As we switch from John’s introduction to Matthew’s in our meditations based on the harmony of the gospels, we immediately see a completely different emphasis. Matthew is committed to demonstrating to his Jewish audience that Jesus is in fact the rightful heir to the throne of David, namely, that he is “the son of David, the son of Abraham” (Matt. 1:1). Then, over the next 15 verses Matthew shows how Jesus descends all the way back to Abraham through David in order to state,
“Jacob was the father of Joseph the husband of Mary, by whom Jesus was born, who is called the Messiah” (1:16).
Why does God include all this for us just to declare Jesus as Messiah? The promise of a Messiah was an old one for Israel and us. And the record declares that God always keeps his word. In addition, we see that the record from Jesus back to Abraham is a diverse people, containing both sinner and saint. The Messiah came to save such sinners and they are included in the record to be noticed and that our appreciation increase for his grace. And finally, we observe that while the list includes the very sinners he came to save, he suffered a great condescension by becoming a man and entering our world.
Therefore, let us imitate Jesus as Paul reminds us,
5 Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus,
6 who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped,
7 but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men (Phil. 2:5-7)
Jesus divested himself and came to serve. We are to divest ourselves of every weight or idol that drags away to complete devotion to God.