Thus says HaShem: “Stand in the ways and see, and ask for the ancient paths, where the good way is, and walk in it; then you will find rest for your souls.”
But they said, ‘We will not walk in it.‘
You stiff-necked and uncircumcised in heart and ears! You always resist the Holy Spirit; as your fathers did, so do you. Which of the prophets did your fathers not persecute? And they killed those who foretold the coming of the Just One, of whom you now have become the betrayers and murderers, who have received the Torah by the direction of angels and have not kept it.
Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.
- Written by Mattityahu Levi, one of the Twelve Disciples. Likely from the Tribe of Levi.
- Although we received it in Greek, there is internal as well as historical evidence that it may have originally been written in Hebrew. Idioms and themes are extremely Hebraic. Shem Tov and DuTillet are not the original, but may contain some parts of it if it exists.
- The Hebraic nature of the book silences critics.
- It is 1 of the 3 “Synoptics” (Matthew, Mark, Luke), which contain significantly similar material. The Synoptics possibly drew from a single predecessor, or from a common unknown source (so-called “Q” source).
- All four “Gospels” were accepted as inspired at the very beginning.
Purpose: Reveal the Continuity of the Promise
- 1:1: The promise of the Seed of David – the King.
- 1:21: The promise of the Seed – the Redeemer.
- 1:23: The promise of G-d dwelling among man – the Kingdom of HaShem on earth.
- 3:2; 4:17; 9:13; 10:1-7: Repent! The Kingdom of Heaven is at hand! Compare to Malachi 4:4-6): the message is the same: return to the instructions of G-d, because the promised King is coming. This is the “good news” – the “Gospel.”
- 3:11: The sign of repentance: immersion in a mikvah – as practiced in the First Century, it was not a “sacrament” or invention of the “church.” The mikvah always signifies a change in status.
Revealed in the Redemptive Identity
- 1:1; 17: Genealogy: 3 sets of 14. Gematra of “David” [dalet-vav-dalet] = 14. The book starts out by declaring “David! David! David!” (note: 5 women listed, 3 are Gentile)
- The Mashiach ben David [Messiah Son of David] title is the primary prophetic identity of Messiah.
- Messiah, Son of David… King.
- The birth account furthers the validity of the Royal title, but also a glimpse into the mystery of King Messiah being more than simply a descendant of King David.
Revealed in Master/Disciple Relationship
- The norm of First Century Judaism was master/disciple. It was not a “Christian invention.” It is foundational in understanding the Talmud and the Apostolic Scriptures (Deut 6:6-7).
- Duties of a talmid [disciple]:
- Memorize the master’s sayings.
- Learn the master’s understanding of Torah and halachah [application of Torah]. How he prays, how he keeps Sabbath, etc.
- Imitate the master.
- When fully trained, to make new talmidim [disciples] for the master after he is gone (dies).
- The Hebraic use of parables: NOT metaphors. Designed to take real life examples and make a single point.
- 6-7: “Sermon on the Mount” – the Master’s Torah understanding. Common rabbinic formula: “You have heard it said. I say to you…”
- 10:32-39: The cost of Discipleship. There is no such thing as believers who are not talmidim of Yeshua. He is the Master. Half-way commitment is not an option.
- Matthew does not introduce new concepts. It expands the revelation of redemption. It uses the same language, images, and lifestyle.
- The primary purpose of Matthew is to reveal the continuity of the Promise. Yeshua is Mashiach ben David. He is Messiah Son of David. He is the long-promised Seed. He is the promised Son of David. His Throne is forever… and His Kingdom is the Kingdom of G-d on earth.