The Person of Christ As Revealed in the Gospel of Matthew

Matthew 1

The first four chapters of the first Gospel yield quite a complex view
of our Lord. In the first chapter, He is spoken of as the Son of David,
the Messiah; also as the Son of Abraham, the Seed in Whom all the
nations of the world are to be blessed. This term also suggests the
family of faith. “They which are of faith, the same are the children of
Abraham” (Gal. 3:7). He is also the Son of the virgin, suggesting the
promised “Seed of the woman,” and declaring His miraculous birth, His
sinless nature, and the fact that He was not in Adam. He thus inherited
no sin, nor did death have any claim upon Him. This Son of the virgin
is the One foretold by the prophet as Immanuel, “God with us,” which
declares His Godhead. The name actually given to Him in fulfillment of
this prophecy, is full of significance - Jesus, “Jehovah the Savior.”
Jehovah, the name of the covenant–God of Israel, revealed in connection
with the redemption out of Egypt, by its form seems to point forward to
the future — the letter yodh being a sign of the future. That name
therefore was the pledge that there should come the true
covenant–Redeemer, who should save His people from their sins.

Matthew 2

Passing to the second chapter, we see the King of the Jews, born at
Bethlehem in fulfillment of the prophet’s words. It is not however the
homage of His own people that is rendered to Him, but of the wise men
of the East, in answer to the prophet’s words, “Gentiles shall come to
Thy light, and kings to the brightness of Thy rising.” (Isa. 60:3)

The flight into Egypt, and the subsequent residence at Nazareth, speak
of the rejection of the Messiah by His people: “He came unto His own,
and His own received Him not” (Jn. 1:11); He was the “root out of a dry
ground,” although the “root of David”; “He was despised and rejected of

Matthew 3

Chapter three describes the preaching of John the Baptist in
fulfillment of the prophet’s words, “The voice of one crying in the
wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make His paths straight.”
We may be sure that “the Lord,” Jehovah, spoken of in these words, is
none other than the Lord Jesus, whose way was prepared by John’s
preaching of repentance. John’s description of Him as One mightier than
himself, is confirmation of this. His baptism is not with water, the
outward form, but with the Holy Spirit and with fire. This was
accomplished at Pentecost, when cloven tongues of fire, the outward
emblem of the Holy Spirit, came upon the apostles. The final baptism of
fire still waits in the forbearance of God until the time for final
judgment shall be ripe. Surely we can think of none but a divine person
sending forth the Holy Spirit, the third person of the Godhead.

We have next a greater testimony than that of John. As Jesus is
baptized the heavens are opened, and God, the Father, from that
excellent glory, proclaims that lowly One as “My beloved Son, in whom I
am well pleased.” This divine witness is sealed by the descent of the
Holy Spirit as a dove upon the Son of God. As the bird of love, sorrow
and sacrifice, the dove is beautifully emblematic of the character and
work of Him so designated.

Matthew 4

We pass in chapter four, by an abrupt transition, from visions of
heavenly glory and the witness of divine persons, to the fasting and
temptation of Jesus. But this testing only affords fresh evidence to
the perfection of His character and the dignity of His nature. Pressed
at every point to doubt God, to presume upon Him or to turn away from
Him, He manifests His holy, obedient nature, which gave no response to
Satan’s subtlest appeals. All that man naturally craves, and for which
he has surrendered the place originally given him by God, was turned
from by the Lord with the ever-ready answer from the word of God, “It
is written.”


In these four chapters of Matthew we thus see our Lord as Messiah, the
promised Seed of Abraham, the Son of the virgin, God, Jehovah, the King
of the Jews and of the nations, the rejected One, the Lord, the
Baptizer with the Holy Spirit, the future Judge, the well beloved Son
of the Father, the perfect sinless Man, sent forth upon His ministry of

From these introductory chapters in Matthew, we pass over the
intervening portion which gives us the presentation of our Lord as the
King of Israel, and will notice but one passage in the last chapter of
the Gospel. After His resurrection, He appears to His disciples and
says, “All power is given unto Me in heaven and in earth.” (28:18)
Surely such words could never be used of a mere man. “Power belongeth
unto God”; the omnipotent is God alone.