“…Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham” (Matthew 1:1, NIV).
“What’s in a Title?”
The opening line of Matthew’s description of the claims of a Galilean from Nazareth, an obscure village in the north of Israel (a blended Gentile-Jewish area), would have been met with shock and amazement, skepticism and ridicule by a Jewish reader of the first century. Even a later follower of this man shared this opinion saying, “Nazareth! Can anything good come from there?” (John 1:46).
Matthew begins with three claims about Jesus. First, Jesus is the Christ, the Messiah, the promised one of the Hebrew Scriptures. He is the consummation of the promises of God (Isaiah 7:14; 9:6). The era of anticipation has ended, and the era of completion has begun! A light, the true light, has dawned in the birth of a child—a savior—who will bring peace to troubled hearts, reversing the tragedy of the devolution of creation. Second, this promised one is also royalty; He is of the Davidic line, the fulfillment of the promises to David (2 Samuel 7:12–16). The deliverer—the Christ, the Messiah—is a king! Third, He is the fulfillment of the promise to Abraham (Genesis 12:3) that through His seed, meaning the Messiah, redemption will come (Galatians 3:13–14, 16).
Wow! Think of this. Jesus is the Messiah and His first title became part of His name, Jesus Christ. Further, Jesus is the king; he rules with majesty and glory over His church, and He has brought untold blessings to us. He is the Christ, the true son of David, and the true son of Abraham!
This is what the advent season is about for those of us who have experienced the significance of these titles in our lives. He is the promised one, the deliverer incarnate; He is the king, the sovereign who rules over us; and He has blessed us with innumerable blessings!