Bible Study: The Gospel of Matthew
1. Who is Matthew?
a. Read Matthew 9:9
i. He is a tax collector (Publican)
1. Is this usually considered an honest job?
2. No, tax collectors were despised by the people and constantly charged with gouging the poor to line their own pockets
ii. What does this tell us about his call by Christ?
1. It is most certainly divine.
2. In Jesus’ call, faith was created, and Matthew dropped his work about set about to follow Jesus
2. Why is he writing?
a. Read John 20:31
i. Thus it is called a “gospel”, a book of good news
ii. So it is part of what we call the New Testament
1. “For it is a testament when a dying man bequeaths his property, after his death, to his legally defined heirs. And Christ, before his death, commanded and ordained that his gospel be preached after his death in all the world. Thereby he gave to all who believe, as their possession, everything that he had.” (AE 35:358-9)
2. The Old Covenant was the promise of a coming Messiah, given to Adam and Eve, Abraham and his offspring, and all of people of God.
b. Are the Gospels meant to be biographies?
1. They don’t hope simply to tell us about Jesus and the events and time and places of his life.
2. Rather, the Gospels mean to focus on the “why?” of Jesus’ life.
a. To fulfill the scriptures
b. And win salvation for all
3. Who is his audience?
a. The church of God
i. It has been said that Matthew is writing to the Jewish church, or to some specific community.
ii. However, it is more helpful to understand that he is writing for the sake of The Church.
b. The Gospel’s reach is not limited
i. We can’t therefore say, that Matthew only intends to speak to specific people and problems of his context.
ii. Rather he intends to lay out the works and words of Jesus for all people.
4. How does his Gospel relate to the others?
a. Tradition holds that Matthew was the first Gospel composed
i. But, it does hold many similarities to Mark and Luke
1. These three (Matthew, Mark, and Luke) are called the “Synoptic” gospels
2. They have a “common view” of the person and work of Jesus
3. It simply means they have one source (Jesus) and were inspired by the same person (The Holy Spirit)
ii. But, Matthew orders things a bit differently, and includes more or less of different narratives
b. Each of the Gospels tells the same story in a slightly different way
i. They are written for the people of God that our faith might be strengthened by the words of Jesus