Study Guide

Gospel of Matthew Chapter 1

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Chapter 1

Birth of a King

  • Jesus is introduced as "the son of David, the son of Abraham" (1:1). Remember them? Our good friends from the Hebrew Bible.
  • Matthew rattles off a long genealogy of Jesus with three sets of fourteen generations. Yeah, that's a lot of names. 
  • After the genealogy breakdown, Matthew dives into the actual birth of Jesus. Don't worry, he leaves out the gory details.
  • Mary and Joseph are betrothed—that's just a fancy word for engaged. We happen to love that word.
  • But when Mary finds herself pregnant via the Holy Spirit (which would be understood at the time as God's spirit, not one-third of the Christian Godhead), Joseph decides he should quietly quit her before people find out.
  • An angel comes to Joseph in a dream and tells him to chill out. Why? Because Mary is pregnant with a son who will save people from their sins. Not only does this fulfill a prophecy (Matthew quotes Isaiah, for good measure) but it also sets the bar pretty high.
  • Joseph wakes from his dream a changed man. He takes Mary for his wife and doesn't have "marital relations" (adult speak for s-e-x) until after Jesus is born.

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