Tag Archives: matthew

The Rich Young Man

Matthew 19:16-22; Mark 10:17-23; Luke 18:18-23

One day a man asked Jesus, “Good Teacher, how can I enter the kingdom of God? I want to live forever.”

Jesus knew the young man was very rich. He also knew the man had trained for many years to become a religious leader. Jesus told the young man something he already knew. “Follow the commandments.”

The young man said, “I have been careful to follow all the commandments. Now I want to do more.” This man wanted to make sure he was as close as possible to God.

Because of this Jesus loved the young man. He knew, though, there was one thing which stood between this man and God. He knew the young man loved his money and things more than anything else in the world. The man loved God, but he loved being rich even more.

So Jesus said, “You have missed one thing. If you want to become perfect, go and sell your things and give your money to the poor. Then you will have treasure in heaven. Come, follow Me.”

When the man heard this, he became very sad. He lowered his head and turned away. He knew deep down that he had not given God first place in his life. He was not willing to give up his riches and follow Jesus.

Jesus’ disciples still sometimes thought that God’s love could be bought with money. They assumed that people were rich because God wanted to reward them. That is not necessarily true. Jesus said, “Listen, it’s easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than it is for a rich man to love God more than his money.”

Jesus is part of God’s plan for saving people from all their wrongs. Only through Jesus can they enter the kingdom of heaven. It has nothing to do with how rich people are or how hard they try to be good. People think they have to do all sorts of things in order to earn their way into heaven. The truth is, God makes it possible. It is His gift for anyone who asks for it. You can’t buy it and you can’t earn it. God alone can give it to you.

Jesus said, “Everyone who is willing to leave behind their homes, parents and friends to follow Me will be given a hundred times more while they live on earth and in the world to come. That is the place where people live forever. Many who are first here on earth will come last in heaven. And those who come last here, will come first in My kingdom.”

Jesus Asleep on a Boat

Matthew 8:18, 23-25

Click here to listen to the Story of Jesus Asleep on the Boat

At the end of a day spent healing the sick, Jesus pointed to a nearby boat. He told His disciples, “Come with Me. We will cross to the other side.” It was His only chance of getting away from the crowds. Jesus was tired. He needed to rest.

At first the water was calm. A few of the disciples looked up at the sky. “This should be an easy boat ride,” one said.

“Don’t count on it. You know how this sea can turn wild. For now it does look calm,” said another. The disciples moved off to different parts of the boat.

It only seemed like a few moments later when they felt the boat nearly go over. They must be caught in the middle of a storm. All at once, they felt afraid.

One ran to grab hold of the rudder.  The wind kept changing. Several times men slipped. They were able to grab onto the side. This kept them from being swept overboard by the huge waves.

Waves broke over both sides of the boat at once. Men scurried back and forth. The skipper wrestled with the rudder. The boat tilted madly from one side to the other. The men felt helpless.

They looked at each other. “We have to get Jesus!” When they saw Him asleep on a cushion, they woke Jesus up.

“Teacher! The sea is wild. This is a terrible storm! We’ll never reach the other side in one piece. Save us!” Jesus looked from one troubled face to the other, then He got up. Jesus spread His arms wide. The wind blew hair into His face. His voice boomed, “Be still!”

As soon as Jesus called out, “Quiet! Be still!” the wind calmed. The water flattened. Peter ran to the edge of the deck. He looked overboard. He saw his reflection mirrored in the dark sea. He ran back to Jesus and fell on his knees in relief.

Jesus said, “Why don’t you have more faith? There’s no reason to be afraid when you’re with Me.” He walked to the other end of the boat. No one dared to speak out loud. An eerie silence hung over them all. They were astonished and afraid.

“What kind of man is this that we are following? Why, even the wind and the waves obey him.” Amazed, they kept asking each other this question.


The Gift of the Magi

Matthew 2:1-10

Gift of the Magi
A while later, Mary and Joseph had some very important visitors. They were wise men from far away lands in the east. They had seen the bright star in the night skies. They believed something great had happened. So they traveled a long distance. They went to King Herod in Jerusalem.

“We believe a King of the Jews has been born. We saw His star in the east. We have come to worship Him,” they said to Herod.

Herod knew nothing about Jesus’ birth. He asked the religious leaders, “Where is the King of the Jews supposed to be born?”

“In Bethlehem,” they answered. They knew the answer because that was what the prophets had said many, many years earlier.

“When did the star appear?” Herod asked the visitors. Herod wanted to find out as much as possible about this new king. He did not want anyone taking away his throne. Herod was very cruel and thought of a plan. He ordered the wise men, “Go and honor Him. When you have found Him, come tell me. I want to do the same.”

The wise men went to Bethlehem. They followed the star until it stopped. When they went into the house, they saw Baby Jesus in Mary’s arms. They smiled and laughed. Their long journey had been worth it. They had found the baby.

The wise men unloaded their camels. They had brought rare and beautiful gifts to the little family. Mary and Joseph’s eyes grew round. “Why,these are gifts fit for a king,” Mary whispered to Joseph. He nodded. One of the wise men bowed before her. “We’ve traveled a long way. The star showed us where to go. Here is gold for a great King.”

The second wise man came up to Mary. “It doesn’t happen often that such a large star suddenly appears. That baby will be the greatest of all men.” He laid a jar of myrrh at Mary’s feet. Myrrh is very special perfume, which could only be worn by very important men.

The third wise man smiled at Mary and Joseph. “This is incense for burning. It will make the air sweet. Incense is pleasing to God. We don’t know how, but this King is both man and God.”

Mary and Joseph thanked the men. They all bowed their heads in prayer.  They thanked God for bringing Jesus into the world.

The night before the visitors were due to go back home, they had a strange dream. In the dream God warned them not to go back and see King Herod. The wise men believed the dream. They went home a different way.

Jesus Death Story

Matthew 27.44-50; Mark 1533-37; Luke 23:39-46:John 19:28-30

The Story of Jesus' Death

The crosses of two other men stood near Jesus. Both were robbers. One robber laughed at Jesus. “Save Yourself and us! You’re supposed to be the Christ, aren’t you?”

The other robber said, “You should be more afraid of God. This man has done nothing wrong.” Then he called out, “Jesus! Remember me when You come in Your kingdom!”

Jesus said, “I promise. Today you will be with Me in paradise.”

After Jesus was hanging on the cross for six hours, He cried out, “My God, My God, why have You left Me so alone?”

During those hours on the cross,Jesus became the go-between for people and God. Jesus is the Way through which any man, woman or child can be touched by God.

That afternoon, the whole earth was covered with darkness. Like a blanket, the heavy blackness covered both city and countryside.

Jesus was also in darkness. For the first and only time in Jesus’ life, God looked away from His Son. As Jesus took on the sin of the world, He felt the pain and hurt of it all.

Jesus said nothing for a long time. He was in great pain and very slowly dying. “Father, here is My Spirit!” Jesus had suffered enough. The price was paid. The way back to God was open now.

Then Jesus cried out again with open now.

Then Jesus cried out again with aloud voice, “It is finished!” It was a cry of a battle won. Jesus bowed His head and took His last breath. Jesus was dead.

The very moment that Jesus cried out, He gave up His Spirit to heaven. The curtain in the temple split in half. This curtain marked the way into the holiest place of the temple. This was the closest anyone could get to God. Only the high priest was allowed in, and then only once a year.

A very special thing happened when the curtain split in two. When Jesus died, it meant people no longer had to wait for the high priest to pray for them to God. Jesus had died for all people. He made a Way for them to reach God. So there was no need for the curtain anymore. Anybody could reach out to God, thanks to Jesus. Jesus had died. The sky was dark. There was a great rumbling noise. The earth shook. Huge stones split and fell from the hills. Stranger and stranger things happened that evening when Jesus died.

“Why is it so dark?” people screamed.

“It’s the end of the world! We’re being punished!”

Men and women cried out in fear. They ran. Panic gripped the city. Many of the tombs, or places where dead people were buried, opened up. Dead bodies became alive. Later, these people would walk around Jerusalem as if they had never died.

The Crucifixion Story

Matthew 27:27-31; Mark 15:16-20; John 19.1-16

The Crucifixion Story

The crowd had told Pilate they wanted Jesus killed. Pilate ordered Jesus to be brought inside the palace.

The soldiers crowded around Jesus. They pushed Him one way, then the other. They took off His clothes and put a robe on Him. The robe was the color worn by kings, a reddish-purple. The soldiers did this so they could make fun of Jesus.

“Look at Him! Now He doesn’t look like a king!”

“A king should have a crown!” They twisted together a crown of thorns. They forced it onto His head. They put a stick in His right hand and knelt in front of Him. The guards laughed at Him.

“Long live the King of the Jews!” they sneered. They spat on Him and took the stick. They hit Him on the head with it again and again! All the while, Jesus did not fight back.

The soldiers led Jesus back to Pilate. He tried again to tell the religious leaders there was no reason to kill Jesus. As soon as the priests and religious leaders saw Jesus, though,they shouted, “Crucify Him! Crucify Him!”

“You crucify Him! I can’t find any reason to have this man killed!”

“He says He’s the Son of God,” they answered back. “And according to Jewish Law He must die for this!”

Pilate went back inside the palace. “Where do You really come from?” he asked Jesus. Jesus said nothing. Pilate said, “Don’t You know I have the power to set You free?”

Jesus shook His head. He said,”You have no power over Me. God is in control here.”

Pilate tried one more time to set Jesus free. The people still would not let him.

The Weeping Women

Matthew 27.32-33; Mark 15:21-22; Luke 23:26-31;John 19:17

The soldiers forced Jesus to take up two heavy pieces of crossed wood. As they climbed the hill, Jesus stumbled and fell. The soldiers told a man named Simon to carry the cross for

Jesus.

A group of women had followed Jesus up the hill. They wept for Jesus. He turned to them. “Don’t cry for Me. Cry for Jerusalem. This city has turned its back on the Messiah.”

Jesus on the Cross

Matthew 27.34; Mark 15:23; Luke 23:36

Jesus could barely stand, He was so weak. The cruel whip had torn open His back. Blood ran down His face from the crown of thorns.

One of the soldiers went up to Jesus. He forced Him to drink some drugged wine which might ease the pain. After tasting it, Jesus shook His head no. Then the soldiers stretched Jesus onto the cross. They nailed His hands and feet to the wood.

They nailed Jesus to the cross. Above His head they hammered a sign. “This is the King of the Jews.” A soldier made fun of Him. Even as he hung on the cross, the soldiers gambled to see who would get Jesus’ robe.

Some of the people shouted up at Him, “If You are the Son of God,come down from the cross!”

Not everyone standing around Jesus’ cross wanted to hurt Him. Among the women were His mother and another Mary and Mary

Magdalene. Jesus saw His mother and John standing next to each other. He said to her, “Mother, this man is your son now.”

Then He said to John, “This is your mother now.” From that day on, John took care of Mary, Jesus’ mother.

Even up to the very last moments,Jesus took care of those who loved Him.

The Burial

Matthew 27:54-60; Mark 15:39-46; Luke 23:49-54;Mtn 19:38

The Roman captain and his men could not believe their eyes! The wind whipped around the captain. He had seen how Jesus had died. That was not the way any normal man died. He looked for the sun, but could not find it. “There’s no doubt! This was the Son of God!” The captain said, “I’ve never seen anyone die like that!”

After six hours of hanging on the cross, Jesus was dead. A group of women helped a rich man from Arimathea, named Joseph, take Jesus off the cross. They knew that in a few hours the Sabbath would begin. Then nobody would be allowed to do any work. They would not be allowed to bury the body then.

So Joseph took the body down. He wrapped it in a clean linen cloth. Mary Magdalene and the other Mary were with him, together with more women. They slowly carried Jesus’ body into the tomb which Joseph had bought for himself. Now the cave, carved out of rock, would be for Jesus.

Joseph laid the body of Jesus in his tomb. He and the rest of Jesus’ friends wrapped the body in a linen cloth. They placed spices between the folds. The women had wanted to rub special creams onto the body of Jesus, but time was running out. When the sunset, they had to leave. They all wept. Their hearts were heavy with sadness. Jesus was dead.

Jesus’ body lay safe in the tomb. The religious leaders went to Pilate. “Sir,” they said, “Jesus said He would come back to life again after three days. Please order the cave to be sealed and post a guard. Otherwise His disciples might come and steal the body. Then they could say to the people, ‘See, He has risen from the dead.’ This last lie would be worse than all the rest!”

Pilate told them, “Very well, you can have some of my soldiers to guard the tomb. Now go and make sure the tomb is shut tight.”

They closed off the cave. They posted a Roman guard, then sealed the stone. While they were doing that, they thought to themselves, “Now there’s no way anyone can steal the body. There’s no way they can say He rose from the dead. We’ve made sure of that!” But these religious leaders were in for quite a surprise.

Ten Virgins and Lamp Oil

Matthew 25:1-13

Ten Virgins and the Oil Lamps
It will be very important to be ready when the end of the world comes. To show His disciples this, Jesus told them a story. “There once were ten bridesmaids. They were supposed to be ready to welcome the bridegroom. They were part of a wedding party. “Five of these girls were careless and five were wise. All ten girls were supposed to wait along the roadside for the bridegroom to come home. When the bridegroom passed by, they would light his way with the lamps they held.

“The five foolish girls should have known they would need extra oil. They had brought only enough/oil to fill their lamps once. Each of the wise girls, however, had brought plenty of extra oil.

“They waited and waited all evening, but the bridegroom did not come. They all fell asleep because it was so late. Suddenly there was a shout, ‘The bridegroom is coming! Light, your lamps!’

“The wise bridesmaids lit their lamps. But the foolish girls had used/up all their oil a long time ago.

“Can we borrow some of your oil?” they asked the wise girls.

“They just shook their heads. ‘No. There would not be enough for all of us. Go and see if you can buy some from the shop.’ The other girls ran as fast as they could to buy some more oil. But while they were gone, the bridegroom arrived.

“Those who were ready, went in with him to the wedding feast. The door was locked. When the other girls came back from the shop, they were too late.

“Open the door,’ they called out. `Bridegroom, let us in, please.'”

“But the bridegroom said, ‘I don’t know you. Go away.’ Let this be a lesson then,” Jesus said to His disciples.

He was teaching them that someday time would run out. No one could afford to say, “I’ll change tomorrow.” Time is not the sort of thing you can borrow from other people. If you wait too long to do something, then it is too late. Now is the time to make the choice for or against Jesus. Don’t wait until tomorrow.


Temptation of Jesus

Matthew 4:1-12; 14:3-5; Mark 1:12-14; 6:17-20;Luke 3:19-20; 4:1-13

The Temptation of Jesus
After Jesus was baptized in the river,He went into the desert to pray. God’s enemy met Jesus in the desert. God’s enemy, the devil, wanted to spoil God’s plans for Jesus. He hates it when people grow close to God.

Jesus was the Son of God. He could have anything He wanted. God’s enemy wanted Jesus to choose to use His power in the wrong ways. So God’s enemy tempted Jesus.

Jesus was in the desert for forty days and nights. He had not eaten all that time. This was Jesus’ way of keeping His thoughts on God alone.

God’s enemy knew Jesus was hungry. He first tried to tempt Jesus with food. “If You are the Son of God,tell this stone to become bread.”

Jesus knew it was more important to do what God wanted. He answered, “Food isn’t the most important thing in life. What’s really important is being

near to God and doing what He says. “Then God’s enemy led Jesus to the top of a high place. He pointed to all the castles and far kingdoms of the world. “If You worship me,” God’s enemy said, “if You call me king, I will give all these kingdoms to You. “Jesus told him, “I only serve the Lord God,”

Lastly, God’s enemy led Jesus to Jerusalem. He set Him on the edge of the temple roof. It was very, very high up. “Jump,” God’s enemy said. “If God really loves You, He will send His angels to catch You.”

“You should not test the Lord your God,” Jesus said. “Now go away. I’m not going to do what you want. I’ve come here to do what God wants! “When God’s enemy left, angels come to take care of Jesus.

When Jesus left the desert He heard that John the Baptist had been put in prison by King Herod. This news made Jesus very sad.

Bible Study Matthew

Author: Matthew
Date: Between A.D. 60 and A.D. 80

The Gospel of Matthew has been one of the favorite books of the church throughout its history for several reasons. It is the most detailed regarding Jesus’ life; it contains the famous “Sermon on the Mount,” a collection of teaching that even non-believers hold in high regard; it is richest in detail about the birth of Jesus, a traditionally interesting event because of our celebration of Christmas; and it includes a large collection of parables for which Jesus is remembered as a master teacher.

Opinion differs as to when this Gospel was written. Those who put it earlier (c. A.D. 60) point to Jesus’ predictions about the destruction of Jerusalem (which took place in A.D. 70) and argue that they are regarded as future. Those who make it later (c. A.D. 80) say it has all the appearance of being a later document, reflecting a more developed situation. The book has no author’s name attached to it, but very early in its history Matthew was regarded as the author and there is no reason to doubt that this is true.

The Gospel of Matthew was written for a number of reasons, some practical, some theological. Practically, there was a need for more information about Jesus. As people were becoming believers, questions were being asked that needed answers. It simply wasn’t possible to travel to Jerusalem and ask the apostles, but a book dealing with the basic facts could be sent to each congregation. There was also a need for accurate information. Jesus’ enemies were spreading lies about him. Others, who were trying to get personal gain from the new movement, were altering the facts to suit their own purposes. Followers of Jesus, like Matthew, wanted to set the record straight. The death of some of the apostles also made it necessary to put this valuable material in writing. If all those who knew Jesus were gone, who would be around to tell the story? Had Matthew (and the other three Gospel writers) not done this, Christianity might never have been more than a local, ancient phenomenon. God had a hand in this documentation, guiding selected people to preserve the truth for future generations. So the Book of Matthew functioned as something of a handbook for believers.

Theological Themes in the Gospel of Matthew

Matthew had other reasons to write than just the practical needs of the church. He was trying to confront some special problems and to stress particular things in his writing. First, he realized the importance of Old Testament prophecy and how it was fulfilled in Jesus’ life. The church did not arise by accident, nor was it unplanned for by God. Throughout the whole Old Testament the days that had now arrived had been predicted. Matthew showed how virtually all the events of Jesus’ life were foreseen by the prophets: his birth, events surrounding his early life, healings, teachings, arrest, death, and resurrection.

Second, Matthew was concerned to show to his Jewish readers that Jesus was the fulfillment of their history and dreams. He was, in fact, the Messiah who was to come. The very first verse of the book shows this: Jesus was “the son of David, the son of Abraham.”

Third, Matthew was concerned to show that although Jesus came from the Jews, he came for all people, Gentiles included. Consequently, emphasis is placed on the coming of the Magi (Wise Men) to acknowledge Jesus’ birth, the inclusion of the Gentiles in the kingdom, and the command to go into all the world to preach the gospel to every creature.

Fourth, Matthew specifically mentioned the founding of the church and how certain problems should be handled.

Finally, Jesus’ teachings are prominent in Matthew’s gospel as a guide for believers. Large sections are devoted to what Jesus said about basic circumstances of life (5:3-7:27; 10:5-42; 13:3-52; 18:3-35; 24:4-25:46).

Outline for the Gospel of Matthew

  1. Jesus’ early life Matthew 1:1-4:25
  2. Sermon on the Mount Matthew 5:1-7:29
  3. Jesus’ ministry: events and teachings Matthew 8:1-12:50
  4. Parables of Jesus Matthew 13:1-52
  5. Jesus’ ministry: further events and teachings Matthew 13:53-19:30
  6. Jesus in Jerusalem Matthew 20:1-25:46
  7. Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection Matthew 26:1-28:20