Matthew is a music fan. Okay, maybe I’m exaggerating a little. However, in Matthew 21 he directly cites the Old Testament at least six times. Three of those times were from the Psalms, an ancient book of music (and the largest book of the Jewish Scriptures). So Matthew likes music.
More specifically, Jesus likes the Psalms a lot. While I’m not about to go into the technical aspects at the moment (Here’s a great article for those interested in doing so), the point is that Matthew mentions Psalms a lot in part because Jesus does.
Yet the history of the church and music has been mixed. Congregations and generations are often divided about which music is “okay” and whether certain instruments make God happpier (As if God like accordians better than cello or drums). Interestingly, Jesus was more concerned about the lyrics of the music than the style. He also cared much more about the motives of his hearers rather than their iPod playlists (Yes, I realize there were no iPods in the First Century. Their loss.).
That said, Matthew 21 covers a lot of ground–coming to Jerusalem and the temple, cursing a fig tree, a few parables–and my wrist ached by the end of writing out its words. But I also grew in my appreciation for the use of the Old Testament in the New Testament. Jesus used it often and in ways that reflected his high view of it.
All of that to say that if by God’s grace I finish my project to handwrite the New Testament this year, I may have to rewind and take on the Old Testament too. My body may not agree, but my soul will simply feel a bit incomplete to reflect for so long on one Testament without the other.
Dillon Burroughs has written, co-written, or edited over 60 books, including the upcoming devotional work Thirst No More (October 2011). He served as an associate editor for The Apologetics Study Bible for Students and is a graduate of Dallas Theological Seminary. Find out more at DillonBurroughs.org.