Today we hear Matthew’s account of the birth of Jesus. It is important to remember, while Luke and Matthew likely had Mark’s Gospel and what is known as the “Q Source” (a collection of Jesus sayings and parables that predates all Gospels) in front of them as they wrote theirs. In addition to these sources, Matthew had sources that were unique for his Gospel, while Luke had sources unique to his Gospel.
As I have mentioned before, Matthew’s audience is mostly Jewish converts so Matthew writes in a way that is familiar and appealing to Jewish people of the time. Right away at the beginning of Matthew’s Gospel, the genealogy of Jesus is included. For Matthew, it is important to connect Jesus to King David and Abraham, adding legitimacy to Jesus’ title as Son of David and proving he is “the one who is to come,” Messiah and the Christ.
Another source that Matthew has that other Gospels do not, is his source describing the Magi, the star and their coming to the Holy Family with gifts. Like all the Gospels, these strange Gentile and outsider groups are valuable and essential as models of faith. As I have mentioned before, the ones who shouldn’t understand Jesus do and the ones who should don’t.
Jesus life is not a nice meet trajectory, rather it is a life, a lifeline filled with all sorts of strange characters, sinners and those outside the margins of society. It is a reason and call for us in our daily life to remember that all believers and people of faith are sometimes the least likely, ostracized and characters of our world.