Faces of Jesus: Christmas Reflections from Matthew’s Gospel
That’s my daughter, Abby.
She has almost as many facial expressions as I do! (That’s saying something).
In the fifteen months that she’s been alive, I’ve quickly caught on to the joy of watching her grow. Because she’s so young, the changes she goes through can take place in weeks, even days. For example, one day she’s spluttering out a couple of mashed-up vowels; the next day, she’s connecting those vowels with consonants and arranging the sounds enough to articulate jibberish. I’m laughing even as I’m trying to explain this :-) But someday, she will be speaking to me in sentences far more advanced than my own. All of this is part of watching her develop. And it is my great joy to watch.
It must have been the same way for Matthew, the tax collector.
As Matthew looked back, piecing together historical facets of Jesus’ life, reliving the life of Jesus in his own writings must have thrilled him. Matthew simply spelled out what the Apostles saw and experienced (Luke 24:48). But what Matthew chose to write was a selective view into the early years of Jesus’ ministry. Matthew wanted us to know certain things about Jesus. So he listened intently to the Apostles; he arranged a story based on their objective accounts; and he emphasizing a single point: Jesus is the promised Messiah.
What’s of particular interest to me in Matthew’s Gospel are the first five chapters.
Matthew underlines Jesus’ development: His birth, life, and inauguration to ministry. And he explains certain roles that Jesus will assume as God’s promised Messiah. Now, I do not mean characteristics, such as love, or compassion. But roles, such as King, Priest, Prophet, etc.
These are the faces of Jesus according to Matthew. Of course, there are great differences between Abby’s faces and Jesus! It’s these divine differences that I want to highlight during the month of December.
This is not an Advent reading.
This is not an exhaustive list.
Some of these “faces” haven’t even been fulfilled yet.
But they are historic, prophetic descriptions by Matthew of Jesus Christ. And their purpose is to lift our hearts and minds above our personal lives to a transcendent God-man. This is timely as we approach the day we celebrate His birth.
Every week (perhaps more) I will post different faces of Jesus according to Matthew’s first five chapters. It will be explanatory, but also reflective–and personal. Please join me, and chime in if you like.
The first post will happen on Wednesday morning.
For God who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of God’s glory in the face of Jesus Christ. ~ 2 Corinthians 4:6 (HCSB)