Author: This book is known as the Gospel of Matthew because it was written by the apostle of the same name.
Date of Writing: As an apostle, Matthew wrote the Gospel of Matthew in the early period of the church, probably in A.D. 55-65. This was a time when most Christians were Jewish converts, so Matthew’s focus on Jewish perspective in this Gospel is understandable.
Purpose of Writing: Matthew intends to prove to the Jews that Jesus Christ is the promised Messiah. More than any other Gospel, the Gospel of Matthew quotes the Old Testament to show how Jesus fulfilled the words of the Jewish prophets. Matthew describes in detail the lineage of Jesus from David, and uses many forms of speech that Jews would have been comfortable with. Matthew’s love and concern for his people is apparent through his meticulous approach to telling the gospel story.
Brief Summary: The Gospel of Matthew discusses the lineage, birth, and early life of Christ in the first two chapters. From there, the book discusses the ministry of Jesus. The descriptions of Christ’s teachings are arranged around “discourses” such as the Sermon on the Mount in chapters 5 through 7. Chapter 10 involves the mission and purpose of the disciples; chapter 13 is a collection of parables; chapter 18 discusses the church; chapter 23 begins a discourse about hypocrisy and the future. Chapters 21 through 27 discuss the arrest, torture, and execution of Jesus. The final chapter describes the Resurrection and the Great Commission.
Connections: Because Matthew’s purpose is to present Jesus Christ as the King and Messiah of Israel, he quotes from the Old Testament more than any of the other three Gospel writers. Matthew quotes more than 60 times from prophetic passages of the Old Testament, demonstrating how Jesus fulfilled them. He begins his Gospel with the genealogy of Jesus, tracing Him back to Abraham, the progenitor of the Jews. From there, Matthew quotes extensively from the prophets, frequently using the phrase “as was spoken through the prophet(s)” (Matthew 1:22-23, Matthew 2:5-6, Matthew 2:15, Matthew 4:13-16, Matthew 8:16-17, Matthew 13:35, Matthew 21:4-5). These verses refer to the Old Testament prophecies of His virgin birth (Isaiah 7:14) in Bethlehem (Micah 5:2), His return from Egypt after the death of Herod (Hosea 11:1), His ministry to the Gentiles (Isaiah 9:1-2, Isaiah 60:1-3), His miraculous healings of both body and soul (Isaiah 53:4), His speaking in parables (Psalm 78:2), and His triumphal entry into Jerusalem (Zechariah 9:9).
Practical Application: The Gospel of Matthew is an excellent introduction to the core teachings of Christianity. The logical outline style makes it easy to locate discussions of various topics. Matthew is especially useful for understanding how the life of Christ was the fulfillment of the Old Testament prophecies.Matthew’s intended audience was his fellow Jews, many of whom—especially the Pharisees and Sadducees—stubbornly refused to accept Jesus as their Messiah. In spite of centuries of reading and studying the Old Testament, their eyes were blinded to the truth of who Jesus was. Jesus rebuked them for their hard hearts and their refusal to recognize the One they had supposedly been waiting for (John 5:38-40). They wanted a Messiah on their own terms, one who would fulfill their own desires and do what they wanted Him to do. How often do we seek God on our own terms? Don’t we reject Him by ascribing to Him only those attributes we find acceptable, the ones that make us feel good—His love, mercy, grace—while rejecting those we find objectionable—His wrath, justice, and holy anger? We dare not make the mistake of the Pharisees, creating God in our own image and then expecting Him to live up to our standards. Such a god is nothing more than an idol. The Bible gives us more than enough information about the true nature and identity of God and Jesus Christ to warrant our worship and our obedience.
Genealogy of Jesus Christ
1 The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham.
The Jews knew that according to Scripture that their Messiah (Hebrew: H4899 mashiach, anointed one, Greek: G5547 Χριστοῦ, Christou, Christ) would be descended from their own ancient King David. The Apostle Matthew writing to his fellow Jews seeks to prove that Jesus is their prophesied Christ. And he does not beat about the bush. In the very first line of his Gospel, he calls Jesus, "Christ", and states that he was the son of David i.e. the descendant of David.
2 Abraham was the father of Isaac, and Isaac the father of Jacob, and Jacob the father of Judah and his brothers,
3 and Judah the father of Perez and Zerah by Tamar, and Perez the father of Hezron, and Hezron the father of Ram,
4 and Ram the father of Amminadab, and Amminadab the father of Nahshon, and Nahshon the father of Salmon,
5 and Salmon the father of Boaz by Rahab, and Boaz the father of Obed by Ruth, and Obed the father of Jesse,
6 and Jesse the father of David the king. And David was the father of Solomon by the wife of Uriah,
7 and Solomon the father of Rehoboam, and Rehoboam the father of Abijah, and Abijah the father of Asaph,
8 and Asaph the father of Jehoshaphat, and Jehoshaphat the father of Joram, and Joram the father of Uzziah,
9 and Uzziah the father of Jotham, and Jotham the father of Ahaz, and Ahaz the father of Hezekiah,
10 and Hezekiah the father of Manasseh, and Manasseh the father of Amos, and Amos the father of Josiah,
11 and Josiah the father of Jechoniah and his brothers, at the time of the deportation to Babylon.
12 And after the deportation to Babylon: Jechoniah was the father of Shealtiel, and Shealtiel the father of Zerubbabel,
13 and Zerubbabel the father of Abiud, and Abiud the father of Eliakim, and Eliakim the father of Azor,
14 and Azor the father of Zadok, and Zadok the father of Achim, and Achim the father of Eliud,
15 and Eliud the father of Eleazar, and Eleazar the father of Matthan, and Matthan the father of Jacob,
16 and Jacob the father of Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom Jesus was born, who is called Christ.
17 So all the generations from Abraham to David were fourteen generations, and from David to the deportation to Babylon fourteen generations, and from the deportation to Babylon to the Christ fourteen generations.
Birth of Jesus Christ
18 Now the birth of Jesus Christ took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit.
19 And her husband Joseph, being a just man and unwilling to put her to shame, resolved to divorce her quietly.
20 But as he considered these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, "Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit.
21 She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins."
Jesus saves "his people from their sins". His people are all those who believe in him i.e. born-again Christians. Man's biggest single sin is believing that he can make himself sinless through our own efforts, when in fact, only God is sinless.God is only prepared to regard us as sinless because by his own mercy and grace, he allowed his only son to volunteer and be sacrificed on the cross to pay the penalty of death and damnaton for our sins. If you disbelieve God's own testimony to this truth, and insist on trying to be a good on your own as if you don't need God's help, you are refusing Jesus's sacrifice, calling God a liar, and in rebellion against God. Trying to be good through your own efforts is foolish pride. Refusing God's mercy leaves you nowhere to hide from God's judgment, wrath and condemnation. Refusing God's pardon means accepting his sentence, which is always holy and fair - and the sentence is eternal damnation in Hell.
22 All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet:
23 "Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel" (which means, God with us).
24 When Joseph woke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him: he took his wife,
25 but knew her not until she had given birth to a son. And he called his name Jesus.
The clear meaning of this verse is that Joseph did not have sexual relations with his wife, Mary, until after she had given birth to Jesus. Thereafter, they did have. Despite the clarity of this verse, Roman Catholics claim that Mary did not have sexual relations with Joseph at all. They argue that she remained a virgin for the rest of her life. They are desperate to maintain this false belief in order to justify their sinful idolatry of Mary. Now, the Bible forbids worshipping anyone but God, and Catholics try and get around this by saying they don’t worship Mary. Yet they offer up their prayers to her, and prayers are a form of worship. The Bible expressly commands us to pray only to God. By praying to Mary, Catholics are actively worshipping her. Therefore, they are committing the sin of idolatry - and God hates idolatry. He explicitly banned it in the Ten Commandments. By denying the meaning of this verse Catholics then have to deny other verses in the Bible as well e.g. those that mention Jesus had brothers and sisters (Catholics say they were his cousins). But their biggest problem is their false teaching that Mary was sinless. The Apostle Paul says that there is no one righteous, no not one (Romans 3:10); the Apostle John says that if anyone says that he is without sin, he deceives himself, and the truth is not in him (1John 1:8); and Jesus himself stated, "No one is good except God alone (Mark 10:18)." By maintaining that Mary was sinless, the Roman Catholics are calling Jesus Himself and his apostles liars. One can see what a mess one gets into when one denies God’s very own words for the sake of man-made traditions.