Matthew

by Mike Raiter
Overview

One day, while he was sitting in his tax collection booth, Matthew heard Jesus call, “Follow me”. From then on, the reformed sinner became one of the Twelve. We have in his gospel an eyewitness account of the ministry of Jesus. The Gospels are not biographies in the modern sense of the word. They are “preached histories”—selective records of the life and work of Jesus, designed to both elicit and strengthen faith in Jesus.

Being Jewish, Matthew repeatedly emphasises how Jesus fulfilled all that was predicted of the coming Messiah. Jesus’ ministry is explicitly to “the lost sheep of the house of Israel”, but there are numerous indications that the day of the Gentiles is about to dawn. Jesus preaches the gospel of the kingdom of heaven, and calls people to be Hisdisciples and live under His rule. He calls for a life of radical righteousness marked by justice, mercy, and faithfulness, while at the same time assuring His followers that His yoke is easy and His burden is light. Despite the persistent opposition of the Jewish leaders, and according to the will of God, Jesus goes to Jerusalem, where He is hailed as the Messiah, rejected, crucified, and then raised from the dead, that He might bring salvation to all who trust and obey Him.

The Structure of Matthew

1:1–4:11
Evidence for Jesus of Nazareth as the Messiah and King

4:12–7:29
The declaration of the King’s standards

8:1–11:1
The authentication of the King’s authority

11:2–13:53
Opposition and rejection of the King’s authority

13:54–19:2
The response of the King

19:3–26:1
The formal presentation of the King to the nation and the ensuing rejection

26:2–28:20
The crucifixion and resurrection of the King

Key Verse
Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.”—Matthew 16:16

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