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Bible Dictionaries

Morrish Bible Dictionary

Matthew, Gospel by

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In this gospel Christ is more especially presented as the Messiah, the son of Abraham, and son of David. See GOSPELS. The genealogy here starts with Abraham, in contrast with that in Luke, which goes back to Adam because in that gospel the Lord is viewed as connected with man, i.e., the seed of the woman. Here we read, He "shall save his people from their sins," and in this gospel only is quoted the prophetic name IMMANUEL, 'God with us.' Here only is the account given of the Magi inquiring for the 'King of the Jews,' with the flight into Egypt, and the massacre of the infants. (The Magi did not come 'when Jesus was born' [ Matthew 2:1 ] but several months afterwards. It is better translated 'Jesus having been born.') Christ is called out of Egypt, taking part thus in the history of Israel, God's first-born son. Exodus 4:22 . The Messiah being rejected, the remnant comes into weeping. Matthew 2:17,18 .

Matthew 3 , Matthew 4 . The remnant are separated by the preaching of John. Messiah takes His place with them in Jordan according to divine order. His Person is attested by a voice from heaven, and the full revelation of God in connection with the Son upon earth. Led of the Spirit, He overcomes Satan, and then calls the remnant around Himself.

In Matthew 5 Matthew 7 the principles of Christ's doctrine are unfolded largely, in contrast with that of 'them of old time.' It goes to the springs of evil, and condemns the principles of violence and corruption; and the character of God Himself becomes the standard of practice for man here. The gate was strait and the way narrow which led to life, and there were but few (the remnant) who found it.

Matthew 8 : and Matthew 9 present Jehovah's servant, verifying Isaiah 53:1 and Psalm 103:3 , and His service, ending with the typical raising up of Israel in the ruler's daughter.

Christ goes on with His patient work of preaching the gospel of the kingdom, teaching in the synagogues, healing the sick, casting out demons, and exposing all the false pretensions that were in the leaders of the Jews.

In Matthew 10 Jesus takes the place of administrator, as Lord of the harvest, and sends out the twelve with a commission limited to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.

In Matthew 11 Christ shows the superiority of the kingdom of heaven to the prophetic ministry, ending in John the Baptist; and of the revelation of the Father to His own mighty works, which had not produced repentance; and

In Matthew 12 He breaks the special links which had been formed in His coming after the flesh.

In Matthew 13 Christ reveals Himself as the Sower, in which character He had all along been acting. He gives a series of parables showing the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven. First, how 'the word of the kingdom' was received, and the various obstacles in the world calculated to oppose and hinder its growth. Then, how, through the work of the enemy, false professors would spring up in the kingdom, and how evil principles would be introduced into it, which would work insidiously. The first four parables were spoken to the people — that of the Tares being peculiar to this gospel. The Lord in explaining (in the house) the parable of the Tares, speaks of the completion of the age, and of the judgement by which the Son of man by angelic agency shall purge "out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity." The last three parables were spoken to the disciples in private, and are peculiar to this gospel. They speak of the secret purpose of the kingdom. Christ buys the field in view of the treasure hidden there, and also buys the pearl of great price for its value in His eye. The gospel net gathers good and bad, but at the completion of the age a discriminating judgement will sever the "wicked from among the just," See PARABLES.

Christ continues His work of grace notwithstanding His rejection by the rulers of Israel, and

In Matthew 16 the truth of His person as Son of the living God having been confessed by Peter as the result of the Father's revelation, He announces this as the foundation of the church which He will build, and against which the power of Hades shall not prevail. He gives to Peter the keys of 'the kingdom of heaven' (an expression peculiar to Matthew, turning the eyes of the disciples to heaven as the source of light and authority, in contrast to a kingdom as from an earthly centre, Zion, Romans 11:26 ), and speaks of His own coming again in the glory of His Father to give to every man his reward. The parables had dealt with the kingdom in mystery , but some who stood there should at once have a glimpse of the kingdom in glory, which was vouchsafed to them in seeing Jesus transfigured before them on the mount.

In Matthew 18 the Lord furnishes instruction as to the order and ways of the kingdom, including the dealing with an offending brother, and again speaks of 'the church,' and of its voice of authority, though it was then future; and adds the marvellous declaration as to where His presence would be vouchsafed, a place morally distant from the then existing temple and its priesthood: "Where two or three are gathered together unto my name, there am I in the midst of them." The Lord proceeded in the parable of the King that would take account of His servants, to enforce the necessity of His disciples forgiving one another, as otherwise they would come under His Father's hand. Farther on, the parable of the Labourers in the Vineyard maintains the sovereignty of the Lord in dispensing His own things: both of these parables being peculiar to Matthew. The Lord forewarns His disciples of what awaited Him, and gives them instruction to follow His example. Matthew 20:27,28 .

In Matthew 21 the Lord rode triumphantly as Zion's king into Jerusalem, claiming His inheritance, accompanied by a great crowd, which cried, "Hosanna to the Son of David: Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord; Hosanna in the highest." He cleansed the temple a second time, and put to silence the chief priests, the elders, and all who sought to entangle Him in His talk, enforcing, too, the responsibility of the husbandmen. Notwithstanding their opposition, He spoke of the certainty of the establishment of God's purpose in the parable of the marriage of the King's Son. He foretold the judgements that should fall upon Jerusalem. He would often have gathered them, but they would not. He left them with the solemn words, "Behold, your house is left unto you desolate. For I say unto you, Ye shall not see me henceforth, till ye shall say, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord." Matthew 23:38,39 .

In Matthew 24 the disciples asked three questions, Matthew 24:3 . The Lord did not answer the question as to when the events predicted should take place, and His reply is a further prophecy. Matthew 24:4 to end of Matthew 24:44 are concerning Israel. Matthew 24:4-14 coincide with the first half of Daniel's 70th week; and Matthew 24:15-28 with the last half of that week. Matthew 24:45-51 refer to Christians. This and the following chapter show the whole range and extent of what comes under the judgement of the Son of man, both in His coming and sitting on His throne.

Matthew 25 is peculiar to Matthew; Matthew 25:1-30 , the parables of the Ten Virgins and of the Talents, apply to professing Christians. Matthew 25:31-46 refer to the living Gentile nations who will be judged according to how they have treated the Jewish messengers, the brethren of Christ. See JUDGEMENT, SESSIONAL.

The events of the trial, judgement, crucifixion, and resurrection of the Lord Jesus follow. The last scene with the apostles in this gospel is in Galilee, where Jesus had appointed to meet them, thus resuming connection with them as a Jewish remnant. He commissions them to teach all nations, adding, "Lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the age." Compare "God with us" in Matthew 1:23 . In a sense He remains with His own: hence the ascension is not here mentioned. Christ will be found again with Israel on earth, and then bless them and the Gentiles through them. The fact that Matthew was present at the ascension, and yet does not mention so important an event, is sufficient evidence that the evangelist had divine guidance as to what he should record: all such differences in the gospels are really by the inspiration of God, and are a profitable study.

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These files are public domain.
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Bibliography Information
Morrish, George. Entry for 'Matthew, Gospel by'. Morrish Bible Dictionary. 1897.

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