The writers selected stories portraying Jesus the best for their audience, and wrote in a way their readers would understand. While they were selective in what they revealed, what is written is everything they thought important for their readers to know.
For the first time in his preaching ministry, Chuck Swindoll presents a comprehensive verse-by-verse study through the Gospel According to Matthew. Follow the life of Christ, from His birth to His Great Commission.
We now begin the second phase of our safari through Scripture. Our desire is to see all 27 books as a whole—to see how they fit together, how they relate to us, and the value of each section to the person who reads and believes the Bible. Of special interest is the “flow” of thought carried through these books and letters of the New Testament.
Matthew, a tax collector by trade, wrote his book to emphasize Christ, the King. The book includes numerous facts and expressions, which would have appealed to the Jewish reader. The fulfillment of Old Testament prophecies and the presentation of Jesus as Messiah are clearly emphasized. When we understand the book of Matthew we bow before King Jesus, the promised Messiah of Israel.
While the law was a covenantal gift to God’s people, it is not our covenant law as Christians. We live under the new covenant, so interpreting the old covenant law can be challenging at times.
The thing that determines whether the exercise of making judgments is sinful or not is the attitude that accompanies it. Is it done in a humble, loving way or a proud, critical, unloving way?
Zacharias, Mary, Joseph, and Herod all heard God’s message. So what accounted for their different reactions? Zacharias doubted, Mary and Joseph believed, and Herod rejected the message. And each of their responses had significant results.
Just beneath the soft, newborn skin of this beautiful story is the flesh and bone of a theological truth that is older than creation: God planned to send a Saviour long before time began.
“Do not be afraid.” We see this phrase recur throughout the Christmas story and it’s easy to gloss over without fully comprehending it.