Though it’s impossible to say whose narrative of Jesus’ life was completed earliest (Matthew or Mark), placing Matthew first in the sequence of the New Testament canon was not an accident. Matthew, also known in the New Testament as Levi, intentionally crafted his account to build off the Old Testament by presenting Jesus as the promised Messiah — The promised King! To this point, over and over again throughout his Gospel, after recording some important development in the life of Christ, Matthew will write how this “fulfilled what was said by the prophets” before proceeding to then cite the specific prophecy recorded in the Scriptures. With some 99 Old Testament references and a particular Jewish flavor to his writing, there is no doubt Matthew’s Gospel was crafted for a Hebrew audience! In fact, his entire point in writing was to prove Jesus was indeed their Messiah! Matthew wants his reader to know all of the promises God had given to Abraham and later David had been fulfilled in Jesus!
This leaves us with an important question… If Matthew is writing specifically to a Hebrew audience presenting Jesus as the fulfillment of all these Old Testament prophecies regarding a Jewish King since the overwhelming majority of us are bacon-loving Gentiles why should we care? Here’s why… The same prophecies that predict the Jewish King also tell us He will establish a global kingdom by which all the nations of the world would be blessed… That He’d come to provide a way in which any man could be saved from his sin… That, in the end, His family would transcend the Jewish people and come to include all who’d place their faith in Him! If Jesus is the rightful King of the Jews, it means He’s also the King of Heaven!