Matthew: One Third Review – Part 1
Given its rich supply of Old Testament allusions (the most of all the gospels) and the author’s ability to reveal redemptive truths both Old and New (Mat 13:52 = Matthew was a Levite scribe; Mar 2:14), Matthew should be the lens and launching for anyone wanting to understand their Bibles – or more specifically, it gospel message (of Christ, Covenant and Church/Kingdom).
WHAT MATTHEW HAS TAUGHT US THUS FAR (THRU EIGHT CHAPTERS):
- Jesus is the Christ – i.e. the special Son of David.
1.1. (Mat 1:1) = Genealogies are meant to be chronological in their order. Matthew’s, however, begins out of order putting David before Abraham. The reason? To communicate that Jesus is more than just a part of a family tree that includes both men. He is instead the “Christ” – i.e. the special “son” (descendant) of David; the One thru whom God promised to establish His throne and kingdom on earth forever (2Sa 7:12-16 ; see also Psa 89:19-37; Isa 11; Eze 34:22-31, 37:15-28; Hos 3:5; Amo 9:11-15) = The person prophesied is who the Jews referred to (and were anxiously waiting for) as the “Christ” (Greek rendering for Hebrew term, “Messiah” – Literally, “anointed one”. This term was used in relation to David, 1Sa 16:12-13). Hence the reason and significance behind why the Jewish people were always referring to Jesus as “the son of David”. Such language is their recognition of Him as the Christ (Mat 9:27, 12:23, 20:30-31, 21:9, 15, 22:42). This is also the reason He is referred to as “Lord” (a term used for kings, as well as God) (Mat 15:22). This then is what we should be thinking when we speak of Jesus as the Christ/Messiah: (that) He is the special Son of David; the person thru whom God promised to (one day) establish His eternal kingdom and blessings.
1.2. Jesus’ identity as the special Son of David (i.e. the Christ) is also revealed through the events and prophecy surrounding the place of His birth (2:1-6 w/Mic 5:2-5) = Bethlehem was the place of David’s birth (1Sa 17:12, 20:6) Equally important to the prophecy of Micah is the fact that it had a cut-off date. It had to be fulfilled in time for the child to be ministering in the Temple by 33 A.D. – and before its destruction in 70 A.D. (Mal 3:1-3 w/Mat 3:11-12; Gen 49:10; Dan 9:25-26; Psa 118:25-26 w/ Luk 19:28-46 w/Mat 23:38-39). Ancient sources (including the Bible) confirm this as the timeframe Jesus’ ministry in the Temple (e.g. Josephus, Tacitus, Babylonian Talmud).
- Jesus’ virgin birth circumvented the Davidic curse which prevented other descendants from being the Christ.
(Mat 1:18-20 w/Jer 22:24-30 = Jechoniah was David’s descendant thru whom the line of kings continued (1Ch 3:9-17). The curse therefore made it impossible for there to be future Davidic kings possessing royal blood. Jesus’ virgin birth however allowed him by-pass the curse while at the same time having Joseph as His father (a descendant w/in this royal bloodline – Mat 1:6-7, 10, 12, 16).
- Jesus’ virgin birth also circumvented Original Sin which allowed Him to be His people’s sin-bearer.
(Mat 1:21-23) = The two names (mentioned in these verses) are interrelated or connected. It is b/c God is now acting in the deliverance of His people that this baby, (like His predecessor) can be identified as “Immanuel” or “God w/us” (Isa 7:1-9, 8:1-4, 9-10). According to the meaning of this baby’s other name, (“Jesus”) that deliverance wb in relation to His people’s sin (notice it doesn’t say, “He will save people from their sins” but rather “His will save His people from their sins”). However, like the animals who first bore the sins of God’s people, Jesus needed to be “without blemish” (Exo 12:5). From a human perspective, this meant w/o the stain of His own sin – including the sin nature passed on from possessing a biological father (Exo 20:5; Psa 51:5; Rom 5:18). Hence the reason also for His virgin birth – or Mary’s conception by the Holy Spirit (v20).
- Through the recasting of Israel’s prior exodus unto the establishing covenant – before and at the beginning of His public ministry, Jesus indicates that the prophesied New Israel is also forthcoming.
4.1. Re-cast events:
4.1.1. Exodus out of Egypt = (Mat 2:15)
4.1.2. Baptism (Mat 3:13 w/1Co 10:2)
4.1.3. Wilderness testing (Mat 4:1)
4.1.4. Moses on the mountain est’g the covenant through the giving of the Law (Mat 5:1, 17-20).
That Jesus’ ascension and preaching of the Law sb viewed as the start of the (new) covenant’s establishment is confirmed by Jesus’ prior invitation (Mat 4:17 “the kingdom of God is at hand” = the kingdom of God is about to be established in covenant!)
4.2. Like the names “Jesus” and “Immanuel”, the establishing of a (new) Israel by covenant – and the coming of the Christ, represent interrelated or connected prophesies (Jer 33:15-26 w/31:31-37)
- John the Baptist’s ministry and message is further confirmation of the coming New (Covenant) Israel (and Jesus as God).
John was more than simply the prophesied forerunner to the coming Christ. He (according to such prophecies) also indicated that the time of Israel’s exiled punishment for apostasy/failure was over and that God’s salvation and mercy were being ushered in (Mat 3:1-3 w/Isa 40:1-10) = Notice what is required for “iniquity” to be “pardoned” (or forgiven) and mercy (or deliverance/salvation) extended (“the glory of the Lord shall be revealed…The Lord God comes with might…His reward is with Him…He will gather…carry and gently lead…His flock”): justice (“she has received…double for all her sins”) and repentance (Isa 40:4; Mat 3:2, 8-10 = a commitment to serve justice/be just; see Luk 3:10-14). Notice also, this message is considered “good news” – or the gospel (Luk 3:18). John’s preaching also indicated that Jesus was more than just the special “son of David”. He was also the “son of God” (i.e. God Himself) (Consider again, John as “a voice crying in the wilderness …prepare the way of the Lord” [ Mat 3:3 w/Isa 40:3], and again from Isaiah, “Behold the Lord God comes…” [v10]). John’s confirmation of Jesus’ divinity continues in (Mat 3:11-12) = An allusion to (Mal 4:1-5 w/Mat 11:13-14 = John was the Elijah of Malachi).
CLOSING CONTEMPLATION/CHALLENGE = People who discount – or even deny the Bible as coming from God (i.e. as divine/special revelation) often do so with no knowledge of how deep, interrelated or connected, and historically consistent (over huge spans of time and many authors) its message really is. Sharing some of the things discussed (today) could help change their view of the Bible and their willingness to listen to its message. This, however, does require knowing the material. Is your love for Christ, His kingdom and your fellow man enough to make that kind of commitment?
NOTE: only a partial recording is available for this sermon.
 The Davidic throne and throne of God are viewed as one in Scripture (i.e. the throne of David represents the throne of God) (e.g. 1Ch 29:23).
 “When he commits iniquity” = Literally when perversity is found in him. This was true for Jesus not b/c of his own actions but by his taking of our sins. Hence, the reason what follows (“I will discipline him with the rod of men and the stripes of the sons of men”) is often alluded to when speaking of His atoning death (e.g. Isa 53:5; 1Pe 2:24; Mic 5:1).
 “Walter Brueggemann regards [2Sam 7] as ‘the most crucial theological statement in the Old Testament.’ Robert Gordon called this chapter the ‘ideological summit . . . in the Old Testament as a whole.’ John Levenson contended that God’s covenant with David ‘receives more attention in the Hebrew Bible than any covenant except the Sinaitic.’ – Michael Grisanti (“The Davidic Covenant”, Masters Seminary Journal)
 The 69 “weeks” (69 x 7 x 360 Jewish days in a year = 173,880 days = 476.38 modern years) began when Artaxerxes issued a decree to Nehemiah to rebuild the Temple and restore the holy city of Jerusalem (Neh 2:1-8). While other decrees went forth, this was the only one that involved both the Temple and Jerusalem. History records this took place in March/April of 444 B.C. This means Messiah had to appear in the Temple by March of 33 A.D. History does not record anyone, other than Jesus, appearing in this place at that time and claiming also to be the Messiah (Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem and the Temple – March, 33 A.D.). It sb noted that the Jews living at the time of the Temple’s destruction and after (even today) are acutely aware of this. As a result, it has become one of the main reasons prayers (or wailings) are made on the remaining (west) Temple wall.
 “The OT prophets often described the future restoration of Israel in terms of a new exodus (Hos 2:14-15; Isa 10:24-26, 11:15-16; Jer 16:14-15; Eze 20:33-38; also Isa 63:10-17; Jer 31:7-9; Hos 1:10-11, 11:4-12).” – Keith Mathison
 It is important to note that Jesus’ role as the “new Moses” or Law-giver, was also a part of those prophesies regarding the coming Christ- or Davidic king. After David’s death, during the time of the divided kingdoms – when Israel’s sin so great that it required both national judgment, and that God’s voice be heard by the entire nation (i.e. that special revelation in the form of additional Scripture be produced), the prophets (sent to speak such a global message) expanded on the role and identity of this coming Davidic king/Messiah. In His establishment of the new kingdom and covenant, He would also function as Israel’s Divine priest and law-giver (or Moses) (Isa 2:1-4 w/9:1-7 w/Mat 4:15 = Christ as lawgiver and Divine; Isa 42:1-4 – “my servant” = A reference to the Christ as law-giver; Isa 53 – “my servant” = Again, a reference to the Christ. This time as priest or sin-bearer for His people; Jer 23:5-8 “The Lord is our righteousness” = An indication both to sin-bearing/ making righteous and divinity; See also Zec 13:1; Psa 45 and Psa 110:1 = Notice again, the indication of divinity in both of these psalms).