Christianity: Major Gospel Part 1 Series
Religion: Christianity Part 1 – The Gospel of Matthew
The Gospel of Matthew presents Jesus as the King. The audience may not understand and think that Jesus claimed to be their King. According to Matthew, the gospel title made it clear that Matthew did not write the Gospel but someone that Matthew knew very well, who was familiar with his life and works, and who adapted his words when he relayed his experience with Jesus. The Gospel of Matthew stresses the importance of the kingdom. Many Jewish people hope for the restoration of the kingdom of David. This could also be the interpretation of Peter when Jesus asked Peter to follow him and establish the kingdom on hand. Since the destruction of Jerusalem by the Babylonians and the deportation of most of the Jews to Babylon, the reign of the kingdom ended with Zedekiah as the last King of Israel (597–587).
The Gospels of the kingdom of God and the kingdom of heaven within or at hand must not be confused to be different because it’s just one kingdom that is being used interchangeably. It could probably be introduced to a particular audience at the time. When we hear about the kingdom of God, we think that because God is a Spirit, the kingdom is only visible to a Spirit being. The kingdom of heaven, as we are familiar with, gives us a different interpretation of what heaven looks like. Our imagination gives us a different vision of heaven, sometimes based on the experience of those people in the Bible that witnessed it, people that went to heaven and came back to tell the story. Whether it is a real experience or a made-up story, they describe what heaven looks like.
The different viewpoints of the witnesses made the four gospels confusing to others portraying Jesus with four different characters. The four individuals may or may not have been present at each act or event described in the Gospels. For instance, Luke was not present in any of the events. Still, he recorded his Gospel on years of gathering testimony from many of Jesus’s followers as if he was there and directly heard that the kingdom of heaven is within. On the other hand, since Peter once had a conversation with Paul, maybe Luke was present in that meeting and overheard them talking about Jesus.
The genealogy of Jesus, according to Matthew’s Gospel, powerfully demonstrates that Jesus was a descendant of King David, the Son of David, the Son of Abraham (Matthew 1:1). This made Jesus the lawful heir to the throne according to the promise. However, the Jews rejected their supposed to be King, the King of all kings, the Messiah God promised would come and redeem Israel. The Gospel of Matthew supported the fulfillment of the Old Testament prophecies.
The Jews refuse to accept Jesus as their Messiah despite many Scriptures supporting the fulfillment of the Promised Messiah, both the Old and the New Testament. It was not easy for them to accept Jesus because his hometown, which was supposed to be the first to acknowledge him, did not do so, and so did his family. But people with humble hearts and ears that reflect understanding will not be blinded to the truth of the good news.
The Jews wanted a king and already had the King at hand. The Jews have been waiting for a Messiah for centuries even though he already came, but they did not acknowledge him. They already have the Messiah, but instead of embracing him and receiving the kingdom, they disavow him, which allowed the gentiles who accept it wholeheartedly and become the recipient of the church. If the Jews accepted the good news, they have the church in their heart, like what Peter received and the kingdom. The Bible gives us more than enough knowledge of who God is and the Son, so why is there hesitation? Is it because the Bible has been under attack and perversions? No matter what these ungodly works do, they cannot go inside the hidden meaning of the Scripture that is only revealed to those God had called and responded to—the chosen ones. The true nature and identity of God and the Son warrant our acknowledgment that they exist in our hearts and are worthy of worship.
Let us meditate on the Scripture below.
Matthew 22:37-40: “Jesus replied, ‘”Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.” This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two.'”
Matthew 6:9-13: “This, then, is how you should pray: ‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, you will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.”
God is all in all.