Paul Kretzmann Commentary - Matthew

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Paul Kretzmann Commentary - Matthew

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The Gospel According to Saint Matthew


The apostle and evangelist Matthew, the author of the first synoptic Gospel, have been a publican, bearing the name of Levi, the son of Alphaeus, in or near the City of Capernaum, before his conversion, Mat_10:3. He was sitting at the receipt of custom when Jesus called him, Mat_9:9; Mar_2:14-15; Luk_5:27-29. There can be no doubt as to the identity of the former publican Levi and the later apostle Matthew, from a comparison of the parallel passages as well as from the established custom of the Jews to adopt a new name upon the occasion of some important happening in their lives. See Act_4:36; Act_12:12; Act_13:9. It is evident throughout the Gospel that the author was a Jewish Christian of Palestine, whose familiarity with the Roman method of tax collection indicates an intimate knowledge of the publican's work. Within the circle of the apostles, Matthew was never conspicuous. His was the quiet, unostentatious content of the disciple happy in the companionship of his Lord. Of his activity after the ascension of Christ only so much is recorded that he was engaged was missionary among the Jews of Palestine. Tradition has it that he spent the last years of his life in proclaiming the Gospel in Ethiopia and other heathen countries and died at an advanced age.

The purpose of the Gospel according to Matthew is indicated in almost every section of the book. He wrote for his fellow-countrymen, not, indeed, in the Hebrew or Aramaic language, as some have thought, but in Greek, the common language of the Orient in those days. His object was to show the glorious culmination of Old Testament type and prophecy, to prove that Jesus Christ, the Son of David, the Rod out of the stem of Jesse, is the promised Messiah, that His entire life, passion, death, and resurrection is the fulfillment of the Old Covenant. The genealogical table establishing the claim that Jesus is the Son of David, the continual reference to the Old Testament, the frequent repetition of the phrase "That it might be fulfilled," furnish abundant evidence for this. It is the principal fact which the author wishes to impress upon his hearers.

So far as the date of the Gospel is concerned, it appears from Mat_27:8; Mat_28:15 that it was written sometime after the events there recorded. It seems evident, also, that it was composed before the final destruction of Jerusalem, since the author, in that event, would undoubtedly have referred to the fulfillment of Christ's prophecy concerning the fate of that city. Ancient reports have it that Matthew's Gospel was the first to be written, and the date 60 A. D. has been suggested with some degree of plausibility. The fact that the later extensive missionary labors of Matthew precluded the leisure required for literary work makes it probable that he wrote while still living in Palestine and composed the Gospel at Jerusalem.

The authenticity of our Gospel cannot be called into question. Historical and textual considerations consistently uphold not only Matthew's authorship, but also the fact that this book is a part of the sacred canon and belongs to the inspired writings of the Bible. We may rest assured that we have today the Gospel as written by Matthew, one of the apostles of the Lord, in the same form in which he penned it by inspiration of the Holy Ghost.

The contents of the Gospel may be briefly summarized as follows. Matthew presents, first of all, a brief narrative of the nativity and the earliest childhood of Jesus. Then comes an account of the ministry of the Lord, which was ushered in with His baptism by John. The evangelist devotes the greater part of his Gospel to the work of the Savior in Galilee, in the course of which He also trained His disciples for the work of preaching the Gospel of the Kingdom, but which finally brought upon Him the increasing hatred of the Jews, and especially of their leaders. In the second part of the Gospel there is a detailed account of the Savior's last journey to Jerusalem, of His last sermons and miracles, of His sufferings, death, and resurrection. The Gospel closes with the great missionary command of the Lord and His comforting assurance: "Behold, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world!"

The Tabellary Harmony of the Gospel-Story

·         The prologue of John's gospel. Joh_1:1-18.

·         Preface of Luke's gospel. Luk_1:1-4.

·         Birth of John the Baptist promised. Luk_1:5-25.

·         The Annunciation to Mary. Luk_1:26-38.

·         The Annunciation to Joseph. Mat_1:18-25.

·         Mary's visit to Elizabeth. Luk_1:39-56.

·         Birth of John the Baptist. Luk_1:57-80.

·         Birth of Jesus the Christ. Mat_1:18-25; Luk_2:1-14.

·         The adoration of the shepherds. Luk_2:15-20.

·         The circumcision and presentation of Christ. Luk_2:21-39.

·         Simeon and Anna. Luk_2:25-40.

·         The wise men from the East. Mat_2:1-12. The flight into Egypt and the return to Nazareth. Mat_2:13-23.

·         Childhood at Nazareth. Mat_2:23; Luk_2:39-40.

·         The twelve-year-old Christ-child in the Temple. Luk_2:41-52.

·         The ministry of John the Baptist. Mat_3:1-12; Mar_1:1-8; Luk_3:1-18.

·         The baptism of Jesus. Mat_3:13-17; Mar_1:9-11; Luk_3:21-22.

·         The temptation in the wilderness. Mat_4:1-11; Mar_1:12-13; Luk_4:1-13.

·         John's testimony before the priests and Levites. Joh_1:19-34.

·         The first disciples of Jesus. Joh_1:35-51. The marriage at Cana. Joh_2:1-11.

·         The first cleansing of the Temple. Joh_2:12-25.

·         The discourse with Nicodemus. Joh_3:1-21.

·         John the Baptist's last testimony of Christ. Joh_3:22-36.

·         The departure from Judea and the woman of Samaria. Mat_4:12; Mar_1:14; Joh_4:1-26.

·         The Gospel in Sychar. Joh_4:27-42.

·         Imprisonment of John the Baptist and beginning of Christ's Galilean ministry. Mat_14:3-5; Mat_4:12-17; Mar_6:17-18; Luk_3:19-20; Joh_4:43-45.

·         The healing of the nobleman's son. Joh_4:46-54.

·         First rejection at Nazareth. Luk_4:16-30.

·         Healing of the sick man of Bethesda. Joh_5:1-18.

·         Testimony of Christ concerning Himself. Joh_5:19-47.

·         Removal to Capernaum. Mat_4:13-16; Luk_4:31.

·         The call of the four. Mat_4:18-22; Mar_1:16-20; Luk_5:1-11.

·         A day of miracles in Capernaum. Mat_8:14-17; Mar_1:21-34; Luk_4:31-41.

·         A preaching tour in Galilee. Mat_4:23-25; Mat_8:1-4; Mar_1:35-45; Luk_4:42-44; Luk_5:12-16.

·         The miraculous draught of fishes. Luk_5:1-11.

·         The call of Matthew. Mat_9:9-13; Mar_2:13-17; Luk_5:27-32.

·         The question about fasting. Mat_9:14-17; Mar_2:18-22; Luk_5:33-39.

·         The disciples plucking grain. Mat_12:1-8; Mar_2:23-28; Luk_6:1-5.

·         The man with the withered hand. Mat_12:9-14; Mar_3:1-6; Luk_6:6-11.

·         The wide-spread fame of Jesus. Mat_4:23-25; Mat_12:15-21; Mar_3:3-12; Luk_6:17-19.

·         The choosing of the Twelve. Mat_10:2-4; Mar_3:13-19; Luk_6:12-19.

·         The Sermon on the Mount. Mat_5:1-48; Mat_6:1-34; Mat_7:1-29; Mat_8:1; Luk_6:20-49.

·         The healing of a leper. Mat_8:1-4; Mar_1:40-45; Luk_5:12-16.

·         The centurion's servant. Mat_8:5-13; Luk_7:1-10.

·         The raising of the widows son at Nain. Luk_7:11-17.

·         John the Baptist's last message. Mat_11:2-19; Luk_7:18-35.

·         Anointing of Jesus in the house of Simon the Pharisee. Luk_7:36-50.

·         Christ's companions on His second preaching tour. Luk_8:1-3.

·         Warnings to the scribes and Pharisees. Mat_12:22-45; Mar_3:19 b-30; Luk_11:14-36.

·         The true kindred of Jesus. Mat_12:46-50; Mar_3:31-35; Luk_8:19-21.

·         The parables by the sea. Mat_13:1-53; Mar_4:1-34; Luk_8:4-18.

·         The stilling of the tempest. Mat_8:18; Mat_23:1-39; Mat_24:1-51; Mat_25:1-46; Mat_26:1-75; Mat_27:1-66; Mar_4:35-41; Luk_8:22-25.

·         The Gadarene demoniacs. Mat_8:28-34; Mar_5:1-20; Luk_8:26-39.

·         The raising of Jairus's daughter. Mat_9:1; Mat_9:18-26; Mar_5:21-43; Luk_8:40-56.

·         The two blind men and the dumb demoniac. Mat_9:27-34.

·         The third preaching tour continued. Mat_9:35; Mar_6:6 b.

·         The mission of the Twelve. Mat_9:36; Mar_6:7-13; Luk_9:1-6

·         Death of John the Baptist. Mat_14:1-12; Mar_6:14-29; Luk_9:7-9.

·         The feeding of the five thousand. Joh_6:1-13; Mat_14:13-23; Mar_6:30-46; Luk_9:10-17.

·         Jesus walking on the water. Mat_14:24-36; Mar_6:45-56; Joh_6:14-21.

·         Discourse on the Bread of Life. Joh_6:22-71.

·         Discourses on commandments of men. Mat_15:1-20; Mar_7:1-23.

·         The Syrophoenician woman. Mat_15:21-28; Mar_7:24-30.

·         Return through Decapolis. Mat_15:29-31; Mar_7:31-37.

·         The feeding of the four thousand. Mat_15:29-39; Mar_8:1-9.

·         The demand for a sign from heaven. Mat_15:39; Mat_16:1-12; Mar_8:10-21; Luk_12:54-57.

·         The blind man near Bethsaida. Mar_8:22-26.

·         Peter's confession. Mat_16:13-20; Mar_8:27-30; Luk_9:18-21.

·         Christ foretells His death and resurrection. Mat_16:21-28; Mar_8:31-38; Mar_9:1; Luk_9:22-27.

·         The transfiguration. Mat_17:1-13; Mar_9:2-13; Luk_9:28-36.

·         The demoniac boy. Mat_17:14-20; Mar_9:14-32; Luk_9:37-43 a.

·         Discourse on humility and forgiveness. Mat_18:1-35; Mar_9:33-50; Luk_9:46-50.

·         Jesus at the Feast of Tabernacles. Joh_7:1-52.

·         The woman taken in adultery. Joh_7:53; Joh_8:1-11.

·         Jesus the Light of the World. Joh_8:12-30.

·         Discourse on spiritual freedom. Joh_8:31-59

·         The final departure from Galilee. Mat_19:1-2; Mat_8:19-22; Mar_10:1; Luk_9:51-62.

·         The mission of the seventy. Mat_11:20-30; Luk_10:1-24.

·         The good Samaritan. Luk_10:25-37.

·         The visit to Mary and Martha. Luk_10:38-42.

·         Healing of the man born blind. Joh_9:1-41.

·         The Good Shepherd. Joh_10:1-21.

·         Christ at the Feast of Dedication. Joh_10:22-42.

·         Discourse on prayer. Luk_11:1-13.

·         Woes against the Pharisees. Luk_11:37-54.

·         Warning against the spirit of Pharisaism. Luk_12:1-59.

·         The Galileans slain by Pilate. Luk_13:1-9.

·         The woman healed on a Sabbath. Luk_13:10-21.

·         The question whether few are saved. Luk_13:22-35.

·         Discourse at a chief Pharisee's table. Luk_14:1-24.

·         On counting the cost. Luk_14:25-35.

·         Three parables of grace. Luk_15:1-32.

·         Two parables of warning. Luk_16:1-31.

·         Concerning forgiveness and faith. Luk_17:1-10.

·         The raising of Lazarus. Joh_11:1-46.

·         The withdrawal to Ephraim. Joh_11:47-54.

·         The ten lepers. Luk_17:11-19.

·         The coming of the kingdom. Luk_17:20-37; Luk_18:1-8.

·         The Pharisee and the publican, Luk_18:9-14.

·         Concerning divorce. Mat_19:1-15; Mar_10:2-12; Luk_18:15-17.

·         Christ and the rich young ruler. Mat_19:16-30; Mar_10:17-31; Luk_18:18-30.

·         The laborers in the vineyard. Mat_20:1-16.

·         Christ foretells His crucifixion. Mat_20:17-19; Mar_10:32-34; Luk_18:31-34.

·         Ambition of James and John. Mat_20:20-28; Mar_10:35-45.

·         The blind men near Jericho. Mat_20:29-34; Mar_10:46-52; Luk_18:35-43.

·         Visit to Zacchaeus. Luk_19:1-10.

·         Parable of the pounds. Luk_19:11-28.

·         Anointing of Jesus by Mary of Bethany. Mat_26:6-13; Mar_14:3-9; Joh_11:55-57; Joh_12:1-11.

·         The triumphal entry into Jerusalem. Mat_21:1-11; Mar_11:1-11; Luk_19:29-44; Joh_12:12-19.

·         The cursing of the fig-tree. Mat_21:18-19; Mar_11:12-14.

·         Second cleansing of the Temple. Mat_21:12-17; Mar_11:15-19; Luk_19:45-48.

·         The fig-tree withered away. Mat_21:20-22; Mar_11:20-25.

·         Christ's authority challenged. Mat_21:23-27; Mar_11:27-33; Luk_20:1-8.

·         Three parables of warning. Mat_21:28-46; Mat_22:1-14; Mar_12:1-12; Luk_20:9-19.

·         Three questions by the Jewish rulers. Mat_25:15-40; Mar_12:13-34; Luk_20:20-40.

·         Christ's unanswerable question. Mat_22:41-46; Mar_12:35-37; Luk_20:41-44.

·         The discourse against the scribes and Pharisees. Mat_23:1-39; Mar_12:38-40; Luk_20:45-47.

·         The widow's two mites. Mar_12:41-44; Luk_21:1-4.

·         Testimony of Jesus concerning His glorification. Joh_12:20-50.

·         Concerning the destruction of Jerusalem and the end of the world. Mat_24:1-51; Mar_13:1-37; Luk_21:1-38.

·         The ten virgins. Mat_25:1-13.

·         Of the Last Judgment. Mat_25:31-46.

·         The conspiracy against Jesus. Mat_26:1; Mat_5:14-16; Mar_14:1-2; Luk_22:1-6.

·         Jesus washing the disciples' feet. Joh_13:1-20.

·         The Passover meal and the institution of the Lord's Supper. Mat_26:17-36; Mar_14:12-26; Luk_22:7-30; Joh_13:1-30.

·         Christ's farewell discourses. Mat_26:31-35; Mar_14:27-31; Luk_22:31-38; Joh_13:31-38; Joh_14:1-31; Joh_15:1-27; Joh_16:1-33.

·         The intercessory prayer. Joh_17:1-26,

·         The agony in Gethsemane. Mat_26:30-46; Mar_14:26-42; Luk_22:39-46; Joh_18:1.

·         The betrayal and arrest. Mat_26:47-56; Mar_14:43-52; Luk_22:47-53; Joh_18:1-12.

·         The trial before the Jewish authorities and the denial of Peter. Mat_26:57-75; Mat_27:1-10; Mar_14:53-72; Luk_22:54-71; Joh_18:12-27.

·         The trial before Pilate. Mat_27:11-31; Mar_15:1-20; Luk_22:1-25; Joh_18:28-40; Joh_19:1-16

·         The crucifixion and death of Jesus. Mat_27:32-56; Mar_15:21-41; Luk_23:26-49; Joh_19:16-37.

·         The burial of Jesus. Mat_27:57-61; Mar_15:42-47; Luk_23:50-56; Joh_19:38-42.

·         The watch at the sepulcher. Mat_27:62-66.

·         Easter morning. Mat_28:1-15; Mar_16:1-11; Luk_23:56; Luk_24:1-12; Joh_20:1-18.

·         The report of the watch. Mat_28:11-15.

·         The walk to Emmaus. Mar_16:12-13; Luk_24:13-35.

·         The appearance to the disciples in Jerusalem. Mar_16:14; Luk_24:36-43; Joh_20:19-31.

·         The appearance to seven disciples by the Sea of Galilee. Joh_21:1-25.

·         The appearance to the Eleven on a mountain in Galilee. Mat_28:16-20; Mar_16:15-18.

·         Christ's final appearance and His ascension from Mount Olivet. Mar_16:19-20; Luk_24:44-53.

·         The conclusion of John's gospel. Joh_20:30-31; Joh_21:25.