On Tuesday we celebrate the feast of St. Matthew the evangelist. It is to Matthew that we owe the story of the wise men coming to the infant Christ and the desire of Herod to destroy him. But it is also Matthew’s gospel that is most concerned to show us that Jesus is the fulfilment of the Old Testament. Matthew quoted the OT more than the other evangelists and is keen to use phrases such as ‘this was to fulfil the scriptures’.
All in all Matthew emphasises the Jewishness of Jesus and in so doing reminds us of his birth into a particular time and place. This is an important reminder to us of the nature of our faith. We do not believe in an ideology or a philosophical system, a god who is remote from us or a deity who is manifested in various ways. We believe in God who has been made fully known in the man Jesus Christ, the man who is also the second person of the divine trinity. We believe in an incarnate God who walked and talked and lived among us. Matthew reminds us of the human roots of this God. We should relish learning about the Old Testament and about Judaism because in learning more about them we learn more about Jesus.