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VIDEO: Come Follow Me with Living Scriptures – Matthew 1, Luke 1 | Lineage Upon Lineage | Line Upon Line

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Come Follow Me (Jan 2-8) – Matthew 1, Luke 1 | Lineage Upon Lineage – powered by Happy Scribe

It’s a new year, the perfect time to recommit yourself to reading and studying the New Testament. Here we go. And Judas began fairies and zera of thymar, and fairies began Ezram, and Ezra began arum. And boy, I know what you’re thinking. Why would the first thing in the New Testament be a long list of who begat whom?

Where’s the Nativity story? Well, the story of Christ’s birth is way bigger than what happens just in Bethlehem. But first we need to know who is Matthew and why did he thrill us with 17 verses of genealogy? Well, Matthew is one of the twelve apostles and is a publican or a tax collector. And in his day, being a publican puts him just above Lepers and below Samaritans in terms of popularity.

Yep, Jews despise publicans, especially the Jewish ones. But as someone who has to account for every shekel, he’s detail oriented. So why start with Christ’s lineage? Because he knows that the Jewish men will want to know that Joseph and Jesus would be from the prophesied lineage of David. And so for this audience, all those begats are a really big deal.

Now, it’s no coincidence that Matthew begins telling his version of the Nativity by referencing Joseph’s lineage and telling Joseph’s story. And throughout his book, we’ll note how he constantly points out prophecies fulfilled. Now, Luke’s perspective is very different than Matthew’s. He’s actually a gentile convert who’s also a physician, but he’s not the kind of doctor who drives a fancy chariot to the clinic or clears his Fridays to play 18 holes. Yes, Luke shows touching moments with outcasts and the overlooked, like women, children, the sick and afflicted and the elderly.

And so that’s why Luke starts his version of the Nativity story with a cute but barren old couple. Now, it’s a big day for Zechariah. How big? Like getting a puppy on your birthday big. He’s been selected to worship in the temple.

And while he’s praying and burning incense, the heaven’s open. A blinding light appears, and an angel tells him he and his wife Elizabeth will have a baby boy. The baby’s name will be John, and he will prepare the way for the Lord. To which Zechariah says, are you sure you’ve got the right person? You know how old my wife and I are, right?

Because of his disbelief, the angel makes it so that Zach RIAs can’t speak, and he won’t for nine months until his son is born. Now, Elizabeth is Mary’s cousin. She has no idea that Mary will be the earthly mother of the savior of mankind. And when Luke introduces us to Mary, neither does she. Mary is a spouse to Joseph, which means they’re not married yet, but they’ve agreed to pass on other offers.

The same angel that appears to Zechariahs and Joseph appears to marry. He tells her that she is blessed and has been chosen by God to give birth to the prophesied Messiah. His name will be Jesus. God will be his father, not Joseph. The angel also reveals to Mary that her cousin Elizabeth is expecting.

So after her vision, Mary leaves her hometown of Nazareth for the outskirts of Jerusalem to be with Elizabeth, who right now is probably the only other person who could understand what she’s going through. Elizabeth is now six months pregnant when Mary arrives. And as Elizabeth’s baby leaps within her, she instantly knows through the Holy Ghost, mary will be the mother of the prophesied Messiah. And once John is born and named and Zechariahs is able to speak again, he testifies how his son will prepare hearts for Christ’s ministry. Yes, we see how great miracles can and do happen, but on the Lord’s timetable.

But back over in Matthew, Joseph has a big issue. Mary is pregnant before she’s officially married to Joseph, she’s going to be the talk of the town, and not in a good way. And under Jewish law, Joseph has every right to publicly clear his good name and disavow Mary. But he doesn’t. That takes a lot of guts and a lot of faith.

But finally, the Lord tells him in a dream that Mary’s baby is the prophesied Messiah.

Following the Lord is rarely easy. Sometimes it’s messy, complicated and downright impossible. So when we get promptings from the Holy Ghost, we need to be brave and trust in the Lord. He’ll help us find a way through, just like we can find a way through all the begats at the beginning of Matthew.

Next time, we’ll celebrate Christmas in January as we dive into the nativity story we all know and love.

Almost 50 years ago, Living Scriptures was founded to help everyone better understand and feel the power of God’s Word. Who knew that today’s line upon line series would touch half a million lives every week? Season four, the Glorious New Testament, is in production, and you are invited to help us in this great cause by clicking the donation link below. And as our gift to you, anyone donating $10 per month also receives a Living Scripture streaming subscription. For donation of a $1,000 or more, our artists will give your likeness a cameo in one of our videos.

Together, through the Gospel of Jesus Christ, we can make a lasting impact on countless people around the world. From all of us, thank you. And now go read the Scriptures for yourself.

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