One of my favorite Christian apologists is Merrill C. Tenney. He was Professor Emeritus of Bible and Theology of Wheaton Graduate School in Illinois and wrote several books, all of which I highly recommend. I just finished his excellent lessons from The Genius of the Gospels. I took notes as I went along and thought I’d share the highlights of his information on Matthew. As I am rereading each Gospel with these notes I am seeing Christ and His teachings more clearly than ever and falling even more deeply in love with Him. If you’re at a loose end and are looking for a Bible study, perhaps this will be just the ticket! I will post my notes on the other three Gospels soon.
– Matthew was an announcement of the advent of the Messiah (1:1)
– Matthew is the collector of memorabilia, who is desirous of presenting teaching.
-The work of Christ is grouped by topics biographically while the chronological sequence is not the chief concern.
– The ethic of Christ is stressed, as in the Sermon on the Mount
– The Gospel of Matthew is predominantly Jewish and unmistakably links Christ with the Old Testament
– Matthew stresses Christ as royal and Him as legitimate heir:
The Sermon on the Mount was His inaugural address as king, the embodiment of a new polity
His conflict with evil was the clash of two antagonistic kingdoms
The parables of chapter 13 are the “parables of the kingdom”
The transfiguration was a sample of the Son of Man coming in His kingdom
From the transfiguration to the Passion in Jerusalem Jesus proclaimed insistently that He would come again “in His kingdom”
– The relation of His life to prophecy is stressed. No less than thirteen times Matthew says that Jesus performed some act “to fulfill what was said through the prophet” W.F. Scroggie lists 53 definite citations and 76 allusions in Matthew to the Old Testament
– Matthew is The Teacher to the Jews in homiletic style. He uses the Old Testament as a common ground with his audience and integrates it to form a unity and continuity that systematically brings the Jew to Jesus as the fulfillment of the Law.
The Messiahship of Jesus in Seven Easy Lessons:
The Prophecies of Messiah Realized: The Advent 1:1-4:11
The Principles of the Messiah Announced: The Inaugural Address
The Power of the Messiah Revealed: The Miracles 8:1-11:1
The Program of the Messiah Explained: The Parables 11:2-13:53
The Purpose of the Messiah Declared: The Crisis of the Cross 13:54-19:2
The Problems of the Messiah Presented: The Conflicts with Opponents
The Passion of the Messiah Accomplished: Death and Resurrection
Epilogue: Rumor and Reality 28:11-20
– Matthew’s account of Jesus as Messiah provides us with a guide to Revelation; Christ was not an unexpected phenomenon Who burst upon the scene like a stroke of lightning. His advent was the logical fulfilment of OT prophecy, and was continuous with the purpose of God which was initially declared to Adam.
– Matthew’s record of Jesus’ lineage shows Him as the goal of the historical process described in the OT.
– Matthew records numerous points in which Jesus is the fulfilment of the detail of prophecy in both general qualities and principles.
-Matthew records many instances when the OT precepts were made clearer by the teaching and example of Christ. Jesus is seen to cut straight through the complexities to the simplicity of the law’s intent (e.g. Matthew 5:21-22)
– Matthew’s record of the miracles of Jesus, which are grouped in the third section of his Gospel, were also used as a guide to understanding revelation. For example, in the narration of the healings in Capernaum (Mt 8:14-17), Matthew incorporates a passage from Is 53, “This was to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet Isaiah: ‘He took up our infirmities and carried our diseases’.” Matthew uses the miracles as an interpretation of the Scripture to show how Jesus took the responsibility of healing our infirmities and diseases.
-Matthew also contains a hint concerning the interpretation of revelation in terms of eras to which it applies. “For all the Prophets and the Law prophesied until John” (Mt 11:13). The implication being that the preaching of John the Baptist was the watershed between two epochs of sacred history.
-Through numerous parables, Matthew stresses the necessity of individual response to the person and teaching of Jesus and takes time to prepare them for the future.
– Matthew’s parables contained in chapters 20-25 illustrate the difference between human and divine standards in allocation of rewards.
-Finally, Matthew teaches implicitly that the risen Christ is the fulfilment of all else that the Gospel has taught from beginning to end, “He is not here; He has risen” (Mt 28:6). Revelation beyond the OT is complete in Christ Jesus!
May God be with you! ❤️, Amy