This Sunday (August 11, 2013) will be the first week in our study of Matthew. As I prepared I ran across this paragraph in a commentary by Don Carson, and I thought it captured pretty well what we’ll be seeing in this Gospel:
“At the broadest level we may say that Matthew’s purpose is to demonstrate (1) that Jesus is the promised Messiah, the Son of David, the Son of God, the Son of Man, Immanuel; (2) that many Jews, and especially the leaders, sinfully failed to perceive this during his ministry; (3) that the messianic kingdom has already dawned, inaugurated by the life, ministry, death, resurrection, and exaltation of Jesus; (4) that this messianic reign, characterized by obedience to Jesus and consummated by his return, is the fulfillment of OT prophetic hopes, (5) that the church, the community of those, both Jew and Gentile, who bow unqualifiedly to Jesus’ authority, constitutes the true locus of the people of God and the witness to the world of the “gospel of the kingdom”; (6) that throughout this age Jesus’ true disciples must overcome temptation, endure persecution from a hostile world, witness to the truth of the gospel, and live in deeply rooted submission to Jesus’ ethical demands, even as they enjoy the new covenant, which is simultaneously the fulfillment of old covenant anticipation and the experience of forgiveness bestowed by the Messiah who came to save his people from their sins and who came to give his life a ransom for many.”
Good stuff. The only think I would add to that is that my heart’s desire is that we not only know more about our amazing Savior, but that we know Him more – that we are closer to Him every minute of our day because we have gotten to know Him in this Gospel.