Searching His Word, Seeking His Heart
We’re thinking about my third book, “Eyes to See” (now being published.)
We continue looking for clues about Matthew, his life and thoughts—anything that we can find to help us know the make up of this disciple.
Last week, we observed that the first thing recorded in his Book of Matthew was the lineage of Jesus , obviously important to him. Luke also included a lineage. From Abraham to David, the names were the same in both records. But from David on down to Jesus, the names differed. Many scholars believe Luke was tracing the lineage of Mary, while Matthew traced to Joseph. Either way, we see that Jesus was the prophesied “Son of David.”
Speaking of prophesies, we will note today that Matthew includes many fulfilled prophecies in his Gospel.
Matthew is the only one who gives us the story about the Magi coming to Jerusalem asking,
“Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We have seen his star in the east and have come to worship him.” Matthew 2:2
King Herod is rightly puzzled and disturbed by this question. He wonders if this is about the Christ, the Messiah that the people have anticipated for centuries. When he gathers the religious leaders together, he asks where the Christ is to be born.
“In Bethlehem, in Judea,” they replied. Matthew 2:6 [Micah 5:2]
When Jesus begins his ministry in Capernaum of Galilee , Matthew quotes Isaiah’s prophecy that the Christ will go to—
. . . Galilee of the Gentiles—the people living in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned.” Matthew 4:15-16 (Isaiah 9:1-2)
Matthew reports about the many people Jesus healed and how this fulfills prophecy.
“He took up our infirmities and carried our diseases.” Matthew 8:17 [Isaiah 53:4]
After Jesus speaks in parables, Matthew reminds us that this is once again a fulfillment of prophecy.
“I will open my mouth in parables, I will utter things hidden since the creation of the world.” Matthew 13:35 [Psalm 78:2]
Matthew alone tells of a time when Jesus is using a parable to make a point to the chief priests and elders. After he told the parable,
Jesus said to them, “Have you never read the Scriptures: ‘The stone the builders rejected has become the capstone; the Lord has done this, and it is marvelous in our eyes.'” Matthew 21:42 [Psalm 118:22,23]
Twelve times Matthew related prophecy that was fulfilled in Jesus. He used some thirty other quotations from the Old Testament to support other points. while the other three gospel writers used very few if any.
My point is that undoubtedly, Matthew had a concentrated background in the Holy Scriptures and was smart enough to relate them to Jesus. He wanted to send the message that indeed Jesus was the Son of God, the promised Messiah.
So, you may be asking the question I have asked, “Why did this good Jewish boy become a hated tax collector?”
What else can we learn about Matthew? Next week!
~ Joyce ~