Hank Hanegraaff, president of the Christian Research Institute and host of the Bible Answer Man broadcast teaches on Matthew chapter 1. Matthew employs the practice of gematria and orders the genealogy according to the numerical equivalent of the Hebrew letters in King David’s name (4 + 6 + 4 = D + V + D). Matthew highlights the most significant names in the lineage of Jesus, artistically emphasizing Jesus as Messiah, who forever sits upon the throne of David. Like Matthew, Moses skillfully organized the royal genealogy from which Jesus emerged into two symmetrical groups—ten generations before the Flood and ten after the Flood. There is ample precedent for seeing genealogies as symmetrical rather than sequential, for not all the generations are accounted for. And why does Matthew include women in Christ’s genealogy—such as Tamar, Rahab, Ruth, and Bathsheba? In doing so, Matthew underscores the essential role of women in God’s redemptive plan. And Matthew anticipates especially Mary’s role of Theotokos, Mother of God. Mary is not called Christotokos (“Bearer of Christ”), thinking Christ were a man in whom God dwelled as if in a temple. Rather, as affirmed by the third ecumenical council (Ephesus, AD 431), Mary is called Theotokos (“Bearer of God”). For if Christ were not truly the God–man, we could not become partakers of the divine nature (2 Peter 1:4).
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