MATTHEW A Devotional Bible Study

The purpose of the book of Matthew is to prove that Jesus is the Messiah, the anointed and promised Eternal King. There are treasures in God’s long-lasting kingdom – riches that all who believe in Him will inherit – but also the treasured truth of who Jesus is: the Promised One, the Messiah, the eternal King of kings. If Jesus was the fulfilment of the hope of Israel, He was also the answer to Gentile aspirations. The wise men from the ‘East’ were gentiles. The Good News is that the Messiah has come to usher in the Kingdom of Heaven, that God is with us, and that he cares for us and wants to rescue us from the deadly consequences of sin. As a loving Father, God understands, cares for, and comforts us. If we can be kind, imagine how kind God, the Creator of kindness can be. The persecutions in store for the disciples are no greater than what He Jesus Himself must endure (cf. John 13:16; 15:20; 16:2 also Luke 6:40). Persecutions and opposition will not quench the unstoppable power of the Good News. God does not always take away all our troubles but gives us the power to hold up under them. To say that the powers of death shall not prevail against the church is to say that it will not die and be shut in by the 'gates of death'. Peter is to be the foundation-stone of Jesus' new community of the restored people of God, a community which will last forever. The authority given to Peter in Matthew 16:19 is extended to the whole body of disciples. What is permitted or not permitted is determined in heaven, not on earth. Forgiveness must be unlimited. The forgiven sinner has no rights. Man's forgiveness is not expected any more than God's to be based on the willingness of the forgiven party to accept it. Any act of forgiveness is dependent on the desire of the forgiven party to accept it. A wrongdoer must repent of his wrong before he can expect reconciliation. A forgiving spirit is the rejection of nastiness. Though Jesus is the rightful king of the Jews, His reign is one of peace and service; he is not the political messiah they were expecting. He has come to rule over the hearts and lives of men and women, not to kick the Romans out. This was the time when the pagan yoke had been broken, and this would be the time when the Son of David, both king and high priest, would come and set the whole world free of sin forever. Now it was all happening, but Israel was too blind to see, so God had to judge their culpable blindness. Jesus the prophet from Nazareth (11) comes not so much to cleanse the temple but to overturn it. The temple will no longer play a significant part in God's purposes. Israel has slipped but there is a chance for Israel to repent. If God waited for harlots and tax collectors to repent and believe, the priest might follow suit. The point of the parable of the two sons is clear. Promise does not count but action. The tables are turned and the unlikely is accepted while the 'religious' are excluded. The Lord cannot be called the God of any but the living. It is in this context that God reveals his name, Yahweh. 'I AM WHO I AM' (Exodus 3:14-16), and the object of that revelation is to assure Moses of the active, saving presence of God with his people to rescue them from Egypt. We are responsible to use well what God has given us. The issue is not how much we have but how well we use what we have. In the ‘parable of the talents’ the third servant’s attitude represents discipleship which consists of playing safe, and so achieving nothing. It is not the number of talents that matters it is how we use them. It is those who will not try who are condemned. This is a warning against laziness. By describing his own body as broken bread, Jesus was referring to a violent death ahead of him. In commanding the disciples to eat and drink, Jesus was introducing the disciples to personal participation in the effects of his death, a concept more powerfully spelt out in John 6:48-58. There were three weaknesses in the Old Covenant. First, the law was external. Secondly, one must be taught the ways of the Lord, but in the New Covenant ‘No longer will a man teach his neighbour, or a man his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord’, because they will all know the Lord, from the least of them to the greatest. Thirdly there was no forgiveness, but the New covenant conveyed the forgiveness of sins. The New Covenant with the forgiveness of sins echoes Jeremiah 31:31-34. When the disciples leave for Galilee, rather than leaving a corpse behind in Jerusalem, they will find a risen Lord is already there ahead of them! Jesus is not a helpless victim needing any human help available. He is being arrested because he chooses; if he wanted help, he could call on far more than a few swords. Jesus is alone. Neglected, misunderstood, or betrayed by his friends, and later deserted (56), he faces the cross willingly. In the Garden, he got the first bitter taste of what our salvation was going to cost. The outcome he must face alone. Amen.
ISBN: 9781803027517
Type: Paperback
Pages: 276
Published: 23 February 2023
Price: $12.95

Book Extract

The author has made an extract of the book available for reading. To download and read it now, click the link below.

Read Now

Other books from this Author