Main Themes of the Book of Matthew

what is the main message of the gospel of matthew

 

Major Themes in the Gospel 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.

Themes in the Book 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.

Jesus and the Sermon on the Mount

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.

Jesus Prophesies in the Book of Matthew

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 WITH PRAYER

    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

    ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

    The Main Themes of Genesis

    One-Word Themes for All the Books of the Bible: Ruth

    One-Word Themes of All the Books of the Bible printable

    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.


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    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.


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