Summary: An overview of the book of Matthew, surveying the life and ministry of Christ.
Matthew – Jesus is King of the Jews
Aim: To give an overview of Matthew’s gospel and his presentation of Jesus the Christ.
Text: Matthew 2:1-2
Introduction: Last year we began our journey through the Bible completing an overview of all the Old Testament books, this evening our journey continues into the New Testament and the last 27 books of the Bible. Between Malachi and Matthew we by pass 400 years of Jewish history. These are often referred to as the 400 years of silence, for during that period God spoke not one word. But then just when it seemed like God was indifferent to the affairs of Israel, and to the need of man, He did an amazing thing, He sent His Son Jesus into the world. In the words of the writer of Hebrews, “God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son.” (Hebrews 1:1-2a).
The Old Testament began with man made in the image of God, but the New begins with God in the image of man. Here we have the first of the Gospels, the good news accounts of the life and ministry of Jesus, and it is fitting that Matthew’s gospel should come first. Why? Because in the first place it has more O.T. references of all the gospels, in the second place it is written to the Jews, and in the third its purpose is to show how Jesus fulfilled the O.T. prophecies and is the Messiah Israel was promised.
Matthew, whose name means “Gift of Jehovah”, was one of the twelve apostles. By trade a tax collector, it is interesting to see his emphasis on money and giving. It is likely that he was well educated and wealthy. Certainly he was called and chosen of the Lord, and no doubt, his meticulous accounting skills were carried over into his biography of Christ’s life, for this is a detailed account of Jesus as the Jewish Messiah. His recurring theme: “that it might be fulfilled…” See 1:22; 2:15; 4:14; 8:17; 12:17; 13:14-15; 21:4; 26:56; 27:9, & 35. Matthew was concerned that his Jewish readers should realise that Jesus Christ satisfied all the predictions of the Messiah made by the Old Testament prophets.
Obviously time will be against us in seeking to discuss Matthew’s Gospel comprehensively, but if you will, we shall hit some of the highlights, as we consider Jesus as the Messiah of Israel, as King of the Jews:
I. The Preparation of the King – Matthew 1:16-17
A. Matthew opens with a genealogy - a list of names tracing the heritage of Jesus Christ.
1. These lists, which often seem tedious to us, are not without purpose.
a. This genealogy establishes that Christ is a descendant of David and Solomon and through Joseph has a legal right to the throne of David.
2. The account of his birth presents Him as the perfect Son of God, born of a virgin, and hence without sin, positioned to be our Saviour.
3. As is typical of Matthew, he wants his readers to know that Jesus fits the bill; that his lineage and the miraculous nature of His birth are no mere accident, but the fulfillment of centuries old prophesies.
a. Like Paul he wanted them to know that, “when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, to redeem them that were under the law.”
b. Jesus was a body prepared – it was ever destined that He should come to Bethlehem in human form
II. The Presentation By The King
A. Before Herod
2. Right from the off in this gospel Jesus is referred to as the King of the Jews.
3. He is the chosen one, God’s anointed, the promised Messiah.
4. It is truly astonishing that the Gentile magi saw it, but the Jewish scribes did not.
5. Of course, it was only natural that they should come to Jerusalem, home of David’s throne, and equally natural that they should find themselves in Herod’s court.
a. They were good students of the Word, they knew that the coming King would someday rule and reign from Jerusalem, it was no mistake on their part.
(i) In fairness to them they had been following that start for the best part of two years.
(ii) They may well have read Micah’s prophecy concerning Bethlehem, but over the course of two years they anticipated the Holy Family to hae settled in Jerusalem in preparation of the kingdom that was to come.
b. God destined it so, that there might be a declaration of intent that all Israel would know Christ had come.