The world Jesus was born into was in desperate need of a saviour. The people were militarily oppressed by the Roman armies that had taken away their status as a nation. They were religiously oppressed by the Temple Priests and Pharisees who had reduced their faith in God to burdensome rituals. Their only hope was that God would intervene in history and save them from spiritual oppression and fear of death.
1. Matthew is helping us understand the connection between Jesus and Old Testament prophecies of the coming Saviour.
The Hebrews had a long history of God intervening to rescue or save them from enemies. All of these stories are about individuals:
· Noah is saved from the Flood.
· Abraham is saved from obscurity and called to found a nation.
· Jacob saves the people from famine.
· Moses saves the people from slavery.
None of these experiences of being saved is very long-term. It is never long before the people forget their history and fall away from their dependence on and obedience to God. So starting with Isaiah and Hosea we are told of a special Saviour.