Heavenly Father, thank You for Your faithfulness to Your promises of salvation. Thank You for fulfilling all of them in Your beloved Son Jesus. Thank You for sending Jesus to save people from their sins. Help me daily repent of my sins and trust in Jesus as my Savior, who is always with me. Help me tell others about the Lord Jesus. In His name, amen.
READ MATTHEW 1-3
Matthew 1:1–17 According to God’s sovereign providence, Jesus is the promised Christ, the Davidic King, and the offspring of Abraham through whom all nations will be blessed (Genesis 12). Believers can trust in God’s faithfulness to His promises, all of which are fulfilled in Jesus Christ.
Matthew 1:18–25 God unexpectedly and miraculously made clear His salvation plan with the virgin birth of Jesus Christ. The angel of the Lord says His name is Jesus “because He will save his people from their sins” and also Immanuel, which means “God with us.”
Though their reputations and eventual marriage were compromised, Joseph and Mary submitted to God’s plans and obeyed every detail of His instructions. Their faith in God’s promises amidst difficult circumstances is admirable.
Matthew 2:1–23 From Jesus’ birth to His childhood, God sovereignly ordained events to fulfill His promises about the Messiah. Matthew records three fulfilled prophecies surrounding Jesus’ childhood: His birth in Bethlehem prophesied in Micah, His time in Egypt prophesied by Hosea, and the killing of children prophesied by Jeremiah.
Matthew 3:1–17 John the Baptist prepared the way for the Lord Jesus through his ministry of preaching repentance and baptizing. While John was out preaching one day, Jesus came down to be baptized. John recognized Jesus and, after baptizing Him, saw the Spirit of God confirm Jesus’ deity.
22 All this took place to fulfill what had been spoken by the prophet 23 ‘Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel which means, God with us.
- In Jesus’ time, being called a Nazarene was close to being insulted. In every area of life, Jesus took the low roads and made himself humble in order to fulfill God’s plan.
- Thank God specifically for His faithfulness to His promises, both in salvation history and in your life personally. Write down three ways you’re seeking, by His grace, to bear fruit in keeping with repentance. They could be spiritual or personal, family- or work-related.
- Even at the start of His life, Jesus was identified with the lowly. What do you need to do to take paths and attitudes of humility?
- Watch this video on the Honor and Shame, Fear and Power aspects of the gospel. Does your gospel presentation or testimony address any issues related to shame or fear? How could you incorporate the “Honor and Shame” aspects into your gospel conversations with others? Share with your group and get feedback. For a longer article, consider reading Does the “Plan of Salvation” Make Disciples: Why Honor and Shame Are Essential for Christian Ministry. [Making Disciples, All Peoples]