“THE BOOK OF THE GENERATION OF JESUS CHRIST, THE SON OF DAVID, THE SON OF ABRAHAM.” Matthew 1:1.
“For verily He took not on Him the nature of angels; but He took on Him THE SEED OF ABRAHAM. Wherefore in all things it behooved Him to be made like unto His brethren, that He might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people.’; Hebrews 2:16 and 17.
“Concerning His Son Jesus Christ our Lord, Which was made of THE SEED OF DAVID according to the flesh; And declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the Spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead.” Romans 1:3 and 4.
Jesus Christ was the Son of David, the son of Abraham. Notice the first question, in Matthew: “Where is He that is born King of the Jews?” Matthew 2:2.
The Jews came from Abraham. God’s Jewish kings came from David. Note God’s promise concerning the Man to take David’s throne: “For thus saith the Lord; David shall never want a man to sit upon the throne of the house of Israel.” “Thus saith the Lord; If My covenant be not with day and night, and if I have not appointed the ordinances of heaven and earth, Then will I cast away the seed of Jacob, and David My servant, so that I will not take any of his seed to be rulers over the seed of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob: for I will cause their captivity to return, and have mercy on them.” Jeremiah 33:17, 25 and 26.
Now read carefully Jeremiah 23:5 and 6 and Jeremiah 33:15 and 16. “‘Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and a King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth. In his days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely: and this is His name whereby He shall be called, THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS.”
“In those days, and at that time, will I cause the Branch of righteousness to grow up unto David; and He shall execute judgment and righteousness in the land. In those days shall Judah be saved, and Jerusalem shall dwell safely; and this is the name wherewith she shall be called, The Lord our righteousness.”
God’s covenant with David is recorded in II Samuel 7:13 to 16: “He shall build an house for My name, and I will stablish the throne of his kingdom for ever. I will be his Father, and he shall be My son. If he commit iniquity, I will chasten him with the rod of men, and with the stripes of the children of men: But My mercy shall not depart away from him, as I took it from Saul, whom I put away before thee. And thine house and thy kingdom shall be established for ever before thee; thy throne shall be established for ever.”
More than 800 years before God made this covenant with David, and concerning his Seed and kingdom, God made a covenant with Abraham.
“NEITHER SHALL THY NAME ANY MORE BE CALLED ABRAM, BUT THY NAME SHALL BE ABRAHAM; FOR A FATHER OF MANY NATIONS HAVE I MADE THEE. AND I WILL MAKE THEE EXCEEDING FRUITFUL, AND I WILL MAKE NATIONS OF THEE, AND KINGS SHALL COME OUT OF THEE. AND I WILL ESTABLISH MY COVENANT BETWEEN ME AND THEE AND THY SEED AFTER THEE IN THEIR GENERATIONS FOR AN EVERLASTING COVENANT, TO BE A GOD UNTO THEE, AND TO THY SEED AFTER THEE AND I WILL GIVE UNTO THEE, AND TO THY SEED AFTER THEE, THE LAND WHEREIN THOU ART A STRANGER, ALL THE LAND OF CANAAN, FOR AN EVERLASTING POSSESSION; AND I WILL BE THEIR GOD.” Genesis 17:5 to 8.
“And He gave THE COVENANT OF CIRCUMCISION; and so Abraham begat Isaac, and circumcised him the eighth day; and Isaac begat Jacob; and Jacob begat the twelve patriarchs.” Acts 7:8.
Note the covenant in Genesis 17:10, 14 and 24— Genesis 21:2 to 5.
“This is My covenant, which ye shall keep, between Me and you and thy seed after thee; Every man child among you SHALL BE CIRCUMCISED.”
“And the uncircumcised man child whose flesh of his foreskin is not circumcised, that soul shall be cut off from his people; he hath broken My covenant.”
“And Abraham was ninety years old and nine, when he was circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin.”
“Sarah conceived, and bare Abraham a son in his old age, at the set time of which God had spoken to him. And Abraham called the name of his son that was born unto him, whom Sarah bare to him, Isaac. And Abraham circumcised his son Isaac being eight days old, as God had commanded him. And Abraham was an hundred years old, when his son Isaac was born unto him.”
Then note God’s word to Jacob, who was Abraham’s grandson
“And God said unto him, Thy name is Jacob: thy name shall not be called any more Jacob, BUT ISRAEL SHALL BE THY NAME: and HE CALLED HIS NAME ISRAEL. And God said unto him, I am God Almighty: be fruitful and multiply; a nation and a company of nations shall be of thee, and kings shall come out of thy loins; And the land which I gave Abraham and Isaac, to thee I will give it, and to thy seed after thee will I give the land.” Genesis 35:10 to 12.
In the Book of Matthew Jesus Christ the Son of David, the Son of Abraham, presents Himself as the promised Seed of Abraham, the promised King of the Jews.
Of course, as we compare Hebrews 2:16 and 17 and Hebrews 2:9 with Luke 1:29 to 33, we ask the question, “did Jesus Christ come to Israel the first time to be a living King on David’s throne, or did He come to be a dying Saviour on Calvary’s tree?” We have quoted Hebrews 2:16 and 17. We quote Hebrews 2:9: “But we see Jesus, Who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that He by the grace of God should taste death for every man.”
Read this statement with the words of Christ in Luke 24:45 to 47 “Then opened He their understanding, that they might understand the Scriptures, And said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behoved’ Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.”
Here we learn, as we learn in Acts 2:23, Acts 4:27, Acts 13:29, I Corinthians 15:3 and 4 and Hebrews 9:26 that Jesus Christ came to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself, and thus become the Saviour of the world.
But as we read the first chapter of Matthew, Mark and Luke, we learn that Jesus Christ was born in the house of David, in the city of David, of the seed of David, to take the throne of David and deliver Israel from Gentile subjugation.
“And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call His name JESUS. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God shall give unto Him the throne of His, father David: And He shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of His kingdom there shall be no end.” Luke 1:31 to 33.
“Blessed be the Lord God of Israel; for He hath visited and redeemed His people, And hath raised up an horn of salvation for us in the house of His servant David; As He spake by the mouth of His holy prophets, which have been since the world began: That we should be saved from our enemies, and from the hand of all that hate us; To perform the mercy promised to our fathers, and to remember His holy covenant; The oath which He sware to our father Abraham, That He would grant unto us, that we being delivered out of the hand of our enemies might serve Him without fear.” Luke 1:68 to 74.
After Christ had presented Himself to Israel as their promised King, Deliverer and Messiah, and they had rejected Him, He said, “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, which killest the prophets, and stonest them that are sent unto thee; how often would I have gathered thy children together, as a hen doth gather her brood under her wings, and ye would not! Behold, your house is left unto you desolate; and verily I say unto you, Ye shall not see Me, until the time come when ye shall say, Blessed is He that cometh in the name of the Lord.” Luke 13:34 and 35. Now note these significant words of Christ in Luke 19:41 to 44:
“AND WHEN HE WAS COME NEAR, HE BEHELD THE CITY, AND WEPT OVER IT, SAYING, IF THOU HADST KNOWN, EVEN THOU, AT LEAST IN THIS THY DAY, THE THINGS WHICH BELONG UNTO THY PEACE BUT NOW THEY ARE HID FROM THINE EYES. BECAUSE THOU KNEWEST NOT THE TIME OF THY VISITATION.”
Israel knew not. They knew not the time of their visitation. They knew not the things that belonged to their peace. When will Israel see their King and Messiah again? When they say, “Blessed is He that cometh in the name of the Lord.”
“Behold, He cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see Him, and they also which pierced Him; and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of Him. Even so, Amen.” Revelation 1:7.
“And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications; and they shall look upon Me Whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for Him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for Him as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn.” Zechariah 12:10.
“And they shall dwell in the land that I have given unto Jacob My servant, wherein your fathers have dwelt; and they shall dwell therein; even they, and their children, and their children’s children for ever: and My servant David shall be their prince for ever.” Ezekiel 37:25.
God has not abandoned His “kingdom” program guaranteed in the Abrahamic and Davidic covenants. No; God has postponed the earthly kingdom promised to His earthly people. But let us believe II Peter 1:19: “We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts.”
Note Christ’s own words in Matthew 25:31 and Matthew 19:28: “When the Son of man shall come in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then shall He sit upon the throne of His glory.”
“Jesus said unto them, Verily, I say unto you, That ye which have followed Me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of His glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.”
Surely we know that the Lord Jesus was not, in any way, referring to the Church, which He calls the Body of Christ, when He spoke of the throne of His glory.
Those who are in Christ’s Body also belong to Christ’s kingdom: “Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of His dear Son; In Whom we have redemption through His blood, even the forgiveness of sins.” Colossians 1:13 and 14.
“For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit.” Romans 14:17.
“And Jesus, which is called Justus, who are of the circumcision. These only are my fellowworkers unto the kingdom of God, which have been a comfort, unto me.” Colossians 4:11.
But here we have a different phase or department of the kingdom of God.
Compare Matthew 10:5 to 8 and Matthew 10:23 with Titus 2:11 and 13.
“These twelve Jesus sent forth, and commanded them, saying, Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not. But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. And as ye go, preach, saying, “The kingdom of heaven is at hand. Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils; freely ye have received, freely give.”“But when they persecute you in this city, flee ye into another; for verily I say unto you, Ye shall not have gone over the cities of Israel, till the Son of man be come.”
“For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men.” “Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ.”
The kingdom of heaven at hand for Jews, a message and program by Christ’s apostles in the cities of Israel, is quite different from the “grace of God at hand for all men”. Strictly speaking, Christ is the Head of the Body rather than the King of the Body. The kingdom that was at hand in Matthew 10:7 is in abeyance. The Body of Christ is not that kingdom of heaven.
We will study Matthew in several other lessons, but we have learned that the Lord Jesus, in that Book, is fulfilling covenants which God made with Abraham and David for Israel.
We shall study in another message Galatians 3:6 to 8 and Romans 4:3 to 11 and shall learn that Abram, the Gentile, was declared righteous in uncircumcision, just as uncircumcised Gentiles are now justified by faith without religion or good deeds. The Scripture foresaw this when God preached the gospel to Abram 430 years before the law was given. Galatians 3:8 and Galatians 3:16 and 17.
Therefore when we say that there has been an interruption of the Abrahamic covenant it is not concerning the justification of believing sinners but concerning God’s guarantees as to Israel’s land and kingdom.
For more articles by Pastor J. C. O'Hair, visit the J. C. O'Hair Online Library.