The Gospel of Matthew

The early Christians were certain that the Second Coming of Jesus and the end of the world were going to happen very soon and sometime in their lifetime. This did not happen and as time passed, the first followers began to die and people recognized the need to record the stories of Jesus, his life, death and resurrection.

History Lesson

Around the year 70 or 80 the gospels were written. The stories were written by people who were close to the original followers of Jesus. Mark, for example, is believed to have been secretary and translator for St. Peter. Each gospel was influenced by the experiences of the writer and written in a style that could easily be understood by its audience. It is believed that the Gospel of Matthew was written by a Jewish scribe, someone who was familiar with the Hebrew Scriptures. Matthew wrote to Jews who believed in Christ and attended the synagogue regularly. In the year 70, Jerusalem, including the temple, was completely destroyed. To make matters worse, the Romans and the Pharisees, who were the rulers of that time, told the Jewish Christians that Jesus was not the Son of God, that he was a sinner who violated the Sabbath and other Jewish laws. Matthew wrote exactly to those Christians. He portrays Jesus doing Moses-like things. Like Moses, Jesus came into Israel to lead people out of slavery. Jesus went up a mount to give people a new set of rules for living as found in the Beatitudes. Like Moses, Jesus had miraculous power and brought hope to many people. But, unlike Moses, Jesus is the Christ who would be tortured, murdered and rise from the dead.


His Spirit lives on in those who choose to follow him. As the Season of Advent begins, let us embrace the spirit of Jesus and bring hope into the lives of others.