MATTHEW 1–4 As we begin our study in the New Testament,
it is very necessary that we understand Matthew’s
relationship to the other Gospels. Matthew is Jewish, and
presents Christ as King of the Jews (Matthew 1:1–“the son
of David”). Mark is Roman, and presents Christ as a
Servant. Luke is Greek, and presents Christ as the perfect
Son of man. John is universal in appeal, and presents
Christ as the eternal Son of God.
Matthew was written by Levi, a Jewish tax collector
(chapter 9:9-13). It is the bridge between the Old and New
Testaments, because of its position, and abounds in
quotations from the Old Testament, as well as references to
Old Testament events and persons. According to one Bible
scholar, Matthew contains 53 quotations from the Old
Testament and 76 references to Old Testament passages.
Throughout the book, Christ is referred to as the
Son of David. Matthew is not chronological, as Mark and
Luke are, but contains selected material from Christ’s
life; arranged to convey one specific truth–that Christ is
King of the Jews, rejected by His people, crucified for the
entire world, and now alive in heaven.
Chapter 1 gives the human ancestry of Christ
(verses 1-17). Then, in verses 18-25, we are told about the
divine birth of Christ. In the genealogy, Matthew shows the
faithful providence of God, in that, through nearly 2,000
years of human history, God overruled and brought His Son
into the world through the nation of Israel. In these
verses Matthew shows the fulfilled promise of God; proving
that Christ came as the prophet Isaiah had predicted–
conceived of the Holy Spirit and born of a virgin.
In chapter 2 Matthew tells where Christ was born. He refers
to a number of Old Testament verses that prove the Kingship
of Jesus to the Jewish people.
In chapter 3 Matthew introduces Jesus through His
forerunner, John the Baptist. The chapter is divided into
three parts: (1) John the Baptist came (verses 1-6). (2)
The Pharisees and Sadducees came (verses 7-12). (3) Jesus
came (verses 13-17). We see here the forerunner of the
King, the enemies of the King, and the King.
Chapter 4 records Jesus meeting and defeating His
enemy, the prince of the world. We will note that Jesus
continually met the devil’s temptations by using Scripture.
In our daily living we must remember that feeding the
spiritual man is far more important than feeding the
physical man. Too many people today are only feeding their
physical bodies and letting their souls shrivel from a lack
of feeding upon God’s Word. The only way a Christian can
successfully defeat the devil is through the power of God.
This power is given to us in the Word.
MEMORY VERSE FOR TODAY:
Man now can be:
In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins,
according to the riches of his grace.