Why should I read Matthew’s Gospel?

There’s something I’ve noticed when I get together with old friends to talk about days gone by: we remember the same events differently. By Mark Giacobbe Sometimes these differences involve discrepancies that beg to be resolved. But usually they involve different perspectives; different angles on the same event, with each person contributing a part of the whole that none of us possesses alone. We see in part, and we need one another to fill out our picture of the world. I believe this is why there are four Gospels. Through the multiple perspectives of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, God has given us four views—four portraits—of Jesus and his work in the world. Each author has a distinctive voice that tells the story of a multi-dimensional Jesus.

Ordinary people doing extraordinary things

The Old Testament book of Nehemiah is a fascinating insight into what happens to God’s people just before Jesus is born. After being exiled to Babylon, they are allowed to return to Judah and Jerusalem some decades later. They rebuild the Temple and then Nehemiah leads the people in the rebuilding of the city walls. It’s a great story of how a community bands together and achieves something everyone thought impossible. Our guest writer today, Barry Kirby from Wellington explains… Nehemiah is our man of focus today. When the book opens, Nehemiah is serving under the Persian King. He is a cupbearer to the King. This allows his access to, at the time, one of the most powerful men in the world.

Breaking down the Old Testament

For Jesus himself the Old Testament (Hebrew Scriptures) was his Bible. In the New Testament he quotes from the Book of Deuteronomy which concludes the Pentateuch, the most important section of the Bible for Jewish people.  Then he speaks the words of the prophet Isaiah, such a significant figure among the prophets of Israel.  And finally he draws on the Psalms at the heart of Wisdom literature.  The three sections of Pentateuch, Prophets, and Wisdom literature make up a large and important part of the Bible. When St. Jerome said that “ignorance of the Scriptures is ignorance of Christ,” he meant both parts of the Bible which is a huge library of books.  You know there are different types of books in a library, all with their own ways of being written.  You may also be aware that different cultures have their own stories of how the world came to be, how humans came into existence, and often stories were told about why things are as they are.