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Daily Devotionals

Blue Letter Bible offers several daily devotional readings in order to help you refocus on Christ and the Gospel of His peace and righteousness.

Daily Bible Reading Plans

Recognizing the value of consistent reflection upon the Word of God in order to refocus one's mind and heart upon Christ and His Gospel of peace, we provide several reading plans designed to cover the entire Bible in a year.

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Introduction to Matthew

The book of Matthew has always occupied a position of high esteem in the faith and life of the church:

"When we turn to Matthew, we turn to the book which may well be called the most important single document of the Christian faith, for in it we have the fullest and the most systematic account of the life and the teachings of Jesus." (William Barclay)

The writings of the early church fathers reveal that it was the most frequently quoted and perhaps the most widely read gospel during the first two centuries of the church's history.


The apostolic origin and canonical rank of the gospel of Matthew were accepted without a doubt by the early church (ISBE). Matthew, surnamed Levi, had been a tax-collector, one of Jesus' earliest disciples (Mat 9:9; Mar 2:14). He was chosen to be one of the twelve apostles (Mat 10:2-3). A close associate of Jesus during His ministry, Matthew's gospel is a first hand account, unlike Luke who depended upon other eyewitnesses (Luk 1:1-4).


Irenaeus says it was written when Peter and Paul were preaching in Rome (Against Heresies 3.1.1). Eusebius states that this was done when Matthew left Palestine and went to preach to others (Historia Ecclesiastica, III, 24). Clement of Alexandria said that the presbyters who succeeded each other from the beginning declared that "the gospels containing the genealogies (Matthew and Luke) were written first" (Eusebius, Historia Ecclesiastica, VI, 14). It is traditionally dated in the late 50s or early 60s A.D.


The gospel appears written to Jews, designed to prove that Jesus is the Messianic king of Old Testament (OT) prophecy. This is evidenced by Matthew's frequent appeal to OT Messianic prophecies. He quotes from almost every book in the OT, and twelve times he identifies OT prophecies as fulfilled in the life of Jesus (Mat 1:22; 2:15,23; 4:14; 5:17; 8:17; 12:17; 13:14,35; 21:4; 27:9). One could therefore say that the theme is:

Jesus, the King of the Jews

It is a Jewish gospel. We've noted its frequent appeal to OT prophecies. It's organization is mostly topical, as opposed to strictly chronological (a common style in Jewish literature). Thus it appears to have been written with a Jewish audience in mind.

It is an ecclesiastical gospel. It is the only gospel which mentions the word "church". It foretells its beginning (Mat 16:18), and describes some of the life in the church (Mat 18:15-17). It contains lengthy discourses especially beneficial to those in the church, such as the sermon on the mount (Mat 5-7), the many parables (Mat 13), and the Olivet discourse (Mat 24-25). It contains admonitions important to disciples of Christ, such as the importance of doing the Father's will (Mat 7:21-23) and observing all that Jesus commanded (Mat 28:20). In other words, this was a gospel designed for use by those in the early church.

It is an evangelistic gospel. It is a preaching gospel, especially when compared with the apostles' preaching found in Acts. It expands upon the basic elements and points made in their sermons. Consider these themes in apostolic preaching:

  • God's promises in the OT have been fulfilled - Act 3:18,24
  • The long-awaited Messiah, born of David's line, has come - Act 13:23
  • He is Jesus of Nazareth - Act 13:23
  • He went about preaching and doing good through mighty works - Act 10:38
  • He was crucified according to the promise and will of God - Act 2:22,23
  • He was raised from the dead, and exalted at God's right hand - Act 2:24,32-33
  • He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead - Act 3:20-21; 17:30-31
  • Therefore, all should heed His message, repent, and be baptized - Act 2:36-38

All of these points are expanded upon in the gospel of Matthew.


(adapted from The Wycliffe Bible Commentary)

  1. The birth and childhood of Jesus - Mat 1:1-2:23
    1. Genealogy of Christ - Mat 1:1-17
    2. Birth of Christ - Mat 1:18-25
    3. Visit of the Magi - Mat 2:1-12
    4. Flight into Egypt and massacre of the infants - Mat 2:13-18
    5. Residence at Nazareth - Mat 2:19-23
  2. The preparation for the ministry of Jesus - Mat 3:1-4:11
    1. The forerunner of Christ - Mat 3:1-12
    2. Baptism of Christ - Mat 3:13-17
    3. Temptation of Christ - Mat 4:1-11
  3. The ministry of Jesus in Galilee - Mat 4:12-18:35
    1. Residence at Capernaum - Mat 4:12-17
    2. Call of four disciples - Mat 4:18-22
    3. General survey of the Galilean ministry - Mat 4:23-25
    4. Sermon on the mount - Mat 5:1-7:29
    5. Ten miracles and related events - Mat 8:1-9:38
    6. Mission of the twelve - Mat 10:1-42
    7. Christ's answer to John, and related discourse - Mat 11:1-30
    8. Opposition from the Pharisees - Mat 12:1-50
    9. A series of parables on the kingdom - Mat 13:1-58
    10. Withdrawal of Jesus following John's beheading - Mat 14:1-36
    11. Conflict with the Pharisees over tradition - Mat 15:1-20
    12. Withdrawal to Phoenecia and healing of a Canaanitish woman's daughter - Mat 15:21-28
    13. Return to the Sea of Galilee and performing of miracles - Mat 15:29-38
    14. Renewed conflict with the Pharisees and Sadducees - Mat 15:39-16:4
    15. Withdrawal to the region of Caesarea Philippi - Mat 16:5-17:23
    16. Instruction of the twelve at Capernaum - Mat 17:24-18:35
  4. The ministry of Jesus in Perea - Mat 19:1-20:16
    1. Teaching on divorce - Mat 19:1-12
    2. Blessing of the children - Mat 19:13-15
    3. Interview with the rich young man - Mat 19:16-30
    4. Parable of the laborers in the vineyard - Mat 20:1-16
  5. The ministry of Jesus in Judea - Mat 20:17-34
    1. Another prediction of Christ's death and resurrection - Mat 20:17-19
    2. Ambitious request of Zebedee's sons - Mat 20:20-28
    3. Healing of two blind men - Mat 20:29-34
  6. The ministry of Jesus in Jerusalem - Mat 21:1-25:46
    1. Triumphal entry - Mat 21:1-11
    2. Cleansing the Temple - Mat 21:12-17
    3. Cursing of the barren fig tree - Mat 21:18-22
    4. Questioning of Jesus' authority and his parabolic answer - Mat 21:23-22:14
    5. Questioning of Jesus by various groups - Mat 22:15-46
    6. Jesus' public denunciation of the Pharisees - Mat 23:1-39
    7. Olivet Discourse - Mat 24:1-25:46
  7. The suffering of Jesus - Mat 26:1-27:66
    1. Plot against Jesus - Mat 26:1-16
    2. The final meal - Mat 26:17-30
    3. Prediction of Peter's denial - Mat 26:31-35
    4. Events in Gethsemane - Mat 26:36-56
    5. Events at the Jewish trials - Mat 26:57-27:2
    6. Remorse of Judas - Mat 27:3-10
    7. Events at the Roman trials - Mat 27:11-31
    8. The Crucifixion - Mat 27:32-56
    9. Burial - Mat 27:32-56
  8. The resurrection of Jesus - Mat 28:1-20
    1. Discovery of the empty tomb - Mat 28:1-8
    2. Appearance of Jesus Christ - Mat 28:9,10
    3. Report of the soldiers - Mat 28:11-15
    4. The great commission - Mat 28:16-20
  1. Who authored the book of Matthew?
    • Matthew, also called Levi
    • An early disciple, and an apostle of Jesus Christ
  2. Approximately when was the book written?
    • The late 50s or early 60s A.D.
  3. What has been suggested as the theme of Matthew's gospel?
    • Jesus, the King of the Jews
  4. What three characteristics of the gospel were noted in the introduction?
    • It is a Jewish gospel
    • It is an ecclesiastical gospel
    • It is an evangelistic gospel
  5. List the eight sections of the gospel as indicated in the outline
    • The birth and childhood of Jesus
    • The preparation for the ministry of Jesus
    • The ministry of Jesus in Galilee
    • The ministry of Jesus in Perea
    • The ministry of Jesus in Judea
    • The ministry of Jesus in Jerusalem
    • The suffering of Jesus
    • The resurrection of Jesus

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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