Welcome to an exciting study on the Book of Matthew!
To help in our study and discussion time, I have put together some questions and divided them
into days so you can keep in God’s Word each day. There are also some challenge questions
included for “diggers”. You can use a book commentary or go online to find answers. I use
www.preceptaustin.org and www.biblegateway.com . If you cannot answer a question, don’t let it
frustrate you because we will be discussing the questions at the next Bible study class and the answers are also in the “questions and answers” link.
Introduction and background to the Gospel of Matthew
At the time when Christ was born, Israel had been conquered by the Romans and they really oppressed the people. They had a cruel taxing system that they put on countries that they conquered. They had a poll tax, which is like our income tax, the other was called the ground tax, which would be similar to a property or land tax. Some of the wealthy Romans would hire people they called Publicans or tax collectors to do the actual tax collecting. The problem was these tax collectors usually didn't just collect for the Romans, they lined their pockets as well.
Of course the people in the country would look at them as traitors, because here they were gathering taxes from their own countrymen to give to wealthy people of a foreign nation. Can you think of an example of a person from the New Testament who was a tax collector? Zaccheus, Matthew. Tax gatherers or publicans, were ranked with harlots, the heathen, robbers and murderers, so they wouldn't be the kind of people you would want your children to hang around with.
Matthew 1 questions and answers
1. What do you know about Matthew, the author of the book of Matthew? ( Matthew 9:9-13 )
- He was a Jew
- He was a tax collector. Matthew 9:9 is the first time that we meet Matthew, the tax collector. "As Jesus went on from there, he saw a man named Matthew sitting at the tax collector's booth. "Follow me," he told him, and Matthew got up and followed him." It's an amazing thing that Jesus would have anything to do with such a man, a man who was known in his society by his profession as a gouging criminal.
- When Jesus said to him, follow me, he arose from his table where he was collecting his taxes and immediately followed Jesus. Jesus must have seen in Matthew something that was useful, and when Jesus spoke to him he immediately followed, which indicates that he was perhaps very familiar with Jesus. Perhaps on some other occasion he had heard or seen Jesus, he may have been a religious man, and he may have been a rarer honest man, for he doesn't apparently sense any need to go out and pay back everything he's taken wrongfully, like Zaccheus did. The fact that he moved instantly which shows where his heart was. Matthew had a lot of wealth no doubt and a lot of power, and he was willing to walk away from it, which says something for his character.
- Jesus Christ transformed him from being a publican/tax collector into an apostle/disciple.
- Became the writer of this first Gospel record, Matthew.
- Jesus invited Matthew into his inner circle of twelve people to walk with him for 3 years - was one of Jesus' disciples.
- Introduced his friends to his new Master. The fact that he threw a kind of a party shows that he wanted to introduce his old friends to his new Master. He didn't follow Jesus quietly.
- Matthew was a modest man. Throughout Matthew he records many important events but never makes a personal reference to himself or gives himself any particular credit.
2. Why was the book of Matthew written?
- To tell the story of salvation
- To prove the fact that Jesus is the Christ, the predicted Messiah, the King of the Jews.
- To show that Jesus was rejected by His own people, but accepted by the Gentiles
- To show that Jesus will someday return to reign as King of Kings and Lord of Lords.
- To relate the story of: the King who comes, the King who is rejected and the King who will return and reign triumphantly.
3. Read Matthew 1:1-17 - Why did Matthew start off with a genealogy?
- To reveal and present Jesus as the King through His family tree.
- If a King is to be heralded as a King, if He is to be believed to be a King, if He is to have any credibility at all, if anybody is to accept the fact that He in fact is a King then it must start with the proof that He comes from the royal line.
- There was a royal line in Israel and it came through David. So if Jesus is to be the King it must be established that He has the right to reign because He descends from the genealogy of royalty. And that is precisely what verses 1 to 17 presents. Read Matthew 1:1-17
- The reason for the genealogy is to present the fact that Jesus is the one who has the right to reign.
4. Were genealogies important to the Jews? If so, why? (Read Numbers 26:52-56 ; Ezra 2:62 ,
Luke 2:1-4 , Rom 11:1 )
- To the Jews their ancestry was very important to them.
- If anybody was going to be presented to them as a King, it was absolutely essential that He have the ancestry to prove it. This was always important to the Jews.
- They needed to know their ancestry for: the exchange of land, for their tribal location when they went into the promised land, and for their priestly identification when they returned from captivity (Ezra 2:62).
- In the time of Christ, the Romans used genealogies for the purpose of taxing the people. In Luke 2:1-4 Joseph and Mary are going down to be registered according to their own ancestry and in their own place, because they were still identifying people in that manner at the time of the birth of Christ.
- Even Paul lays out his ancestry when he says in Romans 11:1, "For I am an Israelite, of the seed of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin." To the Jewish people this was very important. And this is why there are at least fifty genealogies in the Old Testament.
5. In Luke 3:23-38 another genealogy of Jesus is recorded. What are the main differences
between the two genealogies?
- goes from Abraham to Jesus through Joseph.
- shows us the royal line
- the royal line always was passed through the father, but Jesus had no human father, but Joseph was His legal father. Matthew follows the royal line, through David and Solomon, David's son.
- Jesus is the legal heir of David through Joseph.
- goes from Jesus through Mary's line to Adam.
- shows us the blood line.
- David had another son, he had several, but this other one was Nathan, and Mary's line came through Nathan.
- Jesus is the actual seed of David through Mary
- Both Mary and Joseph were descendants of David, both of them passing on royal blood.
- Lineally the blood line of Jesus is of David, legally as an heir to the throne He is of David, both by His mother and His father.
6. Why is Joseph identified as the husband of Mary and not as the father of Jesus?
- Joseph was not the father of Jesus, in a human way, he was the husband of Mary.
- Matt 1:21 It was Mary who would give birth to a son, not Joseph.
- Matthew 2:l3b Joseph is told to get up, and take the young Child and His mother, and flee into Egypt...." The mention of Mary as the only parent removes Joseph from being identified as Jesus' actual father. The child's name is mentioned first.
7. What are the meanings of the names Jesus and Christ?
- Jesus means Jehovah saves. Matthew 1:21 it says, "You shall call his name Jesus: for he will, save his people from their sins."
- Christ or Messiah means the anointed, and He was anointed as a prophet (Matt 21:11; Luke 4:24), He was anointed as a priest (Hebrews 9:12; 7:25). and He was also anointed as a King (John 18:36).
- It is important to know this because later on in Matthew it gets a little messy as to who the religious leaders say Jesus is. They slander him and take offense to him because they think Jesus was demon possessed, born as a result of immorality that came from a nowhere town, and a nobody family. This is why Matthew, looking back on all this and under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, writes down in this book the beginnings of Jesus Christ, so there never needs to be a question about where He came from and who He is.
8. List the people that you know something about in this genealogical list.
- Abraham - Genesis 17-25
- Isaac - Genesis 21-27
- Jacob - Genesis 25-35
- Judah - Genesis 29:35; 37:26;38; 43-44; 49:8-12
- Perez and Zerah - Gen 38
- Tamar - Gen 38
- Boaz - Ruth 2 - 4
- Rahab - Joshua 2, 6
- Ruth -Book of Ruth
- Jesse- 1 Sam 16, 17
- King David - 1 & 2 Samuel, I Kings 1 & 2, Psalms
- Solomon - I King 1-11; Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Songs
- Bathsheba - Uriah's wife - 2 Samuel 11 & 12, 1 Kings 1 & 1
- Rehoboam - 1 Kings 11 - 14 - Wicked king
- Abijah - I Kings 14, 15 wicked King
- Asa - I Kings 15 - good king
- Jehoshaphat - I Kings 22 - good king
- Jehoram - 2 Kings 8, 11 - did evil
- Uzziah - 2 Kings 14, 15 - Did what was right
- Jotham - 2 Kings 15 - did what was right
- Ahaz - 2 Kings 16 - did evil
- Hezekiah - 2 Kings 18-20 - did what was right
- Manasseh - 2 Kings 21 - did what was evil
- Amon - 2 Kings 21 - did evil
- Josiah - 2 Kings 22-23 - did what was good
- Jeconiah/Jehoiachin - 2 Kings 24 - did evil
- Zerubbabel - Ezra 3, 5, Nehemiah 12, Haggai 1, 2
- Joseph - husband of Mary
9. Do you see some individuals who were Gentiles or people you wouldn’t expect to be in a
- Tamar - Matt 1:3, "Judah the father of Perez and Zerah, whose mother was Tamar;" Tamar is the first lady in the genealogy. Her children are Perez and Zerah. What kind of a lady was Tamar? Read Genesis 38. Judah takes a wife for his first born, so he took this lady Tamar. He was wicked so God killed him. Tamar was then given to Judah's second son but he was wicked too so God killed him. Judah promised Tamar the third son once he grew up but Judah didn't keep his promise. One day Tamar was told that her father-in-law, Judah, was going up to Timnah to shear his sheep. She took off her widow's garments and covered her face with a veil. Judah thought she was a prostitute and offered to sleep with her. She asked him what he would give her to sleep with him. He offered to send her a young goat from his flock. She asked if he would give her something as a pledge until he sent it. When he asked what pledge he should give her, said she wanted his seal and its cord and the staff in his hand. He gave them to her and slept with her, and she became pregnant by him. So, Tamar was involved in prostitution and incest. What is she doing in the Messianic line? But out of that conception came twins, Perez and Zerah, who are the next people in the genealogy of the line of the Messiah.
- Rahab - Matt 1:5, "Salmon the father of Boaz, whose mother was Rahab." When you say Rahab what are the next thoughts that come to your mind? Rahab was a professional Canaanite prostitute, unclean, outcast, Gentile, pagan, idolatrous. Joshua 2 tells us that the spies, when they came into Jericho, went in and came to the house of a prostitute named Rahab. But from her came Boaz, a godly man.
- Ruth - Matt 1:5 - and Boaz had a son named Obed, and Boaz was married to Ruth. Ruth was not a prostitute, but a lovely lady…not guilty of incest. She however was a Moabite Gentile, an outcast. Genesis 19:30-38 tells us where the Moabites come from. Lot & his daughters had just fled from Sodom which got destroyed by fire and they settled in a cave in the mountains. 31 "One day the older daughter said to the younger, "Our father is old, and there is no man around here to give us children-as is the custom all over the earth. 32 Let's get our father to drink wine and then sleep with him and preserve our family line through our father." 33 That night they got their father to drink wine, and the older daughter went in and slept with him. He was not aware of it when she lay down or when she got up. 34 The next day the older daughter said to the younger, "Last night I slept with my father. Let's get him to drink wine again tonight, and you go in and sleep with him so we can preserve our family line through our father." 35 So they got their father to drink wine that night also, and the younger daughter went in and slept with him. Again he was not aware of it when she lay down or when she got up. 36 So both of Lot's daughters became pregnant by their father. 37 The older daughter had a son, and she named him Moab; he is the father of the Moabites of today.38 The younger daughter also had a son, and she named him Ben-Ammi; he is the father of the Ammonites of today." Who was Ruth? Ruth was a Moabite. She was born of incest. She herself was a pure lady. She was the wife of Boaz, and she became the grandmother of David. But she was born of a tribe of people who were guilty of incest. In Deuteronomy 23:3 the whole Moabite nation is cursed by God and here God picks up a cursed lady, born of an incestuous relationship.
- Bathsheba - The next lady in the genealogy is not mentioned by name but it is easy to figure out who it is. The end of Matt 1:6, "David was the father of Solomon, whose mother had been Uriah's wife." That of course is Bathsheba. According to Second Samuel 11 an 12 she was up on a roof sunbathing and David was up there looking around and he said, that's the one I want, brought her over, had a sexual relationship with her, produced a child, she was an adulteress.
- This genealogy would have been a shocker to the legalistic Jews who were hot on genealogy and the line of purity, as he introduces the Messiah as descending from two prostitutes, one adulteress, and one produced of incest. But it shows that our God is a God of grace.
- We could also include Mary who was a sinner like any of us. Matt 1:16 says, "And Jacob the father of Joseph, the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus, who is called Christ." Nobody knew about Mary before this. No doubt she was a deeply devout and a religious person but she was a sinner who needed a Savior, and the Lord Jesus Christ had to be a Savior to her as well as a son to her. And yet God in His wonderful mysterious grace chose her. In Luke 1:28, "The angel came, and said to Mary, "Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you." That means "You who are endued (provided) with grace." Mary needed grace, and grace is unmerited favor given to sinners.
- Grace was extended to David & Abraham. Matt 1:1, "The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, "the son of David," and "the son of Abraham." David was a sinner. Abraham was a sinner. But God acted in grace toward them. David sinned so vilely with Bathsheba, and had her husband murdered, David was a polygamist, a rotten father, and killed so many people that his hands were too bloody to build the temple of God. Abraham lied about his wife in Egypt, and brought them both into shame. Abraham disbelieved God, committed adultery with Hagar, again at Gerar lied about Sarah and gave her to the king as if she was his sister. Two sinners, and their seed was the Son of God. That's grace. God used these two, one to father the nation of Messiah, the other to father the royal line.
- The wicked people in the second or 3rd era, eg. Rehoboam, and Ahaz, Manasseh, etc.
10. Compare the three historical eras mentioned in the genealogy.
- The first period that he mentions, from Abraham to David. It is the period of heroism and greatness.
- Second period is the period from David to the exile to Babylon. It's a period of decline that ultimately ends up in the devastation and destruction of Israel and the captivity in Babylon.
- The third period is from the captivity up to Christ. We don't know anything hardly at all about this period. It's a period shrouded in darkness, six hundred years of datelessness, names we don't even know.
All along even though the whole nation is going downhill, until finally they curse and spit on their own Messiah, it is nevertheless through that nation that the Messiah comes, and that is grace.
- The first period that he mentions, from Abraham to David. That's the period of the patriarchs (Abraham and Isaac and Jacob and Joseph) and the period of the judges like Deborah and Barak and Samson and Jephthah, etc. It's that great period of heroism when Israel was made famous as the judges lead the people through victory after victory. You have people even like Ruth and Jesse, the father of David. It was a period of greatness.
- Second period is the period from David to the exile to Babylon. It's a period of decline. The second period is the period of the monarchy (nation is ruled by kings), and as soon as Saul becomes king, things started to go downhill. And from David following you have glory days in Solomon, but after Solomon there is tragedy upon tragedy upon tragedy. Every once in a while you get a little glimpse of a good and godly leader like Jehoshaphat, and in the genealogy Hezekiah, and Josiah. But what seems to dominate is the Rehoboams and Ahazs and Manassehs who were evil men. It's a period of decline that ultimately ends up in the devastation and destruction of Israel and the captivity in Babylon.
- The third period is from the captivity up to Christ. We don't know anything hardly at all about this period. It's a period shrouded in darkness, six hundred years of datelessness, names we don't even know. So the story of Israel is the story of three eras.
Read Matthew 1:18-25
This miracle is so incredible! I hope you haven't heard it so often that your senses are dulled to this spectacular, supernatural event.
11. Read Matthew 1:18-25. What new twist do we see introduced in verse 18 concerning the birth of Jesus Christ?
- Matthew is simply giving the genealogy of Jesus from the human side in 1:1 and the divine side in 1:18. So Matthew 1 presents two sides of Jesus' genealogy.
12. What do we know about Mary, the mother of Jesus?
- John 19:25 - Mary had a sister called Mary
- Luke 1:36a - She had a cousin named Elizabeth
- Luke 3:23 - Her father's name was Heli
13. What do we learn about Mary's character from Luke 1:28-48?
- Was highly favoured by God - righteous vs 28 - 30
- Was a virgin - morally pure & upright vs 34
- Was submissive to God's Word - she was the Lord's servant & would do what He asked of her vs 38
- Believed God's promises to her - vs 45
- Worshiped and praised God - vs 46 - 48
- Humble - vs 48
14. What does it mean that Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph? What was the period of
the pledge designed to test?
- A pledge was primarily a promise or contract that was made.
- Two families or individuals would draw up a binding contract that promised marriage, and during the period of pledge if the contract was violated, then an official divorce would take place.
- Such a practice means that a pledged couple was legally married, even though there were no physical relationships whatever.
- This period, normally twelve months in duration, served as a period of protection for the would-be husband and wife so each partner's purity could be established. If the girl became pregnant through being unfaithful, it would become known in that period.
- It was also a time in which any potential problems could be worked out.
15. Why were Joseph and Mary identified as husband and wife before the marriage had been
- The use of the words husband and wife with reference to Joseph and Mary (Mt. 1:19-20) indicates the validity of their pledge, not that their marriage had actually been consummated. This is clear from verse 25a, which says, "But he had no union with her until she gave birth to a son." Similarly, verse l8b says, "...before they came together...." In other words, it was in this pledged period that Mary was made to be with child by the Holy Spirit.
16. What was the wedding like in those days?
- At the end of the pledge was the wedding which lasted for approximately seven days. You would have to feed your neighborhood and provide drink like at the wedding at Cana, where they ran out of wine until Jesus performed His miracle (Jn. 2:1-10).
- When a daughter was given away in marriage, the father expected payment in exchange, like a dowry, which could vary in amount depending on the girl. The price that was paid served several purposes: It compensated the father for the expense of the wedding; it also acted as life insurance for the wife (Normally, the father would hold it in trust and if the husband died, he would give it back to the daughter.); and thirdly, it was kind of a divorce insurance, because the husband of course would have to give it up unless he stayed married to the girl and received it back by inheritance after the death of the father.
17. What do we know about Joseph? (Read also John 19:26-27)
- We know very little about Joseph. He is described by a Greek term that can be translated "carpenter" or "mason." He may have done both.
- He was a righteous person, (one being faithful to the law) verse 19
- Deeply committed to Mary
- On the evidence of Joseph's righteousness, as a man who would have not violated God's standard, there should have been no question that Joseph was not the father (1:20, 24).
- Did not want to hurt Mary but looked for a solution to this situation of Mary's apparent unfaithfulness in a way that demonstrated his righteous character and concern for Mary. Joseph was a just man who did not want to make a public example of the woman he loved.
- Joseph must have been a wonderful man and father because God had entrusted him with His only Son.
- He married Mary but didn't consummate their marriage until she gave birth to a son.
- Joseph gave the baby the name Jesus just as he was told to do
- It appears that he died before Jesus' death on the cross (John 19:26-27)
18. Read Luke 1:26-35 – When Mary became pregnant she knew why but Joseph didn’t know.
What would have been Joseph's response when he learned of Mary's pregnancy? Why?
(Read also Deuteronomy 22:13-14, 20-24a)
- When Joseph found out, he was shocked, because he knew the quality of Mary's character and the righteous standard by which she lived. Infidelity was totally out of character for her -- it made no sense at all.
- He was shocked because he knew Deuteronomy 22 well enough to know that when a woman became pregnant with a child outside of wedlock, the punishment was death. Understanding that Old Testament law demanded Mary's death if she were guilty, Joseph was literally rocked to the very core of his heart, because he loved Mary.
Why is it not unusual that the Holy Spirit was responsible for the conception of Jesus?
This would be nothing new for the Holy Spirit, because His work was commonly one of creation. In Genesis 1:2, He is identified as the One who actually carried out the creation of the heavens and the earth. In Galatians 4:4 -- Paul said, "But, when the fullness of the time was come, God sent forth His Son, made of a woman, made under the law."
19. What conclusions must be made if Jesus were not virgin born?
- Had Jesus had no human parents, He wouldn't have been man, and would have lacked compassion on humanity.
- Had Jesus had two human parents, He could not have avoided the contamination of humanity and would not have been the Son of God or Messiah.
- He had to be the child of man and yet the child of God, and that's exactly what He was.
20. Why was Jesus sinless even though He was born of a sinner?
- He was born of a sinner and yet He was sinless, because He was equally born of God. Deity cancelled humanity's curse.
- Curse came through the male line but Gen 3:15 says the Promised One will come from the seed of a woman.
21. What course of action did Joseph choose in dealing with the seemingly unlawful pregnancy
of Mary? Why?
Two options were open to Joseph in his day and age. Because Joseph was a righteous Jew he knew he couldn't marry a lady in her condition. She had violated the principles of God. Even though he cared about her, even though he didn't understand what was going on and it was all a mystery to him...as a just man, he had to do what the law required.
- He could make a public example of her by charging her openly in a public court with having committed adultery. She would be shamed, brought to trial, and convicted in front of everybody, so that her reputation would be ruined. Joseph could divorce her, even though she wasn't officially his wife, because the pledge constituted a legal marriage contract. If he chose to divorce her, he would have to return the dowry, and destroy the contract.
- However, because of his real concern for Mary, he didn't want to expose her to public disgrace so he decided to divorce/put her away quietly. The two parties would get together before two or three witnesses and write out a private bill of divorcement, (eg in Deuteronomy 24). In this case, there would be no judicial procedure, no public knowledge, no fanfare. In fact, in that day you did not even need to write down the cause for the divorce in the statement, so that the spouse could go away without anybody ever really knowing what had happened. It was done secretly. Now this wasn't necessarily God's pattern, but this is what was allowable in the laxness of the day in which Joseph lived.
22. What was the unique kind of dream given to Joseph used for? (See other examples used in Matt. 2:12, 13, 19; 27:19).
- It was a dream used by God to communicate what He was doing and give guidance. This method of communication is not uncommon in Matthew, where it occurs in other places (2:12, 13, 19; 27:19).
- The angel told Joseph, son of David, not to be afraid to take Mary home as his wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. (The angel reinforced the fact of Joseph's royal lineage, comforted him with the fact Mary was a virgin and that it was God who had intervened to produce this miraculous birth requiring no human father. It was the divinely conceived birth of God in human flesh which enabled Jesus to become both man and God. And so, Joseph was to know that he had nothing to fear in taking Mary as his wife, for what was conceived in her was of the Holy Spirit.
- The angel also told Joseph that Mary will give birth to a son, and he was to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.
23. Why was Mary's child to be named Jesus? ( Matthew 1:21 ; Acts 4:12 )
- Jesus means Jehovah shall save. The reason Jesus came was to accomplish salvation. Acts 4:l2 says, "Neither is there salvation in any other; for there is no other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved." Only Jesus, the sole God-Man, is the One who saves.
24. Why did Matthew connect the virgin birth to the Old Testament? ( Isaiah 7:14 )
- Fifty times in his Gospel, Matthew quotes the Old Testament, and seventy-six times he alludes to it, using the formula: " All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet:" (v. 22). Of course, whenever the prophet spoke it was actually the Lord speaking. In this particular case, Matthew quotes Isaiah 7:l4: "The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel" (which means "God with us")."
- Matthew connects the virgin birth to the Old Testament in order to verify that the promise of God had been fulfilled, something they should have known.
25. Why was the prophecy of a virgin bearing Immanuel originally given? (Isaiah 7 – especially
- King Ahaz was terrified that the kingdom of Judah might be destroyed by Syria and Israel. So God spoke through Isaiah and said, "Let Me give you a promise: Nothing is going to happen to the kingly line, and here's a sign to prove My words true -- a virgin shall be with child and that child will be Immanuel."
- Jesus came into the world, as the fulfillment of that prophecy given by Isaiah to Ahaz, to show that God would keep His promise that the throne of David would never be broken. Jesus truly became "Immanuel, which, being interpreted is God with us" (Mt. 1:23b). No one ever called Him `Immanuel.'" Because it is not actually a name, but rather a description of who He is.
26. Did Mary and Joseph have other children?
27. What is the only way that Jesus' perfect life can be accounted for?
- The supernatural birth of Jesus is the only way to account for the life that He lived.
1. Is Jesus your Saviour? Has He saved you from your sins? When did you make that decision?
2. Jesus is the King of Kings. Is Jesus the King of your life? How are you showing that?
3. Have you experienced God’s grace in your life? It is easy for us to take it for granted, viewing
it more as a right, rather than as a blessing. Think back to the instances that God has been
especially gracious to you. Even if you remembered to thank Him, did you find that you soon
forgot His goodness? Spend some time after dinner with your family or a friend and have each
of you enumerate as many things as possible that you can thank God for...past, present, or
4. Are you experiencing Jesus as Immanuel in your life?
5. Do you have the character qualities that Mary had? Are there any you want to work on?
6. Are you like Joseph, listening to God’s instructions and doing immediately what God asks you
7. What has been meaningful to you from your study of Matthew 1? What could you apply to
Jesus Christ was none other than God in human flesh, and Matthew tells us He came to dwell:
with the sick to heal them,
with the demon possessed to liberate them,
with the poor in spirit to bless them,
with the care-ridden to free them from care,
with the lepers to cleanse them,
with the hungry to feed them,
but most of all he says that He came to dwell with the lost, in order that He might save them.
He was Immanuel, God with us,
though He was infinitely rich, became poor, assuming our human nature.
He entered our sin-polluted atmosphere without ever being tainted by it,
took our guilt, bore our griefs, carried our sorrows,
was wounded with our transgressions, bruised for our iniquities,
went to heaven to prepare a place for us,
sent His Spirit to dwell in our hearts,
right now makes intercession for us,
will someday come to take us to be with Him.