Gospel by Matthew

Concise Bible Dictionary:

In this gospel Christ is more especially presented as the Messiah, the son of Abraham, and son of David. See GOSPELS. The genealogy here starts with Abraham, in contrast with that in Luke, which goes back to Adam because in that gospel the Lord is viewed as connected with man, that is, the seed of the woman. Here we read, He “shall save his people from their sins,” and in this gospel only is quoted the prophetic name IMMANUEL, “God with us.” Here only is the account given of the Magi inquiring for “the King of the Jews,” with the flight into Egypt, and the massacre of the infants. (The Magi did not come “when Jesus was born” (Matt. 2:11Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem, (Matthew 2:1)) but several months afterward. It is better translated “Jesus having been born.”) Christ is called out of Egypt, taking part thus in the history of Israel, God’s first-born son (Ex. 4:2222And thou shalt say unto Pharaoh, Thus saith the Lord, Israel is my son, even my firstborn: (Exodus 4:22)). The Messiah being rejected, the remnant comes into weeping (Matt. 2:17-1817Then was fulfilled that which was spoken by Jeremy the prophet, saying, 18In Rama was there a voice heard, lamentation, and weeping, and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children, and would not be comforted, because they are not. (Matthew 2:17‑18)).
Matthew 3-4. The remnant are separated by the preaching of John. Messiah takes His place with them in Jordan according to divine order. His Person is attested by a voice from heaven, and the full revelation of God in connection with the Son upon earth. Led of the Spirit, He overcomes Satan, and then calls the remnant around Himself.
In Matthew 5-7 the principles of Christ’s doctrine are unfolded largely, in contrast with that of “them of old time.” It goes to the springs of evil, and condemns the principles of violence and corruption; and the character of God Himself becomes the standard of practice for man here. The gate was strait and the way narrow which led to life, and there were but few (the remnant) who found it.
Christ goes on with His patient work of preaching the gospel of the kingdom, teaching in the synagogues, healing the sick, casting out demons, and exposing all the false pretensions that were in the leaders of the Jews.
In Matthew 10 Jesus takes the place of administrator, as Lord of the harvest, and sends out the twelve with a commission limited to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.
In Matthew 11 Christ shows the superiority of the kingdom of heaven to the prophetic ministry, ending in John the Baptist; and of the revelation of the Father to His own mighty works, which had not produced repentance; and in Matthew 12 He breaks the special links which had been formed in His coming after the flesh.
In Matthew 13 Christ reveals Himself as the Sower, in which character He had all along been acting. He gives a series of parables showing the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven. First, how “the word of the kingdom” was received, and the various obstacles in the world calculated to oppose and hinder its growth. Then, how, through the work of the enemy, false professors would spring up in the kingdom, and how evil principles would be introduced into it, which would work insidiously. The first four parables were spoken to the people—that of the tares being peculiar to this gospel. The Lord in explaining (in the house) the parable of the tares, speaks of the completion of the age, and of the judgment by which the Son of Man by angelic agency shall purge “out of His kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity.” The last three parables were spoken to the disciples in private, and are peculiar to this gospel. They speak of the secret purpose of the kingdom. Christ buys the field in view of the treasure hidden there, and also buys the pearl of great price for its value in His eye. The gospel net gathers good and bad, but at the completion of the age a discriminating judgment will sever the “wicked from among the just.” See PARABLES.
Christ continues His work of grace notwithstanding His rejection by the rulers of Israel, and in Matthew 16 the truth of His person as Son of the living God having been confessed by Peter as the result of the Father’s revelation, He announces this as the foundation of the church which He will build, and against which the power of Hades shall not prevail. He gives to Peter the keys of “the kingdom of heaven” (an expression peculiar to Matthew, turning the eyes of the disciples to heaven as the source of light and authority, in contrast to a kingdom as from an earthly center, Zion, Rom. 11:2626And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob: (Romans 11:26)), and speaks of His own coming again in the glory of His Father, to give to every man his reward. The parables had dealt with the kingdom in mystery, but some who stood there should at once have a glimpse of the kingdom in glory, which was vouchsafed to them in seeing Jesus transfigured before them on the mount.
In Matthew18 the Lord furnishes instruction as to the order and ways of the kingdom, including the dealing with an offending brother, and again speaks of “the church,” and of its voice of authority, though it was then future; and adds the marvelous declaration as to where His presence would be vouchsafed, a place morally distant from the then existing temple and its priesthood: “Where two or three are gathered together unto My name, there am I in the midst of them.” The Lord proceeded in the parable of the King that would take account of His servants, to enforce the necessity of His disciples forgiving one another, as otherwise they would come under His Father’s hand. Farther on, the parable of the Laborers in the Vineyard maintains the sovereignty of the Lord in dispensing His own things: both of these parables being peculiar to Matthew. The Lord forewarns His disciples of what awaited Him, and gives them instruction to follow His example (Matt. 20:27-2827And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant: 28Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many. (Matthew 20:27‑28)).
In Matthew 21 the Lord rode triumphantly as Zion’s king into Jerusalem, claiming His inheritance, accompanied by a great crowd, which cried, “Hosanna to the Son of David: Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord; Hosanna in the highest.” He cleansed the temple a second time, and put to silence the chief priests, the elders, and all who sought to entangle Him in His talk, enforcing, too, the responsibility of the husbandmen. Notwithstanding their opposition, He spoke of the certainty of the establishment of God’s purpose in the parable of the marriage of the King’s Son. He foretold the judgments that should fall upon Jerusalem. He would often have gathered them, but they would not. He left them with the solemn words, “Behold, your house is left unto you desolate. For I say unto you, Ye shall not see Me henceforth, till ye shall say, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord” (Matt. 23:38-3938Behold, your house is left unto you desolate. 39For I say unto you, Ye shall not see me henceforth, till ye shall say, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord. (Matthew 23:38‑39)).
In Matthew 24 the disciples asked three questions (Matt. 24:33And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world? (Matthew 24:3)). The Lord did not answer the question as to when the events predicted should take place, and His reply is a further prophecy. Matthew 24:4-444And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you. 5For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many. 6And ye shall hear of wars and rumors of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. 7For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places. 8All these are the beginning of sorrows. 9Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name's sake. 10And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another. 11And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many. 12And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold. 13But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved. 14And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come. 15When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:) 16Then let them which be in Judea flee into the mountains: 17Let him which is on the housetop not come down to take any thing out of his house: 18Neither let him which is in the field return back to take his clothes. 19And woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days! 20But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the sabbath day: 21For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. 22And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect's sake those days shall be shortened. 23Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it not. 24For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall show great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect. 25Behold, I have told you before. 26Wherefore if they shall say unto you, Behold, he is in the desert; go not forth: behold, he is in the secret chambers; believe it not. 27For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. 28For wheresoever the carcase is, there will the eagles be gathered together. 29Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken: 30And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. 31And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other. 32Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When his branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is nigh: 33So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors. 34Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled. 35Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away. 36But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only. 37But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. 38For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, 39And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. 40Then shall two be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left. 41Two women shall be grinding at the mill; the one shall be taken, and the other left. 42Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come. 43But know this, that if the goodman of the house had known in what watch the thief would come, he would have watched, and would not have suffered his house to be broken up. 44Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh. (Matthew 24:4‑44) are concerning Israel. Matthew 24:4-144And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you. 5For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many. 6And ye shall hear of wars and rumors of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. 7For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places. 8All these are the beginning of sorrows. 9Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name's sake. 10And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another. 11And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many. 12And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold. 13But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved. 14And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come. (Matthew 24:4‑14) coincide with the first half of Daniel’s 70th week; and Matthew 24:15-2815When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:) 16Then let them which be in Judea flee into the mountains: 17Let him which is on the housetop not come down to take any thing out of his house: 18Neither let him which is in the field return back to take his clothes. 19And woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days! 20But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the sabbath day: 21For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. 22And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect's sake those days shall be shortened. 23Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it not. 24For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall show great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect. 25Behold, I have told you before. 26Wherefore if they shall say unto you, Behold, he is in the desert; go not forth: behold, he is in the secret chambers; believe it not. 27For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. 28For wheresoever the carcase is, there will the eagles be gathered together. (Matthew 24:15‑28) with the last half of that week. Matthew 24:45-5145Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his lord hath made ruler over his household, to give them meat in due season? 46Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing. 47Verily I say unto you, That he shall make him ruler over all his goods. 48But and if that evil servant shall say in his heart, My lord delayeth his coming; 49And shall begin to smite his fellowservants, and to eat and drink with the drunken; 50The lord of that servant shall come in a day when he looketh not for him, and in an hour that he is not aware of, 51And shall cut him asunder, and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. (Matthew 24:45‑51) refer to Christians. This and the following chapter show the whole range and extent of what comes under the judgment of the Son of Man, both in His coming and sitting on His throne.
Matthew 25 is peculiar to Matthew: Matthew 25:1-301Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins, which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom. 2And five of them were wise, and five were foolish. 3They that were foolish took their lamps, and took no oil with them: 4But the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps. 5While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept. 6And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him. 7Then all those virgins arose, and trimmed their lamps. 8And the foolish said unto the wise, Give us of your oil; for our lamps are gone out. 9But the wise answered, saying, Not so; lest there be not enough for us and you: but go ye rather to them that sell, and buy for yourselves. 10And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came; and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage: and the door was shut. 11Afterward came also the other virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us. 12But he answered and said, Verily I say unto you, I know you not. 13Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh. 14For the kingdom of heaven is as a man travelling into a far country, who called his own servants, and delivered unto them his goods. 15And unto one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one; to every man according to his several ability; and straightway took his journey. 16Then he that had received the five talents went and traded with the same, and made them other five talents. 17And likewise he that had received two, he also gained other two. 18But he that had received one went and digged in the earth, and hid his lord's money. 19After a long time the lord of those servants cometh, and reckoneth with them. 20And so he that had received five talents came and brought other five talents, saying, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me five talents: behold, I have gained beside them five talents more. 21His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord. 22He also that had received two talents came and said, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me two talents: behold, I have gained two other talents beside them. 23His lord said unto him, Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord. 24Then he which had received the one talent came and said, Lord, I knew thee that thou art an hard man, reaping where thou hast not sown, and gathering where thou hast not strawed: 25And I was afraid, and went and hid thy talent in the earth: lo, there thou hast that is thine. 26His lord answered and said unto him, Thou wicked and slothful servant, thou knewest that I reap where I sowed not, and gather where I have not strawed: 27Thou oughtest therefore to have put my money to the exchangers, and then at my coming I should have received mine own with usury. 28Take therefore the talent from him, and give it unto him which hath ten talents. 29For unto every one that hath shall be given, and he shall have abundance: but from him that hath not shall be taken away even that which he hath. 30And cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. (Matthew 25:1‑30), the parables of the Ten Virgins and of the Talents, apply to professing Christians. Matthew 25:31-4631When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory: 32And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats: 33And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left. 34Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: 35For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: 36Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me. 37Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink? 38When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee? 39Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee? 40And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me. 41Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels: 42For I was an hungred, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink: 43I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not. 44Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee? 45Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me. 46And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal. (Matthew 25:31‑46) refer to the living Gentile nations who will be judged according to how they have treated the Jewish messengers, the brethren of Christ. See JUDGMENT, SESSIONAL.
The events of the trial, judgment, crucifixion, and resurrection of the Lord Jesus follow. The last scene with the apostles in this gospel is in Galilee, where Jesus had appointed to meet them, thus resuming connection with them as a Jewish remnant. He commissions them to teach all nations, adding, “Lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the age.” Compare “God with us” in Matthew 1:2323Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us. (Matthew 1:23). In a sense He remains with His own: hence the ascension is not here mentioned. Christ will be found again with Israel on earth, and then bless them and the Gentiles through them. The fact that Matthew was present at the ascension, and yet does not mention so important an event, is sufficient evidence that the evangelist had divine guidance as to what he should record: all such differences in the gospels are really by the inspiration of God, and are a profitable study.