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LESSON 1 – NEW TESTAMENT POCKET COMMENTARY BIBLE STUDY

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MAILBOX BIBLE COURSE

LESSON 1:  NEW TESTAMENT POCKET COMMENTARY

THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO MATTHEW

INTRODUCTION

BACKGROUND OF MATTHEW

Matthew was collecting taxes one day when Jesus passed by. As soon as the Saviour said, “Follow Me,” Matthew dropped everything and became a faithful disciple. Later Jesus named him as one of the twelve apostles, and still later he was chosen to write the first Gospel.

PURPOSE AND PLAN OF MATTHEW

Matthew's purpose in this Gospel is to show that Jesus of Nazareth is the Messiah-King of Israel, the only rightful claimant to the throne of David. He devotes two chapters to the birth and childhood of Christ; sixteen chapters to His ministry in Galilee; about two chapters to His ministry in Perea, east of the Jordan; about seven chapters to His final week in Jerusalem, leading up to His crucifixion; and one chapter to His resurrection appearances. It is not a complete record of all that Jesus said and did, but incidents from His life and ministry woven together to reveal Him as God's Anointed One.



OUTLINE OF MATTHEW

1    Genealogy and Birth of the Messiah-King    Chapter 1
2    Early Years of the Messiah-King    Chapter 2
3    Preparations for the Messiah's Ministry and His Inauguration    Chapter 3-4
4    The Constitution of the Kingdom    Chapter 5-7
5    The Messiah's Miracles of Power and Grace, and Varying Reactions to Them    Chapter 8:1-9:35
6    Apostles of the Messiah-King Sent Forth to Israel    Chapter 9:36-10:42
7    Storm Clouds Gather    Chapter 11
8    The Crisis of Rejection by Jewish Leaders    Chapter 12
9    The King Announces a New, Interim Form of the Kingdom because of Israel's Rejection    Chapter 13:1-52
10    The Messiah's Unwearied Grace Met by Mounting Hostility    Chapter 13:53-18:35
11    The King's Face Set to Go to Jerusalem    Chapter 19-20
12    The Messiah-King's Arrival at Jerusalem    Chapter 21-23
13    The King Traces the Course of History to His Second Advent    Chapter 24-25
14    Closing Scenes as the Cross Comes into View    Chapter 26:1-46
15    The King Crucified    Chapter 26:47-27:66
16    Resurrection and Reunion in Galilee    Chapter 28



1. GENEALOGY AND BIRTH OF THE MESSIAH-KING (Chapter 1)

THE GENEALOGY OF JESUS (Matthew 1:1-17)

Matthew 1:1-17 (KJV) - 1 The book of the generation of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham. 2 Abraham begat Isaac; and Isaac begat Jacob; and Jacob begat Judas and his brethren; 3 And Judas begat Phares and Zara of Thamar; and Phares begat Esrom; and Esrom begat Aram; 4 And Aram begat Aminadab; and Aminadab begat Naasson; and Naasson begat Salmon; 5 And Salmon begat Booz of Rachab; and Booz begat Obed of Ruth; and Obed begat Jesse; 6 And Jesse begat David the king; and David the king begat Solomon of her that had been the wife of Urias; 7 And Solomon begat Roboam; and Roboam begat Abia; and Abia begat Asa; 8 And Asa begat Josaphat; and Josaphat begat Joram; and Joram begat Ozias; 9 And Ozias begat Joatham; and Joatham begat Achaz; and Achaz begat Ezekias; 10 And Ezekias begat Manasses; and Manasses begat Amon; and Amon begat Josias; 11 And Josias begat Jechonias and his brethren, about the time they were carried away to Babylon: 12 And after they were brought to Babylon, Jechonias begat Salathiel; and Salathiel begat Zorobabel; 13 And Zorobabel begat Abiud; and Abiud begat Eliakim; and Eliakim begat Azor; 14 And Azor begat Sadoc; and Sadoc begat Achim; and Achim begat Eliud; 15 And Eliud begat Eleazar; and Eleazar begat Matthan; and Matthan begat Jacob; 16 And Jacob begat Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus, who is called Christ. 17 So all the generations from Abraham to David are fourteen generations; and from David until the carrying away into Babylon are fourteen generations; and from the carrying away into Babylon unto Christ are fourteen generations.

This genealogy traces Jesus’ legal right to the throne of David as the adopted son of Joseph. It follows the royal line from David through Solomon and then through the kings of Judah to Joseph, the husband of Mary, who gave birth to Jesus.

THE BIRTH OF JESUS (Matthew 1:18-25)

Matthew 1:18-25 (KJV) - 18 Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost. 19 Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing to make her a publick example, was minded to put her away privily. 20 But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost. 21 And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins. 22 Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, 23 Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us. 24 Then Joseph being raised from sleep did as the angel of the Lord had bidden him, and took unto him his wife: 25 And knew her not till she had brought forth her firstborn son: and he called his name JESUS.

During the time that Mary was engaged to Joseph, she became pregnant by a miracle of the Holy Spirit. Not knowing this, Joseph was ready to break the betrothal. However, an angel assured him that she was with child by the Holy Spirit, and that the child should be named Jesus, because He would save His people from their sins. Not until after the baby was born, in fulfilment of Isaiah 7:14, did Joseph marry the Virgin Mary.

2. EARLY YEARS OF THE MESSIAH-KING (Chapter 2)

THE VISIT OF THE MAGI (Matthew 2:1-12)

Matthew 2:1-12 (KJV) - 1 Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem, 2 Saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him. 3 When Herod the king had heard these things, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him. 4 And when he had gathered all the chief priests and scribes of the people together, he demanded of them where Christ should be born. 5 And they said unto him, In Bethlehem of Judaea: for thus it is written by the prophet, 6 And thou Bethlehem, in the land of Juda, art not the least among the princes of Juda: for out of thee shall come a Governor, that shall rule my people Israel. 7 Then Herod, when he had privily called the wise men, enquired of them diligently what time the star appeared. 8 And he sent them to Bethlehem, and said, Go and search diligently for the young child; and when ye have found him, bring me word again, that I may come and worship him also. 9 When they had heard the king, they departed; and, lo, the star, which they saw in the east, went before them, till it came and stood over where the young child was. 10 When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy. 11 And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense, and myrrh. 12 And being warned of God in a dream that they should not return to Herod, they departed into their own country another way.

Sometime after the birth of Jesus, Gentile wise men came from the East to worship the Messiah-King. King Herod of Judea, a convert to Judaism, heard that a baby was born who was slated to become King of the Jews. Fearing that his own crown was threatened, he asked the religious leaders where the Messiah was to be born. When he learned that Bethlehem was the place, he sent the wise men there to find Him so that, he said, he too could go and “worship” Him. However, after they had found Jesus and His mother, and had presented gifts to Him, they went home by another way.

THE FLIGHT INTO EGYPT (Matthew 2:13-23)

Matthew 2:13-23 (KJV) - 13 And when they were departed, behold, the angel of the Lord appeareth to Joseph in a dream, saying, Arise, and take the young child and his mother, and flee into Egypt, and be thou there until I bring thee word: for Herod will seek the young child to destroy him. 14 When he arose, he took the young child and his mother by night, and departed into Egypt: 15 And was there until the death of Herod: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Out of Egypt have I called my son. 16 Then Herod, when he saw that he was mocked of the wise men, was exceeding wroth, and sent forth, and slew all the children that were in Bethlehem, and in all the coasts thereof, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had diligently enquired of the wise men. 17 Then was fulfilled that which was spoken by Jeremy the prophet, saying, 18 In Rama was there a voice heard, lamentation, and weeping, and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children, and would not be comforted, because they are not. 19 But when Herod was dead, behold, an angel of the Lord appeareth in a dream to Joseph in Egypt, 20 Saying, Arise, and take the young child and his mother, and go into the land of Israel: for they are dead which sought the young child's life. 21 And he arose, and took the young child and his mother, and came into the land of Israel. 22 But when he heard that Archelaus did reign in Judaea in the room of his father Herod, he was afraid to go thither: notwithstanding, being warned of God in a dream, he turned aside into the parts of Galilee: 23 And he came and dwelt in a city called Nazareth: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophets, He shall be called a Nazarene

Warned by an angel, Joseph fled to Egypt with Jesus and Mary (Matthew 2:13-15). Herod was furious that his efforts to locate the child had been frustrated, so he ordered the massacre of all babies two years old and under in Bethlehem and vicinity (Matthew 2:16-18). Joseph stayed in Egypt until after the death of Herod, then journeyed with his family to Nazareth and settled there (Matthew 2:19-23).

3. PREPARATIONS FOR THE MESSIAH'S MINISTRY AND HIS INAUGURATION
 (Chapters 3-4)

THE MINISTRY OF JOHN THE BAPTIST (Matthew 3:1-12)

Matthew 3:1-12 (KJV) - 1 In those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judaea, 2 And saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. 3 For this is he that was spoken of by the prophet Esaias, saying, The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight. 4 And the same John had his raiment of camel's hair, and a leathern girdle about his loins; and his meat was locusts and wild honey. 5 Then went out to him Jerusalem, and all Judaea, and all the region round about Jordan, 6 And were baptized of him in Jordan, confessing their sins. 7 But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees come to his baptism, he said unto them, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come? 8 Bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance: 9 And think not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, that God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham. 10 And now also the axe is laid unto the root of the trees: therefore every tree which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. 11 I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire: 12 Whose fan is in his hand, and he will throughly purge his floor, and gather his wheat into the garner; but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.

Between chapters 2 and 3, there is an interval of twenty-eight or twenty-nine years. At age thirty, the Lord Jesus was ready to begin His public ministry. But first He was introduced by John the Baptist, who was calling on the nation of Israel to repent and thus to be morally ready for the King. They were supposed to indicate their repentance by being baptized in the Jordan. Many did so sincerely, but others, like the Pharisees and Sadducees, were only play-acting. John said that the former would be baptized with the Holy Spirit and the latter with the fires of divine judgment.

THE BAPTISM OF JESUS (Matthew 3:13-17)

Matthew 3:13-17 (KJV) - 13 Then cometh Jesus from Galilee to Jordan unto John, to be baptized of him. 14 But John forbad him, saying, I have need to be baptized of thee, and comest thou to me? 15 And Jesus answering said unto him, Suffer it to be so now: for thus it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness. Then he suffered him. 16 And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him: 17 And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.

When Jesus presented Himself for baptism, John protested that he was unworthy to baptize his Lord. Jesus, of course, had no sins of which to repent, but He explained that, in being baptized, He was identifying Himself with the repentant remnant in Israel. Also He was giving an object lesson on how He would fulfil all righteousness by being baptized in death at Calvary and by rising again.

THE TEMPTATION OF JESUS (Matthew 4:1-11)

Matthew 4:1-11 (KJV) - 1 Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil. 2 And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was afterward an hungred. 3 And when the tempter came to him, he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread. 4 But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God. 5 Then the devil taketh him up into the holy city, and setteth him on a pinnacle of the temple, 6 And saith unto him, If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down: for it is written, He shall give his angels charge concerning thee: and in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone. 7 Jesus said unto him, It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God. 8 Again, the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them; 9 And saith unto him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me. 10 Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve. 11 Then the devil leaveth him, and, behold, angels came and ministered unto him.

The temptation of Jesus by Satan demonstrated His moral perfection and thus His absolute fitness to be King. The three temptations were -

(1) to live by bread alone,
(2) to tempt God by a spectacular stunt, and
(3) to take the kingdoms of the world from the devil.

They correspond to the temptation of Eve, the tree was good for food, pleasant to the eyes, and desirable to make one wise (Genesis 3:6 (KJV) - And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat), and to John's definition of the world as the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life - (1 John 2:16 (KJV) - For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.). Jesus resisted all three temptations by quoting Scriptures from Deuteronomy. Then the devil left Him.

THE EARLY MINISTRY OF JESUS (Matthew 4:12-25)

Matthew 4:12-25 (KJV) - 12 Now when Jesus had heard that John was cast into prison, he departed into Galilee; 13 And leaving Nazareth, he came and dwelt in Capernaum, which is upon the sea coast, in the borders of Zabulon and Nephthalim: 14 That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet, saying, 15 The land of Zabulon, and the land of Nephthalim, by the way of the sea, beyond Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles; 16 The people which sat in darkness saw great light; and to them which sat in the region and shadow of death light is sprung up. 17 From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. 18 And Jesus, walking by the sea of Galilee, saw two brethren, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea: for they were fishers. 19 And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men. 20 And they straightway left their nets, and followed him.
21 And going on from thence, he saw other two brethren, James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, in a ship with Zebedee their father, mending their nets; and he called them. 22 And they immediately left the ship and their father, and followed him. 23 And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all manner of sickness and all manner of disease among the people. 24 And his fame went throughout all Syria: and they brought unto him all sick people that were taken with divers diseases and torments, and those which were possessed with devils, and those which were lunatick, and those that had the palsy; and he healed them. 25 And there followed him great multitudes of people from Galilee, and from Decapolis, and from Jerusalem, and from Judaea, and from beyond Jordan.

The Lord's great Galilean ministry begins here. Jesus moved from Nazareth to Capernaum; preached that the kingdom of God had arrived (in the person of the King); called Peter, Andrew, James, and John to be disciples; and carried on an extensive healing ministry throughout Galilee. Matthew notes that Isaiah's prophecy concerning light dawning in Galilee was thus fulfilled.

4. THE CONSTITUTION OF THE KINGDOM (Matthew Chapters 5 - 7)

THE BEATITUDES AND THE SIMILITUDES (Matthew 5:1-16)

Matthew 5:1-16 (KJV) - 1 And seeing the multitudes, he went up into a mountain: and when he was set, his disciples came unto him: 2 And he opened his mouth, and taught them, saying, 3 Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 4 Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted. 5 Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth. 6 Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled. 7 Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy. 8 Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God. 9 Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God. 10 Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness' sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 11 Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. 12 Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you. 13 Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men. 14 Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. 15 Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. 16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.

The Sermon on the Mount (Matthew chapters 5-7) is the constitution of the kingdom.

In the Beatitudes (Matthew 5:1-12) we have a portrait of ideal citizens; they are compared to salt and to light (Matthew 5:13-16).

Then from verse 17 through 6:34 the superior righteousness of the kingdom is described.

CHRIST'S RELATIONSHIP TO THE LAW (Matthew 5:17-19)

Matthew 5:17-19 (KJV) - 17 Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. 18 For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. 19 Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.

First of all, Christ emphasized that He did not come to destroy the law but to fulfil it. He not only kept it perfectly in His own life but fulfilled it by paying its full penalty for us in His death.

REAL RIGHTEOUSNESS (Matthew 5:20)

Matthew 5:20 (KJV) - For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.

He insisted that His disciples must demonstrate a superior righteousness to that of the scribes and Pharisees, which was an outward, ritual cleanness but one that never changed their hearts.

RECONCILIATION BEFORE ACCEPTABLE WORSHIP (Matthew 5:21-26)

Matthew 5:21-27 (KJV) - 21 Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not kill; and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment: 22 But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire. 23 Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee; 24 Leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift. 25 Agree with thine adversary quickly, whiles thou art in the way with him; lest at any time the adversary deliver thee to the judge, and the judge deliver thee to the officer, and thou be cast into prison. 26 Verily I say unto thee, Thou shalt by no means come out thence, till thou hast paid the uttermost farthing. 27 Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery:

The law said, “Do not kill,” but Jesus said, “Don’t even be angry with your brother” (Matthew 5:21-22). Anger is murder in embryo. For that reason, believers should be quick to settle differences that arise before they grow into anger and lawsuits. Worship is acceptable only when we are reconciled with our brothers (Matthew 5:23-26).

THE SOURCE OF LUST (Matthew 5:27-30)

Matthew 5:27-30 (KJV) - 27 Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery: 28 But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart. 29 And if thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell. 30 And if thy right hand offend thee, cut it off, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell.

The law said, “Do not commit adultery,” but Jesus said, “Don’t look on a woman with lust” (Matthew 5:27-28). The lustful look is where adultery begins. Only when believers control the source can they control the stream that flows from it. This means taking positive action in controlling our eyes, what we see, and our hands, what we do (Matthew 5:29-30).

 JESUS AND DIVORCE (Matthew 5:31-32)

Matthew 5:31-32 (KJV) – 31 It hath been said, Whosoever shall put away his wife, let him give her a writing of divorcement: 32 But I say unto you, That whosoever shall put away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, causeth her to commit adultery: and whosoever shall marry her that is divorced committeth adultery.

The law said that if a man divorced his wife, he simply had to give her a divorce certificate, but Jesus said that the only ground for divorce is unfaithfulness by one of the partners. To put away a wife for any other reason causes her to commit adultery, and to marry her is adultery also.

JESUS FORBIDS OATHS (Matthew 5:33-37)

Matthew 5:33-37 (KJV) - 33 Again, ye have heard that it hath been said by them of old time, Thou shalt not forswear thyself, but shalt perform unto the Lord thine oaths: 34 But I say unto you, Swear not at all; neither by heaven; for it is God's throne: 35 Nor by the earth; for it is his footstool: neither by Jerusalem; for it is the city of the great King. 36 Neither shalt thou swear by thy head, because thou canst not make one hair white or black. 37 But let your communication be, Yea, yea; Nay, nay: for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil.

The law said if you swore under oath, you had to fulfil the oath, but Jesus forbade swearing at all. Our speech should be so consistently honest that no oath is necessary. Some think that this applies to oaths of future performance only, and not to oaths attesting truthfulness of legal testimony (usually referring to past events witnessed).

THE OTHER CHEEK AND THE SECOND MILE (Matthew 5:38-42)

Matthew 5:38-42 (KJV) - 38 Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth: 39 But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also. 40 And if any man will sue thee at the law, and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloke also. 41 And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain. 42 Give to him that asketh thee, and from him that would borrow of thee turn not thou away.

The law said, “Repay evil in like measure,” but Jesus said, “Repay evil with good. Turn the other cheek. Go the second mile. Reward every discourtesy with a kindness.”

A LOVING LIFESTYLE (Matthew 5:43-48)

Matthew 5:43-48 (KJV) - 43 Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. 44 But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; 45 That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust. 46 For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same? 47 And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so? 48 Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.

The law said, “Love your neighbour and hate your enemy,” but Jesus said, “Love your enemy.” In this way you will demonstrate that you are a child of God, because He is good to all.

CHARITY WITHOUT ADVERTISING (Matthew 6:1-4)

Matthew 6:1-4 (KJV) 1 Take heed that ye do not your alms before men, to be seen of them: otherwise ye have no reward of your Father which is in heaven. 2 Therefore when thou doest thine alms, do not sound a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. 3 But when thou doest alms, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth: 4 That thine alms may be in secret: and thy Father which seeth in secret himself shall reward thee openly.

The righteousness of the kingdom forbids religious hypocrisy or parading one’s piety (Matthew 6:1). Gifts of charity should not be given in order to be seen (Matthew 6:2-4).

THE MODEL PRAYER (Matthew 6:5-15)

Matthew 6:5-15 (KJV) - 5 And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. 6 But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly. 7 But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking. 8 Be not ye therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him. 9 After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. 10 Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. 11 Give us this day our daily bread. 12 And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. 13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen. 14 For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: 15 But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.

Men should not pray in order to appear holy, or use long, repetitive prayers (Matthew 6:5-8). In general, prayer should begin with worship, then put God's interests before our own requests. It should include requests for daily needs, forgiveness of others, and deliverance from evil (Matthew 6:9-13). If we do not forgive others, we cannot expect our Father to forgive us (Matthew 6:14-15).

FASTING WITHOUT PUBLICITY (Matthew 6:16-18)

Matthew 6:16-18 (KJV) - 16 Moreover when ye fast, be not, as the hypocrites, of a sad countenance: for they disfigure their faces, that they may appear unto men to fast. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. 17 But thou, when thou fastest, anoint thine head, and wash thy face; 18 That thou appear not unto men to fast, but unto thy Father which is in secret: and thy Father, which seeth in secret, shall reward thee openly.

We should not publicize our fasting, but should do it unostentatiously before God alone.

TREASURE IN HEAVEN (Matthew 6:19-24)

Matthew 6:19-24 (KJV) - 19 Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: 20 But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: 21 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. 22 The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light. 23 But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness! 24 No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.

The Lord has a social security program for citizens of His kingdom. It works something like this: Citizens are forbidden to spend their lives hoarding money for an unknowable future; their interests and loyalties would then be divided.

THE LORD WILL PROVIDE (Matthew 6:25-34)

Matthew 6:25-34 (KJV) - 25 Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment? 26 Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they? 27 Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature? 28 And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: 29 And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 30 Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith? 31 Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? 32 (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. 33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. 34 Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.

They must not worry about providing food and clothing for a “rainy day.”  If God provides food for the birds and if He clothes the wild flowers with beauty, He will certainly care for those who put His interests first. So the Lord makes a covenant with His people that if they put the kingdom and His righteousness first, He will take care of their future. This will free them from worrying about the future and release them to give all their attention to serving Him wholeheartedly.

TEST - LESSON 1:  NEW TESTAMENT POCKET COMMENTARY

TRUE OR FALSE

1. Matthew was not one of the chosen twelve disciples?
2. Matthew presents Jesus as the Saviour of the world?    
3. Herod the king wanted to worship the child Jesus?
4. Jesus was baptized to show that He would die and rise again?
5. The Lord cares more for the lilies of the field than for us?
6. If we do not forgive others God will not forgive us?
7. Satan tempted the Jesus with the same type as he tempted Eve and us?
8. Jesus was miraculously conceive with the man Jesus
9. Jesus suggested that the disciples should be as righteous as the Pharisees
10. The child Jesus was in Egypt until He was eighteen years old.

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Created by Harold Smith
Updated  Feb 22nd 2015 by Harold Smith