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  1. 1. Intro to the Gospel of Matthew Session Three Preaching of Jesus Matthew 3:1-8:34
  2. 2. Matthew 3:1 -8:24 • Matthew skips approximately thirty years from the end of chapter 2 to the beginning of chapter 3. • Preparation for Ministry - Matthew 3:1- 4:11 • The Ministry of John the Baptist - Matthew 3:1-12
  3. 3. Matthew 3:1 -8:24 • Matthew states that John the Baptist came preaching or proclaiming • wilderness of Judea deserted place • "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near." Of the four gospels only Matthew uses the form of a direct quotation to summarize John’s message.
  4. 4. Matthew 3:1 -8:24 • The announcement by John that the kingdom of heaven had come near is also important. • All four gospels also quote from Isaiah 40 to confirm the importance of John the Baptist’s ministry. • John’s message directed to the Pharisees and Sadducees was a message of judgment
  5. 5. Matthew 3:1 -8:24 • The coming judgment would end with a purified people fit for the coming of Messiah. • The Baptism of Jesus - Matthew 3:13-17 • Most scholars believe that Mark was the first gospel to be written and he does not seem bothered by the idea of John baptizing Jesus. The other gospel writers all show some discomfort with the idea. • Matthew confronts the issue most directly "It is proper for us in this way to fulfill all righteousness.
  6. 6. Matthew 3:1 -8:24 • The descent of the Spirit on Jesus is important for several reasons. • return of the Spirit would mark the coming of the Messiah. • in Jewish thinking a major role of the Spirit was to inspire prophecy • the descent of the Spirit on Jesus marked him as a bearer of the Spirit
  7. 7. Matthew 3:1 -8:24 • The Temptation of Jesus - Matthew 4:1-11 • The twin themes of Jesus’ identity in Matthew thus far have been Jesus’ divine sonship and his messiahship • The temptation will test both his confidence in really being the Son of God and his understanding of being a messiah
  8. 8. Matthew 3:1 -8:24 • The first temptation – a temptation to perform a messianic sign • Messiah would repeat the "miracle of the manna • "If you are the Son of God. connect Jesus and the people of Israel coming out of Egypt during the exodus • Rather than demanding bread Jesus will wait for a creative word from his Father
  9. 9. Matthew 3:1 -8:24 • The second temptation the pinnacle of the temple It towered almost 200 feet above the Kidron Valley below. • In terms of messiahship jumping from the pinnacle of the temple would have won Jesus instant acclaim • temptation was to challenge God to come through and rescue Jesus. But such an approach toward God is the very opposite of a true Father-son relationship.
  10. 10. Matthew 3:1 -8:24 • The third temptation The devil offered Jesus the ultimate goal of the Messiah without having to pay the price of being a suffering servant • The price demanded by the devil was to worship him • Jesus as New Israel, God’s son, resisted the lure of idolatry and chose to worship his heavenly Father alone.
  11. 11. Matthew 3:1 -8:24 • As the temptation narrative came to a close two conclusions stood out. Jesus had triumphed over Satan and he had won the right to be seen as the true Israel. In all three temptations his temptation parallel a test faced by Israel in the wilderness. Israel failed. Jesus trusted, obeyed, and succeeded. In that he is a model for us.
  12. 12. Matthew 3:1 -8:24 • Beginning His Ministry- Matthew 4:12-25 • Matthew’s introduction to Jesus’ ministry comes in three parts: interpreting Galilee as the center of ministry in 4:12-17; calling the first disciples in 4:18-22; and an overview in 4:23-25.
  13. 13. Matthew 3:1 -8:24 • Galilee did not have a good reputation among the Jews who considered themselves most religious • Now Jesus begins his ministry bringing the light of God to Galilee of the Gentiles • It was Matthew’s way of saying to Jews and to Jewish believers in Christ, "Jesus, the Messiah, the fulfillment of Jewish hopes, has opened the door of the gospel to the Gentiles."
  14. 14. Matthew 3:1 -8:24 • The abruptness of Jesus’ demand on Simon, Andrew, James, and John is difficult for most modern folks to accept. • However, it represents the radical call of the kingdom of God to let go of all human sources of security and all human aspirations to embrace wholehearted total obedience to God
  15. 15. Matthew 3:1 -8:24 • Jesus’ first words to them, "Follow me," characterize the call to discipleship • For Matthew Jesus introduces the task of mission at the same time he creates the church. There can be no mistaking the centrality of mission. • Verse 23 identifies the three main activities of that ministry: teaching, preaching the good news [gospel] of the kingdom, and healing.
  16. 16. Matthew 3:1 -8:24 • Matthew 5:1-48 • The first, longest, and best-known block of teaching material in Matthew is known as the Sermon on the Mount. Matt 5-7 • Despite the extensive study there is no consensus about the outline of the Sermon. Neither is there agreement about its purpose. It does seem clear that Matthew presented the Sermon as a summary of Jesus’ teaching about the Kingdom of God.
  17. 17. Matthew 3:1 -8:24 • Introduction to the Sermon - Matthew 5:1-2 • The opening two verses of Matthew 5 provide important insight into Matthew’s understanding of the Sermon’s framework • For Matthew, the mountain is a place of divine revelation. • It also introduces his concept of Jesus as the new Moses.
  18. 18. Matthew 3:1 -8:24 • The comment that Jesus was seated is also important. Sitting was the position for rabbis when they were giving official teaching of the Law • To say that Jesus was seated speaks both of his authority to give genuine interpretation from God and his connection to Moses
  19. 19. Matthew 3:1 -8:24 • The second important insight from the opening verses appears in the Greek form of the verb taught in verse 2. The verb form shows that Matthew did not regard the Sermon as a single event in Jesus’ life. • the Sermon on the Mount is not simply one sermon preached once representing the peak of Jesus’ teaching. Rather, it is the typical preaching of Jesus. These are the kinds of words he taught all the time wherever he went.
  20. 20. Matthew 3:1 -8:24 • The Beatitudes - Matthew 5:3-12 • Through much of Christian history the beatitudes have been viewed as giving the demands of the Kingdom of God. This interpretation says, "Blessed are the meek, but if you aren’t meek, you are cursed." • It is much more natural to understand the beatitudes as "effective words of grace." the very act of speaking it begins its fulfillment or enactment
  21. 21. Matthew 3:1 -8:24 • Thus, when Jesus says, blessed are those who hunger and thirst after righteousness, the very act of his saying it begins a process of actual blessing in the lives of people who do hunger and thirst after righteousness. • Beatitudes - good news rather than an impossible demand
  22. 22. Matthew 3:1 -8:24 • Another way of expressing this is to ask, "What is the Kingdom of God like?" The answer according to the beatitudes is that the kingdom is the kind of place where the poor in spirit, the meek, the merciful, and the pure in heart are blessed
  23. 23. Matthew 3:1 -8:24 • The second clause of most of the beatitudes is expressed in the passive voice- Jews in the time of Jesus often used the passive voice as a way of referring to God without mentioning his name. • God is the one who brings the beatitudes to fulfillment is important.
  24. 24. Matthew 3:1 -8:24 • The beatitudes promise divine grace from start to finish. • Salt and Light - Matthew 5:13-16 • Jesus uses two metaphors to describe believers as kingdom people • Both metaphors place believers over against the world rather than viewing us as part of the world.
  25. 25. Matthew 3:1 -8:24 • Immediately following his words about persecution in the beatitudes he calls on his followers to respond to the persecuting world in purifying, preserving, and tasteful ways • Our calling is to make the world a better place to live. That will only happen as the world becomes a part of the kingdom of God.
  26. 26. Matthew 3:1 -8:24 • The metaphor of believers as light assumes that the world is dark or in darkness. • It is a command to shed light in the darkness, to bring hope to the hopeless, and to give correction to the wrong. • The conclusion of this section is that when we are salt and light the result is to be glory given to God rather than praise given to us.
  27. 27. Matthew 3:1 -8:24 • The Place of the Law - Matthew 5:17-20 • One of the questions that occupied much of Matthew’s attention and has been a problem throughout Christian history is the relationship between Christ and the Old Testament, especially the Old Testament Law.
  28. 28. Matthew 3:1 -8:24 • He (and he alone among the four gospel writers) notes that Jesus did not come to abolish the law or the prophets. . . but to fulfill the law. • This statement of Jesus stands as a barrier and a challenge to those who would like to completely cut off Christianity from its Jewish roots and Old Testament background.
  29. 29. Matthew 3:1 -8:24 • verses 21-48 tells us that we are not free to ignore the Old Testament or the Old Testament Law • As long as we regard the Law as a list of requirements verse 20 will lead us to legalism. When we understand the Law to be a window into our hearts God has a chance to speak the gospel to us in this section of Matthew.
  30. 30. Matthew 3:1 -8:24 • The Great Antitheses - Matthew 5:21-48 • You have heard it said by (or to) those of old {Old Testament quotation} • But I say to you {Jesus’ reinterpretation of the Old Testament} • The reinterpretation by Jesus then illustrates what it means for him to fulfill the Law and what it means for our righteousness to exceed that of the scribes and Pharisees.
  31. 31. Matthew 3:1 -8:24 • The first subject that Jesus addresses is anger • Verses 27-30 deal with the issue of adultery • The third issue Jesus addressed in the great antitheses was divorce. • The fourth main subject in this section is that of oaths
  32. 32. Matthew 3:1 -8:24 • Verses 38-42 deal with the subject of retaliation • The Life of Devotion - Matthew 6:1-18 • This section begins with an introductory sentence in verse 1 and then is divided into three parts. Verses 2-4 deal with almsgiving. Verses 5-15 treat prayer and verses 16-18 discuss fasting.
  33. 33. Matthew 3:1 -8:24 • Almsgiving - Matthew 6:2-4 • Prayer - Matthew 6:5-15 • Fasting - Matthew 6:16-18 • No Security in Money - Matthew 6:19-34 • Relating to Others - Matthew 7:1-14. There are four parts to this section of Matthew. Verses 1-6 deal with judging others. Verses 7-11 provide teaching on prayer. Verse 12 is the Golden Rule and verses 13-14 contain the sayings about the narrow and wide gates
  34. 34. Matthew 3:1 -8:24 • The Importance of Obedience - Matthew 7:13-27 • Matthew’s Conclusion - Matthew 7:28- 29 • Jesus: Giver of Life - Matthew 8:1-9:38 • Miracles Revealing Jesus’ Identity - Matthew 8:1-17 • Miracles Teaching Discipleship - Matthew 8:18-34
  35. 35. Study Questions for Reflection and Discussion • First Day: Read the notes on Matthew 7:13-8:34. Look up the Scripture references given. • 1. Identify one or two new insights that seemed important to you. Why are they important? • 2. Is there a spiritual truth in this passage that is especially significant for you? Write it down and explain why it is important for you. • 3. Write a brief prayer asking God to help you identify the areas of your life that need to change for you to whole-heartedly follow Jesus as his obedient and committed disciple.
  36. 36. Study Questions for Reflection and Discussion • Second Day: Read Matthew 9:1-26. Now focus on Matthew 9:1-8. • 1. Verse 2 acknowledges the faith of the people who brought the paralytic to Jesus. How did they demonstrate faith to Jesus? What would be a corresponding demonstration of faith in your life? • 2. What is the answer to Jesus’ question, "Which is easier, to say ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Stand up and walk’?" Which is easier to do? How does Jesus’ question answer the accusation of blasphemy? • 3. What does verse 8 tell us about the conclusion Matthew would like for us to draw from this miracle? What does it mean to "glorify" God when a miracle has taken place?
  37. 37. Study Questions for Reflection and Discussion • Third Day: Read Matthew 9:1-26. Focus in on Matthew 9:9-17. • 1. If the Matthew of verse 9 is the author of this gospel and attended the dinner described in verses 10-13 how would the message of Jesus at the dinner be reflected in this gospel? • 2. To whom does Jesus compare himself in verse 15? In this comparison, who is the bride? What does Jesus’ use of this comparison say about the way we should live our lives? • 3. If Jesus’ teaching is the new wine and Judaism represents the old wineskins, what was Jesus saying about his teaching and the kingdom of God in verses 16-17? What application does that truth have to us today?
  38. 38. Study Questions for Reflection and Discussion • Fourth Day: Read Matthew 9:9-38. Focus your attention on Matthew 9:18-26. • 1. What new demand is placed on Jesus in verse 18? If Jesus could answer this request what would it tell you about him? • 2. What two encouraging statements does Jesus make to the woman who has suffered from hemorrhages for twelve years? How does faith make a person well? Can faith make a person healthy? • 3. What does Jesus mean when he stated that the daughter of the synagogue leader was sleeping rather than being dead? What conclusions about Jesus do you draw from these focus verses?
  39. 39. Study Questions for Reflection and Discussion • Fifth Day: Read Matthew 9:1-38. Now focus in on Matthew 9:27-38. • 1. How does faith enter into the healing of the two blind men? How does the faith involved in this healing differ from that in a previous miracle in Matthew 9? • 2. What two responses to the miraculous appear in verses 32-34? What are some "unhealthy" responses to the miraculous today? Why are they "unhealthy?" • 3. What motivated Jesus’ compassion according to verses 35-38? What is Jesus’ response? In what ways is the need of Christ today like that of these verses? How can you be part of Christ’s response?
  40. 40. Study Questions for Reflection and Discussion • Sixth Day: Read Matthew 9:27-10:15. Now focus on Matthew 10:1-15. • 1. What "authority" does Jesus give his disciples in these focus verses? How does that authority relate to the commission he gave them? • 2. Compare the list of things Jesus commands his disciples to do in verse 8 with Jesus’ ministry in Matthew 8 and 9. What does the comparison tell us about Jesus’ expectations for his followers? How are you fulfilling those expectations? • 3. What does Jesus say about money in these verses? In what ways does the church today follow this teaching about money? Are these ways we should operate differently because of this teaching of Jesus? How?