It’s all about Jesus: Fulfiller of promises

“These are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name” (John 20:31). John meant his Gospel, but what he says applies to the entire Bible. It’s all about Jesus.

From cover to cover the Bible says that Jesus is the Savior from sin. The Old Testament does it by means of prophecies, shadows, and types. It speaks of a Savior whose blood would be shed to bring forgiveness and life for all people. The New Testament tells how it happened. Christ came. He lived. He died. He rose from the dead. Because he did, we have the certainty of forgiveness of sins and life eternal in heaven.

Each book of the New Testament focuses on Jesus in one way or another. In this lesson we will consider the first book, the Gospel of Matthew, and learn that it emphasizes Jesus as the fulfiller of promises.

1. To help someone understand that Jesus is the fulfillment of the Old Testament you need look no further than the Gospel of Matthew. What does its position at the head of the New Testament suggest about this important feature?

2. Matthew 1:1 introduces the family tree of Jesus. What is the significance of the names David and Abraham in the genealogy of the Savior?

3. Numbers hold great significance for Matthew. For example, his book includes five great discourses of Jesus, each of which is introduced by deeds of Jesus. It has been suggested that Matthew intended these discourses to correspond to the five books of Moses and the five divisions of the Psalms. As you scan each of the five discourses, see if you can discover the basic content of each: chapters 5-7, chapter 10, chapter 13, chapter 18, chapters 24 & 25.

4. In 1:18–4:22 Matthew identifies seven ways in which Jesus is the fulfiller of promises. Discover and explain significant titles for Jesus in these fulfillments: 1:18-25; 2:1-12; 2:13-15; 2:16-18; 2:19-23; 3:3; 4:12-22. Keeping in mind Matthew’s purpose to show that Jesus is the fulfillment of the Old Testament, why do you suppose he chose seven prophecies from the many he could have chosen?

5. Jesus as the fulfiller of promises is an especially prominent feature of the concluding chapters of Matthew. How do Jesus’ words in 26:64 combine the prophecies in Psalm 110:1 and Daniel 7:13,14?

6. In describing the crucifixion, Matthew relates Jesus’ fulfillment of Old Testament prophecies in rapid succession. As you read 27:35-48, discover how each of the following prophecies is fulfilled: Psalm 22:18; Isaiah 53:12; Psalm 22:7; Psalm 109:25; Psalm 22:8; Amos 8:9; Psalm 22:1; Psalm 69:21.

7. In his account of Jesus’ resurrection, Matthew also refers to the fulfillment of Old Testament prophecies. Read 28:3 and explain how it combines the prophecies in Daniel 7:9 and 10:6.