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Thursday, July 25th, 2024
the Week of Proper 11 / Ordinary 16
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Bible Commentaries

Concordant Commentary of the New TestamentConcordant NT Commentary

- Matthew

by A.E. Knoch



MATTHEW manifests the Messiah as the Son of David and the Son of Abraham. He is the King of Israel and the Owner of the land. His genealogy is presented to prove His title to the throne and attest His inheritance from the father of the faithful. This account is occupied with the kingdom to Israel and the land of promise. It is concerned with the covenants made with Abraham and with David. The four accounts or portraitures of Christ give four discriminated aspects of their common subject: and are not intended to be “harmonized”. Each writer has his peculiar principles of selection and arrangement. Matthew's account, ever recognized as the Hebrew gospel, is the true commencement of the Greek scriptures, showing how they grow out of the Hebrew writings. It quotes at every step from the older scriptures. It is both a history and a fulfillment of prophecy. Matthew never rises above the plane Israel's interests and hopes. The characteristic phrase is “the kingdom of the heavens”. This refers to Daniel's prophecy, “And in the days of these kings the God of the heavens shall set up a kingdom which shall not be harmed for the eon, and the kingdom shall not be left to another people. It shall crush and terminate all these kingdoms.... ( Dan_2:44 ). “And the kingdom and the authority and the majesty of the kingdom under all the heavens is granted to the people of the saints of the supremacies...” ( Dan_7:27 ) It is a kingdom in the sense that Babylon, Medo-Persia and Greece were kingdoms; it is still future; it is the rule of one people over other nations; yet it will not be destroyed as its predecessors in world dominion, but will last for the eons. Notwithstanding the fact that Messiah is sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel ( Mat_15:24 ) and that He forbade His apostles to go to the nations or Samaritans ( Mat_10:5 ), the few instances in which the aliens are mentioned are most significant. Four gentile women enter the genealogy ( Mat_1:3-6 ). Tamar's sin introduced her into the line of ancestry, Rahab came in by faith. In Ruth's case grace triumphed over the law that would ban a Moabite from the congregation of Jehovah. Bathsheba reminds us of David's great transgression and shows us grace reigning despite sin. The magi come to worship Him, while Herod seeks His life ( Mat_2:1-12 ). The centurion exhibits a faith unknown in Israel ( Mat_8:5-12 ). The Canaanitish woman is commended for her confidence in Christ ( Mat_15:21-28 ). Pilate and his wife refuse responsibility when the Jews seek to condemn Him ( Mat_27:10 ; Mat_27:24 ). The centurion at the cross acknowledges that He is the Son of God ( Mat_27:54 ). It is only at the end of the account, after all authority on earth is in the hands of the King, that the disciples are commissioned to go and make disciples of all nations. This cannot occur until the kingdom comes. Thus the proclamation of the kingdom of the heavens is restricted to the people of whom he prophet Daniel spoke. The narrative is divided into two distinct periods, each of which begins with His acknowledgement as Son of God by a voice from heaven and closes by its acknowledgment by men, the first by the disciples the second by the nations. The first extends from John's baptism Mat_3:16-17 ), and closes with Peter's confession ( Mat_16:16 ). During this period the kingdom is proclaimed and rejected, so that He forbids its further proclamation. The second period is occupied with His priestly preparation for the sacrifice on Golgotha. It begins with the transformation on the mount ( Mat_17:1-5 ) where Moses and Elijah spoke of His decease, and continued to the crucifixion, where the centurion said, “Truly this was God's Son!” ( Mat_27:54 ).

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