The Testing of God’s Son
Truth Taught- When tested, Jesus remained true to His Father
and His mission.
By way of introduction, what we have in this passage typically titled the temptation of Christ is really something quite different. We’ve usually been taught that this is Satan’s temptation of our Lord and that is true on a surface level and from Satan’s perspective, however, what is really going on here is much different. What is really going on here is God’s testing. Satan will do everything in his power to tempt Jesus and Jesus will prove undefeatable by the devil or any other opponent. In many ways Jesus is thrown into the deep end of the pool and proves He is a great swimmer. No opponent will ever defeat King Jesus, not even Satan, himself.
Satan goal is to persuade Jesus to act against God’s will.
The Baptism of Jesus the Messiah
Truth Taught-At Jesus’ baptism, He is marked, anointed and declared to be God’s Messiah and God’s Son
So far in Matthew’s Gospel we’ve been looking at the birth and infancy of Jesus and we’ve looked at the ministry of John the Baptist. Now, Jesus is an adult and His path and John’s path intersect.
John’s ministry is about to come to its pinnacle as he baptizes Jesus, the Messiah. After today’s text, we will see John’s ministry decrease and fade away as Jesus now bursts onto the scene. John’s task of getting the people ready for the Messiah ends as the Messiah appears.
The Kingdom of Heaven is at Hand
Truth Taught- We are called to repent and believe because the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand.
It is very fitting that as we leave the Christmas season we also leave baby Jesus. We love to hear about and sing about the birth of our Savior but now is the time for transition. In our text today, Jesus is all grown up. No more a baby in the manger, no more an infant who needs care and protection. Jesus is just about to burst onto the stage of human history.
The Nobody-Messiah From Nowhere
Truth Taught-The Old Testament teaches that Jesus the Messiah-King would have no worldly status and be despised and rejected by people
Jesus is not going to be the Messiah-King that people think He’s going to be. He is not interested in the status quo… the existing state of affairs, especially regarding social or political issues.
Status is a big deal in our society. And status is often measured in very superficial terms: like according to what kind of clothes you wear, what kind of car you drive, the house you own and where you live. The people that our popular culture idolizes and regards as successful are those who possess the right outward symbols of status, power and wealth.
Jesus, The Messiah-King Born in the City of David
Truth Taught- According to Old Testament prophecy the Messiah would be born in Bethlehem, the City of David
Last time as we looked at the birth narrative from Joseph’s perspective we saw the first of five Old Testament quotes by Matthew to prove that Jesus of Nazareth is the Messiah.
Last time we saw that he quoted from Isaiah 7:14 a virgin shall conceive and you will call him Immanuel. By quoting this passage and connecting it to Jesus’ birth narrative, Matthew is telling us that the Messiah will be born of a virgin.
Jesus, The Messiah-King from the Line of David
Truth Taught- The Messiah-King is Conceived of the Holy Spirit and Born of the Virgin Mary
If we do a study of the Kings of Israel and Judah we discover very quickly that the majority of the kings were evil and did not obey God. Every king that Israel had was evil all 19, in fact. Judah had a few considered good but Judah had mostly evil kings. Why does this matter? Well it matters because we also learn very quickly that we cannot put our trust and hopes in any person. We must never think that people will ever save us. We cannot put our trust in kings, presidents, politicians, church leaders, Popes or anyone else. People will always fail to save us. But there is this One King…If God was going to save His people through a King, there had to be something different take place. Something outside of the norm would have to happen in order for God’s King to actually save His people.
The reign of this special King is foretold throughout the Old Testament in places like…
Jeremiah 23:5–6 (ESV)
5 “Behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when I will raise up for David a righteous Branch, and he shall reign as king and deal wisely, and shall execute justice and righteousness in the land. 6 In his days Judah will be saved, and Israel will dwell securely. And this is the name by which he will be called: ‘The Lord is our righteousness.’
Every time a new king ascended the Davidic Throne the people had high hopes that maybe this would be the one God promised, the righteous branch, and every time they were disappointed. Israel and Judah endured many many evil kings while they waited for the Promised Messiah, the King who was the Son of David and David’s righteous branch. The truth was David had many unrighteous branches. Israel had 20 evil kings and Judah had 19 kings and none proved faithful to the degree the OT spoke of.
So, something different will need to happen in order for a King to be the Deliverer and One who would be just and righteous.
Last time we saw that Jesus was from the Davidic line and that He was the descendant that finished the third group of 14 showing that He alone qualified by birth to be the Messiah. As great as Matthew’s lineage of the Jesus was it sort of ends not with the bang we might have hoped for but rather…
Matthew 1:15–16 (ESV)
15 and Eliud the father of Eleazar, and Eleazar the father of Matthan, and Matthan the father of Jacob, 16 and Jacob the father of Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom Jesus was born, who is called Christ.
I’m not sure you caught it last time but Matthew goes to great lengths to actually show us Joseph’s lineage not technically Jesus’.
One key that Matthew highlights is that Jesus the Messiah is from the line of David but not from the flesh of David. This is how God did it. This is how God saved His people by a King. Jesus came from the Davidic line through Joseph. Jesus was the rightful heir to the Throne of David and at the same time was not of David’s flesh. This is the key role Joseph played in Jesus’ life. Jesus was the rightful heir to the Davidic throne through Joseph.
How will God save His people through a King? Let’s pray and discover together the amazing plan God had through the centuries to save His people through His anointed King.
Matthew 1:18–25 (ESV)
18 Now the birth of Jesus Christ took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit. 19 And her husband Joseph, being a just man and unwilling to put her to shame, resolved to divorce her quietly. 20 But as he considered these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. 21 She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” 22 All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet:
23 “Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son,
and they shall call his name Immanuel”
(which means, God with us). 24 When Joseph woke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him: he took his wife, 25 but knew her not until she had given birth to a son. And he called his name Jesus.
In God’s sovereignty His plan was as good as accomplished. From Joseph’s perspective there were still a couple of issues God needed to resolve. He needs Joseph to go through with the betrothal and final marriage with Mary even though she is clearly pregnant and in order for Jesus to be in the line of David, Joseph needs to accept Jesus as his own Son by adoption. Let’s look together at how God works through this just and merciful man named, Joseph…
18 Now the birth of Jesus Christ took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit. 19 And her husband Joseph, being a just man and unwilling to put her to shame, resolved to divorce her quietly. 20 But as he considered these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit.
I want to work our way through this section (18-20) to discover some facts concerning the conception of Jesus the Messiah.
The Lineage of the Messiah
Truth Taught-God has fulfilled all His promises to Abraham and David in Christ.
Today we officially begin the Gospel of Matthew. I wanted to begin by looking together at what is a Gospel? I’m not referring to the Gospel in the sense of the plan of salvation per se but a Gospel in the sense of the four books we have in our Bibles referred to as Gospels, namely, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.
A Gospel is a type of literature it’s in a category by itself. A Gospel has a purpose, each of the four was written with a purpose. They are the chronicles of Jesus. They record who Jesus is, His acts or the things He does and His words, what He says and teaches.
The Gospels are not the same but each writer captures different aspect of Jesus’ life. Sometimes they record the same event and sometimes they record different events.
The Gospels are so important because they give us a window into Jesus’ life. We learn about our Savior first hand in the Gospels.
As we begin we should ask who is Matthew? The writer of the Gospel of Matthew was the Tax Collector that met Jesus and was converted and called to be one of His disciples.
Mark 2:14 (ESV)
14 And as he passed by, he saw Levi the son of Alphaeus sitting at the tax booth, and he said to him, “Follow me.” And he rose and followed him.
In this one verse we see that Levi (Hebrew) Matthew (Greek) was going about his normal day of cheating his own people. There is a whole history behind how one got to be a tax collector and how they sold out their own people to the Romans and how they cheated as many as they could so they could keep the profit. This was Matthew until the divine call entered his ears. In that instant God changed everything in Matthew to make him able to obey Jesus’ command to follow Him. This is a Lazarus type event. In the twinkling of an eye Matthew’s heart was changed from the love of money to the love of Christ and the tax booth no longer was a means of wealth but a burden to be left and he walked out of that booth free and clear and followed Jesus the rest of his life because he found true riches in Jesus. God’s irresistible grace was at work in Matthew’s call. Jesus called Him to be His disciple and Matthew stands up and walks away. It sounds like he left everything behind…the day’s take of money, records, probably even his lunchbox all Matthew could see was Jesus.
Today, Matthew wants to teach us who this Jesus is that changed him so drastically from a thief to a follower. He does this by stating who Jesus is and then gives us the list of His ancestors to prove that what he tells us is true. Here is this long list of descendants he not only tells us who Jesus is but proves to us by His lineage exactly and without a doubt who He is. So, this record is proof and the way Matthew arranges this genealogical record is brilliant and shows God’s sovereignty every step of the way. It is very fitting to begin with The Lineage of the Messiah
Matthew 1:1–17 (ESV)
1 The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham.
2 Abraham was the father of Isaac, and Isaac the father of Jacob, and Jacob the father of Judah and his brothers, 3 and Judah the father of Perez and Zerah by Tamar, and Perez the father of Hezron, and Hezron the father of Ram, 4 and Ram the father of Amminadab, and Amminadab the father of Nahshon, and Nahshon the father of Salmon, 5 and Salmon the father of Boaz by Rahab, and Boaz the father of Obed by Ruth, and Obed the father of Jesse, 6 and Jesse the father of David the king.
And David was the father of Solomon by the wife of Uriah, 7 and Solomon the father of Rehoboam, and Rehoboam the father of Abijah, and Abijah the father of Asaph, 8 and Asaph the father of Jehoshaphat, and Jehoshaphat the father of Joram, and Joram the father of Uzziah, 9 and Uzziah the father of Jotham, and Jotham the father of Ahaz, and Ahaz the father of Hezekiah, 10 and Hezekiah the father of Manasseh, and Manasseh the father of Amos, and Amos the father of Josiah, 11 and Josiah the father of Jechoniah and his brothers, at the time of the deportation to Babylon.
12 And after the deportation to Babylon: Jechoniah was the father of Shealtiel, and Shealtiel the father of Zerubbabel, 13 and Zerubbabel the father of Abiud, and Abiud the father of Eliakim, and Eliakim the father of Azor, 14 and Azor the father of Zadok, and Zadok the father of Achim, and Achim the father of Eliud, 15 and Eliud the father of Eleazar, and Eleazar the father of Matthan, and Matthan the father of Jacob, 16 and Jacob the father of Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom Jesus was born, who is called Christ.
17 So all the generations from Abraham to David were fourteen generations, and from David to the deportation to Babylon fourteen generations, and from the deportation to Babylon to the Christ fourteen generations.
1 The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham.
Matthew gives us the record of the Messiah’s lineage. This is literally the Greek reading of the first verse.
Let’s not shoot across this verse and miss the magnificent claim Matthew makes. Matthew is claiming Messiahship for Jesus. He does this first by calling Him Christ, which is the Greek title for Messiah. Matthew calls Jesus the Messiah. Make no mistake Jesus is the long awaited Messiah Matthew says He is.
1 The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham.
He is also the Messiah by virtue of the fact that Jesus is the Son of David and the Son of Abraham.
Why is this important? I want to answer that question first. It is important because Messiah means King. Here’s where being the Son of David finds significance.
God made a covenant with King David and promised him that his kingdom would never end, that there would always be a King sitting on his throne and ruling his kingdom.
Introduction to Matthew’s Gospel: Jesus, the New Abraham
Founding the New Israel
Truth Taught- Jesus is the new Abraham leading the new Israel of God
Jesus, as the New Abraham leads a new people to be worshippers of God.
Like Moses who was mightily used by God so to Abraham is a key figure in Israel’s history. Abraham is the beginning of the collective people of God. The Nation of Israel was special in God’s sight and He extended to them many blessings. In time Israel would reject God. In their disobedience throughout the centuries God would finally reject them as His people.
This fact is a significant emphasis in Matthew’s Gospel.
Through the OT God warned Israel that their sin would ultimately have grave consequences for the Nation…
Deuteronomy 28:15–20 (ESV)
15 “But if you will not obey the voice of the Lord your God or be careful to do all his commandments and his statutes that I command you today, then all these curses shall come upon you and overtake you. 16 Cursed shall you be in the city, and cursed shall you be in the field. 17 Cursed shall be your basket and your kneading bowl. 18 Cursed shall be the fruit of your womb and the fruit of your ground, the increase of your herds and the young of your flock. 19 Cursed shall you be when you come in, and cursed shall you be when you go out.
20 “The Lord will send on you curses, confusion, and frustration in all that you undertake to do, until you are destroyed and perish quickly on account of the evil of your deeds, because you have forsaken me.
Did you see that to sin is to forsake God?
New Testament Scholars see the cleansing of the temple event in Matthew’s gospel as enacted prophecy of the destruction of the temple itself. The account of the withering fig tree is another prophetic picture of Israel’s ultimate demise as God’s people.
Probably the most important picture of Israel being rejected by God is found in Matthew’s account of Jesus’ parable of the wicked servants and the vineyard.
Matthew 21:33–46 (ESV)
33 “Hear another parable. There was a master of a house who planted a vineyard and put a fence around it and dug a winepress in it and built a tower and leased it to tenants, and went into another country. 34 When the season for fruit drew near, he sent his servants to the tenants to get his fruit. 35 And the tenants took his servants and beat one, killed another, and stoned another. 36 Again he sent other servants, more than the first. And they did the same to them. 37 Finally he sent his son to them, saying, ‘They will respect my son.’ 38 But when the tenants saw the son, they said to themselves, ‘This is the heir. Come, let us kill him and have his inheritance.’ 39 And they took him and threw him out of the vineyard and killed him. 40 When therefore the owner of the vineyard comes, what will he do to those tenants?” 41 They said to him, “He will put those wretches to a miserable death and let out the vineyard to other tenants who will give him the fruits in their seasons.”
42 Jesus said to them, “Have you never read in the Scriptures:
“ ‘The stone that the builders rejected
has become the cornerstone;
this was the Lord’s doing,
and it is marvelous in our eyes’?
43 Therefore I tell you, the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people producing its fruits. 44 And the one who falls on this stone will be broken to pieces; and when it falls on anyone, it will crush him.”
45 When the chief priests and the Pharisees heard his parables, they perceived that he was speaking about them. 46 And although they were seeking to arrest him, they feared the crowds, because they held him to be a prophet.
Matthew understands that the Kingdom of God will be taken away from Israel and given to another who will make up a new nation being built of God’s elect from both Jews and Gentiles.
Abraham’s Call and Covenant
Genesis 12:1–3 (ESV)
12 Now the Lord said to Abram, “Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you. 2 And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. 3 I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”
Genesis 15:1–6 (ESV)
15 After these things the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision: “Fear not, Abram, I am your shield; your reward shall be very great.” 2 But Abram said, “O Lord God, what will you give me, for I continue childless, and the heir of my house is Eliezer of Damascus?” 3 And Abram said, “Behold, you have given me no offspring, and a member of my household will be my heir.” 4 And behold, the word of the Lord came to him: “This man shall not be your heir; your very own son shall be your heir.” 5 And he brought him outside and said, “Look toward heaven, and number the stars, if you are able to number them.” Then he said to him, “So shall your offspring be.” 6 And he believed the Lord, and he counted it to him as righteousness.
Introduction to Matthew’s Gospel: Jesus, the New Moses
Truth Taught- Jesus is a Greater Savior, Redeemer and Deliverer than Moses
Every Gospel writer has a purpose in writing. These emphases show themselves as specific and pointed themes that can be chased down as one reads these amazing accounts of our Lord.
Purpose of Mark’s Gospel…
One of the most predominant themes in Mark’s Gospel is the messianic secret. Jesus does not reveal, or admit to, his Messiahship in the first half of Mark’s Gospel. In the second half of the Gospel, however, he acknowledges it to the disciples after Peter’s confession, but commands them not to tell anybody (8:27-30).
Mark 8:27–30 (ESV)
27 And Jesus went on with his disciples to the villages of Caesarea Philippi. And on the way he asked his disciples, “Who do people say that I am?” 28 And they told him, “John the Baptist; and others say, Elijah; and others, one of the prophets.” 29 And he asked them, “But who do you say that I am?” Peter answered him, “You are the Christ.” 30 And he strictly charged them to tell no one about him.
Luke’s purpose is found in his prologue…
Luke 1:1–4 (ESV)
1 Inasmuch as many have undertaken to compile a narrative of the things that have been accomplished among us, 2 just as those who from the beginning were eyewitnesses and ministers of the word have delivered them to us, 3 it seemed good to me also, having followed all things closely for some time past, to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus, 4 that you may have certainty concerning the things you have been taught.
John’s purpose is to instill belief within his readers.
John 20:30–31 (ESV)
30 Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book; 31 but these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.
So, you’re no doubt wondering what is Matthew’s purpose? Why did he write? What is God’s theme(s) in Matthew?
There are 4 main themes through the pages of Matthew’s Gospel. Matthew presents Jesus as the New Moses, the New David, New Abraham, and the New Creator. These themes are very rich in meaning.
Today, we will look together at Jesus, the New Moses
Deuteronomy 18:15–19 (ESV)
15 “The Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among you, from your brothers—it is to him you shall listen— 16 just as you desired of the Lord your God at Horeb on the day of the assembly, when you said, ‘Let me not hear again the voice of the Lord my God or see this great fire any more, lest I die.’ 17 And the Lord said to me, ‘They are right in what they have spoken. 18 I will raise up for them a prophet like you from among their brothers. And I will put my words in his mouth, and he shall speak to them all that I command him. 19 And whoever will not listen to my words that he shall speak in my name, I myself will require it of him.
As we begin there are a few things we should see as far as foundational issues.
The Jews in the first century, the time the New Testament was written viewed the Deuteronomy text as a prophecy pointing to the coming Messiah. They often referred to the Messiah as the Prophet; pointing back to the promise God gave them some 1500 years earlier concerning the coming Messiah being a prophet like Moses.
Acts 3:22–26 (ESV)
22 Moses said, ‘The Lord God will raise up for you a prophet like me from your brothers. You shall listen to him in whatever he tells you. 23 And it shall be that every soul who does not listen to that prophet shall be destroyed from the people.’ 24 And all the prophets who have spoken, from Samuel and those who came after him, also proclaimed these days. 25 You are the sons of the prophets and of the covenant that God made with your fathers, saying to Abraham, ‘And in your offspring shall all the families of the earth be blessed.’ 26 God, having raised up his servant, sent him to you first, to bless you by turning every one of you from your wickedness.”
Matthew reaches back into the Old Testament to bring amazing truth to light. He shows is the supremacy of Jesus as the Superior Moses. The way he writes his Gospel expressly points to the fact that Jesus is the Prophet/Savior God promised His people during the time of Moses.
How is Jesus like Moses?
We are most likely familiar with the events surrounding our Savior’s birth. If one is familiar with these events and the events surrounding Moses’ birth a light should come on. There are similar things concerning the birth of Moses and of Jesus.
Do you remember the death of all the male children in Jerusalem by King Herod?
Matthew 2:16–18 (ESV)
16 Then Herod, when he saw that he had been tricked by the wise men, became furious, and he sent and killed all the male children in Bethlehem and in all that region who were two years old or under, according to the time that he had ascertained from the wise men. 17 Then was fulfilled what was spoken by the prophet Jeremiah:
18 “A voice was heard in Ramah,
weeping and loud lamentation,
Rachel weeping for her children;
she refused to be comforted, because they are no more.”
If you were a first-century Bible reader this would have no doubt made you think that you were reading something you’ve read before…
Exodus 1:15–17 (ESV)
15 Then the king of Egypt said to the Hebrew midwives, one of whom was named Shiphrah and the other Puah, 16 “When you serve as midwife to the Hebrew women and see them on the birthstool, if it is a son, you shall kill him, but if it is a daughter, she shall live.” 17 But the midwives feared God and did not do as the king of Egypt commanded them, but let the male children live.
Two evil and obsessed Kings thirsty for power command the male children to be put to death are not coincidental but, in fact, providential. Jesus is like Moses in His birth.
To make it even clearer that Matthew is showing Jesus as the New Moses he quotes from Exodus 4.
Matthew 2:19–21 (ESV)
19 But when Herod died, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt, 20 saying, “Rise, take the child and his mother and go to the land of Israel, for those who sought the child’s life are dead.” 21 And he rose and took the child and his mother and went to the land of Israel.
This is a direct quote from Exodus 4 found in the Greek OT.
Exodus 4:19 (ESV)
19 And the Lord said to Moses in Midian, “Go back to Egypt, for all the men who were seeking your life are dead.”
What’s remarkable is that these words spoken to Joseph come from an angel sent by God. The angel’s words are quoting the OT account of Moses returning once the coast is clear.
Just as Pharaoh (the King of Egypt ca. 1300 BC) killed all the baby boys of the Hebrews, and only Moses is saved (Exod 1:22 – 2:10), so also Herod (the King of Israel at the birth of Jesus) kills all the male babies in Bethlehem, and only Jesus is saved (Matt 2:13-18).
The first in depth example of Jesus’ teaching ministry that comes from Matthew’s Gospel is the Sermon on the Mount found in Matthew 5-7.
Matthew 5:1 (ESV)
5 Seeing the crowds, he went up on the mountain, and when he sat down, his disciples came to him.
Why is Matthew so concerned about telling us that Jesus ascended the mountain in order to teach His followers the Law of Moses? Because Matthew is showing us the Jesus is the greater Law-Giver, He is the New Moses.
Moses received and taught the Law from Mount Sanai so to show Jesus as the New Moses, Matthew presents Jesus up on the mountain delivering the New Law. What’s interesting to note is that Jesus did not receive the Law like Moses did because He is the very author of it.
When Matthew writes, he went up on the mountain; he is quoting from Exodus 19 in the Greek OT…
Exodus 19:3 (ESV)
3 while Moses went up to God. The Lord called to him out of the mountain, saying, “Thus you shall say to the house of Jacob, and tell the people of Israel:
When Matthew writes, the mountain he is comparing it to the mountain Moses ascended. It is not Matthew’s practice to put the definite article in front of the word mountain he has a purpose. He is directly comparing the mountain of Moses to the mountain of Jesus. Moses gave us the old covenant and Jesus gives us the far superior new covenant.
Today’s Christians see Moses mostly as a lawgiver but that is not an accurate picture of Moses. He was first and foremost a savior, redeemer, and deliverer.
Matthew’s greatest portrayal of Jesus as the New Moses goes like this: Just as Moses led Israel out of slavery in Egypt to freedom so Jesus leads His people out of slavery to sin to freedom as well.
We see the angel’s declaration…
Matthew 1:20–21 (ESV)
20 But as he considered these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. 21 She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.”
So, the New Moses will lead His people on a new exodus.
Matthew quotes Hosea 11:1 and connects it to Jesus showing that Jesus is the New Moses who leads his people on a new Exodus.
Matthew 2:13–15 (ESV)
13 Now when they had departed, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, “Rise, take the child and his mother, and flee to Egypt, and remain there until I tell you, for Herod is about to search for the child, to destroy him.” 14 And he rose and took the child and his mother by night and departed to Egypt 15 and remained there until the death of Herod. This was to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet, “Out of Egypt I called my son.”
What is Matthew getting at when he quotes Hosea in reference to Jesus, God’s Son coming out of Egypt? Matthew’s mission is to show his readers that Jesus’ departure from Egypt signals that Israel’s promised deliverance from Egypt (slavery to sin) has begun. As Jesus leads us out of spiritual bondage to sin into God’s promised land He is shouting, as it were, Pharaoh, let My people go!
Moses took the blood and dashed it on the people, and said, ‘See the blood of the covenant . . . that the Lord has made with you in accordance with all these words’ [Exodus 24:8]. . . . Through blood Moses was the mediator of the old covenant. Through blood Jesus is the mediator of the new covenant.”
Moses was the mediator of the OT Covenant between God and Israel. The covenant was God showing His special love and care to the Israelites. God establishes the covenant on Mount Sinai
Exodus 19:1–6 (ESV)
19 On the third new moon after the people of Israel had gone out of the land of Egypt, on that day they came into the wilderness of Sinai. 2 They set out from Rephidim and came into the wilderness of Sinai, and they encamped in the wilderness. There Israel encamped before the mountain, 3 while Moses went up to God. The Lord called to him out of the mountain, saying, “Thus you shall say to the house of Jacob, and tell the people of Israel: 4 ‘You yourselves have seen what I did to the Egyptians, and how I bore you on eagles’ wings and brought you to myself. 5 Now therefore, if you will indeed obey my voice and keep my covenant, you shall be my treasured possession among all peoples, for all the earth is mine; 6 and you shall be to me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.’ These are the words that you shall speak to the people of Israel.”
Moses delivers the covenant to God’s people and then encourages their obedience to it. He initiates the covenant by sprinkling blood of the sacrifice on the altar in Exodus 24.
Moses brought the OT Covenant and did all God told him to do. He mediated it, delivered it, encouraged Israel to keep it but that was all he could do. Ultimately, the people failed to keep it and there was nothing Moses could do about it.
Now lets look at the New Moses, namely our Lord Jesus.
The OT tells us that the New Covenant will be mediated by the Messiah. We have passages like Ezekiel 37, Deuteronomy 30, Jeremiah 31 and others. Here the allusions to the New Covenant remind us that the NC will not be a set of laws to obey but it will be transformational to the worshipper. In other words, the NC when initiated will change us on the inside and give God’s people a new heart one that seeks obedience to God.
Again we turn to Matthew’s Truth Taught…
Matthew 1:21 (ESV)
21 She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.”
Here, the angel is alluding to Ezekiel 36-37 where the promise of the NC is given.
Ezekiel 36:28–29 (ESV)
28 You shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers, and you shall be my people, and I will be your God. 29 And I will deliver you from all your uncleannesses. And I will summon the grain and make it abundant and lay no famine upon you.
In order to make a sinful people God’s people something radical has to take place.
Just like how the OC was instituted when Moses sprinkled the sacrificial blood on the alter in the Book of Exodus, so too the NC is instituted by the New Moses, our Lord Jesus Christ when He shed His own blood as the Sacrificial Lamb.
Matthew 26:26–28 (ESV)
26 Now as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and after blessing it broke it and gave it to the disciples, and said, “Take, eat; this is my body.” 27 And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he gave it to them, saying, “Drink of it, all of you, 28 for this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.
When Jesus began the Lord’s Supper He was sitting with His disciples celebrating the Passover meal. This was the first Exodus event when Moses led the Israelites out of slavery and into freedom. So too, Jesus declares that the next day He would be leading a new Passover not with the blood of bulls and goats but with His own blood. His blood would be sprinkled on the altar and He, the New Moses would lead all of His people from slavery to sin and into the Promised Land.
He is the only One qualified to be our Mediator because He is the only One who kept the Law of the OC perfectly. He applies His covenant keeping to us. When He died and His blood was shed all of God’s people were led out od slavery.
1 Corinthians 11:25 (ESV)
25 In the same way also he took the cup, after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.”
The New Moses leads us on a New Exodus to the New Promised Land.
Praise the mighty work of Jesus the Prophet, Savior, Deliverer like Moses and vastly superior to Moses.
Further reading Hebrews 3-4
Sometimes after a message is preached I call us to obedience in certain areas. We are to do what the passage tells us to do. Today I’d like to call us to a greater faith. In a sense call us to do nothing but believe. Jesus leads us home by the sprinkling of His blood the perfect sinless blood applied to us by the Holy Spirit. Salvation is being led out of bondage to sin and into the Promised Land and Jesus has done it all. He kept our part of the covenant that we failed to keep…that is given to us as righteousness. He paid our sin debt which we owed for us by dying on the cross and shedding His blood. He is the reason God is able to forgive our sin and still be holy. Jesus went into the Holy of Holies for us and made the perfect God required sacrifice and came out three days later.
Matthew by D A Carson in the Expositor’s Bible Commentary
A Theology of Matthew by Charles Quarles
A Gospel of Matthew by France
Matthew by Craig Bloomberg
Matthew by Doriani
Matthew by Charles Price
Matthew by Leon Morris
Blue Letter Bible