We're reading Matthew!
Who is Jesus? What does he want with you? The Book of Matthew tells the story of the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. This first Gospel picks up where the Old Testament left off, by revealing Jesus to be the long-awaited Messiah. Jesus comes to save God’s people and teach them (and us!) what it means to live in God’s kingdom. We hope you’ll join us on this 90-day journey! Explore the resources below to make the most of your reading with in-depth insights, Bible studies, discussion questions, and more.
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Going Deeper with Matthew
For centuries, God’s people have eagerly anticipated the coming king who will once again lead them out of oppression and into God’s glorious kingdom. The Book of Matthew opens by introducing us to Jesus, tracing his lineage back to the founding fathers of Israel: King David, Jacob, and Abraham. Right away, the Gospel writer makes a bold pronouncement: the long-awaited Messiah has come at last! And this Messiah is not just a man, but Jesus is Immanuel, or “God with us.”
Through sharing the stories surrounding his life, death, and resurrection, Matthew invites his readers to follow Jesus into a new way of life. Jesus speaks of an upside-down kingdom where the first will be last and the last will be first. Throughout his three-year ministry, Jesus teaches and models for his followers what it means to both love God and love others. After his death and resurrection, Jesus charges his disciples to go to the ends of the world, teaching others this new way of life and bringing them into the family of God.
Daily Bible Studies
Part One: Announcing God's Kingdom (CH. 1-7)
In the first part of Matthew’s Gospel (Ch. 1-7), we’re introduced to the man, Jesus of Nazareth. Throughout the book, Matthew portrays Jesus as reliving Israel’s story. Jesus’ birth is linked to the creation story and the founding fathers of Israel from the Book of Genesis. Jesus is then forced to flee an evil king bent on killing him, just as the Isarelites fled from Pharaoh in Exodus. To begin his ministry, Jesus passes through the waters of baptism, just as the Israelites crossed through the waters while escaping Egypt. Jesus then enters the wilderness to be tested, leading up to a moment on a mountaintop where he presents a new teaching, or “torah.” All of this points to Jesus as the new and greater Moses who reveals to God’s people what it means to faithfully follow God and love one another.
Part Two: The Transforming Power of God's Kingdom (CH. 8-10)
In part one, Jesus announces the good news that God’s kingdom has come. But what kind of kingdom will it be? The Sermon on the Mount revealed what it looked like to live in God’s kingdom, where everyone is equal and where the first becomes last and the last first. In other words, Jesus speaks of an upside-down kingdom, where the powerful are brought low and the humble are lifted up. In Ch. 8-10, Jesus puts into practice everything he just spoke about in the previous chapters. Matthew weaves together nine stories of Jesus performing miracles, bringing healing, or saving people in danger. These stories demonstrate the transforming power Jesus brings to our lives. In the midst of these testimonies, we find two stories of Jesus calling someone to follow him. In this way, it’s like the author is reaching out to you, extending the same invitation: Are you ready to experience the healing and saving power of the gospel? Then follow Jesus!
Gospel of the Kingdom | Bible Project Video
Part Three: How People Respond to Jesus (CH. 11-13)
As Jesus’ influence grows and news of the kingdom continues to spread, many respond positively to his message. But those in power in Jerusalem, the religious elite, do not take kindly to his teachings. In chapters 11-13, we encounter several stories depicting the myriad ways people respond to Jesus. John the Baptist is unsure about who Jesus is and sends a messenger to ask him directly, “Are you the one who is to come, or should we expect someone else?” (Matt. 11:3). We’re told the crowds who hear the message of Jesus are left astonished, wondering, “Could this be the Son of David?” (Matt. 12:23). But the Pharisees outright reject Jesus, accusing him of being in league with demons! (Matt. 12:24). Together these stories ought to prompt you to ask the same question to yourself: Who do you say Jesus is?
Part Four: The Upside-Down Kingdom (CH. 14-20)
The people of Jesus’ day had many different thoughts about what it would look like when the Messiah came. Most pictured the Messiah as a victorious conquering hero like King David, who would overthrow the Romans and free God’s people from oppression. But over and over again, Jesus reveals that the kingdom he is ushering into the world couldn’t be more different. He opens up to his closest disciples about what it really means for him to be the Messiah. Jesus tells them that in Jerusalem, he will suffer and die at the hands of the religious leaders. Surprisingly, Jesus’ victory wouldn’t come as the result of a successful military campaign, but through laying down his life as a servant for all. In Chapters 18-20, Jesus expands on the upside-down kingdom of God, where honor comes through serving others, forgiveness wins the day, and true riches come through radical generosity.
Part Five: A Clash of Kingdoms (CH. 21-25)
The moment has come, Jesus’ ministry in Galilee has ended and he has arrived triumphantly in Jerusalem, riding on the back of a colt as the people shout, “Hosanna to the Son of David!” Jesus wastes no time calling attention to the corruption running rampant in the Temple and lamenting over the state of Israel as a whole. Jesus reveals that in his kingdom, those who are typically excluded will now be included, and at the end of the day, what matters most is not a person’s empty religious rituals, but rather the character and content of their faith. This section ends with the fifth and final discourse which makes up ch. 23-25 and consists of Jesus’ confrontation with the Pharisees and the Olivet Discourse.
Overview: Matthew 14-28 | The Bible Project (video)
Part Six: Conclusion (CH. 26-28)
Everything has led to this climactic event in the Gospel of Matthew: the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Jesus gathers his closest disciples around a table in the upper room of a home in Jerusalem for Passover. During the meal, Jesus reinterprets this traditional Jewish meal, saying that the bread now symbolizes Jesus’ broken body and the wine Jesus’ blood poured out for them. But even though Jesus warns the disciples about what will happen to him, they are still unprepared to see their Messiah arrested and nailed to the cross. It’s a crushing defeat for his followers, but what they don’t know is the joy that will come in only three days' time.
Overview: Matthew 14-28 | The Bible Project (video)