Religion and Litterature Jesus According to Matthew

Posted: October 17th, 2013





Jesus According to Matthew

The first verse of the first chapter of the book of Mathew introduces Jesus as a man just like any other person, “This is the genealogy of Jesus the Messiah the son of David, the son of Abraham” (New International version). The genealogy given in this book introduces us to a person who had ancestral background like any other Jew. He was not only a person but also a King as he came from the lineage of David who was once the king of Israel (Matt. 1: 6). However, the most interesting thing about the first verse of this first chapter is that Matthew mentions that Jesus is the Messiah. This book of Matthew has numerous evidences to prove that the character Jesus is the prophesied Messiah.

The word Messiah means “anointed one”. The prophet Isaiah in the book of Isaiah had prophesied that a messiah would come to the Israelites and save them from their captivity. The prophet went ahead and said that he would be born of a virgin (Isaiah 7:14). In the 18th verse of the first chapter of Matthew, he speaks of Mary being pregnant through the Holy Spirit. This meant that she had gotten pregnant without having any relations with any man. This fulfilled the virgin birth prophecy of the Messiah.

As prophesied, the Messiah would deliver the people from captivity. Like in any other community or society, the Israelites were bound by the captivity of sicknesses, poverty and above all, the captivity of sin. Matthew has written very many accounts of Jesus delivering people from sicknesses, poverty/ hunger, death and spiritual captivity. In Matthew 4:23 “Jesus went throughout Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom, and healing every disease and sickness among the people”.

As earlier mentioned, the Messiah would come to save the people from their captivity. In order to prove this verse true, the fifth chapter of this book of Matthew gives some teachings that Jesus taught. They include the Beatitudes (3-11), teachings about salt and light (13-16), the law (17-20), murder (21-26), adultery (27-30), divorce (31-32), oaths (33-37), revenge (eye to eye) (38-42), and the love of enemies (43-48).

In order to portray his uniqueness in the way he taught the people, he mostly used parables which were stories of issues the people could relate him in real life. This is mostly depicted in the 12th chapter of the book amongst other chapters. Matthew shows the reader that this messiah had come for the people just like he had been prophesied. He had not come to condemn or wrong those who were on the wrong but rather he had come to save them from their oppressions.

As the Messiah (anointed one) who heals those who have been held captive by the sicknesses, chapter 8 and 9 amongst other chapters of the book give an account of some miracles he performed during his life here on earth. These miracles were those dealing with the oppressions the people faced due to sicknesses. For example, Matthew 9: 18-26 tells of the miracle he performed by raising the dead girl of a synagogue leader and by healing a woman who had been oppressed for twelve years by a bleeding problem. These two miracles took place in within the same day and he only did these miracles by word of mouth.

The Messiah would deliver the people from the captivity of sins. This part was fulfilled in two ways. One, it was fulfilled through the word of mouth. Jesus was known to forgive sins. Although he had been condemned by the other teachers of the law for being blasphemous (Matt. 9: 3) since God was the only one capable of forgiving sins, he did it anyway. In Matthew 9:1-8, Jesus forgave and healed a man who was paralyzed. The speaking of the word that confirmed to the people that their sins had been forgiven confirmed that he was the anointed one who would deliver the Israelites from their sins.

The second fulfillment of the Messiah who delivered people from their sins took place when he was tortured, crucified and rose from the dead. These activities are recorded in the 26th, 27th and 28th chapters of this book of Matthew. This is also a fulfillment of Isaiah 53, which prophetically gives an account of the events in this chapter makes it clear that Jesus had died for the deliverance of mankind from sins.

The Messiah had been prophesied a couple of centuries before he was born. Introducing Jesus as the Messiah enabled Matthew to erase the doubt from people’s mind that Jesus was the Messiah who had been prophesied by Prophet Isaiah and other prophets a couple of centuries earlier. He also seemed to justify his reasons of following Jesus as the people seemed to be unsure about his true nature. The accounts given in this book also provide a foundation for the gospel the disciples were preaching. Matthew wanted to convince, and give evidence to that generation, and the generations to come that the Jesus they had followed was the prophesied Messiah.

According to Matthew, the Jesus character was the prophesied Messiah, the birth teachings, miracles, suffering, crucifixion, resurrection and Jesus ascension into heaven made these prophesies come true. In Matthew’s view, it was not about waiting for the Messiah, but it was now about preaching that the Messiah had come and made the long awaited deliverance.



Works Cited:

King, James B. King James Bible. Cambridge [Eng.: Proquest LLC, 1996. Internet resource.

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