For much of Christian history, the Gospel according to Matthew was considered the first and perhaps most important of the Gospel accounts. It comes first in the New Testament, and opens with a genealogy of Jesus from Abraham down to Joseph. It is widely believed today that Mark was actually the first, oldest Gospel account, with Matthew and Luke both drawing on it. But regardless of the editorial history (and I suspect it's much less certain than many scholars like to suggest), Matthew's account left a particularly profound effect on the church. Its emphases on the identity of Jesus as the Messiah, the new Moses and the new Adam, and its depiction of the church as a pure and separate flock in a badly fallen world, shaped Christian doctrine and ethics in important ways.
On Sunday we'll get an overview of the Gospel and read a few distinctive Matthean passages together. You'll be invited to share your thoughts and ask your questions about this most challenging, most stirring book. Please join us!