QR code Bible Pathways

go to previous book

Matthew study guide

go to next book

Preparation Prior to the study session, participants should read:
Matthew 5:1 - 7:29: The Sermon on the Mount (only appears in Matthew)
Matthew 13: parables of: the sower, the tares, mustard seed, hidden treasure, pearl, net.
Matthew 25: parables of: the ten virgins, the talents
Orientation Matthew is book #1 of 27 in the New Testament, and the first of four gospels. For more information see the Bible Overview page.

Synopsis The main message of Matthew is that Christ is the promised Messiah whom the Jews have been waiting for so long.

Jesus, a descendant of Abraham, is born to a virgin (1:22). Astrologers follow a star, believing a future king of the Jews has been born (2:2). King Herod fears the child may be the Messiah and tries to ensure his death by ordering the killing of all boys age 2 and under (2:16). Jesus escapes when his family flees to Egypt to remain there until Herod dies (2:20).

Jesus, when he is about 30, is baptized and begins his ministry (3:13). He preaches, using parables as his primary method. He is tempted by Satan, and performs miracles in Galilee. His most famous sermon is the Sermon on the Mount (5:1 - 7:29).

Jesus heads to Jerusalem (21:1) to continue teaching. The local Jewish scholars are upset by this disruption to their system (21:23) and plot to kill him - secretly, as he has a large following (26:4).

Jesus is arrested (26:47), interrogated (26:59), and tried by Governor Pilate (27:11), who reluctantly orders his death (27:24). The execution occurs immediately, and Jesus is dead by sunset (27:35). Three days later, Jesus rises from dead (28:5) and appears to many.

Activity Jesus used parables as teaching stories. Refer to the Harmony of the Parables to see which parables are in which gospels. Choose some which appear in more than one gospel and compare the accounts. Are there differences?
Discussion points By quoting from the Old Testament, Matthew is attemping to validate Jesus' claim that He is the prophesied Messiah that the Jews should be expecting. Consider the genealogy and explanation of Jesus' birth in Ch. 1. How many times does Matthew try to prove his point?

What does the use of parables tell us about his audience? After reviewing the parables, are there any that are unclear to us?

Connections This session focuses on the parables of Jesus. In coming sessions, the Mark study will focus on the miracles of Jesus. The Luke study will focus on Jesus' birth. The John study will focus on other events (besides birth, parables and miracles) contained in the gospels.

For source citations see the home page. Revised April 9 2014

Home > Bible Pathways home page This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License. click for license