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Discover the Book - Nov. 29, 2008

  • 2008 Nov 29

Seeing Christ in the Gospel by Matthew


“Christ our King”


Matthew’s gospel is the presentation of Christ our King. Matthew points to Christ's kingship in every chapter as clearly as John points to His Deity. In this first gospel God is revealing King Jesus, the Jews are rejecting King Jesus and Jesus is promising that He will be returning as King and every eye will see Him.


One Bible scholar who spent an entire decade studying every word of Matthew’s Gospel over and over wrote this summary:


Jesus is painted in royal colors in this gospel as in none of the others. His ancestry is traced from the royal line of Israel; his birth is dreaded by a jealous earthly king; the magi bring the infant Jesus royal gifts from the east; and John the Baptist heralds the King and proclaims that His kingdom is at hand. Even the temptations in the wilderness climax with Satan offering Jesus the kingdoms of this world. The Sermon on the Mount is the manifesto of the King, the miracles are His royal credentials, and many of the parables portray the mysteries of His kingdom. Jesus identifies Himself with the king’s son in a parable and makes a royal entry into Jerusalem. While facing the cross He predicts His future reign, and He claims dominion over the angels in heaven. His last words are that all authority


Yet Matthew also focuses most uniquely on the rejection of Jesus as King. In no other gospel are the attacks against Jesus’ character and Jesus’ claims so bitter and vile as those reported in Matthew. The shadow of rejection is never lifted from Matthew’s story.

      Before Jesus was born, His mother, Mary, was in danger of being rejected by Joseph.

      Soon after He was born, Herod threatened His life, and His parents had to flee with Him to Egypt.

      His herald, John the Baptist, was put in a dungeon and eventually beheaded.

      During His earthly ministry Jesus had no place to lay His head, no place to call home.


In Matthew’s gospel no penitent thief acknowledges Jesus’ Lordship, and no friend or loved one is seen at the foot of the cross-only the mockers and scorners. Even the women are pictured at a distance (27:55-56), and in His death Jesus cries out, “My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?” (27:46). Only a Gentile centurion speaks a favorable word about the crucified One: “Truly this was the Son of God!” (27:54). When some of the soldiers who had stood guard over the tomb reported its being empty, the Jewish authorities paid them to say that Jesus’ body was stolen by His disciples (28:11-15).


Yet Jesus is also shown as the King who ultimately will return to judge and to rule. All the earth one-day “will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky with power and great glory” (24:30), His coming will be “at an hour when you do not think He will” (v. 44) and He will come in glory and in judgment (25:31-33).


No reader can fully immerse himself in this gospel without emerging with a compelling sense of both the eternal majesty of the Lord Jesus Christ and the strong power that sin and Satan held over the apostate Israel that rejected Christ.




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