Yearly Archives: 2005


Christian Greatness

Audio:   Download Audio Matthew 20:17-28 Text Comment v.17     Remember, we learned in 19:1 that Jesus had, by this time, left Galilee, the primary site of his public ministry, and was now making his way deliberately toward Jerusalem where the final crisis of his life and work would occur. v.19     This is the fourth of […]


The First Will Be Last

Audio:   Download Audio Matthew 20:1-16 Text Comment The first thing to say about our text is that the chapter division here is particularly unfortunate.  The “For” with which verse 1 begins connects the new thought with what has gone before.  So do the references in this parable to last and first, which repeat the […]


Christ and Our Children

Audio:   Download Audio Matthew 19:13-15 Text Comment v.13     The disciples seemed to feel that Jesus was too important to be bothered with little children.  The term that Matthew uses refers to children in general, of any age.  Luke tells us in his account of this same incident that there were very little children among […]


A Theological Marriage

Audio:   Download Audio Matthew 19:1-12 Text Comment The phrase “When Jesus had finished saying these things” is Matthew’s typical way of ending a teaching section and beginning a new narrative section.  Remember Matthew organizes his Gospel in alternating sections of teaching and narrative.  However, in the narrative sections, as in this new one, there […]


The Spirit of Forgiveness

Audio:   Download Audio Matthew 18:21-35 After a pause of several weeks for Palm Sunday and Easter, we return to our studies in the Gospel of Matthew. Text Comment v.21     The previous discussion of the sins of Christian brothers left unanswered the practical question:  how many times may a brother – that is, a fellow […]


Sin in the Church

Audio:   Download Audio Matthew 18:10-20 Text Comment v.10     The “little ones” in this context are ordinary Christians, childlike in their own eyes because well aware of their own small stature as needy sinners.  In Daniel 10 and 12 we find angels representing nations; in Revelation as the representatives of churches.  Here, even individuals have […]


Straight Thinking

Audio:   Download Audio Matthew 18:1-9 Text Comment With 18:1 we begin the fourth section devoted to the Lord’s teaching in the Gospel of Matthew.  Remember, Matthew organized his Gospel in alternating sections of narrative and teaching.  We have just completed a narrative section at the end of chapter 17 and begin another teaching section […]


Taxes for Love’s Sake

Audio:   Download Audio Matthew 17:24-27 Text Comment v.24     We know a good bit about this two drachma tax, as you will see. v.25     As so often in the Gospels, it is Peter who represents the band of disciples.  And as on so many other occasions, the Lord turns the remark of someone else into […]


A Puzzling Saying

Audio:   Download Audio Matthew 17:14-23 Text Comment When Moses came down from Mt. Sinai where God had given him the law, he was confronted with the scene of Israel worshipping a golden calf. When Jesus came down from the mountain on which he had been transfigured he also encountered a scene of unbelief and […]


The Transfiguration

Audio:   Download Audio Matthew 17:1-13 Text Comment v.1       The exact chronological reference is unusual and important.  All three Gospels closely connect the transfiguration with Peter’s confession of Jesus as the Christ and the Lord’s revelation of his own impending suffering and death together with the suffering that his disciples will be required to undergo […]


Christ’s Cross and Ours

Audio:   Download Audio Matthew 16:21-28 Text Comment v.21     This was not a totally new teaching, of course.  There had been intimations of his death before this (as e.g. in Matt. 9:15), but there is a new emphasis and a new explicitness to this teaching.  For the first time he lays out the chronology of […]


The Church’s Greatest Peril

Audio:   Download Audio Matthew 16:1-12 Text Comment The Lord’s time in Gentile territory, related in the last two paragraphs, has been concluded and the tension between him and the religious leadership, which at least in part provoked his withdrawal from Galilee in the first place, now is picked up again. v.1       The Pharisees and […]


A Miraculous Feeding: Reprise

Audio:   Download Audio Matthew 15:29-38 Text Comment v.29     Jesus went from the region of Tyre and Sidon, where the conversation with the Canaanite woman had taken place, across the top and then down the eastern side of the Sea of Galilee.  We know this explicitly from Mark’s account of this same incident, who says […]


A Picture of True Faith

Audio:   Download Audio Matthew 15:21-28 Text Comment Whether or not this is Matthew’s explicit purpose in juxtaposing the first two paragraphs of chapter 15, each in its own way prepares the way for the Gentile mission that would follow upon the Lord’s ascension.  Living faith will not remain the province of Jews only and, […]