We don't know whether Jesus gave him the name Matthew or whether he changed it himself, but it is a shortening of the name Mattathias, which means "gift of Yahweh," or simply "the gift of God. On the same day Jesus invited Matthew to follow him, Matthew threw a great farewell feast in his home in Capernaum, inviting his friends so they could meet Jesus too. From that time on, instead of collecting tax money, Matthew collected souls for Christ. Despite his sinful past, Matthew was uniquely qualified to be a disciple. He was an accurate record keeper and keen observer of people.
He captured the smallest details. Those traits served him well when he wrote the Gospel of Matthew some 20 years later. By surface appearances, it was scandalous and offensive for Jesus to pick a tax collector as one of his closest followers since they were widely hated by the Jews. Yet of the four Gospel writers, Matthew presented Jesus to the Jews as their hoped-for Messiah, tailoring his account to answer their questions. Matthew displayed one of the most radically changed lives in the Bible in response to an invitation from Jesus. He did not hesitate; he did not look back. He left behind a life of wealth and security for poverty and uncertainty.
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He abandoned the pleasures of this world for the promise of eternal life. The remainder of Matthew's life is uncertain. Tradition says he preached for 15 years in Jerusalem following the death and resurrection of Jesus , then went out on the mission field to other countries.
Disputed legend has it that Matthew died as a martyr for the cause of Christ. He served as one of the 12 disciples of Jesus Christ. As an eyewitness to the Savior, Matthew recorded a detailed account of Jesus' life, the story of his birth , his message and his many deeds in the Gospel of Matthew.
He also served as a missionary, spreading the good news to other countries. Matthew was an accurate record keeper. He knew the human heart and the longings of the Jewish people.
The Gospels: The Gospel according to Matthew (high definition video)
He was loyal to Jesus and once committed, he never wavered in serving the Lord. As a result, the criticism that had already taken root began to grow and spread. This series of episodes divides into five segments: In , Jesus assured John the Baptist that his signs proved that he was the Messiah who fulfilled Old Testament prophecies, and Jesus called for the crowds to respond to his signs with repentance. In Jesus addressed the cities where he had performed miracles, and he warned the unrepentant and offered rest to those who would come to him.
As he put it in Matthew In , Matthew begins several episodes that focused explicitly on the reactions of the Pharisees to Jesus' signs. First, he reported how Jesus disputed with the Pharisees about God's purposes for the Sabbath and demonstrated his authority by healing a man on the Sabbath. Jesus taught that the Sabbath is for healing and saving lives. In , the Pharisees accused Jesus of using the power of Beelzebub, even as the crowds were astonished by his miracles.
Rather than receiving him as the Messiah, the teachers of the law believed he was possessed by the devil. In , the Pharisees hypocritically demanded another sign, but Jesus warned that they would only receive the sign of Jonah. And what was this sign?
Much like Jonah's exit from the huge fish after three days led to the repentance of Gentiles in Nineveh, Jesus' future resurrection after three days in the earth would lead to the repentance of many more Gentiles. To demonstrate how God would receive anyone from any nationality who repented, Jesus even went so far as to say that his natural Jewish mother and brothers were not his family. Rather, as he put it in Matthew Here are my mother and my brothers.
For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother Matthew Now that we've looked at Matthew's narrative of the signs that Jesus performed, let's turn to his discourse on Jesus' kingdom parables in Matthew The parable of the sower in , the parable of the weeds in , the mustard seed and the yeast in , the hidden treasure and pearl in , and the parable of the net in These parables were designed to correct misunderstandings that explained the kingdom of God. In some of the parables — such as the parables of the mustard seed in , the yeast in verse 33, the treasure in verse 44, and the pearl in verses — Jesus taught that the kingdom of heaven was of supreme value and was to be sought at all cost.
It might look insignificant at first, but one day it would be seen in all of its glory. But Jesus also told other parables that focused on Israel's failure to embrace King Jesus and his kingdom. In the parable of the sower and its explanation in Matthew , Jesus made it clear that there were many obstacles to belief, and that most people would reject the kingdom.
This idea is reinforced by the parable of the weeds in verses and , and the parable of the net in verses Jesus taught that many would refuse to embrace the kingdom and would be destroyed in the end. These parables were clear warnings to those who opposed Jesus; they provided an opportunity for unbelievers to repent, and to become faithful followers of the one true King. Christ has come. He has fulfilled the prophecies; he has brought his kingdom to pass.
Yet, it still awaits its culmination. We as Christians, we enter into that kingdom, but we need to constantly be reevaluating in terms of our priorities, repenting of not following him as we ought, making sure that we are faithfully seeking to live out our lives in conformity to his will, agreeing with him in terms of his values, what the kingdom is all about.
So, there's a constant need for repentance, confession, coming to him as a Prophet, as well as Priest, as well as King, the one that we then seek to follow and serve in such a way where we carry out his purposes for us in this world. We are to encourage Christians to pursue and long for the coming of God's kingdom. First, in the personal dimension, the authority of the kingdom of heaven is our power in life. It motivates us to submit to God, and live a God-centered life, so that the authority of God manifested in our lives would become the goal of our spiritual lives.
Second, we need to learn the concept of the kingdom of heaven in view of redemptive history. As we learn how it begins, uncovers, and completes his redemptive plan. Then we will see that the teachings of the kingdom of heaven unify the Old and New Testament. They help us to see the grand blue print of our redeeming God and easily grasp his comprehensive purpose. Third, the kingdom of heaven creates a right biblical world-view, and helps us to see that all things belong to God.
Matthew"s Gospel and Judaism
His kingdom will come to completion, and he will judge and wipe out all the evil powers on earth because God himself is the absolute King. So, we no longer live just for ourselves. We want to care for our neighbors, society, and the well-being of this world. We ought to pay attention to the things, either near or far from us. We ought to enter into the society and transform all aspects accordingly, as our duty. Stephen Chan, translation].
Book of Matthew
The fourth major division of Matthew's account focuses on faith and greatness beginning in and continuing through This division reveals what it means to be a faithful disciple of Jesus who reaches greatness in his kingdom. The narrative portion of this section runs from — and includes thirteen episodes that report different ways in which all but one woman resisted putting their full faith in Jesus.
The first two episodes focus on two times when faith in Jesus was entirely rejected. First, when Jesus came to his hometown in Nazareth, in , his former neighbors did not dispute his ability to do miracles. But they still took offense and rejected him. In we read that the people of Nazareth did not receive many miracles because they lacked faith.
Gospel: Matthew 5:1-12 (All Saints Sunday: Series C)
Next, is about Herod and the death of John the Baptist. Herod deserved the judgment of God for what he did to John. But more than this, verse 1 explains that Herod did not dispute the reports of Jesus' miracles. Instead, his advisors believed that Jesus was John the Baptist come back from the dead to trouble Herod. The next three episodes focus on Jesus' disciples and how they needed to grow in faith.
Matthew is the story of Jesus feeding five thousand. Jesus told the disciples to feed the crowd that followed him, but in verse 15 his disciples doubted and complained that he had too little food. So, Jesus proved his power by multiplying their food and feeding five thousand with plenty to spare.
In , Jesus walked on water. At first, Peter showed confidence in Jesus by stepping out of the boat, but Peter doubted when he saw the danger and began to sink into the sea. After rescuing him, Jesus commented in verse 31, "You of little faith… why did you doubt? Chapter reports a conflict between Jesus and some Pharisees. Peter asked Jesus for an explanation of something simple that Jesus had said.
So, in verse 16, Jesus replied disapprovingly, "Are you still so dull? In , we have the only time in these episodes when someone firmly believed in Jesus — a Canaanite woman with a demon-possessed daughter. Unlike others, she begged Jesus to help her. And in verse 28 Jesus responded approvingly by saying, "Woman, you have great faith! Matthew then returned to the weak faith of Jesus' disciples. In , he wrote about the feeding of four thousand. In verse 33, the disciples asked where they could find enough food, even though they had seen Jesus feed five thousand earlier.
In , Jesus debated with the Pharisees and Sadducees.
At one point, he turned to his disciples and warned them of "the yeast of the Pharisees," and they thought he was angry because they had not brought bread with them. But Jesus reminded them of the times when he had made bread for thousands, and in verse 8 he called his disciples, "you of little faith.
Following this, we find two closely related episodes. On the one hand, Peter's well-known confession of faith in But on the other hand, in , Jesus rebuked Peter just as strongly.
Jesus began to tell the disciples that he was going to Jerusalem to suffer and die. When Peter objected, Jesus replied harshly in verse "Get behind me, Satan. Following this rebuke, we come to Jesus' transfiguration in When the disciples saw Jesus in his glory, they wanted to build a shrine at the place.