One Bible scholar who spent an entire decade studying every word of Matthew’s Gospel over and over wrote this summary:
Jesus is painted in royal colors in this gospel as in none of the others. His ancestry is traced from the royal line of Israel; his birth is dreaded by a jealous earthly king; the magi bring the infant Jesus royal gifts from the east; and John the Baptist heralds the King and proclaims that His kingdom is at hand. Even the temptations in the wilderness climax with Satan offering Jesus the kingdoms of this world. The Sermon on the Mount is the manifesto of the King, the miracles are His royal credentials, and many of the parables portray the mysteries of His kingdom. Jesus identifies Himself with the king’s son in a parable and makes a royal entry into Jerusalem. While facing the cross He predicts His future reign, and He claims dominion over the angels in heaven. His last words are that all authority
Yet Matthew also focuses most uniquely on the rejection of Jesus as King. In no other gospel are the attacks against Jesus’ character and Jesus’ claims so bitter and vile as those reported in Matthew. The shadow of rejection is never lifted from Matthew’s story.
- Before Jesus was born, His mother, Mary, was in danger of being rejected by Joseph.
- Soon after He was born, Herod threatened His life, and His parents had to flee with Him to Egypt.
- His herald, John the Baptist, was put in a dungeon and eventually beheaded.
- During His earthly ministry Jesus had no place to lay His head, no place to call home.
In Matthew’s gospel no penitent thief acknowledges Jesus’ Lordship, and no friend or loved one is seen at the foot of the cross-only the mockers and scorners. Even the women are pictured at a distance (27:55-56), and in His death Jesus cries out, “My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?” (27:46). Only a Gentile centurion speaks a favorable word about the crucified One: “Truly this was the Son of God!” (27:54). When some of the soldiers who had stood guard over the tomb reported its being empty, the Jewish authorities paid them to say that Jesus’ body was stolen by His disciples (28:11-15).
Yet Jesus is also shown as the King who ultimately will return to judge and to rule. All the earth one-day “will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky with power and great glory” (24:30), His coming will be “at an hour when you do not think He will” (v. 44) and He will come in glory and in judgment (25:31-33).
No reader can fully immerse himself in this gospel without emerging with a compelling sense of both the eternal majesty of the Lord Jesus Christ and the strong power that sin and Satan held over the apostate Israel that rejected Christ.
No gospel is more instructive to those who are the Lord’s disciples and who are called to represent Him in the world. The lessons on discipleship are life changing for the committed reader, as they were for the eleven who were Jesus’ first followers. Thus, with all its great themes of majesty and glory, rejection and apostasy, the book of Matthew lacks no practicality. Woven through all that is the constant thread of revealed instruction for those who are His representatives among men.
Let’s start by looking at the Gospel Accounts found only in Matthew:
1:2O-24 Joseph’s dream*
2:1-12 The visit of the wise men
2:13-15 Escape to Egypt*
2:16-18 Slaughter of the children*
27:3-10 The death of Judas*
27:19 The dream of Pilate’s wife
27:52 The other resurrections
28:11-15 The bribery of the guards
28:19, 20 The baptism emphasis in the Great Commission*
- Matthew records nine special events that are not mentioned in any of the other Gospels.
- In each case, the most apparent reason for Matthew’s choice has to do with his purpose in communicating the gospel to Jewish people.
- Five cases are fulfillments of Old Testament prophecies (marked with asterisks above). The other four would have been of particular interest to the Jews of Matthew’s day.
MATTHEW records no less than
40 different names of
God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit:
- Jesus Christ: Mt. 1:1
- Son of David: Mt. 1:1
- Son of Abraham: Mt. 1:1
- Jesus: Mt. 1:16
- Christ: Mt. 1:17
- Holy Ghost: Mt. 1:18,20
- Lord: Mt. 1:22
- Emmanuel: Mt. 1:23 (God With Us)
- King of the Jews: Mt. 2:2; Mt 27:11
- Governor: Mt. 2:6
- God: Mt. 2:12
- Spirit of God: Mt. 3:16
- Son: Mt. 3:17
- Spirit: Mt. 4:1; Mk. 1:10
- Son of God: Mt. 4:3
- Lord Thy God: Mt. 4:7,10
- Father: Mt. 5:16 (in heaven)
- Great King: Mt. 5:35
- Father In Secret: Matthew 6:4-6
- Master: Mt. 8:19 (Rabbin 1:38) (Rabboni Jn. 20:16)
- Son of Man: Mt. 8:20
- Bridegroom: Mt. 9:15
- Lord of Harvest: Mt. 9:38
- Spirit of Your Father: Mt. 10:20
- Father Lord of Heaven & Earth: Matthew 11:25
- Father: Mt. 11:26
- Lord of Sabbath: Mt. 12:8
- Greater than Jonah: Mt. 12:41
- Greater than Solomon: Mt. 12:42
- Carpenters Son: Mt. 13:55
- Prophet: Mt. 13:57 (The Prophet) Jn. 7:40
- God of Israel: Mt. 15:31
- Son of the Living God: Mt. 16:16
- Beloved Son: Mt. 3:17; Mk. 1:11
- Good Master: Mt. 19:16
- God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob: Mt. 22:32
- Living God: Mt. 26:63
- Jesus of Galilee: Mt. 26:69
- Jesus of Nazareth: Mt. 26:71
- King of Israel: Mt. 27:22
Now, look at how Matthew works in the Messiah’s Kingship into every chapter of the book.
Key theme: The King and His kingdom
Key verses: Matthew 2:2; 4:17
Matthew records God’s presentation of His Perfect King.
In each chapter Jesus is seen in His beauty and power as King:
God’s King Revealed Matthew 1-10 (Note: The message during this period of His ministry was, “The kingdom of heaven is at hand” [3:2; 4:17; 10:7].)
- God presents His King by a Royal Ancestry
- God presents His King Arriving Royally
- God presents His King by a Prepared Ambassador
- God presents His King Defeating the Rebel Leader Satan
- God presents His King Describing the Character of His Subjects.
- God presents His King Describing the Conduct of His Subjects
- God presents His King Describing the Consistency of His Subjects
- God presents His King Displaying His Power over the natural world: disease (v. 1-15); demons (v. 16-17, 28-34) and men (v. 18-22).
- God presents His King Displaying His Power over the Spiritual world: forgiveness (v. 1-8); religion (v. 10-17); Death, darkness and dumbness (v. 18-34)
- God presents His King Commissioning His Apostles
God’s King Rebelled against Matthew 11-13
- God presents His King’s messenger and message rejected
- God presents His King attacked personally
- God presents His King through His Kingdom Mysteries
God’s King Retreating with His Apostles Matthew 14-20
- God presents His King’s Compassion (death John, feeding 5,000 and walking to disciples on the sea)
- God presents His King’s Convictions (defilement, Syro-Phonecian, feeding 4,000)
- God presents His King by a Confession of His Deity (First mention of the cross—16:21)
- God presents His King by a Glimpse of His Glory (Second mention of the cross—17:22)
- God presents His King’s Humility (children, 99 sheep, etc.)
- God presents His King by His Absolute Authority (Word, Way and rewards)
- God presents His King’s Position (Judge, Son & Messiah) (Third mention of the cross—20:17–19)
God’s King Rejected and Slain Matthew 21-27
- God presents His King Presenting Himself
- God presents His King Answering Skeptics (heaven, money and the Law)
- God presents His King Rebuking Religious Hypocrisy
- God presents His King Revealing the Future
- God presents His King Returning in Glory
- God presents His King Preparing to Die
- God presents His King Offering His Life
God’s King Raised from the Dead Matthew 28
- God presents His King Conquering Death
If we look closely at some of the individual verses of this book we can see how much like a King He Was!
- He had the name of a KING “They shall call his name Emmanuel” (1:23).
- He had the place of a kiNG “Out of thee shall come a Governor, that shall rule my people Israel” (2:6).
- He had the fanfare of a KING “Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight (3:3).
- He had the coronation of a KING “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased” (3:17).
- He had the respect due to a KING “Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shall thou serve” (4:10).
- He had the authority to speak as a KING “And he opened his mouth, and taught them” (5:2). “He taught them as one having authority …” (7:29).
- He had the authority to make the demands of a king: What characterizes those seekers of God’s kingdom or ruling in life? Matthew 6:33
- Every desire of life must be tested in relation to the King.
- Every decision must be made in the interest of the King. Prov 3:5-6
- Every duty must be performed for the pleasure of the King. I Cor 10:31
- Every difficulty must be faced by trusting the King. Lk 9.23
- Every danger must be braved for the honor of the King. 2 Tim 3.12
- Every dishonor must be endured for the sake of the King. Mat 5.11-12
- Every distraction must be ignored for the claims of the King. Heb 12.1-2
- He had the authority to determine the destiny of his subjects as a king: Remember Matthew 7:13-23:
- True believers are those who ENTER GOD’S WAY [v. 13-15 it is narrow, small and they are few]
- True believers are those who BEAR GOD’S FRUIT [v.16-20]
- True believers are those who DO GOD’S WILL [V. 21]
- True believers are those who KNOW GOD INTIMATELY [v. 22-23]
- True believers are those who ACT ON THE WORD OF GOD [v.24a if God says it they believe and obey]
- True believers are those who BUILD THEIR LIVES UPON THE ROCK [v. 24b
- He had the expected loyalty as a KING “He that is not with me is against me; and he that gathereth not with me scattereth abroad” (12:30).
- He had the enemies of a KING “From that time forth began Jesus to show unto his disciples, how that he must go unto Jerusalem, and suffer many things of the elders and chief priests and scribes (16:21).
- He had the love of a KING The Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many (20:28).
- He had the authority to predict the future as a king: Matthew 24:7 “For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. (NKJV)
- For nation [ethne] will rise against nation, BOSNIA
- and kingdom against kingdom. CHECHNYA
- And there will be famines, SAHARA and SOMALIA
- pestilences, EBOLA
- and earthquakes in various places. JAPAN
- He had the promised glory to return someday as a KING When the Son of man shall come … then shall the King shall say unto them … Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom (25:31,34). Parables of Matthew 25 speak to elements of preparation for Christ’s return.
- The 10 virgins (25:1-13) teaches us we each have a personal responsibility to be ready in the proper spiritual condition for Christ.
- The Talents (25:14-30) teaches us that we need to use the talents God has given us.
- The Sheep and the Goats (25:31-46) stresses the necessity God’s children have of compassion and care for the needy around us.
- He had to die as a KING And they crucified him … and set up over his head his accusation written, THIS IS JESUS THE KING OF THE JEWS (27:35,37).
- He had the ultimate VICTORY, as a KING He is not here: for he is risen, as he said (28:6).
the Days of Christ’s Life in Matthew
If you read closely the New Testament record you find a reference to specific days in the ministry of Jesus. By comparing the four gospels accounts we find there are 52 “days” chronicled in the life of our Lord Jesus Christ. We will study just seven of them tonight. The first one was one of the most celebrated. We call it Christmas. On that night God sent a celestial sound and light show to herald the birth of the King of the Universe into human affairs. The Eternal One became an infant, and was born in a stable! The last day is His ascension to heaven. The Life of Christ may be divided into seven key days’ events which together frame the entire earthly life of Christ!
1. his Birth = We should be watching God’s Word (1-2)
- his Baptism = We should be obeying God’s Word (3)
- his Temptation = We should be nourishing on God’s Word (4)
- his Transfiguration = We should be reflecting God’s Glory (17)
- his Death = We should be following God’s Plan (26-27)
- his Resurrection = We should be Trusting God’s Way (28)
- his Ascension = We should be Waiting God’s Reward (28)