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Ambassador Baptist Church
1926 Babcock Blvd
Pittsburgh, PA 15209
(412)822-7255
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Pastor's Pen - October 2, 2007
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October 2, 2007

Matthew 1-4
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Matthew
Chapter 1
  1. The book of the generation of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham.
  2. Abraham begat Isaac; and Isaac begat Jacob; and Jacob begat Judas and his brethren;
  3. And Judas begat Phares and Zara of Thamar; and Phares begat Esrom; and Esrom begat Aram;
  4. And Aram begat Aminadab; and Aminadab begat Naasson; and Naasson begat Salmon;
  5. And Salmon begat Booz of Rachab; and Booz begat Obed of Ruth; and Obed begat Jesse;
  6. And Jesse begat David the king; and David the king begat Solomon of her that had been the wife of Urias;
  7. And Solomon begat Roboam; and Roboam begat Abia; and Abia begat Asa;
  8. And Asa begat Josaphat; and Josaphat begat Joram; and Joram begat Ozias;
  9. And Ozias begat Joatham; and Joatham begat Achaz; and Achaz begat Ezekias;
  10. And Ezekias begat Manasses; and Manasses begat Amon; and Amon begat Josias;
  11. And Josias begat Jechonias and his brethren, about the time they were carried away to Babylon:
  12. And after they were brought to Babylon, Jechonias begat Salathiel; and Salathiel begat Zorobabel;
  13. And Zorobabel begat Abiud; and Abiud begat Eliakim; and Eliakim begat Azor;
  14. And Azor begat Sadoc; and Sadoc begat Achim; and Achim begat Eliud;
  15. And Eliud begat Eleazar; and Eleazar begat Matthan; and Matthan begat Jacob;
  16. And Jacob begat Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus, who is called Christ.
  17. So all the generations from Abraham to David are fourteen generations; and from David until the carrying away into Babylon are fourteen generations; and from the carrying away into Babylon unto Christ are fourteen generations.
  18. Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost.
  19. Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing to make her a publick example, was minded to put her away privily.
  20. But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost.
  21. And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.
  22. Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying,
  23. Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.
  24. Then Joseph being raised from sleep did as the angel of the Lord had bidden him, and took unto him his wife:
  25. And knew her not till she had brought forth her firstborn son: and he called his name JESUS.


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Matthew
Chapter 2
  1. Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem,
  2. Saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him.
  3. When Herod the king had heard these things, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him.
  4. And when he had gathered all the chief priests and scribes of the people together, he demanded of them where Christ should be born.
  5. And they said unto him, In Bethlehem of Judaea: for thus it is written by the prophet,
  6. And thou Bethlehem, in the land of Juda, art not the least among the princes of Juda: for out of thee shall come a Governor, that shall rule my people Israel.
  7. Then Herod, when he had privily called the wise men, enquired of them diligently what time the star appeared.
  8. And he sent them to Bethlehem, and said, Go and search diligently for the young child; and when ye have found him, bring me word again, that I may come and worship him also.
  9. When they had heard the king, they departed; and, lo, the star, which they saw in the east, went before them, till it came and stood over where the young child was.
  10. When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy.
  11. And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense, and myrrh.
  12. And being warned of God in a dream that they should not return to Herod, they departed into their own country another way.
  13. And when they were departed, behold, the angel of the Lord appeareth to Joseph in a dream, saying, Arise, and take the young child and his mother, and flee into Egypt, and be thou there until I bring thee word: for Herod will seek the young child to destroy him.
  14. When he arose, he took the young child and his mother by night, and departed into Egypt:
  15. And was there until the death of Herod: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Out of Egypt have I called my son.
  16. Then Herod, when he saw that he was mocked of the wise men, was exceeding wroth, and sent forth, and slew all the children that were in Bethlehem, and in all the coasts thereof, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had diligently enquired of the wise men.
  17. Then was fulfilled that which was spoken by Jeremy the prophet, saying,
  18. In Rama was there a voice heard, lamentation, and weeping, and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children, and would not be comforted, because they are not.
  19. But when Herod was dead, behold, an angel of the Lord appeareth in a dream to Joseph in Egypt,
  20. Saying, Arise, and take the young child and his mother, and go into the land of Israel: for they are dead which sought the young child's life.
  21. And he arose, and took the young child and his mother, and came into the land of Israel.
  22. But when he heard that Archelaus did reign in Judaea in the room of his father Herod, he was afraid to go thither: notwithstanding, being warned of God in a dream, he turned aside into the parts of Galilee:
  23. And he came and dwelt in a city called Nazareth: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophets, He shall be called a Nazarene.


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Matthew
Chapter 3
  1. In those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judaea,
  2. And saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.
  3. For this is he that was spoken of by the prophet Esaias, saying, The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.
  4. And the same John had his raiment of camel's hair, and a leathern girdle about his loins; and his meat was locusts and wild honey.
  5. Then went out to him Jerusalem, and all Judaea, and all the region round about Jordan,
  6. And were baptized of him in Jordan, confessing their sins.
  7. But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees come to his baptism, he said unto them, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come?
  8. Bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance:
  9. And think not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, that God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham.
  10. And now also the axe is laid unto the root of the trees: therefore every tree which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.
  11. I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire:
  12. Whose fan is in his hand, and he will throughly purge his floor, and gather his wheat into the garner; but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.
  13. Then cometh Jesus from Galilee to Jordan unto John, to be baptized of him.
  14. But John forbad him, saying, I have need to be baptized of thee, and comest thou to me?
  15. And Jesus answering said unto him, Suffer it to be so now: for thus it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness. Then he suffered him.
  16. And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him:
  17. And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.


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Matthew
Chapter 4
  1. Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil.
  2. And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was afterward an hungred.
  3. And when the tempter came to him, he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread.
  4. But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.
  5. Then the devil taketh him up into the holy city, and setteth him on a pinnacle of the temple,
  6. And saith unto him, If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down: for it is written, He shall give his angels charge concerning thee: and in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone.
  7. Jesus said unto him, It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.
  8. Again, the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them;
  9. And saith unto him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me.
  10. Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.
  11. Then the devil leaveth him, and, behold, angels came and ministered unto him.
  12. Now when Jesus had heard that John was cast into prison, he departed into Galilee;
  13. And leaving Nazareth, he came and dwelt in Capernaum, which is upon the sea coast, in the borders of Zabulon and Nephthalim:
  14. That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet, saying,
  15. The land of Zabulon, and the land of Nephthalim, by the way of the sea, beyond Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles;
  16. The people which sat in darkness saw great light; and to them which sat in the region and shadow of death light is sprung up.
  17. From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.
  18. And Jesus, walking by the sea of Galilee, saw two brethren, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea: for they were fishers.
  19. And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.
  20. And they straightway left their nets, and followed him.
  21. And going on from thence, he saw other two brethren, James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, in a ship with Zebedee their father, mending their nets; and he called them.
  22. And they immediately left the ship and their father, and followed him.
  23. And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all manner of sickness and all manner of disease among the people.
  24. And his fame went throughout all Syria: and they brought unto him all sick people that were taken with divers diseases and torments, and those which were possessed with devils, and those which were lunatick, and those that had the palsy; and he healed them.
  25. And there followed him great multitudes of people from Galilee, and from Decapolis, and from Jerusalem, and from Judaea, and from beyond Jordan.


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Thought for the day:
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 There are two thoughts that stand out to me as I read today's passage. The first deals with the genealogy of Christ in chapter 1. Even though Joseph was not the biological father of Jesus (which is pointed out clearly in verse 16 because it speaks of him only as the husband of Mary and not the father of the Lord), it is important to see His ancestry as coming not only from the line of Abraham, but also coming through the kingly line of Judah and David. Since the Messiah had to be Jewish and be the offspring of David, it is important that this line be established. Luke 3 gives us the genealogical line of Mary, showing that she, too, was descended from David, Judah, and Abraham. Thus, lest there be any question, we have a biological connection from Christ back through the designated and prophesied blood lines.

 There are four women mentioned in Matthews record, and all four of them have interesting backgrounds. Two of them were Gentiles: Rahab, a Canaanite (Joshua 20, and Ruth, a Moabite (Ruth 1). Three of them were adulteresses: Tamar (Genesis 38), Rahab, and Bathsheba, who is referred to in this passage as the wife of Uriah (II Samuel 11). Yet the sovereign God allowed all four of them to be included in the genealogy of Joseph. This did not have to be the case, for God could have intervened and sent the Messianic line through anyone that He chose. Yet He determined that these women would have a part in bringing forth the Messiah. Why did He do this? Any answer given here would be speculative, but I believe that it has to do with the redemption and forgiveness of God. These women all had issues that might have excluded them from the Temple and from Jewish society. Ruth, as a Gentile, was certainly looked down upon by the Jews. Yet she became a follower of Jehovah, and that ethnic distinction was removed. Tamar was an adulteress. Yet she did what she did in response to the sin of Judah, and in so doing carried on the family lineage that Judah was in danger of allowing to end. He himself said that she had been "more righteous than I" (Genesis 38:26), because he had failed to follow the custom (which ultimately became Jewish law) in giving his son Shelah to her for a husband. Rahab showed her faith in the Lord by hiding the spies when they came into Jericho, and was rewarded for her faith not only by having her life spared (as well as the lives of her family members), but she became a part of this genealogy and also is recorded in Hebrews 11:31 for her belief. Bathsheba was seduced by King David, yet she was faithful to him, and the Lord chose her son to be the one to succeed him as king. The point of all this is that the mercy and grace of God can overcome a bad lineage and sinful decisions. When any person comes to God asking for forgiveness and trusting in Him, forgiveness is granted and that person enters into fellowship with and service for the Lord.

 A second thought concerns the temptation of Jesus Christ in chapter 4. There are several principles that can be learned from it. First of all, on this occasion, the Lord was "in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin" (Heb. 4:15). He proved His Deity by being able to resist the temptations that the Devil threw at Him. In addition, it is important to note that He resisted the world system which we are told not to love in I John 2: the lust of the flesh (turning stones to bread), the lust of the eyes (the kingdoms of the world), and the pride of life (casting Himself from the Temple). Third, we see that in the life of Christ His great triumph at His baptism was closely followed by His temptation in the wilderness. When we are winning spiritual victories we need to be prepared for Satanic opposition. The Devil doesn't bother those who are already doing his bidding. He saves his fiercest attacks for those who are giving him the biggest problems. Finally, we see that He uses Scripture to resist. All three of the Lord's responses contain the phrase, "It is written". All three of the quotations are found in the book of Deuteronomy (8:3; 6:16; 6:13). This shows the importance of the Word of God. If Christ, Who had a sinless nature, found it important to use the Scripture to combat the Devil, certainly those of us who live in sinful flesh would be wise to do the same. The Psalmist said,

"Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee" (Psalm 119:11),
and we, too, must memorize It and meditate on It if we hope to withstand the attacks of the Wicked One.

Pastor Mark J Montgomery

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