Matthew is the Kingly Gospel. He writes principally to the Jews to show that the Jesus of Nazareth of the New Testament is the Messiah predicted in the Old Testament.
A king must be able to trace his royal ancestry. Matthew begins the New Testament by presenting the genealogy or family tree of Jesus the Christ. Read Verse 1.
He traces the legal descent of Jesus as King of Israel. Then uniquely Matthew follows the royal line from David, through his son Solomon. In doing this he establishes beyond doubt the claims of Christ to be King. Interestingly, there is a statement in Genesis 5:1 which is similar to the pronouncement of verse 1: "This is the book of the generations of Adam."
The two statements are descriptive of the two great themes of Scripture. The O.T. is devoted to the record of Adam and his descendants. The N.T. gives the history of Christ, the Son of God, and His redeemed family.
To sum up, Matthew is presenting Jesus Christ as the Son of David - The Son of Abraham - the rightful King of the Jews. He also presents Him as Jesus - Jehovah Savior.
At this point we should notice verse 16. Casually reading this verse we might assume the word "whom" refer back to Joseph and Mary, and that Jesus was born of Joseph and Mary. How carefully the Spirit has guarded against such a conclusion. The word "whom" is in the singular feminine gender. Praise God, Jesus was born of Mary, but not of Joseph.
The second portion of the chapter contains the story of the miraculous conception and birth of the King.
Verse 18: "Now the birth of Christ was in this way." Note how different the birth of Jesus was to the others mentioned. His birth was without the involvement of a human father.
Mary was espoused or betrothed to Joseph. This was much more binding than the present day engagement. The man who betrothed a young woman was legally her husband. So then Mary was Joseph's wife legally.
During this betrothal time, the virgin Mary became pregnant, by a miracle of the Holy Spirit. When Joseph found that Mary was pregnant, he was very perturbed. He wondered if his legal wife had been unfaithful to him. The people wondered if Joseph was immoral. Disgrace - divorce - death were imminent.
Verse 19: Being a gentle man, and loving Mary, he decided to quietly divorce her.
Verse 20: As he was contemplating his course of action an angel appeared to him. He urged him to take Mary to be his wife. He then explained the miraculous conception by the Holy Spirit.
Verse 21: The angel also revealed the unborn child's sex, name and mission. He was to be called "Jesus" - because "He will save His people" etc.
Verse 23: Also mentions that His name will also be "Emmanuel," which means "God with us." This incomparable child - born of a human mother, was the eternal God dwelling with mankind.
Verse 24: Joseph was wakened from his sleep - he abandoned his plan to divorce Mary. He took unto him his wife, as the angel had commanded and knew her not until after Jesus was born. Then he lived with her as husband and wife. Mary had other children. See Matt 12:46; 13:55. Acts 1:13-14.
Thus the Messiah King was born. The heavens were filled with the glory of God. The angels were busy singing God's praises. Never had there been such angelic activity.
The eternal One entered into time. The everlasting God became the Babe of time.
The Father of eternity became the Babe of Bethlehem.
The Omnipotent became a tiny infant.
The Lord of glory veiled that glory in a human body.
Uniquely, in Him dwelt all the fullness of the godhead bodily.