If there's one thing Jesus can do—wait, scratch that. Jesus can do pretty much anything. But he might just be best at forgiveness. Pretty much everyone in Matthew's Gospel turns their back on the guy (Peter, his main man, does it thrice!), and he forgives all of 'em. Of course, Jesus isn't just forgiving these folks for everyday flubs. He's forgiving them of their sins. Remember that paralytic guy whom Jesus heals in Chapter 9? How's that for a one-two punch of compassion and forgiveness? In Matthew, the two seem to go hand in hand.
Want to know how to be awesome? Just look at a hypocrite and do the exact opposite. At least that's what Matthew's Jesus would say. Whenever he wants to make a point about what not to do, he singles out the hypocrites. And who are the best hypocrites around? Why, the Pharisees and chief priests, of course. At the time, these guys were the head honchos, so it was actually a pretty big deal for Jesus to call them out like that. Why is he so hung up on them?
Remember all that talk in Matthew about the kingdom of heaven? Well, Jesus is referring to immortality—life after death. Jesus loves to wax poetic about this glorious place. In fact, many of his parables even begin with the words "The kingdom of heaven is like." But here's the thing: not everyone gets invited to the party. Instead, it's promised to a couple different groups in the Beatitudes (lucky!), and Jesus even makes a point to emphasize just how hard it is to enter. No one ever said this follower thing would be easy.
According to Jesus, all humans are sinners. Yep, that means you, too. But don't worry. Matthew makes sure we know there's a Jesus for that. Turns out, Jesus isn't a fan of sinning—color us shocked!—and he's here to forgive all humans of their sins. He does it on an individual basis for some people (remember the paralytic from Chapter 9?), but everyone else can be included, too, as long as they do what Jesus says.
Jesus is an expert at fulfilling prophecies—whether or not he has a say in the matter. It's kind of uncanny, actually. But why is Matthew so focused on it? Well, Matthew's prime audience was the Jewish community, so he needed to use the many prophecies of the Hebrew Bible to convince his readers that Jesus was the Messiah. Unfortunately, Matthew doesn't have a works cited for us, but back in the day, everyone would have known exactly what he was referring to. And biblical scholars have pored over scripture for centuries so we can know, too.