The Gospel of Matthew, dated sometime before 70 AD, appears to be arranged in an way that would assist his readers in remembering the life and teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ. The life story of Jesus is built around His five major discourses. These are:
(1) The Sermon on the Mount (chapters 5-7), emphasising discipleship and true commitment.
(2) Apostleship (chapter 10), when the twelve were sent out to preach and heal the sick.
(3) Parables concerning the Kingdom of God / Heaven (chapter 13).
(4) Discipleship and fellowship in the Church (chapter 18), Matthew’s is the only Gospel that uses the word church in relation to the followers of Christ.
(5) Teachings on Last Days events, especially in direct relationship to His Second Coming (chapters 24-25).
The Gospel of Matthew is the most Jewish of the accounts of Jesus’ life and teachings. It reads more like a guided tour than a biography, therefore it is not clinical but has a depth of feeling, emotion and power as we are led each step of the way.
It is true to say that Matthew first and foremost directed his work to Jewish converts to Christianity, for he continually reminds them of the prophecies of the Old Testament. He applies Old Testament Scripture to the life and teachings of Jesus Christ on more than one hundred occasions. Throughout we read, “That it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet”, or something similar (see 1:22, 2:15,17,23, 4:14, 8:17, 12:17, 13:35, 21:4, 26:56). This Gospel sheds great like on important Old Testament passages that may otherwise remain obscure without Matthew’s spiritual (and God-revealed) insight.
The genealogy makes it abundantly clear that the babe born in Bethlehem is Israel’s long expected Messiah – the “Son of David” .As we travel through Matthew’s Gospel we are presented with the fact that the same Jesus Christ fulfils all the Messianic prophecies. The Messiah becomes the “King of kings” though He is rejected by the Jews and crucified. The outcome of all the ages is focused upon Him alone, for only He can bring in the Kingdom of God.
While Matthew’s Gospel recounts the life and miracles of Christ, his main aim is to show his Jewish readers that Jesus is the fulfilment of the Law and the Prophets. Reject Him and the entire foundation of Judaism crumbles. Matthew’s is an account of Jesus the King of Israel – the Messiah.