Matthew's Gospel


An Outline


Bible books contents
Author and date     Purpose    Key words      Outline   Special characteristics

1. Author and date 


For discussion on the dating   click here .  The author Matthew  was a converted publican  Mtt.9: 9 , called Levi in  Mk. 2:14

2. Purpose

It is thought that originally Matthew wrote hs gospel account in Hebrew, though our translation is from a Greek version Matthew made later. this first account was written with the Jewish people in mind, to show that Jesus is the promised Messiah ( greek Christ). This Matthew does by showing that the Lord Jesus fulfilled the OT prophecies. Some sixty fulfilled prophecies are alluded to, and it is a good exercise to go through the 28 chapters and list them  all!

3. Key words.

'That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophets'; this phrase  occurs 12 twelve times.

Ref.
Quote
OT ref.
1:22-23
Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying," Behold a Virgin shall be with child  ..........and They shall  call His name Emmanuel"
Isa.7:14
2:15
And was there until the death of Herod: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, "Out of Egypt have I called my Son."
Hos.11:1
2:17-18
Then was fulfilled that which was spoken by Jeremy the prophet, saying, "In Rama was there a voice heard  Lamentation and weeping and great mourning, Rachael weeping  for her children ,............"
Jer.31:15
2:23
And he came and dwelt in a city called Nazareth: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophets, He shall be called a Nazarene.
Isa.11:1*
4:14-16
That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet, saying, "The land of Zabulon and the land of Nephthalim by the way of the sea beyond Jordan , Galilee of the  Gentiles, the people, which  sat in darkness saw great light and to them which sat in the in the region and shadow of death light is sprung up."
Isa.9:1-2
8:17
That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet, saying, Himself took our infirmities, and bare our sicknesses.
Isa.53:4
12:17-21
That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet, saying," Behold My Servant whom I have chosen My beloved in whom  My Soul is well pleased I will put my Spirit upon Him ...................."
Isa.42:1-4
13:14-15
And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Esaias, which saith, By hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and shall not perceive: for this the people's heart is waxed gross........................"
Isa.6:9-10
13:35
That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying, I will open my mouth in parables; I will utter things which have been kept secret from the foundation of the world.
Ps.78:2
21:4
All this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying, " Tell ye the daughter of Sion Behold thy king cometh unto thee meek and sitting upon an ass and a colt the foal of an ass."
Zech.9:9
27:9-10
Then was fulfilled that which was spoken by Jeremy the prophet, saying, And they took the thirty pieces of silver, the price of him that was valued, whom they of the children of Israel did value;and gave them for the potters field as the Lord appointed me
Zech.11:12-13**
27:35
And they crucified him, and parted his garments, casting lots: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, They parted my garments among them, and upon my vesture did they cast lots.
Ps.22:18

*Note   by Barnes in his commentary on the NT  
Some have supposed that Matthew meant to refer to #Jud 13:5, to Samson as a type of Christ; others that he refers to Isa 11:1, where the descendant of Jesse is called "a Branch;" in the Hebrew Netzer. Some have supposed that Matthew refers to some prophecy which was not recorded, but handed down by tradition. But these suppositions are not satisfactory. It is a great deal more probable that Matthew refers not to any particular place, but to the leading characteristics of the prophecies respecting him. The following remarks may make this clear:

1st. He does not say, "by the prophet, as in Mt 1:22 2:5,15; but "by the prophets," meaning no one particularly, but the general character of the prophecies.

2nd. The leading and most prominent prophecies respecting him were, that he was to be of humble life, to be despised, and rejected. See Isa 53:2,3,7-9,12 Ps 22:1.

3rd. The phrase "he shall be called," means the same as he shall be.

4th. The character of the people of Nazareth was such that they were proverbially despised and contemned, John 1:46 7:52. To come from Nazareth, therefore, or to be a Nazarene, was the same as to be despised, and esteemed of low birth; to be a root out of dry ground, having no form or comeliness. And this was the same as had been predicted by the prophets. When Matthew says, therefore, that the prophecies were fulfilled, it means, that the predictions of the prophets that he should be of humble life, and rejected, were fully accomplished in his being an inhabitant of Nazareth, and despised as such.

 
** According to Jewish writers Jeremiah was the first of the prophets; this being the case Matthew quoted this prophecy under the name of the book that had first place viz Jeremiah, which was a common practice.

4. Outline

Jesus the Promised Messiah

Main heading
Sub-heading
Ref.
Notes
The Messiah's revelation  Ch. 1 - 4:11
His forebares
1:1-17
Lineage through Solomon

His  birth
1:18-2:23


His forerunner
3:1-17


His adversary
4:1:11

The Messiah's ministry. Ch 4:12 - 25
In Galilee
4:12-18:35


In Perea
19:1-20:16


In Judea
20:17-34


In Jerusalem
21-25

The Messiah's Passion.  Ch. 26 - 28
Messiah betrayed and denied
26


Messiah cut off
27


Messiah resurrected
28


5. Special characteristics

(i)  Church

Matthew is the only gospel in which the word church occurs.

  • Jesus reveals  His church   16:18
  • Jesus  shows behaviour in it   18: 15-20

(ii) kingdom of heaven

This phrase is unique to Matthew's gospel, not just in the NT, but in the whole of the Bible. It occurs  32 times.references:

3:2; 4:17; 5:3, 10,19,20; 7:21; 8:11; 10:7; 11:11,12; 13:11,24,31,33,44,45,47,52; 16:19; 18;1,3,4,23; 19:12,14,23; 20:1; 22:2; 23:13; 25:1,14