A comparison of the very beginning of the text with its very end may serve to detail the overarching unity of Matthew’s Gospel and its fundamental message. At 1:23 Matthew inserts a quotation from the prophecy of Isaiah (7:14): “Behold, a virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and his name shall be called Emmanuel (a name which means ‘God with us’).” If we then turn to the last sentence in Matthew, we read: “Lo, I am with you always, to the close of the age” (28:20). Now, these are words that only an incarnate God can speak with truth, and we suddenly realize that everything between these two quotations—the promise and its everlasting fulfillment—is meant by Matthew to represent an unfolding of what it means for “God to be with us” in the person of Jesus.

Erasmo Leiva-Merikakis, Fire of Mercy, Heart of the Word: Meditations on the Gospel according to Saint Matthew, Chapters 1–25, vol. 2 (San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 1996–2012), Page 42.

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