A Year With Matthew

There are so many messages to be found throughout the Bible, but deciphering how we can apply them in our lives today can be a real challenge.

Start at the Beginning

The first place to start is to turn the story around and ask what it meant for the people living in that time. The Liturgical calendar is the cycle in which the gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke) and readings (Old Testament and New Testament, usually letters from St. Paul.) are divided into. This calendar is spread out over the course of three years: Year A, B and C. We are now in Year A and will hear primarily from the Gospel of Matthew the end of November. Who is St. Matthew?

The Gospel According to Matthew

Matthew’s Gospel was probably written by a Jewish scribe, someone who was familiar with the Hebrew Scriptures and writing for Jewish followers of Jesus. In the first century, Jewish followers still practiced their faith with the added belief in Christ as the Messiah. This was fine until around 70 A.D. when Jerusalem was destroyed by the Romans and the Pharisees took over as the ruling leaders. Jewish Christians were no longer allowed to worship in the synagogue and were treated like enemies of the Jewish God. The early Christians were persecuted for their beliefs. They were told that Jesus of Nazareth was not the Son of God and the Pharisees insisted he was a sinner who violated Jewish practices.

Moses - Jesus

Matthew presents Jesus as the new Moses, with Jesus doing “Moses-like” things. Like Moses, he comes to Israel from Egypt (2:19) to free people from a life of bondage. Like Moses, Jesus goes up a mountain and gives people a new set of rules (4:17-7:29). Jesus is the Son of God, who like Moses, had miraculous powers. Jesus, like Moses, gave the people hope and Matthew backs up what he writes about Jesus by referencing back to the Old Testament, quoting passages about what would happen to the Messiah. This Gospel begins with the genealogy of Jesus and ends with his glorious resurrection. The chapters in between are worth studying.