Matthew presents Jesus as the promised Messiah, the King of the Jews. Matthew contains five great collections of Jesus' teachings.
- Key Verse: Matthew 27:37
- Key Words: Kingdom, Fulfill
- Key Dates: Written between 37-68 A.D.
- Time Period: From 5-4 B.C to 30 A.D. (early) or 33 A.D. (late).
Matthew was a Jew, hired by Rome to collect taxes in Capernaum. He was also known as Levi. Jesus called him to be an apostle.
Matthew was probably wealthy. He hosted a great feast for Jesus. See Luke 5:27-32 and Matthew 9:9-13.
Matthew was written to Jews who were familiar with Old Testament prophecy. Jewish customs were not explained in this gospel. Matthew often mentioned the Law of Moses.
King of the Jews
Matthew was written to convince Jews that Jesus was the promised Messiah. The book opens with a genealogy to prove that Jesus was an heir to King David.
Matthew's birth narrative contains five prophecies that were fulfilled.
Arranged for memorization
When Matthew was written, people often memorized scripture. Matthew arranged his material so that it was easy to remember.
Groups of threes and of sevens are often used in Matthew. For example, there were 3 gifts, 3 temptations, 7 parables, and 7 woes. See chapters 2, 4, 13, and 23.
Handbook of teachings
Matthew is a handbook on the teachings of Jesus. It contains five collections of teachings concerning the Kingdom of Heaven.
The Kingdom's law, mission, mysteries, greatness, and future can be respectively found in chapters 5-7, 10, 13, 18, and 24-25.
Did you know?
Jesus predicted the destruction of Jerusalem nearly 40 years before the Romans attacked the city. He advised followers to leave Jerusalem when they saw signs that it would be destroyed. See Matthew 24:15-22 and Luke 21:20-24.
The Romans destroyed Jerusalem in AD 70, following a 3-year campaign. While Jerusalem was under siege, a Roman general named Cestius Gallus unexpectedly "recalled his soldiers"1 in 68 A.D., enabling those familiar with Christ's prophecy to flee Jerusalem.2
1 Josephus, Flavius. Wars of the Jews 2.19.7 (circa 75-80 A.D.).
2 Eusebius. Church History 3.5 (circa 315 A.D.).