The Holman Apologetics Study Bible has this to say about the themes in Matthew:
“Each Gospel, though broadly compatible with the others, emphasizes something different about the significance of the life and ministry of Jesus. For Matthew, that significance clearly lies in Jesus’ status as the promised messianic son of David, the king of Israel. Several features of the Gospel are related to this primary theme. Foremost is Matthew’s citation of Old Testament prophecies fulfilled in the life of Jesus. Matthew is often faulted for taking these “prophecies” out of context and misapplying them. However, his practice must be understood in terms of the conventions of first-century citation generally, and the charge is less appropriate than is often thought. Other features related to the theme of Jesus as promised King include long teaching discourses in which the word of Jesus becomes a new law for the church, a confession of Jesus as the Son of God in divine (as opposed to merely messianic) terms, and an extension of kingdom promises from the Jews to the Gentile nations in fulfillment of the covenant with Abraham.”
Jesus is the Messiah (Anointed One) and King. This has implications for those who read the book of Matthew. If the account is accurate, which I believe it is, the fulfillment of prophecy from the Old Testament and the life and teaching of Jesus on earth indicate that he is the Messiah and King. This being true, he has been set apart for a task but has also been given authority. The task is one of making disciples and grafting them into the Kingdom of God. The nature of that Kingdom is that Messiah is King. This is something realised in all facets of life. As one reads the book, Jesus is shown as king of this and that until he is shown as King of Kings and Ruler of All. The response of the reader is to bow down and submit all of life to the rightful ruler. Many Christians would say that they have done this once and for all at conversion. The book of Matthew will challenge us to surrender our lives still further. For 21st century Americans this sounds like too much of an infringement on our liberties. In reality, paradoxically, surrender to the Messiah King is true freedom from the oppression of our own false selves on our soul.
- What are the themes in the book of Matthew?
- What was the response that Matthew probably desired from those living in Antioch?
- What response would Matthew have expected from those outside the church?
- How do you need to further establish the Kingdom of God in your world?
- Why do many Christians think that they have finished the process of making Jesus king at conversion?