Matthew Chapter 2

The Visit of the Wise Men: 
(Read Matthew 2:1-12).
Jesus was born in Bethlehem in the days of king Herod.  Herod was an Edomite who became king by Roman decree.  He is known as Herod the great.  Bethlehem was only five miles south of Jerusalem. About that time the wise men from the east came to Jerusalem seeking the one who has been born king of the Jews.  Jesus is the only born king when all other kings became kings after their birth. The wise men were astrologers or priests from the east. They were divinely guided by the star and came to worship Christ in Jerusalem. God desires all people to worship Christ in spirit and truth (John 4:23).  The creator of the universe has placed eternity in their hearts to seek God who is worthy of worship (Ecclesiastes 3:11). Many people are seeking God in wrong places.  When Herod heard this, he was deeply troubled and inquired where Christ had to be born. The religious leaders told him “In Bethlehem of Judea” (Micah 5:2; Isaiah 9:6).  Although God chose Israel as his special people to communicate God’s mercy and forgiveness to the rest of the world, they have failed to obey (Exodus 19:6).   Here Matthew is showing how the promise made to Abraham was fulfilling to all nations (Genesis 12:3). The star appeared to wise men guided them to Bethlehem. It is unlikely that this star was a natural, since it led the wise men to Jerusalem and later to Bethlehem. It was a divine manifestation used by God to guide them. Jews of that day were anticipating the coming of their Messiah. The wise men experienced great joy in finding Jesus who is worthy of their worship. They worshiped him offering gold, frankincense, and myrrh. They signify of Jesus’ kingship, priesthood, and suffering death. They recognized Christ’s deity and his sinless perfection. Only those who recognize Jesus as God and Savior can worship him (Romans 10:9, 13). The wise men acknowledged Jesus as Lord and obeyed God. Jesus Christ is the virgin-born Son of God who is worthy of our worship. The ongoing mission of the church is making worshipers of Jesus Christ from all nations. It is done through the preaching of the gospel and discipling those who are saved. Like the wise men, those who believe in Christ find Jesus’ worthy of their worship.  The greatest gift giver is God himself (2 Corinthians 9:15).  Are you a worshiper of true God?  Do you know Jesus Christ as the only Savior and worthy of your worship (Revelation 5:12).

The Escape to Egypt:
(Read Matthew 2:13-23; Luke 39-52).
When King Herod learned that the wise men went home another way, he became very angry. They were warned of God to do so. The angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and instructed him to flee to Egypt to escape the Herod’s attempt to kill Jesus. It was the fulfillment of the Prophecy of Hosea 11:1. Since this prophecy does not directly refer to Christ, the Matthew saw this prophecy as a type of Christ. Herod was a man of brutality. He ordered the decree to slew boys who were two years and under. Here, Matthew quotes Jeremiah 31:15. When king Herod died, his son Archelaus, succeeded him. When Joseph learned that Archelaus was like his father, he was afraid to return to Bethlehem.  The angel of God warned Joseph in dream to go to Nazareth of Galilee to avoid the king. So, the prophecy spoken by the prophet that Jesus would be called a Nazarene was fulfilled (Isaiah 11:1; 53:3). Joseph settled his family in Nazareth which was a Galilean village with negative reputation (John 1:46). Christ’s entire life was marked with insults and rejection (Isaiah 53:3).  He was despised by people (Mark 6:3-6). From the world’s standpoint, Jesus seemed unimpressive and foolish (1 Corinthians 1:22).   But in Christ was hidden the wisdom of God (1 Corinthians 2:7). Jesus gladly embraced humiliation to identify with us. He did not claim celebrity status of a typical king. Jesus suffered rejection for the sake of our acceptance. He did not come to save the righteous but sinners.  Do you know that you are a sinner and in need of a Savior? Are you saved by believing in Jesus Christ? 

Matthew Chapter 1

Jesus’ Ancestry:
(Read Matt 1:1-17; Luke 3:23-38).
Matthew begins his gospel with the genealogy of Jesus Christ. The family tree of Jesus begins and ends with three great names in the Jewish history: Abraham, David, and Jesus. This is the story of God’s grace to mankind. It begins with the historical account of Jesus’ birth and shows his royal heritage. Matthew’s gospel shows that Jesus is the fulfillment of the Old Testament prophecies. The genealogy of Jesus reminds us that Jesus is a historical person.  Matthew’s genealogy begins with Abraham and ends with Joseph. It covers two thousand years of history.  When Old Testament genealogy ends in death, genealogy of Jesus ends in eternal life (Genesis 5:5; 1 Corinthians 15:45). The inclusion of women in the genealogy was not a usual Hebrew custom. Five women appear in the family tree of Jesus. They are Tamar, Rahab, Ruth, the wife Uriah (Bathsheba) and Mary.  God used them to fulfill his plan of salvation. Tamar, Rahab, and Bathsheba were involved in sexual sin (Genesis 38; Joshua 2: 2; Samuel 11). Ruth was a Moabite widow and Mary, although innocent was falsely thought to be unfaithful to Joseph (Ruth 2:2; 1:19).  These women faced great social difficulties, but God treated them mercifully.  Despite their background, they had faith in God. This reminds us that God saves those who have faith in Jesus (Romans 1:16). God shows no partiality in saving sinners (Romans 2:11; 1 Corinthians 1:26-30).  We are all sinners by nature and ungodly by actions.  But God loves sinners and uses the outcasts for his saving purposes.  This is the gospel proclaimed throughout the world.  God wants us to accept the free gift of salvation by trusting in Jesus Christ. Are you saved? There is only one Savior.  Jesus means “He will save his people from their sins” (Matthew 1:21).

The Birth of Jesus:
(Read Matt 1:18-25; Luke 1:26-38; John 1:1-14)
Mary was engaged to be married to Joseph. Among Jews, marriage vows were made at the betrothal or engagement.  Once engaged only a legal divorce could end the vows already made. It was during this interval; Mary was found with the child. Her pregnancy naturally would have been assumed to be the result of fornication (John 8:41). It was punishable by death (Deuteronomy 22:23). Being a just man Joseph decided to divorce Mary privately. But an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife, she is conceived by the Holy Spirit, she will have a son and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins” (Matthew 1:21). The name Jesus means “Jehovah saves”. Jesus is the Savior of the world (John 4:42).  The purpose of his coming was to save sinners (Luke 19:10).  Bible says that “All have sinned against God and came short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). Jesus’ birth was fulfillment of the promise of Isaiah 7:14. Jesus is the “Immanuel” which means “God with us”. This title reveals his deity.  In the Old Testament, the greatest blessing of Israel was God lived among them (Exodus 29:46). When Jesus was among his people, God himself was with them (Matthew 8:23-27). Joseph took Mary as his wife. She remained a virgin until her son was born. The virgin birth of Jesus is the most essential Christian doctrine. No subject created more controversy than this doctrine. Virgin birth of Jesus proves his deity and preserve his humanity. It spares Jesus from the curse of Jechoniah (Matthew 1:11; Jeremiah 22:30).  God sent his Son to provide salvation from sin and to restore our broken relationship with him. It shows how merciful, gracious, and forgiving is our God.  Also, God sent Jesus to be with us so that we don’t have to live in isolation from God. Jesus is the only remedy for sin and death. He promised his disciples that he will be with them always even to the end of the age (Matthew 28:20). This is the message of the gospel. Have you received Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior? 

Introduction to The Gospel according to Matthew

The Bible alone is the Word of God and has stood the test of the ages. It is able to make us wise for salvation through faith in Jesus Christ. The New Testament is key to understanding Jesus and his gospel. The Bible is profitable for teaching. It corrects us when we wrong and teaches us to do what is right. God uses the Bible to prepare and equips Christians for every good work (2 Timothy 3:15-17). The Bible alone is our final authority in all matters of faith and practice. For the prophecy never came from the prophet’s own understanding but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit (2 Peter 1:20-21). Every opinion we hold and every conviction that motivates us should be based on the Bible. The New Testament Survey has been prepared specially for young and growing Christians. Our goal is to help them become familiar with the message of the New Testament. The reading of each chapter before reading the survey on the New Testament will help you to understand the meaning of the passage better. It is important to understand how each passage relates to Jesus Christ and our daily life. There are many books to aid us in our study of the scripture. However, nothing can take the place of regular reading of the Bible.  We trust that the Lord will draw you closer to Christ through the study of the New Testament survey. May the reading of this Survey be a vital help in knowing Christ and living for him. The Gospel according to Matthew: The four Gospels in the New Testament present a fourfold view of the life of Christ. The Gospels were written so that their readers would come to believe in Christ and receive eternal life. The four Gospels present four portraits of Jesus. Matthew was a Jewish tax collector. He wrote his gospel for the Jewish readers. Mark was a travel companion of Paul and Peter. He wrote his Gospel for the Roman mind. Luke was a physician. He traveled with Paul. He wrote his gospel for the Greek mind. John’s Gospel is different by nature from the other three. It is an interpretation of the facts of Jesus’ life and ministry rather than a biographical presentation in historical sequence. The first three Gospels are known as synoptic Gospel because in most part they look alike. Matthew presents Jesus as their long-awaited Messiah, the Son of God, and the Savior of the world. His Jewish name was Levi and he was a tax collector for Rome. When Jesus invited him to follow, he left everything and followed Christ (Matthew 9:9). Matthew was an apostle and an eye witness of Jesus Christ. He gives Christ’s legal genealogy to connect him with his royal heritage and shows Joseph as his legal father. In this gospel, Christ’s baptism, messages and miracles point to the conclusion that Jesus is the King of Jews, the Messiah. Many scholars consider the gospel of Mark as the source document to all the synoptic gospels, Matthew and Luke. Many consider that Matthew wrote his gospel in Greek language before the destruction of Jerusalem. Most likely the Matthew wrote his gospel in A.D 60 from Palestine (Matthew 24-25). This gospel bridges the Old Testament with the New Testament.