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Chapter One: God with Us

Welcome to the Book of Matthew!

Follow along as we observe Jesus—the perfect missionary—through the eyes of one of His disciples. Jesus invites Matthew to walk with Him and work with Him as He lives out His divine purpose—declaring and demonstrating the ways of God’s kingdom to lost and desperate people.

And as Matthew records pivotal moments in Jesus’ life and teachings of Jesus, carefully weaving them into one of our earliest records of His ministry, what results acts as a field guide to “being” a disciple—and making them.

The pages of this book reveal layers of Jesus’ character and kingship that we might not grasp without close and prayerful study. Its revelations enable a more intimate walk with Him and equip us to share His message more truly and effectively.

We pray that no matter where you are in your walk with Jesus, this fresh look at the book of Matthew and our Savior’s life helps you move closer to Him.

Matthew 2:1-25

The Visit of the Wise Men

Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the east came to Jerusalem, saying, “Where is he who has been born king of the Jews? For we saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.” When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him; and assembling all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Christ was to be born. They told him, “In Bethlehem of Judea, for so it is written by the prophet:

“‘And you, O Bethlehem, in the land of Judah,
are by no means least among the rulers of Judah;
for from you shall come a ruler
who will shepherd my people Israel.’”

Then Herod summoned the wise men secretly and ascertained from them what time the star had appeared. And he sent them to Bethlehem, saying, “Go and search diligently for the child, and when you have found him, bring me word, that I too may come and worship him.” After listening to the king, they went on their way. And behold, the star that they had seen when it rose went before them until it came to rest over the place where the child was. When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy. And going into the house, they saw the child with Mary his mother, and they fell down and worshiped him. Then, opening their treasures, they offered him gifts, gold and frankincense and myrrh. And being warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they departed to their own country by another way.

The Flight to Egypt

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.” And he rose and took the child and his mother by night and departed to Egypt 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.”

In our journey through the Gospel of Matthew, we begin to uncover layers of understanding that equip us for God’s Great Commission. Our exploration of this book isn’t just academic; it’s deeply personal and transformative, aiming to deepen our relationship with Jesus.

After all, to invite others to follow Jesus, we must first know Him well ourselves. There’s always more to learn about our Savior; the more we discover, the closer we walk with Him and the more effectively we can guide others on this path.

In his book, Matthew invites us to explore the depth and richness of Jesus’ life, teachings, and mission. This Gospel acts as a field guide to making disciples, revealing layers of Jesus’ character and kingship that we might not grasp without a closer look. These revelations enable a more intimate walk with Him and equip us to share His message more truly and effectively.

Matthew introduces us to Jesus not just as a figure from history but as the fulfillment of God’s promises, the King in David’s lineage. This theme of kingship is woven throughout the Gospel, starting with Jesus’ genealogy in Matthew 1, highlighting His royal lineage, and continuing with the visit of the magi in Matthew 2, acknowledging Him as the “king of the Jews.” Jesus’ birthplace, Bethlehem, the “city of David,” further ties Him to David. Matthew guides us to realize that Jesus is the promised Son of David whose kingdom will be established forever (2 Samuel 7).

But Jesus’ kingship is not of this world. He inaugurates His kingdom through humility and sacrifice, a stark contrast to earthly power. This understanding of Jesus as King reshapes our approach to the Great Commission and discipleship. It’s a call to follow a King whose authority is expressed in loving service and whose kingdom is built on principles of mercy, justice, and humility.

As we reflect on Jesus’ kingship, let’s consider how this impacts our role in the Great Commission. How does this influence our understanding of being His disciples? It challenges us to embody the values of His kingdom in our daily lives, to serve others as He did, and to spread the good news of His love and salvation.

Matthew’s presentation of Jesus not only informs our intellect but invites a transformation of our hearts and actions. It calls us to embrace leadership marked by humility and service, mirroring Jesus’ own approach.

It urges us to grow as disciples of Jesus in a manner deeply rooted in His life and teachings rather than relying solely on pragmatic principles. Jesus’ example teaches us to value and love people of different ethnic and cultural backgrounds. It underscores the importance of extending compassion toward those in need. Instead of seeing ourselves as mere volunteers, we should view our mission as a direct command from our King.

Furthermore, Jesus’ example also prepares us for the inevitable rejection and suffering that comes with living out this mission, equipping us with the resilience needed to continue in obedience.

This Gospel does not merely inform us about Jesus but shapes us to reflect His image in the world, pushing us toward a life of impactful discipleship, unwavering commitment to Him, and making Him known.

It acts as a field guide for making disciples, anchored in a deep, personal knowledge of Jesus as the long-awaited Davidic King.

This Gospel doesn’t just narrate events; it reveals the essence of Jesus’ kingship—His mission, values, and the radical nature of His reign. To follow His command to make disciples, we must first immerse ourselves in knowing Jesus and allow Him to shape our understanding and our lives.

Only by doing so are we equipped to guide others in truly knowing and following Him, ensuring that our approach to discipleship is rooted in the authentic character and teachings of Jesus.

As we move forward together, let’s allow Matthew’s Gospel to lead us to live faithful lives that reflect the example of our King as we endeavor to lead others into the transformative journey of walking with Him.

Reflect

In his video, Chris invited us to reflect on Jesus’ kingship. This month, let’s set our minds on the authority and leadership of Jesus—the risen King who is ruling now and forevermore!

How do you think Jesus’ kingship and your understanding of authority and power in His kingdom impact your role in the Great Commission?

How does this shape how you understand what being His disciple means?

Pray

As we ponder the humble authority and loving power of our Lord and King, we invite you to pray for God’s increasing authority and power over your life.

Join us as we offer a short and simple prayer of longing:

Holy Spirit, lead me!

Let us learn to lift this cry of invitation moment by moment, breathing it through inhale and exhale. In so doing, we hope to become more and more aware of God’s presence and the Spirit’s prompting throughout our days.

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