Someone asks why Matthew selected and arranged his Gospel material as he did, and why we believe that Matthew was written especially for the Jews.
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Just as the Old Testament begins with five books of Moses (Pentateuch), Matthew structures his Gospel in five sections — each consisting of a teaching by Jesus (chaps. 5-7, 10, 13, 18, 24-25) followed by a piece of the Gospel story (chapters 8-9, 11-12, 14-17, 19-23, 26-27). Matthew introduces these five sections in chapters 1-4, and he follows them with an epilogue in chapter 28. All five teachings of Jesus concern the Kingdom of God. He speaks of kingdom righteousness (5-7), kingdom preaching (10), the nature of the kingdom (13), kingdom brotherhood (19), and kingdom power and conquest (24-25).
Matthew’s entire Gospel presents Jesus as the fulfillment or embodiment of Old Testament themes, promises, aspirations and hopes. In this Gospel’s introduction, Jesus is the Messiah who personally walks the steps of ancient Israel (chaps. 1-4). Israel, whom God called his “son,” went down into Egypt to escape death (by famine) and later came up out of Egypt. Israel went through the water (Red Sea or Sea of Reeds), into the desert, where they hungered, tested by God for 40 years to see whether they would obey him or not. Then Israel went to a mountain (Sinai) where God gave them a law, in a covenant which depended on them.
Matthew tells us of Jesus, the Son of God (Matt. 1:18-25), who went down into Egypt to escape death (by King Herod), and later came up out of Egypt (Matt. 2:13-15, 19-23; Hosea 11:1). At age 30, Jesus goes through the water (of John’s baptism – Matt. 3) and into the desert or wilderness, where he hungers. There God tests him for 40 days to see whether he will obey him or not (Matt. 4, where Jesus three times quotes from Deuteronomy). Then Jesus goes to a mountain (Mount of the Beatitudes) where he gives his disciples a law (Matt. 5-7), in a covenant which depends on God (Matt. 5:3-6). Jesus is the true Israel, the originator of the new People of God which finally will include believing Jews and believers from among the nations.