Tag Archive | Matthew

Be Clean

Matthew 8:1-4 (ESV)
1 When he came down from the mountain, great crowds followed him.
2  And behold, a leper came to him and knelt before him, saying, “Lord, if you will, you can make me clean.”
3 And Jesus stretched out his hand and touched him, saying, “I will; be clean.” And immediately his leprosy was cleansed.
4 And Jesus said to him,  “See that you say nothing to anyone, but go, show yourself to the priest and offer the gift that Moses commanded, for a proof to them.”

Why does Jesus send the man to the Priest?  To fulfill the Law of Moses.

Leviticus 14:2 ff (ESV) This shall be the law of the leprous person for the day of his cleansing. He shall be brought to the priest,

Leviticus 14:7 (ESV) … Then he shall pronounce him clean ….

Was not Jesus fully capable of declaring the man clean?  I mean He healed him.  He has cleansed all of His own.

John 13:6-11 (ESV)
6 He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, “Lord, do you wash my feet?”
7  Jesus answered him, “What I am doing you do not understand now, but afterward you will understand.”
8  Peter said to him, “You shall never wash my feet.” Jesus answered him, “If I do not wash you, you have no share with me.
9 Simon Peter said to him, “Lord, not my feet only but also my hands and my head!”
10 Jesus said to him, “The one who has bathed does not need to wash, except for his feet, but is completely clean. And you are clean, but not every one of you.”
11  For he knew who was to betray him; that was why he said, “Not all of you are clean.”

1 Corinthians 6:11 (ESV) And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.

Ephesians 5:25-27 (ESV)
25  Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her,
26 that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word,
27 so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish.

Titus 3:4-7 (ESV)
4 But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared,
5 he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit,
6 whom he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior,
7 so that being justified by his grace we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.

Hebrews 10:21-22 (ESV)
21 and since we have a great priest over the house of God,
22 let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.

Was not Jesus fully a Priest?

Hebrews 4:15 (ESV) For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin.

Hebrews 7:25-26 (ESV)
25 Consequently, he is able to save to the uttermost  those who draw near to God through him, since he always lives to make intercession for them.
26 For it was indeed fitting that we should have
such a high priest, holy, innocent, unstained, separated from sinners, and exalted above the heavens.

The Law of Moses was still in effect because Jesus had not yet fulfilled the Law (Matthew 5:17) nor accomplished all (Matthew 5:18).

Jesus cleansed the Leper and followed all the Law of Moses.  Just as He told John the Baptist about His baptism He suffered it to be so for now.

Matthew 3:15 (KJV) And Jesus answering said unto him, Suffer it to be so now: for thus it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness.




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But I Say Unto You …

Matthew 5:21-48 (ESV)

21 “You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not murder; and whoever murders will be liable to judgment.’
22 But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment; whoever insults his brother will be liable to the council; and whoever says, ‘You fool!’ will be liable to the hell of fire.
23 So if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you,
24 leave your gift there before the altar and go. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift.
25 Come to terms quickly with your accuser while you are going with him to court, lest your accuser hand you over to the judge, and the judge to the guard, and you be put in prison.
26 Truly, I say to you, you will never get out until you have paid the last penny.

27 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’
28 But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart.
29 If your right eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body be thrown into hell.
30 And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body go into hell.

31 “It was also said, ‘Whoever divorces his wife, let him give her a certificate of divorce.’
32 But I say to you that everyone who divorces his wife, except on the ground of sexual immorality, makes her commit adultery, and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery.

33 “Again you have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not swear falsely, but shall perform to the Lord what you have sworn.’
34 But I say to you, Do not take an oath at all, either by heaven, for it is the throne of God,
35 or by the earth, for it is his footstool, or by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great King.
36 And do not take an oath by your head, for you cannot make one hair white or black.
37 Let what you say be simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’; anything more than this comes from evil.

38 “You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’
39 But I say to you, Do not resist the one who is evil. But if anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also.
40 And if anyone would sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well.
41 And if anyone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles.
42 Give to the one who begs from you, and do not refuse the one who would borrow from you.

43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’
44 But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,
45 so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.
46 For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same?
47 And if you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same?
48 You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

This is a very serious thing that Jesus is saying here.  We miss the significance because we don’t have such a respect for the Old Testament and Moses as the Jews did.  Can you imagine a preacher / teacher today saying something along the lines of “You have heard it said “Blessed are the pure in heart, but I say unto you …”?

See the seriousness?  Look at it through the eyes of a Jew sitting upon the mount.

1)  Jesus takes a direct quote from Moses and says “but I say unto you…”.  This would be blasphemous to the Jews to take the law Moses gave from God and change it or add to it.  Jesus wasn’t even a scribe or Pharisee that was allowed to give commentary on the Law of Moses.

2)  Jesus is placing Himself as a lawgiver equal to or above Moses.  Not only is Jesus giving law, but He is giving it upon a mount almost a reenactment of the law given on Mount Sinai.  The only real difference is the smoke and thunder is missing. 

Exodus 19:16-19 (ESV)
16 On the morning of the third day there were thunders and lightnings and a thick cloud on the mountain and a very loud trumpet blast, so that all the people in the camp trembled.
17 Then Moses brought the people out of the camp to meet God, and they took their stand at the foot of the mountain.
18 Now Mount Sinai was wrapped in smoke because the Lord had descended on it in fire. The smoke of it went up like the smoke of a kiln, and the whole mountain trembled greatly.
19 And as the sound of the trumpet grew louder and louder, Moses spoke, and God answered him in thunder.

3)  The Jews knew the Law of Moses, including the Ten Commandments, were verbally given by God to them and to Moses.  Many of us today don’t realize that the Ten Commandments were given to the people verbally from Mount Sinai, not just to Moses.

Exodus 19:9-11 (ESV)
9 And the Lord said to Moses, “Behold, I am coming to you in a thick cloud, that the people may hear when I speak with you, and may also believe you forever.” When Moses told the words of the people to the Lord,
10 the Lord said to Moses, “Go to the people and consecrate them today and tomorrow, and let them wash their garments
11 and be ready for the third day. For on the third day the Lord will come down on Mount Sinai in the sight of all the people.

Then God gives the people and Moses the Ten Commandments and look at what happens.  They no longer want to hear from God directly.

Exodus 20:18-19 (ESV)
18 Now when all the people saw the thunder and the flashes of lightning and the sound of the trumpet and the mountain smoking, the people were afraid and trembled, and they stood far off
19 and said to Moses, “You speak to us, and we will listen; but do not let God speak to us, lest we die.”

So here is Jesus giving His “But I say to you…” statements from the mount but there is no voice of God. 

Or is there?

See the Jews haven’t come to realize that Jesus is the Son of God, but they do realize that He is teaching as if He had authority.

Matthew 7:28-29 (ESV)
28 And when Jesus finished these sayings, the crowds were astonished at his teaching,
29 for he was teaching them as one who had authority, and not as their scribes.



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You Have Heard It Said … But I Say …

Matthew 5:21 – 48 contains several phrases that essentially say the same thing.

“You have heard it said … But I say ….”

Matthew 5:21-22 (ESV)
21  “You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not murder; and whoever murders will be liable to judgment.’
22 But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment; whoever insults his brother will be liable to the council; and whoever says, ‘You fool!’ will be liable to the hell of fire.

Matthew 5:27-28 (ESV)
27  “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’
28 But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart
.

Matthew 5:31-32 (ESV)
31  “It was also said, ‘Whoever divorces his wife, let him give her a certificate of divorce.’
32  But I say to you that everyone who divorces his wife, except on the ground of sexual immorality, makes her commit adultery. And whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery.

Matthew 5:33-35 (ESV)
33 “Again you have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not swear falsely, but shall perform to the Lord what you have sworn.’
34 But I say to you, Do not take an oath at all, either by heaven, for it is the throne of God,
35 or by the earth, for it is his footstool, or by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great King.

Matthew 5:38-39 (ESV)
38  “You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’
39 But I say to you, Do not resist the one who is evil. But if anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also.

Matthew 5:43-45 (ESV)
43  “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’
44 But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,
45  so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.

Do you realize that each time Jesus states “You have heard it that it was said…” he is quoting an Old Testament Scripture?

For example:

Matthew 5:27 (ESV)  “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’

This is a direct quote from Exodus or Deuteronomy.

Exodus 20:14 (ESV)  “You shall not commit adultery.

Deuteronomy 5:18 (ESV)  “‘And you shall not commit adultery.

Not much way around the fact the Jesus is taking literal Old Testament Laws, even from the Ten Commandments, and saying “But I say to you …”

“But” is very interesting here.  Another interesting fact I found is that every one of the Bible versions I have access to in my Bible program on my computer all use the word “But“, all eighteen versions!

The word translated as “But” is the Greek word de, which is translated as but, and, or also.  So why have all the translators translated this word in English as “but”?

The Greek phrase for “But I say unto you” is an easy one to remember:  ego de lego humin

Makes me think of “Le’go my eggo“.  (Old Eggo Waffle commercial for young whippersnappers.)



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Kingdom of Heaven – Martyn Lloyd-Jones

You will find certain people saying that there is a difference between the ‘kingdom of heaven’ and the ‘kingdom of God’; but my difficulty is to know what the difference is. Why does Matthew talk about the kingdom of heaven rather than the kingdom of God? Surely the answer is that he was writing primarily for the Jews, and to the Jews, and his chief object, perhaps, was to correct the Jewish conception of the kingdom of God or the kingdom of heaven. They had got into this materialistic way of looking at the kingdom; they were thinking of it politically and in a military sense, and our Lord’s whole object here is to show that His kingdom is primarily a spiritual one. In other words He says to them, ‘You must not think of this kingdom primarily as anything earthly. It is a kingdom in the heavens, which is certainly going to affect the earth in many different ways, but it is essentially spiritual. It belongs to the heavenly rather than to the earthly and human sphere.’

What is this kingdom, then? It means, in its essence, Christ’s rule or the sphere and realm in which He is reigning. It can be considered in three ways as follows. Many times when He was here in the days of His flesh our Lord said that the kingdom of heaven was already present. Wherever He was present and exercising authority, the kingdom of heaven was there. You remember how on one occasion, when they charged Him with casting out devils by the power of Beelzebub, He showed them the utter folly of that, and then went on to say, ‘If I cast out devils by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God is come unto you’ (Matt 12:28). Here is the kingdom of God. His authority, His reign was actually in practice. Then there is His phrase when He said to the Pharisees, ‘the kingdom of God is within you, or, ‘the kingdom of God is among you’ (NAS “is in your midst” Luke 17:21). It was as though He were saying, ‘It is being manifested in your midst. Don’t say “look here” or “look there”. Get rid of this materialistic view. I am here amongst you; I am doing things. It is here.’ Wherever the reign of Christ is being manifested, the kingdom of God is there. And when He sent out His disciples to preach, He told them to tell the cities which received them not, ‘Be ye sure of this, that the kingdom of God is come nigh unto you.’ (Luke 10:9, 11, cf Luke 19:11, 21:31) 

It means that; but it also means that the kingdom of God is present at this moment in all who are true believers…In writing to the Colossians he gives thanks to the Father ‘who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son’ (see note Colossians 1:13). The ‘kingdom of his dear Son’ is ‘the kingdom of God, it is ‘the kingdom of heaven’, it is this new kingdom into which we have entered. Or, again, in his letter to the Philippians he says, ‘Our conversation is in heaven,’ or, `Our citizenship is in heaven.’ We are here on earth, we obey the powers that be, we live our lives in this way. Yes; but ‘our citizenship is in heaven; from whence also we wait for a Saviour’ (see note Philippians 3:20). We who recognize Christ as our Lord, and in whose lives He is reigning and ruling at this moment, are in the kingdom of heaven and the kingdom of heaven is in us. We have been translated into the ‘kingdom of his dear Son’; we have become a ‘kingdom of priests. (cf 1Pe 2:9, 10 1Pe 2:9; 10, Rev 1:6, Rev 5:10)

The third and last way of looking at the kingdom is this. There is a sense in which it is yet to come. It has come; it is coming; it is to come. It was here when He was exercising authority; it is here in us now; and yet it is to come. It will come when this rule and reign of Christ will be established over the whole world even in a physical and material sense. The day is coming when the kingdoms of this world will have become ‘the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ, when Jesus shall reign where’er the sun Doth his successive journeys run; His kingdom stretch from shore to shore, Till moons shall wax and wane no more.

It will then have come, completely and entirely, and everything will be under His dominion and sway. Evil and Satan will be entirely removed; there will be `new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness’ (2Pe 3:13), and then the kingdom of heaven will have come in that material way. The spiri­tual and the material will become one in a sense, and all things will be subject to His sway, that ‘at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father’ (Php 2:10, 11).  (Lloyd-Jones, D. M. Studies in the Sermon on the Mount)

Martyn Lloyd-Jones

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Kingdom of God in Matthew

Did you realize there is another kingdom mentioned in Matthew beyond the Kingdom of Heaven?

Kingdom of God

Matthew 6:33 (ESV) But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.

Matthew 12:28 (ESV) But if it is by the Spirit of God that I cast out demons, then the kingdom of God has come upon you.

Matthew 19:24 (ESV)  Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God.”

Matthew 21:31 (ESV) Which of the two did the will of his father?” They said, “The first.” Jesus said to them, “Truly, I say to you, the tax collectors and the prostitutes go into the kingdom of God before you.

Matthew 21:43 (ESV) Therefore I tell you, the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people producing its fruits.

So is the Kingdom of God and the Kingdom of Heaven the same thing?



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Kingdom of Heaven ??

What is the Kingdom of Heaven?

Do you have a clue?

Is this what we think of  Heaven, in a literal sense?

Is this just a spiritual place?

Did you know this expression is only found in the book of Matthew?

It is in there 32 times to be exact!

Here are some facts about it:

You can enter the Kingdom of Heaven.

Matthew 5:20 (ESV) For I tell you, unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.

Some are the least and some are the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven.

Matthew 5:19 (ESV) Therefore whoever relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever does them and teaches them will be called great in the kingdom of heaven.

Jesus said the Kingdom of Heaven was at hand.

Matthew 4:17 (ESV) From that time Jesus began to preach, saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”

You can sit with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

Matthew 8:11 (ESV) I tell you, many will come from east and west and recline at table with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven,

The Kingdom of Heaven suffers violence and can be taken by force.

Matthew 11:12 (ESV) From the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven has suffered violence, and the violent take it by force.

I imagine those really didn’t help too much did they?  At least they didn’t me. 🙁

I think I’ll need to look more closely at the Kingdom of Heaven to determine what is meant by it. 



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A Better Hope and Promise

In comparing and contrasting the Ten Commandments and the Beatitudes, I found something interesting.  Hope you find it just as interesting and encouraging.

Hebrews 7:18-19 (ESV)
18 For on the one hand, a former commandment is set aside because of its weakness and uselessness
19 (for the law made nothing perfect); but on the other hand, a better hope is introduced, through which we draw near to God.

Read through the Ten Commandments in Exodus 20:1-17 looking for the promises, hopes or curses given upon obedience or disobedience.

Exodus 20:1-17 (ESV)
1 And God spoke all these words, saying,
2 “I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery.
3 “You shall have no other gods before me.
4 “You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth.
5 You shall not bow down to them or serve them, for I the Lord your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and the fourth generation of those who hate me,
6 but showing steadfast love to thousands of those who love me and keep my commandments
.
7 “You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not hold him guiltless who takes his name in vain.
8 “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.
9 Six days you shall labor, and do all your work,
10 but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, you, or your son, or your daughter, your male servant, or your female servant, or your livestock, or the sojourner who is within your gates.
11 For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.
12 “Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long in the land that the Lord your God is giving you.
13 “You shall not murder.
14 “You shall not commit adultery.
15 “You shall not steal.
16 “You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
17 “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his male servant, or his female servant, or his ox, or his donkey, or anything that is your neighbor’s.”

Then read The Beatitudes from Matthew 5.

Matthew 5:3-12 (ESV)
3 “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
4 “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.
5 “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.
6 “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.
7 “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.
8 “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.
9 “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.
10 “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
11 “Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account.
12 Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

So what are the differences?

Bad news first! First the curses from God for disobedience. 

Ten Commandments Curses:

Exodus 20:5 … visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and the fourth generation of those who hate me, …

Exodus 20:7 …will not hold him guiltless…

The Beatitudes have no curses from God.


Now what about the promises for obedience?

 

Ten Commandments Promises:

Exodus 20: 6 … showing steadfast love to thousands of those who love me and keep my commandments…

Exodus 20:12 … that your days may be long in the land …

 

The Beatitudes are full of promises and hope.

Matthew 5:3 theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Matthew 5:4they shall be comforted.

Matthew 5:5they shall inherit the earth.

Matthew 5:6they shall be satisfied.

Matthew 5:7they shall receive mercy.

Matthew 5:8they shall see God.

Matthew 5:9they shall be called sons of God.

Matthew 5:10theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Matthew 5:12your reward is great in heaven, …


See one of the many reasons why we are under a better promise and hope?

Hebrews 7:19 (ESV) (for the law made nothing perfect); but on the other hand, a better hope is introduced, through which we draw near to God.



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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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