Exploring the New Testament
The Gospel of Matthew is the link between the Old and New Testaments. Matthew wrote to the Jews to prove that Christ is their promised Messiah and the eternal King of kings and Lord of lords. Therefore, Matthew is careful not to alienate his Jewish readers. Matthew also shows how Jesus fulfilled prophecy and how He is the Person who will bring in God's kingdom.
Because the "Kingdom of heaven" is found thirty-three times in this Gospel, it has been called the Gospel of the Kingdom. The book also shows that followers of Christ are the true people of God an the heirs of he coming kingdom.
Matthew records Jesus' Sermon on the Mount, the Beatitudes, the Parables of the Kingdom, and Peter's confession of the deity of Christ.
It is Matthew's version of the Beatitudes that are memorized in childhood, and it is his form of the Lord's Prayer that we use the most in church today.
Of the four Gospels, only Matthew and Luke give Christ's genealogy. Compare Matthew 1:1-17 and Luke 3:23-38. What differences do you find?
Keeping in mind that Matthew presented Christ as King, why do you think Matthew wrote the genealogy the way he did?
In presenting his record of the life of Jesus, Matthew is careful to record the major sermons that Jesus preached. The longest sermon on record is the "Sermon on the Mount," which is found in chapters 5-7. As you read this sermon, answer the following questions:
Give one reason Jesus considers it important for His disciples to live according to the moral standards of the Old Testament Law and Prophets. (Matthew 5:16)
What promise does Jesus give that helps the Christian overcome his desire for man's praise as he does good deeds (Matthew 6:1-18)?
What assurance does Jesus give to help the Christian overcome his anxiety over physical needs such as food and clothing (Matthew 6:25-34)?
Read Jesus' sermons recorded by Matthew in these chapters. Write in your own words the verse that means the most to you.
A Vital Question
In Matthew 16:13, Jesus asks a question. Why is answering this question so vital?
Read Matthew 16:14-16. Why does Jesus say Peter's answer was revealed by the Father? How have you answered that question?
The Great Commandment
Read Matthew 22:34-40. What does Jesus mean when He says that the whole Law and prophets depend on these two commandments?
How have you seen Jesus demonstrating the Great Commandment in Matthew's Gospel? Use specific examples.
The Great Commission
Read Matthew 28:18-20. Jesus gave His friends one last commandment before He ascended into Heaven. Many call this commandment the Great Commission. How is Jesus' goal different from that of human rulers?
In your own words, paraphrase Christ's Great Commission. What does it mean to you?
Which instruction from Jesus' sermons in Matthew do you need to pay particular attention to?
How will you apply that teaching to your life?
To let Christ rule your life, what areas do you need to turn over to Him? Be specific.
Now ask Him to take control of each area.
List ways you can better apply the Great Commandment in your: Home Life; Workplace; Devotional Life.
How will obedience to Christ's command in Matthew 28:18-20 give you life purpose?
Adapted from The 10 Basic Steps Toward Christian Maturity, by Bill Bright, co-founder of Campus Crusade for Christ. © Campus Crusade for Christ. All rights reserved.