To know the story of Matthew is to see Jesus Christ in all of His beauty for who He truly is, as the long awaited Messiah King who brings an upside down kingdom through upside down methods to redeem and transform an upside down people, and to fall more in love with who He is.  Through this series, we hope to see the beauty of Jesus Christ clearly, to the point that we are personally affected and transformed by how amazing He really is.  


Before Matthew: The Storyline of the Old Testament


The Bible begins with the creation of the entire cosmos (universe) by the word of God.  Everything we see and even do not see were created by his enormous power.  And at the epitome of God's creation was the creation of humanity, made in His image and likeness.  And as such humans were placed as lords over all of creation, submitting their lives under the care of God, with one simple command given to them: Do not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.  Unfortunately man quickly rebelled against this command as they longed to be lord over their own lives as well.  

After this we see the story of the Bible begin to pick up as God curses the man and the woman for their rebellion and yet promises that a seed of the woman would come to make things right.  Story after story, man after man, come on the scene.  First Noah comes.  God calls him righteous and chooses to preserve his family through a flood and repopulate the world through them.  As we read, we ask in anticipation, is this the one?  And then we see Noah, shortly after exiting the boat that carried his family for a year, fail by getting drunk.  No he is not the one.  

The story continues.  A man named Abram enters the scene.  God chooses and promises that He will make Abram into a great nation, giving him many children, and even blessing the nations through Abram's offspring.  God even changes his name to Abraham.  Again, as we read, we eagerly we to see if he is the one?  And again, we see Abraham fail.  Although God promised to make Abraham into a great nation when Abraham had no children, Abraham did not trust God and instead slept with his servant trying to fulfill God's promise on his own.  

And the story continues.  This time we get to an entire nation in slavery in Egypt.  Again God comes and chooses them, the descendants of Abraham, to be His people, the people who represent God to the world.  In doing so, God miraculously rescues them from their horrific slavery, bringing them to a mountain in which He gives them the famous 10 commandments as a guide for their relationship with God.  And the people promise to obey all God has commanded.  And again, we wonder, are these people the one?  And again, we are disappointed to find out they are not the one.  

Fast forward hundreds of years.  This ragtag group of people are living high in the land God has given them.  They are drinking in the good fruits of the land, but that ultimately leads them away from God and into captivity once again.  And now the reader along with the people of the story are asking, 'has God given up on His promise to send a seed to make things right?'  Fortunately the prophets of the Old Testament tell us an emphatic no!  There will be one who will come.  It will be a descendant of Abraham, even David their greatest king.  He will be born in Bethlehem.  He will restore the brokenness that needs restoration.  He will come and overthrow the rulers of this world.  And He will reign forever as king.  

Anticipation is high.  Expectations are enormous.  People are waiting and wondering.  And then all of a sudden, God goes silent.  For 400 years, the world does not hear from the voice of God.  Not through prophets, priests, or kings.  Nothing.  And the urgency grows while the expectations wane, until one night a baby boy is born in a small village in rural Bethlehem.  And that is where the story of Matthew picks up.  


Bible Project: The Themes of Matthew




Timeline of Events in the Book of Matthew


This is a rough timeline of the events in the book of Matthew.  There are varying timelines, but this is a reasonable one.   

5 BC 

Birth of Jesus | Matthew 1

Visit of the Magi | Matthew 2

Escape to Egypt | Matthew 2:13

4 BC

 Slaughter of Infants | Matthew 2:16

 Return to Nazareth | Matthew 2:23

26 AD

John the Baptist Prepares the Way | Matthew 3

The Baptism of Jesus | Matthew 3:13

27 AD

 Temptation of Jesus | Matthew 4

 Jesus Calls his First Disciples | Matthew 4:18

 Sermon on the Mount | Matthew 5 - 7

28 AD

 Jesus Ministers in Galilee | Matthew 8

 Jesus Lord of the Sabbath | Matthew 12

 Jesus Answers John's Disciples | Matthew 11

 Jesus Speaks Many Parables | Matthew 13

 Jesus Heals a Demoniac | Matthew 8:28

 Jesus Heals a Paralytic | Matthew 9

29 AD

 Jesus Sends out His Twelve Apostles | Matthew 10

 John the Baptist Beheaded | Matthew 14

 Jesus Feeds the 5,000 | Matthew 14:15

 Teachings on Clean and Unclean | Matthew 15

 Peter's Confession of Christ | Matthew 16

 The Transfiguration | Matthew 17

 Greatest and Least in the Kingdom | Matthew 18

30 AD

 Final Journey to Jerusalem | Matthew 19, 20

 The Triumphal Entry | Matthew 21

 Closing Ministry in Jerusalem | Matthew 22 - 25

 Thursday Before Passover | Matthew 26

 Jesus' Betrayal, Trial, Crucifixion | Matthew 27

 Jesus' Resurrection | Matthew 28


Matthew Reading Plan


Below is a reading plan to follow along in our series this spring.  As you read we encourage you to read through the lens of answering 4 simple questions from the passages: who is God, what has He done, who are we, and what are we to do.  


February 25-March 2 | Matthew 21:1-11                               March 4-9 | Matthew 21:12-17

March 11-16 | Matthew 21:18-27                                          March 18-23 | Matthew 21:28-46

March 25-30 | Matthew 22:1-14                                            April 1-6 | Matthew 22:15-22

April 8-13 | Matthew 27:45-56                                               April 15-20 | Matthew 27:57-28:15

April 22-27 | Matthew 22:23-33                                             April 29-May 4 | Matthew 22:34-46

May 6-11 | Matthew 23:1-12                                                  May 13-18 | Acts 13:1-3

May 20-25 | Matthew 23:13-39                                             May 27-June 1 | Matthew 24:1-14

June 3-8 | Matthew 24:15-28, 32-35                                     June 10-15 | Matthew24:29-31, 36-51

June 17-22 | Matthew 25:1-13                                              June 24-29 | Matthew25:14-30

July 1-6 | Matthew 25:31-46                                                  July 8-13 | Matthew 26:1-16

July 15-20 | Matthew 26:17-30                                              July 22-27 | Matthew 26:31-46

July 29-August 3 | Matthew 26:47-56                                    August 5-10 | Matthew 26:57-68

August 12-17 | Matthew 26:69-75                                         August 19-24 | Matthew 27:1-10

August 26-31 | Matthew 27:11-26                                         September 2-7 | Farewell to Summer

September 9-14 | Matthew 27:11-26                                     September 16-21 | Matthew 27:27-44

September 23-28 | Matthew 28:16-20


Map of Israel in the Time of the Gospel of Matthew

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Matthew Additional Resources