‘Now the birth of Jesus the anointed was like this…’ (Matthew 1:18)

Birth marked: Janet Scott reads from the Gospel of Matthew

'They are not just "Christmas stories". They have other purposes.' | Photo: Gareth Harper / Unsplash.

We hear the stories of Jesus’ birth so often that we forget they were written long before Christians celebrated Christmas. They are not just ‘Christmas stories’. They have other purposes.

Matthew’s gospel tells a story that foreshadows the account of how Jesus was rejected by the authorities of his own people. But the writer does more than this. He is writing for a church that contains Jews and Gentiles, and he wants to show both how Jesus is the fulfilment of the Jewish tradition, and how it is rightly part of that tradition that Gentiles are included.

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