Thoughts on Matthew, Day 32, Lent 2013

The mega-Lenten-Bible-reading-plan enters the New Testament today. The gospel of Matthew is a great transition book from the Old Testament because he references the OT constantly. He's not just referencing the OT, but tells stories of Jesus fulfilling multiple predictions and allusions in the OT. Sometimes Matthew grabs verses which have nothing to do, in context, with the Messiah. Some verse-grabs are allusions to the nation of Israel (see Matt. 2:15). This tells me that Matthew wants us to see that Jesus represents God and humanity and Israel. Matthew's gospel is directed to Jews. His background is complicated. He's a Jew who collected taxes for Rome, a traitor to his people. Yet Jesus invited him to be part of his new people. Twelve students, disciples, who represent a new beginning, just as there were twelve sons of Israel.

There's so much symbolism and cool stuff going on, more than I can condense into one blog. A couple riffs then; the sermon on the mount is some intense ethics; the "woes" towards the religious teachers is intense criticism; Jesus gets really mad sometimes; Jesus is very tender sometimes. Why was he killed? A prophet speaks to those in power as an equal. Those in power do not like their position threatened. The religious leaders in power in Jesus' time kept giving him more and more rope, hoping he would hang himself with it, but they never took him seriously and never recognized they were dealing with the hoped for Messiah, God's anointed king, the new David. So Isaiah 53 gets fulfilled. And Zechariah 11:12-13. Lots of OT things get fulfilled, see the wiki article.

Palm Sunday is coming up, the last Sunday before Resurrection Day. It's story is found in Matthew 21. The Good Friday story, when he is crucified is at Matthew 27. The resurrection story is found in Matthew 28. This chapter changes everything. If he really died, and how could anyone survive that, then he is the first person to come back to life, under his own power, after a weekend in a tomb, and everything he said and claimed is not craziness, but the way to eternal life. Resurrection changes everything.
Enhanced by Zemanta


Popular Posts