I felt a very positive impression of who Jesus was after
finishing the Book of Matthew. I had a new image of someone who
was a down-to-earth, caring individual. I did not find quotes of
Jesus that claimed being superior to the common man, of whom
sinners could not look upon (a view that most people had of their
Gods for centuries before). Matthew 12:49-50, Jesus announces to
multitudes that they are his mother and brothers. In that way,
he puts himself at an equal level to the people, rather than
claiming to be a God above them. This reflects the whole
attitude of the book.
Chapters 6-7 of Matthew quote Jesus as he is presenting
rules to live by to the multitudes. To me, all of these sounded
like hints to leading a happy life for yourself. Jesus reflects
a God that does not expect virgins or animals to be sacrificed in
His name; but, a God that is pleased by followers that love not
only God, but each other also.
These seem like simple, logical
rules to live by. But, they reflected a time in history where
that kind of love for one another was hard to find because of the
hardships inflicted upon the people.
I find some conflict in Jesus' actions, however. Jesus
never (as far as I know) says to ignore to commandments of God in
the Hebrew Scriptures; however, constantly breaks the Sabbath
(Matt 12:13 and others), and gives VERY flimsy and unconvincing
explanations for it. I am not sure what his message was in those
actions. Perhaps he didn't care?
In general, Matthew was a good, entertaining story to read,
with a very dramatic ending, and great character development (a
little sarcastic humor here)!
I was very surprised to find much of...