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Wednesday, November 14, 2018



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Matthew’s gospel tries to prove that Jesus is the New Moses

Matthew’s gospel tries to prove that Jesus is the New Moses

Matthew wrote his gospel for the Jewish people. By lining up eight parallel events, he tries to show that Jesus is the New Moses.

1. When both Moses and Jesus were born, a ruler threatened their lives. A Hebrew woman bore a baby boy. She knew that Pharaoh had commanded that every Hebrew boy should be thrown into the Nile. They put the baby in a basket among the reeds on the river bank, and he survived.

A Hebrew woman named Mary was found with child by the Holy Spirit. Joseph took her as his wife, and she gave him a son. An angel appeared to Joseph and said, “Get up, take the child and his mother, and flee to Egypt . . . for Herod is about to search for the child, to destroy him” (Matt. 1:18, 24, 2:13).

They escaped to Egypt, and the baby survived.

2. Both had a unique call from God at the beginning of their ministry. God called to Moses out of a burning bush, “Moses, Moses!” He said, “Here I am.”

God said, “I am the God of your fathers.” (Ex. 3:4,6).

When Jesus was a young man, John baptized him. As he came up from the water, the heavens were opened and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove on him. A voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, my Beloved, with whom I am well pleased.” (Matt 3:16-17)

3. Their missions were to set people free. God commanded Moses to say to the Israelites, “I am the Lord, and I will free you from the burdens of the Egyptians and deliver you from slavery to them.” (Ex 6:6).

At the beginning of his ministry, Jesus said, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free” (Lk. 4:18,19).

4. Both established a memorial celebration to remember God’s deliverance of his people. Moses said to his people, “Remember this day on which you came out of Egypt, out of the house of slavery, because the Lord brought you out from there by strength of hand” (Ex 13:3).

Jesus said, “I have eagerly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer . . .” Then he took a loaf of bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me” (Lk. 22:15,19).

5. Both leaders led their people through water to freedom. The Israelites went into the Red Sea on dry ground. In the waters of baptism we die to all that is not of the Lord and put on Christ.

6. Both proclaimed the law of God from a mountain. Moses went down the mountain and gave the people the Ten Commandments. In Matthew’s gospel it says, “When Jesus saw the crowds, he went up the mountain, he sat down, and gave us the new commandments.”

7. Both were instruments of God in delivering people from sin. Moses made a serpent of bronze, and put it on a pole. Whenever a serpent bit someone, that person would look at the serpent of bronze and live (Num. 21:9). “Just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that those who believe in him may have eternal life.”

8. Sign and wonders accompanied both ministries. Moses was unequaled for all the signs and wonders that the Lord sent him to perform in the land of Egypt. Likewise, Jesus was sent to show God’s power in view of the poor and needy, the sick and the lame and to “seek out and to save the lost” (Lk. 19:10).