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The Birth of Jesus: Two Gospel Narratives

Matthew’s Theology

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The theological perspectives of Matthew’s infancy narrative can be summarized as follows: through the opening genealogy, allusions to biblical persons and events, and the explicit fulfillment passages, Matthew’s infancy narrative announces that Jesus’ birth is the climax of God’s long story with Israel.

In addition, Jesus is presented as epitomizing all of Israel’s history. This is further shown in the later temptations of Jesus in the desert in Matthew chapter 4 in which Jesus, Son of God passes tests that Israel, son of God, failed during its desert wanderings. For Matthew, therefore, Jesus is the perfect Jew; he perfectly fulfills the Torah’s commands. Matthew expects all believers to do God’s will by observing the Torah according to what Jesus has commanded. And finally, Matthew’s infancy narrative conveys that the true significance of the newborn child will be seen at his death, a death which will affect all of humanity.