Matthew was a tax collector, which means he was unpopular. He left everything to follow Jesus after he concluded that Jesus was the Messiah. Matthew was authorized to write the Gospel that bears his name, and its subject is very simple: it’s about the King and his kingdom. Matthew was introducing, especially to Jews, the message that God has sent his King, his Messiah, who would rule as his regent on earth by offering the kingdom to his people. In this sense Matthew is the culmination of all the Old Testament’s anticipation of the Messiah who would come.
The apostle’s concern was giving convincing proof that Jesus was the messianic King whom the Jews were anticipating and whom the world needs so desperately. That’s why he began with Jesus’s genealogy to establish his lineage through David. Matthew also presented Jesus’s kingdom discourses, teaching, and miracles as proof of his messianic claim.
The book winds to a disquieting moment, the crucifixion. If Jesus is the Messiah, how could he be put to death? Thankfully, the scene is followed by the resurrection and the announcement that the King is alive and coming back, and that his kingdom is in this world today. Jesus’s Great Commission at the end of Matthew’s Gospel (28:18-20) means that the book of Matthew is relevant for us as believers today.
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Dr. Tony Evans is the founder and senior pastor of Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship in Dallas, founder and president of The Urban Alternative and author of over 100 books, booklets and Bible studies. The first African American to earn a doctorate of theology from Dallas Theological Seminary, he has been named one of the 12 Most Effective Preachers in the English-Speaking World by Baylor University. Dr. Evans holds the honor of writing and publishing the first full-Bible commentary and study Bible by an African American. His radio broadcast, The Alternative with Dr. Tony Evans, can be heard on over 1,400 radio outlets daily and in more than 130 countries. Dr. Evans’ sermons are also streamed and downloaded over 20,000,000 times annually.