THE MESSAGE OF MATTHEW
In all probability the Book of Matthew is the most read book in the world. It is the first book in the New Testament and the Bible is the all-time best seller of all books. I think it is important for us to be completely convinced that its message is absolute in its accuracy as well as its extreme importance. Because the Bible is the only record we have of the Creator of the Universe, it is not reasonable to imagine that God would have allowed man to write a book about Him that was not accurate and did not correctly transmit His will. Consequently I firmly believe that the record we have is the one God wants us to have, no matter how many counsels, manuscripts and scholars may have been involved in passing its message down to us today.
Another point that I feel we must realize has to do with the original recording of the words which Jesus used in transmitting His message. On might legitimately ask how Matthew was able to accurately report the very important teaching and words of the Sermon on the Mount, or in other places how the private prayers of Jesus could be recorded for us to read. As Jesus found a secluded place to gather the men He must depend on to take the message to the world, how could He be certain that the message would be accurately passed on? The answer to this question has to be that God imbued each of them with His Holy Spirit to guide them. Paul often speaks of the guidance of the Holy Spirit in his work. This is how God guaranteed that His will would be passed to all men without error. There is only One God and He promised to pour out His Holy Spirit on all flesh in these last days. Without a doubt He does this by means of the writers of the New Testament. So the style might be the style of Matthew but the words are the message of God.
It is also important to realize that God considered the message to be too important to leave in the hands of men. So He sent His Son to personally bring the message. Only One who was personally a part of God Himself could make man understand how serious God was about transmitting His love to His creature man. That is why Jesus told the disciples that in taking the Lord’s Supper they should remember Him. Not Jesus the man of Nazareth, but Jesus the Son of God. He said, “When you have seen me you have seen the Father”. In other words you have seen not only His goodness but His love for you. “God is love”.
Matthew makes it very clear that Jesus always spoke as One who had the authority of God behind Him. The Scribes, who were the teachers of the Jews, were only able to quote the words of the Law, but Jesus spoke as the representative of the One whose will He represented, and it was evident in His very manner of speaking.