Let’s look at Matthew’s portrayal of the Christ as King. Matthew said that King Jesus was born of the virgin Mary who was in King David’s line. Kings came through the Jewish tribe of Judah, priests through the tribe of Levi. The Holy Spirit attached God’s tiny embryo to Mary’s womb, uncorrupted by the seed of a man. The embryo grew into the person of the Lord Jesus Christ (Matthew 1).
As the young King grew, He was visited by wise men from the East asking, “Where is He who has been born King of the Jews?” They had evidently been tracking His birth through Old Testament records. They had seen His star and brought gifts (gold, incense, and myrrh) appropriate for a King (Matthew 2). Throughout history, kings had assigned spokesmen to announce their arrival.
John the Baptist, God’s prophet, came out of the wilderness to announce the presence of the King saying that the kingdom of heaven was at hand. Why was the kingdom of heaven at hand? Because the King was at hand (Matthew 3).
The Holy Spirit led the King into the desert to be tested by Satan. He passed every test. His rite of passage as King was proven by His use of the power of God’s Word over evil temptation (Matthew 4). In the beatitudes (the blessings), the King laid out His kingdom principles, or behavioral guides, for His coming kingdom. The laws that He gave were to govern this kingdom (Matthew 5-7). Christ then proved Himself to be the Jewish King by performing kingdom miracles (Matthew 8-9).
Jesus called twelve men to be His disciples and then sent them out. They were sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel – not to the Gentiles. The disciples were to teach the Jews that the kingdom of heaven was at hand (Matthew 10). Jesus convinced John the Baptist that He was indeed the King. The blind could see; lepers were cleansed; the dead were raised; and the poor had the gospel preached unto them. Even so, the Jewish nation was going to reject the King (Matthew 11).
The religious leaders began to turn the people against the King, causing them to refuse Him. His final rejection came when Christ healed a demon-possessed man who was blind and mute. Christ easily overcame the demon and cast him out. The multitudes were amazed and questioned, “Could this really be the Son of David?” (Matthew 12). This major heavy-weight question of that hour was a pivotal point in history. God’s kingdom hung in the balance. Was Jesus the Son of David or not? Was Jesus the King of the Jews or not? Would the kingdom come or not? The Jews had to decide.