A new King and Kingdom in Idaho Falls

Read Matthew 1:1-4:25

Matthew is the first of the gospel writers to introduce us to the Messiah, a King whom the world has never seen before nor one whom any will surpass in the future.  His title is the Christ.  He comes to tell those of us in a fractured, decaying world about a new Kingdom.  It’s the Kingdom of heaven where perfect love, light, and unity flow from the three-Person’d eternal God.

In the opening chapters of Matthew, the world gets its first glimpse of the Trinity at the Jordan River:  Jesus is in the water, the Spirit descends in the form of a dove, and the Father’s voice booms from heaven.  God in the Person of Jesus has come.  His birth is the sunrise of human history.  The light has dawned.  The King of the Jews is here, bringing hope to us rabble-raising, stubborn, struggling, independent Idahoans.

Just as Idaho Falls has bridges over lava rock and asphalt, joining eastern and western neighborhoods, Jesus is the Bridge, reconciling God to man, literally making it possible to have God among us.   “God with us” – this is the meaning of Emmanuel.

Your sins separate you, isolate you, strip you from the real party, beat you down, and leave you bleeding and deserted in the sagebrush.  But Jesus was born to save you from your sins.  Look to Him with eyes of faith.  Let go of trying to do it on your own.  Stop pursuing the idols of vain pleasure.  Believe the gospel of the Kingdom.  Be healed.  As the forerunner, John the Baptist preaches repentance.  And then Jesus enters our world and commands us to repent.  Look to Jesus and live.

Turn from your own masquerade of lies to His truth.  Turn from your darkness to His light.  Turn from your lusts to His love.  Give up rebellion.  Forsake sin.  Jesus is sovereign King.  And His kingdom will be the last to stand.

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