The Gospel of Matthew
The Gospel of Matthew may be divided into five parts:
I. The Advent of the Messiah, 1: 1-4: 11. Matthew proves by the legal genealogy that Christ was the Son of David, the child of the promise; that, in harmony with the prophecies, He was born of a virgin at Bethlehem and his way was prepared by John the Baptist; and records his baptism and temptation.
II. The Public proclamation of Messiah’s Kingdom, 4: 12 16: 12. Here we find Jesus, after John is taken captive, choosing his first disciples and beginning his work in Galilee, 4: 12- 4: 25. Then follows a splendid example of Christ’s teaching in the Sermon on the Mount, in which the law of the New Kingdom is promulgated, and its righteousness and life are contrasted with those of Pharisees and Scribes, 5-7. This is followed by the description of a series of miracles, interspersed with brief teachings of the Lord and the calling of Matthew, giving clear evidence of the power and mercy of Jesus and establishing his authority to set up the New Kingdom and to proclaim its laws, 8: 1-9: 38. Next we have a catalogue of the twelve apostles and their commission to announce the coming Kingdom to the house of Israel, 10. It is brought out that the teachings and miracles of Jesus lead to serious questionings on the part of John the Baptist, to open opposition from the side of Pharisees and Scribes, and to the interference of his relatives, 11: 1-12 :50; that as a result Christ substitutes parabolic for plain teaching, 13: 1-53; and that the opposition finally culminmates in his rejection by the synagogue of Nazareth, by Herod and by the spiritual leaders of the people, both of Jerusalem and of Galilee, leading in every instance to the withdrawal of his gracious works and also to an exposition and condemnation of the hypocracy and wickedness of the leaders of the nation. 13: 54-16: 12.
III. The Distinct and Public Claim of Messiahship, 16: 13-23: 39. In this section the evangelist shows, how Christ instructs his disciples regarding the Messiahship. The Lord calls forth their explicit confession of him as Messiah, 16: 13-20; and teaches them in a threefold form that He must suffer and die, but will rise again. In connection with these announcements we have the narrative of the transfiguration and the healing of the epileptic demoniac, and instruction regarding the civil and religious relations and duties of the disciples, such as the payment of the temple tribute, the self-denying, humble, loving and forgiving spirit of true discipleship, divorce, the proper attitude toward children, the danger of earthly possessions, the gracious character of the reward in God’s Kingdom, and the ministering spirit demanded in his followers, 16: 21-20: 28. At Jerusalem also He now makes his claim, entering the city as the Son of David and assuming Messianic authority in the temple. He brings out clearly the future rejection of Israel, answers the test questions of his enemies and pronounces a sevenfold woe on Pharisees and Scribes, 20: 29-23: 39.
IV. The Sacrifice of Messiah the Priest, 24: 1-27: 66. Matthew demonstrates that Christ, now that He is rejected by the Jews, prepares his disciples for his sacrificial death by unfolding the doctrine of his future coming in glory and by teaching them the true posture of his followers in waiting for the day of his coming, 24: 1-25: 46. He then describes how Christ brought his sacrifice, after eating the Paschal lamb, being betrayed by Judas, condemned by the Sanhedrin and Pilate, and dying on the cross, 26:1 27: 66.
V. The Truimph of Messiah the Saviour and King. The author brings out that Jesus by rising again from the dead fully established his claim to the Messiahship. Abundant evidence of the resurrection is furnished and it is clearly shown that in the end Christ is clothed with Messianic authority.