THE GOSPEL OF MATTHEW
a. Traditionally the Gospel is ascribed to Matthew Levi, a tax
collector called by Jesus, who became one of the Twelve (Mt.9:9-13;
10:3; Acts 1:13).
b. Matthew was a Jew, and his work is very Jewish in
character. He refers to the Old Testament about 60 times. He
appreciates the Scriptures as God's Word.
c. The Gospel is organised into two main divisions (see: "From
that time": 4:17; 16:21) and five blocks of material (see: "And it came
to pass when Jesus...": 7:28; 11:1; 13:53; 19:1; 26:1). This may
reflect Matthew's profession as a tax collector who kept books. His
five major discourses correspond to the five books of Moses: the Sermon
on the Mount (chs.5-7); the charge to the Twelve (ch.10); the parables
of the kingdom (ch.13); the teaching on greatness and forgiveness
(ch.18); and the discourse on the last things (chs.24-25). But who is
Jesus according to Matthew?
a. "Now all this was done that it might be fulfilled" is found
in 1:23; 2:6,15,18, 23; 4:15, 16; 8:17; 12:18-21; 13:35; 21:5;
27:9,10). (Involve the congregation in reading these verses.)
b. God's covenant promises are fulfilled in Jesus. (Note that
the fulfilment motif underlines promise before prediction.)
c. The first scripture cites Isa.7:14, and names Jesus as
Immanuel (God with us). This reminds us that the Gospel represents
Jesus more than Messiah.
Jesus is the Messiah
a. Matthew seeks to demonstrate for Jewish readers that Jesus
is the promised Messiah - the Anointed or the Christ.
b. The genealogy of Jesus (1:1-16) is messianic - he is the
son of David.
c. At his baptism the Lord was anointed by the divine Spirit
(3:13-17; cf., Isa.42:1; Psa.2:7).
d. Peter confessed Jesus as the Christ at Caesarea Philippi
e. The miracles are messianic signs (12:28).
f. Pilate's recognition contrasts with the unbelief of the
g. But a crucified Christ was a stumbling-block to the Jews
(27:37; 1 Cor.1:23; Dt.21:22,23; Gal.3:13). How could someone cursed by
God be the Christ?
Jesus is the universal King
a. The key verse: "Where is he who has been born King of the
Jews?" (2:1) intimates a main theme. But 'king' may denote Messiah,
universal king, and king of the kingdom of God (of which the church is
a part: 16:18). ('Kingdom' is a dynamic term (Gk.basileia = rule or
reign before region).
b. As a king Jesus entered Jerusalem in peace on the animal of
peace (21:1-11; Zech.9:9).
c. He knew the fate of the city (23:37-39) and spoke of his
future powerful advent (25:31f.) as Son of Man. (He is the King of
kings and the Lord of lords (Rev.17:14; 19:16; cf., Isa.9:6).
a. In common with all the four Gospels Matthew gives a full
account of the death and resurrection of Jesus. Matthew is a Gospel, a
manual prepared for preachers and teachers. It is not a life of Christ.
b. Matthew is concerned with discipleship (28:19-20). So, he
emphasises the centrality of Jesus, the important of Scripture, and the
Lord's teaching to those who would follow him (4:19; 11:28-30).
Copyright © 2007 Vernon