When you know God's heart you will never question His will. The
will of God is His expression of His love for me. The greatest
knowledge for man to possess is knowing God's will - his greatest
achievement is to do it.
The Bible opens with the Garden of Eden, and a river flowing
out of it which divided into four rivers; (four in Scripture
suggests the thought of going in all directions - North, West,
East and South. Noah and his sons (4 in all) were placed in a
newly washed world. Abraham, later, was called out of the awful
idolatry of this world. By his descendants all the world was to be
So Israel became God's people. His throne was in the centre -
Jerusalem. It too was the centre of government and worship for all
nations. Those were God's plans... separation to Himself, but for
blessing far and wide. To Israel was given the Old Testament.
Everything centred in them. The Saviour of the world was to be
their Messiah. So when Jesus arrived He was born there.
Later, as a Man, He presented Himself to them. So this is why
the first Book of the New section of the Bible opens with "Jesus
Christ." This Book has many quotations of the prophets of the Old
Testament days. It can be divided into four sections - First part
- chapters 1 and 2. He is born in Bethlehem, according to Micah
5:2. We will mention the other parts and references as we come to
Mt 1:18 The virgin birth of our Lord Jesus. This is denied by
many people today, but we know that the Word of God plainly
teaches that our Lord Jesus was born as was promised to a virgin
Mt 1:21 Before He was born the wonderful name of Jesus was
chosen for Him, and this name means Saviour, "for He shall save
His people from their sins". Very often we shall find this word "save"
while reading the Gospel.
If we don't exercise our faith, Satan will emphasize our
Mt 2:1-2 About 2 years after Jesus is born, men from the east
came to worship Him. They were Gentiles. They visited King Herod,
who was very much disturbed when he heard of the birth of Jesus.
Mt 2:5 The Jewish leaders actually knew that Bethlehem was the
city where their Messiah ought to be born, and they quote the
prophecy in verse 6 to prove it.
Mt 2:8 Herod very deceitfully promises that he will come and
worship Jesus also when He is found.
Mt 2:9 Amazing miracle recorded here. The star moved on to
Bethlehem and stopped there. It was only 12 miles away, so the
star must have been very close to identify the place so exactly.
Mt 2:11 It would seem that Jesus by that time was almost two
years old (verse 16).
Mt 2:19-23 God took special care of that child. Joseph takes
the little family to the land of Egypt. Read Hosea 11:1, and
remember it was written about 700 years before Jesus was born!
Quite remarkable, for it was from the land of Egypt that the
people, the Jews, were called out many years before to come into
the land of Israel.
Mt 2:22-23 Jesus, the true son of David and the King of Israel,
now returns to the land of Israel. Will He come right to the
throne of David? No, we find instead He goes to Galilee. Those who
lived in Galilee were despised by the Jews, especially those who
lived in the city of Nazareth. And so we find the Lord Jesus
living among those who were looked down on. The Lord Jesus, the
true King of Israel, was Himself unwanted and despised.
The more submissive I am to the Lordship of Christ, the less
Satan and the world will have to work with.
Years have now passed, for Jesus has begun His work. John the
Baptist appears, according to what Isaiah had prophesied in 40:3
of his Book.
Mt 3:1 John the Baptist is preaching in the wilderness. The
fact that John preaches in the wilderness instead of in the temple
would tell us that God's people were in a condition that did not
please the Lord, and so John stands in separation from them and
calls on them to repent.
Mt 3:2 We will find quite often in Matthew's Gospel - the
expression "the kingdom of heaven". This does not mean heaven
itself, but as we will find described later on, it refers to the
fact that the Lord Jesus had come from heaven and was going to
reveal to His people that which He had received from His Father in
Mt 3:6 This baptism is not at all the same as the Christian
baptism that we speak of today. This was a baptism unto repentance
for the sins of the people and nation of Israel.
Mt 3:7-12 John warns those who come to him for baptism that God
looks at their hearts.
Mt 3:13-17 Jesus comes to John to be baptized, John, of course,
is greatly surprised, for he knew that the Lord Jesus had no sins
which needed to be repented of. The Lord Jesus knew that the
nation of Israel was guilty of many sins... their idolatry of the
past, their present self-righteous pride, so to take His place
with His nation, He had asked John to baptize Him.
Mt 3:16-17 God immediately sets Him apart as being very
different from every other one who was being baptized. When the
Lord Jesus, came up out of the water, the voice of God is heard
from heaven saying "This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well
pleased". The Spirit of God descends like a dove and rests upon
the Lord Jesus. Here we find the whole Trinity at the beginning of
His public life.
Prayer is love in need, appealing to love in power.
Mt 4:1-11 The temptation of the Lord Jesus... a very important
thing for us. Each time Satan tempted the Lord Jesus he used the
word "if" in presenting his temptation. Each time the Lord
answered by quoting from the Word of God. Remember this when we
are faced with temptations; we are guarded by the Word of God.
When Adam was in the garden of Eden, he also was tempted, and
fell, and brought upon himself and upon all his descendants, the
sin, suffering and death that followed. The Lord Jesus had come
out of Paradise to pay for the sins of those who would believe in
Him so as to be able to take them into His Paradise. As the "last
Adam" He is tempted, and He meets all these temptations. Remember
too, that John the Baptist was not a Christian, he was like all
the Old Testament believers. He was only prominent for possibly a
Mt 4:12-16 The Lord Jesus hears that John was cast into prison
and goes into Galilee. Many places and many towns heard the
wonderful message of the kingdom of heaven.
Mt 4:19 "Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men". What a
wonderful thing for each one of us who knows the Lord Jesus as our
Saviour to be one too.
Mt 4:23 The Lord Jesus teaches in their synagogues "the gospel
of the kingdom" and He healed all manner of sickness among the
people. He is gradually gathering a little remnant around Him,
which will turn into, and be the beginning of the church of God,
of which each one of us which believes, is a part.
There are a great many people who endure religion instead of
We now come to what is often called "the sermon on the mount".
The Lord Jesus tells His people the principles (rules) of the
kingdom that He had come to set up. But He, the King was rejected
and crucified. The kingdom has been postponed, so that although we
read these beautiful verses, we know that they have not yet been
Mt 5:5 Are the meek inheriting the earth today? No, but the
wicked and ungodly are. Remember that after the believers are
taken to glory (maybe today), the Lord shall return to set up this
Mt 5:11-12 If we wish to be faithful to the rejected One, we
also may find ourselves persecuted and falsely accused for the
Lord's sake. We can rejoice and be exceeding glad. Although these
instructions were so sweet and perfect, yet it is Himself, blessed
Lord Jesus, that has the power of attraction for us. If you have
the time, read Deuteronomy 14 for the connection of Israel with
the Old Testament and see how our chapter was spoken to this same
nation. Then read Gal. 3:12,13 to understand what grace has done
Mt 5:17-48 The Lord Jesus speaks of the law of Moses, He not
only confirms the authority of these laws, but He speaks of the
heart of man. The law of Moses only took notice of actions, but
God looks at the heart. Man is more responsible today than he was
while under the law of Moses.
Mt 5:22 It was very wrong to be angry with one's brother.
Mt 5:27-28 That which is hidden in the heart of people is known
Mt 5:33-37 It is very common today for people to swear in order
to make their statements more sure. Such language is not at all
pleasing to Him.
Mt 5:38-48 This is what the Lord delights to see in those who
wish to please Him... this was the way in which He Himself acted
when He was here. There is no one who loved His enemies like the
Our love for the Saviour is expressed in our love for His
Mt 6:1-8 The way in which many people prayed, and performed
other good deeds. When we show deeds of kindness to others, or
when we pray, it is much better to do these so that we will not
attract attention to ourselves.
Mt 6:9-13 "The Lord's prayer" was very important for the
disciples of that day because their hopes lay in a kingdom on
earth, whereas our hopes are heavenly. We are waiting for the Lord
to call us up. After we are there for a while, then the Lord will
bring us back to reign over this earth with Him. He will then set
up His kingdom on earth. But just before He returns, the little
Jewish remnant (which has believed the "gospel of the kingdom" -
see 24:14)... which will be preached on earth, shall pray that
Mt 6:19-34 We can take these words to ourselves for our
personal daily needs. There is great instruction for each of us.
Mt 6:21 If our treasure is down here in this world, we will
have many anxious cares and those treasures can vanish very
quickly; but our treasure is in heaven (the Lord Jesus).
Mt 6:33 The same thought.
Our trials on earth put nature to the test; they bring out what
is in the heart. They prove what is in us, and thanks be to God,
they bring out what is in Him for us!
Mt 7:1-6 Remembering our own weakness and failure when trying
to be a help to others. This 6th verse refers more to our
individual contact with people rather than the general preaching
of the gospel.
Mt 7:7-12 We can enjoy a happy trust in God as our Father, and
bring every problem to Him.
Mt 7:13-14 A narrow gate and a narrow way which lead to life;
and a wide gate and a broad way that leads to destruction (death).
Which are you on?
Mt 7:15-23 There will be many who will bring in false teachings
and we need to be on guard. There is a day coming when the Lord
Jesus will say to those false teachers "depart from Me, I never
Mt 7:24-29 There are many who have heard the words of the Lord,
but have never received the Lord Jesus Christ as their Saviour and
yet are acting outwardly in a way that may seem to be very
The knowledge and acknowledgment of grace produces worship and
obedience in the believer.
Mt 8:1-4 In the days of Moses, if a man were to reach out and
touch a leper, he would immediately become unclean. But the Lord
Jesus was able to reach out His hand, touch this poor leper and
cleanse the leprosy! Each one of us needs to feel the touch of our
blessed Lord day by day.
Mt 8:5-l3 The Lord Jesus heals one who was not a Jew. A lovely
reminder that the grace of God would soon go out to us who are
Gentiles. The Lord Jesus is able to heal both diseases.
Mt 8:17 There are those who would wrongly teach that the Lord
Jesus bore these sicknesses and infirmities while He was dying on
the cross, and that, therefore, we who know Him as our Saviour can
have all our illnesses healed. Not true, as we can see from this
verse. He participates in our sicknesses.
Mt 8:20 This is the first time that Jesus is called "the Son of
Man". This was His title in showing His lowliness. We also see the
first intimation of His rejection. This title appears 21 times in
Mt 8:23-27 The Lord Jesus had power to still the great storm on
Mt 8:28-34 The demons who possessed these men immediately
recognized the Lord Jesus and called Him the Son of God. How
remarkable this is that even demons recognized who the Lord Jesus
was, although many of the scribes and priests refused to recognize
Him as the Son of God.
Mt 8:34 A very sad ending to this story. The people actually
asked Him to depart out of their coasts. That which happened to
the swine in verse 32 is probably a picture of that which happened
to the proud Jews who rejected the Lord Jesus and refused to own
Him as the Son of God.
I would be in a lot of trouble if His love were dependent upon
what I am and do.
MATTHEW 9, Verses 1-17
Mt 9:1-8 If a great man appeared on earth, and brought
unimagined goodness and power, and could deal with every problem
of the human race, and cure them... he would be received with
great acclaim. But such an One has come! We read of how He was
received. The heart of man has been exposed - such is our heart.
Mt 9:9 A lovely contrast... Matthew, the writer of this very
book not only hears the invitation from the blessed Lord, but
obeys Him. Are we?
Mt 9:10-13 All spiritual intelligence depends on what we think
of the Lord Jesus. These religious leaders did not believe in Him,
so this is how their minds worked. This principle runs all through
the believer's life... the more we believe in Him, the more we
understand His Word. And we can lose this understanding too
Mt 9:14-17 The religion of the Jews - the Old Testament is
pictured by the "old garment" and "old bottles"; Christianity by
the "new cloth" and "new wine". The old and new cannot mix with
the new one. If they are put together they make the old worse. But
many believers today are doing this very thing... they are mixing
Christian truth with traditions from the Old Testament - rituals -
music - altars, beautiful buildings - clergy - All these are the
old. Read 2 Corinthians 5:17.
We are accepted in the blood and wrapped up in His love.
MATTHEW 9, Verses l8-35
Mt 9:18-26 (20-22 a brief interruption - an example of what
faith in Christ could do). A Gentile in authority displays great
faith in the Person of Christ, and we see the fruit of this faith.
Mt 9:27-31 Another example of believing (faith is believing).
"Believe ye that I am able?" This is the key to growth in your
Mt 9:32-35 Notice that it was the "gospel of the kingdom" Jesus
was preaching, not the gospel that we preach today. The book of
Matthew never tells us the gospel of the grace of God. That gospel
came out after Jesus died and rose again.
Only eyes washed by tears can see clearly.
In the last 3 verses of yesterday's chapter, we read of the
Lord speaking about sending out workers into His harvest field.
Today's chapter tells us He cares, and so He sends out the
laborers... His 12 apostles. He is the Lord of the harvest. But to
properly understand the book of Matthew, you need to remember that
it is mainly to Israel that all refers. Verse 5 makes this plain -
they were not to go outside the borders of Israel. They were to
preach that the kingdom of heaven was going to be set up. They
were to present the Messiah.
Mt 10:5-15 The instructions in detail what they were to say,
and where they were to say it.
Mt 10:16-42 More general statements for the disciples. All this
was said and done before He was rejected, and therefore it never
was carried out. The Lord Jesus when He comes in power and glory
(when we believers come back with Him) then He will carry out all
this chapter. (For the believer now it is a kingdom in mystery for
there is no visible king.)
A spiritual person is one who recognizes that he is made of the
same stuff as those that fall. Galatians 6:1
Mt 11:2-9 John the Baptist is in prison because he had the
courage to speak out against the immorality of King Herod (see
14:3-4). In prison he hears reports of the work of Christ. In his
Jewish heart there lurked some uncertainties. "If Jesus is the
real Messiah, doing all these miracles, why am I, the forerunner,
in prison?" would be something like the thoughts he had. But
Christ, the Messiah, having come, He was going to be His own
witness; so John's work was done. But he was being tested, and the
Lord graciously sends a reassuring message to John. Instead of
John the Baptist being a witness about Jesus, the Lord becomes a
witness about John.
Mt 11:20-24 This is the Lord's statement of what awful
punishment lay ahead for these very cities in which the Lord was
visiting. The more a person hears and therefore knows, the more
responsible he is. We must not forget this fact.
Mt 11:25-30 The Lord is being rejected, and He feels it. He
speaks to His Father, and we are allowed to hear the words. He
reveals the Father to us believers.
Mt 11:28-30 When all the world has turned against Jesus, He
holds out one hope for everyone - "Come unto Me".
Mt 11:29 Then, when we have come to Him, and received Him as
our Saviour, He says this. In this invitation we find
responsibility for every believer. Then we find rest.
God hears the heart without words, but never hears words
without the heart.
MATTHEW 12, Verses 1-30
Mt 12:1-8 This story has a meaning. The Lord, having been
rejected, is telling that the test is finished. He had presented
Himself to His people Israel and they had rejected Him. Jesus
refers to the Old Testament scriptures where David, rejected by
King Saul, eats the holy bread which only the priests were to eat.
The two incidents are through rejection - David and the Son of
David - Jesus. The whole Jewish system of the Old Testament,
including the Sabbath day, was passing away. One greater than the
Sabbath had come!... but they would not have Him. One greater than
the temple was there (verse 6) but they did not recognize Him.
Mt 12:10-13 Another proof that the Sabbath was being set aside.
Mt 12:14 The first time His destruction is openly planned. They
were children of the murderer (John 8:44).
Mt 12:15 He had the opposite in His heart... He healed all who
came to Him.
Mt 12:22-30 A man blind and dumb... a clear picture of Israel
before God. An awful accusation the unbelievers make against the
Lord Jesus, thus proving their true condition. Jesus proves how
absurd their argument was... Satan would not destroy his own
Among Christians, death has not only lost its sting, but its
name also. Now it is known as "sleep" (Acts 7:60).
MATTHEW 12, Verses 3l-50
Mt 12:31-37 Some people today believe that they could commit
the "unpardonable sin". There is no sin a person can commit today
which cannot be washed clean by the blood of Christ - (1st Epistle
of John 1:7). The Lord Jesus was preaching "the gospel of the
kingdom". The death, blood shedding and resurrection of Christ had
not yet taken place, the Holy Spirit had not yet come to earth as
a Person, so these words apply to a person in that day, under the
law. They will also in the day to come, after we are gone to
glory. The Spirit's work was then displayed in the miracles Jesus
performed. That display of the work of the Spirit of God shall
return in the millennium (Heb. 6:5).
Mt 12:38-45 They ask for a sign! These are wicked men (verse
45) and the Lord takes this occasion to pronounce awful judgments
to come. (The story of Jonah being thrown into the sea, was a
picture of the death and resurrection of Christ).
Mt 12:46-50 Once more, the Lord is showing the changes which
resulted from His rejection. His relationships with His family
were all being set aside. With this chapter, ends the presenting
of Jesus to Israel as Messiah. He is rejected.
Need and helplessness are ever the golden keys to unlock the
treasures of grace. If need is great, infinite resources are open
for faith to draw upon.
MATTHEW 13, Verses 1-23
Mt 13:1 When the "house" has been mentioned in Matthew up to
this chapter, it was referring to Israel. The Lord here goes out
of the "house". (See yesterday's comments). He sits by the
Mt 13:2 Now His message is going to have a wide range ("to
multitudes"), beyond even Israel... it was to the Gentiles, us.
Mt 13:3-9 The Sower (Christ) goes out with the seed (the Word
of God). Up until this chapter we could say that the Lord came to
earth looking for "fruit" in Israel; but found none. Here He
starts something new. The seed is always the same, what makes the
difference is the soil... how the Word of God is received. These
parables are not of salvation, for we could never lose that.
Mt 13:11-17 Why the Lord speaks in parables (in riddles). He
makes a distinction for the first time between the nation of
Israel and a little group which we could call "the remnant".
Mt 13:18-23 He explains the meaning of the parable. The more we
understand the Word, the better we know the Lord - John 17:3.
Fruit is produced in your life according to how much God's Word
takes root in you.
He showed them His hands and His side, not to declare that man
hated Him, but that God loved them. John 20:20
MATTHEW 13, Verses 24-58
Mt 13:24-34 This parable is more general, more public. It is a
view of the western world (Christendom). The true believers and
those who only profess it all living in the same world. (Of
course, not that we are to mix with them.) The Lord doesn't take
us immediately to heaven when He saves us. The day will come when
He will separate the believers from the unbelievers (the mere
professors) who then will be cast into hell (the oven). The tares
(weeds) are the bad doctrine which is preached.
Some do not like to be reminded that to go on with an
organization which permits that which they know is contrary to
God's Word, is allowing Satan to plant these tares in their life.
A farmer once said that for every food-bearing grain, there was a
weed which looked like it. Let us all beware of bad teaching. Let
us have the courage to separate from it to Christ our Centre.
These three parables have presented the kingdom of heaven in its
outward form in the world. Everyone, whether truly saved or not,
who says "I am a Christian", is in this kingdom of heaven. It is
Mt 13:44-50 These three are more inward... it is like a view
which God the Spirit has of things as they are today. (They were
more for the disciples than for the multitude, verse 36).
Mt 13:44 The field is the world; the treasure is the believers;
the man is Christ; selling all, giving Himself, spirit, soul and
body. He buys it, and redeems the believers out of the world.
Mt 13:45-50 The pearl is the believers; the net is the word of
the gospel; the sea is the restless world. What an end for the
unbeliever, what a beginning (joy with Christ) for the believer!
Mt 13:52 Things new and old. The Jews knew the doctrine of the
kingdom, but that the kingdom would go out to the whole world was
new to them.
Mt 13:54-58 The leaders had no heart for Him and see Him only
as the carpenter's son!
Attachment to Christ is the only secret of detachment from the
Mt 14:1-2 Herod (the Roman Provincial Governor) was able to say
correct things about the political affairs of Israel, but he did
not know the truth of spiritual matters.
Mt 14:3-12 A true picture of the heart of an unsaved person.
Herod puts his own glory first. Then he rids himself of the man
(John) who gave him a bad conscience. A good conscience makes us
calm and quiet. Herod's bad conscience kept reminding him of John
whom he had murdered. The works of Jesus made Herod think that
John was risen from the dead, and the thought filled him with
Mt 14:13-14 What a contrast with the tender heart of Jesus.
Herod was a murderer, Jesus was a healer.
Mt 14:15-21 The third view of hearts... the disciples. They had
not learned much from Jesus. "Send the people away", say His
disciples. "Bring them ... to me", Jesus responds. The disciples
were looking at the problem, not at the Person.
Mt 14:22-33 Beautiful instruction as to the works of the Lord
Jesus in heaven now. First He sustained Peter on the water... that
is like the work the Lord Jesus is doing in heaven as our great
High Priest... He is praying for us and keeping us in communion
with God. He is praying for us and keeping us in communion with
God (Hebrews 7:25, 9:24). But when Peter sinks because he sees the
waves and is afraid, the Lord immediately is beside him, and lifts
him up. This illustrates the second work, and that is, the Lord
Jesus as our Advocate. He acts as such when we sin or fail (1st
Epistle of John 2:1). The Lord Jesus now in heaven is both our
High Priest (keeping us in communion) and Advocate (when we sin).
The word "advocate" means "one who pleads for another"... like a
You are listening to Satan, you who seek even the least little
bit of the world.
Mt 15:1-9 Jesus is being rejected by Israel in the last few
chapters. Notice that His teachings are quite changed from here
on. Jewish leaders wanted only to keep up the religious
traditions. As a result of this rejection, the Lord is going to
tell them that the kingdom is all set aside, and that He is going
to die. Religious tradition is one of Satan's greatest weapons.
(Are we willing to bow to the Word of God and check everything by
Mt 15:10 Hear! Understand! It's as simple as that.
Mt 15:11-20 In our flesh there is nothing but evil! It is not
what goes into us which soils us, but it is that which comes out
of us. Do we cling to the idea that there is a little bit of good
in us? Then we are not hearing. Hear and understand (verse 10).
Mt 15:21-28 This woman doesn't pretend there is any good in her
... she brings her sorrow to Him. He delights to bring His love.
He is the only source of all true joy, strength, knowledge and
Mt 15:29-3l Are you bringing your sorrows, trials, problems to
Him; and hearing? Some do the first and don't listen. He is our
Mt 15:32-39 He feeds us! Are we drawing from Him? What a
message for our conscience. The disciples see only the problems.
Hear and understand! They didn't hear, they only reason. But the
blessed Lord didn't stop (read 2 Tim. 2:13 for encouragement).
The human life cannot be invaded by the Divine without making a
MATTHEW 16, Verses 1-12
With this chapter comes a whole, entirely new subject, never
mentioned before... the church (Christ's assembly), Jesus was
going to build. But let's review what has been given, and now is
being set aside. (1) The total failure of Israel in their about
1,500 years of testing (since Moses and the law were given). (2)
The uselessness of a religion of forms and ceremonies. (3) Man's
heart has been exposed to a Perfect Man among them. It is rotten
through and through. But still, God cannot be defeated, even
although the generation of people Jesus was among had seen a
Perfect Man, all this was abandoned.
Mt 16:1 The combination of Pharisees and Sadducees was very
unusual, for they hated each other. But opposition to Christ
always unites. They ask for a sign! They have had signs before
their eyes in every miracle which He performed, yet they wouldn't
accept Him. But they will get a sign when it shall be too late!
Turn to chapter 24:29-30. God never acts without first giving
Mt 16:2-5 He speaks plainly about their seeking a sign. Their
refusing Him, causes Him to do the last sentence of verse 4. What
a terrible thing to happen to anyone.
Mt 16:6-12 Even the disciples are slow to believe Him, and to
understand... these two things always go together. Evil doctrine
is generally pictured by "leaven" (yeast) in Scripture.
We need the divine disposition developed in our souls through
the enjoyment of Him.
MATTHEW 16, Verses 13-28
Mt 16:13-20 Here we come to the third class. The first was the
haughty, unbelieving Pharisees, (they rejected the Messiah). The
second, the disciples. They were conscious of the divine authority
in Christ, but were careless. The third, Peter, one who is
inspired of God to utter a glorious statement. He confesses Christ
as the Son of the Living God, and the One Who is just about to
return to glory as the Son of Man!
Many people listen to bad doctrine on these verses, and believe
that Peter was the rock on which the church was to be built. But
this is wrong. It is the statement which he made, "Thou art the
Christ, the Son of the living God", which is the rock foundation
on which the church is built. Peter was given the keys of the
kingdom of heaven on earth, not the keys of the church (the church
of Rome claims this).
Mt 16:21-28 The great change in the Lord's teachings now takes
place. This is the first time He tells what was going to happen to
Him. It is worth noting that four times in this Gospel this is
told; here, 17:22; 20:17; 26:2 and three of these mention that He
would rise the third day. Yet when He rose up the disciples didn't
believe! Mark 16:9-11.
The kingdom which He came to set up is now deferred. (It shall
be established in the millennium). He is going to die. Salvation
through His death and resurrection is going to be the gospel which
will be preached. (1 Cor 15:1-4)
The gentleness of Christ is the most beautiful ornament a
Christian can wear.
MATTHEW 17, Verses 1-13
There are three things which replace the Jewish religion
(Judaism); (1) the kingdom of heaven as it exists at the present.
This we read of in the 13th chapter. Every person who claims to be
a Christian is in it, but not necessarily saved. (2) The church of
God. All, and only true believers are in it. (We received just a
glimpse of it in the 16th chapter.) (3) The kingdom in glory. This
is a brief view into the future, in the transfiguration of our
blessed Lord (verses 1-8), when He shall be glorified. Every
believer in Him shall see Him in this way!
Mt 17:3 Moses had been buried by the Lord (Deut. 34:5-6).
Elijah had been caught to heaven by the Lord (2 Kings 2:11). We
could also say that Moses represented the law, Elijah representing
the prophets. Both pass away. The three disciples are not to put
Jesus on a level with these men, for God the Father speaks from
heaven (verse 5).
Mt 17:8 If it were true of us all, what different people we
Mt 17:9 The Son of God was going to be glorified as Son of Man.
This latter title is only taken after He has been rejected and
humiliated. Try to get this point. Because He was willing to go so
low, God will give Him the highest place, and as a Man.
Mt 17:10-13 "Elias" is the same man as Elijah. They are
confused about Elijah being on the mountain. The Lord explains
that John the Baptist announced the coming of Jesus (John 1:6-8
and 15) when He came the first time... but he is like what Elijah
shall be in the future, when he (Elijah) shall return and announce
the coming of the Lord in His glory.
Nothing wounds love so much as indifference.
MATTHEW 17, Verses 14-27
Mt 17:14-21 Privileged as these three had been to see the
Lord's glory, this did not help them to be able to cure the poor
moon-struck (that is what "lunatic" means) man. Prayer and
sincerity attach us to God as nothing else will do.
Mt 17:22-23 The second time He explains carefully what would be
done to Him. We will hear it twice more. So, four times He tells
it, and they couldn't even understand it, let alone believe it
(see Luke 18:34).
Mt 17:24-27 The Jews come to collect a tax for the temple. They
try to catch Him. Christ was Son of the God of the temple, and
includes Peter with Himself in that place of privilege. As such
they didn't need to pay the tax. But He takes the place of being a
stranger and pays! He shows Who He really is by this miracle.
Most of the decisions we make in daily life can be guided by
the precepts, promises or principles found in the Scriptures. The
better we know the Word of God, the better we will know the will
Chapter 18 connects itself with chapter 16, for chapter 17 has
not yet come to pass. Remember that Jesus was being rejected and
was going toward the cross. Everything therefore is changing. They
are here being taught how they were to act in this new
situation... a real contrast to their old Jewish or natural ways.
Mt 18:1-6 Humility teaches us that we need to be like little
Mt 18:7-14 Self is the cause of so much trouble. The Lord here
shows that if we are going to learn from Him, we must be willing
to humble ourselves.
Mt 18:15-20 Instruction for when another believer offends you.
Start out, not by spreading stories about the other, but by going
right to him. What sorrows we would avoid if we carried out this
instruction. What healing there would be among believers! The
assembly here refers to those believers who are gathered by the
Spirit of God to the name of the Lord Jesus, as actually happened
when He, the Holy Spirit came to earth (Acts 2:1-4 and 1 Cor.
12:13). What disobedience we see today when the church is divided
into scores of denominations. Isn't it the same unbelief as we
have been seeing in the disciples in this Book of Matthew?
There is power in the midst of even two or three so gathered.
The decisions may not always be right, but the authority is there.
Mt 18:20 The name to which we are gathered. It does not say
"gather", for this is not a voluntary association. The Spirit of
God gathers us. The question is, are we willing to believe it and
to let Him?
Mt 18:20-22 God was willing to forgive Israel even after they
had crucified His beloved Son - Acts 3:19-21. If God is so
forgiving, ought not we to be the same?
Mt 18:23-35 A graphic illustration of the above. If we
translate that money into today's currency, we see the point. The
first man owed about ten million dollars. That is something like
our sin debt to God, He frankly forgave us. The second man owed
twenty dollars. Like our debts to one another!
There is not a joy in heaven that we have not the taste of now,
except the glorified body.
Mt 19:1-12 In answer to this question, the Lord Jesus takes
them right back to God's original institution of marriage. He
recognizes that God had allowed Moses to write bills of
divorcement because of the hardness of their heart. But we
believers now know, from such scriptures as Eph. 5:22-33, that God
had an even more glorious purpose in establishing marriage. It was
to be a picture of a union which could never, never be broken -
the union of Christ and His bride, the Church, or assembly. This
is a spiritual union. It has been made possible by Christ's death
on the cross. So in this way the Spirit of God, through Christ,
provides a spiritual power for the believer which is more powerful
Mt 19:13-15 God's creation was very good (Gen. 1:31). Though
much of it has been ruined by sin, much also remains. Children are
an example of that first creation. We love children, they are
God's gift to us. We see here the value God places on them, for
when we believe we become His children. 1 John 3:1-2.
Mt 19:16-22 This man, who came to Jesus, had kept the
relationships of life. What more was needed? Paul, before he was
saved, was as blameless as this man. But the heart was away from
God. We do not here have the gospel, for Jesus had not yet died.
But it shows a Jew trying to find life with his old heart, and he
can't. So he goes away sorrowful.
Mt 19:23-30 The disciples also needed instruction. In the Old
Testament, riches had been a sign of God's blessing. But no
longer. Now blessing is in the heart.
Mt 19:27-30 Eternal life comes from believing that Christ died
to put away my sins from God's sight forever; and not keeping the
law. Remember, Jesus had not yet died and risen again. Now Romans
6:23 makes all plain and simple for today. Yet people today still
try to follow Christ's teachings without accepting Him as their
It takes one already outside of - apart from - the world to
rescue people from it, to show even to the worst, the grace of
Mt 20:1-16 About rewards. (For the believer, reward is not
offered to us by God as a motive or reason, but to encourage us to
endure. Keep on! It is all grace, not law). Those who agreed for
their penny, received their penny. Those who trusted the lord of
the vineyard, received according to his heart. Which is better?
This land-owner, is a picture of Christ, Who is always fair in all
Mt 20:17-19 Here we have the third time the Lord tells of His
Mt 20:20-28 The Lord Jesus takes the lowest place in teaching
Mt 20:22 The two types of suffering... "the cup", the inward
suffering; "baptism" like the outward sufferings. At verse 28 ends
the section which began at chapter 18:l. We could say that the
chapter should end here, for the balance really belongs to chapter
Mt 20:20-34 The Lord starts on His final journey to Jerusalem
and death. Wonderful story. The blind men can see better than
those around them, for they see the King (verse 31).
We realize strength in proportion as we mistrust self. 2
MATTHEW 21, Verses 1-22
Mt 21:1-11 The Old Testament had often foretold of Christ as
the King to come. (Ps. 45:1, Zechariah 9:9). But, though Israel
should have recognized Him, for Zechariah 9:9 says He would appear
as a lowly Person; they reject and crucify their King. They were
Mt 21:12-13 He acts what He is... holy King and Judge... He
clears the temple of its corruption.
Mt 21:15-16 Children do what Israel should have done.
Mt 21:17 They reject Him first, so He abandons them (never the
reverse - read Gen. 3:8, they hid first). He would not sleep in
the condemned, though loved city.
Mt 21:18 He returns to the city, but not in the same way.
Mt 21:19-22 A picture of the final judgment of the Old Israel.
There is no tyranny like the tyranny of a self-righteous
conscience, there is no suffering like the suffering inflicted
upon oneself under the goadings of a legal conscience.
MATTHEW 21, Verses 23-44
Mt 21:23-27 This rejection continues; but His wisdom silences
them. Their conscience condemns them.
Mt 21:28-32 The repentant sinner, not the pretending obedient
one, does the will of God. (Not very flattering for us!)
Mt 21:33-43 The man had done everything possible in his
vineyard to make it produce fruit, but all failed. A parable which
pictures God's work with Israel (like the whole of the Old
Testament He sent prophets to Israel, one after another. Then He
sent His Son, and they killed Him). But God shall not be
disappointed in the end!
Mt 21:42 The stone, of course is Christ.
Mt 21:44 The Lord Jesus came the first time, and they stumbled
over Him, but when He comes the next time in judgment He shall
grind the unbelieving to powder.
The Christian's normal mode of life is being governed by
Christ, as a man's body by his head.
(Yesterday's story, in verses 33-46 is an amazing summary of
the Old Testament).
Mt 22:1-14 This is a summary of the New Testament. In the
other, the Son is dead, in this He is alive again, and the King
(God) is making a wedding for His Son (the Lord Jesus.)
Mt 22:3-8 Unbelievable, but true. The Gospel of salvation goes
first to the Jews (the ones who had crucified God's Son). See Acts
28:27 and 28.
Mt 22:9-10 Not very flattering picture of us Gentiles to whom
the Gospel, the invitation to the wedding, has gone out. Pure
grace has made some of us accept!
Mt 22:11-13 A view from God's side. Fine outward appearance
will not provide entrance to heaven. What suited the King would
alone be allowed there.
Mt 22:15-46 Many hear the invitation, no one would voluntarily
accept, and a few are chosen by God. Three classes of enemies
confront the Lord. First the Pharisees... they prided themselves
on their holiness, devotion to God, and knowledge of the law. The
Herodians were a party which sided with the Roman-appointed king
Herod. They joined with him in trying to blend the Jews with
Grecian and Roman customs and looseness. How awful the mixture
when the Pharisees joined with the Herodians against Jesus! Satan
of course was behind it.
Mt 22:22-33 The Sadducees believed that the soul perished with
the body and therefore there was no resurrection (Acts 23:8). The
Lord condemned them severely (3:7). Forerunners of today's
infidels and reasoners. These three groups contended for different
things, and all were wrong. In their hatred of Christ, they were
willing to unite and forget their differences.
Faith does not look at outward circumstances, at what is
possible or not possible; faith disregards what seems, and looks
This chapter is a denunciation by the Lord of those who led the
people to reject Him, the only One Who could bring them into
blessing! The taking of a place and name among the people, whether
it be "Rabbi" or "Father" is all condemned. People who today use
the name of "Reverend", come under the same condemnation. The
disciples were forbidden to follow their works, though the Old
Testament scriptures were still to be read and followed. These
leaders not only would not go into the kingdom themselves, but
forbade the people to go in!
Mt 23:37 What a cry from the lips of our blessed Lord! What a
heart-break for Him. What love for His people!
Mt 23:39 Yet He looked forward to a day when Israel would turn
to the same blessed Jesus. Read Psalm 118. It is still future.
It is not what you eat that nourishes your body. It is what you
MATTHEW 24, Verses 1-28
The Lord here starts to tell the future of the world.
Mt 24:1-2 The disciples still thought that the great temple was
to be the centre of God's dealings with His people. They did not
yet know that the true temple was the Lord's body.
Mt 24:3-5 The Lord warns that many will try to deceive the
believers. (Today we are seeing it as never before).
Mt 24:6-14 These refer to the first half of the tribulation
period. For those who wish to go into prophecy a little more, we
might mention that if you read about the 7 seals in Revelation 6,
you will see the similarity to these points; wars and rumors of
wars (verse 6), famine and pestilence (verse 7), false prophets
(verse 11). But it is possible that these verses are an outline of
that whole chapter.
Mt 24:15-31 In the middle of the 7 years of the tribulation,
great changes take place. The false Messiah who has pretended to
be Christ for the first three and a half years, will suddenly
announce who he really is - the Antichrist, against God. Then the
real tribulation begins.
The wisdom of God is not an extension of man's wisdom, it is
not an improvement of man's wisdom, but in every case, it is the
opposite of man's wisdom.
MATTHEW 24, Verses 29-5l
Mt 24:29-31 Are like a quieter review of the same period. At
the end of these seven years, the Lord Jesus appears out of
heaven, (and we believers will be with Him. Revelation 19:14).
Mt 24:32 to ch. 25:30 Is like a parenthesis, and points toward
this same great event. (Won't that be some day for us! Read 2 Tim.
4:8. Are you loving that moment?)
Mt 24:36-5l These refer to the things which will take place on
this earth (after we believers have been taken to heaven). Be sure
you understand this.
Mt 24:40-41 This is not the rapture. The unbelievers are taken
and the believers left (just the opposite). It is interesting to
see the Lord's different titles during these changing events.
Mt 24:4l-44 He is seen as "Son of Man" in verse 44; as "Lord"
in 25:20; and as "King" in 25:34.
Take your circumstances from the Lord, and your difficulties to
Mt 25:1-13 This well-known parable has many application, let us
apply it to the Lord's coming. Today even the true believers (the
5 wise) are going to sleep. Then before the Lord comes there is a
restoration of the truth that the Lord is coming. This hope was
lost to the church for hundreds and hundreds of years, and was
only restored in the early days of 1800. We are close to His
coming for us. The foolish are caught without oil (life or the
Holy Spirit) and the door is shut on them forever!
Mt 25:14-30 This parable can be applied to our service down
here. Three people are given different abilities. The first two
have something in common... they know their Master. They have
different abilities, but their rewards are the same. It does not
matter how much ability we have, but how well we know the Lord.
Then the third man. Though he said he knew the Master, he did not
at all. Do not forget, this is not speaking about salvation, for a
believer can never be lost, but his service can be all lost unless
he learns about the Lord. Many believers don't seem to grow in the
knowledge of the Lord (see 2 Peter 3:18).
Mt 25:3l-46 The Lord Jesus will come in His glory and shall
gather the living nations before Him, and shall separate the
people one from the other. Those on His right side shall populate
the earth during the millennium and the unbelievers on His left
shall be cast into hell directly. (They shall not stand before the
throne of Rev. 20:12).
The only failure of an Old Testament saint recorded in the New
Testament is that of Elijah making intercession to God against
Israel - against his own brethren. (Romans 11:2-3)
MATTHEW 26, Verses 1-35
Mt 26:1-2 With great calmness the Lord tells the disciples for
the fourth and last time what is about to happen. The True
Passover was to be sacrificed ... the Lamb of God Who takes away
the sin of the world.
Mt 26:6-13 The same person - Mary, sister of Lazarus as in John
12, but here the attention is more on Jesus.
Mt 26:8-11 Spending anything on Jesus is a waste in the eyes of
Mt 26:14-16 The complete contrast with Mary. Judas, possibly
seeing all this money wasted, is roused to carry out his dreadful
deed... the betrayal of our blessed Lord. Compare this with Exodus
21:32, the same amount (the price of a slave) that the Lord was
sold by Judas for.
Mt 26:17-29 The Lord now institutes the supper. What an
experience for His disciples to hear Him speak these words. Do we
respond according to the Scriptures?
Mt 26:30-35 They hear further words from His lips as to what
was to happen, yet they didn't believe that He was going to rise
from the dead.
If you could have chosen a period of time in which to have
lived you couldn't have chosen a more blessed time than the
present - especially with the Lord's coming so imminent.
MATTHEW 26, Verses 36-75
Mt 26:36-46 The agony He went through in the garden of
Gethsemane as He thought of the cross can be understood (a bit) by
the words He used as He spoke to His Father in heaven. But all was
settled here. We will hear different words from Him on the
cross... watch for them. Only some are in this Gospel. The Lord
was forsaken by God but not by the Father.
Mt 26:47-56 The dreadful scene at His betrayal... The flesh
acting in Judas, but also in Peter. Alas in them all... "then all
the disciples forsook Him and fled."
Mt 26:57-75 They are leading Him to Caiaphas. Peter followed
Him, but how? Notice the last four words of verse 58 (they
Mt 26:59 Corruption and violence go in a parallel line through
Mt 26:64 They hear a clear statement as to Who He is from His
own blessed lips.
Mt 26:67 Remember that they do this to our Lord before He is
Mt 26:69-75 Peter is full of self-confidence, and yet never
really giving up his faith, for his poor heart was true. The
Lord's prayer for him (Luke 22:32), has been answered. The Lord's
look, full of grace, broke him down, and he went out and wept
bitterly. It was the sorrow of repentance, not despair, which was
the blessed result in his heart.
Do you imagine that the choicest blessings are placed on some
high shelf which you must climb to reach? They are placed within
the reach of the lowly - to have them you must stoop.
MATTHEW 27, verses 1-31
It starts with a "morning"; a dreadful night had just passed;
Jesus had been spit on and struck by the religious leaders; now we
see Him taken before the Roman governor, Pilate, that He might be
put to death! The only perfect Man Who ever lived! In the book of
Job 4:7, two questions were asked; read them, and then think of
what this world did to this "innocent" and "righteous" Man. (v.
Mt 27:1-10 The Jews could not put any one to death, only the
Roman governor could do this. Judas seems to have thought that the
Lord would escape as He had done before. Satan could lead him to
do this dreadful act, but he could not protect him from the result
of sin. What was the money to him now!
Mt 27:9-10 Notice that even what Judas had done was predicted
in the Old Testament (Zechariah 11:12 & 13),almost 500 years
before it happened. In V. 3 "repented himself" means he had
painful regret for what he had done.
Mt 27:11-31 The trial before Pilate. The Lord's own testimony
is the foundation of all... "thou sayest". The Truth itself was
standing before Pilate! He was the "Son of God" before the
priests, and King before the Roman Governor.
Mt 27:14-24 Weak Pilate tries to find a way to release Jesus.
His heart too is exposed to us. His wife's dream adds to his
dilemma. These acknowledged the Lord's innocence. Judas, v. 4;
Pilate's wife, v. 19; Pilate, v. 24; Herod, Luke 23:15; one of the
thieves, Luke 23;41; the centurion, Luke 23:47 and those with him,
V. 54. At least seven! He gives way to the priests' desires and
yields Jesus to their will.
Mt 27:25 A cry which they shall remember in a day yet future.
Mt 27:26-31 They would rather have a murderer than Jesus! Then
the Roman soldiers take Jesus and begin a series of dreadful,
shameful insults before taking Him outside the city to crucify
We can be thankful for difficulties which God allows to come
into our lives; they serve a purpose of weaning us from this
MATTHEW 27, Verses 32-66
Mt 27:32-44 The insults and cruelties against the Lord do not
decline as the crucifixion takes place. Usually men grow silent in
moments of death, but not here. In Psalm 69:19-21 we read of how
He felt inwardly.
Mt 27:45-46 So we might not be forsaken. See also Heb. 13:5.
Read it also in Psalm 22, written almost a thousand years before.
Mt 27:50 His life was yielded up. No man took it from Him.
Mt 27:51 Read Heb. 10:19-20.
Mt 27:55-56 Faithful women knew God's thoughts, as we shall see
Mt 27:57-60 Not an apostle, but an unknown rich man does the
work of laying the Lord's body in his own tomb.
Mt 27:62-66 The chief priests displayed more knowledge of the
resurrection than the disciples. They also feared what they would
Mothers, God is going to reward every effort of faith that you
have sought in quietness to perform for Him.
God's mighty power is about to be made known - Read Eph.
1:19-20. The angel does not speak to the guards, but to the
faithful women. He rolls away the stone, not to let the Lord out,
but to let the women see in. Notice the heaven-sent messages they
give. The soldiers became as dead men (verse 4). How could the
soldiers forget this! They didn't say a word about it, that we
Mt 28:8 Joy fills their hearts, and they rightly desire to
share it with the disciples.
Mt 28:9-10 Jesus Himself intercepts them. The object of their
joy is right in front of them. They hold Him by the feet, and "did
Him homage", as the words should be. The Jews even bribe the
soldiers to tell lies, to hide the truth of the resurrection. Such
is the world!
Mt 28:16-20 So Jesus meets them in Galilee and there the story
ends, for Israel's blessing is not a heavenly one, but an earthly.
You will remember that we sometimes speak of a remnant...
something which is a part, but separate from the main story.
After we believers are taken up to heaven (maybe today) God is
going to open the eyes of a small number of Jews, to understand
that Jesus was truly their Messiah! This little group is known as
the "remnant". In our chapter today, these five verses are a
picture of the future group; the ascension of the Lord isn't
mentioned because this gospel is mainly about Israel, so the story
goes right into the future days.
There are over 85 quotations from, or allusions to verses in
the Old Testament found in Matthew. So this wonderful,
instructive, but distinctly Jewish book comes to a close, yet ever
to be opened to discover new treasures.