The Gospel of Mathew: Themes in the Gospel of Matthew.

The Gospel of Matthew contains many sermons by Jesus. Matthew contains five major discourses: the Sermon on the Mount (chs. 5–7); the commissioning of the apostles (ch. 10); the parables of the kingdom (ch. 13); the childlikeness of the believer (ch. 18); and the discourse of Jesus’ second coming (chs. 24–25).

“Each discourse ends with a variation of this phrase: “when Jesus had finished these sayings” (7:28; 11:1; 13:53; 19:1; 26:1). That becomes a motif signaling a new narrative portion. A long opening section (chs. 1–4) and a short conclusion (28:16–20), bracket the rest of the Gospel, which naturally divides into five sections, each with a discourse and a narrative section. Some have seen a parallel between these five sections and the five books of Moses in the OT,” states Dr. John MacArthur.

The conflict between Christ and the Pharisees is another theme in Matthew’s Gospel. Matthew shows the error of the Pharisees for the benefit of his Jewish audience; not for personal reasons. Matthew omits the parable of the Pharisee and the tax collector; even though that parable would have put him in a favorable light.

Matthew also mentions the Sadducees more than any of the other Gospels. Both the Pharisees and Sadducees are negatively portrayed. Both people groups serve as warning to believers in Christ.  Their doctrine is a leaven that must be avoided (16:11–12). Although these groups were doctrinally at odds with one another, they were united in their hatred of Christ. To Matthew, they epitomized all in Israel who rejected Christ as the true King.

The rejection of Jesus Christ as Israel’s Messiah is another theme in Matthew’s Gospel. Matthew portrays the forceful attacks against Jesus. From the flight into Egypt to the scene at the cross, Matthew paints a striking portrayal of Christ’s rejection than any of the other evangelists. Yet Matthew portrays Jesus as a victorious King who will one day return “on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory” (24:30).

“In Matthew’s account of the crucifixion, no thief repents, and no friends or loved ones are seen at the foot of the cross. In his death, he is forsaken even by God (27:46). The shadow of rejection is never lifted from the story,” states Dr. MacArthur.

“Matthew talks about the breakthrough of the kingdom and the arrival of Jesus in His incarnation. He announces the coming of the kingdom at the beginning of Jesus’ public ministry, and at the end of the book Matthew speaks about the final consummation of the coming of that kingdom in the Olivet Discourse. So from the first page of Matthew to the last page, we see the unifying theme of the coming of the kingdom of God in the appearance of the king Himself, who is the Messiah of Israel and the fulfillment of the kingdom given to Judah,” explains Dr. R. C. Sproul.

I encourage you to begin reading the Gospel of Matthew. Have a blessed day in the Lord.

Soli deo Gloria!

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