Introduction to the Gospel of Matthew-4
Another emphasis in Matthew’s gospel is the portrayal of Jesus as the Messiah. The genealogy opening of the gospel is designed to show how Jesus Christ is the fulfillment of the Messiah (Hebrew for the Greek term “Christ”) promised to the Jewish people. The title “Son of David” designating Jesus as the restorer of Israel as God’s people, while the title “Son of Abraham” encompasses all peoples (gentiles included), since Abraham is father of all who believe (Rom 4:11).
Matthew also emphasizes that the mission of Jesus is for the Jews in particular (at least initially) in Matt 10:5-6 «Go nowhere among the Gentiles, and enter no town of the Samaritans, but go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel”, and Matt 15:24 «I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.”
Lastly, another thing unique to Matthew I would like to discuss is presence of an apocalyptic theme throughout the gospel. We said above that this gospel emphasizes Jesus teaching in five discourses. It is of great import then, that each of the five discourses or sermons end in an apocalyptic note. For instance, 7:1-2 at the end of the sermon of the mount, ends with the exhortation to “judge not, that you be not judged. For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and the measure you give will be the measure you get”, together with verses 21- 23 «Not every one who says to me, `Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, `Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, `I never knew you; depart from me, you evildoers.’ Another good example is found in 13:49-50 “So it will be at the close of the age. The angels will come out and separate the evil from the righteous, and throw them into the furnace of fire; there men will weep and gnash their teeth”.