Friday, April 28, 2017

The First Book of the New Testament, An Overview of Matthew

Mathew, part 1
Matthew’s name means “gift of Jehovah” which is interesting since we know that he was a tax collector. There is some evidence that he wrote this book originally in Hebrew and maybe in both Hebrew and Greek. There are 23 parables in Matthew, 11 of which do not appear in the other gospels. Of the twenty miracles recorded, three are unique to this account.
There’s a lot to cover in Matthew like the genealogy of Jesus, His birth, the story of the wise men being guided by the star, and the escape into Egypt. Then Matthew jumps thirty years ahead to John the Baptist preparing the way, Jesus’ baptism and the calling of the disciples. There’s the Sermon on the Mount and Jesus’ ministry, including many healings and miracles, many parables and a lot of teaching. Matthew records Jesus’ triumphant entry into Jerusalem, Judas’ betrayal, Peter’s denial, the arrest, crucifixion, burial and resurrection.
What’s particularly interesting is the explicit use of the word “righteousness.”
First compare the beatitudes as presented in Matthew with the equivalent verses in Luke. Matthew 5:6 says:
6 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled
Whereas Luke 6:21 says:
21 Blessed are you who hunger now, for you will be satisfied.
One after another the parallel passages in Matthew include the word “righteous” or "righteousness," but those words are absent from Luke.

Matthew 5:10     10 Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Luke 6:22 22 Blessed are you when people hate you,
   when they exclude you and insult you
   and reject your name as evil,
      because of the Son of Man.


Matthew 6:33 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.               
Luke 12:31 31 But seek his kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well.
Matthew 10:40, 41 40 “Anyone who welcomes you welcomes me, and anyone who welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me. 41 Whoever welcomes a prophet as a prophet will receive a prophet’s reward, and whoever welcomes a righteous person as a righteous person will receive a righteous person’s reward.
 Luke 9:48 48 Then he said to them, “Whoever welcomes this little child in my name welcomes me; and whoever welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me. For it is the one who is least among you all who is the greatest.”
Matthew 13:17   17 For truly I tell you, many prophets and righteous people longed to see what you see but did not see it, and to hear what you hear but did not hear it.
Luke 10:24 24 For I tell you that many prophets and kings wanted to see what you see but did not see it, and to hear what you hear but did not hear it.”
Matthew 23:35 35 And so upon you will come all the righteous blood that has been shed on earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah son of Berekiah, whom you murdered between the temple and the altar.
Luke 11:50, 51 50 Therefore this generation will be held responsible for the blood of all the prophets that has been shed since the beginning of the world, 51 from the blood of Abel to the blood of Zechariah, who was killed between the altar and the sanctuary. Yes, I tell you, this generation will be held responsible for it all.
Matthew 23:29   29 “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You build tombs for the prophets and decorate the graves of the righteous.     

Luke 11:47 47 “Woe to you, because you build tombs for the prophets, and it was your ancestors who killed them.
There is a very good reason why the book of Matthew has so much to do with righteousness and it's because of its relationship with the Hebrew letter tzaddi. You can learn more in the book Crossing the Scriptures.