Category Archives : Matthew (Rayburn)

The Burial of Jesus

Audio:   Download Audio Matthew 27:57-61 We return this morning to our interrupted series of sermons on the Gospel of Matthew.  And we have come to a text that is rarely preached.  It may be read in the course of reading the account of the crucifixion of the Lord, but it is rarely preached, by […]

The Torn Curtain

Audio:   Download Audio Matthew 27:31-56 Text Comment v.32     What Simon carried, Jesus being now too weak to manage, was the cross beam, not the upright, which remained in the ground. The fact that we know the man’s name has suggested to many minds that this man must have become a follower of Christ and […]

Jesus Condemned to Die

Audio:   Download Audio Matthew 27:11-31 Before I read our text this morning, a word on last week’s sermon.  I said, last week, as you may remember, that Judas’ conscience did him a service.  He died a less wicked man than he might otherwise have been for having condemned himself and punished himself for his […]

The Dismal Conscience

Audio:   Download Audio Matthew 27:1-10 Text Comment Chapter 26 ended, as you remember, with Peter weeping bitterly over his three-fold betrayal of the Lord in the courtyard of the palace of the high priest.  Chapter 27 begins with Judas’ bitter remorse over his own betrayal of the Lord.  We have juxtaposed to one another […]

Pious Villainy

Audio:   Download Audio Matthew 26:47-68 Text Comment v.47     Judas is identified as “one of the Twelve” to remind us of the shocking nature of his betrayal and of the Lord’s prediction of it in the Upper Room.  It is a powerful understatement.  None of the Gospel writers make any special effort to blacken Judas’ […]


Audio:   Download Audio Matthew 26:36-46 Text Comment v.36     “Gethsemane” means “oil press.”  John tells us it was a garden, so perhaps we are to think of an enclosed olive orchard with its own press, located we know on the slopes of the Mount of Olives.  We know from the other Gospels that it was […]

Peter as Every Christian

Audio:   Download Audio Matthew 26:31-35, 69-75 Text Comment Peter showed some bravery in the Garden, as we will read in the account of the Lord’s arrest, and loyalty and fortitude in following the Lord to the high priest’s palace.  “But he found out that it may be more difficult to act rightly in small […]

The Lord’s Supper

Audio:   Download Audio Matthew 26:17-30 Text Comment I made some comments on the first part of our text last Lord’s Day morning in dealing with Judas and his betrayal.  I won’t repeat those comments, but will make a few others on the part of the text that deals with our subject for this morning. […]


Audio:   Download Audio Matthew 26:14-25 Text Comment Verse 14 picks up the thread of the interrupted narrative, broken off at verse 5 in order for Matthew to insert the account of the Lord’s anointing at Bethany.  In v. 5 we read of the dilemma faced by the leadership of the people: they wanted to […]

Devotion to Christ

Audio:   Download Audio Matthew 26:1-13 Text Comment v.1       If you remember, “When Jesus had finished saying all these things…” is Matthew’s structural marker.  Each of the five discourse sections in the Gospel is concluded with a statement either identical to or very like this one.  In each case what follows is a new section […]

The Last Judgment

Audio:   Download Audio Matthew 25:31-46 As you remember, the theme of the last judgment has run through the previous material.  We have already read of the separation between the saved and the lost at the end of chapter 24, in the parable of the wise and foolish virgins, and in the parable of the […]

The Parable of the Talents

Audio:   Download Audio Matthew 25:14-30 Remember, we are in the midst of the Lord’s long discourse concerning the future and, in particular, his Second Coming.  Again and again and in different ways he has urged his disciples to make ready because they do not and cannot know when he will return.  They must live […]

The Olivette Discourse

Audio:   Download Audio Matthew 24:1-35 Text Comment Remember, the Lord has just spoken of impending judgment upon Jerusalem and Israel.  In these past days he has spoken darkly more than once of divine judgment awaiting the people of God for their infidelity to him.  There is an atmosphere of foreboding that pervades the Lord’s […]

The Judgments of the Lord

Audio:   Download Audio Matthew 23:1-39 Text Comment v.1       It is important in reading this chapter to notice the audience at the outset. The Lord is talking to the crowds and his disciples about the Pharisees.  The crowds are at least potentially his disciples and the Lord is appealing to them over […]

The Deity of Jesus Christ

Audio:   Download Audio Matthew 22:34-46 Text Comment Remember, we are reading a succession of episodes in which the Lord’s enemies attempt to catch him in some faux pas.  In this last case, while the Jews themselves were always talking about this very question – which is the most important commandment – there were minefields […]

The Christian and the State

Audio:   Download Audio Matthew 22:15-22 Text Comment v.16     The Pharisees detested the Herodian dynasty but this was a case of “the enemy of my enemy is my friend.”   The Herodians, were the partisans of the Herodian dynasty and so of Herod Antipas, Rome’s client king in the area, whose allegiance was to Rome, whose […]

The Wedding Banquet

Audio:   Download Audio Matthew 22:1-14 Text Comment Remember, this parable we are about to read is the last in a series of three, all aimed at the religious establishment.  All three illustrate the unbelief of the religious leaders and predict divine judgment as a result of that unbelief and the spiritual fruitlessness that resulted […]

The Parable of the Tenants

Matthew 21:33-46 Text Comment v.33     No Jew would fail to recognize in this story a picture of the relationship between the Lord and Israel.  In Isaiah 5:1-2, for example, God is once again the owner of the vineyard and Israel the vineyard itself, yielding bad fruit.  In this case the vineyard is the people of […]

Christian Living: The Bad Doing Good

Audio:   Download Audio Matthew 21:23-32 Text Comment v.23     The chief priests and elders made up the Sanhedrin the ruling council of the Jews.  So this was an official deputation that approached the Lord in the temple courts.  Obviously, people who have authority, as these men did, are all the more concerned about someone who […]

The Temple and the Fig Tree

Audio:   Download Audio Matthew 21:12-22 Text Comment v.12     We need to remember the context fully to appreciate this event.  Jesus had just entered the city virtually as a king.  He now lays claim to the sanctuary and demonstrates his rule over the spiritual life of the nation.  He is a prophet, critiquing the false […]

The Triumphal Entry

Audio:   Download Audio Matthew 21:1-11 Text Comment Matthew has not related Jesus’ previous visits to Jerusalem.  John, for example, records visits to Jerusalem made at the beginning and in the middle of the Lord’s ministry.  Matthew has concentrated on the Lord’s ministry in Galilee where, all the Gospels agree, the Lord spent most of […]

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, […]

Above All Else the Heart

Audio:   Download Audio Matthew 15:1-20 Text Comment v.1       Given that Jesus was then in Galilee, the fact that these men came from Jerusalem may suggest that it was some kind of deputation sent to query Jesus about what they viewed as heterodox teaching and practice.  This then is some evidence of the stir Jesus […]

With Jesus in the Storm

Audio:   Download Audio Matthew 14:22-36 Text Comment v.22     “Made” is a strong term.  “Compelled” is more like it.  John, in his Gospel, also records this episode as following immediately upon the feeding of the 5,000.  But he adds that such was the enthusiasm of the crowd after that great miracle that an effort was […]

The Feeding of the 5,000

Audio:   Download Audio Matthew 14:13-21 Text Comment v.13     “What had happened” refers, of course, to the death of John the Baptist.  [Hagner, ii, 417]  We can well imagine what a personal blow this must have been to the Lord.  The one man whose life was most connected to his own; the one man who […]

The Path to Victory

Audio:   Download Audio Matthew 14:1-12 Text Comment v.2       We have said that Matthew is treating us to a succession of responses made to Jesus by various people or groups.  Now we have the response of Herod Antipas, though his response to Jesus is somewhat indirect, being couched in comments that Herod made about John […]

A Prophet Without Honor

Audio:   Download Audio Matthew 13:53-58 The chapter divisions, you remember, are not original to the Bible, being added a thousand years after the New Testament was completed.  We now realize that Matthew has organized his material in alternating sections of narrative and teaching.  The third of the teaching sections in the Gospel ended at […]