Matthew’s Gospel: the perfect link to the OT๐Ÿƒ๐ŸŒป


๐ŸŒป๐ŸƒWith the flip of a page we cover 400 years and enter the NT with Matthew’s Gospel which provides the perfect link to the OT. It gives a perfect sense of continuity. It’s so like a school reunion. You meet old friends whom you may not have met since leaving school , but you just take off where you left as if you’d never parted. And so it is, as we browse through Matthew. We’re so familiar with genealogies and many of those mentioned in the genealogy Matthew gives. And the prophecies of Isaiah, Zechariah and others all come alive, fulfilled before our eyes. We feel thoroughly at home. Guess that’s why even though Matthew wasn’t the first Gospel to be written, *it is the first in the NT because of the way it links up with the OT, making so many things crystal clear. The joy of finding God’s prophecies coming true!

๐ŸƒAnd why does it link up in this manner? Because Matthew was writing for the Jews, trying to show them that Jesus was indeed the Messiah who had been promised from the beginning and hence a fulfilment of all the prophecies. (It’s just another sad story that the Jews were so unable to recognise the person for whom they had waited so long). Anyway, no one should say that the OT is irrelevant or unimportant for believers. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Matt:1. Record of Jesus Ancestors.๐Ÿƒ

๐ŸŒปWhat a motley crowd in Jesus’s genealogy. We’ve met many of them. Not too many blue blooded royalty. Marriage brokers would outright reject a product belonging to such genealogy, with the several shady, sinful, undesirable characters.and Yet this is the choice of God Almighty for his Son. What does it tell us self – righteous, whitewashed people?

๐Ÿƒ1:22 Matthew reminds his readers that Jesus’s virgin birth was a fulfilment of what the Lord had said through his prophet. Isaiah 7:14.

๐ŸŒปThen Matthew points out that Jesus was born in Bethlehem, (Ch 2:1). This was a fulfilment of the prophecy of Micah some 700 years ago that Bethlehem would be the birthplace of the Messiah. (Micah 5: 2)

๐ŸŒปRegarding John the Baptist, so different a spiritual leader from the regular ones, Matthew says he was the one spoken of through Isaiah, the prophet, *A voice of one calling in the 0, Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for him_ (Isaiah 40:3). Another prophecy unravelled.

๐ŸƒWhat a clearer more meaningful picture we have of Jesus’ birth and attending paraphernalia because we have just passed through the OT and can connect it with the prophecies. It didn’t happen by chance but by God’s purposeful ๐Ÿƒ intention from the outset.

๐ŸŒปLet us strive to synchronize with God’s timing. May we wait patiently and readily for the fulfilment of God’s prophecies like the 5 wise virgins waiting for the Prince and not like the 5 foolish ones who were not ready.
๐ŸƒAnd pray that we’ll recognise events as they unfold, unlike the Jews who visualised the Messiah in the way they wanted and were unable to recognize Jesus as being the Promised one! ๐Ÿƒ

Shanta๐Ÿ’ž

Mathew 1

This Chapter records the genealogy of Jesus with reference to Joseph’s family line, vs 1-17.

Subsequently, it also records a few details about Mary and Joseph, through whom God chose to bring His son into the world and care for Him during the early years of His life, respectively, vs 18-25.

We see some wonderful character traits with regard to both of them in this chapter, such that we also get an idea about the type of people whom God chooses to use even today, in order to birth the knowledge of His Son into the different stratas of society that they influence!

We can observe some amazing qualities in Joseph’s character:
He was a righteous man and this could be seen from the fact that even though he could have been certain, (on hearing that Mary who had been engaged to him was pregnant) that Mary was a sinful woman, he still made a decision to put her away secretly and did not wish to expose her or have her stoned as the law commanded, vs 18,19!
Next we see that he was open to the supernatural realm and receptive towards hearing God speak to him through his dreams, vs 20-23.
Further, *he was obedient to the voice of God no matter how absurd it may have seemed or how difficult it was to obey the same, so long as His dream was supported by the prophetic Scriptures, vs 24
He was *a man of self control and character, in that he did not have any marital relationship with Mary, until she gave birth to a son, whom he named Jesus, in accordance with the instructions given to him in his dream, vs 25,21!

So, righteousness, as per the above Scriptures, is defined as being unwilling to expose another’s sin, even though one may be certain that they have indeed sinned!

Further, being open to the supernatural realm and being able to hear God accurately through that means is another important necessity in order to be a channel that God can use to bring Jesus to others.

Obedience to the heavenly revelations given by God is also essential, provided those revelations are backed by Scripture, and finally, self control over fleshly lusts is also a must, if one truly wants to birth Jesus into the lives of others.

On Mary’s part, we see that she was a totally surrendered vessel who was willing to go through any kind of humiliation, reproach and false accusation in order to fulfill God’s plan of using her body to birth Jesus into the world, vs 18, just so long as she knew for sure that what was conceived in her womb was birthed of the Holy Spirit!

Thus we see that God reveals His deep secrets to the humble who are willing to go against all odds in order to be those channels who can bring Jesus into the lives of all those who come in touch with them. May we fulfill the conditions, by His grace, and seek with all our hearts to be those whom God will approve of and use to be those channels that can bring Jesus to others. Amen.

Rowena Thomas
Mumbai, India.

%d bloggers like this: