January 2

Bible Reading: Matthew 1

The Christmas hymn, “Who is He in Yonder Stall?” asks what is arguably the most important of all life’s questions, for a Spirit-led, by-faith, correct answer to that question will ultimately work to determine the course of a person’s life and eternal destiny.  So, who is He?  Before we look at this chapter for answers to that most important question, it’d be good for us to establish in our minds why we are doing what we are doing.

In this Read Thru the NT in 2023 endeavor we’ve set out on a journey.  But why travel this path?  What do we hope to achieve?  We’ve been told that it’s good for us to read our Bibles, and so it is.  But our chief goal is not simply to know our Bibles better.  The book is all about Jesus, and so we seek to know Him better.  In the gospel accounts, we read of His life.  The book of Acts tells us of the birth and expansion of His church.  In the epistles, we will read of His specific instructions to us.  The book of Revelation foretells His future unveiling.  Through it all, we will marvel at His glory!  And there we find the right direction unto which we should set our compass.  We would see Jesus!  And behold His glory as we are Spirit-led in our reading day after day.

Be encouraged as you journey down this path by this tribute to the Scriptures found in the front of every Gideon Bible:

“It is the traveler’s map, the pilgrim’s staff, the pilot’s compass, the soldier’s sword, and the Christian’s charter. Here Paradise is restored, Heaven opened, and the gates of hell disclosed.  CHRIST is its grand subject, our good the design, and the glory of God its end.  It should fill the memory, rule the heart, and guide the feet. Read it slowly, frequently and prayerfully. It is a mine of wealth, a paradise of glory, and a river of pleasure. It is given you in life, will be opened at the judgment, and be remembered forever. It involves the highest responsibility, will reward the greatest labor, and will condemn all who trifle with its sacred contents.”

This chapter establishes for us a good starting point in our journey.  Who is He?  He is the promised King of Israel.  Generation after generation looked forward to His coming.  Genealogies were extremely important in those days and were used to authenticate a person’s right to possess something.  Jesus’ genealogy (through Joseph) authenticated Him to be the rightful heir to the throne of David.  Still, we find something even more astonishing!  That babe in the manger was no mere human babe.  A centuries-old prophecy foretold of the birth of a child who would be called “Immanuel,” which translated means “God with us!”  The babe is none other than the divine Word which became flesh to dwell among us (John 1:14).  Still, there is more!  The angel instructed Joseph to give the child the name Jesus, for as he was told, “He will save His people from their sins.”  The name means literally “Jehovah saves,” and we find in Jesus a Savior who is both the promised King of Israel and God-sent Savior of all.  King, God, and Savior.  One capable of lifting us from the depths of our human depravity to the heights of His glory in heaven, where we will one day marvel at Him in seeing Him as He is.  What a glorious Savior!

Our purpose in reading is not simply to know the Scriptures better, but to behold the glory of the One of whom they speak.

Who is he born in the stall,
at whose feet the shepherds fall?
Who is he in deep distress,
fasting in the wilderness?

‘Tis the Lord, O wondrous story!
‘Tis the Lord, the King of glory!
At his feet we humbly fall,
crown him, crown him, Lord of all!

Author: looking2jesus13

Having served as pastor at Lewis and Clark Bible Church, in Astoria, Oregon, for almost three decades, my wife’s cancer diagnosis led to my retirement and subsequent move to Heppner to be near our two grandchildren. I divide my time between caring for Laura and working as a part time hospice chaplain and spending time with family and spoiling my chocolate lab.

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