Day 32: Matthew

Note from + David: An Easter Alleluia is allowed even though it is still Lent as RTB40 reaches the New Testament and the Gospels!

Every reader is entitled to know what the author’s intention of his or her writing. Here Saint Matthew’s intention was to write the Gospel to tell the life and work of Jesus Christ to the Jewish people as prophesied in their own scriptures. The evangelist starts the gospel with the genealogy of Jesus to explain His Jewish Kingly lineage that He is the” King” and the” Messiah” foretold by the prophets. Matthew wants his readers to know and understand the crux of the ministry of Jesus Christ is “And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues and preaching the gospel of the Kingdom and healing every disease and every infirmity among the people.” (Matt: 4:23) The above three aspect of Jesus ministry are vividly explained by the evangelist through narrating incidents and Jesus sayings. Matthew refers Jesus teaching to his disciples and the people through parables focusing on

the kingdom of heaven. His preaching was started by saying, “Repent for the kingdom of heaven is at hand”. The Sermon on the Mount, The Lord’s Prayer and Parables, are points where we can see much about the kingdom explained. Jesus was compassionate towards people and healed them even dead to come back alive. And Matthew puts all of them systematically in the gospel to the readers for easier to accessible.

During my time in Cambridgeshire, I met different chaplains such as College Chaplains, chaplains to people at work (Police Chaplain, Fire Chaplain, Prison Chaplain and Court Chaplain and also a Parish Nurse). In Prison Chaplaincy, it is interesting to see the chaplain combine holding the prison keys with their pastoral services to the convicts. I preached in Littlehay prison chapel and talked with the prisoners. Another unique opportunity for me is to see the Crown Court Centre with the Court Chaplain and Police chaplain with the Police officers; the officials explained their works for the people to bring out justice without any intimidation. They maintain a good relationship and co-work with the Chaplains. This work is living the gospel as Matthew tells it.

Unlike other gospels, Matthew gives an elaborate account of the Signs of the End and the Last Judgement of the Son of Man, His death and Resurrection and His glorious second coming. He draws attention to and ends the gospel with the Great Commission of Jesus Christ to His Disciples, “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations” with a profound promise of “Lo, I am with you always, to the close of the age”. Though the Matthew Gospel has the first place in the New Testament, it is not the Gospel written prior to other books in the New Testament.

Rev.Noble C.Gembeeram, CSI, Vellore Diocese, India.

(During the autumn and winter, Rev Noble spent 4 months with the Cambridgeshire Ecumenical Council and the Diocese of Ely, as part of our link with the Diocese of Vellore)

Read the Bible on line at Bible Study Tools. Today’s passage (NRSV) is here: http://www.biblestudytools.com/nrs/matthew/1.html

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2 Responses

  1. Just wondering how others found the transition to the New Testament today. My experience was that Matthew seemed so much more “alive” having read the OT in such depth beforehand (and I still have a few OT prophets to catch up on before Holy Saturday!).

    This is still such a challenging and amazing experience and I am led to wonder and pray how God will use it?

    • Yes, there’s quite a gear change. Part of that is the significant gap in time, but there is a real sense of Jesus arriving “with authority” albeit with a remarkable sort of authority that shoulders our sufferings too. I was struck by how he is full-octane in everything he does: total challenge to holiness, but total invitation to all, totally forgiving etc. Rather different from the nuanced balances which are often our stock in trade.

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