Springboarding off of the Apostle Paul’s life focus, clearly expressed in 1 Corinthians 2:2, Pastor Greg launched an “open-ended” message series on January 12th, 2020 – focusing on “Just Jesus.” He is walking us through the entire New Testament, pulling passages from the Old Testament for context, and keep us focused throughout the year on “Just Jesus.” This week he gives us an overview of chapters 14-28 of the Gospel of Matthew.
THE BASIS FOR THIS SERIES: 1 Corinthians 2:2
For I determined to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ, and Him crucified. ~ 1 Corinthians 2:2
… preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires, and will turn away their ears from the truth and will turn aside to myths. But you, be sober in all things, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry. ~ 2 Timothy 4:2-5
Written by Matthew: The Tax Collector
One of the Original Twelve
Writing to a Jewish Audience
Written between 60-80 AD
THREE KEY THEMES
1) Jesus is the Promised Messiah from the line of King David, prophesied about in the Old Testament.
2) Jesus is the continuation of the authoritative teaching and prophecy in the line of Moses. The “New Moses.” Greater than Moses.
3) Jesus is actually God in the flesh, shown in one of His names or titles, Immanuel, which MEANS “God With Us.”
The core is five mini-books within a book. Each a mini-bio and teaching block of Jesus. Reminiscent of the Torah/Pentateuch. Jesus (and His teachings) are the “New Torah.”
4th SECTION: Matthew 14-20
Jesus continues healing. Jesus miraculously feeds two massive crowds. (One Jewish ~ One Gentile)
JESUS IS LIKE MOSES
Moses provided manna and quail in the wilderness. Jesus provides bread and fish in the wilderness.
THOSE WHO REJECT JESUS
Messianic Expectations based on Scriptures like Psalm 2 and Daniel 2. Describe a military conqueror, a victorious Messiah. A Messiah who will deliver Israel by defeating their pagan oppressors. In this case, the Romans. They see Him as a false teacher, a blasphemer. They plot to kill him.
JESUS WILL WILLINGLY LAY DOWN HIS LIFE AT THE APPOINTED TIME
For this reason the Father loves Me, because I lay down My life so that I may take it again. No one has taken it away from Me, but I lay it down on My own initiative. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again. This commandment I received from My Father.” ~ John 10:17-18
DO THE DISCIPLES KNOW WHO HE IS?
Now when Jesus came into the district of Caesarea Philippi, He was asking His disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” And they said, “Some say John the Baptist; and others, Elijah; but still others, Jeremiah, or one of the prophets.” He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” Simon Peter answered, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” ~ Matthew 16:13-16
JESUS REVEALS HIMSELF AS “THE SUFFERING SERVANT” (Isaiah 53)
He begins to teach about His planned and imminent death.\
4th BLOCK OF TEACHING: Matthew 18-20
4th mini-book of the New Torah. More teaching on the upside-down nature of His Kingdom. You gain honor by serving not by being served. You forgive and bless your enemy instead of harming them. You gain true wealth by giving material wealth away to the poor.
5th SECTION: Matthew 21-25
The Two Kingdoms Clash. Jesus initiates a showdown. It is the appointed time. Jesus enters Jerusalem on a donkey through the Messianic Gate. Jesus clears the moneychangers. Jesus asserts His Royal Authority. The Pharisees put their murderous plans in action.
5th TEACHING BLOCK
5th and Final Mini-Book of the New Torah. Jesus criticizes the Pharisees. Jesus weeps over Jerusalem’s faithlessness. Jesus withdraws from the public eye. Jesus tells the disciples to expect His imminent death and His resurrection.
CONCLUSION (PART ONE): Matthew 26
The plot to kill Jesus grows. Jesus is anointed in Bethany “for His burial”. Judas is recruited by Pharisees to betray Jesus. Jesus celebrates a final Passover with the disciples.
JESUS IS LIKE MOSES
Moses led the Israelites through the initial Passover. Jesus led the disciples through the last pre-crucifixion Passover.
IN MOSES’ PASSOVER
The angel of death spares their lives, through the substitutionary atonement of each home’s Passover Lamb. Leading to their escape from physical slavery in Egypt.
IN JESUS’ PASSOVER
Jesus assigns new symbology to the elements of the Passover Sedar. Jesus saves us from spiritual death through His substitutionary atonement as the ultimate Passover Lamb, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. Leading to our escape from spiritual slavery to sin.
CONCLUSION (PART TWO): Matthew 26-27
Passover concludes. Jesus and the disciples go to the Mount of Olives. Jesus tells Peter he will deny Him three times. They enter the Garden of Gethsemane. Jesus is betrayed by Judas and arrested. Jesus is led through a mock trial – Sentenced to death. Peter denies knowing Him three times. Judas, filled with remorse, commits suicide. Jesus is taken to Pilate who tries to release Him. Pilate eventually crucifies Him to appease the Pharisees. Jesus is buried in a borrowed tomb. Matthew includes MANY Old Testament Quotes here to show Jesus fulfilling Messianic Prophecies!
NOT a failure on Jesus’ part or a tragedy. THIS was His plan from the very beginning. This is His VICTORY over sin and death. This fulfills Old Testament prophecies about the Messiah as well.
THE FINALE (MATTHEW 28)
Jesus is resurrected three days after His death. The women discover the empty tomb. Jesus appears alive to many for many days after His resurrection.
THE GREAT COMMISSION
He guides His disciples to a mountain in Galilee. He promises to return one day. Jesus’ final “New Torah” teaching in Matthew’s Gospel. Stay alert. Spread the Gospel. Invite people to enter the Kingdom of God
Invite people to become children of God – “Be born again.”
Jesus ascends to heaven before their very eyes.
HOW TO ENTER THE KINGDOM?
1) Repent of our sins.
2) Be baptized (An Initiation Ritual Publicly Proclaiming Faith In Jesus) – Not required for salvation but still commanded to be done by Jesus.
3) Follow Jesus as Fully Devoted Followers.
THE FRONT AND BACK “PAGE” OF THE “NEW TORAH”
FRONT PAGE: “Behold, the virgin shall be with child and shall bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,” which translated means, “GOD WITH US.” ~ Matthew 1:23
BACK PAGE: I AM WITH YOU always, even to the end of the age.” ~ Matthew 28:20b