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The Grace of Christmas (1 of 4)
Series: The Christmas Story
Dr. Stan Coffey
I want to begin a new series of messages on the Christmas story. What a wonderful time of the year this is. I was reading the other day about a little boy. Children are so honest. He had received a Christmas present; he was writing back to his grandmother. He said, ''Dear Grandmother, Thank you so much for the wonderful Christmas present. It was almost as good as the one I really wanted.'' Thank God we have a Christmas present in the Lord Jesus Christ: He's not only the One we wanted, but He's also the One we needed. In Matthew 1, you find the genealogy of Jesus. As we begin this series, we're going to look at Matthew 1:1-17. I want to speak about ''The Grace of Christmas.'' Matthew's gospel was written primarily to a Jewish audience. Matthew wanted to prove to the Jews that Jesus Christ of Nazareth was the promised Messiah. So you'll find many references to Old Testament passages, and you'll find many occasions that tell us how Jesus fulfilled prophecy. In fact, more than any other gospel you'll find in Matthew the examples of how Jesus Christ is proven to be not only the Son of God, but also proven to be that Messiah who would come that was prophesied in the world.
When you write a story and want to catch the interest of your audience, one of the first things you want to do is come out with a catchy beginning. You wouldn't think that a catchy beginning would be what you have in Matthew 1: ''Abraham begat Isaac; and Isaac begat Jacob; and Jacob begat Judas.'' Then you really get into the hard names - I'm not going to read all those. But you wouldn't think this is a very good way to catch the attention of your audience. But if you were trying to catch the attention of a JEWISH audience, this is exactly the way to do it. Because family and family lineage was very significant to the Jews. They kept very strict genealogies, which were deposited in the temple for safe ...
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