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Chuck Smith :: Study Guide for Matthew

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MATTHEW 1: THE GENEALOGY AND BIRTH OF JESUS CHRIST

The synoptic gospels-Matthew, Mark, and Luke-cover the same subject matter.

v. 1-17 These verses deal with the genealogy of Jesus through the line of Joseph. Mary's lineage was the same as Joseph's from Abraham to David. Her genealogy is given in Luke 1. To establish His kingship it was necessary that Jesus come from the line of Abraham and David.

v. 1 Jesus was often called "The Son of David". God had promised a special son to Abraham and to David, and Jesus was the fulfillment of the promise.

v. 2-16 Women were not usually listed in genealogies, but Matthew includes:

(1) Tamar (v.3): had children by her father-in-law.

(2) Rahab (v.5): a prostitute in Jericho who protected the Hebrew spies.

(3) Ruth (v.5): a Moabite, a nationality hated by the Jews.

(4) Bathsheba (v.6): the wife David stole from another man.

God broke down the racial barriers in Jesus by including nations outside the covenant in His heritage. He broke down the sex barriers and made all people equal before Him. He helped Jesus to be identified with sinful man.

v. 16 Joseph was the husband of Mary, but she was the mother of Christ. This genealogy left out Ahab and Jezebel. Genealogies were very important to the Jews, and the scribes kept them carefully. Herod had all the genealogies destroyed, so that no man today can prove that he is a descendant of David and has a right to the throne of the Messiah.

v. 18 Children were often engaged to each other at three or four years of age. A year before the marriage was to take place, the couple entered a period of espousal where they were betrothed to each other, but not allowed to consummate the marriage. If the couple chose to break up during this time, they had to sign a bill of divorce; if the groom died, the bride was considered a widowed virgin.

v. 19 "A Just man" means he was straight and compassionate.

v. 20 Isaiah 7:14 says that a virgin shall conceive. Some versions of the Bible call her a "young woman" but every time this Hebrew word was used in the Old Testament, it referred to a virgin. In 200 BC, seventy Jewish scholars translated the Old Testament into Greek and used a Greek word here that could only mean virgin. It would not be a sign of any miracle If a young woman conceived and bore a son, but a virgin bearing a son is a miracle.

v. 21 The name Jesus is the Greek for the name Joshua, which means "Jehovah is salvation." Joshua was a common name among the Hebrews for the parents hoped their son would be the salvation of Israel.

MATTHEW 2: THE VISIT OF THE WISE MEN

v. 1 Herod was appointed to his position by the Roman governor because he was so cruel he could keep the Jews in line.

v. 2 There were interesting conjunctions of planets at the time of Jesus' birth. The wise men had read the birth of a King in the stars.

v. 9-11 Jesus was a young child in a house, not a babe in a stable, by the time the wise men reached Him. The gift of gold symbolized His kingly role, frankincense His priestly role, and myrrh His sacrificial death (myrrh was used for embalming).

v. 13 There was a great deal of angelic activity at this time. The angel had appeared to Mary, to Joseph and the wise men in dreams, and to the shepherds in the field.

Joseph was not a dull man. The Lord used him to protect the baby Jesus.

v. 23 The phrase "that it might be fulfilled" occurs often in Matthew's gospel. He wanted the reader to see how many prophecies, some rather unlikely, Jesus fulfilled.

MATTHEW 3: JOHN THE BAPTIST

There is a time gap of thirty years between Chapter Two and Chapter Three about which Matthew is silent.

v. 9 The people were trusting in their nationality for salvation.

v. 10 The Jewish branch was cut off and the Gentile branch was grafted in.

v. 16-17 The three Persons of the Trinity were manifested at the baptism of Jesus Christ.

MATTHEW 4: A TEMPTATION AND A CALL

v. 1 After His baptism, Jesus began to be led by the Spirit. First He was led out to the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. Temptation is a part of life on this earth.

v. 2 His hunger indicates that Jesus was beginning to starve to death after His long fast.

v. 3 The devil used the word "if" in the subjunctive case, which would mean "since " He was suggesting that Jesus use His divine power to fulfill the desires of the flesh.

v. 6 The devil tempted Jesus to use power from God to attract attention to Himself by performing miraculous acts.

v. 8,9 Satan used a powerful and subtle temptation when he offered the earth to Jesus, because he promised a shortcut to God's plan for the redemption of the earth through Christ.

v. 10,11 Jesus answered all the temptations with God's Word. When tempted, we should get into the Word to find the strength to resist, because prayer is not our defense in these times.

v. 17 "Repent" means to turn around or turn away from. It's more than being sorry for our sins.

v. 18,19 This was not the first time Peter and Andrew met Jesus (the other gospels tell of earlier meetings), but this was the first time He called them to follow Him.

MATTHEW 5: THE RIGHTEOUSNESS GOD ACCEPTS

v. 1,2 The Sermon on the Mount was preached to the disciples. "Blessed" means "O how happy!" Poverty of spirit is the consciousness of ourselves when we meet God (Isaiah 6:5, Daniel 10:8, Luke 5:8). We mourn over our sinful state when we see ourselves.

v. 5 When we think we are strong, we are our weakest, because we are not leaning on His strength. The world tells us to be strong and assertive, but when we are meek and dependent on God we will inherit the earth.

v. 6 When we know we are weak, we hunger and thirst after righteousness.

v. 10,11 We are blessed when persecuted for Jesus' sake or for righteousness' sake, not for our own stupidity or fanaticism.

v. 13 Salt was used as a preservative to prevent putrefaction.

v. 16 We should let our works be done so that God is glorified when men see our works, rather than attracting attention to ourselves.

v. 18 "Jot and tittle" means little marks in the Hebrew text.

v. 20 No one was more righteous than the scribes and Pharisees. Jesus was telling them that no one could be justified by the law. The law was given to show man's sin (Galatians 3:24). Jesus was contrasting the teaching and practice of the law by the scribes and Pharisees and the intention of God when He gave it. The scribes and Pharisees told the people what the law said, since it was in Hebrew and the people could not read Hebrew.

Jesus used the teaching method of setting a principle and giving illustrations or applications to make His meaning clear.

v. 22 "Raca" means vain fellow.

The scribes and Pharisees taught the commandment in a purely physical sense, but Jesus said that we should not harbor hatred for another in our hearts.

v. 27-30 Jesus did not want us to literally cut off a hand, but to realize that allowing sin to control us could lead us to hell.

v. 31,32 The scribes and Pharisees were allowing men to divorce their wives for any reason. Dowries were necessary to provide for the women in this situation (advance alimony).

v. 33-37 Jesus does not want us to swear an oath, because He wants us to be people of our word.

v. 48 If we tried to make commandments out of these teachings we would be as guilty as the scribes and Pharisees. Jesus was explaining the spirit of the law, so we would understand God's divine ideal for us and the impossibility of meeting His standard by our own efforts. When we believe in Jesus, His righteousness is imputed to us and we are accepted by God.

MATTHEW 6: OUR TREASURES

v. 1 The people used the words "alms" and "righteousness" interchangeably. Jesus is speaking of both.

v. 2 We receive our reward when we do righteous acts to be seen and praised by men and we receive their admiration.

v. 5 Prayers were very important to the Jews. They had to pray the shema twice a day and eighteen different prayers throughout the day.

v. 6 God wants us to pray when we desire true fellowship with Him and open our hearts to Him.

v. 7,8 Long, elaborate prayers are not more effective than short, sincere prayers. Sincerity and faith produce answers.

v. 9-13 We should not rush through a repetition of a prayer in a ritualistic fashion. Our words should be meaningful. Jesus gave us a form for our prayers.

v. 9 Our prayers should be addressed to the Father in the name of Jesus. They should begin with praise. "Hallowed" means "sacred, holy.

v. 10 The first concern of our hearts should be the establishment of God's Kingdom on earth.

v. 11-13 The personal petitions should come next. Temptation is not always a solicitation to evil but is often a testing to prove our worth.

v. 14,15 Only those whose trespasses have been forgiven by God can forgive others. We are to have a spirit of forgiveness.

v. 16 Hupokrites was also the Greek word for "actors". Our flesh wants people to think we are deeply spiritual.

v. 18 Our service to God should be done for His attention, not for man's notice.

v. 19-21 Our hearts are with our treasures, and too often our treasures are material things.

v. 22-24 Our hearts are often divided between desire for God and desire for material things. Mammon was the god of power who is represented by money.

v. 25,26 The word anxious should be inserted: "Take no anxious thought "

v. 27 A cubit is eighteen inches.

v. 31-32 Our Father knows we have these basic needs and makes provision for us.

v. 34 God does not want us to worry about the possible situations, because He gives us the strength for each day's events on that day.

MATTHEW 7: JUDGING, PRAYER, AND FALSE PROPHETS

v. 3 A mote is a sliver. When we judge another, we put ourselves on a spiritual scale above him, thereby declaring our self-righteousness.

v. 6 We need to be careful about what we share with people when we witness to them, and use discernment as to whether they will scorn the precious things of God or listen with an open mind.

v. 7 When Jesus describes prayer here, He uses action verbs.

v. 8-11 The Father will not allow something terrible to happen to us if we open our hearts to Him.

v. 12 This verse sums up the message of the law and the prophets.

v. 15-20 False prophets are not obviously wolves in sheep's clothing. They appear as "angels of light" and talk about love, but in their hearts they are seeking prey to devour. We should examine the fruit of their lives and of their ministry to determine whether prophets are true or false.

v. 21 The will of the Father is that we believe in Jesus Christ and that we love one another. Jesus should be the Lord of our lives in deed as well as in word.

v. 24-27 If the foundation of our works is sand, we will crumble when the storms come. Our foundation should be on the strong rock of faith in Jesus, and when the winds and storms that buffet every life hit us, we will stand firm.

v. 29 Jesus spoke with authority. The scribes quoted each other, be cause they were afraid to speak their minds.

MATTHEW 8: THE CENTURION AND THE TEMPEST

v. 1 The Sermon on the Mount was over, so Jesus went down.

v. 3 Jesus broke the Jewish law when He touched the leper, who was an outcast of society.

v. 5 The centurion was a Roman outside the covenant of the Jews, but Jesus had dealings with those outside the covenant and outside society.

v. 7 Jesus offered to go to the centurion's house, although the Jews did not go to the homes of Gentiles.

v. 11 "Many shall come" refers to the Gentiles.

v. 12 "The children of the kingdom" are the Jews.

v. 17 Isaiah 53:4-5 refers to Jesus and the physical healing He provided for us when He suffered at the whipping post.

v. 21 The man who wanted to "bury his father" meant he wanted to stay with his family until his father died. Jesus was not being disrespectful.

v. 29 The demons recognized Jesus as the Son of God.

v. 30 It was against the Jewish law to keep pigs, but some of the tribe of Gad had begun to raise them.

v. 34 The people were more concerned with their swine industry than with the healing of the demon-possessed man.

MATTHEW 9: JESUS PERFORMS HEALINGS

v. 1 The city of Jesus was Capernaum.

v. 2 Jesus took care of the man's spiritual needs first.

v. 9 Matthew was a tax collector and as such was hated by the people.

v. 12,13 Jesus ate with the sinners to show everyone that His forgiveness extended to all people.

v. 16,17 Jesus did not come to rejuvenate the old religion, but to bring in a new relationship to God.

v. 18 The man knew Jesus could bring his daughter back to life.

v. 21,22 The woman's faith was released when she touched the hem of Jesus' garment.

v. 34 The Pharisees hardened their hearts against Jesus. Since they had to acknowledge the miracles that He did, they chose to attribute them to devils rather than to God.

v. 35 Jesus taught in the synagogues and set the pattern that His disciples followed later.

MATTHEW 10: THE APOSTLES ARE SENT OUT

v. 6-8 The apostles were to go out to prepare the way for the coming of the Messiah.

v. 15 "Verily" means "very truly"

v. 23 Jesus refers to His first coming here, not the second coming.

v. 28 Hell here is Gehenna, the final place of punishment, not Hades the temporary place in the middle of the earth.

v. 29-31 God is interested in every aspect of our lives.

v. 32-33 Our lives confess or deny the presence of Jesus.

v. 34-37 Jesus did not come to deliberately separate families, but He knew that division would occur because of faith in Him.

v. 39 This verse is the paradox of the Christian walk.

MATTHEW 11: JESUS SPEAKS OF JOHN THE BAPTIST

v. 2-6 John expected Jesus to throw off the yoke of Roman rule and establish the kingdom of God on earth. Jesus answered John's question by pointing out how He was fulfilling the prophecies, and He knew John new the prophecies.

v. 14 John came in the spirit and power of Elijah, who will come again (Revelation 11: 3-12) before Jesus' second coming.

v. 20-24 These cities that Jesus singled out for judgment are in ruins today, while other smaller cities from His day still stand and are inhabited.

v. 25 Men will be judged according to the light they have received.

v. 27 We can only know God when Jesus reveals Him to us.

v. 28-30 Other religions put heavy yokes upon the people, forcing them to earn their salvation, but Jesus' yoke is easy because He gives us the strength and capacity for every task.

MATTHEW 12: THE BLASPHEMY AGAINST THE HOLY SPIRIT

v. 1 The "ears of corn" may refer to stalks of wheat.

v. 2-8 Jesus explained that human need takes precedence over the law. God would rather that we were merciful than always giving sacrifices to Him (v. 7).

v. 22-32 The blasphemy against the Holy Spirit is the continual rejection of the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives and attributing His work to the devil (Romans 1:28).

v. 36-37 This does not apply to the Christians, though our works will be tried for our motivations and we will be rewarded accordingly.

v. 40 Jesus confirms the reality of the Jonah story, though some scholars deny the reality of it and consider it a Jewish myth. Jesus was predicting His descent to Hades and His resurrection (Ephesians 4:8-10, Isaiah 61:1).

v. 46-50 The Bible does not teach us to pray to Mary for special favors.

MATTHEW 13: THE PARABLE OF THE SOWER

v. 10-17 The purpose of the parables was to illustrate a truth and to make it more attractive. Jesus noticed that the people were not listening to them when He spoke the simple truth, so He began to tell stories to encourage the people to listen to Him (Isaiah 6:9-10).

v. 18-30 The enemy has planted "tares" in the Church to cause perversions of the gospel and to deceive people.

v. 31-32 The birds are like the tares in the preceding parable, and the tree is the Church.

v. 33 Some have misunderstood this to mean that the Church will grow to encompass the whole earth, but leaven always is negative and has a bad influence when it is present, so Jesus was saying that there is a leavening influence in the Church.

v. 44-46 The field is the world that Jesus gave everything He had to purchase so that He could take His treasure (us) out of it.

v. 55-56 Jesus' four brothers and His sisters are mentioned, indicating that Mary was not a perpetual virgin but that she and Joseph had a normal relationship after the birth of Jesus (Matthew 1:25).

v. 58 Our unbelief can limit the work of God in our lives.

MATTHEW 14: FEEDING THE FIVE THOUSAND

v. 1 Tetrarch means "Quarter-ruler" though he actually shared the kingdom with only two others. This king was Herod Antipas.

v. 8 "Charger" means platter. Herodias was an ambitious woman who wanted to silence John the Baptist.

v. 13-16 Even though Jesus wanted to get away for awhile, He felt compassion for the multitude and ministered to them.

v. 20 Here in the Greek, "filled" is translated more accurately as "glutted"

v. 36 People used the hem of Jesus' garment as a point of contact to release their faith. We often have faith that God can do something, but we need to have a specific moment when we release the faith and accept what we have asked God to do.

MATTHEW 15: THE CANAANITE WOMAN'S REQUEST

v. 2 The scribes and Pharisees followed a traditional ceremony when they washed their hands before meals.

v. 3-6 "Honor thy father and mother" meant that children should care for their parents when the parents were elderly. However, if the children said that everything they owned was dedicated to God (corban) as a gift, then the tradition of the scribes and Pharisees allowed them to neglect their parents.

v. 10-20 What comes out of a man's mouth is in his heart and mind and declares what is in the man.

v. 21 Jesus stayed away from the Jews for awhile to avoid a confrontation with Herod so that there would be no premature attempts on His life.

v. 22-28 Jesus knew all along that He would heal the Canaanite woman's daughter. It seems that He put her off to draw her faith out to demonstrate how great it was. The word Jesus used for dogs (v. 26) was not the word the Jews usually used to refer to Gentiles. Jesus used a word that means "little puppies " indicating a household pet.

v. 31 Once again, the people glorified God when they saw the works of Jesus.

v. 37 The people were glutted this time also.

MATTHEW 16: PETER'S CONFESSION

v. 13 Jesus was in the area of Caesarea Philippi.

v. 16-17 God's Spirit communicates truth to our spirit. When our spirit sends the message to our consciousness, we sometimes have difficulty discerning whether we are getting a revelation from God or are thinking our own thoughts. Peter had a revelation from God that caused him to answer that Christ was the Son of God.

v. 18 Jesus called Peter Petros, which means a little stone, and then said that upon the petra, giant rock, He would build His Church. The Church is not built upon the man, Peter, who Christ called a little stone, but upon the confession of faith in Christ as God's Son that Peter made (I Corinthians 3:11).

v. 19 We should exercise the power of binding and loosing that Christ gave to His Church.

v. 22-23 Peter was speaking to Christ out of love for Him, but he did not understand the plan of God; he was looking at things from the human aspect.

v. 24-26 If we deny ourselves, and submit fully to Jesus, He will become the center of our lives as we follow Him. The three requirements of discipleship are:

1) deny ourselves,

2) take up our crosses, and

3) follow Jesus.

v. 27 Jesus was speaking here of His second coming. Our heavenly position will be according to our works on earth.

v. 28 This verse should be the first verse of Chapter Seventeen since Peter, James, and John saw Jesus in His glory when they were on the mountain together.

MATTHEW 17: THE TRANSFIGURATION

v. 3-6 Moses stood for the law and Elijah stood for the prophets. God gave the preeminence to Jesus and told the disciples, "Hear ye Him."

v. 11 Jesus confirmed the prophecy that "Elijah will come again before the Kingdom of God is established on earth" (Revelation 11:2).

v. 20 The disciples had been so concerned by the manifestation of demon-possession of the boy that they could not cast the demon out. They could not maintain their faith in the face of the evidence of Satan's power We need to take time apart to meditate on God's power in order to maintain our faith.

v. 24-27 Jesus and Peter really were not required to pay the tax that the tax collectors were demanding, because they were citizens of Capernaum; but Jesus chose to pay it anyway.

MATTHEW 18: JESUS AND THE CHILDREN

v. 6 Millstones were huge and heavy.

v. 7 The world is full of filth and vulgarity that our children will be exposed to in spite of our best efforts to protect them. "Woe unto the world because of offenses!"

v. l0 "Their angel faces do always behold the face of the Father" is another translation.

v. 15-17 We should follow the instructions of Jesus to go first to a brother that offends us, rather than going around to others and sharing the offense. His plan produces the greatest harmony in the Body.

v. 19-20 Two or three people gathered together in the name of Jesus comprise the Church, and He will be there.

v. 24 Ten thousand talents is $16,000,000.

v. 28 A hundred pence is $15.

v. 35 If we want to obey a command of God, no matter how impossible it seems to us, He will enable us to obey. Only He can give us the power to forgive, and it is important that we have a forgiving spirit because He has forgiven us so much.

MATTHEW 19:

v. 3 The Pharisees attempted to trap Jesus into saying something contrary to the law of Moses, because the Jews all recognized the law as the Word of God.

v. 4-9 Jesus went back further than the law and its interpretations to the beginning and God's original intent and purpose for marriage. Jesus said that fornication is the only acceptable grounds for divorce.

v. 13 The disciples rebuked the parents for leading their children up to Jesus to be blessed.

v. 17 Jesus forced the young man to examine what he had said. Either Jesus was God and good or He was no good. The young man had to decide.

v. 20 Though the young man was wealthy, a ruler, and led a moral life he still felt a void.

v. 21-24 Jesus could see that the man had made a god of his possessions and that his love for material things was keeping him from following Jesus. It is more difficult for a rich man to trust in God, because he has security in his wealth.

v. 29 God will never be a debtor to us. He will increase one hundred times to us anything we give up for His sake.

MATTHEW 20: A PARABLE AND AN ADMONITION

v. 1-16 The gift of God is eternal life, but we will be rewarded according to our faithfulness in the work He has called us to. He gives the gift of salvation freely to all who ask, no matter how late in their lives nor how sinful they have been.

v. 19 Jesus even predicted His scourging. His disciples were so shocked whenever He said that He would be mocked and scourged and crucified that they did not hear Him say that He would rise on the third day. It wasn't until after His resurrection that they remembered that He had told them beforehand what would happen.

v. 20-28 It is comforting to see that the disciples were ordinary men with base human traits like we have. God will hear our prayers just as He did theirs.

MATTHEW 21: THE FIG TREE

v. 4-5 Zechariah 9:9.

v. 9 "Hosanna" means "save now" Psalm 118:25-26.

v. 19-21 Jesus' curse on the fig tree was also symbolic of the nation Israel which had failed to bring forth fruit. The vineyard was therefore to be let out to the Gentiles to produce fruit for the Master.

v. 31 The publicans and the harlots had at first rejected the message of John the Baptist and Jesus, but they eventually came to believe. The scribes and Pharisees claimed to believe in God all along but did not actually do His will.

v. 33-45 Isaiah 5 compared Israel to a vineyard, and Jesus was using the same analogy in His parable. He explained how Israel had beaten and scorned the prophets and would kill Him, the Son, and would lose their inheritance because of their attitude.

MATTHEW 22: THE GREAT COMMANDMENT

v. 1-14 This parable again demonstrated that Israel had repeatedly ignored God's messages and would lose its favored status. Instead, God would raise up a people that would do His will. The only requirement for entry to the marriage ceremony was to be clothed in the garment of Christ's righteousness.

v. 36-40 The two commandments Jesus gave were a summation of the law and the messages of the prophets. He put them in the form of positive commands rather than negatives.

MATTHEW 23: MESSAGE TO THE SCRIBES AND PHARISEES

v. 2 The scribes and Pharisees interpreted the Mosaic law to the letter of the outward observance, but they totally neglected the inward motivations. Jesus taught that God looks at our hearts.

v. 5 The phylacteries are little boxes containing slips with Scriptures on them that tie on to the arm and forehead. The scribes and Pharisees wanted to appear more spiritual.

v. 6-12 We are all equal before Christ and should not exalt some people above others.

v. 23 According to the law, the Jews had to give a tenth of their increase to God, so the scribes and Pharisees even tithed a tenth of the produce from their spice garden.

v. 24 They would strain and gag to try to cough up a gnat they had accidentally swallowed, because it was not kosher to eat blood, yet they would ignore the important things.

v. 28 What we are on the outside makes no difference to God. He looks into our hearts (I Samuel 16:7).

v. 39 Jesus won't return to Israel until after the terrible days of the Tribulation are over.

MATTHEW 24: SIGNS OF HIS COMING

v. 2 This prophecy was fulfilled in forty years from the time Jesus spoke it.

v. 3-6 Jesus began to describe the world scene that would precede His second coming.

v. 7 This verse indicates world-wide war.

v. 9 Read Fox's Book of Martyrs for background information on Christian persecution.

v. 14 In Revelation 14:6-7 an angel preaches the gospel to the entire world in every language.

v. 15 Daniel 9:27, 11:31 and 12:11 are referred to in this verse.

v. 16-20 This chapter is addressed to the Jews who will once more be God's elect nation, since the Church will be taken out by the time these come to pass (Ezekiel 39:23-29). The applications to Israel are obvious: Judea is named, people are on their housetops, they will be concerned about breaking the law of the Sabbath.

v. 21 Revelation Chapters 6-19 have the details of the Tribulation.

v. 22 Once again, the elect is the nation of Israel since we'll be with Christ.

v. 24 We have seen a proliferation of false cults in recent years.

v. 28 The word "eagles" here should be "vultures". The birds will feast on the corpses from the battle of Armageddon.

v. 30 The people will mourn because they stubbornly rejected Jesus. The Jews will be especially sad that they did not recognize their Messiah.

v. 32 The nation Israel is referred to symbolically as a fig tree (Jeremiah 24; Hosea 9:10; Job 1:7)

v. 34 The generation that sees Israel bud forth and become a nation again is the generation mentioned here.

v. 40-41 Some feel these verses refer to the Rapture of the Church; others feel they refer to people being taken away to judgment.

v. 46 We should be doing what the Lord called us to do and wants us to do when He comes for us.

v. 48 This philosophy is similar to those who believe the Christians will go through all or part of the Tribulation, for it produces slovenliness.

MATTHEW 25: THE PARABLE OF THE TEN VIRGINS

v. 1-13 The essence of the parable is that we must be ready for the coming of Christ.

v. 4 Some suggest that the oil symbolizes the Holy Spirit and that those who are walking in the Spirit will be raptured.

v. 11-12 Perhaps the foolish virgins symbolize the carnal Christians who are walking in spiritual immaturity.

v. 14-15 Talents here is money, not an ability to do something well.

v. 16-23 The way we handle the responsibilities God gives us here determines what we will be given to do in heaven.

v. 31-32 The first thing Christ will do when He returns to the earth in glory will be to judge those who lived through the Tribulation and refused to take the mark of the Beast.

v. 40 Many feel the words "my brethren" refer to the Jews, since they have been mistreated by many nations. Others think the brethren of Jesus are the Christians.

v. 46 The choice of where we will spend eternity is before each of us, whether we will go to everlasting punishment or spend eternal life with Jesus Christ.

MATTHEW 26: THE LAST SUPPER

v. 2 Jesus was probably crucified on Thursday, not Friday, and rose on Sunday morning after spending three days and three nights in the tomb.

v. 3 Caiaphas was the high priest appointed by Rome, but the Jews recognized Annas, who was descended from Aaron, as their high priest.

v. 7 The ointment was worth a year's wages.

v. 8 Nothing we give to Jesus is ever a waste.

v. 9 Judas was not really concerned for the poor. He was the treasurer of the disciples' money and had been stealing from the common purse.

v. 15 Thirty pieces of silver was the price of a servant under the law (Zechariah 11:12).

v. 24 Some people think that Judas is the Antichrist, since he and the Antichrist are both referred to as "the son of perdition" in the Scriptures. Jesus also called him a devil (John 6: 70-71).

v. 39 Jesus asked that He be spared the death on the cross if salvation for mankind could be purchased any other way (Acts 4:12). It wasn't Jesus' will to die on the cross, but He submitted His will to the Father's.

v. 45 At this point the battle between God and Satan for the obedience of Jesus to His redemptive death had probably been won, because Jesus told His disciples to sleep on. Perhaps He prayed for each of them as He sat there.

v. 49 The kiss of Judas was not a casual greeting but a passionate kiss, according to the Greek text.

v. 56 All the disciples fled and left Jesus alone to face the scribes elders, and the high priest.

v. 61 Jesus was talking about the temple of His body.

v. 63 The high priest asked Jesus to take an oath and answer the question.

v. 67 Spitting was a sign of disdain in that culture.

v. 73 Peter had a Galilean accent.

MATTHEW 27: THE CRUCIFIXION

v. 5 Peter went out, repented, and wept bitterly. Judas repented, went out, and hanged himself.

v. 9 Here either Matthew or a copyist made a mistake, because this verse that is attributed to Jeremiah was actually written by Zechariah in Chapter 11:13.

v. 16 Barabbas was a notorious criminal, and Pilate hoped the people would choose the release of Jesus over the release of a dangerous man.

v. 22 Pilate's question is one we all must decide. Though Pilate was the judge, he was judged by his decision. What he chose to do with Jesus did not really affect Jesus, for the Scriptures had to be fulfilled that He would die. Pilate's decision settled his own destiny.

v. 25 The consequences of this cry have been horrifying for the Jews as a people.

v. 26 The prisoners were to receive forty lashes, because that was the number of judgment; less one lash, because judgment was to be tempered with mercy. The lashes became easier as the prisoner confessed his crimes and harder if the man remained quiet. Since Jesus had no crimes to confess, He took the full brunt of the scourging with a whip designed to tear the flesh (Isaiah 50:6, 53:2-7).

v. 31 Isaiah prophesied that Christ would die on the cross (Isaiah 52:13-14.)

v. 51 God tore the veil from top to bottom. The veil symbolized the fact that God was unapproachable to sinful man, but the death of Christ made access to God open for every man.

v. 53 The bodies left the graves after the resurrection of Jesus, because He led the saints out of Hades after He spent three days there with them. Luke 16:19-31 describes the two compartments in Hades where the dead waiting for the death of Jesus to cover their sins were comforted by Abraham (Hebrews 11:39; Isaiah 61:1).

v. 65-66 Pilate told the chief priests and Pharisees to make the tomb of Jesus as sure as they could, so they made it sure and then sealed it.

MATTHEW 28: THE RESURRECTION

v. 2 The angel rolled back the stone from the door of the tomb, not to let Jesus out, but to allow the disciples to see inside.

v. 4 The guards were so frightened by the angel that they pretended to be dead.

v. 18 Jesus has all the power in heaven and in the earth.

v. 19 The ministry of the Church is to teach. The Church has plenty of preachers but not enough teachers.

v. 20 "Amen" means "so be it."


Used With Permission

© The Word For Today. We thank Chuck Smith, The Word For Today and Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa for their permission to utilize this work.

CONTENT DISCLAIMER:

The Blue Letter Bible ministry and the BLB Institute hold to the historical, conservative Christian faith, which includes a firm belief in the inerrancy of Scripture. Since the text and audio content provided by BLB represent a range of evangelical traditions, all of the ideas and principles conveyed in the resource materials are not necessarily affirmed, in total, by this ministry.

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