The Gospel According to St. Matthew

Today's Bible reading: Matthew 5:1-48

So, first: Why the winged man for Matthew?  In his Gospel this evangelist stresses the human nature of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.  The opening verse reads: “The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham.”  Matthew - writing from a Hebrew point of view - traces the lineage of Jesus to establish that He is truly a descendent of Hebrew forefathers.  Matthew himself - prior to his calling into the apostleship - was not a winged, or angelic, man.  He had been a publican - a hated tax collector - in the service of either the Romans or their puppet, King Herod.  We are not specifically told that he cheated, as Zacchaeus had done, but overcharging the taxpayers was pretty well built into the system of “farming out” to the highest bidders the business of collecting taxes.  Matthew’s name before he became a follower of Jesus was Levi.  Many others who had a change of heart also changed their names.

The theme of Matthew’s gospel might well be stated as: Jesus is the Messianic King who fulfills the Old Testament promise to God's people.

Prayer: Lead us, eternal God, to treasure the testimony to our blessed Lord Jesus Christ written by the Evangelists.  Help us to find the Gospel’s eternal truth and the way of salvation.  Speak Your living words to our hearts from each chapter and verse.  This we ask in the name of Your Son and Our Savior.  Amen.