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The book of Matthew is one of the synoptic gospels written by a Jew to the Jews about a Jew. By this I mean that Matthew was a Jewish author, and he wrote it with his countrymen in mind, making Jesus the topic of focus.

Jesus called St Matthew as one of His disciples, and he was addressed St. Matthew the Evangelist, St. Matthew the Apostle, or Levi. Luke 5:27-29 recorded that he was a tax collector before Jesus called him into His company.

It actually reads, 'After this, Jesus went out and saw a tax collector by the name of Levi sitting at his tax booth. "Follow me," Jesus said to him, and Levi got up, left everything and followed him. Then Levi held a great banquet for Jesus at his house, and a large crowd of tax collectors and others were eating with them' (NIV). See also Matthew 9:9.

Reference: Matthew 1:24-25 New International Version (NIV)

"...And he gave him the name Jesus."

As told by Matthew, the story surrounding the birth of Jesus, the Son of the living God, began with the lineage that established Him as the true Son of David. The lineage account has been recorded for all the children of Abraham who have become the true heirs of God so that they may know in whom they have believed. In other words, the genealogy is important because Jesus is the One whom the Jews have been waiting for - as the Messiah - all these years. And the lineage traces back to Abraham - just as the prophets have spoken of, since the early days.

Now this is how the birth of Jesus the Messiah came about:

Jesus' mother, Mary, was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be pregnant through the Holy Spirit. Since Joseph her husband was faithful to the law, and yet did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly. But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, "Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit" (Matthew 1:18-20 NIV).

When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him to do. Thereby he took Mary home as his wife. But he did not consummate their marriage until she gave birth to her firstborn son, and he called His name, Jesus, just as he was told by an angel of the Lord in his dream.

The significance of the power and authority in the name of Jesus cannot be undermined. When we hear about the name, the level of influence that comes to mind is - His untold miraculous healings, His countless teachings and parables filled with wisdom and power, His righteous life as the only human who had no sin in Him, and His triumph over death as the Saviour of mankind. Stay tuned for part 2. Shalom!

Scripture Reading - Isaiah 7:14; Luke 2:1-7; John 1:14; Luke 1:35.

Exuberant Declaration:

I acknowledge that Jesus is the Son of the living God, who came forth from God. I acknowledge that He is the Lord of lords who died for sin of mankind; and that God approved and accepted His perfect walk and sacrifice on earth. He has ascended to heaven, and His name is exalted to highest dominion in heaven and on earth. Praise God!

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