by Jerry Vines

JOSEPH: The Man Who Said Nothing
Jerry Vines
Matthew 1:18-25
November 27, 1988

Hundreds of years before the birth of the Lord Jesus there was a prophet named Isaiah who made many wonderful predictions about the birth of our Lord. In the 53rd chapter of the Book of Isaiah he gives a picture of the cross of Jesus Christ as if he was an eye witness when it occurred. On down in Isaiah 53, Isaiah the prophet, raises a question. He asks the question, "who (talking about the Lord) shall declare His (the Lord's) generation?" The answer to that question hundreds of years afterward was answered by Matthew. In the first seventeen verses of his gospel he answers the question, "Who will declare his generation?" So, in the first seventeen verses we have the bloodline of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Now, having established that Jesus Christ had a rightful claim upon the throne of Israel and a claim to be the Messiah, he proceeds to give the birth of the Lord Jesus. Of course, we know that this genealogy in the first of Matthew is given to us through Joseph. There is another in Luke's gospel that gives it to us through Mary. In Matthew we have the legal line of the Lord Jesus. In Luke we have the literal line of the Lord Jesus. In Matthew it is traced through Joseph, his legal father. In Luke it is traced through Mary, the Mother of the Lord Jesus Christ. Now, having done that he comes to verse 18. He says, "Now the birth of Jesus Christ." The word translated, birth, is really the birth is really the word, genesis. It is the same word that is used in Genesis 1:1: "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth." Here we have the genesis, not of the heaven and the earth, but the earthly beginning of the One who created the heavens and the earth.

Matthew gives us the birth of our Lord from the vantage point of His earthly father, Joseph. We do not have a great deal about Joseph. In fact, Joseph seems to be one of the neglected characters in the Christian story. We rea ...

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