Sometimes the Servant is identified with the nation Israel Isa , , , and sometimes as an individual who brings salvation to the nation Isa , —7, , , But Israel turned inward and failed to fulfill their calling. Jesus, by contrast, remains faithful to his mission and shows himself to be the true Servant of the Lord. Jesus is a new Moses, inaugurating the new covenant and bringing the law given at Mount Sinai to its fulfillment.
All of these have their roots in the Old Testament and point in one way or another to the theme of fulfillment and the coming of the kingdom of heaven.
So who was Matthew and why did he write this Gospel? Strictly speaking, all four Gospels are anonymous, meaning that the authors do not name themselves. Church tradition, however, tells us that the author of the first gospel was Matthew, a tax collector Jesus called to be his disciple Matt , Little else is known about Matthew.
For whom did Matthew write? While Mark tends to explain Jewish customs for his readers Mark —4, , suggesting a predominantly Gentile audience, Matthew often presents them without explanation ceremonial washings, Mark ; the temple tax, Mark ; phylacteries and tassels, Mark ; whitewashed tombs, Mark While these points would suggest a Jewish audience, Matthew also has some of the strongest indictments against the Jewish religious leaders. For example, what in Mark is a brief warning against the scribes Mark becomes in Matthew an extended tirade against the teachers of the law and the Pharisees Matt — Jesus castigates them as hypocrites, blind guides, fools, greedy, self-indulgent, murderers, even sons of snakes.
Strong language indeed!
To understand why, go to Is Christianity Anti-Semitic? You can be one of the people who helps your Jewish friend find that truth!
So with all these tips, will it be easy to share your faith with Jewish friends? Because God has a special part for you to play in the salvation of Jewish people, as Paul said in Romans I say then, have they [the Jewish people] stumbled that they should fall? Certainly not! But through their fall, to provoke them to jealousy, salvation has come to the Gentiles.
As you live out the love and grace of the gospel and freely share what Jesus has done for you, you will take your place as part of that wonderful group of people who will cause Jewish people to want to know more about Jesus.
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