save not only Israel, but the
nations as well. Matthew includes several Gentile women in Jesus’ genealogy:
Tamar, Rahab, Ruth, and Bathsheba. This shows God’s kindness towards Gentiles.
In Matthew 2, Gentiles (wise men from the east) are the first to worship Jesus.
In chapter four, after his temptation in the wilderness, Jesus goes to Gentile
lands so that the words of the prophets may be fulfilled which said, “The land
of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, the way of the sea, beyond the Jordan,
Galilee of the Gentiles— the people dwelling in darkness have seen a great
light, and for those dwelling in the region and shadow of death, on them a
light has dawned” (Matt 4:15–16). Although Jesus asks his disciples not to
preach to the Gentiles (Matt 10:5), he gives hints of a Gentile mission when he
says “you will be dragged before governors and kings for my sake, to bear
witness before them and the Gentiles” (Matt 10:18). Shortly afterwards, Matthew
reveals that Jesus is Yahweh’s Servant who will proclaim justice to the
Gentiles (Matt 12:18; Isa 42:1) and that in his name the Gentiles will hope (Matt
12:21; cf. Isa 42:4; cf. Rom 15:12). Jesus blesses a Canaanite woman with
healing (Matt 15:21–26; cf. Matt 8) and heals people in Jericho (Matt
20:29–34). The kingdom of God is open to tax collectors, prostitutes (Matt
21:31), and all who desire to come (Matt 22:9–10). Hence, the gospel of Jesus
must be preached to all nations, Israel and all Gentiles (Matt 24:14; cf. Acts
3. How Matthew 1:1 Relates to 28:18b–20
Jesus is indeed the Son of David, the Son of Abraham. As the Son
of David who rules over all things and the Son of Abraham who blesses the
nations, Jesus proclaims:
authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make
disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the
Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching
them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you
always, to the end of the age (Matt 28:18–20).
At this moment, Jesus declares what Matthew announced in the very
first verse: “The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the Son of David, the
Son of Abraham” (Matt 1:1). He is not just a son, but the awaited son who
fulfills the Davidic covenant and the Abrahamic covenant. Since Matthew has
already established that Christ is the son of David and son of Abraham, who has
authority over all things, when Jesus speaks in Matthew 28:18–20, Matthew’s
readers already know his identity. Jesus is the son of Abraham, through whom
the universal blessings of Abraham will reach all the families of the earth,
and the son of David who has authority over all things.
When Matthew quotes Jesus’ words, “All authority in heaven and on
earth has been given to me,” the passive “given” (á¼δá½¹θη) is a divine passive,
assuming God the Father as its subject; God has placed all things under the
lordship of Christ. If God shares all authority with Jesus, the assumption is
that Jesus is God. God gives Christ authority
over all things because he is the King who shares divinity with the Father and
inherits the eternal kingdom promised to David’s Son.
Matthew 1:1 and 28:18b–20
shares authority with the Father: “All authority in heaven and on earth has
been given to me.”
has one name with the Father: “baptizing them in the name of the Father and
of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.”
is omnipresent like the Father: “I am with you always.”
him all the nations are blessed: “make disciples of all nations.”
As the Son of David, Jesus has all kingly authority in heaven and on
earth, and as the Son of Abraham, he intends to bless the nations through the
church’s proclamation of the gospel. Jesus’ resurrection is central to this
revelation. The universal mission that Christ commissions is validated by the
resurrection, which demonstrates his complete authority. Because Jesus rose from the
dead and conquered death, death has no power over him (Rom 6:9). Now exalted in
heaven, Jesus says, “I am the first and the last, and the living one. I died,
and behold I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of Death and Hades” (Rev
1:17-18). Because of Jesus’ victory over sin and death, he alone can free us
from the power of sin and death and give us eternal life.
4. Missiological Implications of Jesus as the Son of David and Son of Abraham
Like Israel, we have all fallen short of the glory of God. To be a
blessing to the nations, Jesus had to die, taking on our record of debt and
bearing the penalty of our sin. Christ Jesus became a curse to free us from the
curse of the law “so that in [him] the blessing of Abraham might come to the
Gentiles, so that we might receive the promised Spirit through faith” (Gal
3:13–14). The blessing of Abraham comes to the nations, as we, the church, obey
King Jesus’ command to make disciples of all nations and the nations put their
trust in him.
The Abrahamic blessing that the Church mediates through
discipleship is not material and physical betterments; in the present, it is
primarily the gift of salvation, eternal life, accompanied by the free gift of
the Holy Spirit (cf. Gal 3:14). At the heart of the Abrahamic covenantal
blessing is intimacy between God and those who have the faith of Abraham. “I
will be their God, and they will be my people” (cf. Gen 17:7–8). Believers
today enjoy covenant fellowship with God and peace with him through the shed
blood of Christ. The physical and material components of the Abrahamic blessing
are yet to come. Those who share in the faith of Abraham will become, in the
future, heirs of the World (Rom 4:13) and will enjoy perfect rest (Heb 4). We
ought to hope for the ultimate and eschatological fulfillment of God’s promise
to Abraham, which includes material and physical blessings for all the
redeemed, while we now rejoice that we have received every spiritual blessing
in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus (Eph 1:3).
Jesus intends for the church to disciple by “teaching all that I
have commanded.” Without a proper understanding and enjoyment of who Christ is,
Christ’s teaching cannot be obeyed; “development of character will not happen
without knowledge.” Central to the task of
teaching all that he commanded is to teach Jesus greatness. “Jesus Christ
stands at the center of all humans can know or experience, and from that
exalted center he proclaims, ‘I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the
last, the beginning and the end’ (Rev 22:13).” People must know and
treasure Christ as the Seed of Abraham and Son of David in order to obey King
Jesus. Theological education serves this purpose by training the mind and
feeding the soul with whole-Bible Christology for the transformation of the
whole person. Christian character and spiritual flourishing rest primarily on
knowledge of and love for Christ. Thus theological education is indispensible
for the advancement of the gospel and obedience to Christ.
Knowing the identity of Jesus, those who are called to preach
should lift him up as the central figure in redemptive history. The entire Old
Testament and all the promises of God find ultimate and perfect fulfillment in
Christ (cf. John 5:35; 2 Cor 2:10). Jesus should be the foundation, content,
and the goal of our preaching. We should preach in such away that shows our
dependence on Christ’s authority, so that others may see the power of God in
Christ and be saved (1 Cor 2:1–5), thus becoming the children of Abraham (Gal
3:29). Whether we preach from the Old Testament or the New Testament, Jesus
must be proclaimed as the only means through whom all the nations will find and
enjoy the blessings promised to Abraham (cf. Gal 3:9). Preaching that does not
have King Jesus at the center is not Christian preaching. “The center and
reference point for the meaning of all Scripture is the person and work of
Jesus of Nazareth, the Christ of God.”
Since Jesus is the offspring of Abraham and David, ruling and
blessing all the nations, we should all be bold and courageous to preach the
gospel to the unreached nations of the world, understanding that the One who
promised to be with us is the risen Christ who rules and exercises authority
over all things. There is no Muslim people group that our Christ cannot
penetrate with the gospel of the kingdom; there is no closed country for
Christ. With his all-encompassing, divine authority, Christ can break into any
nation and establish his kingdom, blessing people with the blessings of Abraham
through our evangelistic efforts. Let us with courage rise! Let us with
confidence go and make disciples because our Christ rules over all and will
certainly bless the nations with his gospel through us.
main focus here is on Matthew 1:1. This article does not aim to discuss the
extent of Matthew’s prologue. For a good discussion on this, see Edgar Krentz, “The
Extent of Matthew’s Prologue: Toward the Structure of the First Gospel,” JBL
83, no. 4 (1964): 409–414.
observes that Matthew’s beginning establishes two significant points about
Jesus’ family history when he, Matthew, says Jesus is the Son of David and Son
of Abraham, but Mounce does not show how this first verse is developed and how
it relates to 28:18–20 (Robert H. Mounce, Matthew,
vol. 1, Understand the Bible Commentary Series [Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books,
Blomberg also shows that Jesus as son of David is King and as son of Abraham he
blesses the nations, but does not relate Matthew’s opening verse to his
conclusion (Craig L. Blomberg,
G. K. Beale, and D. A. Carson, “Matthew,” in Commentary on the New Testament
Use of the Old Testament [Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2007], 3, 100).
argues for a chiastic structure for the Gospel of Matthew. After showing the preeminence
of chiasm in the Gospel of Matthew, from a theological perspective, he
considers the meaning of the house, the land, and topology in Matthew and
concludes that the chiastic structure of Matthew and the topological movement
of its plot have very close ties (G. J. Volschenk,
“Die Plek En Funksie van Topologie as Teologiese Belangeruimte in Die Struktuur
van Die Matteus-Evangelie,” HTS 59, no. 3 : 1007–1030).
a discussion of these titles from the perspective of second temple Judaism, see
Harrington, “‘Jesus, the Son of David, the Son of Abraham . . .’â€¯:
Christology and Second Temple Judaism,” ITQ 57, no. 3 (1991): 185–195.
careful studies of the relationship between the Abrahamic and David covenants
and all the covenants of the OT and NT, see Scott W. Hahn, Kinship
by Covenant: A Canonical Approach to the Fulfillment of God’s Saving Promises
(New Haven: Yale University Press, 2009); Peter John Gentry and Stephen J.
Wellum, Kingdom through Covenant: A Biblical-Theological Understanding of
the Covenants (Wheaton, Ill: Crossway, 2012); Sandra L. Richter, The
Epic of Eden: A Christian Entry into the Old Testament (Downers Grove, Ill:
IVP Academic, 2008).
Although these authors approach their studies of the covenants slightly
differently, they all show how all the six key covenants of the OT (Adamic,
Noahic, Abrahamic, Mosaic, Davidic, and the promised new covenant) relate to
one another and find their ultimate fulfillment in the new covenant, in Christ.
inclusion of these women does not mean that God condoned or approves of the
moral situations of these women in question. Rather, their inclusion highlights
the mercy of God. By his mercy, God sanctifies and uses vessels that were once
dirty and useless. The same is true of our salvation. We were once like these
women, gentiles, adulterous and even dead in our trespasses and sins, but God,
being rich in mercy, saved us by his grace so that we may be to the praise of
his glorious grace (Eph 2).
shows that he does not condone David’s sins by killing the son that was born
from that adulterous relationship. “The LORD
afflicted the child that Uriah’s wife bore to David, and he became sick. David therefore sought
God on behalf of the child. And David fasted and went in and lay all night on
the ground. And
the elders of his house stood beside him, to raise him from the ground, but he
would not, nor did he eat food with them. On the seventh day the child died” (2 Sam 12:15–18).
owe this insight to Miles Van Pelts lectures, “Seams in the Canonical and
Covenantal structure,” https://www.biblicaltraining.org/seams-canonical-and-covenantal-structure/biblical-theology
(accessed March 12, 2014). The genealogy sums up and culminates the entire OT
and, as Weber observes, “in them are the seeds from
which the New Testament plan will grow. The long-awaited, promised Messiah, the
restorer of God’s kingdom and the redeemer of his people, is Jesus himself.
This is Matthew’s central message, his purpose for writing his book” (Stuart K. Weber, Matthew, ed. Max Anders, vol. 1,
Holman New Testament Commentary [Nashville, TN: B & H Publishing Group,
 Ralph Smith, Micah-Malachi,
vol. 32, Word Biblical Commentary (Waco, TX: Word Books, 1984), 163.
men are not people endowed with wisdom in
general, but students of the stars: “a (Persian . . . then also Babylonian)
wise man and priest, who was expert in astrology, interpretation of dreams and
various other secret arts” (BAGD). REB
renders the term “astrologers.” From the
East is very general; many interpreters hold that these wise men came from
Babylon, and they may have done so, but we cannot be sure. Their study of the
stars had led them to believe that a great leader had been born in Judea.
Therefore they directed their steps to the capital city of Jerusalem,. These
men would have been Gentiles, but Matthew gives this no emphasis” Leon Morris, The Gospel According to Matthew, PNTC
(Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans, 1992), 35–36.
and Carson, “Matthew,” 5.
promise of a king, a scepter, goes far back to creation when God created Adam
to rule (Gen 1:26, 28); back to Abraham from whom God said kings would come
(Gen 17:16); back to Jacob’s blessing on Judah (Gen 49:10); back to Moses
promise that Israel will have a King (Deut 17:14–20).
examines the ways that Matthew links the Messianic title “Son of David” with
Jesus’ healing ministry and rightly argues that the he based this connection on
the Davidic Shepherd of Ezekiel 34 (Wayne Baxter,
“Healing and the ‘Son of David’: Matthew’s Warrant,” NovT 48, no. 1
examines prayers such as “have mercy on me” to Jesus in miracle stories, and argues
that these prayers can be interpreted not merely as appeals to a miracle worker
for physical healing but as prayers to Jesus Christ to bring about an integral
salvation beyond physical healing or rescue (E. C. Jimenez,
“‘Jesus, Son of David, Have Mercy on Me!’ Prayers to Jesus in the Miracle
Narratives,” Landas 16, no. 1 : 51–64).
examines anointing, Jesus’ healing ministry, and the title Son of David in
Matthew and concludes that Matthew emphasizes and relates these three aspects
of Jesus’ ministry so as to represent the Christ as the uniquely anointed Messiah,
the Son of David who has authority over all diseases and heals them as he
pleases (K. Paffenroth,
“Jesus as Anointed and Healing Son of David in the Gospel of Matthew,” Bib
80, no. 4 : 547–554).
 R. T. France, Matthew:
An Introduction and Commentary, vol. 1, TNTC (Downers Grove, Ill: IVP
Academic, 2008), 300.
This connection may be further supported by Nolland’s argument that Matthew
puts extra weight on geographical markers (John Nolland, The
Gospel of Matthew: A Commentary on the Greek Text, NIGTC [Grand Rapids, MI:
W.B. Eerdmans, 2005], 832).
and Carson, “Matthew,” 63; Craig L. Blomberg, Matthew, vol. 22, NAC
(Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman, 1992), 311.
 Smith, Micah-Malachi,
9:30 euphemistically calls Jesus’ death, the exodus (teÌ„n exodon). Christ’s death is
the exodus par-excellence.
is a very brief summary of the OT. For an indebt study see, N. T. Wright, The
New Testament and the People of God, vol. 1, Christian Origins and the
Question of God (Minneapolis: Fortress, 1992), 147–338. Schreiner’s brief summary of
the OT is also very insightful: Thomas R.
Schreiner, Paul, Apostle of God’s Glory in Christ: A Pauline Theology
(Downers Grove, Ill: IVP Academic, 2006), 73–85.
more on the Exodus typology of Matthew 4 see, Blomberg, Beale,
and Carson, “Matthew,” 14–18.
 Jesus constantly quotes from Deuteronomy as he resists the
devil in the wilderness (cf. Matt 4:4; Deut 8:3; Matt 4:7: Deut 6:16; Matt
4:10; Deut 6:13). In Deuteronomy 6:16, the words refer to the incident at
Massa, where Israel grumbled against God because they did not have water,
testing God (Exod 17:2). Whereas Israel tested God by demanding water, Jesus
denies making the same demand. Jesus would rather trust his Father than demand
from him to intervene miraculously. Morris rightly observes, “The servants of
God cannot demand that God should keep on intervening with miraculous provision
for their needs. To jump from a height and then look to God to avert the
natural consequences of such an act is just such an offense. Furthermore, it is
worse than what happened at Massah, for at least the people there were in real
need of water. What Satan is suggesting is that Jesus should needlessly thrust
himself into danger; he would be creating a hazard where none previously
existed. And for what? To compel God to save him miraculously. It is a
temptation to manipulate God, to create a situation not of God’s choosing in
which God would be required to act as Jesus dictated. Jesus rejects the
suggestion with decision. He prefers the way of quiet trust in the heavenly
Father, a trust that needs no test, and a ready acceptance of his will. He
refuses to demand a miracle even if from the perspective of someone on earth
that might seem desirable, even compelling” (Morris, The Gospel According to Matthew, 76).
For an excellent discussion of the temptations of Jesus, see Theodore J.
Jansma, “The Temptation of Jesus,” WTJ 5, no. 2 (1943): 166–181.
astutely argues that Matthew 1:18-25 depicts Jesus as both the Son of God and
the Son of David. She maintains that there is a danger in tracing Jesus’
lineage to David because it can be misconstrued that he was born of a human
sexual relation. She argues that according to Matthew, Jesus was conceived of
the Holy Spirit and that Jesus’ roots were in God and that he was simply
adopted into the Davidic lineage (Sheila Klassen-Wiebe,
“Matthew 1:18-25,” Int 46, no. 4 : 392–394.).
different approaches to the structure of Matthew, see Warren Carter,
“Kernels and Narrative Blocksâ€¯: The Structure of Matthew’s
Gospel,” CBQ 54, no. 3 (1992): 463–481; Christopher R. Smith, “Literary
Evidences of a Fivefold Structure in the Gospel of Matthew,” NTS 43, no.
04 (1997): 540–551; Nils Wilhelm Lund, “The Influence of Chiasmus upon the
Structure of the Gospel according to Matthew,” ATR 13, no. 4 (1931):
405–433; David E. Garland, “The Structure of Matthew’s Gospel: A Study in
Literary Design,” Int 44, no. 1 (1990): 89–89; H J B. Combrink, “The
Structure of the Gospel of Matthew as Narrative,” TynBul 34 (January 1,
1983): 61–90; B. R. Doyle, “Matthew’s Intention as Discerned by His Structure,”
RB 95, no. 1 (1988): 34–54. Doyle view is a slight
modification of Bacon’s, who argues that the Gospel of Matthew has a prologue
(chap 1–2) and an epilogue (chaps 26:3–28:20). In between the prologue and the
epilogue, he argues, Matthew has five unites analogous to the five books of the
Pentateuch. These five unites are marked by the formulaic saying, “And when
Jesus finished . . .” (Matt 7:28–29;
11:1; 13:53; 19:1; 26:1) (see B. W. Bacon, “The
‘Five Books’ of Matthew against the Jews,” Exp 15 : 56–66). In examining the structure of
Matthew, Kingsbury finds the basic formula in 4:17 and 16:21: “From that time
Jesus began....” as significant. This formula, he argues, divides the gospel
into three main sections which “set forth (a) the genesis and significance of
the person of Jesus, (b) the nature and effect of his proclamation, and (c) the
reason and finality of his suffering, death and resurrection” (Jack Dean
Kingsbury, Matthew: Structure, Christology, Kingdom [Philadelphia:
Fortress Press, 1975], 36). Thus Mathew’s structure highlights his
 Nolland, The
Gospel of Matthew, 1266.
nation” in Matthew refers to all the tribes of the world, all of humanity (cf. Matt
24:9, 14; 25:32; 28:19).
 This is
contra the prosperity gospel, which advocates for physical and material
blessings now as part of the Abrahamic blessing. The prosperity gospel
advocates an over-realized eschatology, asserting blessings of the future for
 Ellen T. Charry, By
the Renewing of Your Minds: The Pastoral Function of Christian Doctrine
(New York: Oxford University, 1999), 43. Charry examines key classical
theologians, beginning with Paul and other New Testament writers. She selects theologians from the patristic period, the medieval and the seventeenth century
reformation periods and shows that all of them believed that knowing God is the
foundation of Christian character.
 Duane Litfin, Conceiving
the Christian College (Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans, 2004), 43.
Goldsworthy, Preaching the Whole Bible as Christian Scripture (Grand
Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans, 2000), 16. Helpful works on preaching
Christ from all of the Scriptures include, Sidney Greidanus, Preaching
Christ from the Old Testament: A Contemporary Hermeneutical Method (Grand
Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans, 1999); Edmund P. Clowney, Preaching Christ in
All of Scripture (Wheaton, Ill: Crossway, 2003).