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Bible Commentaries

William Godbey's Commentary on the New Testament

Matthew 1

 

 

Verses 1-25

GENEALOGIES

Matthew 1 and Luke 3. There is but one fact of vital importance in all of these genealogies, and that is the transmission to all generations, an infallible history of our Lord’s progenitorship, setting forth, beyond controversy, the fact of His human descension from Adam. In order to reach man in the plan of salvation, He must be a Man; in order to save men, He must be God. While His miracles and fulfillment of the prophecies prove His Divinity, the inspired genealogies prove His humanity. That the testimony shall be indubitable, it is given by two of our Lord’s inspired biographers, which can not be a copy either of the other, because of their dissimilitude, running in opposite directions.


Verses 18-25

AN ANGEL APPEARS TO JOSEPH

Matthew 1:18-25. We find that Gabriel spoke to Mary when she was wide awake, in broad daylight; but in the case of Joseph, he appears to him in a dream, while asleep; as Mary, if not vindicated by Divine intervention, must have been culpable under the law of Moses, and liable to the penalty of death by stoning. While Joseph, recognizing her physical condition, and was contemplating a private separation from her, in order to protect her from the severity of the law, the angel notifies him relative to the Conception of Jesus by the Holy Ghost, repeating the prophecy of Isaiah 7:14 :

“And she shall bring forth a Son, and thou shalt call His name Jesus; for He shall save His people from their sins.”

Here we see that the Messianic glory of Jesus, witnessed by both Testaments, is that “He shall save His people from their sins.” The world is full of religion — Pagan, Moslem, Papal, and Protestant with an infinite diversity of subdivisions; but the great trouble is that they do not take away the sins of their votaries. For this reason, the people who preach and experience entire sanctification really stand alone as the dispensers of the true Gospel, while on them devolves the magnitudinous work of the world’s evangelization. The Bible is its own expositor. If we are not in harmony with it, we are without hope and without God. Full salvation follows as a logical sequence from the Divinity and Consequent omnipotence of our Savior. The world is thronged with millions today who claim to be the followers of Jesus, but do not realize that they are saved from their sins. There is a missing link somewhere in the chain of their profession. If they had Jesus in the true Scriptural sense, they would be saved from all their sins, the Holy Spirit testifying to the fact. The trouble with the world is not about religion, for it inundates the globe, more demonstrative with heathens, Mohammedans, and Jews than Christians; but the problem to be solved is personal, experimental salvation, which, in its intrinsic reality, attested with the Holy Spirit and corroborated by the Word of God, is the only foundation of heavenly hope. When Jesus saves people from their sins, they have them no more. It is an accomplished fact, known and realized beyond the possibility of doubt; has the full assurance, given by the Holy Spirit, to the complete work of Christ in your heart; really precludes all doubt. “And they shall call His name Emmanuel, which is interpreted, God is with us.” Here you see a refutation of the idea entertained by some that Matthew wrote his Gospel in Hebrew, and it was subsequently translated into Greek. This inference has doubtless originated from the fact that he wrote it in Judea and for the Jews. But we must remember that the Greek language was universal in the apostolic age, and well known in Jerusalem. The fact that Matthew translates this Hebrew word Emmanuel into Greek, is demonstrative proof that he was writing in Greek. There is a deep and sweet significance in the word Emanuel — i.e., “God with us” — in contradistinction to his dwelling, far away in heaven, among the angels. The very fact that He took our humanity, to retain it forever, is demonstrative proof that He has become one of us, to abide with us in this world, and all other worlds, through all eternity. Joseph, awakening from his sleep, proceeds at once to do as the angel had told him; i.e., receive his betrothed wife, and call the name of her Son Jesus, which is a Greek word, and means Savior, signifying the work He came to do — i.e., to save His people from their sins. Who are His people? All who receive Him; as to them He gives power to become the children of God. (John 1:12.)

 


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Bibliography Information
Godbey, William. "Commentary on Matthew 1:4". "William Godbey's Commentary on the New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ges/matthew-1.html.


Lectionary Calendar
Sunday, September 24th, 2017
the Week of Proper 20 / Ordinary 25
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