If we describe a person, we can do so from different angles. For example, we can highlight someone as the father of a family. In addition, a description of the same person is possible as a colleague in a company or as a neighbor. In this way we see how four evangelists – under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit – report the life of the Lord Jesus during His stay on earth. In the four biographies we have in the Bible, the Gospel according to Matthew declares the Lord Jesus as King, Mark presents Him as Servant, Luke describes Him as true Man and finally John writes about Him as the eternal Son of God.
In this Gospel we see the Lord Jesus as King. This includes the call: “Behold, your King” (Jn 19:14) which is chosen as the subtitle for this book. Whoever reads this Gospel with the desire to see Him as King will “see the King in His beauty” (Isa 33:17).
Ger de Koning
Middelburg, April 2019
Purpose of the Gospel according to Matthew
The purpose of this Gospel is to present the Lord Jesus as the Messiah, the King anointed by God Who comes to His people Israel. This Gospel has rightly been placed as the first book after the Old Testament. In the Old Testament, time and again, a King is announced Who will liberate His people and make them head of all nations.
Matthew makes it clear that with the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ the King has come. This is underlined by the fact that in this Gospel we find more Old Testament quotations about the life and death of Christ than in the three other Gospels put together. This also makes clear to whom this Gospel is primarily addressed: the Jews.
This Gospel can be called ‘the gospel of the kingdom of heaven’. Matthew recounts the history and discourses of Christ especially with a view on the establishment of that kingdom.
The writer Matthew
The writer is Matthew. Matthew is a Jew, but a despised Jew because he was a tax collector. As a Jew, he is the appropriate instrument that the Holy Spirit has been able to use to write what is important to the Jews. Because this Gospel is not only about the Lord Jesus as the King for the Jews, but also about the kingdom of heaven, this Gospel is also of great and current significance for the Christians. That will become clear.