Tax Collector Turns Disciple

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Matthew’s gospel is the first book of the New Testament and the second part of the Christian Bible. It is 28 Chapters long and in it, Matthew, one of the twelve disciples describes the works of Jesus, the Son of God and his ministries and miracles.

Before being called to be a disciple, Matthew was a tax collector by trade and not liked by many. He was enlisted by Jesus becoming one of his twelve disciples and going on to become one of those who spread the word of the gospel around Europe and Africa in the early days of the Christian church.

Through his gospel, Matthew’s purpose was to prove to the Jews at that time that Jesus was the Messiah and emphasized the fulfillment of old testament prophecy using terminology including things like, “the kingdom of heaven”. He compared Jesus’s life to that of Israelite’s the chosen people of God. Jesus came out of Egypt as in the Exodus of the Israelite’s crossed the Jordan as they did the red sea and wandered in the desert for 40 days while the Israelite’s wandered for 40 years.

Matthew starts off his book with the genealogy of Jesus going back to Abraham the father of Isaac.

This is done in three stages. Abraham to Jesse the father of King David, then David to Josiah during the time of the exile to Babylon, then after the exile Jeconiah the father of Shealtiel, to Jacob the father of Joseph the husband to Mary, Jesus’s mother.

There are fourteen generations in each section giving a total of forty-two from Abraham to Jesus. This is to show the bloodline of Jesus right back to the start of the covenant that God set up with Abraham the father of the Israelites.

The next section of Matthew’s gospel describes the birth of Jesus from his humble beginnings being born in a stable to his escape to Egypt to get away from Herod a jealous King who wanted to kill him. From here we have a time gap until when Jesus returns to start his ministry at the approximate age of thirty.

Jesus then gets baptized by John his cousin and receives the Holy Spirit.

From here Jesus then wanders in the desert for forty days and nights fasting and gets tempted by the devil three times. Jesus resisted and the devil left him to be tended by the angels.

At the end of chapter 4, we read of the first call of the disciples when Peter and his brother Andrew were told to follow him and they left their fishing boat and did so without question.

Over the next chapters, Matthew describes the many miracles and teaching of Jesus as they pass from village to village spreading the word of God. As we progress Jesus starts to predict his death and resurrection in small bites that the disciples and people are unsure about.

In chapter 26 we read of the plot by the Pharisees to kill Jesus this involves the betrayal by Judas for thirty silver coins on his whereabouts, followed by the lashings from the Roman soldiers. Then onto the refusal of the people to let him go free from Pilot’s care who at that time was the Roman leader of the region.

In chapter 27 we read of Jesus being crucified by the Roman soldiers who threw die for his robes and mocked him. The crucifixion lasted about six hours with Jesus giving up his spirit at three in the afternoon which was the time the Pharisees would have been sitting for prayers.

At that moment the curtain in the temple was torn in two and there was a great earthquake that shook the whole city. Also, holy people who had previously died were raised to life and run into the holy city appearing to many.

Then in chapter 28 the last chapter we read of Jesus being raised from the dead and coming back to tell the disciples he has risen. It is here he tells them to go into all nations baptizing them and teaching them to obey everything He had commanded them and that he will be with them until the end of days.

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