The Gospel of Matthew [Book Survey]


These are mere gleanings from a New Testament Survey Series I taught here at the church sometime back. I used a number of sources both in Bible reference material and Bible-based software programs but didn’t write the sources. A habit I am breaking as I intend to post more of this type of material. Two of my go-to sources, however, were Gromacki’s New Testament Survey, followed by Brother James Knox.

Formatting a survey was a challenge particularly in knowing how much detail to include, basically where and when to bring it to an end.  For me personally, these survey’s served as a foundation with a more detailed, verses by verse study at a later time. We’ve gone through several New Testament books and are currently in Romans.

I did go over my original notes and took away some things and added a few others, taking into account a reading audience, as opposed to an audio audience. These among some of my other studies are in a state of flux, changes are made both before during and after the study is complete. You just can’t exhaust the book. Even these surveys vary in detail and depth among the different authors.

While I’m aware of some of the criticisms concerning this book, this survey is not meant to be apologetic. Other than some comments on Matthew 24 this will be a basic survey. I do plan to flesh out some apologetic material at a later time.


The Gospel of Matthew, listed as the first of the New Testament book serves as a bridge between the Old and New Testament. Gaebelin had this to say – “The Gospel of Matthew stands first among the Gospels and in the New Testament because it belongs in the first place and maybe rightly termed the Genesis of the New Testament.” I believe it is first because of its theme, that is in Christ all Old Testament promises have been fulfilled. Matthew 13:16-17 It is believed to be written sometime between 52 – 56 A.D. although an earlier date (s) are sometimes given.

Matthew (Called also Levi) the son Alphaeus was a tax collector (a publican) a profession that earned him the title of a pariah. He is mentioned with the twelve in Matthew 10:3, Mark 3:18; Luke 6:15; Acts 1:13. While little is said about him what is shown is his love and adoration for the Lord. The Gospel of Luke records Matthew’s willingness to follow Jesus and the subsequent celebration. (Luke 5:27-29 See Matthew 9:9) Luke’s account says he just got up and followed Jesus. A true testament of obedience, faith, and humility.

The Gospel of Matthew is a distinctly Jewish Gospel and much confusion and division have been wrought when approached otherwise. The Sermon on the Mount and the tribulation chapter, chap twenty-four, being the most commonly abused.  With the frequent use of the term Kingdom of Heaven, it is not surprising that it is often referred to as the Gospel of the Kingdom.

Gleanings from Matthew

A. There are over 65 references to the Old Testament, 28 chapters 1071 verses and                   23,684 words
B. The key words are the kingdom of heaven mentioned over 33 times with the kingdom     of God mentioned only 5 times. The Kingdom of Heaven is used first in Chap 3:1-2 and      establishes the purpose of the book and the fulfillment of prophecy. Kingdom of heaven    is found nowhere else in the New Testament
C. The word “fulfilled” is mentioned over 16 times, first in 1:22 and the most significant        in 26:56
D. The royal Messianic line “Son of David” is mentioned 9 times. The title ties in two               important covenants, The Davidic and Abrahamic – Genesis 15:18; 2 Samuel 7:8-16

The Purpose of the Book

1- To address the Jewish people
2- To show the relationship of the Old Testament to the New
3- To present the person of Jesus Christ as the King of the Jews and to connect the prophecy of the past with Christ’s reality in the present. There is in Matthew an emphasis on the royalty of Christ
4- To demonstrate that Christ is the rightful heir to the Abrahamic and Davidic covenants
5- Show that through the promises made to Abraham many nations were to be blessed

Unique Features

1) The event’s only found in Matthew:

 a. The angel revealing to Joseph Mary’s pregnancy – 1:18-25
 b. Only in Matthew do we read of the visit of the wise men – 2:1
 c. The trio’s flight to Egypt in order to avoid Herod – 2:13-15
 d. Christ’s strong words against the Pharisees –Chap 23
 e. Judas’ suicide by hanging 27:3-10
 f. Pilates wife having a dream declaring the innocence of Christ – 27:19
 g. At the time of Christ’s resurrection, there were others who were also resurrected                27:51-53
 h. A number of parables that deal specifically with Israel

2) Miracles performed by Jesus only found here

  a. Healing of the two blind men – 9:27-31
  b. Deliverance of the dumb demoniac – 9:32-33
  c. The coin that Peter fished out of the fishes mouth – 17:24-27

3) Five of Christ’s discourses end with “and it came to pass” 7:28; 11:1; 13:53; 19:1; 26:1

The Prophetic Element

Fulfilled prophecy is one of the standout tests regarding the inspiration and veracity of the scriptures. While there seems to be some debate as to the exact number it is safe to say there are about two hundred prophecies concerning Christ alone. Some estimates have upwards of four hundred.

1) Born of a virgin – Isaiah 7:14 – Matthew 1:23
2) Born in Bethlehem – Micah 5:2 – Matthew 2:6
3) To be called Immanuel – Isaiah 7:14 – Matthew 1:22-23
4) The working of miracles – Isaiah 335:5-6 – Mathew 11:4-6
5) Preaching of parables – Psalm 78:2 – Matthew 11:34-35
6) Jesus entry into Jerusalem – Zechariah 9:9 – Matthew 21:1-5
7) Jesus being sold of thirty pieces of silver – Zechariah 11:11-12 – Matthew 26:15
8) They cast lots for his garments – Psalm 22:18 – Matthew 27:35

Basic Book Breakdown

I’ve referenced Scofield’s notes for his breakdown:
“It is peculiarly the Gospel for Israel; and, as flowing from the death of Christ, a Gospel for the whole world.”

Matthew falls into three principal divisions:

A. The manifestation to Israel and rejection of Jesus Christ the Son of David, born King of the Jews, 1.1-25.46. The subdivisions of this part are:

  1) The official genealogy and birth of the King, 1. 1-25;
  2) The infancy and obscurity of the King, 2. 1-23;
  3) The kingdom “at hand,” 3. 1-12.50 (the order of events of this subdivision is indicated         in the text);
  4) The mysteries of the kingdom, 13. 1-52;
  5) The ministry of the rejected King, 13. 53-23. 39;
  6) The promise of the King to return in power and great glory, 24.1-25.46.

B. The sacrifice and resurrection of Jesus Christ, the Son of Abraham, 26.1-28.8.

C. The risen Lord in ministry to His own, 28.9-20

Brother James Knox offers this breakdown:

A. 1-10 Jesus revealed himself as the King of Israel thus fulfilling the scriptures

B. 11-13 The Jewish leaders began to rebel against Christ and also arrested John the                Baptist. The 13 parables while we understand are not for the church there is a                     correlation

C. 14-20 We see Jesus beginning to take his disciples under his wings and teach them and       prepare them for what is ahead

D. 21-27 We Christ rejected and an increased hatred towards him ultimately leading to          his crucifixion

5. 28 the resurrected king asserted his complete power and authority over all creation.

Matthew records  five major discourses by the Lord Jesus beginning in:

A. Chapters 5-7 (Sermon on the Mount)

B. Chapter 10 (Instruction to the twelve)

C. Chapter 13 (Parables concerning the Kingdom of Heaven)

D. Chapter 18 (Commonly referred to as a church discourse or better yet the church                anticipated

E. Chapters 24-25. (Commonly Called the Olivet Discourse)

Chapters 1-4 show Christ’s genealogy, fleeing persecution and wilderness temptation by Satan, with chapter 28 closing out with a challenge to teach all nations the things they observed. You’ll notice at the end of each of Christ’s discourses the words, “And it came to pass, when Jesus ended these sayings”(7:28; 11:1; 13:53; 19:1; 26:1).

Some thoughts on Chapter 24

Giving the fact that there are multitudinous references to the Jew in this chap you would think folks would see the intent of the author and those addressed. Here are some considerations concerning the nature of this chapter and those addressed.

A. The numerous references throughout are to the Jew
B.  Jesus Christ is mentioning a specific locality, Judea, not the whole earth
C.  The mentioning of keeping the Sabbath again distinctly Jewish
D. Daniel the prophet is mentioned again another distinctly Jewish passage that is                   prophetic concerning Jerusalem
E. The tribulation, which is directed first towards Israel (Time of Jacob’s Trouble) and            secondly towards those outside the camp
F. The reference to the Mount of Olives
G. The gathering of the elect from the four corners by an angel. Christ promised to return     personally for his church