The Lion of Judah. That is a popular phrase dealing with the tribe of Judah and the Messiah that would come from that tribe. It is important, but what does it have to do with the Gospel of Matthew?
Matthew was a tax collector from the tribe of Levi. His life, like ours, was full of sin. But, God forgave him and gave him a new life in Christ. It is from this point that Matthew composes the gospel according to him.
Matthew and his gospel is often symbolized as a lion. Just like Judah, the lion, from which the King of kings came, the King of the world was shown in the Gospel of Matthew. For clarity purposes, let me explain that this series will be covering how the the four gospels relate to the tribes of Israel, prophecy and the identity of Christ.
Our series starts here in Revelation 4:8:
And the four beasts had each of them six wings about him; and they were full of eyes within: and they rest not day and night, saying, “Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come.”
We have four beasts, a lion, calf/ox, man and a eagle (Revelation 4:7). Each animal represents both a gospel and tribe of Israel, as well as the founder of each of those tribes.
We have the lion, who is Judah and Matthew.
We have the calf/ox, who is Ephraim and Mark.
We have the man, who is Reuben and Luke.
We have the eagle, who is Dan and John.
Each of these tribes, people and gospels will unfold a web of amazing prophecies and truth found in the Old and New Testament.
Throughout the book of Matthew, he goes about explaining the true Kingship of Christ. His entire book is full of fulfilled prophecies and proof to show that Christ is the Messiah/King all the Jews had been waiting for.
His account contains 47 quotes from OT scripture, confirming the Kingship of Christ. He also includes 17 miracles the King of the world committed. He also includes an extensive list about Christ’s ancestors that points to Him being from the line of Judah. All in all, through many other methods, Matthew made sure the Jews knew that their King had come.
Now, Judah, whether the person himself or the tribe, was very strong. As the leader of the tribes, he was rightfully named the lion. And, from this kingly tribe, the Messiah King would descend. From Judah, which means “praise of the Lord”, descended the King, whom the lion calls out to with:
Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come.
Interesting side note, when talking about Judah, the following prophecy was made in Genesis 49:10:
The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come; and unto Him shall the gathering of the people be.