Character Sketch for Gospel of Matthew
character sketch relating to study of the Infancy narratives of Matthew
You should have already read the introduction to Brown’s An Adult Christ at Christmas (pp.1-14)
As I mentioned in class on Tuesday, for tomorrow’s class (Thursday), please read the assigned pages in Brown (pp. 15-50) and begin to work on your character sketch for Matthew.
Your sketch does not need to be a finished product. I will be giving you more information about the people and culture of Matthew’s gospel in class tomorrow. You should, however, begin by making some preliminary decisions about who you want to be, such as: Name, age, gender, ethnic background (Jewish, Roman, Greek, other?), moral strengths and weaknesses, and what some of your pet peeves about people in your church or other groups might be (start with things that already irritate you). The point is to begin fleshing out a character who will be hearing Matthew’s Good News for the first time.
Reading the GOSPEL OF MATTHEW NOTES posted on Canvas (under “Reading Sacred Texts”) may help you with this preliminary work. Bring your working sketch, along with the Brown text, to class with you.
The Genealogy of Jesus the Messiah
1 An account of the genealogy[a] of Jesus the Messiah,[b] the son of David, the son of Abraham.
2 Abraham was the father of Isaac, and Isaac the father of Jacob, and Jacob the father of Judah and his brothers,
3 and Judah the father of Perez and Zerah by Tamar, and Perez the father of Hezron, and Hezron the father of Aram,
4 and Aram the father of Aminadab, and Aminadab the father of Nahshon, and Nahshon the father of Salmon,
5 and Salmon the father of Boaz by Rahab, and Boaz the father of Obed by Ruth, and Obed the father of Jesse,
6 and Jesse the father of King David. And David was the father of Solomon by the wife of Uriah,
7 and Solomon the father of Rehoboam, and Rehoboam the father of Abijah, and Abijah the father of Asaph,[c]
8 and Asaph[d] the father of Jehoshaphat, and Jehoshaphat the father of Joram, and Joram the father of Uzziah,
9 and Uzziah the father of Jotham, and Jotham the father of Ahaz, and Ahaz the father of Hezekiah, 10 and Hezekiah the father of Manasseh, and Manasseh the father of Amos,[e] and Amos[f] the father of Josiah,
11 and Josiah the father of Jechoniah and his brothers, at the time of the deportation to Babylon.
12 And after the deportation to Babylon: Jechoniah was the father of Salathiel, and Salathiel the father of Zerubbabel,
13 and Zerubbabel the father of Abiud, and Abiud the father of Eliakim, and Eliakim the father of Azor,
14 and Azor the father of Zadok, and Zadok the father of Achim, and Achim the father of Eliud,
15 and Eliud the father of Eleazar, and Eleazar the father of Matthan, and Matthan the father of Jacob,
16 and Jacob the father of Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom Jesus was born, who is called the Messiah.[g]
17 So all the generations from Abraham to David are fourteen generations; and from David to the deportation to Babylon, fourteen generations; and from the deportation to Babylon to the Messiah,[h] fourteen generations. The Birth of Jesus the Messiah
18 Now the birth of Jesus the Messiah[i] took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been engaged to Joseph, but before they lived together, she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit.
19 Her husband Joseph, being a righteous man and unwilling to expose her to public disgrace, planned to dismiss her quietly.
20 But just when he had resolved to do this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife, for the child conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit.
21 She will bear a son, and you are to name him Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” 22 All this took place to fulfill what had been spoken by the Lord through the prophet:
23 “Look, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall name him Emmanuel,” which means, “God is with us.”
24 When Joseph awoke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him; he took her as his wife,
25 but had no marital relations with her until she had borne a son;[j] and he named him Jesus. The Visit of the Wise Men
2 In the time of King Herod, after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea, wise men[k] from the East came to Jerusalem, 2 asking, “Where is the child who has been born king of the Jews? For we observed his star at its rising,[l] and have come to pay him homage.” 3 When King Herod heard this, he was frightened, and all Jerusalem with him; 4 and calling together all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Messiah[m] was to be born.5 They told him, “In Bethlehem of Judea; for so it has been written by the prophet:
6 ‘And you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; for from you shall come a ruler who is to shepherd[n] my people Israel.’”
7 Then Herod secretly called for the wise men[o] and learned from them the exact time when the star had appeared. 8 Then he sent them to Bethlehem, saying, “Go and search diligently for the child; and when you have found him, bring me word so that I may also go and pay him homage.” 9 When they had heard the king, they set out; and there, ahead of them, went the star that they had seen at its rising,[p] until it stopped over the place where the child was.10 When they saw that the star had stopped,[q] they were overwhelmed with joy. 11 On entering the house, they saw the child with Mary his mother; and they knelt down and paid him homage. Then, opening their treasure chests, they offered him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. 12 And having been warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they left for their own country by another road.
The Escape to Egypt
13 Now after they had left, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, “Get up, take the child and his mother, and flee to Egypt, and remain there until I tell you; for Herod is about to search for the child, to destroy him.”14 Then Joseph[r] got up, took the child and his mother by night, and went to Egypt, 15 and remained there until the death of Herod. This was to fulfill what had been spoken by the Lord through the prophet, “Out of Egypt I have called my son.” The Massacre of the Infants
16 When Herod saw that he had been tricked by the wise men,[s] he was infuriated, and he sent and killed all the children in and around Bethlehem who were two years old or under, according to the time that he had learned from the wise men.[t]
17 Then was fulfilled what had been spoken through the prophet Jeremiah:
18 “A voice was heard in Ramah, wailing and loud lamentation, Rachel weeping for her children; she refused to be consoled, because they are no more.” The Return from Egypt
19 When Herod died, an angel of the Lord suddenly appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt and said, 20 “Get up, take the child and his mother, and go to the land of Israel, for those who were seeking the child’s life are dead.” 21 Then Joseph[u] got up, took the child and his mother, and went to the land of Israel.22 But when he heard that Archelaus was ruling over Judea in place of his father Herod, he was afraid to go there. And after being warned in a dream, he went away to the district of Galilee. 23 There he made his home in a town called Nazareth, so that what had been spoken through the prophets might be fulfilled, “He will be called a Nazorean.”
a. Matthew 1:1 Or birth
b. Matthew 1:1 Or Jesus Christ
c. Matthew 1:7 Other ancient authorities read Asa
d. Matthew 1:8 Other ancient authorities read Asa
e. Matthew 1:10 Other ancient authorities read Amon
f. Matthew 1:10 Other ancient authorities read Amon
g. Matthew 1:16 Or the Christ
h. Matthew 1:17 Or the Christ
i. Matthew 1:18 Or Jesus Christ
j. Matthew 1:25 Other ancient authorities read her firstborn son
k. Matthew 2:1 Or astrologers; Gk magi
l. Matthew 2:2 Or in the East
m. Matthew 2:4 Or the Christ
n. Matthew 2:6 Or rule
o. Matthew 2:7 Or astrologers; Gk magi
p. Matthew 2:9 Or in the East
q. Matthew 2:10 Gk saw the star
r. Matthew 2:14 Gk he
s. Matthew 2:16 Or astrologers; Gk magi
t. Matthew 2:16 Or astrologers; Gk magi
u. Matthew 2:21 Gk he New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)
New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America.
Used by permission. All rights reserved.
Character Sketch for Gospel of Matthew