Introduction – Matthew

Some scholars believe that Genesis & Matthew are the two key foundational books of the whole Bible!  The Jews waited for a King who had been promised centuries before by prophets. They believed that this King would rescue them from their Roman oppressors and establish a new kingdom. As their king, he would rule the world with justice. However, many Jews overlooked prophecies that also spoke of this king as a suffering servant who would be rejected and killed.  Author: Matthew (Levi) was one of Jesus’ 12 disciples. Once he was a despised tax collector, but his life was changed. Matthew wrote this Gospel to his fellow Jews to prove that Jesus is the Messiah!   As you read this Gospel, listen to Matthew’s clear message: Jesus is the Christ, the King of kings and Lord of lords!!!  Audience: The Nation Israel…to the Jews.  But also to all people!

Matthew 1

Vs. 1, “A record of the genealogy of Jesus Christ the son of David, the son of Abraham.”  Question: Why start out with a genealogy?  Genealogies helped prove your identity back in Jesus’ time.  Matthew’s genealogy would help solidify the Old Testament fulfillment of the true Messiah.  This genealogy had it’s constant spiritual battle as the enemy would do everything he could to stop this eventual birth of Jesus!  It’s of note that this list of generation after generation is not exhaustive, but more likely used in this way to remember more easily.  Now, we then begin the drama of our Lord’s story!  Joseph would find out that Mary was pregnant during their betrothal (vs. 18)!  What a start for this young couple!  A very confused Mary and a saddened Joseph who decided to quietly divorce her…because theough they hadn’t officially married, a betrothal was an engagement that was binding.  Matthew points out Isaiah 7:14, to help the audience whom he is writing to understand that Jesus is the fulfillment of this prophecy.

 

Regarding application…God With Us.  Vs. 23, “The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel”—which means, “God with us.”  Question: What does this mean for us?  While Jesus was never technically called Immanuel at His time, the very name tells us something about Jesus’ nature.  He is not only the Son of God, but He is also God.  It’s this understanding that God’s presence was not longer dictatated by a tabernacle or temple.  God came in human form through His son.  Question: What do this mean for us today?  You see, we have the luxury of knowing the New Testament story…but we should never take for granted the access we have in God!  I’ve been been reminded this past week of the Old Testament laws in Leviticus and how each one was used for the primary purpose so that God could be with His people  Now, we have this amazing system where we can find Immanuel, God with us….anytime and anywhere.  Through the promised Holy Spirit, we have access to “God with Us”.  With that in mind, it is a wonderful priviledge to know that we can turn to God today and His word will speak to us.  Have a very blessed Wednesday and keep your eyes on the Lord!

Matthew 2

Vs. 1, “After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi a from the east came to Jerusalem.”  Matthew wants to ensure that the reader understands that Jesus was born in the city of David which would fulfill the requirement that the Son of God must be born in Bethlehem (vs. 6 – Micah 5:2).  The visit from the Magi would remind us that the Gospel is for Jew and Gentile.  We get a glimpse of the evil of Herod and ultimately the enemy (satan) who tries to stop God’s will.  Sadly, the world would already hate Jesus as a baby.  I love how Matthew uses scripture to backup Jesus, because we see a reference from (vs. 8)…good old Jeremiah 31:15, talking about Herod’s edict to kill all boys under the age of two.  Matthew also quotes from (vs. 15), the prophet Hosea 11:1, that the king would come out of Egypt.  As you hav read, we have many character’s in this chapter: The Magi’s response, Herod’s response, the Chief Priests and teacher’s response and Joseph’s response.  Each giving us insight to the condition of their hearts.

 

Regarding application...Responding Rightly.  Vs. 11, “On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold and of incense and of myrrh.”  The Magi’s response is a wonderful example for us all!  But I wanted to focus more about how Joseph and Mary responded.  Notice the gifts they lavished upon Joseph, Mary, and Jesus.  Remember, that Joseph and Mary were poor.  When an Angel of the Lord came to them to tell them to flee Egypt, this was a very expensive endeavor.  Question: How did they afford such a move?  Some scholars suggest by the gifts.  The point I’m sharing is that when God tells us to do something; He also provides!!!  Therefore, we are challenged to have a right response to His call in our lives.  Question: How are you responding these days to the Lord?  Let God speak to your heart and mind today!