August 25, 2013

Scripture and Commentary, Monday after the Thirteenth Sunday after Trinity

Morning – Psalm7, 2 Samuel 12:1-15, 2 Corinthians 1
Evening – Psalms 4, 8, Matthew 1

Commentary, Matthew 1

Matthew, also known as Levi, was one of the twelve called to be an Apostle by Christ Himself (Mt. 10:2-5).  A tax collector (publican) by trade, and a resident of Capernaum in Galilee, he was “sitting at the receipt of custom” when our Lord “saith unto him, Follow me” (Mt. 9:9).  Matthew immediately “arose and followed Him.”  Thus began the life’s work of the author of this book known as The Gospel According to Matthew.  Tradition says he ministered to the Jewish people, and his Gospel seems to have been written to a Jewish audience.

Verses 1-17 are important to the meaning and purpose of the Gospel.  The generations, or, genealogy, of Christ is traced to David and to Abraham, and this is done to show that Jesus truly is the son of David and of Abraham.  In Him God’s promise to establish the throne of the house of David forever (2. Sam. 7:13) is fulfilled.  Both Joseph and Mary were of the house of David (Lk. 1:27).  Thus, though Joseph is not the earthly father of Jesus, our Lord was truly and legally of the house of David on both sides of His childhood home.

Verses 18-25 state the purpose and intent of Matthew’s Gospel.  This purpose has two parts.  First, He shows that all the things he says of Christ were done in fulfillment of the Old Testament.  Moses “wrote of me” said the Lord in John 5:46.  Indeed, the entire Old Testament is about Jesus.  Thus, on the Emmaus road, Christ expounded “in all the scriptures the things concerning himself” (Lk. 24:27).  Making this same point, Matthew quotes the well-known words of Isaiah 7:14, “Behold, a virgin shall be with child.”  Jesus of Nazareth is the Messiah promised in the Old Testament and long awaited by the Jewish people.  That is the first point, of this Gospel, and it will be reiterated many times in the following pages.

Second, “he shall save his people from their sins” (Mt. 1:21).  The cross is found here in the very first chapter of this Gospel to the Jews.  The Messiah came not to establish an earthly kingdom for anyone’s worldly security and prosperity.  He came to save His people from their sins by sacrificing Himself on the cross.  Taking the sins of His people on Himself, He suffered and died for them.  Giving His righteousness to them, He restores them to fellowship with God, now and forever.