This first Gospel account was written with the Jewish people in mind, to show that Jesus is the promised Messiah (Greek Christ). Matthew does this by showing that the Lord Jesus fulfilled the OT prophecies.
Author & Date
The author Matthew was a converted publican Mtt.9: 9, called Levi in Mk. 2:14. For a thorough discussion on its date, the book ‘Redating Matthew, Mark & Luke’ (Hodder & Stoughton 1991) by John Wenham is recommended.
Jesus The promised Messiah
A. The Messiah’s revelation Ch.1-4:11
- The genealogy of Jesus Christ Ch.1:1-17
- The birth of Jesus Christ Ch.1:18-2:23
- The forerunner Ch.3:1-17
- The temptations Ch.4:1-11
B. The Messiah’s ministry Ch.4:12-25
- In Galilee Ch4:12-18:35
- In Perea Ch.19:1-20:16
- In Judea Ch.20:17-34
- In Jerusalem Ch.21-25
C. The Messiah’s passion Ch.26-28
- Betrayed and denied Ch.26
- Messiah cut off but not for Himself Ch.27
- The resurrection Ch.28
a. Key words
‘That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophets’ is a this phrase occurs 12 twelve times.
Below are the 12 references with the OT reference in brackets
- Mtt.1;22-23; (Isa.7:14)
- Mtt.2:15; (Hos.11:1)
- Mtt.2:17-18; (Jer.31:15)
- Mtt. 2:23;(Isa.11:1)* see note b. below
- Mtt.4:14-16; (Isa.9:1-2)
- Mtt.8:17; (Isa.53:4)
- Mtt.12:17-21; (Isa.42:1-4)
- Mtt.13:14-15; (Isa.6:9-10)
- Mtt.13:35; (Ps.78:2)
- Mtt.21:4; (Zech. (9:9)
- Mtt.29:9-10; (Zech.11:12-13)** see note c. below
- Mtt.27:35; (Ps.22:18)
b. Passages quoted
Note by Barnes in his commentary on the NT
Some have supposed that Matthew meant to refer to #Jud 13:5, to Samson as a type of Christ; others that he refers to Isa 11:1, where the descendant of Jesse is called “a Branch;” in the Hebrew Netzer. Some have supposed that Matthew refers to some prophecy which was not recorded, but handed down by tradition. But these suppositions are not satisfactory. It is a great deal more probable that Matthew refers not to any particular place, but to the leading characteristics of the prophecies respecting him. The following remarks may make this clear:
1st. He does not say, “by the prophet, as in Mt 1:22 2:5,15; but “by the prophets,” meaning no one particularly, but the general character of the prophecies.
2nd. The leading and most prominent prophecies respecting him were, that he was to be of humble life, to be despised, and rejected. See Isa 53:2,3,7-9,12 Ps 22:1.
3rd. The phrase “he shall be called,” means the same as he shall be.
4th. The character of the people of Nazareth was such that they were proverbially despised and contemned, John 1:46 7:52. To come from Nazareth, therefore, or to be a Nazarene, was the same as to be despised, and esteemed of low birth; to be a root out of dry ground, having no form or comeliness. And this was the same as had been predicted by the prophets. When Matthew says, therefore, that the prophecies were fulfilled, it means, that the predictions of the prophets that he should be of humble life, and rejected, were fully accomplished in his being an inhabitant of Nazareth, and despised as such.
According to Jewish writers Jeremiah was the first of the prophets; this being the case Matthew quoted this prophecy under the name of the book that had first place viz Jeremiah, which was a common practice.
c. Unique features
Matthew is the only gospel in which the word church occurs.
- Jesus reveals His church Mtt.16:18
- Jesus shows behaviour in it Mtt.18: 15-20
(ii) kingdom of heaven
This phrase is unique to Matthew’s gospel, not just in the NT, but in the whole of the Bible. It occurs 32 times.
References: 3:2; 4:17; 5:3, 10,19,20; 7:21; 8:11; 10:7; 11:11,12; 13:11,24,31,33,44,45,47,52; 16:19; 18;1,3,4,23; 19:12,14,23; 20:1; 22:2; 23:13; 25:1,14