The Agora
Bible Commentary

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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 audience because...

  1. Matthew traces Jesus' genealogy back to Abraham (Mat 1:2), the father of the faith.
  2. 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.
  3. 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 22:41-46).
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.
Main Themes

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 Pharisees
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


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