Week 2: Day 6 (January 11, 2019)
1. Read below: A bit about the Old Testament references and the Messiah.
The Gospel of Matthew
The Gospel of the Messiah
Though probably not the first gospel to be written (Mark likely has that distinction), the Gospel according to Matthew comes first in our New Testament. This is appropriate since Matthew is the most Jewish of the Gospels and also the one most closely linked to the Old Testament and to the prophecies concerning the coming of the Messiah. Matthew’s central theme is promise and fulfillment: God’s promises in the Hebrew Scriptures to bring salvation to his people Israel and to the whole world are being fulfilled with the coming of Jesus the Messiah. The Church’s response to this joyful news should be to go into all the world and make disciples (followers) of Jesus the Messiah (Matt 28:18–20)
The Fulfillment Formulas
In addition to providing a genealogy confirming Jesus’ legitimate credentials as the Messiah, Matthew develops his promise-fulfillment theme through a series of “fulfillment formulas,” quotations from the Old Testament demonstrating Jesus’ fulfillment of prophecy. The formula, which Matthew uses ten times, reads something like, “This was to fulfill what the Lord had spoken through the prophet…” For example, Jesus’ birth to a virgin fulfills the prophecy of Isaiah 7:14 (Matt 1:22-23), his family’s escape to Egypt fulfills Hosea 11:1 (Matt 2:15), his ministry in Galilee fulfills Isaiah 9:2 (Matt 4:14–16), and so on.
In addition to these ten fulfillment formulas, a dozen or more times Matthew cites or alludes to Scripture without a formula, but in a way that indicates Jesus’ fulfillment of it. For example, when King Herod asks the chief priests and teachers of the law where the Messiah was to be born, they quote Micah 5:2, 4 to confirm his Bethlehem birth. Similarly, Matthew identifies John the Baptist as “the one about whom it is written,” and then cites Malachi 3:1, “I will send my messenger ahead of you, who will prepare your way before you.”
2. Watch this video about the Messiah presented in the Bible. Putting it in perspective from the beginning.
What did you learn new today about the Messiah? Questions or comments? What is God saying to you today?