Matthew’s Gospel


TABLETALK DEVOTIONS WITH RC SPROUL

Matthew’s
Gospel
================
Matthew 5:17 “Do not think that I have come to
abolish the Law or the
Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to
fulfill them” (v. 17).

Patience is a virtue, it is said, probably because
waiting is so difficult.
Young children find themselves having to endure an
almost unbearably long
stretch of school days before the freedom of summer.
Engaged couples spend
what seems like ages waiting for their wedding day even
though the ceremony
may be only a few months away.

After the fall of
man (Gen. 3:1–13), God turned us over to the consequences of
our sin.
Strenuous labor, pain in childbirth, broken relationships, and
finally death
would be our lot (vv. 16–19). Yet our gracious Lord spoke good
news as well.
His curse would not last forever, one day the seed of the woman,
a people
holy unto the Lord, would crush the serpent and his seed (vv. 14–15).
Thus
began our long wait for Satan’s defeat.

Our Father did not start over
from scratch to keep this promise but chose some
out of fallen humanity to be
His own. Abraham and his seed would be the family
through which God would
bless the world (12:1–3). For centuries Abraham’s
offspring waited for the
great blessing they would share with the world. Yet
though there were times
when the patriarch’s seed blessed the earth (47:13–26;
Jonah 1–4), most of
the nation of Israel failed to be salt and light to the
world; thus, the Lord
kicked them out of the Promised Land (Deut. 28:58–68; 2
Kings 17:7–23;
25).

But God also promised an even greater blessing would come if His
exiled people
repented (Deut. 30:1–10). The covenant community would go back
to their land
and a holy son of David would rule the world when they turned
to Yahweh (Isa.
35; Zech. 12:7–9). Israel did return to Palestine (2 Chron.
36:22–23), but
national repentance did not follow (Mal. 2:10–17; 3:13–15),
and the Jews lived
as a shadow of their former selves, under the heel of one
empire after
another.

However, the faithful remnant in Israel
continued to trust God for His
blessing. Four hundred years or so after the
voice of prophecy fell silent in
Israel, the Father sent Jesus His Son to
fulfill His promises (Matt. 5:17).
The Gospel of Matthew explains how God has
kept His promise of salvation in
Christ.

Coram deo: Living before the
face of God
========================================
Take the time to look
over Matthew in preparation for our study. Find one
passage that you have not
spent much time examining. Meditate on that text
today and ask the Lord to
help you focus on His message. Commit yourself again
to lead the life of
discipleship to which our Savior has called you, a life
that you can live by
grace through the power of the Holy Spirit (Gal. 5:16).
Thank Him for His
transforming work in your life.

For further study:

Leviticus
26:44–45

The Bible in a year:

Genesis 1–2

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