Introduction to Matthew
The gospel of Matthew is attributed to a tax collector named Matthew; in fact, he’s the same tax collector who Jesus calls to follow Him in Matthew 9:9. Matthew was a Jew from Galilee whose life was forever changed on the fateful day when he met Christ. Because he was a tax collector, he would have been trained to write and had the abilities to record this firsthand account of the life, death, and resurrection of Christ.
Matthew’s focus in his gospel shows us Jesus as the true King of the Jews, the One who came to fulfill the messianic prophecies of old. Matthew begins his gospel with a genealogy tracking Jesus’ lineage back to both David and Abraham, reminding us of Christ’s Jewish roots. But even as he traces back, he also points forward to the story of a new King, Jesus, who has come to save His people from their sin. As we continue to read in Matthew, we will begin to understand that “His people” doesn’t just refer to the lost sheep of Israel, the Jews, but will expand to include the Gentiles, the nations.
Thus, Matthew’s gospel speaks to the Jew, beseeching him to trust in Christ as the true Messiah, while also speaking to the Gentiles proclaiming the good news of the gospel, that salvation is offered to all who believe, regardless of ethnicity.