Theme: The kingdom of God
Date: AD 60
Author: Matthew (Levi)
Matthew, whose Jewish name is Levi, is a tax collector until Jesus calls him to become one of the 12 disciples. Now, more than 20 years since Jesus’ return to heaven (in Acts 1:9), the good news of Jesus has traveled. The Jewish Christians are starting to be persecuted, and Matthew wants to strengthen their faith and provide them with a useful tool for evangelizing.
He 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
Chapters 1–4 Birth and Preparation of the King
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.
Chapters 5–6 Sermon on the Mount
Jesus gathers His disciples by the Sea of Galilee and lays out for them the ethics for the kingdom of God. He emphasizes the importance of responding with a heart attitude that goes beyond merely observing a set of rules.
Chapters 7–20 Kingdom of God Proclaimed ...and Rejected
Through teaching, parables, and performing miracles, Jesus proclaims a new kingdom. He selects 12 disciples to share His message. The religious leaders reject Jesus and His message. Jesus foretells His impending death, resurrection, and second coming.
Chapters 21–25 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. He prophesies the future destruction of the temple, the coming days of tribulation and judgment, and His second coming.
Chapters 26–28 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.
In Your Life
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?
Life Lessons from Matthew
- Jesus shows you the Word of God is your best defense against the enemy of your soul.
- Jesus has conquered the power of death and provides the only path to overcoming it.
- Jesus is coming again!
Dear Lord, thank You for preserving Your Word. I love learning about You and Your ways through it. Amen.
Bare Bones Bible Handbook by Jim George—Today’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.
Re-read the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7) this week. Write out three things you learned that you didn’t know before.
Jesus shows you the Word of God is your best defense against the enemy of your soul.