The King's Antecedents and Status, by Witness Lee


With every book of the Bible we need a general sketch. The general sketch of Matthew is:

Christ is Jehovah God incarnated to be the King-Savior who came to establish the kingdom of the heavens (the heavenly rule) by saving His people from sin (of rebellion) through His death and resurrection.


With every book of the Bible we also need to find the central thought. The central thought of Matthew is:

Christ, as Jesus (Jehovah the Savior) and Emmanuel (God with us), is the King, the Baptizer, the light, the Teacher, the Healer, the Forgiver, the Bridegroom, the Shepherd, the Friend, the wisdom, the rest, the greater temple, the real David, the Lord of the Sabbath, the greater Jonah, the greater Solomon, the Sower, the seed, the Feeder, the bread, the crumbs under the table, the Christ, the Son of the living God, the rock for the church, the Builder of the church, the Founder of the kingdom, the present Moses, the present Elijah, the Head of the corner, the Lord, the resurrected One, the One with authority, and the One ever-present to His people in resurrection.

How rich Christ is in the book of Matthew, even richer than in John. As Jesus and Emmanuel He is another thirty-three items to us. We must enjoy Him and partake of Him. We need to experience Him in all these aspects in resurrection, not in the natural state. He is the ever-present One. Matthew begins with "God with us" and ends with "Lo, I am with you all the days, even unto the completion of the age." How wonderful this is!


I. His Genealogy

Among the four Gospels only two, Matthew and Luke, have genealogies. Matthew tells us that Jesus is the proper descendant of the royal family, that He is the legal heir of the royal throne. Such a person surely needs a genealogy telling of His origin and descent. Luke presents Jesus as a proper, normal man. To show Jesus as a proper man also requires a genealogy. In Mark, Jesus is pictured as a bondslave, as one sold into slavery. A bondslave has no need of a genealogy; hence, Mark does not include one. John tells us that Jesus is God. "In the beginning was the Word...and the Word was God." With Him there was no beginning, no descent. He is eternal, with no beginning of life nor end of life (Heb. 7:3). In the beginning was God! For John to talk about His genealogy would be ridiculous.

With anybody else, no matter who he is or how many biographies people write about him, the genealogy will be exactly the same. But Jesus has two genealogies. Later on we shall see how these genealogies eventually become one. Once again we see that He is wonderful. In every aspect, He is too wonderful.

(The King's Antecedents and Status, Chapter 1, by Witness Lee)