Reflections on the Holy Scripture: Matthew, Chapter 1

The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the Son of David, the Son of Abraham:
Abraham begot Isaac, Isaac begot Jacob, and Jacob begot Judah and his brothers. Judah begot Perez and Zerah by Tamar, Perez begot Hezron, and Hezron begot Ram. Ram begot Amminadab, Amminadab begot Nahshon, and Nahshon begot Salmon. Salmon begot Boaz by Rahab, Boaz begot Obed by Ruth, Obed begot Jesse, and Jesse begot David the king.
David the king begot Solomon by her who had been the wife of Uriah.  Solomon begot Rehoboam, Rehoboam begot Abijah, and Abijah begot Asa. Asa begot Jehoshaphat, Jehoshaphat begot Joram, and Joram begot Uzziah. Uzziah begot Jotham, Jotham begot Ahaz, and Ahaz begot Hezekiah. Hezekiah begot Manasseh, Manasseh begot Amon,and Amon begot Josiah. Josiah begot Jeconiah and his brothers about the time they were carried away to Babylon.
 And after they were brought to Babylon, Jeconiah begot Shealtiel, and Shealtiel begot Zerubbabel.  Zerubbabel begot Abiud, Abiud begot Eliakim, and Eliakim begot Azor.  Azor begot Zadok, Zadok begot Achim, and Achim begot Eliud.  Eliud begot Eleazar, Eleazar begot Matthan, and Matthan begot Jacob.  And Jacob begot Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus who is called Christ.
  So all the generations from Abraham to David are fourteen generations, from David until the captivity in Babylon are fourteen generations, and from the captivity in Babylon until the Christ are fourteen generations.
 Now the birth of Jesus Christ was as follows: After His mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Spirit.  Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not wanting to make her a public example, was minded to put her away secretly.  But while he thought about these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take to you Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit.  And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.”
 So all this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying:   “Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,” which is translated, “God with us.”
Then Joseph, being aroused from sleep, did as the angel of the Lord commanded him and took to him his wife,  and did not know her till she had brought forth her firstborn Son.And he called His name Jesus.
(Matthew Chapter 1 Verses 1-25)

I remember very well when this long list of names of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, seemed almost unnecessary and difficult to understand and I would often skip it when reading the Gospel. Unfortunately, I did not read the Old Testament at all at that time; neither did I read the commentaries of Holy Fathers on the Holy Scripture. Even when reading the Gospel I would try to logically understand what I was reading instead of reading it with prayer a s the True Word of God.

Nowadays, I am grateful to God who has opened the riches of His Word. Now I want to specifically stop and reread these words in the Gospel, because these words that open up a new and previously unbeknownst perspective. A perspective through which our Lord Jesus Christ has revealed to us his plans for our salvation, while eternally taking part in human history. The Son of God created our world, then he acted in the Old Testament (talking to Abraham, for example), and at a certain point in history became incarnate, in order to save the world from the devil’s grasp, from sin and from death.

His coming was promised from the beginning of time as it was foretold to Abraham and David. Many have waited for Him and finally He enters human history completely and clearly. He does not arrive as some star child in a decent from the sky or as some fairy tale but instead He arrives at the specific moment in history, as a rightful part of the historic moment. It is the same history of which we are also part of. We do not arrive as some accident, but as part of God’s providence, in a way, which would best lead to our salvation.

Sometimes, my life seems to be very difficult, hard to understand, it does not inspire me, but this text from the Bible reminds me of God’s presence in human history and in my life personally. It helps me find God’s providence in the life that is given to me and in the time and space, which God has set aside for me. I am amazed at the loyalty and obedience of the Holy Theotokos to God, the same way I am amazed at how Joseph accepted God's will. God sends each one of us similar challenges. The challenges that we can solve and overcome with His help, the same way Virgin Mary, Joseph, King David and many, many others. We need to trust God, search for His will, we need to be more attentive to others and those who are close to us, keep in mind those signs of God’s presence in our life which require only a bit more attention to be noticed.

May the Lord help me to accept my life with thanksgiving and gratitude, to let God into my history, into my life the way it is. To help me battle my: like/dislike, want/ do not want, difficult/ easy. In addition, when I fail to master these flaws, I pray to God to help me to acknowledge my mistakes and repent, so that I will not be crossed out of the book of life the way Apostle Matthew skips three kings in verse 8 – kings Ahaziah, Jehoash and Amaziah. If these three kings were not omitted by accident, or as an error of the copywriters. If they were left out on purpose, then according to the Bible commentary by Aleksandr Pavlovich Lopukhin, they were left ourt because of the wickedness, sin and chaos that was happening at its peak during the reign of these three men.

Written by Nun Matrona

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