“The book of the generation of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham.” (Matthew 1:1 KJV)
Of all the places to start writing the New Testament, why start with this? What is the significance of this statement? A while back I was the fortunate recipient of a knock on the door. They were representatives from the local Mormon church. I was very impressed with the boldness with which they were willing to share their faith. I wished that more of the local churches likewise would be established in their beliefs such that they could feel comfortable sharing them with complete strangers. Among the many things they offered during their visit was “another testament”. The reasoning was simple. If two testaments were good then would not another be even better? Granted this flew right past a great deal of factual content like “testament” is more literally translated “covenant”. Without the authority to create another covenant, this left the argument a little exposed. There is also the warnings of going outside God’s word in both Revelation 22:19 and Deuteronomy 12:32. Therefore the New Testament was not replacing the old, but rather fulfilling it. “Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.” (Matthew 5:17 KJV)
While I will not spend a great deal of time divulging the balance of our conversation, it brought to mind one of the significant challenges that we have with our Jewish friends. One of the problems they have with the New Testament is that they are not necessarily looking for the son of God, but the son of David. The challenge is always connecting Jesus with the fulfilled son of David. Of all the places the New Testament could start, which words would be the most powerful? To top it off, Matthew, a Jew rejected by the Jews because of his trade (collecting taxes for Rome) should best know those magic reconciliation points. He not only begins his testimony with a detailed genealogy, but a genealogy that tags the two most important fathers possible up front. Just like he was reconciled to God by Jesus, so he offers the best of news to his own people that they too might know. Read Matthew 1:1 at the top of this page one more time. Who’s son? It is no wonder they tried to shut blind Bartimaeus up. He could see that which they could not. Notice who was healed.
“And when he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to cry out, and say, Jesus, thou Son of David, have mercy on me. And many charged him that he should hold his peace: but he cried the more a great deal, Thou Son of David, have mercy on me.” (Mark 10:47-48 KJV)