FOURTH WEEK OF ADVENT: I WILL RAISE UP YOUR OFFSPRING
Sermon Text: Matthew 1:1-17
Devotional Reading: 2 Samuel 7:8-16 (below)
Now therefore thus you shall say to my servant David: Thus says the Lord of hosts: I took you from the pasture, from following the sheep to be prince over my people Israel; and I have been with you wherever you went, and have cut off all your enemies from before you; and I will make for you a great name, like the name of the great ones of the earth. And I will appoint a place for my people Israel and will plant them, so that they may live in their own place, and be disturbed no more; and evildoers shall afflict them no more, as formerly, from the time that I appointed judges over my people Israel; and I will give you rest from all your enemies.
Moreover the Lord declares to you that the Lord will make you a house. When your days are fulfilled and you lie down with your ancestors, I will raise up your offspring after you, who shall come forth from your body, and I will establish his kingdom. He shall build a house for my name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever. I will be a father to him, and he shall be a son to me. When he commits iniquity, I will punish him with a rod such as mortals use, with blows inflicted by human beings. But I will not take my steadfast love from him, as I took it from Saul, whom I put away from before you. Your house and your kingdom shall be made sure forever before me; your throne shall be established forever.
In this reading we discover some linkages between the promises to David and the genealogy of Jesus (Matt. 1:1-17). First, God promised David: "I will raise up your offspring after you... and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever." This promise did not find its fulfillment in Solomon, but in Jesus. Matthew, by means of genealogy, shows us that the son promised to David was not Bathsheba's son, but the one Mary was to bear - God's own son. It is Jesus' throne that will be established forever.
Second, when we study Jesus' lineage we find that it includes those who were poor, outcasts, and adulterers. Hendriksen writes: "All, even the best in the list, stood in need of redemption by the blood of the promised Redeemer." This Advent, may we count ourselves among sinners and hear the gospel afresh: "For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you by his poverty might become rich" (2 Corinthians 8:9).
QUESTIONS FOR DISCUSSION
1. How did Jesus fulfill God's promise to David in 2 Samuel 7:8-16?
2. When we consider the genealogy of Jesus, how did he become "poor" for our sake? How have we become "rich"? (2 Corinthians 8:9)
PRAYER OF RESPONSE
Ever-faithful God, through the prophets and angels you promised to raise up a holy child who would establish a household of peace and justice. Open our hearts to receive your Son, that we may open our doors to share the good news and establish your household in our time. Amen.