Our Vision 2020 reading this week is Matthew chapters 1-18. In my reading I was impressed with a few particular ideas.
First of all, Matthew chapter 1 focuses on the genealogy of the Lord Jesus Christ. It is brilliant that the New Testament begins this way. As I stated before, the Scriptures were not originally written with chapters and verses. Therefore, it is important to maintain the contextual flow from one verse to another and from one chapter to another. I feel the books of the Bible flow that way as well. For example, just try and separate Leviticus from Exodus. Well, for the New Testament to begin with a genealogy which brings us from Abraham to Jesus, shows us the true connection between the two Testaments. Then, note how often, in the first few chapters of Matthew, that the Prophets are mentioned as having been fulfilled.
1:22 - the birth of Jesus/Emmanuel through the virgin.
2:5 - the birth of the Messiah in Bethlehem.
2:15 - Joseph, Mary and Jesus going to Egypt.
2:23 - Jesus being raised in Nazareth.
3:3 - the ministry of John the Baptist.
4:14. Jesus’ ministry in Zebulun and Naphtali.
These are just some examples.
As we continue our study through the New Testament, I hope to bring our minds back to other Old Testament passages so we may see the unity of God’s Scriptures and the perfect execution of His plan of salvation. John Poysti did this when he showed us in Acts 13:41 that Paul quoted from Habakkuk 1/5.
Please note in chapter 12, how the nation of Israel, led by the Pharisees, react to Jesus as being the Messiah. They reject Him on the basis of demon possession as opposed to Holy Spirit possession. This rejection occurs directly on the heels of Jesus healing a man with a blind and mute demon. Also, notice in chapter 13 how Jesus’ ministry turns to being parabolic. We will discuss these two dynamics at some point in our further studies of the Gospels.