Lesson Two - According to Matthew
Jesus as the new Moses
Connections Between Jesus and Moses
Jesus’ story as told by Matthew contains numerous references to Jesus which parallel those to Moses.
This sense of Jesus as the new Moses helps us to understand the concept of Messiah in the Gospel.
The connections between Jesus and Moses/Prophets help us to see that Matthew is writing to Jews or to Jewish Christians. Typically, Gentiles (Roman or Greek) would not have been familiar enough with the Hebrew Scriptures to catch all of the references or if they did, the references would not have had the same effect on them as it would have had on those of Jewish background. From my perspective, this Gospel was necessary at the time of its compilation (75-80 CE) because of two factors.
First, the church was becoming more and more Gentile. The percentage of Jewish believers was rapidly dwindling and there was pressure building for Jews to leave the Jesus’ community. Second, Christians were now being seen by Romans, as separate from Jews, thus implying that Jews who followed Jesus had left the true faith. Matthew’s Gospel helps Jews to see that their faith in Jesus is in line with the ancient traditions…especially those coming from Moses.