Matthew Bible Study Lesson 4

Printer friendly version
Sunday School lesson audio

Christ’s Conception

Matthew 1:18—25

Matthew presents Jesus as King. This is why the book of Matthew traces Jesus’ genealogy back through King David. The Davidic Covenant promises that there will be a ruler in the lineage of David forever.

2 Samuel 7:12—16 12 When your days are complete and you lie down with your fathers, I will raise up your descendant after you, who will come forth from you, and I will establish his kingdom. 13 He shall build a house for My name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever. 14 I will be a father to him and he will be a son to Me; when he commits iniquity, I will correct him with the rod of men and the strokes of the sons of men, 15 but My lovingkindness shall not depart from him, as I took it away from Saul, whom I removed from before you. 16 Your house and your kingdom shall endure before Me forever; your throne shall be established forever.”’”

Matthew also presents Jesus as being related to Abraham. The Abrahamic Covenant promises land and a blessing of a great nation. All nations will be blessed through Abraham.

These two covenants are both fulfilled through Jesus Christ. The blessing of the nations already came through Jesus Christ (Galatians 3:6—8) while the complete fulfillment of both these covenants will be fulfilled at the Second Coming.

As a side note, Luke presents Jesus as a man. The genealogy is traced through King David’s son Nathan and continues back to Adam. Jesus is connected to mankind through Mary but is sinless because His Father is God.

Order of Events

The events leading up to the birth of Jesus can be reconstructed by putting the accounts of Matthew and Luke together. Matthew concentrates on Joseph and his reaction to the events while Luke focuses on Mary. Here is the timetable:

Luke 1:5—10 Introduction of Zacharias and Elizabeth.

Both were righteous because they had obeyed all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord.

They had no children because Elizabeth was barren and now they were past childbearing age.

Luke 1:11—23 An angel of the Lord (Gabriel) announced Elizabeth would have a baby.

His name will be John and he will prepare Israel for their Messiah.

He will be born at the proper time (according to prophecy).

Luke 1:24—25 Elizabeth becomes pregnant

Luke 1:26—38 Gabriel tells Mary that she will have a baby as a virgin.

Gabriel came to Mary when Elizabeth was six months pregnant.

He announced that she would conceive and bear a son.

Her Son would be given the throne of His father David. (Jesus related to David)

He will rule over Israel forever.

Luke 1:39—56 Mary visits Elizabeth

Mary immediately traveled about 70 miles south to the hill country of Judah

Mary is now carrying Jesus.

Mary stays with Elizabeth for three months, until John is born.

Luke 1:57—79 John is born

Matthew 1:18 Mary was found with child

From the context it would be when Mary was showing her condition.

This would put her pregnancy at three maybe four months along.

These events happened shortly after Mary came home from visiting Elizabeth.

Matthew 1:19 Joseph’s reaction

Joseph could bring her to the religious leaders to have her stoned (Deuteronomy 22:13—21).

He decided to put her away in secret (Deuteronomy 24:1)

Matthew 1:20—21 The angel of the Lord appears to Joseph

As he is pondering what he should do an angel appears to him.

He is told to take Mary as his wife and that the baby shall be called Jesus.

Matthew 1:22—23 All these things happened according to prophecy.

Matthew 1:24—25 Mary remained a virgin until Jesus was born

The Virgin Birth

A fundamental doctrine of the Christian faith is the virgin birth. As such, this doctrine has come under attack by Satan through liberal theologians and others who want to discredit Christianity. Liberal theologians usually present the virgin birth as a myth that sprang out of a misinterpretation of Isaiah 7:14 where the word virgin is understood to be a young maiden.

Isaiah 7:14 Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.

There are two problems with this idea. First the Hebrew word used here is almah and indicates a young woman who is not married. It is never used in Scripture to describe a young woman who is presently married. It is presumed this woman is virtuous. Second, and most important, the Holy Spirit told Matthew that the correct interpretation of the Isaiah passage is virgin. The Greek word used is ???????? and can refer to a woman or a man (see Revelation 14:4). Liberal theologians would explain this away by saying that the Isaiah passage actually says that a virgin will conceive and that Matthew misinterpreted the passage to mean a virgin will be found pregnant.


Does it matter if Jesus was born of a virgin or not? There are two reasons that Jesus had to be born of a virgin. If Joseph were His biological father then:

1. Jesus would not be qualified to sit on David’s throne. This goes back to the curse directed to Jechoniah in Jeremiah 22:30.

2. Jesus would have a sinful nature. This nature is passed on through the man. It was Adam who sinned and it is Adam through whom the sin nature is spread to all mankind. Everyone who is born of Adam is born with his original sin. Jesus’ Father is God therefore Jesus is without sin.

The virgin birth was a moral necessity for the redemption of mankind and also a legal necessity in order for Jesus Christ to sit on David’s throne forever.

First Adam/Second Adam

If Christ were not born of a virgin He could not have been called a second Adam because He would have been connected to the first. The first Adam brought sin into the world while the second Adam (Jesus Christ) defeated sin.

1 Corinthians 15:45?So also it is written, “The first MAN, Adam, BECAME A LIVING SOUL.” The last Adam became a life-giving spirit.

It is because of the SIN that Adam brought into the world that we now struggle with SINS. Since we are born into SIN we will commit SINS. Sin is the root; sins are the fruit.

IF Christ were born of a human father He would have the sinful Adamic nature passed on to him. He would no longer have been the perfect sacrifice needed to save mankind from sin. We would have been left in a hopeless state.

However, He was born free of the sin that has completely ensnared the human race. He alone is the perfect sacrifice for our sins and being the God-man, He is able to bridge the gap between God and man and make it possible for man to be acceptable in the presence of God.

1 Timothy 1:5 For there is one God, and one mediator also between God and men, the man Christ Jesus,