Su 1/1Mo 1/2Tu 1/3We 1/4Th 1/5Fr 1/6Sa 1/7Su 1/8
Gen. 1
Matt. 1
Gen. 2
Matt. 2
Gen. 3
Matt. 3
Gen. 4
Matt. 4
Gen. 5
Matt. 5
Gen. 6
Matt. 6
Gen. 7
Matt. 7
Gen. 8
Matt. 8

WHAT TO LOOK FOR

This first week of the new year we get to read about two beginnings: (1) the beginning of creation, when God made the heavens and the earth; and (2) the beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, as recorded by the Apostle Matthew. It is not contrived to draw parallels between these two histories, especially if we remember that the Apostle John intentionally began his gospel account with the very words that open Genesis: “In the beginning…” (John 1:1; Genesis 1:1).

As we read of the birth of Jesus Christ, we should marvel that our God and Maker should come into the world He made as a helpless child. To look at it another way, the Savior who was born as an infant to Mary and Joseph in Bethlehem was there in Genesis 1, all things having been created through Him and for Him (Colossians 1:16). A recent hymn that highlights this wondrous mystery is “Sing We the Song of Emmanuel.” I’ve found that verse 2 especially stirs in me wonder for God’s work in sending His Son into the world:

Come we to welcome Emmanuel,

King who came with no crown or throne;

Helpless He lay, the Invincible,

Maker of Mary, now Mary’s son.

O what wisdom to save us all;

Shepherds, sages, before Him fall;

Grace and majesty, what humility!

Come on bended knee, adore Him.*

“Maker of Mary, now Mary’s son.” Who else besides God could accomplish such a thing?

One awe-inspiring parallel we can draw between the beginning of Genesis and the beginning of Matthew is the demonstration of the authority of God’s word. The LORD (Yahweh) demonstrated the authority of His word by speaking all things into existence. In the same way, Jesus came into the created world demonstrating the authority of His word by commanding (1) the winds and the sea (see Matthew 8), (2) spiritual powers (see Matthew 4), and (3) people’s sicknesses and infirmities (see Matthew 4 and 8).

In the opening chapters of Genesis, God tells His created people, the lords of creation, how they are to live (see Genesis 1–2). In the same way, Jesus came to His people speaking authoritatively about how they were supposed to live. Genesis is the beginning of God’s law, because it teaches us how to live in God’s world in a way that pleases our Maker. The Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5–7) is the beginning of Jesus’ law, for it teaches us how to live as a citizen of His eternal kingdom.

* Matt Boswell, Matt Papa, Stuart Townend, and Keith Getty, “Sing We the Song of Emmanuel” (2015), v. 2. Listen here.

VERSE TO MEDITATE ON

When evening came, they brought to Him many who were demon-possessed; and He cast out the spirits with a word, and healed all who were ill.
—Matthew 8:16

HOW TO PRAY

  • Adoration – Worship God, the Maker of man, for becoming a man and entering the world He made.
  • Confession – Confess your sins to God, remembering that Jesus came not to save the righteous, but sinners.
  • Thanksgiving – Thank God for seeing you safely through 2022, and thank Him for a brand-new year.
  • Supplication – Ask for God’s favor in 2023, that the love of Christ would reign in your heart and in your home this year.

Click HERE to ask the pastors a question about anything in your Bible reading.

This post by Alex McNeilly

Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations are from the New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1971, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. All rights reserved.

Recent Ask the Pastors answers . . .

Where can I find the poem you mentioned in your sermon on Sunday?

QUESTION Question for Pastor Joseph! What is the name of the ballad you mentioned on Sunday and where can I find a copy? I would love to read the whole thing. Thanks! ANSWER Here you go! https://www.fortressofdoors.com/st-halvor/ I had to look up what a "thrall" was...

Why does our church use the NASB95?

QUESTION Why did our church choose the NASB95 for our text of choice? Why this translation above, let’s say, the KJV? Is it the language? Is KJV considered a bad translation? Or is the KJV more tied to Catholicism? I use an ESV myself since I understand it better....

Why don’t we take down all the “Yes” signs?

QUESTION Why don’t we take down all the “Yes” signs? ANSWER My daughter Annabel recently said (with some heat), “I just want to go and tear the tops off all those ‘Yes’ signs!” Another child of the church asked his parents, “If we want people to vote no on...