• Leslie Chalupny

Week 1: Day 5 (January 5, 2019)

We will spend today checking out the background of Matthew. It is important to know where the author was writing from, the culture and his audience. This helps us get a better understanding of what he wrote and why. So here we go:

1. Check out the video below.

The Gospel of Matthew tells the story of Jesus' birth, life, death and resurrection as a continuation and fulfillment of the whole Biblical story of God and Israel. Matthew begins with details of how Jesus descends from the line of David, making Him a king. It proceeds to share Jesus' teachings that prove He's an authoritative teacher like Moses.

Throughout the book, we see that Jesus is Emmanuel, or God with us, and welcomes everyone into the upside down kingdom where leaders serve. From the calling of the disciples to the parables to the Great Commission, this New Testament book shows readers how the promises and prophecies God made to His people in the Old Testament do come to pass through Jesus.

Outline of Matthew

2. Read below.

The Four Gospels

The first four books of the New Testament-Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John-are called "gospels," meaning "good news." Each tells the story of Jesus from a unique perspective, emphasizing different aspects of who he is and what he came to accomplish.

The first three (Matthew, Mark, and Luke) are called the Synoptic Gospels. Synoptic means "viewed together.'' and these three share a similar structure and relate many of the same stories. The gospel of John is more theo­logical, with a greater stress on the identity of Jesus and the spiritual significance of his life.

Strictly speaking , the authors of all four gospels are anonymous since they do not identify themselves in the text. Their authorship comes from the titles on early manuscripts ("according to Matthew,""according to Mark,") and early church traditions.

Matthew's gospel shows Jesus as the promised Messiah who death brought salvation from sins . While some Jews rejected Jesus, claiming his death proved he was a fake, Matthew writes that Jesus is truly the Messiah, who's birth, life and death on the cross fulfilled the promises of the Old Testament. His resurrection vindicated his claims and brought in a new era of salvation for all who believe in him.

Matthew writes to confirm to Christian believers that Jesus is indeed the Jewish Messiah and that through his life, death, and resurrec­tion he has fulfilled the prophecies of the Hebrew Scriptures (the Old Testament). The church of Jesus Christ, made up of Jews and Gentiles, represents the true people of God in the new age of salvation.

Matthew structures his gospel around Jesus' five major discourses, or teaching sections-Sermon on the Mount (chs. 5-7), commissioning of the twelve disciples (ch. 10), parables of the kingdom of heaven (ch. 13), church life and discipline (ch. 18), and woes against the religious leaders and end-time teaching on the Mount of Olives (chs. 23-25). Each of these discourses ends with a similar for­mula: "When Jesus finished saying these things .... " Some have suggested that Matthew imitated the Pentateuch, the five books of Moses (Genesis-Deuteronomy), presentingJesus as the new Moses. Matthew's orderly narrative is the most Jewish of the four gospels. The place of writing is unknown, though scholars com­monly suggest either Antioch in Syria or Palestine. The date is also uncertain, and suggestions range from the mid to late first century.


The apostle Matthew, also known as Levi, a tax collector.


Jewish and Gentile Christian when the church-originally composed entirely of Jews-was coming into conflict with the synagogue and was beginning to break away.

Key Themes:

Jesus is the fulfillment of the Jewish Scriptures.

Jesus the teacher, a new Moses for the new age of salvation.

Jesus as son of David and Son of God.

Jesus as the new Israel, bringing the message of God's salvation to the world.

Jesus as "Immanuel" (Isa. 7:14)-God's presence with us.

The "kingdom of heaven" is Matthew's Jewish way of referring to God's reign.

The Great Commission. The command to spread the message of salvation and make disciples of all nations.

Map of Israel during the New Testament period.

3. Comment below on something you learned or would like to share about your reading today.

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