Chapter Seventeen The Glory Of The Kingdom

The Transfiguration (Matthew 17:1-8) It seems a great pity, as indicated in our closing remarks in the previous chapter, that its final verse was not made the opening one of this seventeenth chapter. The Lord Jesus Christ had intimated a week before that some would not die until they had seen the kingdom of God come with power. In the corresponding accounts in both Mark and Luke this announcement is linked directly with the transfiguration scene. The announcement is, in fact, the key to a...

Chapter Fifteen The King Denounces Hypocrisy

Jesus Condemns the Laws of the Pharisees (Matthew 15:1-11) Here we read of the King’s rebuke of many who were opposed to His claims as Lord and the kingdom He announced. There was a remnant whose hearts were opened to the truth and who gladly received our Lord as the promised Messiah. But it was difficult for many to see in this quiet, lowly man of Nazareth that which answered to their expectations of a great world ruler who would deliver the Jewish nation from the Roman yoke and make t...

Chapter Fourteen The King's Authority Over All Nature

John the Baptist Is Beheaded (Matthew 14:1-14)

Herod was as corrupt as any of his ancestors—a monster of iniquity living in unblushing adultery with one who was lawfully the wife of his own brother. At first he was somewhat interested in John the Baptist and his proclamation of the nearness of the kingdom of Heaven. But he became indignant when his own vices were denounced by the fearless desert preacher, and sought to silence him by shutting him up in prison. Eventually Herod made John a martyr by an act of judicial murder. When Herod heard of the wonder-working power of Jesus, he was filled with terror. Superstitious as most immoral creatures are, Herod’s uneasy conscience suggested that the stern prophet of the wilderness, whom he had delivered over to an undeserved death, must have come back from the grave. But there was no sign of self-judgment or confession of his horrid iniquity.

Herodias was the direct cause of the death of John. Her hatred of the man who dared to condemn openly the grossness of her sins could be satisfied only with his execution. It had taken courage indeed for John to point out Herod’s wickedness. Like Nathan (2 Samuel 12:7), John drove home the king’s guilt, but in so doing John forfeited his life, for Herod, unlike David, refused to repent of his iniquity.

This vile and licentious ruler would not have hesitated to destroy John immediately, but Herod was afraid that he might incur the hatred of the people who looked at John as the successor to the prophets of old. Instead of immediately executing John, therefore, Herod shut him up in prison.

Author's Introduction And Outline

While we have no means of knowing just when the Gospel of Matthew was written, or even whether (as some suppose) it first appeared in Hebrew, or was originally written in Greek as it has come down to us, it is very evident that it is placed rightfully at the beginning of the New Testament. This Gospel is very definitely the connecting link between the prophets of old and the new dispensation of grace. The many quotations in it from the books of the prophets are designed to show how our Lord Jesus Christ came as the promised King of Israel, in exact accordance with the numerous predictions that God had inspired His servants to give. Those prophecies were given from Abraham’s day to that of Malachi, when prophetic testimony ceased, and was silent for four hundred years, until John the Baptist, the last of the prophets, came declaring, “The time is fulfilled.”

Matthew is in a very real sense the Jewish Gospel. This does not mean that it has no message for Christians, but rather that it is designed by the Holy Spirit to present Christ so as to make it clear to honest Jewish inquirers that He is the One of whom Moses and the prophets spoke.

Matthew’s Gospel can be outlined as follows:

    I. Presentation of King and Kingdom to Israel (1:1-12:50)

      A. Genealogy of the King (1:1-17)

      B. Birth of the King (1:18-25)

      C. Gentile Worship of the King (2:1-12)

      D. Preservation of the King (2:13-23)

      E. Anointing of the King (3:1-17)

      F. Testing of the King (4:1-25)

      G. Principles of the Kingdom (5:1-7:29)

      H. Accreditation of the King (8:1-12:50)

        1. Mighty Works of the King (8:1-9:38)

Chapter One The Birth Of The King

Genealogy of the King (Matthew 1:1-17) The Gospel of Matthew begins with the genealogy of our Lord from Abraham to Joseph. But this was not the bloodline. It was the royal line, however, and carried with it the throne rights. As Son of Abraham, our Lord is the promised seed in whom all nations of the world shall be blessed (Genesis 22:18). As Son of David, He is the King who is to reign in righteousness upon David’s throne (Isaiah 9:6-7). His actual descent from David was through His mo...

Chapter Two The Preservation Of The King

Visit of the Magi (Matthew 2:1-12) The circumstances connected with the nativity of our Lord in David’s city, Bethlehem, were given in considerable detail by Luke. Matthew told us only that He was born in that city in the days of Herod the king. This establishes the date of His birth as several years earlier than the commonly accepted record. He was born around 4 b.c. The question of His birthdate, however, is one to which chronologists have given much thought and study, and inasmuch as...

Chapter Three The Introduction Of The King

John Prepares the Crowds (Matthew 3:1-6) Our Lord told us that of those born of women none was greater than John the Baptist. He stands out pre-eminently as a devoted man of God, true to principles and unyielding in his stand against iniquity even in high places (Matthew 14:4). However, his greatness consisted in the fact that he was chosen of God to herald the coming of Christ as Israel’s Messiah and the world’s Redeemer (John 1:29-31). John formally opened to Christ the door into th...

Chapter Four The Testing Of The King

Jesus Is Tempted (Matthew 4:1-11) Before the Lord Jesus presented Himself to Israel as the promised King He had to pass through a period of testing, which He did for forty days. Jesus met Satan, the strong man armed, and bound him before He began His public ministry and went forth to spoil Satan’s goods. Why was Jesus tempted? And being tempted, was there a possibility that He might have sinned, and so jeopardized or annulled the whole plan of redemption? These are questions asked of...

Chapter Five The Principles Of The Kingdom Part One

In the so-called sermon on the mount our Lord was not preaching the gospel, but He was revealing the principles of His kingdom, which should guide the lives of all who profess to be His disciples. In other words, this sermon states the law of the kingdom. The observance of this law must characterize the loyal subjects of the kingdom as they wait for the day when the King Himself will be revealed. Throughout, the sermon recognizes the existence of definite opposition to His rule, but those wh...

Chapter Six The Principles Of The Kingdom Part Two

Giving to the Poor (Matthew 6:1-4) “Do not your righteousness… to be seen of men” (Matthew 6:1, rv). Particularly in view here is righteousness in the sense of fulfilling our obligations to minister to human need. All should be done without ostentation. “They have their reward.” When the applause of men has been sought and obtained, we need not expect further reward when we stand before the judgment seat of Christ. “When thou doest alms.” Nothing is more objectionable ...
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