Main Themes of the Book of Matthew

The Themes of Matthew

The gospel of Matthew was written around 60 AD by the apostle Matthew. The gospel is set in Palestine and tells the story of Christ’s life and ministry. The reality and promise of the kingdom of God is a major theme that runs through the gospel of Matthew.

Matthew, whose Jewish name is Levi, is a tax collector in Palestine until Jesus calls him to become one of the 12 disciples. Now, more than 20 years since Jesus’ Ascension (see Acts 1:9), the good news of Jesus has traveled near and far.  Jewish Christians are starting to be persecuted, and Matthew wants to strengthen their faith and provide them with a useful tool for evangelizing.

Matthew presents Jesus as Israel’s promised Messiah and rightful King. With the King comes His kingdom—the kingdom of heaven—which will be occupied by those who acknowledge and obey this King.

Snapshots of Matthew

As we read and study the gospel of Matthew, we see several other themes that support the truth of the Kingdom of God.

Chapters 1-4 of Matthew deal with the birth and preparation of the promised Messiah and King, Jesus. Jesus is born of a virgin in fulfillment of prophecy. He is baptized and proclaimed by God as His Son. Jesus’ divine character is tested by the devil after 40 days of fasting in the wilderness. Jesus uses Old Testament scripture to counter the devil’s temptations. Having passed these tests, He begins His public ministry by preaching repentance and the coming kingdom of God.

We read Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount in chapters 5-7.  Jesus gathers His disciples by the Sea of Galilee and lays out for them the ethics of the kingdom of God. He emphasizes the importance of responding with a heart attitude that goes beyond merely observing a set of rules.

In chapters 8-20 we read of the kingdom of God faithfully proclaimed by Jesus and his disciples. Through teaching, parables, and performing miracles, Jesus proclaims this new kingdom. He selects 12 disciples to share His message. But the truth of the kingdom of heaven is rejected by many. The religious leaders reject Jesus and His message, and Jesus foretells His impending death, resurrection, and second coming.

In chapters 21-25 of Matthew we read of Jesus’ final clashes with the religious leaders. Jesus enters into the city of Jerusalem where He confronts the religious leaders, cleanses the temple, and pronounces doom over the city which has rejected God’s way. Jesus prophesies the future destruction of the temple, the coming days of tribulation and judgment, and His second coming.

Finally, in chapters 26-28 we have Matthew’s account of the death and resurrection, of Jesus, the king. Jesus is arrested, tried, and crucified in just several hours. Following His death Jesus is buried, but on the third day, He rises from the dead. He appears to His disciples and commissions them to spread the good news of how He has conquered death.

As we read and study the gospel of Matthew, we see that Jesus came to earth to die and pay the penalty for our sins, and, with His resurrection, to begin His kingdom reign. The way to enter God’s kingdom is by faith—believing in Christ alone to save you from sin. Are you one of His subjects? If so, are you faithfully sharing your King as Matthew did? Jesus also shows us that the Word of God is your best defense against the enemy of your soul. The gospel of Matthew tells us that Jesus has conquered the power of death, and promises that He is coming again!

    RESPOND

    Dear Lord, thank You for preserving Your Word. I love learning about You and Your ways through it. Amen. 

    RENEWING RESOURCES 

    Bare Bones Bible Handbookby Jim GeorgeToday’s devotion is pulled from this helpful Bible study tool that features tons of information about the people, places, and main points of each book of the Bible. 

    REFLECT

    Re-read the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7) this week. Write out three things you learned that you didn’t know before.

    REMEMBER

    Jesus shows you the Word of God is your best defense against the enemy of your soul.


    Leave a comment

    Comments will be approved before showing up.

    Jim and Elizabeth George

    Jim and Elizabeth George are bestselling authors and national speakers dedicated to helping people live a life after God’s own heart. Together, they have written over 150 books with more than 14 million copies sold around the world. For over 35 years, the teachings and steadfast example of Elizabeth and Jim have helped countless men and women:

    • Simplify life by focusing on God’s priorities.
    • Appreciate God’s Word and apply it to everyday situations.
    • Respond to circumstances with confidence by seeing yourself through God’s loving eyes.
    • Increase closeness in marriage by serving and honoring each other.
    • Powerfully shape the hearts of children and teenagers.
    • Enjoy greater intimacy with God.

    Learn more about Jim and Elizabeth George here.

    Jim and Elizabeth George

    Jim and Elizabeth George are bestselling authors and national speakers dedicated to helping people live a life after God’s own heart. Together, they have written over 150 books with more than 14 million copies sold around the world. For over 35 years, the teachings and steadfast example of Elizabeth and Jim have helped countless men and women:

    • Simplify life by focusing on God’s priorities.
    • Appreciate God’s Word and apply it to everyday situations.
    • Respond to circumstances with confidence by seeing yourself through God’s loving eyes.
    • Increase closeness in marriage by serving and honoring each other.
    • Powerfully shape the hearts of children and teenagers.
    • Enjoy greater intimacy with God.

    Learn more about Jim and Elizabeth George here.


    Also in From Our Hearts

    Moving Out of Your Comfort Zone by Elizabeth George
    Moving Out of Your Comfort Zone

    by Elizabeth George June 28, 2022

    Do you like change? Some people say that they do; some people quickly respond that they don’t. I bet that most people don’t welcome a change that challenges their comfort zone. But, challenging those comfort zones is exactly what God does to grow us.
    Read More
    Meek to Mighty by Elizabeth George
    Meek to Mighty

    by Elizabeth George June 21, 2022

    “I used to be so confident. But now I feel like such a loser.” Do you feel this way? My God never asks for us to have confidence in ourselves. He only asks that we have confidence in Him! And when God commands, He also supplies. This is true for every area of your Christian life. You can get up every day, go to your closet, and select the spiritual clothes you’ll wear for the day. Here’s a partial description of God’s approved wardrobe.

    Read More
    26 Ways to Bless Your Dad by Jim and Elizabeth George
    26 Ways to Bless Your Dad

    by Elizabeth George June 14, 2022

    Father’s Day gives families the time to thank dads for the many ways they meet our needs. While we can show that appreciation more than one time a year, let us take time to count the many blessings we enjoy because of our husband, and show him blessings in return.

    Read More