Tag Archives: Matthew

THE GREATER LAWGIVER

Matthew portrays Jesus as the Greater Moses, the True Lawgiver who brings the “Law and the Prophets” to their intended fulfillment.

In Matthew’s gospel, the life of Jesus echoes events from the history of Israel. The point is not that Christ reenacted what Yahweh did in Moses and for Israel, but that he brought what God had begun in the distant past to fruition. He is the Greater Lawgiver foreshadowed in the story of Israel’s deliverance from Egypt under Moses.

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SERVANT AND KING

At his baptism, the “voice from heaven” called Jesus “my beloved Son,” identifying him as the Messiah and the “Servant of Yahweh” Matthew 3:17.

A key theme in Matthew’s gospel is fulfillment. In Jesus, the promises from the Hebrew Bible find their fulfillment and their correct understanding. Peter, for example, declared Jesus the “Messiah” but he failed to understand that he must fulfill that role as the suffering “Servant of Yahweh,” the one destined to die on behalf of his people.

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SIGN OF THE END

Jesus declared, definitively, that the “end” will not come until “this gospel of the kingdom of God is proclaimed to all nations.”

When we discuss the future coming of Jesus, quite naturally we ask what “signs” will precede it. Wars, earthquakes, tsunamis, famines, and the like? Spectacular cosmic events in the heavens? The rise of unprecedented evil and chaos? Fortunately, Jesus provided us with a most definitive answer – The completion of the church’s mission.

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PRUDENT OR FOOLISH?

At the conclusion of his sermon delivered on the mount, Jesus vested his words with ABSOLUTE AUTHORITY Matthew 7:21-28.

The Sermon on the Mount is not a program for reforming civil society, implementing economic justice, or a utopian pipe dream for the perfect society. Instead, it provides clear instructions for how his disciples must live in the present age as faithful citizens of HIS kingdom. For his followers, his teachings are not optional, and at the sermon’s conclusion, Jesus vested his words with ultimate authority.

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CHRISTIAN RESPONSE TO PERSECUTION

When Christians react in kind to hostility, whether from government, society, or individuals, Satan triumphsMatthew 5:12.

The reality of persecution in the Christian life raises numerous questions. For example, how should we react to our persecutors, especially when we are persecuted by governing authorities? Should we respond with indignation, civil disobedience, and public protests? Or should the disciples of Jesus follow his example and that of the early church?

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FULFILLMENT – LAW AND PROPHETS

In Jesus, “all the promises of God are Yea and Amen,” and the “Law and Prophets” find their fulfillmentMatthew 5:17-21.

Fulfillment and Kingdom are prominent themes in Matthew’s gospel. With the arrival of the Messiah, the season of fulfillment began, and all things anticipated in the “Law and Prophets” were coming to fruition. But what were the implications for the Mosaic Law? Fortunately, Jesus provided us with a direct answer to that question.

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