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by Thomas Constable
THE SYNOPTIC PROBLEM
The synoptic problem is intrinsic to all study of the Gospels, especially the first three. ("Gospel" capitalized in these notes refers to a book of the Bible whereas "gospel" not capitalized refers to the good news, the gospel message.) The word "synoptic" comes from two Greek words, syn and opsesthai, meaning, "to see together." Essentially the synoptic problem involves all the difficulties that arise because of the similarities and differences between the Gospel accounts. Matthew, Mark, and Luke have received the title "Synoptic Gospels" because they present the life and ministry of Jesus Christ similarly. The content and purpose of John’s Gospel are sufficiently distinct to put it in a class by itself. It is not one of the so-called Synoptic Gospels.
Part of the synoptic problem is the sources the Holy Spirit led the evangelists to use in producing their Gospels. There is internal evidence (within the individual Gospels themselves) that the writers used source materials as they wrote. The most obvious example of this is the Old Testament passages to which each one referred directly or indirectly. Since Matthew and John were disciples of Jesus Christ many of their statements represent eyewitness accounts of what happened. Likewise Mark had close connections with Peter, and Luke was an intimate associate of Paul as well as a careful historian (Luke 1:1-4). Information that the writers obtained verbally (oral tradition) and in writing (documents) undoubtedly played a part in what they wrote. Perhaps the evangelists also received special revelations from the Lord before and or when they wrote their Gospels.
Some scholars have devoted much time and attention to the study of the other sources the evangelists may have used. They are the "source critics" and their work constitutes "source criticism." Because source criticism and its development are so crucial to Gospel studies, a brief introduction to this subject follows. [Note: For a longer discussion, see Donald A. Carson and Douglas J. Moo, An Introduction to the New Testament, pp. 54-73, 79-112.]
In 1776 and 1779 two posthumously published essays by A. E. Lessing became known in which he argued for a single written source for the Synoptic Gospels. He called this source the Gospel of the Nazarenes, and he believed its writer had composed it in the Aramaic language. To him one original source best explained the parallels and differences between the Synoptics. This idea of an original source or primal Gospel caught the interest of many other scholars. Some of them believed there was a written source, but others held it was an oral source.
As one might expect, the idea of two or more sources occurred to some scholars as the best solution to the synoptic problem (e.g., H. J. Holtzmann and B. H. Streeter). Some favored the view that Mark was one of the primal sources because over 90 percent of the material in Mark also appears in Matthew and or Luke. Some posited another primary source, "Q," an abbreviation of the German word for source, quelle. It supposedly contained the material in Matthew and Luke that does not appear in Mark.
Gradually source criticism gave way to form criticism. The form critics concentrated on the process involved in transmitting what Jesus said and did to the primary sources. They assumed that the process of transmitting this information followed patterns of oral communication that are typical in primitive societies. Prominent New Testament form critics include K. L. Schmidt, Martin Dibelius, and Rudoph Bultmann. Typically oral communication has certain characteristic effects on stories. It tends to shorten narratives, to retain names, to balance teaching, and to elaborate on stories about miracles, to name a few results. The critics also adopted other criteria from secular philology to assess the accuracy of statements in the Gospels. For example, they viewed as distinctive to Jesus only what was dissimilar to what Palestinian Jews or early Christians might have said. Given the critics’ view of inspiration it is easy to see how most of them concluded that the Gospels in their present form do not accurately represent what Jesus said and did. However some conservative scholars used the same literary method but held a much higher view of the Gospel, for example, Vincent Taylor, who wrote The Gospel According to St. Mark.
The next wave of critical opinion, redaction criticism, began to influence the Christian world shortly after World War II. A redactor is an editor. The German scholar Gunther Bornkamm began this "school" with an essay in 1948, which appeared in English in 1963. [Note: Gunther Bornkamm, "The Stilling of the Storm in Matthew," In Tradition and Interpretation in Matthew, pp. 52-57.] Redaction critics generally accept the tenets of source and form criticism. However they also believe that the Gospel evangelists altered the traditions they received to make their own theological emphases. They viewed the writers not simply as compilers of the church’s oral traditions but as theologians who adapted the material for their own purposes. They viewed the present Gospels as containing both traditional material and edited material. There is a good aspect and a bad aspect to this view. Positively it recognizes the individual evangelist’s distinctive purpose for writing. Negatively it permits an interpretation of the Gospel that allows for historical error and even deliberate distortion. Redaction scholars have been more or less liberal depending on their view of Scripture generally. Redaction critics also characteristically show more interest in the early Christian community out of which the Gospels came and the beliefs of that community than they do in Jesus’ historical context. Their interpretations of the early Christian community vary greatly, as one would expect. In recent years the trend in critical scholarship has been conservative, to recognize more rather than less Gospel material as having a historical basis.
Some knowledge of the history of Gospel criticism is helpful to the serious student who wants to understand the text. Questions of the historical background out of which the evangelists wrote, their individual purposes, and what they simply recorded and what they commented on all affect interpretation. Consequently the conservative expositor can profit somewhat from the studies of scholars who concern themselves with these questions primarily. [Note: For a conservative evaluation of the usefulness of redaction criticism, see D. A. Carson, "Redaction Criticism: On the Legitimacy and Illegitimacy of a Literary Tool," in Scripture and Truth, pp. 119-42.]
Most critics have concluded that one source the writers used was one or more of the other Gospels. Currently most source critics believe that Matthew and Luke drew information from Mark’s Gospel. Mark’s accounts are generally longer than those of Matthew and Luke suggesting that Matthew and Luke condensed Mark. To them it seems more probable that they condensed him than that he elaborated on them. There is no direct evidence, however, that one evangelist used another as a source. Since they were either personally disciples of Christ or very close to eyewitnesses of His activities, they may not have needed to consult an earlier Gospel.
Most source critics also believe that the unique material in each Gospel goes back to Q. This may initially appear to be a document constructed out of thin air. However the early church father Papias (A.D. 80-155) may have referred to the existence of such a source. Eusebius, the fourth-century church historian, wrote that Papias had written, "Matthew composed the logia [sayings? Gospel?] in the hebraidi [Hebrew? Aramaic?] dialekto [dialect? language? style?]." [Note: The Ecclesiastical History of Eusebius Pamphilus, 3:39:16.] This is an important statement for several reasons, but here note that Papias referred to Matthew’s logia. This may be a reference to Matthew’s Gospel, but many source critics believe it refers to a primal document that became a source for one or more of our Gospels. Most of them do not believe Matthew wrote Q. They see in Papias’ statement support for the idea that primal documents such as Matthew’s logia were available as sources, and they conclude that Q was the most important one.
Another major aspect of the synoptic problem is the order in which the Gospels appeared as finished products. This issue has obvious connections with the question of the sources the Gospel writers may have used.
Until after the Reformation, almost all Christians believed that Matthew wrote his Gospel before Mark and Luke wrote theirs; they held Matthean priority. From studying the similarities and differences between the Synoptics, some source critics also concluded that Matthew and Luke came into existence before Mark. They viewed Mark as a condensation of the other two. Some of the leaders in this movement were J. A. Eichorn, J. G. Herder, and J. J. Griesbach. The Tübingen school in Germany was also influential. However the majority of source critics today, as well as many evangelical scholars, believe that Mark was the first Gospel and that Matthew and Luke wrote later. As explained above, they hold this view because they believe it is more probable that Matthew and Luke drew from and condensed Mark than that Mark expanded on Matthew and Luke. However the number of scholars who hold Matthean priority is increasing. [Note: E.g., William R. Farmer, The Synoptic Problem.]
Since source criticism is highly speculative many conservative expositors today continue to lean toward Matthean priority. We do so because there is no solid evidence to contradict this traditional view that Christians held almost consistently for the church’s first 17 centuries.
While the game of deducing which Gospel came first and who drew from whom appeals to many students, these issues are essentially academic ones. They have little to do with the meaning of the text. Consequently I do not plan to discuss them further but will refer interested students to the vast body of literature that is available. I will, however, deal with problems involving the harmonization of the Gospel accounts at the appropriate places in the exposition that follows. The Bible expositor’s basic concern is not the nature and history of the stories in the text but their primary significance in their contexts. One conservative scholar spoke for many others when he wrote the following.
". . . it is this writer’s opinion that there is no evidence to postulate a tradition of literary dependence among the Gospels. The dependence is rather a parallel dependence on the actual events which occurred." [Note: Charles H. Dyer, "Do the Synoptics Depend on Each Other?" Bibliotheca Sacra 138:551 (July-September 1981):244.]
A much more helpful critical approach to the study of the Bible is literary criticism, the current wave of interest. This approach analyses the text in terms of its literary structure, emphases, and unique features. It seeks to understand the canonical text as a piece of literature by examining how the writer wrote it. Related to this approach is rhetorical criticism, which analyses the text as a piece of rhetoric. This approach is helpful because there are so many speeches in the Gospels.
Genre refers to the type of literature that a particular document fits within. Certain types of literature have features that affect their interpretation. For example, we interpret letters differently than poems. So it is important to identify the genre or genres of a book of the Bible.
The Gospels are probably more like ancient Greco-Roman biographies than any other type of literature. [Note: Carson and Moo, pp. 112-15.] This category is quite broad and encompassed works of considerable diversity, including the Gospels. Even Luke, with its characteristic historiographic connections to Acts, qualifies as ancient biography. Unlike this genre, however, the Gospels "combine teaching and action in a preaching-oriented work that stands apart from anything else in the ancient world." [Note: Ibid., p. 115.] They also are anonymous, in the sense that the writers did not identify themselves as the writers, as Paul did in his epistles, for example, and they are not as pretentious as most ancient biographies.
External evidence strongly supports the Matthean authorship of the first Gospel. The earliest copies of the Gospel we have begin "KATA MATTHAION" ("according to Matthew"). Several early church fathers referred to Matthew (lit. "gift of God" or "faithful") as the writer including Clement of Rome, Polycarp, Justin Martyr, Clement of Alexandria, Tertullian, and Origen. [Note: For further attestation, see Norman L. Geisler and William E. Nix, A General Introduction to the Bible, p. 193.] Papias’ use of the term logia to describe Matthew’s work, cited above, is not a clear attestation to Matthean authorship of the first Gospel. Since Matthew was a disciple of Jesus and one of the 12 Apostles, his work carried great influence and enjoyed much prestige from its first appearance. We might expect a more prominent disciple such as Peter or James to have written it. The fact that the early church accepted it as from Matthew further strengthens the likelihood that he indeed wrote it.
Internal evidence of Matthean authorship is also strong. As a tax collector for Rome, Matthew would have had to be able to write capably. His profession forced him to keep accurate and detailed records, which skill he put to good use in composing his Gospel. There are more references to money and to more different kinds of money in this Gospel than in any of the others. [Note: See Werner G. Marx, "Money Matters in Matthew," Bibliotheca Sacra 136:542 (April-June 1979):148-57.] Matthew humbly referred to himself as a tax collector, a profession with objectionable connotations in his culture, whereas the other Gospel writers simply called him Matthew (or Levi). Matthew called his feast for Jesus a dinner (Matthew 9:9-10), but Luke referred to it as a great banquet (Luke 5:29). All these details confirm the testimony of the early church fathers.
According to tradition, Matthew ministered in Palestine for several years after Jesus’ ascension to heaven. He also made missionary journeys to the Jews who lived among the Gentiles outside Palestine, Diaspora Jews. There is evidence that he visited Persia, Ethiopia, Syria, and Greece. [Note: Warren W. Wiersbe, The Bible Exposition Commentary, 1:13.]
Papias’ statement, cited above, refers to a composition by Matthew in the hebraidi dialekto (the Hebrew or possibly Aramaic language or dialect, the same Greek word referring to both cognate languages). This may not be a reference to Matthew’s Gospel. Four other church fathers mentioned that Matthew wrote in Aramaic and that translations followed in Greek: Irenaeus (A.D. 130-202), Origen (A.D. 185-254), Eusebius (4th century), and Jerome (6th century). [Note: Louis A. Barbieri Jr., "Matthew," in The Bible Knowledge Commentary: New Testament, p. 15.] However they may have been referring to something other than our first Gospel. These references have led many scholars to conclude that Matthew composed his Gospel in Aramaic and that someone else, or he himself, later translated it into Greek. This is the normal meaning of the fathers’ statements. If Matthew originally wrote his Gospel in Aramaic, it is difficult to explain why he sometimes, but not always, quoted from a Greek translation of the Old Testament, the Septuagint. The Hebrew Old Testament would have been the normal text for a Hebrew or Aramaic author to use. A Greek translator might have used the Septuagint (abbreviated LXX) to save himself some work, but if he did so why did he not use it consistently? Matthew’s Greek Gospel contains many Aramaic words. This solution also raises some questions concerning the reliability and inerrancy of the Greek Gospel that has come down to us.
There are several possible solutions to the problem of the language of Matthew’s Gospel. [Note: See Stanley D. Toussaint, Behold the King: A Study of Matthew, pp. 329-33, for five views.] The best seems to be that Matthew wrote a Hebrew document that God did not inspire that is no longer extant. He also composed an inspired Greek Gospel that has come down to us in the New Testament. Many competent scholars believe that Matthew originally wrote his Gospel in Greek. They do so mainly because of his Greek. [Note: See, for example, D. A. Carson, "Matthew," in Matthew-Luke, vol. 8 of The Expositor’s Bible Commentary, p. 13.]
DATE AND PLACE OF COMPOSITION
Dating Matthew’s Gospel is difficult for many reasons even if one believes in Matthean priority. The first extra-biblical reference to it occurs in the writings of Ignatius (ca. A.D. 110-115). [Note: To the Smyrneans 1:1.] However Matthew’s references to Jerusalem and the Sadducees point to a date of compositions before A.D. 70 when the Romans destroyed Jerusalem. His references to Jerusalem assume its existence (e.g., Matthew 4:5; Matthew 27:53). Matthew recorded more warnings about the Sadducees than all the other New Testament writers combined, but after A.D. 70 they no longer existed as a significant authority in Israel. [Note: Carson, "Matthew," pp. 20-21.] Consequently Matthew probably wrote before A.D. 70. [Note: See also Carson and Moo, pp. 152-56.]
References in the text to the customs of the Jews continuing "to this day" (Matthew 27:8; Matthew 28:15) imply that some time had elapsed between the crucifixion of Jesus Christ and the composition of the Gospel. Since Jesus probably died in A.D. 33, Matthew may have composed his Gospel perhaps a decade or more later. A date between A.D. 40 and 70 is very probable. Some other dates proposed by reliable scholars include between A.D. 50 and 60, [Note: Mark L. Bailey, in The New Testament Explorer, p. 2.] or in the 60s, [Note: R. T. France, The Gospel of Matthew, p. 19.] though most scholars favor a date after A.D. 70. [Note: Ibid.]
Matthew appears first among the four Gospels in our canon because when the church established the canon Matthew was believed to have been the first one written and the one with the most developed connection to the Old Testament. [Note: Darrell L. Bock, Jesus according to Scripture, p. 31. For a brief discussion of the New Testament canon, see Carson and Moo, pp. 726-43.]
Since Matthew lived and worked in Palestine we would assume that he wrote while living there. There is no evidence that excludes this possibility. Nevertheless scholars love to speculate. Other sites they have suggested include Antioch of Syria (Ignatius was bishop of Antioch), Alexandria, Edessa, Syria, Tyre, and Caesarea Maratima. These are all guesses.
"If a Bible reader were to jump from Malachi into Mark, or Acts, or Romans, he would be bewildered. Matthew’s Gospel is the bridge that leads us out of the Old Testament and into the New Testament." [Note: Wiersbe, 1:10.]
Compared with the other Gospels Matthew’s is distinctively Jewish. He used parallelisms, as did many of the Old Testament writers, and his thought patterns and general style are typically Hebrew. [Note: A. T. Robertson, A Grammar of the Greek New Testament in the Light of Historical Research, p. 119.] Matthew’s vocabulary (e.g., kingdom of heaven, holy city, righteousness, etc.) and subject matter (e.g., the Law, defilement, the Sabbath, Messiah, etc.) are also distinctively Jewish. Matthew referred to the Old Testament more than any other evangelist. [Note: W. Graham Scroggie, A Guide to the Gospels, p. 270.] The United Bible Society’s Greek New Testament lists 54 direct citations of the Old Testament in Matthew and 262 more widely recognized allusions and verbal parallels. Usually Matthew referred to the Old Testament, or quoted someone doing so, to prove a point to his readers. The genealogy in chapter 1 traces Jesus’ ancestry back to Abraham, the father of the Jewish race. Matthew gave prominent attention to Peter, the apostle to the Jews. [Note: Willoughby C. Allen, A Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the Gospel According to S. Matthew, p. lxxxi.] The writer also referred to many Jewish customs without explaining them, evidently because he believed most of his original readers would not need an explanation.
Another distinctive emphasis in Matthew is Jesus’ teaching ministry. No other Gospel contains as many of Jesus’ discourses and instructions. These include the Sermon on the Mount (chs. 5-7), the charge to the apostles (ch. 10), the parables of the kingdom (ch. 13), the lesson on forgiveness (ch. 18), the denunciation of Israel’s leaders (ch. 23), and the Olivet Discourse (chs. 24-25). [Note: Robert H. Gundry, Matthew: A Commentary on His Literary and Theological Art, is an evangelical who believed in inerrancy, but he argued that parts of Matthew’s Gospel present events that did not really happen in Jesus’ life. This is a position that many liberal scholars have taken who refer to these non-historical stories as myth, legend, or heroic biography. Gundry called them midrash, a Jewish embellishment that was common in non-biblical writings of Matthew’s time. See Scott Cunningham and Darrell L. Bock, "Is Matthew Midrash?" Bibliotheca Sacra 144:574 (April-June 1987):157-80, for a refutation of Gundry’s position.] About 60 percent of the book focuses on Jesus’ teachings. However, Matthew presented Jesus as a doer as well as a teacher. He referred to more than 20 miracles that Jesus performed. [Note: See Mark J. Larson, "Three Centuries of Objections to Biblical Miracles," Bibliotheca Sacra 160:637 (January-March 2003):77-100.]
The transitional nature of this Gospel is also evident in that Matthew alone, among the Gospel writers, referred to the church (Matthew 16:18; Matthew 18:17). He recorded Jesus prediction of the church as well as instruction about how His disciples should conduct themselves in the church. The Lord created the church in view of Israel’s rejection of her Messiah (cf. Matthew 16:13-18; Romans 11), though it was always in the eternal plan of God.
AUDIENCE AND PURPOSES
Several church fathers (i.e., Irenaeus, Origen, and Eusebius) stated what we might suppose from the distinctively Jewish emphases of this book, namely, that Matthew wrote his Gospel primarily for his fellow Jews. [Note: Scroggie, p. 248.]
He wrote, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, for a specific purpose or, more accurately, specific purposes. He did not state these purposes concisely, as John did in his Gospel (John 20:30-31). Nevertheless they are clear from his content and his emphases.
"Matthew has a twofold purpose in writing his Gospel. Primarily he penned this Gospel to prove Jesus is the Messiah, but he also wrote it to explain God’s kingdom program to his readers. One goal directly involves the other. Nevertheless, they are distinct." [Note: Toussaint, p. 18. See also Bailey, pp. 2-3.]
"Matthew’s purpose obviously was to demonstrate that Jesus Christ was the promised Messiah of the Old Testament, that He fulfilled the requirements of being the promised King who would be a descendant of David, and that His life and ministry fully support the conclusion that He is the prophesied Messiah of Israel. . . .
"As a whole, the gospel is not properly designated as only an apologetic for the Christian faith. Rather, it was designed to explain to the Jews, who had expected the Messiah when He came to be a conquering king, why instead Christ suffered and died, and why there was the resulting postponement of His triumph to His second coming." [Note: John F. Walvoord, Matthew: Thy Kingdom Come, pp. 12, 13. On the kind of Messiah that the Jews expected, see Alfred Edersheim, The Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah, 1:160-79.]
Matthew presented three aspects to God’s kingdom program. First, Jesus presented Himself to the Jews as the king that God had promised in the Old Testament. Second, Israel’s leaders rejected Jesus as their king. This resulted in the postponement, not the cancellation, of the messianic kingdom that God had promised Israel. Third, because of Israel’s rejection Jesus is now building His church in anticipation of His return to establish the promised messianic kingdom on the earth.
There are at least three wider purposes that Matthew undoubtedly hoped to fulfill with his Gospel. First, he wanted to instruct Christians and non-Christians concerning the person and work of Jesus. [Note: See David K. Lowery, "A Theology of Matthew," in A Biblical Theology of the New Testament, p. 25.] Second, he wanted to provide an apologetic to aid his Jewish brethren in witnessing to other Jews about Christ. Third, he wanted to encourage all Christians to witness for Christ boldly and faithfully. It is interesting that Matthew is the only Gospel writer to use the Greek verb matheteuo, "to disciple" (Matthew 13:52; Matthew 27:57; Matthew 28:19; cf. Acts 14:21 for its only other occurrence in the New Testament). This fact shows his concern for making disciples of Christ. [Note: See Martin L. Franzmann, Follow Me: Discipleship According to Saint Matthew.]
Carson identified nine major themes in Matthew. They are Christology, prophecy and fulfillment, law, church, eschatology, Jewish leaders, mission, miracles, and the disciples’ understanding and faith. [Note: Carson, "Matthew," pp. 26-38.]
PLAN AND STRUCTURE
Matthew often grouped his material into sections so that three, five, six, or seven events, miracles, sayings, or parables appear together. [Note: See Allen, p. lxv; and Alfred Plummer, An Exegetical Commentary on the Gospel According to S. Matthew, pp. xix-xxiii.] Jewish writers typically did this to help their readers remember what they had written. The presence of this technique reveals Matthew’s didactic (instructional) intent. Furthermore it indicates that his arrangement of material was somewhat topical rather than strictly chronological. Generally chapters 1-4 are in chronological order, chapters 5-13 are topical, and chapters 14-28 are again chronological. [Note: Henry C. Thiessen, Introduction to the New Testament, p. 139.] Matthew is the least chronological of the Gospels.
Not only Matthew but the other Gospel writers as well present the life of Jesus Christ in three major stages. These stages are His presentation to the people, their consideration of His claims, and their rejection and its consequences.
A key phrase in Matthew’s Gospel enables us to note the major movements in the writer’s thought. It is the phrase "and it came about that when Jesus had finished" (Matthew 7:28; Matthew 11:1; Matthew 13:53; Matthew 19:1; Matthew 26:1). This phrase always occurs at the end of one of Jesus’ major addresses. An address therefore concludes each major section of the Gospel, and it is climactic. Matthew evidently used the narrative sections to introduce Jesus’ discourses, which he regarded as especially important in his book. Mark, on the other hand, gave more detailed information concerning the narrative material in his Gospel. In addition to each major section, there is a prologue and an epilogue to the Gospel according to Matthew.
|Matthew 1-4||Matthew 5:1 to Matthew 7:27||Matthew 7:28-29|
|Matthew 8:1 to Matthew 9:34||Matthew 9:35 to Matthew 10:42||Matthew 11:1 a|
|Matthew 11:1 to Matthew 12:50||Matthew 13:1-52||Matthew 13:53 a|
|Matthew 13:53 to Matthew 17:27||Matthew 18||Matthew 19:1 a|
|Matthew 19:1 to Matthew 23:39||Matthew 24-25||Matthew 26:1 a|
|Matthew 26:1 to Matthew 28:20|
One writer believed Matthew constructed his Gospel as an eleven-part chiasm with the center panel occurring in chapter 13. He argued that this structure highlights the postponement of the kingdom.
"A. Demonstration of Jesus’ Qualifications as King (chaps. 1-4)
B. Sermon on the Mount: Who Can Enter His Kingdom (chaps. 5-7)
C. Miracles and Instruction (chaps 8-9)
D. Instruction to the Twelve: Authority and Message for Israel (chap. 10)
E. Opposition: The Nation’s Rejection of the King (chaps. 11-12)
F. Parables of the Kingdom: The Kingdom Postponed (chap. 13)
E.’ Opposition: The Nation’s Rejection of the King (chaps. 14-17)
D.’ Instruction to the Twelve: Authority and Message for the Church (chap. 18)
C.’ Miracles and Instruction (chaps. 19-23)
B.’ Olivet Discourse: When the Kingdom Will Come (chaps. 24-25)
A.’ Demonstration of Jesus’ Qualifications as King (chaps. 26-28)" [Note: Gary W. Derickson, "Matthew’s Chiastic Structure and Its Dispensational Implications," Bibliotheca Sacra 163:652 (October-December 2006):426.]
I. The introduction of the King Matthew 1:1 to Matthew 4:11
A. The King’s genealogy Matthew 1:1-17
B. The King’s birth Matthew 1:18-25
C. The King’s childhood ch 2
1. The prophecy about Bethlehem Matthew 2:1-12
2. The prophecies about Egypt Matthew 2:13-18
3. The prophecies about Nazareth Matthew 2:19-23
D. The King’s preparation Matthew 3:1 to Matthew 4:11
1. Jesus’ forerunner Matthew 3:1-12
2. Jesus’ baptism Matthew 3:13-17
3. Jesus’ temptation Matthew 4:1-11
II. The authority of the King Matthew 4:12 to Matthew 7:29
A. The beginning of Jesus’ ministry Matthew 4:12-25
1. The setting of Jesus’ ministry Matthew 4:12-16
2. Jesus’ essential message Matthew 4:17
3. The call of four disciples Matthew 4:18-22
4. A summary of Jesus’ ministry Matthew 4:23-25
B. Jesus’ revelations concerning participation in His kingdom chs. 5-7
1. The setting of the Sermon on the Mount Matthew 5:1-2
2. The subjects of Jesus’ kingdom Matthew 5:3-16
3. The importance of true righteousness Matthew 5:17 to Matthew 7:12
4. The false alternatives Matthew 7:13-27
5. The response of the audience Matthew 7:28-29
III. The manifestation of the King Matthew 8:1 to Matthew 11:1
A. Demonstrations of the King’s power Matthew 8:1 to Matthew 9:34
1. Jesus’ ability to heal Matthew 8:1-17
2. Jesus’ authority over His disciples Matthew 8:18-22
3. Jesus’ supernatural power Matthew 8:23 to Matthew 9:8
4. Jesus’ authority over His critics Matthew 9:9-17
5. Jesus’ ability to restore Matthew 9:18-34
B. Declarations of the King’s presence Matthew 9:35 to Matthew 11:1
1. Jesus’ compassion Matthew 9:35-38
2. Jesus’ commissioning of 12 disciples Matthew 10:1-4
3. Jesus’ charge concerning His apostles’ mission Matthew 10:5-42
4. Jesus’ continuation of His work Matthew 11:1
IV. The opposition to the King Matthew 11:2 to Matthew 13:53
A. Evidences of Israel’s opposition to Jesus Matthew 11:2-30
1. Questions from the King’s forerunner Matthew 11:2-19
2. Indifference to the King’s message Matthew 11:20-24
3. The King’s invitation to the repentant Matthew 11:25-30
B. Specific instances of Israel’s rejection of Jesus ch. 12
1. Conflict over Sabbath observance Matthew 12:1-21
2. Conflict over Jesus’ power Matthew 12:22-37
3. Conflict over Jesus’ sign Matthew 12:38-45
4. Conflict over Jesus’ kin Matthew 12:46-50
C. Adaptations because of Israel’s rejection of Jesus Matthew 13:1-53
1. The setting Matthew 13:1-3 a
2. Parables addressed to the multitudes Matthew 13:3-33
3. The function of these parables Matthew 13:34-43
4. Parables addressed to the disciples Matthew 13:44-52
5. The departure Matthew 13:53
V. The reactions of the King Matthew 13:54 to Matthew 19:2
A. Opposition, instruction, and healing Matthew 13:54 to Matthew 16:12
1. The opposition of the Nazarenes and Romans Matthew 13:54 to Matthew 14:12
2. The withdrawal to Bethsaida Matthew 14:13-33
3. The public ministry at Gennesaret Matthew 14:34-36
4. The opposition of the Pharisees and scribes Matthew 15:1-20
5. The withdrawal to Tyre and Sidon Matthew 15:21-28
6. The public ministry to Gentiles Matthew 15:29-39
7. The opposition of the Pharisees and Sadducees Matthew 16:1-12
B. Jesus’ instruction of His disciples around Galilee Matthew 16:13 to Matthew 19:2
1. Instruction about the King’s person Matthew 16:13-17
2. Instruction about the King’s program Matthew 16:18 to Matthew 17:13
3. Instruction about the King’s principles Matthew 17:14-27
4. Instruction about the King’s personal representatives ch. 18
5. The transition from Galilee to Judea Matthew 19:1-2
VI. The official presentation and rejection of the King Matthew 19:3 to Matthew 25:46
A. Jesus’ instruction of His disciples around Judea Matthew 19:3 to Matthew 20:34
1. Instruction about marriage Matthew 19:3-12
2. Instruction about childlikeness Matthew 19:13-15
3. Instruction about wealth Matthew 19:16 to Matthew 20:16
4. Instruction about Jesus’ passion Matthew 20:17-19
5. Instruction about serving Matthew 20:20-28
6. An illustration of illumination Matthew 20:29-34
B. Jesus’ presentation of Himself to Israel as her King Matthew 21:1-17
1. Jesus’ preparation for the presentation Matthew 21:1-7
2. Jesus’ entrance into Jerusalem Matthew 21:8-11
3. Jesus’ entrance into the temple Matthew 21:12-17
C. Israel’s rejection of her King Matthew 21:18 to Matthew 22:46
1. The sign of Jesus’ rejection of Israel Matthew 21:18-22
2. Rejection by the chief priests and the elders Matthew 21:23 to Matthew 22:14
3. Rejection by the Pharisees and the Herodians Matthew 22:15-22
4. Rejection by the Sadducees Matthew 22:23-33
5. Rejection by the Pharisees Matthew 22:34-46
D. The King’s rejection of Israel ch. 23
1. Jesus’ admonition of the multitudes and His disciples Matthew 23:1-12
2. Jesus’ indictment of the scribes and the Pharisees Matthew 23:13-36
3. Jesus’ lamentation over Jerusalem Matthew 23:37-39
E. The King’s revelations concerning the future chs. 24-25
1. The setting of the Olivet Discourse Matthew 24:1-3
2. Jesus’ warning about deception Matthew 24:4-6
3. Jesus’ general description of the future Matthew 24:7-14
4. The abomination of desolation Matthew 24:15-22
5. The second coming of the King Matthew 24:23-31
6. The responsibilities of disciples Matthew 24:32 to Matthew 25:30
7. The King’s judgment of the nations Matthew 25:31-46
VII. The crucifixion and resurrection of the King chs. 26-28
A. The King’s crucifixion chs. 26-27
1. Preparations for Jesus’ crucifixion Matthew 26:1-46
2. The arrest of Jesus Matthew 26:47-56
3. The trials of Jesus Matthew 26:57 to Matthew 27:26
4. The crucifixion of Jesus Matthew 27:27-56
5. The burial of Jesus Matthew 27:57-66
B. The King’s resurrection ch. 28
1. The empty tomb Matthew 28:1-7
2. Jesus’ appearance to the women Matthew 28:8-10
3. The attempted cover-up Matthew 28:11-15
4. The King’s final instructions to His disciples Matthew 28:16-20
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the Fifth Week after Easter