In the Gospel of Matthew, the people of Israel were waiting for the Messiah, their king. Matthew begins his book by showing how Jesus Christ was a descendant of David. But Matthew goes on to show that God did not send Jesus to be an earthly king, but a heavenly king. His kingdom would be much greater that David’s because it would never end. Even at Jesus’ birth, many recognized him as a king. Herod, the ruler, as well as Satan, was afraid of Jesus’ kingship and tried to stop him, but others worshipped him and brought royal gifts. We must b willing to recognize Jesus for who he really is and worship him as king of our lives.
Jesus gave the Sermon on the Mount, directions for living in his kingdom. He also told many parables about the difference between his kingdom and the kingdoms of the earth. Forgiveness, peace, and putting others first are some of the characteristics that make one of the great in the future kingdom of God. And to be great in God’s kingdom, we must live by God’s standards right now. Jesus came to show us how to live as faithful subjects in his kingdom.
Jesus was formally presented to the nation of Israel, but rejected. How strange for the king to be accused, arrested, and crucified. But Jesus demonstrated his power even over death through his resurrection, and gained access for us into his kingdom. With all this evidence that Jesus is God’s Son, we, too, should accept him as our Lord.
Matthew (Levi), one of the twelve apostles.
The precise date of the writing of the Gospel of Matthew is not known. Some scholars argue for a date later than the destruction of Jerusalem in A. D. 70, since Jesus alludes to this event in 24:1-28. Of course, such a conclusion is warranted only if one denies Jesus’ ability to predict the future. In light of Irenaeus’s assertion that Matthew composed his Gospel while Peter and Paul were still living, it is traditionally dated to the late 50’s or early 60’s.
To Whom Written:
Primarily to the Jews.
The purpose of the Gospel of Matthew was to present the Lord Jesus Christ as Israel’s king.
Matthew was “The book of the generation of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham” (Matthew 1:1). It was the book of Jesus Christ as the perfect Israelite – the rightful king of Israel. Christ was presented as the inheritor of David’s throne, having traced His royal lineage from Abraham (the patriarch of the nation) to David (the patriarch of the throne) to Joseph (the husband of Mary, but not the father of Jesus). AS the son of Abraham, Jesus represented the nation of Israel to God (as the Son of man).
Matthew was the book of being “in Israel.” From the call of Abraham, God had chosen a people for His name. This family that became a nation had a greater revelation of God than the other nations. They also had greater accompanying privileges, as well as greater responsibility before God. The Jews living during the earthly ministry of Jesus were all under the Mosaic law, a nation al code of conduct that had long since been added for Israel’s observance. The law was not meant to be a means of salvation, for a Jew was born into a relationship with Jehovah ( as servants of God). The law was the revelation of a righteous way of living for those who were already redeemed by God (at the Passover out of Egypt) and, therefore, belonged to Him. However, the Israelite was not guaranteed eonian life (resurrection life in the kingdom of God). He was expected to fear God and keep His commandments (Ecclesiastes 122:13). If he did not, God could, and probably would, cut him out of Israel, and he would lose all the privileges that he once had by being a part of that nation.
Today, when those who have not understood right division have gone to the Bible to determine if there is eternal security and have started the Gospel of Matthew, they come out of the book assured that one certainly can lose his salvation. The reason is that a “servant,” as described in this book, received his position by means of birth as an Israelite, yet upon proving to be an unfaithful servant, he could be cast into outer darkness, where there is weeping and gnashing of teeth (great sorrow and regret at having lost a place in the kingdom as a Jew). He found no security at all in being “in Israel.” Having been born a servant of god, he did not have to have faith at all in order to attain it. The only determination was whether or not he would be deemed a faithful servant. This is not at all like being “in Christ,” as set forth in Ephesians – the position which can only be a reality through one’s personal faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, regarding Who He is and what He did that procured salvation for us.
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