The opening chapters of Matthew’s Gospel narrate in rapid-fire succession stories demonstrating that Jesus is the Lord whose coming inaugurates the kingdom of heaven on earth. They explain who Jesus is in terms of Scripture fulfilled (the Messiah) and show that his entrance into the world is the epicenter of all of God’s dealings with humanity. The Gospel of Matthew begins with a description of Jesus’ ancestry and birth: the baby in a Bethlehem manger is in the line of Israel’s great king, David, and is a true Hebrew, going back to Abraham (Matt. 1:1-2:23). With each story, Matthew’s references to the Old Testament Scriptures show how Jesus’ coming reflects a particular ancient text. We listen to Jesus because he is God's anointed, the promised Messiah, God entering the world in human flesh (John 1:14).
For example, Matthew 1:18-25 refers to Isaiah 7:14; Matthew 2:1-6 to Micah 5:1-3, 2 Samuel 5:3, and 1 Chronicles 11:2; and Matthew 2:13-15 to Hosea 11:1.
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