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matt 5

the life of Christ as recorded by a tax collector

Every year, Christmas through Easter, our focus is the life of Christ—the central story of the Bible; this year using the New Testament book of Matthew. Matthew was a Jew who worked as contractor for the Roman Empire collecting taxes (and profiting) from other Jews. That career choice ostracized Matthew from his culture. For some reason Jesus invited this ostracized man to become one of His 12 apostles.

Matthew writes the most Jewish account of Jesus' life, using idioms and recounting events in a way that best help Jews connect with the story of Jesus. He records what Jesus taught in large chunks, one example is the
sermon on the mount. His is also the most structured Gospel; five blocks of events alternate with five blocks of teaching. Matthew may have had access to the New Testament book of Mark as many of Jesus' quotes are nearly identical.

Matthew was written in the first century, likely between 50-70
CE. He presents Jesus as the rightful King of Israel—heir of King David—who came as the long promised Messiah to lay claim to David's throne. Although that was withheld from Him, Jesus will return in glory not only as the King of Israel, but as the Lord of all the earth.

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sunday monologues conclude with Q&A
Traditionally called a sermon; usually signifying a one-way discourse. However, sermon can be a conversation. As was practiced in the earliest centuries of the church, Sunday sermons conclude with Q&A.