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Getting to Know the Bible: Matthew Overview

Updated: Jan 7

Peace & Blessings Beloved,

TGBTG for allowing us to see another day. I pray all is well with you and yours, and that your week has been fruitful & blessed thus far.


Today we are going to visit our Getting to Know the Bible Series. In this series, our goal is to come to a comprehensive understanding of each book of the bible. At this point of the series we're going to focus on Matthew. But before we get to Matthew 1, I want to ensure we have a baseline understanding of the book of Matthew. This way we can have a full appreciation for the exquisiteness of the entire book, as well as each individual chapter.


And so, in that spirit, see below for a comprehensive overview of the book of Matthew, as we prepare to behold and discern Matthew, beginning with Matthew 1 in our next installment of this series.



Book Type: The first book of the four gospels; the first book of the New Testament


Author: The disciple Matthew, based on both internal evidence and traditions


Date of Writing: Most likely AD 60—69


Audience: Jews


Theme: Jesus is King (Messiah)


Original Language: Greek (some debate has been given to the thought of Aramaic being the original language it was written in, at least in part)


Purpose of Writing: Matthew intends to prove to the Jews that Jesus Christ is the promised Messiah. More than any other Gospel, the Gospel of Matthew quotes the Old Testament to show how Jesus fulfilled the words of the Jewish prophets. Matthew describes in detail the lineage of Jesus from David, and uses many forms of speech that Jews would have been comfortable with. Matthew’s love and concern for his people is apparent through his meticulous approach to telling the gospel story.


Summary: The Gospel of Matthew discusses the lineage, birth, and early life of Christ in the first two chapters. From there, the book discusses the ministry of Jesus. The descriptions of Christ’s teachings are arranged around discourses such as the Sermon on the Mount in chapters 5 through 7. Chapter 10 involves the mission and purpose of the disciples; chapter 13 is a collection of parables; chapter 18 discusses the church; chapter 23 begins a discourse about hypocrisy and the future. Chapters 21 through 27 discuss the arrest, torture, and execution of Jesus. The final chapter describes the Resurrection and the Great Commission.


Overview:

Matthew is one of the longest books in the New Testament, with 28 chapters. These are often divided into seven sections.


The first major section consists of chapters 1-4, covering the genealogy of Jesus (Matthew 1:1–17), His birth (Matthew 1:18-2:23), His baptism (Matthew 3:1–17), His temptations (Matthew 4:1–11), and His early ministry (Matthew 4:12-25).


The second section covers chapters 5-9 and includes the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7) and Jesus' first lengthy series of miracles (Matthew 8-9).


The third section (Matthew 10-12) includes the calling of the twelve disciples (Matthew 10), Jesus' communication with John the Baptist, and woes for the unrepentant cities, (Matthew 11), and opposition from the Jewish religious leaders (Matthew 12).


The fourth section (Matthew 13-7) includes a series of eight parables (Matthew 13). These are followed by a series of Jesus' miracles and predictions (Matthew 14-17).


The fifth section (Matthew 18-23) includes various teachings (Matthew 18:1-20:28); display of miraculous powers (Matthew 20:29-21:27); additional parables (Matthew 21:28-22:14); responses to opponents (Matthew 22); and dramatic appeals to the scribes, Pharisees, and Jerusalem (Matthew 23). The sixth section (Matthew 24:1—28:15) includes the Olivet Discourse (Matthew 24-25). These teachings are followed by proof of Jesus' role as Savior, through the crucifixion and resurrection narratives (Matthew 26-28:15).


The seventh, concluding section (Matthew 28:16-20), includes the final teachings of Jesus. He commands His followers to make disciples of all nations, going, baptizing, and teaching them just as Jesus did.


Application:

As we read through the pages of Matthew, not only do we see Jesus Christ revealed as Israel’s King and Messiah, but His coming to earth as God in the flesh reminds us of His deep love for us. Now resurrected and ascended, the Lord Jesus will always be with us, even to the end of time (Matthew 28:20).


Key Verses (ESV):


Matthew 5:17: "Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them." Matthew 5:43–44: "You have heard that it was said, 'You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.' But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you." Matthew 6:9–13: "Pray then like this: \ 'Our Father in heaven, \ hallowed be your name. \ Your kingdom come, \ your will be done, \ on earth as it is in heaven. \ Give us this day our daily bread, \ and forgive us our debts, \ as we also have forgiven our debtors. \ And lead us not into temptation, \ but deliver us from evil.'" Matthew 16:26: "For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what shall a man give in return for his soul?" Matthew 22:37–40: "And he said to him, 'You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.'" Matthew 27:31: "And when they had mocked him, they stripped him of the robe and put his own clothes on him and led him away to crucify him." Matthew 28:19–20: "Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age."


*Note: As a tax collector, Matthew possessed a skill that makes his writing all the more exciting for Christians. Tax collectors were expected to be able to write in a form of shorthand, which essentially meant that Matthew could record a person’s words as they spoke, word for word. This ability means that the words of Matthew are not only inspired by the Holy Spirit, but should represent an actual transcript of some of Christ’s sermons.


The apostle Matthew offers a decidedly Jewish perspective on the ministry of Jesus. He included 60+ direct citations, and even more indirect allusions, from the Old Testament. This far exceeds any of the other gospels. Matthew’s extensive connections between Jesus and the Old Testament provide ample prophetic evidence for Jesus’ ministry.


I pray you receive this with the love intended, and apply it to wisdom.

May the joy of the Lord continue to be your strength.


Love you much.


Stay Safe, Stay Healthy, Stay Blessed!


-Humble Servant


P.S- If you have not given your life to Jesus Christ, I implore you to take the time to do so right now. Use John 3:16 & Romans 10:9-10 as a foundation for making your confession of faith. And use Ephesians 2:1-10 to provide proper context for your salvation.

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