The Gospel According to Matthew is well suited as the opening
book of the New Testament because of its emphasis on the fulfillment of Old
Testament prophecy. In it the promises of God are recalled and their fulfillment
in Jesus Christ is made evident.
It is obvious that the Gospel of Matthew was aimed at a Jewish
The author makes no attempt to translate or
explain Jewish words and practices.
quotes more frequently from the Old Testament than does any other
Most important, however, Jesus is
portrayed as a descendant and "heir" of the three greatest personalities of the
Old Testament, although he surpasses them.
Matthew traces Jesus' genealogy back to Abraham (Mat 1:2), the father of
In the Sermon on the Mount (Mat 5-7), Jesus appears as a royal
teacher whose authority exceeds that of Moses, the founder of the faith.
And Jesus fulfils the hopes of David, the greatest king of Israel. He is
born in Bethlehem (mentioned five times in (Mat 2)), and like David he appears
as a king (Mat 19:28). He is frequently recognized as "the son of David" (Mat
9:27; 12:23; 15:22; 21:9; 21:15), although in truth He is David's "Lord" (Mat
One could well question why a Gospel written for the Jews by a
Jew, was written in Greek. For those who may see this as an issue, the
explanation (a very detailed one of which can be found in Nelson's Bible
Dictionary) seems to be that Matthew wrote what was basically a collection of
facts, which was later written into the "Gospel Format". According to Nelson,
"The actual author probably was a Palestinian Jew who used the Gospel of Mark,
plus a Greek translation of Matthew's Aramaic 'oracles,' and composed the gospel
in Greek. The name of the gospel, therefore, stems from the apostle Matthew on
whom the author draws, in part, to compose his work..."
Either way, whoever the 'composer' of the Gospel may have
been, it still remains that the Gospel is Matthew's thoughts and portrayal of
Christ the King.
Matthew sought to prove to the Jews that Jesus was the Christ, the
fulfillment of Old Testament prophecy; hence the recurring statement that occurs
in this gospel is, "All this was done that it might be fulfilled which was
spoken by the Lord through the prophet" (Mat 1:22; 2:15,17,23).
writes to prove that Jesus is the king to whom God has given power and authority
to redeem and to judge mankind (Mat 1:1-17; 2:2; 21:1-11; 27:11,37;
If Matthew tries to portray Christ as the king, then it figures that
he would place considerable emphasis on a Kingdom, and hence one of the most
prominent messages of this gospel is about the "kingdom of heaven" or "kingdom
of God." This kingdom is mentioned 51 times in the Gospel of Matthew, twice as
often as in any other gospel, (Mat 5-7; 10; 13; 18;
The Gospel of Matthew concludes with Jesus' command to go into
all the world and make disciples, baptizing and teaching them in His name. He
leaves His disciples with this assurance: "Lo, I am with you always, even to the
end of the age" (Mat 28:20).
Mat 1:1 - 2:23: Jesus' birth and childhood
Mat 3:1 - 17: John the Baptist
Mat 4:1 - 25: Temptation and early ministry
Mat 5:1 - 7:29: The Sermon on the Mount
Mat 8:1 - 11:30: Miracles and preaching
Mat 12:1 - 50: The Pharisees
Mat 13:1 - 53: Seven parables of the Kingdom
Mat 13:54 - 17:27: Further preaching and conflict with the
Mat 18:1 -20:34: For the disciples
Mat 21:1 - 22:46: Towards Jerusalem
Mat 23:1 - 24:51: Warning -- prophecy
Mat 25:1 - 46: On the Kingdom
Mat 26:1 - 27:66: The crucifixion
Mat 28:1 - 20: The resurrection