The Book of Matthew begins the New Testament and is the 40th Book in the Bible. There are 28 chapters in the Book, which was written by Matthew, son of Alphaeus (Mark 2:14) sometime between 58 – 68 A.D. Matthew has been preeminently the Gospel of the church. It tells us of God’s love for Israel and of the fulfillment in Christ of God’s promise to the nation. It gives the complete story of Jesus’ ministry, death, and resurrection. The Sermon on the Mount and some of the most precious of Jesus’ parables are contained in this Gospel.
Two key passages to look at:
Matthew 16: 16-19 – Simon Peter answered and said “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” Jesus answered and said to him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but My Father who is in heaven. And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it. And I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.”
Matthew 28:19-20 And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to me on heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age. Amen.”
Key Chapter: Matthew 12
The turning point in Matthew comes in the 12th chapter when the Pharisees, acting as the leadership of the nation of Israel, formally reject Jesus Christ as the Messiah, saying that His power comes not from God but from Satan. Christ’s ministry changes immediately with his new teaching of parables, increased attention to His disciples, and his repeated statement that His death is now near.
Observations about Matthew:
– Matthew is the gospel written by a Jew to Jews about a Jew. Matthew is the writer, his country men are the readers, and Jesus is the subject.
– Matthew’s design, or objective, is to present Jesus as the King of the Jews, the long awaited Messiah.
— Through a carefully selected series of Old Testament quotations, Matthew documents Jesus Christ’s claim to be the Messiah.
— His genealogy, baptism, messages, and miracles all point to the same inescapable conclusion — Christ is the King.
— Even in His death, seeming defeat is turned to victory by the Resurrection, and the message again echoes forth—the King of the Jews lives.
– Matthew, the son of Alphaeus (Mark 2:14) occupied the unpopular post of tax collector.
— As a publican he was no doubt disliked by his Jewish countrymen.
— When Jesus called him to be a disciple (Matthew 9:9-13; Mark 2:14; Luke 5:27-28), his quick response probably meant that he had already been stirred by Jesus’ public teaching.
— He gave a large reception for Jesus in his house so that his associates could meet Jesus.
— From among the disciples, he was chosen as one of the twelve apostles.
— The last appearance of his name in the Bible is in Acts 1:13.
– The phrase, “the kingdom of heaven” appears thirty-two times in the Book of Matthew and no where else in the New Testament.
– To show that Jesus fulfills the qualifications for the Messiah, Matthew uses more Old Testament quotations and allusions than any other New Testament book —about 130.
— Often used in Matthew is the revealing phrase, “that what was spoken through the prophets might be fulfilled,” which does appear once in Mark, Luke, or John.
— The phrase “Son of David,” referring to the Davidic line, occurs nine times in Matthew, but only six times collectively in Mark, Luke, and John.
– Messiah means “the Anointed One” of Israel.
– Matthew leads his Jewish readers to see that Jesus is the culmination of promises delivered over a period of a thousand years. Thus God’s redemptive plan is alive and well even after four hundred years of prophetic silence.
The Old Testament prophets predicted and longed for the coming of the Anointed One who would enter history to bring redemption and deliverance. The first verse of Matthew succinctly announces the fulfillment of Israel’s hope in the coming of Christ – “The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the Son of David, the
Son of Abraham” (1:1) Matthew was placed first in the canon of the New Testament books by the early church because of its natural bridge between the Old and New Testaments. The Book of Matthew describes the Person and work of Israel’s messianic King. An important part of Matthew’s structure is revealed in the phrase “when Jesus had ended(finished)” (7:28; 11:1; 13:53; 19:1; 26:1) which He used to conclude the five discourses of the book.
1. The Sermon on the Mount. (5:3 – 7:27)
2. Instruction of the disciples. (10:5-42))
3. Parables of the Kingdom. (13:3-35)
5. Terms of discipleship. (18:3-35)
6. The Olivet Discourse. (24:4 – 25:46)
There are seven major divisions in the book:
The promise to Abraham was that “in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed” (Genesis 12:3). This would take place through Christ. Jesus Christ, the Savior of the world, is “the Son of Abraham” (1). However, He is also “the Son of David”; and as David’s direct descendant, He is qualified to be Israel’s King.
The Magi know that the King of the Jews” (2:2) has been born and come to worship Him. John the Baptist, the forerunner of the Messiah who breaks the four hundred years of prophetic silence, also bears witness of Him (Malachi 3:1). The sinlessness of the King is proved when He overcomes the temptations of the Devil to
disobey the will of the Father.
In this section Matthew uses a topical rather than a chronological arrangement of his material in order to develop a crucial pattern in Christ’s ministry.
The words of the Lord are found in the Sermon on the Mount. Although it requires less than fifteen minutes to read, its brevity has not diminished its
profound influence on the world. The Sermon on the Mount presents new laws and standards for God’s people.
The works of the Lord are present in a series of ten miracles (8 and 9) that reveal His authority over every realm (disease, demons, death, and nature).
Thus, the words of the Lord are supported by His works. His claims are verified by His credentials.
In this section Matthew notes a series of reactions to Christ’s words and works. Because of increasing opposition, Jesus begins to spend proportionately more time with His disciples as He prepares them for His coming death and departure from among them.
In a series of discourses, Jesus communicates the significance of accepting or rejecting His offer of righteousness. His teaching in 16:13 – 21:11 is primarily directed to those who accept Him.
The majority of Christ’s words in this section are aimed at those who reject their King. The Lord predicts the terrible judgment that will fall on Jerusalem, resulting in the dispersion of the Jewish people. Looking beyond these events (fulfilled in A.D. 70), He also describes His second coming
as the Judge and Lord over all of the Earth.
Authenticating the words and works of Christ are the empty tomb, resurrection, and post resurrecting appearances, all proving that Jesus Christ is indeed the prophesied Messiah, the very Son of God.
Christ’s final ministry in Judea (beginning in 19:1) reaches a climax at the cross as the King willingly gives up His life to redeem sinful man.
Jesus endures awesome human hatred in this great demonstration of divine lone.
Romans 5:7-8 – “For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to die.
But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
His perfect sacrifice is acceptable, and this gospel concludes with His glorious resurrection.