Introduction to Matthew’s Gospel – Behold the King
Read Matthew 1:1
The four Gospels, Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, are the only indisputable records of the birth, life, ministry, and message of Jesus Christ as the Savior sent from God. The first of the four, Matthew, was written by a man who was also known as Levi, a former tax collector who left all he had to follow Christ because of his personal faith in Him and who used his influence to tell others in his echelon of friends that Jesus was the Messiah they had longed for.
Written well before the Temple was destroyed in AD 70, Matthew’s gospel is primarily for a Jewish audience to show them how Jesus Christ is the King and Messiah of Israel. While Luke wrote his account of the life of Christ to show Christ as the Redeemer, tracing the lineage of Jesus back to Adam, Matthew wrote to prove Jesus Christ as the rightful heir to the throne of David, and he traces his lineage back to Abraham.
Matthew quotes more than 60 Old Testament prophecies and shows how Jesus Christ fulfilled every one of them. He constantly refers to Jesus as the “Son of David,” the “son of Abraham,” and the future “Kingdom of Heaven” where the Messiah will reign.
There is a lot of interest today in genealogy, finding our biological roots. I’ve always wondered if I am from the stock of the great reformed preacher Jonathan Edwards, who played a critical role in the First Great Awakening in America in the early 1700s. One thing is for sure: we are in total agreement on our understanding of the nature of Christ and the essential doctrines of the Christian Faith.
You can trace your roots to see where you came from. Ancestry.com has a “free side” that will allow you to go so far, and then you must pay to get the rest. But if you have a few extra dollars, it may be worth it. Finding our heritage can be helpful to our understanding of who we are and why we are the way we are. But, as we will see, even in Jesus’ lineage, there may be some surprises!
Matthew did not begin his gospel with Jesus’ genealogy to satisfy man’s curiosity about who He was or to give His followers a reason to boast in His ancestors. Matthew traced the roots of Jesus to prove He was and is Who He said He was: the Messiah – the “seed of promise” to Eve, the promise God gave to Abraham – the promise of blessing, and the promise God gave to David – the promise of eternal government.
No matter what we might find in our genealogy that we wished we hadn’t, or about which we may choose to keep quiet, the one thing we need to SHOUT about is, by being “in Christ,” we now have become “joint heirs with Jesus.” We are in line to receive everything God promised to those who believe in Jesus Christ as their Savior and Lord.