Author by : Kelley S. Kent
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Publisher by : Independently Published
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Description : Jesus Christ said that he came to earth in order "to fulfil" "the law" and "the prophets" (Matthew 5:17). If there is one book in the New Testament that draws attention to fulfillment, it is the gospel of Matthew. Matthew alluded to or quoted seven major and minor prophets in the context of fulfilled prophecy. He also named the prophets Daniel, Elijah, Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Jonah. The life and writings of King David are in this prophetic context. At first glance, he does not appear to be a prophet. Psalms is not grouped with the prophets; neither is the record of David''s reign. Yet he said, "The Spirit of the LORD spake by me, and his word was in my tongue" (2 Samuel 23:2). Fittingly, the name David appears seventeen times in Matthew, the most of any New Testament book. Of ten quotations from the Psalms, five are recorded as fulfilled prophecies. So are two quotations from David''s reign. Jesus Christ, "the son of David," is thus the son of a prophet (Matthew 1:1). Born in the "city of David," he was chosen like David to "rule ... Israel" (Matthew 2:6; Luke 2:4, 2:11). So just what Old Testament prophecy is fulfilled in Matthew? Jesus was born of a virgin in Bethlehem (where young children were later murdered), named "Emmanuel," taken "out of Egypt," and "called a Nazarene" (Matthew 1:23, 2:15, 2:23). John the Baptist came before him "in the spirit and power of Elias" in order to "prepare ... the way of the Lord" (Matthew 3:3; Luke 1:17). Jesus brought the light of the kingdom to Galilee, "healed all that were sick," spoke in parables, and revealed the hypocrisy of the Pharisees (Matthew 8:16). His presence divided families even as he "shew[ed] judgment to the Gentiles" (12:18). Jesus rode a donkey into Jerusalem, where he received praise from "babes and sucklings" (21:16). He was "rejected" by the Pharisees and betrayed for "thirty pieces of silver," used to buy "the potter''s field"; his disciples "scattered" (21:42, 26:15, 26:31, 27:7). On the cross, Jesus asked God why he had been "forsaken," while Roman soldiers "cast lots" for his clothes (27:35, 27:46). He spent "three days and three nights in the heart of the earth" (12:40). Then Jesus rose "from the dead" (28:7). As recorded in the gospel of Matthew, in his birth, ministry, and death "the prophet of Nazareth" fulfilled nearly thirty distinct prophecies from eleven Old Testament books (Matthew 21:11). Matthew did not draw attention to every fulfilled prophecy, for example the fact that Jesus "made his grave ... with the rich in his death" (Isaiah 53:9; see Matthew 27:57-60). What he did emphasize was Jesus'' identity as the Messiah and "King of the Jews" (Matthew 2:2, 27:11, 27:29, 27:37). This phrase appears in the New Testament nearly twenty times. All four gospels use it in the passion narrative. Only in Matthew does "King of the Jews" appear in the narrative of Jesus'' birth. The writer''s message is clear: whom the Jews "crucified," the wise men "worshipped" (2:11, 27:35). The King will return one day, not to suffer but to reign. When he comes, he will separate the nations, "as a shepherd divide[s] his sheep from the goats" (Matthew 25:32). Those who showed hospitality to Jesus'' "brethren" - the hungry, thirsty, and naked; strangers and the sick; prisoners even - will "inherit the kingdom" (25:34-40). Those who did not will face "everlasting fire" (25:41-46). When Jesus comes, will we be "ready" (Matthew 24:44, 25:10)? When the King returns, will he "find faith on the earth" (Luke 18:8)? The time is short, the hour late. The trumpet blast is near (Matthew 24:31). Therefore, let us "examine" ourselves to see if we are "in the faith" (2 Corinthians 13:5). Then let us "look up" and say, with expectant hearts and "in full assurance of faith," "Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord" (Matthew 23:39; Luke 21:28; Hebrews 10:22). Christ''s "reward is with him" (Isaiah 62:11). Truly, our "redemption draweth nigh" (Luke 21:28).