Is Jesus on His throne now? If so, are we in the “new world”?

Matthew is traditionally the first of the Gospels. In my opinion, as I argue below, the tradition is correct. Matthew was one of the disciples and was a man of letters. Who better to take notes during Jesus’ lifetime?

Moreover, immediately after Pentecost there would have been a demand for a book containing the teaching and works of Jesus. The Jews were a people of the book. Each time God did a great work, a new part of Scripture was written to tell about it. The three thousand converts on the day of Pentecost would have expected such a book, and it is entirely possible that Matthew sat right down to write it. Doubtless he spoke with the other disciples, and perhaps Matthew’s Gospel is to some extent a joint work. It is perfectly reasonable to suppose that within a month after Pentecost copies of Matthew’s Gospel were in circulation.

Apart from the demand of the Jewish converts, there is another reason why Matthew’s Gospel needed to be written right away, namely that most of what Jesus said and did was said and done privately. Jesus was mysterious. When He taught the multitudes, He used parables. When He healed, He told people to keep it secret. Thus, there were lots of rumors about Jesus, but not many hard facts. Matthew explains all this. The messages recorded in Matthew were given to the disciples, though sometimes other people around the periphery listened in.6 Matthew tells us that it was Jesus who commanded that His miracles be kept under wraps. Now that Jesus had been raised, however, the secrets were to be revealed: The mystery of the kingdom was to be published.

Matthew 23-25: A Literary, Historical, and Theological Commentary

Matthew 23-25: A Literary, Historical, and Theological Commentary

Those who first read Matthew’s gospel only would have had as an interpretive reference what we describe as the Old Testament. They were living the history that Jesus said would take place before their generation passed away. They would have immediately noted the Old Testament parallels with the abomination of desolation (Matt. 24:15; Dan. 9:27), the judgment on Sodom and fleeing to the mountains to escape the coming conflagration (Matt. 24:16; Gen. 19:17), false prophets (Matt. 24:24; Jer. 14:14), signs in the sun, moon, and stars (Matt. 24:29; Isa. 3:10; 24:33; Ezek. 32:7; Amos 5:2; 8:9; etc.), the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven (Matt. 24:30; Dan. 7:13), and so much more.

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In Matthew 19:28 Jesus tells His disciples “Truly, I say to you, in the new world, when the Son of Man will sit on his glorious throne, you who have followed me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.” Is Jesus on His throne now? If so, are we in the “new world”?

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