Even someone who knows very little about art can look at a painting and be impressed and moved. However, the highest level of appreciation of any masterpiece is experienced by those who truly understand it—who know the artist and motivation, who see the skill and detail. It’s not that the unknowledgeable can’t appreciate art, it’s just that the ceiling on their awe is lower.
The gospel of Jesus Christ is a work of art with unmatched beauty, unrivalled precision, and incalculable worth. While all Christians can enjoy and appreciate it, it’s those who grow in their recognition of its detail and depth that can best celebrate its perfections. In this passage, Matthew serves as curator of God’s masterpiece, pointing out details of Jesus’ work and, inso doing, invites us into a deeper, more profound celebration of our salvation.