Background on Mathew's Gospel

From Deacon Mark Miller’s Desk

On the first Sunday of Advent [28 Nov 19], the church began a new liturgical year, and with it, we begin reading the Gospel of Matthew. There a number of features that make Mathew an important source of catechetical and evangelization information. 

  • It’s well written and well organized – important features that made memorization easier in the predominate oral cultures of the early centuries
  • It offers a well-balanced picture of Jesus by alternating between Jesus’ mighty deeds [Feeding of the 5,000 and the Calming of the Sea among others] and His memorable discourses [such as the Sermon on the Mount].
  • The Gospel explains the relationship between the Old and New Covenants.
  • Matthew insists that the Good News is destined to proclaimed to all – Jew and Gentile alike.

Matthew carefully explains that Jesus is the fulfillment of Yahweh’s promise in the Old Testament [Ps 89:3-4]:

  • The kingdom of David will be established forever [2 Samuel 7:12-16]
  • He will send a royal messiah, a new and definitive David to reign forever [Isa 9:6-7. Jerimiah, Ezekiel, and Hosea also contain this promise]

He teaches us to read the whole bible; if we are to know, love, and serve God, we need to discover the Father’s plan as it’s laid out in the Old Testament and brought to completion in the New.

We study Matthew this liturgical year so that we might learn how best to lead a Christian life.  The key to achieving that end is found in Jesus’ words “Learn from me, for I am meek and humble of heart” [11:29].

The Gospel ends with Christ’s command that we must “go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations” [28:19].  Our study of Matthew will help prepare us to live out that command in our families and communities.  We will be the “light of the world” [5:14.

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