Each of the stories in the opening chapters of Matthew's gospel build upon the the unexpected nature of Christ's history, arrival and inauguration. What we would expect to mark the story of an honorable figure is subverted. Making us wonder at the unexpected nature of the kingdom that Jesus' comes to declare,
- Who is included.
- The cost of finding & traveling the kingdom way.
- The power and importance of words.
- The timing of judgment and deliverance.
- The "otherness" of the kingdom.
- The intensity of its opposition.
- Who recognizes it, and who doesn't.
“'Honor' is the generalized term which refers to the worth or value of persons both in their own eyes and in the eyes of their village or neighborhood…” or social communities. Jesus’ world, the world in which the gospel of Matthew was written, was a world in which the pursuit of honor was the highest pursuit.