In the Bible we have four accounts of the life of Jesus: Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. Each tells the same story, but from different angles and with different emphases. The Gospel of Matthew is written by Matthew (surprise, surprise), who is one of the twelve apostles (sometimes also called Levi). Matthew’s Gospel not only tells the beautiful story
of Jesus, but it emphasizes Jesus as the one who came to fulfill all of the Jewish prophecies about the Messiah. He came as the promised King of Israel, while also coming to bring salvation to the whole world.
Matthew’s Gospel is full of Old Testament quotations. It also actively demonstrates how Jesus has come to be God’s true Son, just as Israel was referred to as God’s son. And yet Jesus will succeed where Israel failed. We see this theme strongly in the first four chapters. Just as Israel was brought out of Egypt, Jesus and his family flee to Egypt before coming home to the land of Israel (Matthew 2). Just as Israel passed through the waters of the Red Sea, Jesus passes through the waters of baptism (Matthew 3). And just as Israel wandered in the wilderness for 40 years, Jesus spends 40 days in the wilderness and then is tempted (Matthew 4). But where Israel failed the test, Jesus succeeds. He succeeds not only so that he can be our example, but so that he can win the victory on our behalf.