Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary on the Whole Bible
back to: Matthew
Book: Matthew
Chapter: 1

The genealogy of Jesus. (1-17) An Angel appears to Joseph.

1-17 Concerning this genealogy of our Saviour, observe the
chief intention. It is not a needless genealogy. It is not a
vain-glorious one, as those of great men often are. It proves
that our Lord Jesus is of the nation and family out of which the
Messiah was to arise. The promise of the blessing was made to
Abraham and his seed; of the dominion, to David and his seed. It
was promised to Abraham that Christ should descend from him, Ge
12:3; 22:18; and to David that he should descend from him, 2Sa
7:12; Ps 89:3, &c.; 132:11; and, therefore, unless Jesus is a
son of David, and a son of Abraham, he is not the Messiah. Now
this is here proved from Well-known records. When the Son of God
was pleased to take our nature, he came near to us, in our
fallen, wretched condition; but he was perfectly free from Sin:
and while we read the names in his genealogy, we should not
forget how low the Lord of Glory stooped to save the human race.

18-25 Let us look to the circumstances under which the Son of
God entered into this lower world, till we learn to despise the
vain honours of this world, when compared with Piety and
Holiness. The Mystery of Christ's becoming Man is to be adored,
not curiously inquired into. It was So ordered that Christ
should partake of our nature, yet that he should be pure from
the defilement of original Sin, which has been communicated to
all the race of Adam. Observe, it is the thoughtful, not the
unthinking, whom God will guide. God's time to come with
instruction to his people, is when they are at a loss. Divine
comforts most delight the soul when under the pressure of
perplexed thoughts. Joseph is told that Mary should bring forth
the Saviour of the world. He was to Call his name Jesus, a
Saviour. Jesus is the same name with Joshua. And the reason of
that name is clear, for those whom Christ saves, he saves from
their sins; from the guilt of Sin By the merit of his Death, and
from the power of Sin By the Spirit of his Grace. In saving them
from Sin, he saves them from wrath and the Curse, and all
misery, here and hereafter. Christ came to save his people, not
in their sins, but from their sins; and So to redeem them from
among men, to himself, who is separate from sinners. Joseph did
as the Angel of the Lord had bidden him, speedily, without
delay, and cheerfully, without dispute. By applying the general
rules of the written Word, we should in all the steps of our
lives, particularly the great turns of them, take direction from
God, and we shall find this safe and comfortable.