Some quick things about Matthew:
It was most likely written by the Apostle Matthew. Much scholarship in the 1960’s to 80’s advocated the position that the author was someone else. However, this has largely been debunked and the traditional authorship by the Apostle Matthew is the more defensible position. The date of the book can safely be placed from about A.D. 50 to 60, with dates as late as A.D. 80 possible.
In addition, we are told elsewhere that Matthew was a tax collector. This helps establish the books credibility. Tax collectors were ostracized members of Jewish society. Simply put, you wouldn’t name a book after a tax collector if you didn’t have to. It would be the equivalent of naming a book on learning to trust and tell the truth after Richard Nixon or Bill Clinton. Matthew’s affinity for numbers can also be seen throughout the book.
Matthew the Apostle was Jewish and the book is written for a Jewish audience. Hence the reading today is the genealogy of Jesus. Matthew is establishing Jesus’ decent from the royal line of David thus establishing his right to the kingly inheritance of Israel.
Tomorrow, Matthew 1:18-25