Matthew – Revealing Our Shepherd King

Written by Larry M. Jaynes:

When the fullness of time finally came, Jesus Christ was born into this world (Galatians 4:4). Throughout the Old Testament there were many prophecies that would highlight his life, death, resurrection, and ascension as we have seen.

The Bible reveals four major prophecies, each of which each relate to a different Gospel. In Matthew. Jesus Christ is revealed as the king of Israel, and in this day of God’s grace Jesus is our Lord and Savior, and he is also our Redeemer.

In the Gospel of Matthew, we can learn how Jesus as the King and Messiah redeemed all of humanity.

In Matthew many parables relate to a king or the kingdom of heaven. The words “kingdom of heaven” (meaning the king’s reign from heaven), is used 32 times in Matthew, while “kingdom of heaven” is only used 10 times in the other three Gospels combined. In Matthew we have the fulfillment of the King of Israel who was God’s prophesied righteous branch.

“The kingdom of heaven” is Christ’s kingdom, for he was the King from heaven, while the words “kingdom of God” represents God’s heavenly kingdom that has no beginning and no end – spanning all time.

When Christ again returns to earth, he will fully establish his kingdom of which there shall be no end. However, today in grace we are citizens of the kingdom of God and in the future we will partake in the kingdom of Christ, for we are joint-heirs with Christ (Romans 8:17).

Today the kingdom of Christ is suspended until the King returns to earth to be the King of kings. Without the king’s presence on earth, his kingdom is held in abeyance. This is why II Corinthians 5:20 says that we are “ambassadors” in “Christ’s stead.”

There is no way that any one Gospel could fully explain the life of Jesus Christ; conversely, when we examine each Gospel and study them in the light that God’s Word reflects, then the true spiritual realities of Jesus Christ’s ministry will become known in a most positive and dynamic way.

Jeremiah 23:5 – Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch {offspring}, and a King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth. {Also see Jeremiah 33:15, Zechariah 9:9.}

This righteous branch that God would raise up would be a King, and God’s offspring and is a direct revelation not only to the life of Jesus Christ but also to the Gospel of Matthew.

In Matthew’s Gospel we have the royal (or kingly) genealogy from Abraham through Kings David and Solomon to Christ. The believers during the Gospel period had been hoping for this righteous branch who would be their king; however, they lacked understanding of what a king really was because they were used to the kind of kings that were despots or dictators, such as Herod, who was indeed the opposite of Jesus Christ.

A king from a spiritual point of view would be a pastor, someone who would love and protect his people, someone who would fight for the rights of his people, and someone who would be a leader showing them how to believe and accept God’s grace.

Jesus said in Revelation 22:16 “I am the root and the offspring of David.” David was the king of Israel, and Jesus being born through Mary (as the promised seed), had every legal right to inherit the throne of David.

Now David, what was he? David was a shepherd, he was called as a shepherd to be the king of Israel, this was the true spiritual function of a king – to pastor, to bind wounds, and to dedicate his life to protect his flock, as Jesus had done.

Matthew 27:11 – And Jesus stood before the governor {Pilate}: and the governor asked him, saying, Art thou the King of the Jews? And Jesus said unto him, Thou sayest.

The words “thou sayest” literally means you said it, or you got that right! Jesus knew who he was because he knew the prophecies written of him. Jesus further said to Pilate regarding this question of whom he was, “art thou a king then? Jesus answered {to Pilate}, Thou sayest that I am a king. To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world,” (John 18:37).

God gave to Matthew the revelation to write about Jesus Christ as our shepherd king whom we can look to as “the author and finisher of our faith {believing faith}” Hebrews 12:2.

Matthew 22:37-40:
-37: Jesus said unto him {a lawyer who was tempting him}, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.
-38: This is the first and great commandment.
-39: And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
-40: On these two commandments hang {suspend} all the law and the prophets.

Jesus as a loving King and as our example of a genuine shepherd lightened the loads that believers would carry by giving only two commandments that both relate to living in love.

It is enlightening to see how James wrote regarding this very subject of love by calling it the “royal law” in James 2:8. The reason that the law of love is royal is because it was given to us by the King.

Jesus Christ is our example of a genuine King whom we can continue looking to even today as Philippians 2:5 teaches us, “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus.” Jesus came into this world to teach and show us how to love God and man, as we continue learning how to enjoy the life of love that is called “a more excellent way” I Corinthians 12:31-13:13).

In God’s eyes we are royalty because we are His sons and daughters, and as we put on the mind of Christ we will discover Our Shepherd King who gave the ultimate sacrifice – his life – so we may receive and enjoy the more abundant life.

Zephaniah – Revealing Our Eternal Rest

Written by Larry M. Jaynes:

In the Book of Zephaniah, we can see God’s love and deliverance, and we can learn some tremendous truths regarding the will of God that believers can partake of in God’s loving grace. Jesus Christ is he who reveals to us our eternal rest in God’s love that we currently have.

When we discover God’s eternal love for us and begin experiencing that His love is within, then love begins dispelling fears about God (I John 4:6-21).

Zephaniah 3:15-17:
-15: The LORD hath taken away thy judgments {of condemnation}, he hath cast out thine enemy: the king of Israel, even the LORD, is in the midst of thee: thou shalt not see evil any more.
-16: In that day it shall be said to Jerusalem, Fear thou not: and to Zion, Let not thine hands be slack {let not your hands hang down, i.e., as a defeated city}.
-17: The LORD thy God in the midst of thee is mighty {God is always mighty to deliver, not only in the present tense but always}; he will save, he will rejoice over thee with joy; he will rest in his love {for you}, he will joy over thee with singing.

Verses 15 and 16 refer to the future for Israel, while verse 17 is in the continuously present tense, because God is always mighty, He always will save, He always rejoices, He always loves, and He always sings a joyful song for His children.

When I look back over my life and remember just a fraction of how much I feared God or even hearing His name, and was so terrified of His wrath that I assumed was due to me, I realize the healing and comforting miracle that has taken place so that I may enjoy teaching His healing Word. We can become so thankful to our heavenly Father the more we begin to see and realize in our hearts that He (in love) has sent His only begotten Son so that we may live with the understanding that God loves us so very deeply.

God has loved us from before the foundation of the world, and He will always love us, regardless of how much we reciprocate or recognize Him or His messenger of divine love – Jesus Christ. In the Old Testament, even if the children of Israel never accepted all of God’s care and protection, He continued loving them, and in their future He would restore them back in Zion and prove to them His love beyond all of their comprehensions.

Today, however, in grace, we do not need to wait for our arrival into heaven to begin enjoying God’s love because Christ the Lord made God’s love available for us to enjoy.

Let us look at the will of God from verse 17 above: “He will save!” “He will rejoice over thee with joy!” “He will rest in his love!” and “He will joy over thee with singing!”

Ask yourself this question: “Is the will of God one of fear and despair for us, or is the will of God one that would give us more than we ever realized, especially before knowing the love of our wonderful heavenly Father?” Obviously the will of God is marvelous to behold, and without knowing Christ who is the way to the Father we could never really believe to receive God’s loving will, or enjoy the more abundant life that Jesus Christ came to give us (John 10:10)!

I Timothy 2:4-6:
-4: Who {God} will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.
-5: For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;
-6: Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time {and that time is now}.

John 13:34-35:
-34: A new commandment I {Jesus} give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.
-35: By this {new commandment of love, which is our God-given spiritual love} shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.

In Romans 5:8 we read, “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” The word “commendeth” means to introduce into our hearts, and what we are introduced into is the love of God with all the spiritual intensity that God has been loving us with since the beginning of time.

With His love and with the examples of the life of Jesus Christ and the new commandment, we can learn how to love in the same exact ways he did, and thus we will begin increasingly to enjoy Our Eternal Rest in God’s love that we have been introduced to through Jesus Christ’s loving example.