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Matthew Overview

5 Major Theological Themes of the Old Testament:

(Besides the abundant information about the character of Yahweh, His holiness and faithful love!)

1.       Creation/ Fall/ Redemption                         Genesis 1-3

Mankind is created in the image and likeness of God, but…Mankind has fallen into sin, are now sinners by nature and objects of wrath; God has initiated forgiveness for repentant people through atoning sacrifice

2.       Prophecies of the Coming Messiah             Genesis 3

2 Major categories of prophecies about Him: Will be a suffering servant who offers atonement for sinners – Isa 53; Will be a conquering King who will judge all individuals/ nations – Psalm 2

3.       The Abrahamic Covenant                           Genesis 12

Unconditional: Abraham promised three things: His descendants would be a great nation; His descendants would possess the land of Canaan; All nations of the earth would be blessed through his seed 

4.       The Mosaic Law/ Covenant                        Exodus 20

3 Components: Moral Law (Applicable for all time); Priestly Law (Fulfilled by the work of Christ); Civil Law (will be obsolete after work of Christ)

Conditional: Blessings for obedience; curses for disobedience

The Law shows our sin (SOS), the gospel shows our savior (SOS)

5.       Davidic Covenant                                        2 Samuel 7

Unconditional: Messiah will be a descendant of David, and rule the world from David’s throne in the land promised to Abraham.

As we said at the end of Malachi, there should be three words attached to the end of the Old Testament: what are they? TO BE CONTINUED!

400 years later the Messiah came!       Look at Matthew 1:1

How many of the key O.T. theological themes are seen in Matthew 1:1?

This is the historical record of Jesus Christ, the Son of David, the Son of Abraham.

At least 3!              Christ = Messiah.

The reference to David and Abraham is clearly alerting us that the one who will fulfill the unconditional promises made to Abraham and David is now here!

And so the “To Be Continued” of the Old Testament is now being continued!

Jesus Christ is the focal point of all the Bible, the fulfillment of Israel’s aspiration to know and love their God, the hope of Gentiles to also know God.

1:1-17 The historical and legal line of Jesus through his “step-dad” Joseph, proving His connection with both the Abrahamic Covenant and the Davidic Covenant.

Luke traces Jesus’ genealogical descent through Mary. Either way, both ways the line of Jesus is solidly through Abraham, the tribe of Judah, and Judah’s King David.

1:18-25 Jesus was born of the virgin Mary, fulfilling Isaiah’s prophecy in 7:14.

Truly He was Immanuel, “God with us!” The name Jesus means “God saves.”   

In the Old Testament we saw several times things were repeated. But the message of Jesus Christ is so important the New Testament begins by repeating it 4 different times!

Matthew is the first of the 3 synoptic gospels, so called because they contain very similar flow and wording. John writes later, includes many things the first three didn’t, and gives much more theological commentary as he writes.

The Synoptic gospels progress from the ministry of John the Baptist to the baptism of Jesus to His ministry in Galilee in Judea to His final week in Jerusalem.

In the Synoptics Jesus usually calls Himself the Son of Man and proclaims the Kingdom of God.

The Gospel of Matthew is by Matthew the Tax Collector, one of Jesus’ original 12 disciples! The word gospel means “good news!” Matthew writes of his own call in Matthew 9:9-13.

Matthew was the son of Alphaeus, employed by the Roman Government as a Tax Collector. His Jewish name was Levi (Mark 2:14; Luke 5:27).

Some date Matthew’s gospel as early as A.D. 50. Most date it before the Temple was destroyed in A.D. 70. Most likely is sometime in the fifties or sixties.

Outline of Matthew:

1:1               Presentation: Background information about Jesus Christ.

4:12             Proclamation: Teaching and miracles prove Jesus is the Messiah.

16:21           Passion: Jesus’ death, resurrection, and great commission.

From then on Jesus began to preach, “Repent, because the Kingdom of Heaven has come near.”            -Matthew 4:17

From then on Jesus began to point out to His disciples that He must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things from the elders, chief priests, and scribes, be killed, and be raised the third day.  -Matthew 16:21

Matthew’s gospel contains about 20 parables and 20 miracles (2nd to Luke). 

There are 5 key speeches in Matthew’s gospel, each ending with the phrase, “when Jesus had ended.”

7:28             After the Sermon on the Mount

11:1             After Jesus gave His disciples instructions about their mission trip

13:53           After the signature parables of the kingdom of chapter 13

19:1             After pressing the demands of relationships in chapter 18

26:1             After the Olivet Discourse about prophecy

A fivefold structure was common in Judaism (Pentateuch).

Matthew may have done this to subtly reinforce that Jesus is the Prophet Moses spoke of in Deuteronomy 18:15

Matthew’s gospel makes clear that Jesus was mankind’s rightful authority: Lord of the moral realm, physical realm, and spiritual realm.

To show that Jesus is Israel’s Messiah and rightful king, Matthew uses nearly 130 quotes and allusions from the Old Testament, one of the highest totals in the New Testament. 310 of Matthew’s 1,071 verses quote or allude to the O.T.

Matthew says “Kingdom of Heaven” 32 times; only NT use of the phrase.

Interesting: Matthew’s gospel says Kingdom of Heaven; Mark and Luke say Kingdom of God. Apparently, Jesus used them interchangeably. John uses another favorite phrase of Jesus instead: eternal life.

Matthew’s gospel is full of great teaching and miracles by Jesus to prove He is the Messiah, in fulfillment of Old Testament promises and prophecies. The reader is invited to repent, trust Jesus, and enter the Kingdom of Heaven.

A Closer Look at the Gospel of Matthew:

Chapter 3 has the baptism of Jesus by John the Baptist. Jesus will never ask us to do anything He didn’t personally model.

The Baptism of Jesus also features a reference to all three members of the Trinity: God the Father says from Heaven that He is pleased with His beloved Son, and the Spirit of God descends upon Jesus “like” a dove.

Chapter 4 features Jesus being tempted by Satan in the wilderness, but not sinning. Jesus rebukes Satan each time with scripture. Significantly, Israel had sinned when they were in the desert, but not our champion Jesus!

We learn of John the Baptist’s death in chapter 4, after which Jesus takes His disciples to Capernaum in Galilee to live and minister for a while: even more prophecy fulfilled!

Chapters 5 to 7 feature one of Jesus’ three key extended times of teaching in the gospels: the famous Sermon on the Mount, beginning with the Beatitudes.

The other long teachings are the Olivet Discourse (about end times) and the Upper Room Discourse (Jesus’ intimate words to His disciples before going to the cross).

The Sermon on the Mount is Jesus’ summary of the things He expects to characterize His followers!

Matthew 7:28-29 are key verses: Jesus taught as one who had authority. This is the central question of the gospels: Is Jesus the rightful authority of mankind. Chapters 8-9 reinforce that Jesus is earth’s rightful authority.

He taught as one who had authority. That’s authority over the moral realm.

The centurion acknowledges that Jesus has authority (power) to heal (8:9-10). Jesus commends the man’s faith for acknowledging His authority! These healings show His authority over the physical world. He shows it again by stopping the wind and waves, prompting the disciples to say, “What kind of man is this? Even the winds and sea obey Him! (8:27).

At the end of chapter 8 Jesus makes demons depart from a man. Chapter 9 opens with Jesus healing a paralytic, but more specifically, forgiving the man’s sins, something only God can do. Jesus says in verse, “So you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins…” These two incidents together mean that Jesus is also authority over the spiritual realm.

In Matthew 28, before giving His disciples the Great Commission, Jesus says that “all authority in Heaven and Earth belongs to Him.” He has clearly established that in Matthew chapters 1-9, and will confirm it when He rises from the dead!

Chapter 9 ends with Jesus calling Himself the Lord of the harvest, and inviting His disciples to join Him as workers in the harvest!

Having established His rightful authority (chapters 1-9), Jesus delegates it in chapter 10 as he sends his disciples out on a short term mission trip.

“Go to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.”           Verse 6

But in Matthew 28 Jesus says go to all nations.

What’s the difference? Good missiology yes (Go to familiar before going beyond the familiar) but also Matthew 10 is pre-cross and Matthew 28 is post-cross.

12:15-21 clearly indicates Jesus is the fulfillment of the suffering servant passages in the prophets!

Chapter 13           Parables of the Kingdom

Some of the coolest teaching of Jesus is in Parables! This is what it’s like when God rules!              Why parables?       13:10-13

Parable of the Sower Explained!          13:18-23     

Chapter 14   Feeding of 5,000   In all four gospels!

And walking of water      Lord of physical realm!

Chapter 16 Peter’s Confession/ Passion foretold!

16:13-28      First time word church is used in New Testament.

Matthew is the only gospel to mention the church explicitly (16:18; 18:17).

Chapter 17   Jesus’ transfiguration!

Jesus looks here like what He looks like in Revelation chapter 1

Chapter 21   Triumphal Entry

Not on a white horse like a conquering king (that will be second coming)

But on a donkey, a beast of burden, like a suffering servant!

21:23-27      Again the question of authority

22:34-40      The Greatest commandment

22:41-46      Intriguing teaching on the Son of David!

Chapter 23   WOES!        Highest concentration in Bible

Chapters 24-25     Jesus’ teaching on End Times called the Olivet Discourse

25:31-46      The separating of the sheep and goats!

This is of course very moving, and very convicting, as Jesus intended it to be!

Chapter 26           The events leading to Jesus’ arrest; religious trial

This is the longest chapter in Matthew: 75 verses!

The plot to get Jesus; The anointing by Mary sister of Martha and Lazarus (John 12); The betrayal by Judas at the Passover meal; The First Lord’s Supper (Read 26:26-30); The prediction of Peter’s Betrayal; The prayer in the garden (Read 26:36-46); Judas’ Kiss; Jesus faces the Sanhedrin; Peter’s Denial

Chapter 27           The secular trial, crucifixion, death and burial of Jesus

Taken to Pilate; Judas hangs himself; Jesus before Pilate; Barabbas released instead of Jesus; Soldiers mockery; Crucifixion between two criminals; death & buriel

Many irregularities in these trials! Jesus found innocent by Pilate, still crucified!

Read 27:46            Theological implications of Jesus’ death.      2 Corinthians 5:21

Read 27:50-54       Truly this was the Son of God!

Chapter 28           The resurrection and Great Commission of Jesus

Read 28:5-7           He’s alive!

Read 28:16-20       The Great Commission   

The Commission is to make disciples here and around the world.

They will testify of their new faith through baptism; they will go on to observe everything Christ has commanded them to do!

Key verses to look at: Acts 1:6-8

It will happen in due time, but right now focus on taking the gospel to the nations!

That’s exactly what we are told to do in Matthew’s gospel!