For those who follow along with the posts, you might have seen a previous post explaining that our "Walk Into the Bible" will become more in depth with actual Bible Study posts. Enjoy. And as always, please let me know if there something you would like to suggest or discuss further.
Matthew Chapter 1 & 2 cover the infancy narrative. These two chapters are our introduction to a miraculous tale. There are a few themes that are introduced in this section:
1) The Jewish roots of the Messiah- the genealogy is included because such things were important. It was also included to show that Jesus was deeply rooted in Jewish history. He was not an outsider coming to preach to the people of Israel: he was one of them. With his death and resurrection, and our acceptance of his grace, His message is spread to the whole world. The Magi coming from a foreign culture show the inclusion of the Gentiles.
2) Fulfillment of prophecy- quotations from the Old Testament, and the echoes of the Exodus (see footnotes for Chapter 2) show the continuity from the Old Testament to Jesus. As far as can be possible, 1:2-16 attempt to distill the entire history of Israel, making it the backdrop for the birth of Jesus.
3) "To the least of my brothers"- as Jesus later says. His poor birth, his family's flight into Exodus, his humble beginnings: all show Jesus' identification with those who are suffering. His humble beginnings contrast sharply with the richness of King Herod in Jerusalem.
4) Emphasis of Jesus' name and his two-fold nature- Matthew emphasizes the name "Jesus Christ." Jesus (the Greek form of Joshua) now means "savior," but originally and more correctly meant "Yahweh, help!." Christ (the Greek form of messiah) means "the anointed" (a practice for those who royal, priestly, prophetic). We see him as both a divine savior and also see him as the son of man.
5) The divinity of Jesus- C.S. Lewis sums up my viewpoint on those who claim Jesus was merely a 'a great human teacher' and ignore the other side of the gospels.
"You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God: or else a madman or something worse. You can shut him up for a fool, you can spit at him and kill him as a demon; or you can call at his feet and call him Lord and God. But let us not come with any patronizing nonsense about his being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to." ~C.S. Lewis in 'Mere Christianity'
We will see these themes explored further as we continue with the Book of Matthew.
Jennifer Becker Landsberger
Who am I? Freelance writer (magazines, websites, & copywriting), Catholic, military wife, and Mensan. Double Bachelor's in History & Psychology.
Witnessing by charity and love are above all. Studying the Bible and beyond helps me on this quest. Feel free to join my walk into the Bible.
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~~~Prayer before Writing-
Oh creator of the universe, who has set the stars in the heavens and causes the sun to rise and set, shed the light of your wisdom into the darkness of my mind. Fill my thoughts with a loving knowledge of you, that I may bring you like to others. Just as you can make even babies speak your truth, instruct my tongue and guide my pen to convey the wonderful glory of the Gospel. Make my intellect sharp, my memory clear, and my words eloquent, so that I may faithfully interpret the mysteries what you have revealed.
To my readers & fellow writers,
1. I will pray that God's grace helps illuminate all of our interactions- both those of simple reading and more active conversations.
2. I will communicate with you respectfully and civilly. These are (rightly) issues which we feel passionate about. But even in disagreements, I will respect you fellow "seekers of truth."
3. I will not fall into negative behavior or words, such as insinuations, exaggerations, blames, or personal attacks. I respectfully ask you to do the same.
4. I will pray we will all find the truth and strive to fulfill the two greatest commandments: "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these." (Mark 12:30-31)
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Sites I Recommend
Biblical Evidence for Catholicism by Dave Armstrong