The Berean Expositor
Volume 54 - Page 168 of 210
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One wonders why Matthew suddenly introduces this verse before describing the birth
of the Lord Jesus. His method of counting presents a problem, and a note in The
Companion Bible (page 1308) reads, "three fourteens are reckoned in a special manner".
One can only conclude that Matthew desires to draw attention to the fact that the birth of
Christ took place at a special time, after three groups of fourteen generations. Surely
Matthew believed that Christ came to this earth at an appointed time.
In the Gospel of John we notice the phrase "Mine hour has not yet come", or "The
hour is come ...". For example, Christ told His mother when attending the wedding in
Cana of Galilee that His hour had not yet come.  In John 7: 30 and 8: 20 when
Christ was in the Temple, "no man laid hands on Him, for His hour was not yet come".
However, beginning at chapter 12: we see that instead of a negative statement, the
remark is now positive. After Jesus had ridden to Jerusalem on a young ass, some Greeks
wanted to see Him, and He answered:
"The hour is come, that the Son of Man should be glorified" (12: 23), and in the next
"Now before the feast of the passover, when Jesus knew that His hour was come that
He should depart out of this world unto the Father, having loved His own which were in
the world, He loved them unto the end" (13: 1).
Just as the birth of Christ happened at the appointed time, so His departure from this
earth took place at the appointed time. In the account of the transfiguration we read:
"and spake of His decease which He should accomplish at Jerusalem" (Luke 9: 31, A.V.).
"They spoke about His departure, which He was about to bring to fulfillment at
Jerusalem" (Luke 9: 31, N.I.V.).
His death, or departure, was no accident, but the fulfillment of a plan carried out at the
right time.
Our Lord spent some time in teaching the disciples and because He was Emmanuel
(God with us), He knew what would happen in the future.  For example, as they
approached Jerusalem, He told them that He would be betrayed, ill-treated and crucified,
and the third day He would rise again (Matt. 20: 17-19). On another occasion He said
that no man could take His life from Him. He had the power to lay it down and the
power to take it up again (John 10: 18).
He also knew that the disciples would forsake Him and be scattered:
"Behold, the hour cometh, yea, is now come, that ye shall be scattered, every man to
his own, and shall leave Me alone: and yet I am not alone, because the Father is with
Me" (John 16: 32).
The next chapter, which contains the wonderful prayer of our Lord, commences:
"These words spake Jesus, and lifted up His eyes to heaven, and said, `Father, the hour
is come; glorify Thy Son, that Thy Son also may glorify Thee'." (John 17: 1).