This year of 2016 has truly been one to remember. Our presidential election was like no other in my lifetime. We must now pray for our new president and leaders believing they will honor God and bring back the godly principles this nation was built upon. However, no other person has ever touched the world in quite the way Jesus did. The Gift of all gifts, Jesus is truly the Unspeakable Gift sent by God the Father. He came as a babe in a manger but will return as King of Kings and Lord of Lords. What do you do with a gift? You must first receive it. Then, in order to receive the benefit of the gift, it must be used according to its purpose. Why did God give the Gift? How was it given? And what was the purpose?
No other book of the New Testament gives us these answers and records Jesus’ birth and teaching in quite the way Matthew does. Built around five major addresses that Jesus gave His followers, Matthew records the essence of Christ’s message, the core commands that He not only wanted His people to live by, but to spread to “all the nations...teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you” (Matt. 28:19-20). Thus, Matthew contains marching orders for all of Christ’s followers — including those of us who call Him Lord in this day. He sends us (by using our Gift) into the world to influence lives, reflect His ways, His love, and His values.
How appropriate, then, that Matthew leads off the New Testament. All of the books that follow are God’s Word, but Matthew sets the pace. It highlights “The Gift” and gives us the agenda of our Lord: “all things that I have commanded you.”
So this Christmas, why not gather the family around and read the Christmas story from the Book of Matthew. If it is not already a family tradition, why not start this year.