Summary: Who is Matthew and why did he write the book?

A Study of Matthew

The Overview of his Person and Purpose


Hanging Bathroom Shower Curtains. Usually 12 rings that you have to snap in place. They are the hardest things to snap. When the curtain is secured to the rings which is on the pole, you usually have a curtain that does what it is supposed to do. Keep the floor dry and water from the shower in the tub.

The book of Matthew is like this in many ways. There are some rings on which you must hang the teaching in this book by, that once hung in the bathroom of your mind, that you might understand clearly the OT, the NT, who Jesus is and how He connects these two covenants.

Today you will learn something’s about the author and why the book was written and make some personal applications to your life, based the person writing the book and the purpose for it being written.

I. Background

A. His Person -Author

1. Matthew - Levi the apostle of the Lord. "Gift of the Lord". Lived near Capernaum.(Home base for Jesus ministry-Peter lived here) Mt. 9:1

2. He was bilingual speaking Hebrew and Greek fluently

3. Matthew was a strong and resolute believer - Matt. 9:9

4. Although he was Hebrew, He was liberal being a Tax collector. He worked along the main international highway from Damascus through Capernuam to Med. Coast ending in Egypt. Not much information in Hebrew history about Him.

5. He was a man of means and good social position. He owned his own house, he had money because he had a farewell banquet for a great multitude of his colleagues where Jesus was present. Mt. 9:10

6. He was a decisive man. Capable of great sacrifice for his convictions. While sitting at his booth collecting money for the Romans, Jesus called him and he closed everything and followed Jesus. Note too how it was at this banquet he was saying farewell to the world, its wealth, its pleasures, and honours. Mt. 9:9-11

B. Date

1. Was the first book of the New Testament written

2. This book is the Basis / Foundation for all that is to come in the NT.

3. Between 50-65AD

C. His Purpose

1. Written for two reasons:-

a) To Unbelieving Jews, this gospel explains that Jesus is the fulfillment of the prophecies about the Messiah in the OT.

(1) Come than and enjoy a relationship with Him.

(2) Matthew shows how Jesus fulfilled all the OT prophecies in His life and ministry.

(a) Cf. Mt.1:22-23 w/ Isa.7:14; Mt 2:15 w/ Hosea 11:1

b) To Believing Jews, he encourages them in their walk with Jesus.

(1) Yes, you crucified the saviour and King, but God has a plan, and it still includes the Jewish people.

(2) The Kingdom rule you know so much about from the OT, will still occur in the future.

(3) You, in the meantime, are to preach another message. It is a message of faith in the Messiah and it is to be shared with Gentiles too. (Cf. Mt. 10:5 w/ 13:10-16 w/ 28:18-20

2. Look Matthew 9:9-13 closer (Cf. Mark 2:13-17; Luke 5:27-32)

a) Each passages includes

(1) Follow Me

(2) Obedience of Matthew

(3) Banquet with colleagues

(4) Religious leaders ridicule

(5) Only Sick need Doctors

(6) Jesus came to call sinners to repentance

b) Matthew adds phrase "I desire mercy not sacrifice" (Cf. Hosea 6:6)

(1) Mercy - extending right conduct toward fellowmen and yet remaining loyal to God. Cf. Hosea 6:4 ’Love’

(2) Sacrifice is important only when my heart attitude is wholly / holy devoted to God. Cf. 1 Samuel 15:22

(a) Mercy is God withholding what I deserve; Grace is God Giving what don’t deserve.

(b) Mercy is God withholding from me His wrath for which Jesus willingly and willfully endured and Grace is God giving me Everything that Jesus completely paid for and I never asked him for it.

D. Character of the Book

1. Jewish in orientation.

2. Written in Greek to include a larger audience then Jews (bilingual community)

3. He includes the Gentiles in his work as an indication of the many Gentiles who will follow Jesus. (Mt. 2- Magi from the East; Mt. 8:10-Centurion who expressed such great faith; Mt. 15:28-Heathen Canaan woman who had such great faith)

4. It is the Bridge between the OT and the NT.

5. This book contains the most information about the Lord’s teachings.

6. It is arranged Topically rather then chronological. It is arranged around five Larger / major discourses of Christ.

a) Sermon of the Mount - 5-7

b) Sending out the Twelve - 10

c) Stories of the Kingdom - 13

d) Structure / Sociology of the Kingdom - 18

e) Signs of the Coming Kingdom - 24-25

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