Mathew 1 Lesson

Listening To God


The Gospel of Mathew contains twenty-eight chapters. It was written by Mathew, whose surname was Levi in approximately 58-68 A.D. Mathew was a tax collector which was an unpopular profession at the time because of the shady business practices performed by many in that role.

Mathew’s Gospel was written to a Jewish audience and therefore, contains many references to the Old Testament. Because of the strong Jewish ties to this gospel, it is easy to see why the early church placed this as the first book of the New Testament to function as a bridge between the Old and New Testaments.


Our twenty-eight-day study on Mathew will cover the following nine topics:

  1. Jesus’ birth,
  2. John the Baptist,
  3. Jesus’ ministry,
  4. The Sermon on the Mount,
  5. Jesus’ miracles,
  6. The rejection of Jesus,
  7. Jesus’ Disciples,
  8. Jesus’ crucifixion, burial, and resurrection,
  9. The Great Commission.


Mary was a virgin and was betrothed to Joseph. Before they had relations, Mary became pregnant. Joseph, knowing that they had not had relations, assumed that Mary must have had relations with somebody else and planned to send her away secretly so that Mary would not be shamed.

It was then that an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said:

  • “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife; for the Child who has been conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit.  She will bear a Son; and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.” – Mathew 1:20-21.

It is Joseph’s reaction to the message he received that we will focus on for the remainder of today’s lesson. Consider the following scripture:

  • “And Joseph awoke from his sleep and did as the angel of the Lord commanded him.” – Mathew 1:24.

What an amazing response by Joseph!

Mathew writes:

  • “And Joseph awoke from his sleep and did as the angel of the Lord commanded him, and took Mary as his wife, but kept her a virgin until she gave birth to a Son; and he called His name Jesus.” – Mathew 1:24-25.


There are three things that we can learn from Joseph’s response to the angel of the Lord:

  1. Understanding scripture is incredibly important! God may not send an angel of the Lord to speak to us directly in a dream, but He does speak to us through His inspired word. Therefore, it is imperative that we understand what the Bible says and how to apply it. Paul wrote in his second letter to Timothy, “Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth (2 Timothy 2:15).” As Christians, we need to understand the Bible so that we can correctly apply it,
  2. Obeying God’s word allows great things to happen! When Joseph recognized that it was the Lord speaking to him, he immediately did what the angel of the Lord commanded him to do. Sometimes God asks us to do things that put us outside of our comfort zone. When we listen, God’s plan for us unfolds, just as it did for Joseph, Mary, and Jesus. And with God’s help, there are no limits to what we can accomplish! “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” - Jeremiah 29:11,
  3. When a message is, “Of the Holy Spirit,” it is coming directly from God, and we need to obey it. The angel of the Lord said to Joseph in Mathew 1:20, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife; for the Child who has been conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit.” The Bible tells us that we receive the Holy Spirit when we are baptized into Christ (Acts 2:38). Those of us that have been baptized have the Holy Spirit to help us. There is a special relationship between the Bible and the Holy Spirit. Since both are from God, they will never contradict one another. The Bible tells us what God wants us to do, and the Holy Spirit lets us feel it. If the Holy Spirit is telling us to do something, we should listen to it, just as Joseph did. If God has sent the Holy Spirit to work in us, it is for a reason.


Joseph obeyed the angel of the Lord, even though the message was unusual, or hard to believe. From his response we learn the following three things:

  1. Understanding scripture is incredibly important,
  2. Obeying God’s word allows great things to happen!
  3. When a message is, “Of the Holy Spirit,” it is coming directly from God, and we need to obey it!

We will conclude today’s lesson with five scriptures that highlight the importance of listening to and obeying God’s commands:

  1. “Does the Lord have as much delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than a sacrifice, and to pay attention is better than the fat of rams.” - 1 Samuel 15:22,
  2. “But prove yourselves doers of the word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves.” -James 1:22,
  3. “If you are willing and obedient, you will eat the best of the land.” - Isaiah 1:19,
  4. “Why do you call Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say?” - Luke 6:46,
  5. “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.” - John 14:15.


John B

Wasn't it common for people to be called by more than one name in those days? "Simon" who was called Peter. Saul / Paul, etc.

John B

Yes, we read of Saul, who was called Paul and Simon, called Peter. But these different names were based on different languages - Saul was his Jewish name and Paul was his Greek name.
I believe the name Emmanuel was more of a prophetic honor than a birth name.

John B

Thank you Dan!

John B

All the names has the same meaning