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Matthew’s Gospel By Arthur W. Pink

Here is an explanation as to why Matthew is considered the gospel to the Jews.

Matthew’s Gospel

By Arthur W. Pink

Matthew’s Gospel breaks the long silence that followed the ministry of Malachi the last of the Old Testament prophets. This silence extended for four hundred years, and during that time God was hid from Israel’s view. Throughout this period there were no angelic manifestations, no prophet spake for Jehovah, and, though the Chosen People were sorely pressed, yet were there no Divine interpositions on their behalf. For four centuries God shut His people up to His written Word. Again and again had God promised to send the Messiah, and from Malachi’s time and onwards the saints of the Lord anxiously awaited the appearing of the predicted One. It is at this point Matthew’s Gospel is to present Christ as the Fulfiller of the promises made to Israel and the prophecies which related to their Messiah. This is why the word “fulfilled” occurs in Matthew fifteen times, and why there are more quotations from the Old Testament in this first Gospel than in the remaining three put together.

The position which Matthew’s Gospel occupies in the Sacred Canon indicates its scope: it follows immediately after the Old Testament, and stands at the beginning of the New. It is therefore a connecting link between them. Hence it is transitionary in its character, and more Jewish than any other book in the New Testament. Matthew reveals God appealing to and dealing with His Old Testament people; presents the Lord Jesus as occupying a distinctively Jewish relationship; and, is the only one of the four Evangelists that records Messiah’s express declaration, “I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the House of Israel” (15:24). The numerical position given to Matthew’s Gospel in the Divine library confirms what has been said, for, being the fortieth book it shows us Israel in the place of probation, tested by the presence of Messiah in their midst.

Matthew presents the Lord Jesus as Israel’s Messiah and King, as well as the One who shall save His people from their sins. The opening sentence gives the key to the book— “The book of the generation of Jesus Christ, the Son of David, the Son of Abraham.” Seven times the Lord Jesus is addressed as “Son of David” in the Gospel, and ten times, altogether, is this title found there. “Son of David” connects the Saviour with Israel’s throne, “Son of Abraham” linking Him with Israel’s land—Abraham being the one to whom Jehovah first gave the land. But nowhere after the opening verse is this title “Son of Abraham” applied to Christ, for the restoration of the land to Israel is consequent upon their acceptance of Him as their Saviour—King, and that which is made prominent in this first Gospel is the presentation of Christ as King—twelve times over is this title here applied to Christ.

Matthew is essentially the dispensational Gospel and it is impossible to over-estimate its importance and value. Matthew shows us Christ offered to the Jews, and the consequences of their rejection of Him, namely, the setting aside of Israel, and God turning in grace to the Gentiles. Rom. 15:8,9 summarizes the scope of Matthew’s Gospel—”Jesus Christ was a minister of the circumcision for the truth of God, to confirm the promises made unto the fathers; And that the Gentiles might glorify God for His mercy.” Christ was not only born of the Jews, but He was born, first, to the Jews, so that in the language of their prophet they could exclaim, “Unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given” (Isa. 9:6). Matthew’s Gospel explains why Israel, in their later books of the New Testament, is seen temporally cast off by God, and why He is now taking out from the Gentiles a people for His name; in other words, it makes known why, in the present dispensation, the Church has superseded the Jewish theocracy. It supplies the key to God’s dealings with the earth in this Age: without a workable knowledge of this first Gospel it is well-nigh impossible to understand the remaining portions of the New Testament.  …

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