Genesis 12:1-5 and Matthew 5: 13-16 – The World in Front of the Text (Part Two)

rootedchristThis week we are going to be looking deeper at two different passages that seem, at first, to have no great connection. But, upon closer examination have a great deal of relation to each other. This week we’ll be looking at Genesis 12: 1-5 and Matthew 5: 13-16. Yesterday we looked at the World Behind the Text of Genesis and today we’re doing the same with Matthew.

We’ve mentioned before that each of the four Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John) have a different perspective on the life, death, resurrection, and return of Jesus.  Each of the authors is writing to a different audience and that is why is it is important to read through and understand each of the four Gospels. Through doing this, you have a full and complete picture of who Jesus is.

Matthew’s Gospel is probably my favorite Gospel just to read. There is much that I love about each of them, but I have always just loved Matthew’s. Here’s why.  Matthew is the most Jewish of all the Gospels.  Matthew is a Jewish tax collector who was called by Jesus to leave it all behind and follow Him.  Tax collectors were some of the most despised people in the land, they were seen as traitors to their people, they were Jews who were in league with Rome, and they would use the power of Rome to steal from their own people. They were truly reviled.

This is who Matthew was.  It is amazing that he became one of Jesus’ followers and an Apostle.  The reason why I love his Gospel so much is that it draws over and over again from the deep well of the Old Testament.  He is always showing how Jesus did things that fulfilled Old Testament prophecies.  Jesus is teaching and style mirrors that of the Old Testament teachers.  It isn’t that the other Gospel writers didn’t know that, but they were focused on the many other parts of who Jesus is.  Matthew wants you to know that Jesus is part of the great Jewish tradition. As Jesus says in the Sermon on the Mount, He did not come to destroy the Law but to fulfill it.

This week we’ll see how God’s call to Abraham and Jesus teaching here shows us exactly how the church should respond to their local community.

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