Matthew – the video explanation
The background of Matthew
Matthew was written to Jewish believers, possibly Jewish people as an apologetic.
His genealogy places Jesus in Jewish history.
He continually points out how Jesus fulfills the prophecy for the Messiah – including, but not limited to the fact that the Messiah:
Prophecy about Messiah
- Would come from a descendant of Shem named Abraham ( Genesis 22:18; 12; 17; 22). Fulfilled: See Christ’s genealogy in Matthew 1.
- Would be a descendant of Abraham’s son, Isaac, not Ishmael (Gen. 17; 21). Fulfilled: See Christ’s genealogy in Matthew 1.
- Would be a descendant of Isaac’s son, Jacob, not Esau (Gen. 28; 35:10-12; Num. 24:17). Fulfilled: See Christ’s genealogy in Matthew 1.
- Would be a descendant of Judah, not of the other eleven brothers of Jacob. Fulfilled: See Christ’s genealogy in Matthew 1.
- Would be a descendant of the family of Jesse in the tribe of Benjamin (Isaiah 11:1-5). Fulfilled: See Christ’s genealogy in Matthew 1 and Luke 3:23-38.
- Would be of the house of David (2 Samuel 7:12-16; Jeremiah 23:5; Psalm 89:3-4). Fulfilled: See Christ’s genealogy in Matthew 1; Luke 1:27, 32, 69. Note: Since the the Jewish genealogical records were destroyed in 70 A.D., along with the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple, it would not be possible for a Messiah impostor who was born later to prove his lineage back to David and thus fulfill this prophecy.
- Would be born in a small city called Bethlehem, specifically the one formerly known as Ephratah (Micah 5:2). Fulfilled: Matthew 2:4-6
- Would be born of a virgin (Isaiah 7:14). Fulfilled: Matthew 1; Luke 1.
- Would come while the Temple of Jerusalem is standing ( Malachi 3:1; Psalm 118:26; Daniel 9:26; Zechariah 11:13; Haggai 2:7-9). Fulfilled: Matthew 21:12, etc.
Prophecies about Jesus' Life
- Will perform many miracles (Isaiah 35:5-6). Fulfillment: See the Gospels
- Will open the eyes of the blind (Isa. 29:18). Fulfillment: Matt 9:27-31; 12:22; 20:29;
- Will speak in parables (Psalm 78:2). Fulfillment: Matthew 13:34, etc.
- Will have his way prepared by a messenger (a man of the wilderness) (Isa. 40:3; Malachi 3:1). See John the Baptist (Matthew 3:1-3; 11:10; John 1:23; Luke 1:17).
- Will be betrayed (Psalm 41:9). Fulfillment: Matt. 27:3-10.
- Will be betrayed by a friend (Psalm 41:9). Fulfillment: Matt. 27:3-10; 26:47-48.
- Will be betrayed for thirty pieces of silver (Zech. 11:12). Fulfillment: Matt. 27:3-10.
- The betrayal money will be cast onto the floor of the Temple (Zech. 11:13). Fulfillment: Matt. 27:3-10.
- The betrayal money will be used to buy a potter’s field (Zech. 11:13). Fulfillment: Matt. 27:6-10.
- Will not open his mouth to defend himself (Isaiah 53:7). Fulfillment: Matthew 27:12.
- Will be beaten and spit upon (Isaiah 50:6). Fulfillment: Matthew 26:67; 27:26-30.
- Will be “numbered with the transgressors” (Isaiah 53:12). Fulfillment: Jesus was crucified as a criminal in between two thieves (Mat 27:38).
- Will be given vinegar and gall to drink (Psalm 69:21). Fulfillment: Matthew 27:34, 48.
- Will be buried with the rich (Isaiah 53:9). Fulfillment: Matthew 27.
- Will be the Son of God (Psa. 2:7). Fulfilled: Matthew 3:17, etc.
If you want to learn more about Christmas check this out.
Jewish people around the time of Jesus were looking for a Messiah who would be King.
Their recent history proved that a dedicated resistance – with the help of God – could overthrow a world power and set up an earthly Kingdom.
This is exactly what happened during the inter-testmental period when Judas Maccabeus revolted against the Seleucid Empire. The Greeks had forbidden the practicing Jewish religion since 175 BC. Maccabeus was ultimately victorious, saw the miracle that is remembered in Hanukkah and forged an alliance with the emerging state of Rome to keep the theocracy free.
It happened once – not that long ago in the memory of an ancient people – and Lord willing it could happen again.
His genealogy ends with Joseph. He wrote about Joseph and the dreams God gave him. The father’s role of the Messiah was important to the early Jewish believers.
And Angels in dreams were more common to Jewish literature at the time. All the angels appear in dreams.
Matthew places Jesus in Jewish History.
The genealogy is Abraham to Jesus. He uses a hermeneutic lost on us today that made sense to the first century Jewish thinking.
His genealogy is 14-14-14.
We know it wasn’t that clean, but it made sense to first readers.
His prophecy on the Messiah being a Nazarene can’t be found in the Hebrew Scriptures.
Our best guess is he’s using the term for ‘branch’ in Isaiah 11:1 because it’s very similar in sound. Again, this is a perfectly legitimated understanding for first century listeners. Please don’t let it make you uncomfortable.
Matthew includes royalty.
The gifts the Magi brought were royal gifts. A start guided them – stars are symbols of royal action in our ancient past. By the way, they came to a house not the manger. We don’t know if they came later that night or later in time. We know King Herod killed all babies two years old and younger, so it might have taken them two years to arrive. If that was the case we don’t know if the star they followed reappeared or if it was always there to lead them to the baby.
Matthew reminds us that Jesus came as King.
What does this means to us? In our modern world, we don’t understand what a king was. We live in a recent concept of nation-states with various degrees of democracy or political influence.
Do you know there hardly a time in world history that there was a singular people gathered under rule? Even King David had Hittites and Ammonites as part of his mighty men. For most of world history, people gathered around men, not nationality.
It was the King who was responsible for provision, protection, identity, justice.
Jesus is King whether you acknowledge it or not. Will you follow Him as your king and trust Him for provision, protection, identity, justice?
The real real meaning of Christmas that Matthew tells us is Jesus came as King.
Will you make Jesus King of your life? I'd love to hear your story.