Four times in the first two chapters of Matthew the evangelist uses the citation formula, “This happened to fulfill what had been spoken [by the Lord] through the prophet” (Matthew 1:22; 2:14, 17, 23). What is the purpose of these citations? What does Matthew mean by “fulfilled”? What we will discover is that Matthew is not in search of mere messianic “proof texts,” but rather that he engages his Scriptures with the fundamental hermeneutical conviction that Jesus Messiah brings an end to Israel’s exile and thus unlocks the promised blessing for the nations.
Even though we ask God to deliver us from painful situations, sometimes He chooses to take us through the wilderness first! In this chapter, you’ll consider the parallels between the Israelite’s exodus from Egypt and Jesus’ escape to Egypt as a child.
Life is full of suffering, and while we can’t always make our problems disappear, we can at least know that Jesus understands our pain. In this chapter, you’ll reflect on the lament of Jeremiah 31 and its connection to Jesus’ birth.
It should come as no surprise to us that the present is so often connected to the past. In this chapter, you’ll learn why Matthew, when writing about the life of Jesus, quoted this ancient prophecy: “He will be called a Nazarene.”
After Jesus rose from the dead, He commissioned us to make disciples of all nations. But making disciples of those who are different from us can be a challenge! In this chapter, you’ll consider how the Great Commission teaches us to live in community together.
The last thing that Jesus said before He ascended into heaven is that He would be with us. In this chapter, you’ll explore how the Holy Spirit’s presence in your life helps you.