The Temple and the Fig Tree, Matthew 21:12-22

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.  […]

The Triumphal Entry, Matthew 21:1-11

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 […]

Relentless Faith and Great Compassion, Matthew 20:29-34

Audio:   Download Audio Matthew 20:29-34 Text Comment v.29     This next episode plays a strategic role in the Gospel history.  For the traveler to Jerusalem, coming from the Trans-Jordan, Jericho […]

Christian Greatness, Matthew 20:17-28

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 […]

The First Will Be Last, Matthew 20:1-16

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 […]

Why People Don’t Follow Jesus Christ, Matthew 19:16-30

Audio:   Download Audio Matthew 19:16-30 Text Comment This memorable encounter between the Lord and a wealthy young man serves a number of purposes in the teaching of Jesus.  In […]

Christ and Our Children, Matthew 19:13-15

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 […]

A Theological Marriage, Matthew 19:1-12

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 […]

The Spirit of Forgiveness, Matthew 18:21-35

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     […]

Sin in the Church, Matthew 18:10-20

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 […]

Straight Thinking, Matthew 18:1-9

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 […]

Taxes for Love’s Sake, Matthew 17:24-27

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, […]

A Puzzling Saying, Matthew 17:14-23

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 […]

The Transfiguration, Matthew 17:1-13

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 […]

Christ’s Cross and Ours, Matthew 16:21-28

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 […]

Living in the Prospect of Victory, Matthew 16: 13-20

Audio:   Download Audio Matthew 16:13-20 We have before us this morning one of the most consequential texts in the New Testament.  It is important on many levels.  It marks […]

The Church’s Greatest Peril, Matthew 16:1-12

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 […]

A Miraculous Feeding: Reprise, Matthew 15:29-38

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 […]

A Picture of True Faith, Matthew 15:21-28

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 […]

Above All Else the Heart, Matthew 15:1-20

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 […]

With Jesus in the Storm, Matthew 14:22-36

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 […]

The Feeding of the 5,000, Matthew 14:13-21

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 […]

The Path to Victory, Matthew 14:1-12

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.  […]

A Prophet Without Honor, Matthew 13:53-58

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 […]

The Pearl of Great Price, Matthew 13:44-52

Audio:   Download Audio Matthew 13:44-52 We consider this morning three short parables, the first two which have a common theme and the third that links up, in large part, […]

The Parable of the Weeds, Matthew 13:24-43

Matthew 13:24-43 Text Comment v.25     The weeds in view are probably darnel or rye grass, a poisonous plant related to wheat and virtually indistinguishable from it until the ears form.  […]

The Parable of the Sower, Matthew 13:1-23

Matthew 13:1-23 Text Comment We begin in 13:1 the next section of the Gospel, a section devoted to the Lord’s teaching.  We had such a section in chapters 5-7, the […]

The Lord’s Family, Matthew 12:46-50

Audio:   Download Audio Matthew 12:46-50 Remember, all of this material in chapters 11 and 12 has been concerned with various responses made to Jesus and his ministry.  Most of […]

The Point of No Return, Matthew 12:38-45

Audio:   Download Audio Matthew 12:38-45 Text Comment v.38     There is a sense in which this request amounted to a demand that Jesus verify his authority – a demand that […]

The Great Divide, Matthew 12:22-37

  Matthew 12:22-37 In this section of the Gospel of Matthew, the second devoted to the narrative of the Lord’s ministry, we have been treated to the account of various […]

The Way of the Servant, Matthew 12:15-21

  Matthew 12:15-21 Text Comment v.15     The paragraph is linked directly to the statement in v. 14 that the Lord’s enemies were now plotting to kill him.  Christ’s withdrawal from […]

The Christian Sabbath, Matthew 12:1-14

Audio:   Download Audio Matthew 12:1-14 Text Comment Jesus has just said that those who follow him will find his yoke easy and his burden light, especially in comparison to […]

Rest for the Weary, Matthew 11:25-30

Remember, now, in chapter 11 we have observed various responses made to Jesus and his ministry:  the confusion of John the Baptist and the rejection and indifference of the Galilean towns.  Now we are given to see those who respond in f…

God’s Judgment: Certain and Just, Matthew 11:20-24

Remember, now, in chapter 11 we have observed various responses made to Jesus and his ministry:  the confusion of John the Baptist and the rejection and indifference of the Galilean towns.  Now we are given to see those who respond in f…

A Believer’s Doubts, Matthew 11:1-19

Text Comment
v.1       The words with which v. 1 begin, “After Jesus had finished instructing his twelve disciples,” are, as you may remember, a structural marker in the Gospel of Matthew. M…

The Enmity of the World, Matthew 10:16-42

Text Comment
Last time we considered the instructions that the Lord gave his twelve disciples before sending them out to preach and heal the sick.  The next section of this chapter should likely be taken not necessarily as instruc…

The First Missionaries, Matthew 10:1-16

Text Comment
At the end of the previous chapter the Lord had said that the harvest was plentiful but the workers were few.  He addresses that problem himself now by supplying some workers to bring in the harvest.
v.1 &n…

Power in Weakness, Matthew 9:18-38

Text Comment
We are taking a larger section of the Gospel this morning than has been our custom.  We could take each of the three paragraphs in our text separately.  Each has much to say in its own right.  But this is ou…

One Man’s Meat, Another Man’s Poison, Matthew 9:14-17

Text Comment
v.14     It is somewhat surprising to us that John the Baptist, even after he had been imprisoned, continued to have a group of followers and that they did not identify directly with Jesus, whom John …

Not the Righteous But Sinners, Matthew 9:9-13

Text Comment
v.9       Matthew is referred to as Levi in the Gospels of Mark and Luke.  Several others among the 12 had two names, you remember; Peter was also called Cephas.  The tax office …

The Real Problem Jesus Came to Solve, Matthew 9:1-8

Text Comment
v.1       His own city is Capernaum as we learned in 4:13.  He had performed miracles there previously and, though it is not mentioned until v. 8, predictably there was a large crowd g…

Christ and the Demons, Matthew 8:28-34

Text Comment
v.28     Gadara, the city that gave its name to that area, was some five miles south-east of the Lake, not far from Abila, where Eric Illi will be working this summer on an archaeological dig under the …

Practicing the Presence of Christ, Matthew 8:23-27

Text Comment
We were given three representative miracles at the beginning of chapter 8 and now, after an introductory section in vv. 18-22, we are given three more (counting the one that begins chapter 9).
v.23   &…

The Cost of Discipleship, Matthew 8:18-22

Text Comment
v.18     Now we have said that Matthew is divided into sections of discourse, or teaching, and narrative, or an account of what Jesus did.  Here, in a narrative section, we have what seems to be…

Jesus the Healer, Matthew 8:1-17

We have completed the Sermon on the Mount, the first of five discourses or sections of the Lord’s teaching in Matthew’s Gospel.  Now we return to the narrative of his ministry.  Discourse and narrative alternate in the Gospel…

The Burden of Faith, Matthew 7:24-29

Text Comment
As you will remember, we have said that the Sermon on the Mount concludes with three distinct warnings, each in its own way dealing with the very real danger of a false or spurious Christian discipleship.  The first…

A Shudder Down the Spine, Matthew 7:21-23

Remember, now, we are in the final section of the Sermon on the Mount, a section devoted to warnings against false or spurious discipleship.  This section was introduced in vv. 13-14 with a reminder that there are many fewer who actually fol…

False Teachers, Matthew 7:15-20

Last time we noted that the final section of the Sermon on the Mount begins at v.13 with a general warning against spurious or imitation discipleship, against thinking yourself a follower of Christ while unwilling to make those commitments that ar…

Counting Noses, Matthew 7:13-14

The remainder of the sermon consists of various warnings against spurious discipleship, the very real danger of thinking that one is a true disciple when one is not.  The first section, our text this morning, serves as a kind of introduction …

A Christian’s First Prayer, Matthew 7:7-12

Text Comment
v.10     The comparisons make more sense if we remember the time and place.  The common round loaf of bread might be said to look something like a stone and a snake looked superficially like a f…