Thank you for your work Wednesday night on Matthew, the gospel presenting the long-expected King to the Jews.
Please bring your class fee, $75.oo, to class in the next couple of meetings. If you need a 1/2 scholarship, please do not hesitate to let me know.
Our goals for the night were:
-To understand Matthew's unique presentation of the Lord Jesus as the promised Messiah-King
-That we change any behavior that belies the fact that we belong to him, i.e. we are subjects of the King
-That we have courage to present the Lord Jesus as he truly is to Jews and Gentiles
By way of introduction to the gospels and specifically the gospel of Matthew:
1. By way of contrast with Matthew, who does not state his purpose, look at the purposes stated by the authors in:
•Luke 1:1-4 Many have undertaken to draw up an account of the things that have been fulfilled among us, 2 just as they were handed down to us by those who from the first were eyewitnesses and servants of the word. 3 With this in mind, since I myself have carefully investigated everything from the beginning, I too decided to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus, 4 so that you may know the certainty of the things you have been taught.
•John 20:30-31 Jesus performed many other signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not recorded in this book.31 But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.
2. Look at 1 Cor.1:10-12 and Phil. 1:12-14 and note the differences in the way the epistles (letters to churches or individuals) are written and the way the gospels are written. The gospels being narrative literature, presenting historical facts; the epistles being teaching literature, also called "discourse". As foundational to the teaching and practical exhortations of the epistles, there is a reliance on the historical truth of the gospels. Without the historical records, the "letter-writers" would have little to say. Notice the significance of the gospel accounts to the truth stated in 1 Cor.15:3-8. How can what Paul says is of, "first importance", be so if the facts, on which the statement is made, are not historically true?
3. We noted Matthew's use of "Immanuel" in 1:22-23. "God with us". Herein is man's fulfilled longing; God living among men.
4. We noted that the gospel, that is the "good news" is to the Jew first, then to the Gentile. In Matt. 10:6, the Lord Jesus sends the 12 out to drive our evil spirits and to heal every disease and sickness with the command, "Do not go among the Gentiles or enter any town of the Samaritans. Go rather to the lost sheep of Israel." This is restated in the Lord's encounter with the Canaanite woman, a Gentile. He says, "I was sent only to the lost sheep of Israel."
Paul picks this idea up in Romans 1:16 "I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile." Remember that the gospel is literally the "good message" of the coming Kingdom of God, and God's provision of forgiveness of sin through the Messiah. (emphasis mine)
We noted that the word "kingdom" is used 54 x's in Matthew, 43 x's in Luke, 20 x's in Mark, and only 4 x's in John. The emphasis is plain, Matthew is the gospel of the King and the Kingdom.
For Matthew's gospel, of the 47 Old Testament quotes in the book, note these five that are prophesies specifically fulfilled in Matthew. They have the "formula", "in order to fulfill" or "to fulfill". Matt. 1:22; 4:14; 8:17; 12:17; 21:4.
As a way to introduce the idea of the messianic expectation, we sang the Christmas carol, Come Thou Long Expected Jesus by Charles Wesley, 1707-1787, that highlights the building expectation for the One to come, that One who will bring ultimate consolation to Israel, the Messiah.
Come thou long-expected Jesus,
Born to set Thy people free;
From our fears and sins release us,
Let us find our rest in Thee.
Israel's strength and consolation,
Hope of all the earth Thou art;
Dear Desire of every nation,
Joy of every longing heart.
Born Thy people to deliver,
Born a Child and yet a King.
Born to reign in us for ever,
Now Thy gracious kingdom bring.
By Thine own eternal Spirit
Rule in all our hearts alone;
By Thine all-sufficient merit
Raise us to Thy glorious throne.
Concerning the development of the expectation of “the Messiah”. From Davis Bible Dictionary, with some editing and emphases, here is the basic outline of what see.
Messiah in Authorized Version of the New Testament, Messias (John 1:41; 4:25) the Greek form [anointed one]. A Hebrew word, to which the Greek word Christos answers. It was applicable to any person anointed with the holy oil; as the high priest (Lev. 4:3, 5, 16; 1 Sam. 12:3, 5 Hebrew) or the king (2 Sam. 1:14; 16).
The title is given to the patriarchs Abraham and Isaac and to the Persian king Cyrus, as chosen ones to administer the kingdom of God (Ps. 105:15; Is 14: 1). When God promised David that the throne and scepter should remain in his family forever (2 Sam. 7: 13), the title acquired a special reference and denoted the representative of the royal line of David (Ps. 2:2; 18: 50; 84:9; 89: 38, 51; 132:10, 17; Lam. 4:20; Hab. 3:13).
And when prophecy began to tell of a king who should appear in this line and be the great deliverer of his people (Jer. 23:5-6), whose goings forth are from of old, from everlasting (Mic. 5:2-5), and who should uphold the throne and kingdom of David forever (Is. 9:6-7), the title of the Messiah, par excellence, naturally became attached to him (Dan. 9:25-26); (Num. 24:17-19), and ultimately became a customary designation of him, being as common as the title son of David (John 1:41; 4:25; and in the form “Christ", Mat. 1:1 and following. (end of citation)
So… we see the development from a general word to the expectation of an individual person/king/ruler/savior. That person is the one to whom Matthew and the other gospel writers point.
One of the main sections in the book is the Sermon on the Mount. In that section we looked at the Beatitudes, and noted the bottom line of the message is as Louis Barbieri says, “The sermon showed how a person who is in a right relationship with God should conduct his/her life.” In other words, for those of us under the rule of the King,
We also discussed the use of the term, Kingdom of God, or Kingdom of heaven as used in the New Testament.
Charles Ryrie in his Basic Theology explains the use of the terms in four senses: (We simplified this into three, merging the third and fourth terms.)
1. The universal kingdom, i.e. the LORD God is King and Ruler of all things: 1Chronicles 29:10-11; Dan.2:37
2. The Davidic/Messianic kingdom, i.e. there is a future Messianic earthly kingdom in fulfillment of the covenant with David in 2 Sam.7:12-16
3. There is a "mystery" form of the kingdom presented in Matt.13:11, 39-40, that exists between his first and second comings. It began as he taught his disciples information that was previously unknown, and ends at his second coming.
4. There is a spiritual kingdom, that is the church, composed of those who have been placed in this kingdom by the new birth, Col 1:13
In class we used the simpler version stated by Norman Geisler, in his Systematic Theology, Vol.4, pp. 461ff, notes that the "kingdom of heaven" and the "kingdom of God” are used interchangeably. See Matt.3:2 and Mk.1:15. He classifies the use of God’s kingdom as, “God’s kingdom means God’s reign, and the various times, spheres, and purposes of His overall reign have taken on different forms”. Then he lists the following:
1. God’s Universal Kingdom, Ps.145:13
2. God’s Messianic Kingdom, 2 Sam.7; Rev. 20:4
3. God’s Spiritual Kingdom, i.e., the Kingdom of God including Old Testament believers and believers after Pentecost, that is the church. Lk.13:28; Eph.3:3-6; Col.1:26-27
Bottom line on this subject, it seems easiest to remember, Universal--over all men and things; Messianic--that which will commence with the return of the Lord Jesus; and Spiritual--those in the pre-Christian era who are believers in the One True God, and after the first coming of Christ, believers in him.
Note from the chart on manual page 30 the six major discourses around which the book is built. These teachings showing how subjects of the King are to live.
As contributing to Matthew's presentation of the life of the Lord, note several "distinctive features" of Matthew on manual page 40.
-The flight to Egypt in Mat. 2:15
-Peter's walking on water in 14:27
-Christ's response to Peter's confession of faith in 16:13-16
-Judas' suicide 27:1-10; with Acts 1:18
-Emphasis on Israel's rejection of Jesus in 23:37-39
Certainly, Peter’s confession in Matt. 16:13-16, is the highpoint of the book! Notice the construction: v. 13, question; v.14, response; v. 15, question; v. 16 response, “You are the Christ the Son of the living God."
We ended the night with the promise of the Lord in 28:20, "And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age."
The book ends with the facing bookend of, " I am with you". The other bookend was in 1:22-23, "Immanuel, God with us". We moved from man's perspective, "God with us" to God's perspective, "I am with you". So people of the Kingdom, rejoice, the Lord has promised to be with us!
As we think of the severe and grievous rejection on the part of the Jews of their Messiah-King, may we determine to represent him to all men; Jews and Gentiles, by living authentic lives before them and by accurately sharing the word of God in the power of the Holy Spirit.
Look at Rembrandt’s painting of “St. Matthew and the Angel”, circa 1661AD. What is right and what is in error in this painting?
St. Matthew and the Angel (c. 1661) is an oil on canvas painting by the Dutch landscape painter Rembrandt. It is an example of Dutch Golden Age painting and is now in the collection of the Louvre Museum, Paris, France. (Wikipedia accessed, August 21, 2019)
Assignment for Wednesday, August 28, 2019:
-For review, what are the five “pivot” passages in Matthew’s gospel?
-How would you summarize to someone the basic message of Matthew?
-Read the text below to the Christmas carol,Oh Come, Oh Come Immanuel,and listen to a version on the web or another source.
-Please read the book of Mark and note the difference between Matthew's and Mark's "style"
-Read the appropriate pages in your course manual
-Find the central truth for one passagefrom the assignment on page 45.
O come, O come, Emmanuel,
And ransom captive Israel,
That mourns in lonely exile here
Until the Son of God appear.
Emmanuel shall come to thee, O Israel.
O come, Thou Root of Jesse’s tree,
An ensign of Thy people be;
Before Thee rulers silent fall;
All peoples on Thy mercy call.
Emmanuel shall come to thee, O Israel.
O come, Desire of nations, bind
In one the hearts of all mankind;
Bid Thou our sad divisions cease,
And be Thyself our King of Peace.
Emmanuel shall come to thee, O Israel.
We are grateful for you and treasure the time we have to study God’s word together!
See you Wednesday, Lord willing.