1The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham.
2Abraham became the father of Isaac. Isaac became the father of Jacob. Jacob became the father of Judah and his brothers. 3Judah became the father of Perez and Zerah by Tamar. Perez became the father of Hezron. Hezron became the father of Ram. 4Ram became the father of Amminadab. Amminadab became the father of Nahshon. Nahshon became the father of Salmon. 5Salmon became the father of Boaz by Rahab. Boaz became the father of Obed by Ruth. Obed became the father of Jesse. 6Jesse became the father of King David. David the king became the father of Solomon by her who had been Uriah’s wife. 7Solomon became the father of Rehoboam. Rehoboam became the father of Abijah. Abijah became the father of Asa. 8Asa became the father of Jehoshaphat. Jehoshaphat became the father of Joram. Joram became the father of Uzziah. 9Uzziah became the father of Jotham. Jotham became the father of Ahaz. Ahaz became the father of Hezekiah. 10Hezekiah became the father of Manasseh. Manasseh became the father of Amon. Amon became the father of Josiah. 11Josiah became the father of Jechoniah and his brothers at the time of the exile to Babylon.
12After the exile to Babylon, Jechoniah became the father of Shealtiel. Shealtiel became the father of Zerubbabel. 13Zerubbabel became the father of Abiud. Abiud became the father of Eliakim. Eliakim became the father of Azor. 14Azor became the father of Zadok. Zadok became the father of Achim. Achim became the father of Eliud. 15Eliud became the father of Eleazar. Eleazar became the father of Matthan. Matthan became the father of Jacob. 16Jacob became the father of Joseph, the husband of Mary, from whom was born Jesus, who is called Christ.
17So all the generations from Abraham to David are fourteen generations; from David to the exile to Babylon fourteen generations; and from the carrying away to Babylon to the Christ, fourteen generations.
18Now the birth of Jesus Christ was like this: After his mother, Mary, was engaged to Joseph, before they came together, she was found pregnant by the Holy Spirit. 19Joseph, her husband, being a righteous man, and not willing to make her a public example, intended to put her away secretly. 20But when he thought about these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, don’t be afraid to take to yourself Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. 21She shall give birth to a son. You shall name him Jesus, for it is he who shall save his people from their sins.”
22Now all this has happened that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying,
23“Behold, the virgin shall be with child,
and shall give birth to a son.
They shall call his name Immanuel,”
which is, being interpreted, “God with us.”
24Joseph arose from his sleep, and did as the angel of the Lord commanded him, and took his wife to himself; 25and didn’t know her sexually until she had given birth to her firstborn son. He named him Jesus.
When you open your Bible to the New Testament, the first book you encounter is the book of Matthew. Have you ever wondered why this book occurs first? Though scholars are divided in their opinions about which is the first Gospel and who wrote the book, this was not true for 1700 years of church history. The fathers of the church believed that the apostle Matthew wrote the book and was the first book composed among the four accounts of the life of Jesus the Messiah. The book was accepted as a part of Scripture, as were the other Gospels, from the earliest period of church history. Early church fathers such as Ignatius and Polycarp. As well, the Didache, a late first century A.D. church manual, may rely on Matthew for some of its teaching.
There is also internal evidence that the apostle Matthew wrote the book, rather than a group of Jews or Jewish convert to Christianity at the end of the first century, as some have argued. The book reveals that the author was a Jew, with detailed knowledge of Jewish practices, customs, and history.
The Gospel according to Matthew is written, most likely, to a Christian community in the city of Antioch, or the region around it. The apostle sought to explain to these early Jewish believers regarding Jesus, that He was the promised Messiah to Israel, but also the light of salvation to the Gentile world. The Jews, no doubt, wondered why the prophecies of the Old Testament that the Messiah would establish His kingdom had not transpired. Matthew demonstrates that the anticipated earthly rule of the Messiah over the Jewish nation was not to be fulfilled in His coming at that time, but rather He brought the spiritual reign of God to those who embraced the Messiah as savior. In contrast to the Gospel of Luke, which tells the birth and early years of Jesus from His mother Mary’s perspective, Matthew’s account is from the vantage point of His step-father Joseph’s view. This is necessary, in view of the emphasis on Jesus being in the line of David and heir to the throne. Matthew emphases prophetic and historical passages that relate to the birth of the king of the Jews.
The prophecy of the virginal conception of Jesus from Isaiah 7:14, in the clear teaching of Matthew, refers to God’s Son born of a virgin. The return of the Son of God from Egypt, to which Joseph had taken Jesus and Mary for protection, is similar to God bringing Israel, His son, from Egyptian bondage.
In view of the strong Jewish emphasis of the book, it is surprising to see a number of passages that focus on Gentiles, such as the Magi’s visit to the child Jesus toward the beginning of the book and the command to disciple the Gentiles that is found at the end of the book. Moreover, Matthew is the only Gospel that has the use of the word church, both its founding by Messiah Jesus and discipline to be exercised within the community. We find in the first verse of the book that Jesus’ lineage is traced to the father of the Jews, Abraham, and also to David the king, upon whose earthly throne Jesus the Messiah would sit. The last chapter reveals that as the resurrected Lord, He has been given authority over both heaven and earth.
See the Introduction Chart on Matthew