This year we are going to be reading one chapter per day out of the New Testament. We will be reading one of the four Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke or John) in each quarter along with some books of the New Testament that are related to that Gospel. Thank you for your participation in this reading plan!
The Old Testament was written before Jesus’ birth, and the New Testament was written after his birth. Matthew is one of the Gospels, which tells the story of Jesus’ ministry on earth. It was written with a Jewish audience in mind. When Christianity got started, all of Jesus’ followers were Jews. Matthew quotes frequently from the Old Testament, which is the Bible with which the Jews were familiar. Matthew was one of Jesus’ disciples; so much of the book is relating events he actually witnessed.
Matthew begins with a genealogy of Jesus. The Jews would have known that their Savior (Messiah) had to be a descendant of David. Matthew proves that he was. He gives details of events leading up to Jesus’ birth that also prove God’s involvement and that his birth was a fulfillment of Old Testament prophecy.
Imagine how hard this was for Mary and Joseph. They lived in a small town within a culture that would have strongly condemned a non-married pregnant woman. Joseph must have been crushed to discover his fiancé was pregnant and know he was not the father. Having done nothing wrong, they must have been the center of town gossip. God’s plan isn’t always easy, but it is what is best! We need to do what God tells us, regardless of the inconvenience.