We can again see Matthew’s purpose in writing was to give an account of Jesus’ life that was targeted at the Jewish community. They were familiar with the Old Testament. They knew the stories of their ancestors. They studied it like we study American history. They could tell about Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. They knew about Ehud and Eglon. They were familiar with the life of David. Not only did they know the stories, they also were waiting on hope. God throughout the period of the Old Testament slipped in glimmers of hope through his prophets and through his writers. We often call these Messianic Prophecies.
We are given a glimpse of Matthew’s purpose by the abundance of Messianic Prophecies Matthew uses in chapter two, … “And you, O Bethlehem in the land of Judah, are not least among the ruling cities of Judah, for a ruler will come from you who will be the shepherd for my people Israel.” (Matthew 2:6 NLT) This prophecy is taken directly from Micah 5:2. Jesus was born in Bethlehem because that was where is ancestral roots came from. Now believing this prophecy is not hard, because it is where David was from and this is what was supposed to happen. Matthew is simply reminding and showing his audience that in fact this did happen.
God certainly knows what He is doing. He knows that there are people waiting on the Messiah, so he speaks through Matthew and reminds the people that what He set in motion through the prophets has now come to fruition. God gives solid evidence from the very birth of Jesus to point to His Messianic work.
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