Matthew Chapter 28

I. The Resurrection Of The Rejected King.

II. Scripture Text.

III. Overview. References: Dr. Charles C. Ryrie, Th. D., Ph. D. (DTS). Dr. Merrill F. Unger, Th. D., Ph. D. (DTS). Dr. J. Dwight Pentecost, Th. D. (DTS). Dr. John F. Walvoord, Th. D. (DTS). Dr. Harold Hoehner, Th. D., Ph. D. (DTS).

A. Appearance of Jesus to the Women, 28:1-10.

1. The resurrection of Jesus on the first day of the week is detailed in all four gospels (Mk 16:1-14; Lk 24:1-49; Jn 20:1-23). The probable order of events was as follows:

a. Appearance to Mary Magdalene when she returned after a preliminary visit of the women to the tomb (Mk 16:9-11; Jn 20:11-18).

b. Appearance to the women who had been to the tomb and were bearers of the message of the angels (Mt 28:8-10).

c. Appearance to Peter on the afternoon of the resurrection day (Lk 24:34; 1 Co 15:5).

d. Appearance to the disciples on the road to Emmaus (Mk 16:12; Lk 24:13-32).

e. Appearance to the ten disciples on the evening of the resurrection day, Thomas being absent (Lk 24:36-43; Jn 20:19-25).

f. Appearance a week later to the eleven, Thomas being present (Jn 20:26-31; 1 Co 15:5).

g. Appearance to seven of the disciples beside the Sea of Galilee (Jn 21:1-14).

h. Appearance to about five hundred brethren as well as the apostles (Mt 28:16-20; Mk 16:15-18; 1 Co 15:6).

i. Appearance to James, the half brother of Jesus (1 Co 15:7).

j. Appearance on the day of ascension from the Mount of Olives (Mk 16:19-20; Lk 24:44-53; Ac 1:3-12).

2. Matthew records that “Mary Magdalene and the other Mary” came “to see the sepulchre” (28:1) early that resurrection morning. There were other women, however, including Salome (Mk 16:1). The women were the same group that had beheld the burial of Jesus and therefore knew where the tomb was. Mary, the mother of Jesus, apparently was not with them.

3. Mark 16:3 records their question, as they approached the tomb, concerning who would roll away the stone. Upon arrival at the scene, there was a great earthquake, and an angel descended from heaven and rolled back the stone. Matthew describes him, “His countenance was like lightning, and his raiment white as snow” (28:3).

4. The Roman soldiers were paralyzed with fear, but the angel said to the women, “Fear not ye: for I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified. He is not here: for he is risen, as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay. And go quickly, and tell his disciples that he is risen from the dead; and, behold, he goeth before you into Galilee; there shall ye see him: lo, I have told you” (vv. 5-7). Luke 24:1-8 gives further details on the message of the angel and indicates that the women entered into the tomb, but the body of the Lord was gone. Matthew records, “They departed quickly from the sepulchre with fear and great joy; and did run to bring his disciples word” (28:8).

5. The account concerning Mary Magdalene would indicate that she saw the stone rolled away but did not linger long enough to understand the full meaning of it, and informed Peter and John simply that the tomb was empty. It was on her second visit to the tomb that Jesus first appeared to Mary Magdalene. She, who sought Jesus most earnestly, was honored to be the first to see the resurrected Christ. Matthew records the second appearance to the other women as they also had left the tomb in order to tell the disciples, and records that the women “held him by the feet, and worshipped him” (v. 9). Jesus instructed them, as the angel had also mentioned in verse 7, to tell the brethren to go into Galilee, where they would see Jesus. However, He appeared to them that evening and apparently again a week later before the Galilee appearances occurred. For Matthew, the Galilean appearance was the climax of Jesus’ ministry. It was there that Christ witnessed to many outside of Judaism, an anticipation of His worldwide witness.

B. Report of the Soldiers, 28:11-15.

1. Just as Matthew alone records the request of the priests and Pharisees, the watch by the soldiers at the tomb, so Matthew alone records the outcome following the resurrection of Christ. Some of those guarding the tomb went to the chief priests and reported what had happened. It is astounding that the chief priests heard of the resurrection of Jesus before the disciples. The result was that they gave a bribe, described by Matthew as “large money,” to the soldiers and instructed them to report that the disciples had stolen the body by night while the soldiers slept. They also promised the soldiers that if it reached the Roman governor’s ears that they would protect them and persuade the governor not to punish them.

2. Under Roman law, the soldiers could be put to death for failure to do their duty, as was done to the soldiers who were watching Peter (Ac 12:19). The soldiers, glad both for the money and for the protection, did as they were instructed and started the rumor among the Jews that the body of Jesus had been stolen.

3. The dishonesty and lack of integrity on the part of the scribes and Pharisees, when confronted with the fact of the resurrection of Jesus, all too frequently are found in other forms of unbelief. Liberal scholarship today shows the same incredible blindness to the facts and tends to give credence to any criticism of the scriptural record more than to the Scriptures themselves. The unbelief of the scribes and Pharisees is shown here in all its stark wickedness, and their stooping to bribery and lies shows the extremity into which they fell. The very soldiers who were ordered to prevent the fulfillment of the prophecy of Christ’s resurrection were the first witnesses of it. It is possible that some were beneficially influenced and may be numbered among those who did come to Jesus in the early days of the church, as recorded in Acts.

4. The story of the soldiers, of course, was obviously false. How could they know that the disciples stole the body if they were actually asleep? So often the truth is more reasonable than the theories seeking to contradict the truth. The three thousand at Pentecost who believed Peter’s message concerning the death and the resurrection of Christ no doubt had investigated the story, had seen the empty tomb, and were fully persuaded that the facts as presented by Peter were the truth. The story served to bolster those, however, who, for various reasons, did not want to believe in Jesus, and Matthew reports the story was still common at the time he wrote the gospel.

C. Jesus’ Meeting with His Disciples in Galilee, 28:16-20.

1. The closing verses of Matthew’s gospel record Christ’s meeting with the eleven disciples in Galilee, prophesied in 28:7, 10. This is not clearly identifiable with any other appearance of Jesus. The appearance recorded in Mark 16:15-18, though often considered the same as this appearance in Matthew, could just as well fit the meeting on the second Sunday night, recorded in John 20:26-31. Sometimes also, the reference in Matthew 28 is linked with 1 Corinthians 15:6, where Jesus is said to have appeared unto more than five hundred brethren at once. The meeting mentioned in 1 Corinthians, however, may be another appearance of Jesus not found anywhere else in the gospels. The fact that “some doubted,” that is, were not sure the person they were seeing was Jesus, as mentioned in Matthew 28:17, might indicate that there was a larger crowd than just the eleven.

2. The one hundred and twenty which met in Jerusalem in Acts 1:15 were a smaller company, and, because of the many converts in Galilee, a group of five hundred there would be understandable. The meeting in Galilee has a prominence in Scripture because it was mentioned three times before, in Matthew 26:32; 28:7, 10. Just as the mountains of Galilee had been the scene of some of Christ’s great messages, such as the Sermon on the Mount, and had been the scene of His transfiguration, Galilee was a fitting place for a last meeting with a large group of His disciples.

3. The fact that “some doubted” is at first glance a problem, but it seems to indicate only a preliminary reaction as to whether or not this was indeed Jesus, not doubt concerning His resurrection. This doubt was soon dispelled, as Jesus spoke saying, “All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen” (28:18-20). Only Jesus could speak such words, and it must have brought reassuring faith to all who were there. The commission is mandatory, not optional. High mountains, deep oceans, wide deserts, starvation, shipwreck, death are not to be excuses for not going! We are to preach the Gospel to every creature.

4. In keeping with the theme of Matthew’s gospel, presenting Jesus as the King who was rejected but who will return to reign in majesty and power, these words were the final orders of the King concerning what should go on in His absence. He began by reaffirming His power or authority, both in heaven and in earth. On the basis of this authority, they, as His representatives, were to teach all nations. This was much wider than the purpose of Jesus in relation to Israel. Now the worldwide results of His death and resurrection must be publicized. As they recognized believers by the act of water baptism in the name of the Triune God, they were to instruct them concerning the obedience required by their faith in Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord.

5. In commanding them to observe “whatsoever I have commanded you,” Jesus was not referring to all His teachings in general, some of which were interpretative of the Law of Moses and were under the older dispensation, but to what He had commanded them as the believers who would be members of the church which was His body. Specifically, in using the word commanded, He was recalling the new commandment which He had given them in the upper room and the particular instructions that applied to the disciples in the organic union, symbolized by the vine and the branches. His presence with them, captured in the statement “ye in me, and I in you” (Jn 14:20), was going to be enjoyed by believers to the end of the world, that is, the end of the present age, which would culminate in His coming for them.

6. In these words, the gospel of Matthew, which began with the genealogy of the King and recorded His lowly coming in Bethlehem, where according to Luke, He was laid in swaddling clothes in a manger, ends with His reigning authority and commission to those He left behind. Ours is the glorious commission to proclaim the good news of what Jesus accomplished in His first coming and also to announce the fact that He is coming again.


Matthew Chapter 27

I. The Trial And Death Of The Rejected King.

II. Scripture Text.

III. Overview. References: Dr. Charles C. Ryrie, Th. D., Ph. D. (DTS). Dr. Merrill F. Unger, Th. D., Ph. D. (DTS). Dr. J. Dwight Pentecost, Th. D. (DTS). Dr. John F. Walvoord, Th. D. (DTS).

A. Jesus Delivered to Pilate, 27:1-2.

No doubt realizing that the trials before Annas and Caiaphas in the night were illegal both in the way they were conducted and in their outcome, the chief priests and elders reviewed their case against Jesus at a meeting held the next morning. Mention of this is made in the other gospels (Mk 15:1; Lk 23:1; Jn 18:28). The problem was not only the illegality of the trial, but the fact that the Jews did not have the authority to put Jesus to death. This could only be done by an order from a Roman ruler. Accordingly, at the close of this third trial before a Jewish authority, Jesus was bound and led away to be delivered to Pontius Pilate, the governor, for the first of the three trials before Roman rulers. Before proceeding with the account of the trial of Christ, Matthew records the remorse of Judas.

B. Judas Repents Too Late, 27:3-10.

1. The sad end of Judas Iscariot, recorded only in Matthew in the gospels, is mentioned by Luke in Acts 1:16-19 in connection with the election of Matthias as his successor. According to Matthew’s account, when Judas found that Jesus had been condemned to die, he repented of his act and attempted to return the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and the elders. Apparently, Judas had not believed that the arrest of Jesus would lead to His condemnation, or perhaps he was confronted now with his wicked betrayal of Jesus. In his conversations with the chief priests he said, “I have sinned in that I have betrayed the innocent blood” (27:4). While his feelings concerning the claim of Jesus to be the Messiah may still have been mixed with unbelief, he knew that Jesus was not worthy of death. The priests, however, were quite unconcerned and threw the problem back at him. This encounter with the chief priests and elders may have been before Caiaphas’ palace, as Lenski suggests.

2. Upon being spurned by them, however, Judas went to the temple and hurled the silver into the sanctuary (Gr. naos), meaning the entrance to the holy place. He then went out and hanged himself. Acts 1:18-19 describes the horrible deed in detail. The chief priests, confronted with what to do with this blood money, decided it could not be put in the treasury but could be used to buy a potter’s field in which to bury strangers. This they did; and according to Matthew, the field became known as “The field of blood,” or, as Acts 1:19 calls it, “Aceldama.” The whole transaction reflected on the one hand the casuistry of the Pharisees and their indifference to their crime, and on the other hand, the despair of Judas, for whom there seems to have been no road to forgiveness, even though he had remorse.

3. Matthew notes that this was a fulfillment of “that which was spoken by Jeremy the prophet, saying, And they took the thirty pieces of silver, the price of him that was valued, whom they of the children of Israel did value; And gave them for the potter’s field, as the Lord appointed me” (27:9-10). The reference to this as a quotation from Jeremiah has caused difficulty to expositors, as it is actually a quotation of Zechariah 11:12-13. How can this apparent discrepancy be explained?

4. Probably the best explanation is that the third section of the Old Testament began with the book of Jeremiah and included all that followed. Just as the first section was called the law, after the first five books, and the second section was called the psalms, although other books were included, so the third part began with Jeremiah, and the reference is related to this section of the Old Testament rather than to the book of Jeremiah. The references sometimes cited in Jeremiah, such as 18:2-12 and 19:1-15, do not correspond sufficiently to justify the quotation.

5. In Zechariah 11:12-13, the thirty pieces of silver are paid to dispose of Israel’s shepherd. In Matthew, the actual fulfillment is found in that the price was paid to dispose of Jesus, the true Shepherd of Israel. Obviously, Matthew is referring to the idea in Zechariah rather than to the precise wording.

C. Trial Before Pilate, 27:11-26.

1. The other gospels, in their description of the trial before Pilate, include some details not given by Matthew (cf. Mk 15:2-15; Lk 23:2-25; Jn 18:28-19:16). As Luke 23:6-12 indicates, Pilate, after a preliminary hearing of the case and on learning that Jesus was of Galilee, as a friendly gesture, sent Him to Herod, who was in Jerusalem at the time. Herod, after encountering complete silence from Jesus, sent Him back to Pilate to be judged. Jesus had three Roman trials, first before Pilate, then before Herod, and then again before Pilate. Matthew, Mark, and John combine the two trials before Pilate.

2. According to Luke 23:1-2, the trial began with various accusations being leveled against Jesus, including that He perverted the nation, forbade to give tribute to Caesar, and claimed that He was a king. It is at this point that Matthew begins his record because of the special interest in the gospel of Matthew in Jesus Christ as King.

3. Pilate asked Jesus, according to Matthew 27:11, “Art thou the King of the Jews?” Jesus replied, “Thou sayest,” in other words, affirming that it was true. The full conversation between Jesus and Pilate is recorded in John 18:33-38. From John’s account, it is evident that Pilate explored fully the possibility that Jesus was a king who might threaten his rule and satisfied his mind that there was nothing to the charge. His conversation with Jesus ended up with the philosophical question, “What is truth?” According to John 18:38, Pilate at this time declared Jesus innocent in the words, “I find in him no fault at all.”

4. After Jesus was pronounced innocent, the chief priests and scribes renewed their vehement accusations, in reply to which Jesus was completely silent. This is the second important silence of Christ, the first being in Matthew 26:63 and the third in John 19:9. Pilate marveled that Christ could keep silent under the circumstances. The fact is that after Pilate pronounced Him innocent, Jesus was under no obligation to answer the Jews further; and, if more investigation was required, it was up to Pilate to reverse his former judgment and continue the examination. It was in the course of further accusation by the chief priests and the scribes that Pilate learned that Jesus was from Galilee and used this as an occasion to refer the whole matter to Herod.

5. When Jesus was later sent by Herod back to Pilate, a plan occurred to Pilate to get out of his problem. According to Matthew 27:15, it had been the custom for many years to release a prisoner whom the people would choose on the occasion of the feast. Pilate picked the worst possible prisoner, Barabbas, who, according to Mark 15:7, was guilty of insurrection and murder. (There is an interesting play on words here, as Barabbas means “son of the father.” Barabbas was released instead of Jesus who was the true Son of the Father.) Pilate, assured that Jesus was popular with the people and that the plot against Him was connived by the Jewish leaders, thought the people would choose Jesus rather than Barabbas and thus relieve him of the problem of making a final judgment. Matthew 27:18 notes that Pilate knew that the chief priests had delivered Jesus to him because of envy.

6. While in the process of discussing this, the wife of Pilate sent him a message which said, “Have thou nothing to do with that just man: for I have suffered many things this day in a dream because of him” (v. 19). There has been much speculation as to who Pilate’s wife was and what the background of this incident could have been. The simplest explanation is that she had such a dramatic dream that she felt compelled to share it with her husband, with whom, no doubt, she had discussed Jesus on previous occasions. Pilate’s wife was concerned at the possibility of an innocent man of prophetic character being killed unjustly.

7. Meanwhile, however, the chief priests and elders had been busy persuading the people to ask for Barabbas and to request that Jesus be killed. To Pilate’s amazement, when the question was posed to the people, they asked for Barabbas to be released. In his astonishment, he asked, “What shall I do then with Jesus which is called Christ?” He hoped for a punishment short of death. They replied, “Let him be crucified” (v. 22).

8. Pilate was now occupied not only with the justice in the case but how he could reasonably sentence a man who had not been convicted of any real crime. Accordingly, he asked again, “Why, what evil hath he done?” But the people cried all the more, “Let him be crucified.” Unquestionably, they were influenced by the chief priests and elders.

9. Pilate, then, under great pressure lest there be an insurrection against him which would be damaging to his reputation, publicly took water and washed his hands before the multitude saying, “I am innocent of the blood of this just person: see ye to it.” Remarkably, in the same chapter, Jesus is pronounced innocent both by Judas and by Pilate (vv. 4, 24). The people recklessly responded, “His blood be on us, and on our children.” How tragically these words seem to have been fulfilled in the destruction of Jerusalem and the slaughter of several hundred thousand Israelites on that occasion.

10. Having reversed his earlier judgment that Jesus was innocent, Pilate now released Barabbas, scourged Jesus, and delivered Him to be crucified.

D. Jesus Mocked and Scourged, 27:27-32.

1. According to Matthew and Mark, Jesus was taken by the soldiers into the common hall, the praetorium, which was thronged with Roman soldiers. There, they stripped Him and mocked Him by putting on Him a purple robe and a crown of thorns. The indignities included being spit upon and being repeatedly beaten on the head. A parallel account is given in Mark 15:16-20, but Luke says only that Pilate delivered Jesus “to their will” (Lk 23:25). The fullest account is found in John 19:1-16, where the actual order of events which took place is given.

2. Putting the accounts together, it seems that Pilate himself observed and supervised this abuse of Jesus. His motivation was to degrade Him and to make His claim as a King of the Jews to be ridiculous. It is probable that Pilate hoped by this means to get off without actually having to order the crucifixion of Jesus. While Matthew introduces this idea of crucifixion in 27:26, John 19:16 makes clear that the order for crucifixion came at the end of the mockery rather than at the beginning. Matthew is simply recording the facts without necessarily giving the order of events.

3. That Jesus was submissive to this entire procedure is the measure of His total submission to the will of God. Here, the Lord of glory, capable of destroying anyone who put a hand upon Him, allowed Himself to be abused in this painful and humiliating way. Although the Scriptures are graphic, even they state only the essentials. The prophet Isaiah anticipated this when he stated in Isaiah 52:14, “His visage was so marred more than any man, and his form more than the sons of men.” Jesus was beaten about the head and the body until He was almost unrecognizable.

4. Few incidents in history more clearly illustrate the brutality in the desperately wicked heart of man than that which was inflicted on Jesus the Son of God. The mockery of the crown of thorns, painful as well as humiliating, His being stripped naked in front of the large crowd; the mockery of the purple robe, intended to represent a kingly garment; His being spit upon and beaten over the head repeatedly as well as the mocking worship testified to the unbelief and sordidness of the actors in this situation. It was only after enduring all of this in complete silence, except for the conversation between Christ and Pilate recorded in John 19:8-11, that Jesus was finally led away to the crucifixion.

5. As the custom was, the accused had to bear His own cross. Luke 23:26-32 records some of the incidents that occurred on the way to Golgotha. Because of Christ’s suffering, He was too weak to carry the cross Himself; and Simon of Cyrene, who is identified in Mark 15:21 as the father of Alexander and Rufus, was forced to carry the cross for Jesus. Some believe he was black, not of Jewish background. The hour had come for the Lamb of God to die for the sins of the whole world.

E. Jesus Crucified, 27:33-44.

1. The account of Matthew and the parallel accounts in the other gospels (Mk 15:22-32; Lk 23:33-43; Jn 19:17-24) need to be combined to give the full account of the incidents that occurred at the crucifixion leading up to His death. The order of events seems to be as follows:

a. The arrival at Golgotha (Mt 27:33; Mk 15:22; Lk 23:33; Jn 19:17)

b. The offer of the wine mingled with gall (Mt 27:34; Mk 15:23)

c. The act of crucifixion between the two thieves (Mt 27:35-38; Mk 15:24-28; Lk 23:33-38; 19:18)

d. The first cry from the cross, “Father, forgive them” (Lk 23:34)

e. The soldiers taking the garments of Jesus, leaving Him naked on the cross (Mt 27:35; Mk 15:24; Lk 23:34; Jn 19:23)

f. The Jews mocking Jesus (Mt 27:39-43; Mk 15:29-32; Lk 23:35-37)

g. The conversation with the thieves (Mt 27:44; Mk 15:32; Lk 23:39-43)

h. The second cry from the cross with the words, “Today shalt thou be with me in paradise” (Lk 23:43)

i. The third cry, “Woman, behold thy son!” (Jn 19:26-27)

j. The darkness which overtakes the scene on Calvary (Mt 27:45; Mk 15:33; Lk 23:44)

k. The fourth cry, beginning, “My God, my God” (Mt 27:46-47; Mk 15:34-36)

l. The fifth cry, “I thirst” (Jn 19:28)

m. The sixth cry, “It is finished” (Jn 19:30)

n. The seventh cry, “Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit” (Lk 23:46)

o. The Lord dismissing His spirit by an act of His own will (Mt 27:50; Mk 15:37; Lk 23:46; Jn 19:30).

2. Matthew notes that Golgotha is “a place of a skull,” which is what Golgotha means, apparently from the idea that the hill Calvary looked something like a human skull. The hill above the garden tomb discovered by Gordon has a skull-like appearance from the side. The top of the hill is now a Muslim cemetery, and there is a convenient tomb which is identified as the tomb of Jesus at the foot of the hill in the garden. Positive identification of this site, of course, is impossible today.

3. Matthew records Christ’s refusal to drink the sour wine mingled with a drug, which would have tended to dull His senses and make the cross easier to bear. Matthew simply records His crucifixion ‘without going into details, as the crude spikes were driven through His hands and His feet, and the entire cross was set up by being placed in a hole in the ground.

4. The soldiers took His garments, tearing them in four pieces so that each soldier could have a part, but they cast lots for the coat, which was a woven garment, as John 19:23-24 explains. Matthew regards this as a fulfillment of the prophecy of Psalm 22:18. Textual evidence seems to indicate that this was added to Matthew’s gospel, but that in John 19:24, it is properly included. In any case, the prophecy was fulfilled.

5. The event of His crucifixion, as stated in Mark 15:25, reckoned according to Jewish time, was the third hour, or 9:00 a.m., or, as mentioned in John 19:14, the sixth hour, according to Roman time, actually meaning after 6:00 a.m., or early in the morning.

6. According to John 19:19, Pilate himself had ordered that the accusation made against Jesus should be nailed to His cross; and Matthew records this as, “THIS IS JESUS THE KING OF THE JEWS” (27:37). The wording in each gospel varies, and the title itself was written in Hebrew, Greek, and Latin (Jn 19:20). Putting the accounts together, the full inscription was, “This is Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews.” All the accounts contain the phrase, “The King of the Jews,” which was the substance of the accusation. Pilate intended this as a rebuke to the Jews, but at the same time it was a testimony to the person of Christ.

7. Mention is also made of the two thieves who were crucified on either side of Jesus. Only Luke 23:39-43 describes the conversion of one of the thieves. Matthew records the mocking of the crowd and the chief priests and scribes and elders, as they challenged Christ to come down from the cross, if He were indeed the Son of God who had said that He could destroy the temple and build it in three days.

8. How tragically true it was, as recorded in Matthew 27:42, “He saved others; himself he cannot save.” It was not that He lacked power; it was because it was the will of the Father that He should die. The mockery accurately fulfilled the anticipation of Psalm 22:6-13. Tasker notes there were three classes of mockers: (1) “Ignorant sinners”; (2) “religious sinners”; (3) “condemned sinners.” The tragedy was not that one was dying on the cross, but that the people beheld Him in hardness of heart and wickedness of unbelief.

F. Jesus Dies on the Cross, 27:45-56.

1. The closing events of the life of Jesus as He died on the cross are recorded in all gospels (Mk 15:33-41; Lk 23:44-49; Jn 19:30-37). Matthew records that from the sixth hour, or noon in Jewish reckoning, there was darkness over the land until the ninth hour, or 3:00 p.m. This darkness seems to have begun after the third cry of Christ on the cross in which He put His mother, Mary, under the care of John (Jn 19:26-27). It was in this period of darkness that Jesus became the sin offering and, as such, was forsaken by God the Father. Matthew records the fourth cry of Jesus on the cross as being spoken in a loud voice: “Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” (27:46). Matthew’s account uses the Hebrew for “My God,” eli, but “lama sabachthani” is Aramaic, the spoken language of the Jews. Mark changes the Hebrew eli to eloi, which is Aramaic. The petition of Jesus is, of course, the quotation of Psalm 22:1, although the gospels do not mention it as a fulfillment.

2. The cry of Jesus has been variously interpreted, but it seems clear that God had judicially forsaken Jesus on the cross in contrast to the fact that He had strengthened Him in the garden of Gethsemane. Here Jesus was bearing the sins of the whole world, and even God the Father had to turn away as Jesus bore the curse and identified Himself with the sins of the whole world. When Jesus actually died, He commended Himself back into the Father’s hands.

3. Those who heard Jesus utter this cry mistook the word eli for Elias, and thought that He was calling for Elijah. Matthew records that one of them took a sponge, filled it with sour wine, and put it on a reed, in order to bring it to the lips of Jesus, to enable Him to speak more clearly. The rest of the observers, however, said that he should let Jesus alone to see whether Elijah actually came to save Him. While they observed, according to Matthew, “Jesus, when he had cried again with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost” (27:50). Luke 23:46 records that Jesus said: “Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit.” John records simply that Jesus said, “It is finished” (Jn 19:30). Jesus had lived as no man has ever lived, and He died as no man ever died. Having completed His act of sacrifice, He dismissed His spirit by an act of His will. As He had stated earlier, in John 10:18, in regard to His life, “No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again.”

4. At the moment of His death, a number of awesome things took place. An earthquake occurred, and the heaving ground brought fear to those who observed. According to Matthew 27:51, the heavy veil of the temple, which separated the holy of holies from the holy place, was torn in two from the top to the bottom. As the divine commentary in Hebrews 10:19-22 signifies, the death of Jesus opened the way for ordinary believers to go into the holy of holies, where formerly only the Jewish high priests could go.

5. Although not immediately known to those who witnessed the scene of Christ’s death, Matthew also records an event not mentioned elsewhere in the Bible: “And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose, and came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared to many” (27:53). As a careful reading of this account reveals, the raising of the bodies of the saints, although mentioned here, actually occurred after the resurrection of Jesus. This event is nowhere explained in the Scriptures but seems to be a fulfillment of the feast of the first fruits of harvest mentioned in Leviticus 23:10-14. On that occasion, as a token of the coming harvest, the people would bring a handful of grain to the priest. The resurrection of these saints, occurring after Jesus Himself was raised, is a token of the coming harvest when all the saints will be raised.

6. The centurion, impressed by the darkness and the earthquake, although he probably was not informed of the tearing of the veil of the temple, according to the Scriptures, feared greatly, saying, “Truly this was the Son of God” (27:54). Although he had witnessed many executions, there never before had been one like this.

7. Matthew comments that many of the women who had followed Christ were beholding this from a distance. Among them were Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James and Joses, and the mother of Zebedee’s children. No doubt, with the coming of evening and the knowledge that Christ had died, they went sorrowfully to their homes.

G. Burial of Jesus, 27:57-61.

1. Ordinarily, there was little ceremony in connection with those crucified, and their bodies would be thrown into a shallow grave or even on a refuse heap. The problem of what to do with the body of Christ was quickly solved, however, by the intervention of Joseph of Arimathaea. The account given in all four gospels (Mk 15:42-47; Lk 23:50-56; Jn 19:38-42) indicates that he was a wealthy and influential man, a member of the Sanhedrin (Lk 23:51), and one who had been secretly a disciple of Jesus (Jn 19:38). He went boldly in to Pilate, although this involved ceremonial defilement for a Jew during the feast, and requested the body of Jesus. Mark 15:44-45 records Pilate’s surprise that Jesus was already dead, his inquiry from the centurion to verify the fact, and his permission to Joseph.

2. Matthew and the other gospels record the details of His burial. In the custom of the Jews, He was wrapped in clean linen cloth, and His body was placed in a new tomb hewn out of the rock. The stone door was rolled before the opening of the tomb, as they completed the act of burial. Matthew records that the two women, Mary Magdalene and “the other Mary,” identified in Mark 15:47 as “mother of Joses,” watched the burial. John 19:39-40 adds that Nicodemus, who first encountered Jesus in the incident recorded in John 3, participated in the burial, bringing myrrh and aloes of about one hundred pounds, the spices being used to saturate the linen cloths in which the body of Jesus was bound. John also records that the place of burial was in a garden.

3. The entire burial operation was done with some haste, because the Sabbath, which began at sundown, was already beginning (Mk 15:42; Lk 23:54; Jn 19:42). The Sabbath following the Passover had a special meaning, leading as it did to the seven-day Feast of Unleavened Bread.

H. Sealing of the Tomb, 27:62-66.

1. Only Matthew records the incident of the chief priests and Pharisees coming to Pilate the next day, which was Saturday, and requesting that the tomb be sealed to keep the disciples from stealing the body of Jesus and then claiming that He was risen from the dead. It is most interesting that the chief priests and Pharisees, who were unbelievers, remembered the prediction of Jesus that He would rise again after three days, while this truth does not seem to have penetrated the consciousness of the disciples in their sorrow. With Pilate’s permission, the Jews sealed the stone, which had closed the tomb’s door, and set a watch of soldiers to be sure there was no interference with the tomb.

2. The temple soldiers were not used for this purpose, as their jurisdiction was only the temple area. A regular detachment of Roman soldiers was sent to watch the tomb. Pilate had said to them, “Make it as sure as ye can,” and so they did. Stealing the body of Jesus was an impossibility, but chief priests, and Pharisees, and all the power of the Roman government could not prevent Jesus rising from the grave. Their care in thus guarding the tomb only added to the certainty of the evidence when the resurrection took place.

IV. Sources Of Information and Credentials. (DTS relates to those who were Instructors or Students at Dallas Theological Seminary).

A. Sources.

Dr. Charles C. Ryrie, Th. D., Ph. D. (DTS). Dr. Merrill F. Unger, Th. D., Ph. D. (DTS). Dr. J. Vernon McGee, Th. D. (DTS). Dr. J. Dwight Pentecost, Th. D. (DTS). Dr. John F. Walvoord, Th. D. (DTS).

B. Credentials.

1. Ryrie.


3. McGee.

4. Pentecost.

5. Walvoord.

Matthew Chapter 25

I. The Rejected King Describes The Coming Judgments.

II. Scripture Text.

III. Overview. Dr. Charles C. Ryrie, Th. D., Ph. D. (DTS). Dr. Merrill F. Unger, Th. D., Ph. D. (DTS). Dr. J. Dwight Pentecost, Th. D. (DTS). Dr. John F. Walvoord, Th. D. (DTS).

A. Parable of the Ten Virgins, 25:1-13.

1. The kingdom of heaven” is the same as that foretold in the Old Testament and proclaimed by John the Baptist (3:2), Jesus 4:17, 23; 9:35), and the disciples of Jesus (10:7). The aspects of “the kingdom of heaven” were specifically made known by the King in Matthew 13. The familiar illustration of the ten virgins, as presented in Matthew 25, is a further effort by Christ to drive home the necessity of watchfulness and preparation for His second coming. An oriental wedding had three stages: first, the legal marriage arranged by the parents of the bridegroom and the bride; second, the traditional ceremony, when the bridegroom, accompanied by his friends, would proceed from his home to the home of the bride and claim her as his own; third, the marriage feast held at the home of the bridegroom. The ten virgins represent the remnant of Israel after the church has been taken. The Lord is teaching that following the second advent, and His regathering of Israel, there will be a judgment on the earth for living Israel to determine who will go into the kingdom, called the “marriage feast,” and who will be excluded from it. The judgment of Jewish survivors is described in Ezekiel 20:34-38 and illustrated in Matthew 25:1-30; Ezekiel states that it will occur after all surviving Israelites have been regathered from the ends of the earth to the land of Israel. Christ will cause them to “pass under the rod” (see Lev 27:32) to purge out the rebels. As a result those rebels (unsaved) will not enter the land of Israel (Ezekiel 20:28) but will be cast into outer darkness (Matt 25:30). In contrast, those who successfully pass through this judgment will enter the millennial kingdom t0 enjoy the blessings of the New Covenant (Ezekiel 20:37).

2. The illustration presumes that the legal marriage has already taken place and can reasonably be identified with the marriage of Christ and the church already consummated at the rapture. When Christ returns at His second coming, He will bring His bride with Him. The five virgins who bring oil in their vessels illustrate those that are ready for His return. The five foolish maidens, although outwardly prepared, are not really ready. When the time comes for the marriage feast, they are not prepared to enter into the procession and join the feast.

3. Although interpretation is not given in this passage, oil may be taken here as representative of the Holy Spirit and His work of salvation. When Christ comes to earth with His bride, only those prepared by new birth will enter into the wedding feast, which seems to be fulfilled in the millennium or at least the first portion of the millennium. Some commentators desire to apply the ten virgins to the church in the present age. The fact that the word then is used in 25:1 seems to refer to the second coming of Christ to the earth.

4. Although worthy expositors can be cited in support of this view, it is preferable to interpret it strictly in the context of the second coming of Christ. Actually, the bride, the church, is not in view specifically. Although the Syriac and Vulgate versions of verse 1 read that they “went forth to meet the bridegroom and the bride,” it is questionable whether this addition was in the original text, even though it is true that Christ will bring His bride with Him. The important point here, as in the preceding illustration, is that preparation should precede the second coming of Christ and that it will be too late when He comes.

5. What is true of the second coming is, of course, also true of the rapture, and believers today can derive a secondary application of this passage for their own need. In our modern world, where superficial religion is all too evident, this passage reminds us once again that apart from the work of the Holy Spirit, symbolized by the oil, no one is ready for the coming of the Lord.

B. Parable of the Talents, 25:14-30.

1 . The familiar parable of the talents in Matthew 25 is the sixth and final illustration Christ used in regard to preparedness for His second coming. Here, the emphasis is on serving rather than watching, as in the parable of the virgins.

2. As was customary in the ancient world, the master of the servants was pictured as turning over his property to his servants because he was going on a journey. He divided his property to his three servants according to their ability, giving five talents to one, two to another, and one talent to the third.

3. A talent was a large sum of money, varying greatly in value according to whether it was silver or gold, and could weigh from fifty-eight to eighty pounds. A silver talent could be worth as much as $2,000, and a gold talent could be worth as much as $30,000. With the rise in price of these metals, today the value would even be higher. When taking into consideration that a man’s wage in Christ’s time was sixteen cents a day, the purchasing power of this amount of money was very large. At maximum, the five-talent man could have received as much as $150,000, a fortune, which would be worth millions today in purchasing power.

4. In the absence of his lord, the five-talent man doubled his money. In like manner, the two-talent man also doubled his money. The one who had received the single talent, however, buried his money in the earth and did nothing with it.

5. In the illustration, the lord of the servants, upon his return, called in his servants for their report. The five-talent man was able to report proudly that he had doubled his money. The two-talent man did likewise. It is significant that both the five-talent and the two-talent man were given precisely the same commendation, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord” (25:21). The principle that rewards are given according to faithfulness is illustrated well in this parable.

6. The one-talent man, however, had to report that he had done nothing but bury his money. He offered the lame excuse, “Lord, I knew thee that thou art an hard man, reaping where thou hast not sown, and gathering where thou hast not strawed: And I was afraid, and went and hid thy talent in the earth: lo, there thou hast that is thine” (vv. 24-25). Whether or not the servant’s accusation was true, it was only an excuse at best. If the servant had actually believed what he had said, it should have made him all the more diligent. His lord, accordingly, answered him abruptly and denounced him as a “wicked and slothful servant.” He pointed out that the least he could have done was to put his money in the bank where it would have received interest.

7. An interesting question that is not directly answered in the text is why the one-talent man did not put it in the bank. Most expositors are rather vague in their explanation of this detail. The explanation seems to be that this wicked man had the same kind of cunning that Judas Iscariot used when he accepted the money for the betrayal of Christ. Judas had reasoned that if Jesus was indeed the Messiah, his betrayal would not matter, and he would be ahead thirty pieces of silver. If Jesus was not the Messiah, he at least would have the silver. So, the wicked one-talent man likewise reasoned: If my lord returns, I will be able to give him back his talent and cannot be accused of being a thief, but if he does not return, there will be no record that the money belongs to him, such as would be true if I deposited it in the bank, and then I will be able to use the money myself. His basic problem, like the problem of Judas, was a lack of faith.

8. The one-talent man did not believe that it was sure his lord was coming back. It is therefore clear that his basic problem was that of being an unbeliever, not simply being unfaithful in service. Accordingly, the conclusion of the illustration, “For unto every one that hath shall be given, and he shall have abundance: but from him that hath not shall be taken away even that which he hath” (v. 29), refers to everyone who has faith or who is lacking faith.

9. Here, as elsewhere in Scripture, while works may be an evidence of salvation, they are never the ground of salvation. The one-talent man, while deficient in works, was condemned because of his lack of faith. Accordingly, the one-talent man is not an illustration of a backsliding Christian, as no Christian justified by faith and declared righteous by God could ever be cast into the outer darkness. A person who really believes in the first coming of Christ will also believe in His second coming and for the same reasons.

10. Taken as a whole, the illustrations, which interpret the doctrine of the second coming and make practical application of the truth, emphasize the two themes of watching and serving. What is true for those anticipating the second coming is also true for those who anticipate Christ’s coming for His church.

C. Judgment of the Nations, 25:31-46.

1. The third section of the Olivet discourse begins with 25:31. The first section, 24:4-31, had answered the questions of the disciples concerning the signs of the end of the age and the coming of the Lord. The second section, 24:32-25:30, presented interpretations and applications of the truth of the second coming of Christ. Beginning in 25:31, Jesus went beyond the questions of the disciples to describe the period following the second coming.

2. This is a judgment related to the second coming of Christ. After Christ has dealt with Israel, He will turn in judgment to the Gentiles. He will enact His role of judge as the “Son of man” (Matt 8:20; Dan 7:13; Matt 16:28); the second Adam about to take over the restored sovereignty of the earth forfeited ay the first Adam. “The He will sit upon the throne of His glory (i.e., “His glorious throne,” 19:28, NASB) the rule promised to David through his posterity (2 Sam 8:12-16). The “throne,” moreover is not the Father’s throne in heaven, which Christ now occupies (Rev 3:21), but His own earthly millennial throne (2 Sam 7:16; Jer 23:5).

3. A strict exegesis of this passage, however, does not support the conclusion that this is a general judgment. There is no mention of resurrection of either the righteous or the wicked, and “all nations” seems to exclude Israel. Accordingly, if the view that there is a kingdom of Christ on earth for a thousand years after His second advent is supported by other Scriptures, this passage fits naturally in such a prophetic framework, and, as such, constitutes the judgment of the living who are on earth at the time of the second coming of Christ in respect to their entrance into the millennial kingdom. This judgment therefore should be contrasted to the judgment of Israel (Eze 20:34-38) and the judgment of the wicked (Rev 20:11-15) which comes after the millennium has concluded. This passage, more precisely than any other, describes the judgment of the world at the beginning of Christ’s millennial kingdom.

4. The time of the judgment is stated to be the period following the second coming of Christ, Matthew 25:31, “When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory.” This judgment, therefore, should be distinguished from the judgment of the church in heaven, the judgment of the wicked at the end of the millennium, and the judgment of Israel.

5. At this judgment, “all nations,” better translated “all Gentiles,” are gathered before Him and are described as sheep and goats intermingled. In the judgment, the sheep are put on His right hand and the goats on His left. The sheep are invited to inherit His kingdom, and Christ will address them: “Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me” (vv. 34-36). When the sheep reply, in verses 37-39, asking when they did these deeds of kindness, the King will reply, “Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me” (v. 40). In mentioning “my brethren,” He is referring to a third class, neither sheep nor goats, which can only be identified as Israel, the only remaining people who are in contrast to all the Gentiles.

6. The King will then address the goats and dismiss them into everlasting fire, declaring that they have not done these deeds of kindness. When they protest, asking when they omitted these deeds, the King will reply, “Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me” (v. 45). The passage concludes with the goats dismissed into everlasting punishment and the righteous entering into the blessings of eternal life.

7. This judgment fits naturally and easily into the prophetic program as usually outlined by premillenarians. The throne is an earthly throne, fulfilling the prediction of Jeremiah 23:5. Those who are judged are Gentiles (Gr. ethne), which, although sometimes used for Jews (Lk 7:5; 23:2; Jn 11:48, 51, 52; 18:35; Ac 10:22), is more characteristically used of Gentiles as distinguished from Jews, as for instance in Romans 11:13; 15:27; 16:4; Galatians 2:12; and is used in contrast to Jews in Romans 3:29 and 9:24.

8. If the evidence sustains the conclusion that this applies to Gentiles living on earth at the time of the second coming of Christ, a further problem is introduced by the nature of the judgment. How can deeds, such as giving the thirsty to drink, clothing the naked, and doing other deeds of kindness, form a basis for salvation? Ephesians 2:8-9 makes plain, “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, that any man should boast.” The Bible clearly teaches in many passages that salvation is by grace and by faith alone and is not based on works (Ro 3:10-12, 21, 28). The answer to this problem is that works are presented here, not as the ground of salvation, but as the evidence of it, in the sense of James 2:26, where it is declared, “Faith without works is dead”; that is, it is not real faith unless it produces works. While this solves the problem in part, the question still remains whether such deeds of kindness are sufficient to demonstrate salvation.

9. The answer to this problem is found in the context of this passage. Those described here are people who have lived through the great tribulation, a time of unparalleled anti-Semitism, when the majority of Jews in the land will be killed. Under these circumstances, if a Gentile befriends a Jew to the extent of feeding and clothing and visiting him, it could only mean that he is a believer in Jesus Christ and recognizes the Jews as the chosen people. Accordingly, in this context, such works become a distinctive evidence that the Gentiles described as the sheep are those who are children of God by faith in Jesus Christ.

10. This judgment, which results in the goats being cast into everlasting fire, is in keeping with the previous prediction of Christ in the parable of the wheat and tares and the parable of the dragnet (Mt 13:24-30, 31-43, 47-50), and is also clearly taught in Revelation 14:11 and 19:15. No adults who are not converted will be allowed to enter the millennial kingdom. The judgment here is not a final judgment, but is preparatory to establishing the kingdom of righteousness and peace, of which many Scriptures speak.

11. In this passage, Christ comes to a world that is basically anti-Christ and worshiping a man satanically empowered. There is no basis here for concluding this to be a judgment of all men living and dead. It is quite different than the judgment of the great white throne (Rev 20:11-15), which takes place in space, whereas this judgment takes place on earth.

12. Although the question of whether Christ will come for His church before the tribulation (the pretribulational view) or at the time of His second coming to earth (the posttribulational view) is not dealt with in this passage, the implications are clearly in favor of the pretribulational view. If the rapture and translation of the church occur while Christ is coming from heaven to earth in His second coming to set up His kingdom, and the church meets the Lord in the air, it is obvious that this very act would separate all the saved from the unsaved. Under these circumstances, no judgment of the nations would be necessary subsequent to the second coming of Christ, because the sheep and the goats would already be separated.

13. The implication of this passage in Matthew is that no rapture of living saints occurs at the time Christ comes to set up His kingdom. This implies that there is a time period between the rapture and the time Christ comes to set up His kingdom, during which a new body of saints, both Jews and Gentiles, is created by faith in Christ.

14. Furthermore, when these saints are judged, they are not given new bodies, but enter the millennium in their natural bodies, in keeping with the millennial predictions of Scripture which describe the saints as bearing children, building houses, and otherwise having a natural life (Is 65:18-25).

15. A proper exegesis of this passage, accordingly, tends to support both the premillennial and the pretribulational point of view, even though this is not the main purpose of this prophecy.

16. Taken as a whole, the Olivet discourse is one of the great prophetic utterances of Scripture and provides facts nowhere else given in quite the same way. In it, Christ, the greatest of the prophets and the master Teacher, described the end of the age as the climax of the troubles of earth in a great tribulation. The time of unprecedented trouble will be terminated by the second coming of Christ. The saved and the unsaved will be separated, and only the saved will enter the millennial kingdom. This is the final word, which Matthew brings in answer to the leading question of this first gospel, concerning the fulfillment of the prophecies of the Old Testament of a glorious kingdom on earth. Matthew states clearly that while Christ, in His first coming, suffered and died and was rejected as both King and Saviour by His own people, He will come again and, in triumph, will bring in the prophesied kingdom literally, just as the Old Testament prophecies had anticipated. There is postponement but not annulment of the great prophecies of the kingdom on earth.

17. It is clear that the disciples did not understand these prophecies at the time. In the few days that followed, they were to witness the death and then the resurrection of Jesus Christ. They were to ask again the question of when the kingdom would be brought in on the day of the ascension of Christ (Ac 1:6). As further revelation was given in the writing of the New Testament, and the disciples pondered the words that they had not understood before, they gradually comprehended the truth that Christ was first coming for His own in the rapture of the church, but then that there would be a fulfillment of the predicted time of trouble. This, in turn, would be climaxed by the second coming of Christ and the establishment of the kingdom. Not one prophecy will be left unfulfilled when history has completed its course and the saints are gathered in the New Jerusalem in the new heaven and the new earth.

IV. Dr. Charles C. Ryrie, Th. D., Ph. D. (DTS). Scripture Text Examination.

A. 25:32. “All the nations.” Lit., All the Gentiles. This is a judgment of those Gentiles who survive the Tribulation, and whose heart-relation to God is evidenced by their treatment of the Jews (Christ’s brethren, v 40), especially during that time. Surviving Jews will also be judged at the same time. See Ezek 20:33-44 note. [This section describes the coming judgment of those Jews who will be living at the time of the conclusion of the Tribulation period when Christ returns to earth. The Chief Shepherd (Christ) will then examine His flock (pass under the rod, v 37; cf Lev 27:32), “purge … the rebels” (v 38), and bring the faithful into the blessing of the New Covenant in the kingdom. At this same time, Gentile survivors of the Tribulation period will also be judged so that all who live through that terrible time will, at its conclusion, either enter the kingdom or be case into hell. Thus, at the very beginning of the Millennium, all who enter it in earthly bodies will have proven through these two judgments that they are redeemed.]

B. 25:35. To do these deeds of kindness to Jewish people during the Tribulation will undoubtedly expose the doers to persecution and even death at the hands of the Antichrist and his agents.

C. 25:37. “when.” They are unconscious of their goodness, in contrast to the ostentation of the Pharisees. In v 44 we see the opposite: the unconscious neglect of duty.

V. Everybody reads material that has been written by someone else. So, it is imperative for us to trust our sources of information, so that we can feel confident that our writings are based on the knowledge and understanding of such Biblically sound authors. Please understand that my articles are based on the prior writings of knowledgeable and trustworthy theologians, of whom “had no ax to grind,” other than the ax of doctrinal truth.

VI. In this article, I have chosen theologians whom have proven themselves to be highly respected by others in the Biblical doctrine of eschatology (study of the end times), and other areas of scripture. Notice, in the following information, that each of my references are deceased and had lengthy times of ministry and instruction throughout much of their lives.

A. Dr. Charles C. Ryrie.

B. Dr. Merrill F. Unger.

C. Dr. J. Dwight Pentecost.

D. Dr. John F. Walvoord.

VII. For education and other supporting data for each source of information in this article, please refer to my Page, “About My References.” The following link shows information about Dallas Theological Seminary, from which many of my sources have a connection, of student, graduate, instructor. I encourage you to familiarize yourself with the Seminary. It is important to understand that DTS is not a denominational seminary, and is totally independent of such.

A. Dallas Theological Seminary Wikipedia info.

B. Faculty.

C. About DTS.

Matthew Chapter 24

I. The Signs of the End of the Age; the Signs and Conditions of the Tribulation.

II. Scripture Text.

III. Dr. Charles C. Ryrie, Th. D., Ph. D. (DTS). Dr. John F. Walvoord, Th. D. (DTS). Overview.

A. Introductory Considerations.

1. The discourse of Christ on the Mount of Olives is one of the four major discourses of Christ and should be compared in its content to the Sermon on the Mount, dealing with the moral and ethical principles of the kingdom (Mt 5-7); the discourse on the present age; the kingdom in its mystery form while the King is absent (Mt 13); and the upper room discourse, dealing with the church as the body of Christ in the present age (Jn 13-17). By contrast, the discourse on the Mount of Olives contains Christ’s teaching on the end of the age, the period leading up to the second coming of Christ to set up His kingdom on earth.

2. The Olivet discourse was delivered after Christ’s scathing denunciation, in Matthew 23, of the hypocrisy and false religion which characterized the scribes and Pharisees, closing with His lament over Jerusalem, where the prophets of God through the centuries had been rejected and martyred.

B. Prediction of Destruction of the Temple, 24:1-2.

1. After delivering the denunciation of the scribes and the Pharisees, Christ left the temple, according to Matthew 24:1-2; and as He left, His disciples pointed out the magnificence of the temple buildings. The temple had been under construction since 20 B.C., and, though not actually completed until A.D. 64, its main buildings apparently were largely finished. To the disciples, the temple seemed an impressive evidence of the solidarity of Israel’s religious life and of God’s blessing upon Jerusalem.

2. When the disciples pointed out the temple, according to verse 2, Jesus said, “See ye not all these things? verily I say unto you, There shall not be left here one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down.” The disciples apparently received these solemn words in silence, but their thoughts were sobering. The temple was made of huge stones, some of them many tons in size, carved out in the stone quarries underneath the city of Jerusalem. Such large stones could be dislodged only through deliberate force. The sad fulfillment was to come in A.D. 70, only six years after the temple was completed, when the Roman soldiers deliberately destroyed the temple, prying off stones one by one and casting them into the valley below. Recent excavations have uncovered some of these stones.

C. Questions of the Disciples, 24:3.

1. As they walked from the temple area through the Kidron Valley and up the slope of the Mount of Olives, the disciples, no doubt, were pondering these solemn words of Christ. Matthew 24:3 records that when Christ sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples then came with their questions. According to Mark 13:3, questions were asked by Peter, James, John, and Andrew. Matthew 24:3 records, “And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?” The disciples had in mind, of course, that the destruction of Solomon’s temple, in 586 B.C, preceded the time of captivity. How did the temple’s future destruction relate to the promise of the coming kingdom and their hope that Christ would reign over the nation of Israel?

2. The discourse that follows depends for its interpretation on the question of whether these prophecies should be interpreted literally. Amillenarians, who do not interpret literally any prophecy concerning a future millennial reign of Christ, tend to take the prophecies in this discourse in a general rather than a particular way, and frequently try to find fulfillment in the first century in connection with the destruction of Jerusalem. Postmillenarians, following the idea that the gospel will gradually triumph over the entire world, have to spiritualize it even more, because this discourse indicates a trend toward increasing evil, which Christ will judge at His second coming.

3. Liberal interpreters consider this discourse as only a summary of apocalyptic ideas current in the first century, presented here as if taught by Christ but probably not actually uttered by Christ.

4. Those who take the Olivet discourse literally, of course, not only reject the liberal interpretation, but also the amillenarian view of this discourse. Premillenarians, accordingly, interpret the discourse as an accurate statement of end-time events, which will lead up to and climax in the second coming of Christ to set up His millennial kingdom on the earth.

5. Some variations, however, may also be observed in pre-millennial interpretation. Those who believe that the rapture, or translation of the church, occurs before the time of trouble at the end of the age usually do not believe that the rapture is in view at all in this discourse, as the rapture was first introduced in John 14:1-3, the night before Jesus was crucified, sometime after the Olivet discourse. Those accepting the posttribulational view, that the rapture of the church and the second coming of Christ occur at the same time, tend to ignore the details of this discourse in the same fashion as the amillenarians do. For instance, G. Campbell Morgan skips over Matthew 24:15-22, which is the most important portion of Matthew 24. If the details of this discourse are observed and interpreted literally, it fits best with the view that the rapture is not revealed in this discourse at all, but is a later revelation, introduced by Christ in John 14 and revealed in more detail in 1 Corinthians 15 and 1 Thessalonians 4. There, the “blessed hope” that Christ will come for His church before these end-time events overtake the world is revealed.

6. The period climaxing in the second coming of Christ to the earth, according to many premillenarians, begins with the rapture, or translation of the church, and is followed by the rapid rise of a dictator in the Middle East who makes a covenant with Israel. As a result of this covenant, Israel enjoys protection and peace for three-and-a-half-years. Then the covenant is broken, and the final three-and-a-half years leading up to the second coming of Christ is a period of great tribulation and time of Israel’s trouble.

7. The second coming of Christ begins His millennial reign of one thousand years, which in turn is followed by the new heaven and the new earth and the eternal state. The Olivet discourse, accordingly, is in some sense a summary of the same period described in Revelation 6-19.

8. In Matthew 24:3, the disciples had asked three questions: (1) “Tell us, when shall these things be?”; (2) “What shall be the sign of thy coming?”; and (3) What shall be the sign “of the end of the world?” Matthew’s gospel does not answer the first question, which relates to the destruction of Jerusalem in A.D. 70. This is given more in detail in Luke, while Matthew and Mark answer the second and third questions, which actually refer to Christ’s coming and the end of the age as one and the same event. Matthew’s account of the Olivet discourse records that portion of Christ’s answer that relates to His future kingdom and how it will be brought in, which is one of the major purposes of the gospel.

D. Course of the Present Age, 24:4-14.

1. Expositors have taken various approaches to the introductory remarks of Christ. G. Campbell Morgan, for instance, regards the whole section of Matthew 24:4-22 as already fulfilled in the destruction of Jerusalem. Morgan states, “Everything predicted from verse six to verse twenty-two was fulfilled to the letter in connection with the Fall of Jerusalem within a generation.” Alfred Plummer goes a step further and includes verse 28 as fulfilled in A. D. 70.

2. Both Morgan and Plummer ignore the identification of the “great tribulation” in Matthew 24:15, 21 as a specific future period of time, and also ignore the details of the prophecy, not even attempting an exegesis of most of the verses.

3. The second coming of Christ is revealed in verses 27-31, which should be compared with the more detailed prophecy of Revelation 19:11-21.

4. In Matthew 24:13-14, there will be the worldwide preaching of the gospel of the kingdom, during the Tribulation.

5. In general, these signs have characterized the period between the first and second coming of Christ.

6. Throughout the Tribulation there is the announcement of the coming kingdom when Christ will reign on earth, which, of course, will be preached in intensified form as the end approaches of the Tribulation, climaxing with the second coming of Christ, having the promise that those that endure to the end (Mt 24:13), that is, survive the tribulation and are still alive, will be saved, or delivered, by Christ at His second coming. This is not a reference to salvation from sin, but rather the deliverance of survivors at the end of the age as stated, for instance, in Romans 11:26, where the Deliverer will save the nation Israel from its persecutors. Many, of course, will not endure to the end, in the sense that they will be martyred, even though they are saved by faith in Christ, and the multitude of martyrs is mentioned in Revelation 7:9-17.

E. Signs of the Tribulation, 24:4-25.

1. This portion of the Olivet discourse is crucial to understanding what Christ reveals about the end of the age. The tendency to explain away this section or ignore it constitutes the major difficulty in the interpretation of the Olivet discourse. In the background is the tendency of liberals to discount prophecy and the practice of some conservatives of not interpreting prophecy literally. If this prediction means what it says, it is referring to a specific time of great trouble which immediately precedes the second coming of Christ. As such, the prediction of the great tribulation is “the sign” of the second coming, and those who see the sign will be living in the generation which will see the second coming itself.

2. The fact that the book of Revelation, which practically all expositors date after the destruction of Jerusalem, coincides so exactly with this presentation makes it clear that Christ was not talking here about fulfillment in the first century, but prophecy to be related to His actual second coming to the earth in the future. William Kelly states it concisely, “The conclusion is clear and certain: in verse 15 of Matthew 24, our Lord alludes to that part of Daniel which is yet future, not to what was history when He spoke this on the mount of Olives.”

3. The sign of the future tribulation is identified with what Christ calls the sign of “the abomination of desolation” (v. 15). Jesus said, “When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand): Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains” (vv. 15-16). The event is so specific that it will be a signal to the Jews living in Judea at the time to flee to the mountains. What did Christ mean by the expression “the abomination of desolation”?

4. This term is found three times in the book of Daniel (Dan 9:27; 11:31; 12:11). Its definition is found in Daniel 11:31 in the prophecy written by Daniel concerning a Syrian ruler, Antiochus Epiphanes, who reigned over Syria 175-164 B.C., about four hundred years after Daniel.

5. In his prophecy, Daniel predicted, “They shall pollute the sanctuary of strength, and shall take away the daily sacrifice, and they shall place the abomination that maketh desolate” (11:31). As this was fulfilled in history, it is comparatively easy to understand what Daniel meant. Antiochus Epiphanes was a great persecutor of the people of Israel, as recorded in the apocryphal books of 1 and 2 Maccabees. In attempting to stamp out the Jewish religion, he murdered thousands of Jews, including women and children, and desecrated the temple of Israel, which precipitated the Maccabean revolt.

6. Antiochus, in attempting to stop the temple sacrifices, offered a sow, an unclean animal, on the altar, to render the Jewish temple abominable to the Jews (cf. 1 Mac 1:48). According to 1 Maccabees 1:57, the abomination of desolation was actually set up, and a statue of a Greek god was installed in the temple. For a time, the sacrifices of the Jews were stopped, and the temple was left desolate. The action of Antiochus in stopping the sacrifices, desecrating the temple, and setting up an idol in the temple is going to be repeated in the future as the signal of the beginning of the great tribulation.

7. This future abomination is described in Daniel 9:27: “He [the prince that shall come] shall confirm the covenant with many [Israel] for one week” (literally, “one seven,” meaning seven years, as practically all commentators, even those who are liberal, agree). The prophecy continues, “And in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate.” The prediction is that a future prince will do just what Antiochus did in the second century B.C.

8. Further light is cast on this in Daniel 12:11, where it states, “And from the time that the daily sacrifice shall be taken away, and the abomination that maketh desolate set up, there shall be a thousand two hundred and ninety days,” or approximately three-and-a-half-years preceding the second coming of Christ. H. A. Ironside summarizes it, “Our Lord tells us definitely here that His second advent is to follow at once upon the close of that time of trouble; so it is evident that this day of trial is yet in the future.”

9. The New Testament, in 2 Thessalonians 2:4, describes the same period, with the ruler setting himself up as God in the temple. Revelation 13:14-15 also records that an image of the ruler will be set up in the temple. These events did not take place in the first century in connection with the destruction of Jerusalem in A. D. 70, and are closely related to the future fulfillment on the second coming of Christ.

10. These predictions have raised questions concerning the meaning of Israel’s present occupation of the city of Jerusalem. If sacrifices are going to be stopped in a Jewish temple in the future, it requires, first, that a Jewish temple be built, and second, that the sacrifices be reinstituted. This has led to the conclusion that the present possession of Israel of the temple site since 1967 may be a divinely ordered preparation, that in God’s time, the temple will be rebuilt and the sacrifices begun again. Although this is difficult to understand in view of the fact that the shrine, the Dome of the Rock, is apparently on the site of the ancient temple and hinders any present erection of such a temple, many believe that, nevertheless, such a temple will be rebuilt and these prophecies literally fulfilled. If upon this revival of their sacrificial system such a future temple is suddenly desecrated, it would constitute a sign to the nation of Israel of the coming time of great trouble just preceding the second coming of Christ.

11. The sign is so specific that on the basis of it, Christ advised the children of Israel to flee to the mountain without hesitation when it occurs. His instructions were dramatic, as recorded in Matthew 24:16-20. They were to flee immediately to the mountains of Judea, not return to take clothes or other provisions, and pray that their flight will not be in the winter, when it would be most uncomfortable, or on the Sabbath, when their flight would be noticeable. Especially difficult would be the lot of those with small children. Christ summarizes these predictions in 24:21, “For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.”

12. The great tribulation, accordingly, is a specific period of time beginning with the abomination of desolation and closing with the second coming of Christ, in the light of Daniel’s prophecies and confirmed by reference to forty-two months. In Revelation 11:2 and 13:5, the great tribulation is a specific three-and-a-half-year period leading up to the second coming and should not be confused with a general time of trouble, such as was predicted earlier in Matthew 24:4-14.

13. Jesus also predicted that the period would be “shortened” (v. 22), literally, terminated or cut off (Gr. ekolobothesan). This does not mean that the period will be less than three-and-a-half years, but that it will be definitely terminated suddenly by the second coming of Christ.

14. That the period would be a time of unprecedented trouble is brought out clearly in Revelation 6-19. One of the various judgments, the fourth seal (6:7-8), predicts a fourth part of the earth perishing. In Revelation 9:13-21, the sixth trumpet refers to a third part of the world’s population being killed. These are only part of the great catastrophies which fall one after another upon the world and which will climax in a great world war (16:12-16). The final judgment just before the second coming, described as the seventh bowl of the wrath of God (vv. 17-21), consists in a great earthquake, which apparently destroys cities of the world, and a hailstorm, with hailstones weighing a talent, or as much as eighty pounds. Putting all these Scriptures together, it indicates that the great tribulation will mark the death of hundreds of millions of people in a comparatively short period of time.

15. Because the tribulation is unprecedented in history and consists largely in judgments of God on an unbelieving world, many interpreters have come to the conclusion that the church will not have to go through this period. If the church must endure the tribulation, the chances of survival are quite remote as it is obvious that many who do turn to Christ in that period perish as martyrs. They are described as “a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues” (Rev 7:9), referring to both Jews and Gentiles who will die in the great tribulation. The possibility of rapture for the few that survive is not “the blessed hope” which is held before Christians in the New Testament.

16. Our hope is not the horrors of the tribulation, but the blessed expectation of Christ’s coming for His own (cf. 1 Th 4:13-18).

F. Second Coming of Christ, 24:26-31.

1. One who believes the prophetic Scripture will have no difficulty identifying the second coming of Christ, because it will be a public event. Accordingly, Christ, in 24:26, stated, “Wherefore if they shall say unto you, Behold, he is in the desert; go not forth: behold, he is in the secret chambers; believe it not.” Unlike the rapture of the church, which apparently the world will not see or hear, the second coming of Christ will be witnessed both by believers and unbelievers who are on the earth at that time. Christ described it in verse 27, “For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.” Apparently, the heavens will be ablaze with the glory of God. According to Revelation 1:7, “Every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him.”

2. This declaration is supported by a cryptic statement in Matthew 24:28, “For wheresoever the carcase is, there will the eagles be gathered together.” The meaning is that the glorious coming of Christ is the natural sequence to blasphemy and unbelief, which characterizes the preceding period. Just as when an animal dies, the vultures gather, so when there is moral corruption, there must be divine judgment.

3. This is further described in verses 29-30, “Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken: And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.” The frightening display of divine disruption of the heavens, which precedes the second coming described graphically in Revelation 6:12-14 and in many other of the judgments of God described in the book of Revelation, will be climaxed by the glorious appearing of Christ in heaven (cf. Rev 19:11-16). This will be a coming of the Lord to judge and subdue the earth and to bring in His earthly kingdom, and is in contrast to the rapture of the church, which is an entirely different event and with a different purpose.

4. His second coming to the earth is nevertheless a gathering of all “his elect” as stated in Matthew 24:31, a particular reference to the nation Israel as an elect nation.

5. Taken as a whole, the second coming of Christ is a majestic event, not instantaneous like the rapture, but extending over many hours. This perhaps explains why everyone can see it, because in the course of a day, the earth will rotate and the entire world will be able to see the approach of Christ accompanied by the hosts of heaven, which will descend to the earth in the area of the Mount of Olives (Zee 14:4).

6. The entire passage from Matthew 24:4-31 is the specific answer to the disciples of the sign of His coming and of the end of the age, with the climactic sign being the second coming and the glory that attends it, and will fulfill the prophecy of Acts 1:11 that Christ will return as He went up into heaven, that is, His return will be physical, gradual, visible, and with clouds. Matthew 24:31 brings to a close the first doctrinal section of the Olivet discourse, and what follows is a series of applications and illustrations.

G. Parable of the Fig Tree, 24:32-33.

1. In interpreting the illustrations which follow, the laws of exegesis dictate that the illustrations relate to the doctrine of the second coming of Christ. Accordingly, it will have a particular application to those who will await the second coming of Christ to the earth.

2. This is especially appropriate in consideration of the fig tree. In 24:32-33, Christ stated, “Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When his branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is nigh: So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors.” A very popular interpretation of this passage considers the fig tree as a type, or illustration, of Israel. According to this view, the fact that Israel in the twentieth century is back in the land constitutes a budding of the fig tree, and may be taken as conclusive proof that the Lord’s return is near.

3. Commentaries which try to refer this entire passage to the destruction of Jerusalem in A. D. 70, of course, pass it over with no comment, as do G. Campbell Morgan and Willoughby C. Allen, or apply it to the destruction of Jerusalem, as does R. V. G. Tasker.

4. Actually, while the fig tree could be an apt illustration of Israel, it is not so used in the Bible. In Jeremiah 24:1-8, good and bad figs illustrate Israel in the captivity, and there is also mention of figs in 29:17. The reference to the fig tree in Judges 9:10-11 is obviously not Israel. Neither the reference in Matthew 21:18-20 nor that in Mark 11:12-14 with its interpretation in 11:20-26, gives any indication that it is referring to Israel, any more than the mountain referred to in the passage. Accordingly, while this interpretation is held by many, there is no clear scriptural warrant.

5. A better interpretation is that Christ was using a natural illustration. Because the fig tree brings forth new leaves late in the spring, the budding of the leaves is evidence that summer is near. In a similar way, when those living in the great tribulation see the signs predicted, they will know that the second coming of Christ is near. The signs in this passage, accordingly, are not the revival of Israel, but the great tribulation itself. Lenski, accordingly, is correct when he states that “all these things” mentioned in Matthew 24:33 refer to the preceding context. That Israel’s presence in the holy land is a dramatic evidence that the age is approaching its end may be supported by other passages, but this is not the point here.

6. Christ further commented in verses 34-36, “This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled. Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away. But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only.”

7. What is the meaning of the expression this generation? Some have cited this as an illustration of an error on the part of Christ, for a generation is normally from thirty to one hundred years, and obviously, the prophecy of the second coming was not fulfilled in that period. Commentators offer a variety of opinions. Some refer “generation” to the nation Israel. The meaning, then, would be that Israel would continue as a nation until the second coming of Christ. Some take generation to refer to an indefinite period of time. Arndt and Gingrich, while offering the possibility that generation means nation or race, prefer age or period of time, and, accordingly, take it as instructing the disciples that the age leading up to the second coming will not end until the event of the second coming itself. A third explanation is that the word generation means what it normally means, that is, a period of thirty to one hundred years, and refers to the particular generation that will see the specific signs, that is, the signs of the great tribulation. In other words, the same generation that will experience the great tribulation will also witness the second coming of Christ.

8. In any case, Christ points out that while prophecy is absolutely certain of fulfillment, the day of the second coming is not revealed, although the approximate time will be known by those living in the great tribulation.

9. To illustrate this approximate time of the second coming, He used the historic flood in the time of Noah. While those observing Noah building the ark could anticipate that a flood was impending, it was obvious that the flood could not come until the ark was completed. So also with the second coming. Unlike the rapture, which has no preceding signs and therefore could occur any time, the second coming of Christ to the earth to set up His kingdom cannot occur until the preceding signs have been fulfilled. When the ark was completed and Noah and his family and the animals were in it, those observing could anticipate that the predicted flood could occur any day. But even then, they could not predict the day nor the hour.

10. Like the days of Noah, the time of the second coming will be a period of judgment on the earth. Just as the flood came “and took them all away,” referring to the judgment of unbelievers, so at the second coming, some will be taken away. According to Matthew 24:40-41, “Then shall two be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left. Two women shall be grinding at the mill; the one shall be taken, and the other left.” Because at the rapture believers will be taken out of the world, some have confused this with the rapture of the church.

11. Here, however, the situation is the reverse. The one who is left, is left to enter the kingdom; the one who is taken, is taken in judgment. This is in keeping with the illustration of the time of Noah when the ones taken away are the unbelievers. The word for “shall be taken” in verses 40-41 uses the same word found in John 19:16, where Christ was taken away to the judgment of the cross. Accordingly, no one can know the day nor the hour, but they can know that when the second coming occurs, it will be a time of separation of the saved from the unsaved.

12. Emphasizing the necessity of watchfulness for the Lord’s return, He used the illustration of the good man of the house who, anticipating the possibility that a thief would come, kept careful watch. Just as one cannot know when a thief may come, so the servants of God who live in the great tribulation should expect Christ to come (cf. 1 Th 5:2).

13. In addition to watchfulness, however, there should be careful service and preparation. This is illustrated in the parable of the servant, beginning in Matthew 24:45. Having been left in charge of his master’s household in the absence of the master, the servant was challenged to do his duty well and not to live carelessly, thinking that the lord would not be coming soon. The careless servant will be severely judged as an unbeliever, in contrast to the good servant who will be rewarded by his Lord. An unfaithful slave could be put to death and punished severely. So will Christ judge a wicked world that does not look for His return.

14. The illustrations, beginning in verse 32, have as their primary interpretation and exhortation the situation immediately preceding the second coming of Christ. The catching up of the church (John 14:3) precedes the second coming of Christ.

IV. Dr. Charles C. Ryrie, Th. D., Ph. D. (DTS). Scripture Text Examination.

A. In verses 4-14, Jesus lists characteristics of the first half of the tribulation, whereas verses 15-28 deal with the second half.

B. 24:6-7. See the same judgments outlined in Rev 6:1-8.

C. 24:14. “This gospel of the kingdom.” This is the good news that will be preached during the tribulation concerning the coming of Messiah, and the setting up of His kingdom (See 3:2). Evidently many will respond (Rev 7:9-14).

D. 24:15. “ABOMINATION OF DESOLATION.” This is the man of sin (2 Thes 2:4), the Antichrist, who at this midpoint in the Tribulation breaks the covenant he made with the Jewish people at the beginning of the Tribulation (Dan 9:27) and demands that they and the world worship him. Those who resist will be persecuted, and many will be martyred, that is the reason for the urgency of the instructions in verses 16-22.

E. 24:22. “no life” = no human being. The elect are Jews (Deu 14:2). The church will have been translated before that time begins (1 Cor 15:50-54). Unsaved Jews and Gentiles will have been left behind from the rapture, and are the subject of the first half of this verse, “no life.”

F. 24:29. “THE SUN … THE MOON …THE STARS.” These astral phenomena, which will accompany the return of the Son of Man, are foretold in Isa 13:9-10 and Joel 2:31; 3:15.

G. 24:30. The “Son of Man” Himself will come visibly (Rev 1:7).

H. 24:33. “all these things.” The signs described in 4-28.”

I. 24:34. “this generation.” No one living when Jesus spoke these words lived to see “all these things” come to pass. However, the Greek word can mean “race” or “family,” which makes good sense here; i.e., the Jewish race will be preserved, in spite of terrible persecution, until the Lord comes.

J. 24:37-39. “The days of Noah” were times of carousing and unpreparedness, as they will be at the Second Coming. The “flood” removed the wicked (cf. Luke 17:27). Christ will do the same at His return.

K. 24:40-41. The “ones taken” will be taken to judgment and death. The ones left will be left to enter the blessings of the millennial kingdom.

L. 24:48:49. The evil servant’s belief (that the master would not return soon) affected his conduct toward others (as is always true).

Matthew Chapter 23

I. Jesus Condemns the Scribes and Pharisees.

II. Scripture Text

III. Dr. John F. Walvoord, Th. D. (DTS). Overview.

A. Hypocrisy of the Pharisees, 23:1-12.

1. Jesus, at this time, was thronged with pilgrims from all over Israel who had come to celebrate the Passover feast. Addressing Himself to them and to His own disciples, Jesus solemnly warned them concerning the scribes and Pharisees (cf. Mk 12:38-40; Lk 20:45-47). This discourse, as a whole, is found only in Matthew. Jesus began by acknowledging that they were seated in Moses’ seat. While not saying it in so many words, He implied that they were usurpers who were not truly successors of Moses. But nevertheless, their position must be recognized. Accordingly, He told them, “All therefore whatsoever they bid you observe, that observe and do” (23:3).

2. By commanding them to observe and do what the Pharisees instructed them, Jesus certainly did not mean that they should follow the false teachings of the Pharisees but rather those teachings that naturally and correctly arose from the Law of Moses. In general, the Pharisees were upholders of the law and should be recognized for this.

3. Jesus went on immediately, however, to point out their hypocrisy and commanded the people, “But do not ye after their works: for they say, and do not” (v. 3). He then cited the hypocrisy of the Pharisees. They lay heavy burdens upon the people but would not do anything to make the load lighter. Their own works were done to be observed by men rather than God. They made broad their phylacteries, the Scriptures which they customarily bound to their forehead and to their left wrist, containing the Scriptures of Exodus 13:3-16; Deuteronomy 6:5-9 and 11:13-21. This they did, not only when they prayed in the morning, but throughout the day, for the purpose of being seen of men. They also enlarged the borders of their garments, the tassels referred to in Deuteronomy 22:12, which were tokens that they were holy men.

4. Jesus charged the Pharisees with loving the best places at the feasts and the chief seats in the synagogue. They loved to be called rabbi, which recognized that they were teachers and scholars. Jesus reminded them that their Messiah, “Christ,” was their Master, and God was their Father. It is of interest that He referred to the Christ, or the Messiah, in Matthew 23:8, 10. What He was saying was that the Pharisees and scribes had forgotten the preeminence of God and of their Messiah.

5. This condemnation by Jesus of the pretentions of the scribes and Pharisees does not rule out reasonable recognition of authority in Israel, but obviously prohibits making this a goal in itself. He held before them instead the desirability of being a servant, or one who ministers, and He concluded, “And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted” (v. 12). His disciples were not to seek to be called rabbi and were forbidden to use the word father indiscriminately, even though Paul used father correctly in 1 Corinthians 4:15, and John addressed fathers in 1 John 2: 13-14. The general teaching is clear. They were not to seek man-exalting titles such as rabbi, father, or minister to gain the recognition of men. Disciples of Christ should not exalt themselves but should seek to serve others and leave the exalting to God Himself.

B. Jesus Pronounces Seven Woes Upon the Scribes and Pharisees, 23:13-36.

1. In this section, climaxing the controversy of Christ with the scribes and Pharisees, seven solemn woes are pronounced upon them. Only Matthew records this scathing denunciation of these religious leaders of the Jews. These woes, in contrast to the Beatitudes, denounce false religion as utterly abhorrent to God and worthy of severe condemnation. No passage in the Bible is more biting, more pointed, or more severe than this pronouncement of Christ upon the Pharisees. It is significant that He singled them out, as opposed to the Sadducees, who were more liberal, and the Herodians, who were the politicians. The Pharisees, while attempting to honor the Word of God and manifesting an extreme form of religious observance, were actually the farthest from God.

2. His first condemnation, in 23:13, related to the fact that they did all they could to shut out others. False religion and pretense are always the worst enemies of the truth and are far more dangerous than immorality or indifference. As the religious leaders of the Jews, they were held guilty before God of blocking the way for others seeking to enter into the kingdom of God.

3. In verse 14, another woe is indicated, in which the scribes and Pharisees were charged with devouring widows’ houses and making long prayers to impress others. The verse, however, is omitted in most manuscripts and probably should not be considered as rightly a portion of this Scripture. It may have been inserted from Mark 12:40 and Luke 20:47. If it is included, it would bring the total woes to eight instead of seven.

4. In Matthew 23:15, the second woe is mentioned. In this one, the Pharisees were described as extremely energetic on both land and sea to make proselytes of the Jewish religion. But when they were successful, Jesus charged, “Ye make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves.” In referring to hell, Christ used the word Geenna or Gehenna, a reference to eternal damnation, rather than to Hades, the temporary abode of the wicked in the intermediate state. The Pharisees and their proselytes both would end up in eternal damnation.

5. A third woe is mentioned in verse 16, based on the trickery of the Pharisees, who held that swearing by the gold of the temple bound the oath. Jesus denounced them as both fools and blind, as obviously the gold was meaningless unless it was sanctified by the temple, and the gift on the altar was meaningless unless it was given significance by the altar. Repeating His accusation, He declared in verse 19, “Ye fools and blind: for whether is greater, the gift, or the altar that sanctifieth the gift?” Accordingly, Christ concluded that an oath based on the temple was binding, just as an oath based on heaven carried with it the significance of the throne of God and God who sits on the throne.

6. The fourth woe, mentioned in verse 23, has to do with hypocrisy in tithing. While they were so concerned in paying the tithe down to the smallest spice or seed, they omitted the really important matters: obeying the law and manifesting mercy and faith. He repeated His charge that they were blind, straining out a gnat or a small insect, but swallowing a camel. He was, of course, speaking figuratively of their dealing with minutiae but omitting the really important things.

7. The fifth woe is pronounced in verse 25, where He repeated the charge that they were hypocrites, merely actors acting a part. He charged them with cleaning the outside of the cup and the platter but being unconcerned about what was inside, where cleanliness really matters. He meant by this that they were concerned with ceremonial cleanliness, that which men observed, but not really concerned with holiness. While observing ceremonial rites of cleansing, they were not above extortion and excess.

8. In verse 27, Jesus mentioned the sixth woe. In this one, He described them as whited sepulchres, graves that had been made beautiful and white on the outside but within were full of dead men’s bones. This illustrated that the Pharisees were outwardly righteous but inwardly full of hypocrisy and iniquity.

9. Jesus concluded with the seventh woe, in verse 29, in which He charged them with building tombs of the prophets and garnishing them with decorations and claiming that they would not be partakers with their fathers in martyring prophets. Jesus called their very witness to account, that they were the children of those who killed the prophets, and He told them, in verse 32, “Fill ye up then the measure of your fathers.” In other words, do what your fathers did and even do worse. Jesus was, of course, referring to their intent to kill Him and to their later persecution of the church.

10. In the severest terms, in verse 33, Jesus addressed them, “Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell?” He described the scribes and Pharisees as poisonous snakes, destined for terrible judgment which would be theirs in hell, specifically Gehenna, the place of eternal punishment.

11. Jesus declared, in verse 34, that He would send to them prophets, wise men, and scribes who were also believers. Some of them they would persecute, some they would scourge and drive out of the synagogue, and others they would kill and crucify. Their works would justify bringing upon them the just condemnation coming from all the righteous blood shed upon the earth from the time of righteous Abel, killed by Cain (Gen 4:8), to the martyrdom of Zacharias, the son of Barachias (2 Ch 24:20-22). Zacharias, mentioned as the son of Jehoiada in 2 Chronicles 24:20, probably was the grandson of the priest and Barachias was his actual father. Richard Glover, in his outline of Matthew 23, summarizes the characteristics of hypocrisy in these words, “Hypocrisy is a hard taskmaster…lives only for the praise of men…concerns itself with the small things of religion…deals with externals chiefly…reveres only what is dead…finds a fearful judgment.”

12. The present sad chapter in the days of Israel’s apostasy was the climax of the religious rulers’ long rejection of the things of God. Jesus solemnly pronounced that all these acts of rejection of God and His prophets would cause judgment to come upon this generation, which they would bring to culmination by their rejection of God’s only Son. This prophecy was tragically fulfilled in the destruction of Jerusalem and the scattering of the children of Israel over the face of the earth. Jerusalem, the city of God, and the magnificent temple, the center of their worship, were to lay in ashes as an eloquent reminder that divine judgment on hypocrisy and sin is inevitable.

C. Lament over Jerusalem, 23:37-39.

1. Probably no words of Jesus in His public ministry are more eloquent than the words recorded in Matthew of Christ’s lament over Jerusalem (cf. His earlier lament over Jerusalem, Lk 19:41-44). Here is revealed the breaking heart of God over a people whom God loved, and yet a people who spurned that love and killed those whom God sent to them. The chapter that holds the most severe indictment of any of the discourses of Christ “ends in sobs and tears.” Jesus declared, “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!” (Mt 23:37). The repetition of the address to Jerusalem signifies the deep emotion in which Jesus spoke, and can be compared to repetitions of similar character in Samuel 18:33, where Absalom is so addressed; Jesus’ repeated address to Martha in Luke 10:41; and the call to Saul in Acts 9:4.

2. Jerusalem, which means “city of peace,” was the scene where the blood of the prophets was spilled, and stones were cast at those who brought a message of love. Both the verbs for “killest” and “stonest” are present tense, speaking of habitual or characteristic action. Again and again, prophets had been killed and stoned, and the end was not yet. The figure of a hen, or any mother bird, connotes a brood of young gathering under protective wings, a familiar image in the Bible (Deu 32:11; Ps 17:8; 61:4).

3. How tragic the words, “Ye would not!” It was God’s desire to save them, but it was their will to turn away. There was nothing left but to pronounce judgment, and Jesus did this in Matthew 23:38, “Behold, your house is left unto you desolate.” By “house,” undoubtedly He was referring to the city. It could, however, also relate to the nation itself, which was to suffer severely in dispersion over the world. The expression left desolate is contained in a simple verb meaning to be left alone. How alone is a city, a nation, or an individual from whom God has departed.

4. Even in the midst of this gloom and condemnation, however, a ray of light is given in verse 39, when Jesus said, “For I say unto you, Ye shall not see me henceforth, till ye shall say, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord.” The generation to whom He was speaking was indeed to be left desolate, tragically alone, but there was hope for a future generation, a generation which would turn once again to the Lord. With these words, Jesus closed His last public discourse and left the temple for the last time (cf. Mt 24:1).

5. Moses had written long ago in Deuteronomy 30:1-3, “And it shall come to pass, when all these things are come upon thee, and thou shalt call them to mind among all the nations, whither the Lord thy God hath driven thee, and shalt return unto the Lord thy God, and shalt obey his voice according to all that I command thee this day, thou and thy children, with all thine heart, and with all thy soul; That then the Lord thy God will turn thy captivity, and have compassion upon thee, and will return and gather thee from all the nations, whither the Lord thy God hath scattered thee.” Moses went on to predict their regathering and their possession of the land (Deu 30:4-5). In Deuteronomy 30:6, he stated “And the Lord thy God will circumcise thine heart, and the heart of thy seed, to love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, with all thy soul, that thou mayest live.”

6. Other references to the same revival in the Old Testament are frequently found. The closing chapters of the prophecies of Isaiah mention again and again the coming revival of Israel, as, for instance, in Isaiah 65:18-25. Jeremiah, in like manner, prophesies Israel’s future restoration in Jeremiah 30:1-11; 31:1-14, 27-37. Zechariah speaks of it in chapter 8, and 12:10; 13:1; 14:9-21. The New Testament picks up similar truth in Romans 11:25-36 and pictures Israel triumphant on Mount Zion in Revelation 14:1-5. While it is tragic that Israel did not know the day of her visitation at the time of the first coming of Christ, the godly remnant of Israel, that awaits His second coming to sit on the throne of David, will experience the blessing of the Lord and receive a new heart and a new spirit, of which Ezekiel spoke in Ezekiel 36:23-28.

7. The tragic note which ends Matthew 23 introduces the great prophecy of the end of the age, recorded in Matthew 24-25 and delivered privately to His disciples. This discourse details the prophecy of the coming kingdom and the time of reward and blessing for those who trust in the Lord.

Part Eight

The Olivet Discourse On The End Of The Age

IV. Dr. Charles C. Ryrie, Th. D., Ph. D. (DTS). Scripture Text Examination.

23:39. “from now on you will not see me.” I.e., I will no longer teach publicly “until you say.” At the second coming of Christ, Israel will recognize and welcome their rejected Messiah (Zech 12:10).

V. Dr. Michael VanLaningham, M. Div, Ph. D. (MBI). Scripture Text Examination.

23:37-39. Jesus reiterated the fate awaiting the Jewish people because of the disobedience of the leaders. Judgment, however, is not the last word, for Jesus will come again to a repentant people. At some time in the future, as a virtual prerequisite for the second coming, the Jewish people will recognize that Jesus of Nazareth is their Messiah, and will express a Ps 118:26 like confession. Only then will He come (cf. also Acts 3:19-20) and be seen by them in fulfillment of Zech 12:10. Cf. the comments on Mt 21:4-9 for the significance of Ps 118:26.

VI. Summing It Up. It is very clear throughout this chapter that the context of the conversation between Jesus and the people is that of Jesus speaking with “God’s Chosen People,” Israel (Deu 14:2), including the unbelieving Jews. Gentiles, neither, would have had any knowledge of the verses of Scripture that Jesus used in reference in His discourses, nor would Gentiles have had any understanding of the context in which Jesus was speaking. Of Key interest is vs 23:37-39, which will take place at the end of the Tribulation. Those that are mentioned in 23:37-39 will be a future generation of Jews, who will be left behind from the rapture, and will be alive at the end of the Tribulation.

VII. For education and other supporting data for each source of information in this article, please refer to my Page, “About My References.” The following link shows information about Dallas Theological Seminary, from which many of my sources have a connection, of student, graduate, instructor. I encourage you to familiarize yourself with the Seminary. 

A. Wikipedia info.

B. Faculty.

C. About DTS.

VIII. DTS Galatians Classroom Teaching.

A. Instructor: Dr. Mark Yarbrough, President of DTS, M.Th., Ph. D. 

B. Outline: Galatians Chapters 5-6.

C. In this lesson, Paul explains how we should live as free in Christ.

D. Outline.

1. The model of law is to obey to be rewarded. The model of grace is to obey because we have been rewarded.

2. Galatians 5–6, Freedom in Christ Defended.

a. Galatians 5:1–12, Paul wanted the Galatians to stand firm in freedom in Christ. (1) Galatians 5:1–6, Paul wasn’t forbidding circumcision. Instead, he was forbidding circumcision as a means of justification. (2) Galatians 5:7–12, Paul used graphic language to show how important it is to continue with the true gospel of grace.

b. Galatians 5:13–15, Love works as a safeguard for freedom.

c. Galatians 5:16–26, Those who are saved by grace live by the Spirit. (1) It’s tempting to interpret this portion of Galatians with a performance-based mindset as a list of don’ts followed by a list of dos. (2) Our sinful nature leads us to do things to gratify our desires. (3) People will see the fruit of that activity when the Spirit is active in our lives. (4) Most New Testament lists are not exhaustive. (5) We want to have an overall character that aligns with the fruit of the Spirit and not the acts of the sinful nature.

d. Galatians 6:1–10, We are to live in love toward others. (1) Galatians 6:1–5, We restore each other gently and carry each other’s burdens because the Christian life is not meant to be lived alone. (2). Galatians 6:7–10, We do good because of the Spirit’s work in our lives and not because we’re striving to earn God’s favor.

e. Galatians 6:11–18, Paul ended his letter with a final plea that the Galatians recognize the meaninglessness of circumcision.

f. Instead of striving to earn God’s favor, let us walk in step with the Holy Spirit.

Matthew Chapter 22

I. Jesus’s Controversy With The Jewish Rulers.

II. Scripture Text.

III. Dr. John F. Walvoord, Th. D. (DTS). Overview.

A. Parable of the Marriage Feast, 22:1-14.

1. As Jesus drew nearer to the cross, His message became more and more directed to the representatives of the Jewish nation. In this chapter, He dealt with the three main groups: the Herodians, Sadducees, and Pharisees. The Herodians were political activists who supported the rule of Herod. The Pharisees were usually against them, ardently supporting Israel as against Rome. The Sadducees were the liberal theologians, questioning the miraculous, opposed to the Pharisees. The three parties hated each other, but they hated Jesus more. Jesus included them all in the parable of the wedding feast, the third in the series of parables (cf. Lk 14:16-24).

2. Jesus declared that the kingdom of heaven may be compared to the incident in which a king made a marriage feast for his son. His slaves were sent out to invite the guests, but the guests were not willing to come. The king sent them out a second time, reminding them that the feast was ready, but the guests were unconcerned and went about their business as if they had not received the invitation. Some of them actually treated the servants roughly and even killed some of them. When tidings of this reached the king, he sent forth his soldiers, destroyed the murderers, and burned their city.

3. The wedding, however, was still without guests, so he commanded his servants to invite anyone they could, and being invited, many came. As the wedding feast was progressing, however, the king saw one of the guests without a wedding garment. These garments were supplied by the host, and the guest not wearing the wedding garment was violating the normal custom. When confronted with his lack of a wedding garment, the guest was speechless. The king then gave orders to bind him hand and foot and cast him out. Jesus added the comment, “There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. For many are called, but few are chosen” (Mt 22:13-14).

4. G. Campbell Morgan observes that there were three distinct invitations. The first was the preaching ministry of Jesus, which constituted an invitation for the hearers to come. The second referred to a further invitation, which the nation would reject and which would result in the destruction of Jerusalem in a.d. 70. The third movement referred to the gospel age when all are bidden to come regardless of race or background.

5. The lessons of the parable are clear. First, the king had issued a gracious invitation. The response was rejection of the invitation by those who would normally be considered his friends; second, their rejection would result in the king’s taking severe action; third, their rejection would result in the invitation being extended to all who would come. The application to the scribes and Pharisees, who, as the representatives of Israel, would normally be invited, is clear. The rejection of Christ and His crucifixion is implied, and the extension of the gospel to Jew and Gentile alike is anticipated. While the invitation is broad, those actually chosen for blessing are few. The parable inspired the Jews to make another attempt to trap Christ into giving them a ground for His condemnation.

B. Controversy with the Herodians, 22:15-22.

1. The Pharisees, after taking counsel, decided they would send some of their number, accompanied by the Herodians, to attempt another encounter with Jesus (Mk 12:13-17; Lk 20:20-26). The Herodians, a political party who supported the dynasty of Herod, probably cut across the religious lines of both the Pharisees and the Sadducees. They came to Him with the subtle strategy, “Master, we know that thou art true, and teachest the way of God in truth, neither carest thou for any man: for thou regardest not the person of men” (Mt 22:16). All of this, of course, was double-talk, as they did not really believe in Jesus.

2. The Herodians, having paved the way in a manner that they regarded as disarming Christ, then said, “Tell us therefore, What thinkest thou? Is it lawful to give tribute unto Caesar, or not?” (v. 17). As political experts, the Herodians thought that they had Jesus on the horns of a dilemma. If He said it was lawful to give tribute to Caesar, He could be accused of siding with the Romans as opposed to the Jews. If He denied that it was right to give tribute to Caesar, then He could be accused of rebellion against Roman law.

3. In this encounter, as in all others, Jesus easily handled the problem. The tax they were referring to was the poll tax, a small tax levied on women aged twelve to sixty-five and men aged fourteen to sixty-five. It was a relatively small tax, as the Romans also exacted a ten-percent tax on grain and a twenty-percent tax on wine and fruit, as well as other taxes for road and bridge improvements. The Pharisees had chosen the least of the taxes, but to pay it was to recognize Roman oppression, which was most unpopular with the Jews.

4. Jesus easily saw through their hypocrisy and said to them, “Why tempt ye me, ye hypocrites?” Jesus asked them to bring Him a piece of money suitable for tribute, and they brought Him a penny, or a Roman denarius, worth about sixteen cents. He then asked, “Whose is this image and superscription?” The answer was obvious, and they said, “Caesar’s.” Jesus then gave them an answer, “Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s; and unto God the things that are God’s.” As they heard His answer, they marveled at the adroit way in which He had solved their problem, and they had nothing more to say. If they used Roman coins, then they were subject to Roman tax. The Herodians went away defeated in their intent to compromise Jesus on this issue. In His answer, Jesus also cut the knotty problem of the relation of church and state. “Our Lord said that there are obligations we have and duties we ought to perform in the sphere of both secular and sacred life, and our duties in one do not exclude our duties in the other… A free church in a free state, and a free state with a free church, is to find the ideal of political and religious history as announced by the Lord Himself.”

C. Controversy with the Sadducees, 22:23-33.

1. Following His controversy with the Herodians, the Sadducees came with a similar intent to trap Jesus (cf. Mk 12:18-27; Lk 20:27-38). They were the liberals in the Jewish religion and opposed the Pharisees who were the conservatives. The Pharisees, however, were more liberal in their additions to tradition than the Sadducees; the Sadducees were more opposed to supernaturalism than the Pharisees. Accordingly they tried to trap Him theologically on the matter of resurrection.

2. Attempting to hide their true intent, the Sadducees began by quoting the law of Moses requiring a brother to marry the wife of a deceased brother and raise up children to him. They were referring to such passages as Deuteronomy 25: 5-10, a regulation which entered into the marriage of Ruth and Boaz, recorded in Ruth 4:1-12. The Sadducees brought up the extreme case of a wife who successively married seven brethren all of whom preceded her in death. The question they raised was, “Therefore in the resurrection, whose wife shall she be of the seven? for they all had her” (Mt 22:28). The situation, to the Sadducees, illustrated the absurdity of the doctrine of resurrection.

3. Jesus gave them a direct answer. He stated that their problem was not in the doctrine of resurrection but in their ignorance of the Scriptures and of the power of God. He explained, “For in the resurrection they neither marry, nor are given in marriage, but are as the angels of God in heaven” (v. 30). In other words, their question was foolish because marriage is not a relationship realized in heaven.

4. Then proceeding to the real issue, the question of whether the dead are raised, Jesus said, “But as touching the resurrection of the dead, have ye not read that which was spoken unto you by God, saying, I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob? God is not the God of the dead, but of the living” (vv. 31-32). In His reply, Jesus not only affirmed resurrection but also the continuance of personal identity, in that Abraham would be Abraham, Isaac would be Isaac, and Jacob would be Jacob, an identity related to the resurrection of their bodies. The Sadducees could not attack this statement of Christ without being in the position of attacking Abraham, Isaac, or Jacob. They were neatly trapped in their own hypocrisy.

5. By this interchange with the Sadducees, Christ placed the Sadducees in direct conflict with the Scriptures, and again His questioners had nothing to say. The multitude listening was astonished at the ease with which His teaching disposed of these difficult questions. The defeat of both the Herodians and the Sadducees left the field only to the Pharisees to renew questions.

D. Controversy with the Pharisees, 22:34-46.

1. When the word reached the Pharisees that Jesus had silenced those who had tried to question Him, they sent a lawyer who attempted to trap Christ in a question of theological law (cf. Mk 12:28-34). To Jesus he addressed the question, “Master, which is the great commandment in the law?” (Mt 22:36). As Morgan points out, there was controversy concerning which of the Ten Commandments was the greatest, some favoring the third.

2. To this direct question, Jesus gave an immediate answer, quoting two commandments not in the ten. “Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets” (vv. 37-40). Matthew does not report the rest of the interchange with the lawyer. In the parallel passage in Mark 12:28-34, record is made of the conversation, which Matthew omits, in which the lawyer, described as a scribe, recognized that Jesus had correctly answered the question. Mark 12:34 records Jesus’ reply, “And when Jesus saw that he answered discreetly, he said unto him, Thou art not far from the kingdom of God. And no man after that durst ask him any question.” Luke 10:25-28 mentions a similar incident, which had occurred earlier, where the same question and answer were given, which led to the parable of the good Samaritan to illustrate who is one’s neighbor. It is not unnatural for the same question to have been raised more than once in the course of the three years of Christ’s ministry.

3. Having silenced His questioners, Jesus then asked the Pharisees a question. In effect, Jesus asked “the all-important question ‘What is your view of the Messiah?’” When the Pharisees gathered before Him, Jesus posed the question, “What think ye of Christ? whose son is he?” They gave immediately the answer, “The son of David” (Mt 22:42). Then Jesus countered with a second question, “How then doth David in spirit call him Lord, saying, The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand, till I make thine enemies thy footstool? If David then called him Lord, how is he his son?” (vv. 43-45). The theological problem of how the son of David could be greater than David was too much for their theological insights. They retired in confusion and gave up trying to trap Jesus with their questions. Their hypocrisy and unbelief led Jesus, in the next chapter, to denounce the scribes and Pharisees in unsparing language.

IV. Dr. Charles C. Ryrie, Th. D., Ph. D. (DTS). Scripture Text Examination.

A. 22:7. “set their city on fire.” A prediction of the destruction of Jerusalem in A.D. 70.

B. 22:9. “highways.” Better, broad places, or plazas, where streets merge.

C. 22:12.”without wedding clothes.” This assumes that the guests would have been supplied with robes by the king’s servants, since all the guests came in a hurry, and most were unsuitably attired.

D. 22:13. “outer darkness’ away from the lights of the wedding activities. “weeping and gnashing of teeth” indicates extreme torment, as will be true in hell (13:42; 25:30, 46).

E. 22:14. There is a general call of God to sinners inviting them to receive His salvation, and there is also a specific election that brings some to Him. At the same time, man is held responsible for rejecting Christ, whether it be because of indifference (v 5), rebellion (v 6), or self-righteousness (v 12).

F. 22:16. “Herodians.” A Jewish party who favored the Herodian dynasty, the party of “peace at any price” and appeasement of Rome.

G. 22:17. “Is lawful? I.e., Is it in accordance with the Torah, the sacred law?

H. 22:30. “like angels in heaven.” Christ’s argument is this: In the resurrection men will not marry and women will not be given in marriage. There is no married state in that life. Thus, the whole case cited is irrelevant and immaterial. Resurrected saints will be as angels who do not produce offspring.

I. 22:32. The point is this: If God introduced Himself to Moses as still the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob (by using the present tense, “I am”), when these patriarchs had died hundreds of years earlier, there must be life after death, somethin the Sadducees denied.

J.22:35. “lawyer” = scribe. They belonged mainly to the party of the Pharisees, functioned as members of a highly honored profession. They were professional students and defenders of the law (scriptural and traditional), gathering around them pupils who they instructed in the law. They were also referred to as lawyers because they were entrusted with the administration of the law as judges in the Sanhedrin.

K. 22:37. Christ quotes Deu 6:5, part of the Shema, used by all Jews in their daily prayers (in ref to 22:36).

L. 22:39-40. Christ was the first to combine these two texts (Deu 6:5 and Lev 19:18) into a summary of the law.

M. 22:43. “in the Spirit.” I.e., inspired by the Holy Spirit.

N. 22:44. “The Lord SAID TO MY LORD.” Christ was trying to make the Pharisees see that the Son of David was also the Lord of David (Ps 110:1); i.e., the Messiah was both David’s human descendant and divine Lord.

V. Summing It Up. It is very clear throughout this chapter that the context of the conversation between Jesus and the people is that of Jesus speaking with “God’s Chosen People,” Israel (Deu 14:2), including the unbelieving Jews. Gentiles, neither, would have had no knowledge of the verses of Scripture that Jesus used in reference in His discourses, nor would Gentiles have had any understanding of the context in which Jesus was speaking.

VI. For education and other supporting data for each source of information in this article, please refer to my Page, “About My References.” The following link shows information about Dallas Theological Seminary, from which many of my sources have a connection, of student, graduate, instructor. I encourage you to familiarize yourself with the Seminary.


VII. DTS Galatians Classroom Teaching.

A. Instructor: Dr. Mark Yarbrough, President of DTS, M.Th., Ph. D. 

B. Outline: Galatians Chapters 3-4.

C. This session we look at the role of the law in redemption history and in the life of the believer.

1. Galatians 3–4, Justification by Faith Defended.

a. The Galatians’ salvation started with faith and had to continue with faith. (Galatians 3:1–5). b. Paul referenced the Galatians receiving the Holy Spirit because the Spirit is the sign of the New Covenant. c. Even believers can slip into great doctrinal heresy.

2. Galatians 3:6–25, Abraham was justified by faith.

a. Galatians 3:6–9, The concept of justification by faith goes back to Abraham, making it even older than Moses and the law.

(1) The circumcision group saw themselves as followers of Moses, the prophet through whom the law was given. (2) God always intended to bring the gospel to the Gentiles. (3) Those who receive the blessings of Abraham have always been people of faith.

b. Galatians 3:10-14, We know that Gentiles are accepted into God’s family by faith and not by following the law because they have received the Spirit.

c. Galatians 3:15–18, The promise of Christ, the seed of Abraham, came hundreds of years before the law.

d. Galatians 3:19–20, Paul explained that God gave Israel the law because of sin.

(1) One purpose of the law was to prevent sin so that Israel could be an example to the other nations. (2) Another purpose of the law was to reveal sin by showing the people their inability to live up to God’s standard. (3) Some argue that the law provokes sin because having rules creates in us a desire to break them.

e. Galatians 3:21–25, The law isn’t bad, it’s simply incomplete. The law was never meant to bring about life.

3. Galatians 3:26–4:7, Jews and Gentiles are one in Christ.

(a) Galatians 3:26–29, The blessings of Christ as promised in the Abrahamic covenant are available to Jews and Gentiles without distinction. (b) Galatians 4:1–5, Now that Christ has come both Jews and Gentiles are heirs of the inheritance. (c) Galatians 4:6–7, All believers can call God Abba, Father because the barrier to intimacy has been removed.

4. Galatians 4:8–20, Turning back to the law is enslavement.

(a) Galatians 4:8–11, Following the practices of the law is only wrong if our motive is earning right standing with God. (b) Galatians 4:12–20, Paul took the Galatians’ wanderings as a personal betrayal.

5. Galatians 4:21–31, The stories of Hagar and Sarah can be used as an analogy of law and promise.

(a) Galatians 4:21–27, Hagar was a slave who conceived a child in the regular human way. Sarah was a freewoman who miraculously conceived a child as the result of a promise. (b) Galatians 4:28–31, We are children of a promise like Isaac. (c) Just as a person can’t be born of two different mothers, so we cannot live by performance and by grace.


Matthew Chapter 21

I. Jesus’ Arrival in Jerusalem.

II. Scripture Text.

III. Dr. John F. Walvoord, Th. D. (DTS). Overview..

A. Triumphal Entry, 21:1-11.

1. The final hours of Jesus’ life on earth drew near, and, in Matthew 21, the cross was less than a week away. In sharp contrast to the shame of the cross is the triumphant entry into Jerusalem, described by all four gospels (cf. Mk 11:1-10; Lk 19:29-38; Jn 12:12-19). “Jesus entered Jerusalem for the last time in a manner which showed that He was none other than the Messiah, the Son of David, who was coming to Sion to claim the city as His own.

2. The night before the triumphal entry, Jesus had an intimate supper in the home of Lazarus, Martha, and Mary, as recorded in John 12:1-11.

3. Matthew mentions Bethphage, a village no longer in existence, which apparently was close to Bethany on the eastern side of the Mount of Olives, just a few miles from Jerusalem. Anticipating His entry into Jerusalem, Jesus sent two of the disciples, not named in any of the gospel accounts, into the village of Bethphage, to secure an ass and her colt to serve as His transportation as He entered Jerusalem. He told them they would find both animals tied; they were to untie them and bring them to Him. If anyone asked why they were doing this, they were to reply, “The Lord hath need of them” (21: 3). Mark 11:5 and Luke 19:31 indicate that the question was asked, but the disciples were not stopped from borrowing the beasts. Matthew does not record the question, but only Matthew records that there were two animals and that Jesus sat on the colt.

4. Matthew calls attention to the precise fulfillment of Old Testament prophecy which he quotes. Without following the exact words of the Old Testament, Matthew quotes Zechariah 9:9, prefaced by the phrase from Isaiah 62:11, “Tell ye the daughter of Zion.” He omits from Zechariah 9:9 the phrase, “O daughter of Jerusalem.” The reference to Zion is a specific reference to a hill in Jerusalem, the exact location of which is disputed today, but Zion is often used as a title for Jerusalem itself. There is no need to spiritualize Zion and make it represent the church, as it is a geographic designation especially related to the King and the kingdom.

5. The main point is contained in the quotation from Zechariah 9:9, which prophesies that the Messiah King of Israel, unlike earthly kings, would come in a lowly or meek manner sitting upon an ass and a colt, the foal of an ass. No king had ever come to Israel in this manner, as kings usually came on horses (cf. Rev 6:2; 19:11).

6. Matthew, intent on establishing the triumphal entry as a fulfillment of prophecy of the coming of Jesus as King to Jerusalem, ignores some of the details and simply records that the disciples brought the ass and the colt and put their garments on both of them. Jesus probably sat only on the colt, as mentioned in the other gospels, which had never been ridden before (Mk 11:2; Lk 19:30). To form a saddle, they threw their outer garments on both beasts, even though Jesus used only the colt.

7. As they proceeded to Jerusalem, they were accompanied by a crowd familiar with Christ’s miracle of raising Lazarus (Jn 12:17-18), and were met by another multitude coming out of the city of Jerusalem, which went before Him (Mt 21:9). Both groups outdid themselves in honoring Jesus, laying their garments on the ground for the beasts to travel over and cutting down branches from trees and spreading them in a festive way along the road. John alone mentions that the branches were from palm trees. Although they were treating Jesus as their King, in keeping with the meaning of the triumphal entry, it seems clear that they did so with only partial understanding. John comments, “These things understood not his disciples at the first: but when Jesus was glorified, then remembered they that these things were written of him, and that they had done these things unto him” (Jn 12:16).

8. In greeting Him, however, the multitudes fulfilled the prophecies of just such an entry into Jerusalem (Zec 9:9) and addressed Jesus with the words, “Hosanna to the son of David: Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord; Hosanna in the highest” (Mt 21:9). Hosanna is a transliteration of a Hebrew expression meaning, “grant salvation,” but is used here more as a greeting or ascription of praise. Most significant is the reference to Christ as the Son of David. They recognized that He was in the kingly line, although they do not seem to have entered fully into the concept that He was coming into Jerusalem as its King.

9. As they came into Jerusalem, both the multitude which accompanied Him and the multitude which met Him were confronted by still others who asked, “Who is this?” The entire city, according to Matthew, was excited by the arrival of Christ. The multitude answered the question by saying, “This is Jesus, the prophet of Nazareth of Galilee.” It is possible that some of the multitude were pilgrims from Galilee, in Jerusalem at this time for the feast of Passover, and that therefore, they were claiming Jesus proudly. The form of the verb said in 21:11 indicates that they repeated the information again and again.

10. Matthew does not record the details which followed that day. It was probably Sunday afternoon when Christ came into Jerusalem. Mark 11:11 records that He looked into the temple and then went out to Bethany with the twelve for the night. The events which follow, in Matthew 21:12-17, probably occurred on Monday.

B. Jesus’ Second Cleansing of the Temple, 21:12-17.

1. Early on Monday morning, Jesus returned to Jerusalem, and, entering into the temple, which Matthew significantly refers to as “the temple of God,” He began to cast out those who sold and bought in the temple and overthrew the tables of the money changers and the seats of those who sold the doves for the sacrifice (cf. Mk 11:15-18; Lk 19:45-47). There is no excuse for trying to harmonize this with a much earlier incident, recorded in John 2:13-16, which was at a previous Passover. There is obvious resemblance between the two cleansings, but the point, of course, is that the first cleansing was ineffective in bringing about any permanent cure.

2. Jesus rebuked them with the words, “It is written, My house shall be called the house of prayer; but ye have made it a den of thieves” (Mt 21:13). The custom was to require the people to exchange Roman money for temple money at an arbitrary rate and also to force them to buy the animals or doves for sacrifice at a high price exacted in the temple. They had “a grand lucrative monopoly. If one bought his animals here, had his money exchanged here, these would be accepted; otherwise he might have trouble on that score.” In doing this, the temple authorities were robbing the people and making a farce out of the whole sacrificial system. The area where the animals were kept and sold was in the great court of the temple, which never was intended to serve as a stockyard.

3. It is significant that on this occasion, as in the first cleansing of the temple, there was no resistance offered. There was something about the bearing of Jesus that silenced these money-loving merchants, and undoubtedly the people approved. Jesus had no illusions that His act would result in any permanent good, but it was part of His solemn judgment pronounced upon Jerusalem and His generation. Luke records that prior to going into the temple, He wept over the city (Lk 19:41-44). Matthew records a similar lamenting over Jerusalem prior to the Olivet discourse (Mt 23:37-39).

4. After the cleansing of the temple, Matthew alone of the four gospels records, “And the blind and the lame came to him in the temple; and he healed them” (21:14). The result of His cleansing of the temple and the miraculous healings which took place inspired the crowd once again to repeat their acclamation of the preceding day, “Hosanna to the son of David.”

5. The chief priests and the scribes, who apparently were silent at the indictment of Jesus on the corruption of the temple, now spoke up and expressed their displeasure that Jesus was greeted as the Son of David, recognizing as they did that this was connecting Jesus with the promise of the kingly line of David. They said to Jesus, “Hearest thou what these say?” (v. 16). However, they were helpless and were at a loss to know what to do with the enthusiasm of the crowd. The Jewish leaders were especially concerned because the young people, referred to as “the children” (v. 15), had joined in the ascription of praise to Christ. These were boys, who like Jesus, had come to the temple for the first time at the age twelve.

6. In answer to their question, however, Jesus replied by quoting from Psalm 8:2, “Yea; have ye never read, Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings thou has perfected praise?” In effect, He was saying, “The youths are right, and you are wrong.” If babes who barely can speak can praise the Lord, how much more these youths now twelve years of age and older? In claiming Psalm 8:2, Jesus, in effect, was also claiming to be God and, thus, worthy of praise. He left the scribes and the Pharisees stunned with no more to say.

7. That night, once again, Jesus probably went out to Bethany and lodged. By thus leaving Jerusalem, He placed Himself outside the area where the scribes and Pharisees could order His arrest after the crowd had left the temple.

C. Cursing of the Fig Tree, 21:18-22.

1. The incident recorded here in Matthew in regard to the fig tree is presented as another significant incident in Jesus’ last days. Mark 11:12-14, the only other account, makes it clear that it actually occurred on Monday morning, prior to the incident of the cleansing of the temple. It is now brought in by Matthew because of the significant comment of Jesus on the next day, which was Tuesday morning.

2. Matthew records that Jesus, coming into the city on Monday morning of His last week, was hungry. No explanation is given, but the assumption is that Jesus had not eaten before He left Bethany. Jesus spent the night “in some long lone vigil on the hillside, in a quiet and secluded place.” Seeing a fig tree with leaves on it, He came to pick its fruit. Normally, fruit grows on a fig tree before the leaves come out in spring, but it is not clear whether the figs would be left over from the previous year or whether the tree, because of being more sheltered from winter than others, had started its spring growth early. According to the parallel passage in Mark 11:13, “The time of figs was not yet.” Finding the tree with only leaves and no fruit, He said, “Let no fruit grow on thee [henceforth] forever” (Mt 21:19). This, however, was not observed immediately, and refers to the experience of the disciples on Tuesday morning, approximately twenty-four hours later. Perceiving that the fig tree had withered, the disciples were amazed that this had occurred so quickly.

3. Many questions have been raised about this incident, including the problem that Jesus as God should have known that there was no fruit on the tree. Here, Matthew is apparently speaking from the viewpoint of human intelligence only, but the whole incident was planned as a means of conveying truth to the disciples.

4. In answer to their wondering, Jesus gave them a sermon on faith. Jesus informed His disciples that if they had real faith in God, they would not only be able to curse the fig tree effectively as He had done, but, He told them, “If ye shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; it shall be done” (v. 21). He added the great promise, “And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive” (v. 22). In other words, they should not marvel, but believe and pray.

5. Many expositors see in the fig tree a type of Israel, fruitless and yet showing leaves, typical of outer religion. This is frequently tied to Matthew 24:32, referring to “a parable of the fig tree.” There is no scriptural support for this interpretation contextually. There is no ground today to support Lenski in his statement made in 1943, “Judaism stands blasted from the roots to this day.” Israel, instead, is marvelously revived today. Jesus made no application to Israel as a nation here; nor does the context of the fig tree in Matthew 24 refer to Israel. While Jeremiah 24:1-8 uses good and bad figs to represent the captives in Israel as contrasted to those remaining in the land, actually, there is no case in the Bible where a fig tree is used as a type of Israel. In view of the silence of Scripture on this point, it is preferable to leave the illustration as it is, a lesson on faith and the miraculous rather than a lesson on fruitlessness.

D. Authority of Jesus Challenged, 21:23-27.

1. Upon the return of Jesus to the temple, probably on Tuesday morning of the last week, as He was teaching, the chief priests and the elders brought up the question which they were unprepared to raise the preceding day, “By what authority doest thou these things? and who gave thee this authority?” (Mt 21:23).

2. Once again, the Jewish leaders were trying to trap Jesus in utterances which they could label blasphemy (cf. Mk 11:27-33; Lk 20:1-8). They made no attempt, however, to arrest Him or to expel Him from the temple, as they feared the people. They were no match for Jesus, however, in an interchange of questions, and Jesus replied that He would answer their question if they would answer His first: “The baptism of John, whence was it? from heaven, or of men?” (Mt 21:25).

3. The Pharisees were caught in a dilemma. As Allen expresses it, “If the authorities had given credence to John, they would have had no need to ask by what authority Jesus acted.” If the Pharisees said the baptism of John was only of men, they would be opposed by the people who believed John was a prophet. If they said it was from heaven, then they would be obliged to believe his message affirming the deity of Jesus. Accordingly, they answered Jesus, “We cannot tell” (v. 27). Jesus replied that if they could not identify the authority of John, then He did not need to tell them by what authority He cleansed the temple. The point, of course, is that they were not seeking a real answer, as they knew that Jesus claimed the authority of God.

E. Parable of the Two Sons, 21:28-32.

1. To expose the unbelief of the chief priests and the scribes, Jesus introduced three parables, the parable of the two sons (21:28-32), the parable of the householder (21:33-46), and the parable of the marriage feast (22:1-14). To start with, Jesus used a simple story of a father who asked his two sons to work in his vineyard, a parable found only in Matthew.

2. The first son, when instructed to work in the vineyard, replied, “I will not,” but later on, thought better of it and began to work. The second son replied quickly, “I go, sir,” literally, “I, sir,” but he went not. Jesus then raised the question as to which one did the will of the father. They answered, “The first.”

3. Then Jesus made the application. He said, “Verily I say unto you, That the publicans and the harlots go into the kingdom of God before you. For John came unto you in the way of righteousness, and ye believed him not: but the publicans and the harlots believed him: and ye, when ye had seen it, repented not afterward, that ye might believe him” (21: 31-32). What had been subtly indicated before was now brought out in the open. They had rejected the ministry of John, whom even harlots and publicans had recognized as a prophet of God. They were like the son who said, “I go, sir,” but who went not. By their confession, they stood condemned.

F. Parable of the Householder and his Rejected Son, 21:33-46.

1. To drive the point home still further, Jesus used another parable (cf. Mk 12:1-9; Lk 20:9-19). This time, He described a man who planted a vineyard, built a wine tower, and leased it to tenants. When the time of harvest came, he sent his servants to take the fruit of it, but the tenants treated the servants harshly, beating one, killing another, and stoning another. When he sent other servants, they were treated in like manner. Finally, he sent his son, thinking that they would have respect for him. But the tenants, recognizing him, said, “This is the heir; come, let us kill him, and let us seize on his inheritance (Mt 21:38). And so they caught the son and killed him.

2. Jesus then raised the question as to what the Lord of the vineyard would do under these circumstances. They replied, “He will miserably destroy those wicked men, and will let out his vineyard unto other husbandmen, which shall render him the fruits in their seasons” (v. 41).

3. Jesus then made the application. It is probably true that no person would send his son into a situation where servants had previously killed his other representatives but would immediately call the authorities. The contrast is between what men would do and what God had done. God did send His son, even though Israel had rejected His prophets earlier and killed them and had rejected John the Baptist.

4. Jesus made the application with tremendous force: “Did ye never read in the scriptures, The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner: this is the Lord’s doing, and it is marvelous in our eyes?” (v. 42). Jesus was quoting from Psalm 118:22-23.

5. The figure of a stone is found often in Scripture, Jesus being referred to both as the foundation stone and the head of the corner (1 Co 3:11; Eph 2:20-22; 1 Pe 2:4-5). To Israel, Jesus was a stumbling stone and rock of offense (Is 8:14-15; Ro 9:32-33; 1 Co 1:23; 1 Pe 2:8). At the time of His second coming, He will be a smiting stone of destruction (Dan 2:34).

6. Jesus also made the further application, “Therefore say I unto you, The kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof (Mt 21:43). Here, as Matthew does rarely, the expression “kingdom of God” is used, referring to the sphere of reality rather than a mere profession of faith. Jesus declared that the kingdom of God would be given to a nation which does bring forth proper fruit. This should not be construed as a turning away from Israel to the Gentiles but rather a turning to any people who would bring forth the fruits of real faith. The word nation is without the article in the Greek and probably does not refer to the Gentiles specifically.

7. Carrying further the significance of Jesus as a stone, He stated, “And whosoever shall fall on this stone shall be broken: but on whomsoever it shall fall, it will grind him to powder” (v. 44). Here Jesus was referring to Himself as the Judge of all men. The rejected stone is also the smiting stone. “These parables in the latter part of Matthew are somber, terrible, fearful… They are parables of fire and fury and terrible rejection like a king taking account of unfaithful servants and visiting judgment with a drawn sword.”

8. The point of this parable was all too clear, and the chief priests and Pharisees realized that Jesus was talking about them. However, because of the presence of the people, they were helpless to do anything at this time. Their hatred of Jesus was only intensified by this exposure, and it gave impetus to the plot already formed to kill Jesus when they could. The shadow of the cross was lengthening over these closing events of the life of Jesus.

IV. Dr. Charles C. Ryrie, Th. D., Ph. D. (DTS). Scripture Text Examination.

A. 21:4-5. Re Zech 9:9 concerning the quote: “Say to the daughter of Zion….”

B. 21:9. “Hosanna” = save now. The acclamation is a quoted based on Ps 118:25-27, sung at the Feast of Tabernacles. The crowd wanted salvation from the oppression of Rome, not the spiritual salvation that Christ offered.

C. 21:12. John records Jesus cleansing the Temple at the beginning of his ministry (Jn 2:12-16). Mark makes clear that a second cleansing occurred much later on Monday of Holy Week (Mark 11:12-19).

D. 21:16. Jesus is apparently quoting Ps 8:2.

E. 21:18. “in the morning.” I.e., on Monday of Holy Week.

F. 21:19. “except leaves only.” Normally the fruit of leaves appear at the same time. The curse on the tree is illustrative of the rejection of Israel, a nation unfruitful despite every advantage.

G. 21:23. This begins Tuesday of Holy Week.

H. 21:42. “Cornerstone.” “Did you never read the Scriptures?” See Ps 118:22-23.

I. 21:43. “taken away from you and given to a people.” See Walvoord note above, F.6.

V. Summing It Up. It is very clear throughout this chapter that the context of the conversation between Jesus and the people is that of Jesus speaking with “God’s Chosen People,” Israel (Deu 14:2). Gentiles, neither, would have had n0 knowledge of the verses of Scripture that Jesus used in reference in His discourses, nor would Gentiles have had any understanding of the context in which Jesus was speaking.

VI. For education and other supporting data for each source of information in this article, please refer to my Page, “About My References.” The following link shows information about Dallas Theological Seminary, from which many of my sources have a connection, of student, graduate, instructor. I encourage you to familiarize yourself with the seminary.

VII. DTS Galatians Classroom Teaching.

A. Instructor: Dr. Mark Yarbrough, President of DTS, M.Th., Ph. D. 

B. Outline: Galatians Chapters 1-2.

  • Galatians 1:1–5, Compared to other Pauline epistles, the introduction to Galatians is brief and confrontational.
  • Galatians 1:6–10, Paul laid out early on that Galatians is about the real gospel versus a false gospel.
  • Galatians 1:11–24, Paul received the gospel by direct, divine revelation.
    1. Galatians 1:11–12, The true gospel is from God, and Paul received it by revelation from Christ Himself.
    2. Galatians 1:13–17, Paul didn’t need the other apostles to verify what he received from Christ.
    3. Galatians 1:18–24, Paul used his testimony to build his case.
      1. Galatians gives us an account of Paul’s timeline that adds to the information we have in Acts.
      2. Paul wants the Galatians to see how he’s been transformed by the gospel of grace.
  • Galatians 2:1–14, Paul preached a gospel to the Gentiles that the apostles in Jerusalem fully embraced.
    1. In Galatians 2:1–3, Paul wanted to ensure that all who preached Christ agreed upon the nature of the gospel.
    2. Galatians 2:4–10, As Gentiles came to faith in Christ, the question arose of whether or not Gentiles had to become Jews to become Christians.
  • Galatians 2:15–16, Paul repeated his message that we are justified by faith in Christ and not by works of the law.
  • Galatians 2:17–21, Paul anticipated the objection that grace leads to the promotion of sin.
    1. Galatians 2:17–18, If following Christ means rejecting the law, does that mean Christ condones sin.
    2. Galatians 2:19–21, Going back to the law for justification would make Christ’s death meaningless.
      1. The law is good because it shows us our sinfulness compared to God’s holiness.
      2. Paul saw a unity between Christians and Christ. As Jesus was crucified, we were crucified with Him.
  • Paul contrasted what God has done for us with what we think we can do for ourselves.
    1. Even today, Christians struggle with performance.
    2. We should all evaluate our motives and resist the temptation of thinking we can earn God’s favor.

Matthew 20

I. The Rejected King Teaches On Service.

II. Scripture Text.

III. Dr. John F. Walvoord, Th. D. (DTS). The Journey To Jerusalem.

A. Parable of the Householder and the Laborers, 20:1-16.

1. In amplification of His answers to Peter’s question in 19:27, “What shall we have, therefore?” Christ used an illustration, found only in Matthew, of a wealthy man who owned a vineyard. There does not seem to be any significance to selection of the vineyard, except that it was a common feature of life in Israel. In seeking laborers to work in his vineyard, the owner promised them the usual daily wage of a “penny,” the Greek denarius, worth about sixteen cents and the normal daily pay for a laborer or a Roman soldier. Later in the day, seeing others idle in the marketplace, he invited them to join his laborers. Apparently, no specific agreement was made as to how much they would receive, except that he would do “whatever is right.” Later he found others in the sixth and ninth hour, referring at noon and 3:00 p.m. Finally, at the eleventh hour, or 5:00 p.m., he found still others whom he invited to enter the vineyard to work.

2. At nightfall, the laborers came for their hire, and to each he gave the same wage. This caused complaint on the part of those who had labored all day, and they said “These last have wrought but one hour, and thou hast made them equal unto us, which have borne the burden and heat of the day.” But the owner of the vineyard replied, “Friend, I do thee no wrong: didst not thou agree with me for a penny? Take that thine is, and go thy way; I will give unto this last, even as unto thee. Is it not lawful for me to do what I will with mine own? Is thine eye evil, because I am good?” (vv. 13-15).

3. Complicated explanations of the spiritual meaning of this illustration are not wanting. The denarius represent temporal blessings and what is called “good” (v. 15) refer to life eternal, or eternal blessings. A simple explanation is better. By this illustration, Christ makes clear that God is sovereign. He may not reward according to length of toil or even according to the work performed, but according to “whatever is right” (vv. 4, 7). He chooses those for reward according to His own judgment. Some of the rewards are temporal, but the implication is that the full reward awaits the end of the day, reward in heaven.

B. Jesus’ Death and Resurrection Again Predicted, 20:17-19.

1. All of Jesus’ ministry in Perea was relentlessly taking Him closer to the cross. Soon now they would be crossing the Jordan, passing through Jericho, below sea level, and then up the steep winding road to Jerusalem, about 2,550 feet above sea level. As they were walking the hot desert road to Jericho, Christ took occasion to separate His twelve disciples from the multitude and remind them that at the end of the road, there was a cross (cf. Mk 10:32-34; Lk 18:31-34). How cheap was the goal of reward symbolized by the denarius in comparison to what Jesus Himself was going to experience.

2. This was not the first time that Jesus had mentioned His death and resurrection to the disciples (cf. Mt 12:38-42; 16:21-28; 17:22-23). It, of course, had been announced as early as Genesis 3:15 that Satan would “bruise his heel.” The shadow of the cross hung over Christ from the time He was born. He had clearly announced this to the disciples in Matthew 16:21-23, when Peter had attempted to rebuke Him. He had mentioned it again in Matthew 17:22-23, following the transfiguration. Now as they were moving closer and closer to Jerusalem, He said to His disciples, “Behold, we go up to Jerusalem; and the Son of man shall be betrayed unto the chief priests and unto the scribes, and they shall condemn him to death, And shall deliver him to the Gentiles to mock, and to scourge, and to crucify him: and the third day he shall rise again.” As Morgan points out, Jesus gave accurately the details of His coming death and resurrection, and there is no question about His certainty of it. Morgan states, “There is utmost accuracy in the details, and a calm, quiet knowledge of the actual things before Him.”

3. Interestingly—although in Matthew 16 Peter rebuked Jesus, and in 17:23 it states, “They were exceeding sorry”— here, as far as Matthew’s record is concerned, they were silent. Mark 10:32-34 indicates that before He gave them this prediction, the disciples were “amazed” and “afraid.” According to Luke 18:34, the disciples “understood none of these things: and this saying was hid from them, neither knew they the things which were spoken.” Putting these passages together, it seems that the disciples had a foreboding that the trip to Jerusalem was dangerous, but they could not bring themselves to believe literally what Jesus was saying.

C. Request of the Mother of James and John, 20:20-24.

1. The unwillingness of the disciples to face the reality of Christ’s suffering and death is illustrated in the next incident, in which the mother of James and John, the wife of Zebedee, came to Jesus seeking favors for her sons (cf. Mk 10:35-41). When she bowed before Him, Christ asked her, “What wilt thou?” Her request was abrupt and to the point, “Grant that these my two sons may sit, the one on thy right hand, and the other on the left, in thy kingdom” (Mt 20:21). Her ambition was the same as that of the disciples, recorded in Matthew 18:1-14, and the question of Peter in 19:27. Here, their desire for power and position emerges again in the petition of this ambitious mother. Perhaps she can be excused partially in desiring her sons to have a prominent place in serving the Lord, but it was a request relating to ambitions of earth rather than to the glory of God.

2. Jesus dealt with her gently. He replied, “Ye know not what ye ask. Are ye able to drink of the cup that I shall drink of, and to be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with?” Here, as also recorded in the parallel account in Mark 10:35-41, James and John broke in and answered, “We are able.” How little they knew what they were saying. Jesus replied sorrowfully to them, “Ye shall drink indeed of my cup, and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with” (Mt 20:23). Early in the ministry of the church, James was to lay down his life as a martyr. Although the evidence is not complete, John may also have died a martyr’s death as did some of the other disciples. Although they were to die in one sense as Jesus died, even this did not justify granting their mother’s petition. Jesus completed the answer, “But to sit on my right hand, and on my left, is not mine to give, but it shall be given to them for whom it is prepared of my Father.”

3. The other disciples were furious at this attempt to secure preference for these two. They apparently concluded that James and John had influenced their mother to make this request. The fact that the other disciples were angered at James and John shows that they were in heart and spirit no better than the two brothers… “They all wanted the first place,” Both James and John as well as the other ten disciples were far from giving up their attempts to gain the place of power in the kingdom, and their scheming continued, even to the time of the Last Supper in the upper room. How frail and faulty are the human instruments that God must use to accomplish His purposes!

D. Jesus Comments on Their Ambitions, 20:25-28.

Using this incident as an occasion for further discussion of the disciples’ ambition to be great, Jesus pointed out some obvious lessons. He acknowledged that in worldly kingdoms, places of power with great authority are sought. But He declared that in the kingdom of heaven, it shall be different, “But it shall not be so among you: but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister: And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant” (Mt 20:26-27). The goal in the kingdom is not to rule but to serve. Jesus used His own ministry as an illustration, “Even as the Son of man came not to be to ministered unto, but to minister, to give his life a ransom for many” (v. 28). The road to privileged authority is often paved with lowly service.

E. Healing of Two Blind Men, 20:30-34.

1. In the journey to Jerusalem, a great multitude had followed them from Jericho. As the company moved along, they encountered two blind men sitting beside the road. When they heard that it was Jesus who passed by, mindful of the stories that they had heard of His healing power, they cried out, “Have mercy on us, O Lord, thou son of David” (20:31). Rebuked by the multitude, they only cried the more, repeating their request.

2. Hearing their petition, Jesus stood still, and calling them to Him, He asked, “What will ye that I shall do unto you?” It was a most dramatic situation, as the crowd thronged about, wondering what would happen. The blind man answered simply, “Lord, that our eyes may be opened.” Jesus, having compassion on them, touched their eyes; they immediately received their sight and followed Christ. The incident, as recorded in Matthew with parallel accounts in Mark 10:46-52 and Luke 18:35-43, is significant as emphasizing the title “Son of David,” which was to be prominent in His triumphal entry into Jerusalem.

3. The account of Mark 10 differs from Matthew’s account, in that it mentions only one blind man who is named, “blind Bartimaeus, the son of Timaeus,” and adds considerable detail to the conversation between them. That Mark omits reference to the second blind man is no serious problem. Luke’s gospel represents it as being “nigh” or “near” Jericho, as if they were about to enter Jericho. The variations in these accounts have given rise to the allegation that the Scriptures are in error in some of the details.

4. Most of the problems dissolve when it is realized that there were two Jerichos: the Old Testament Jericho and the new city, which Herod the Great had built. It may be that Jesus was between the two cities when the miracle took place.

5. The order of events includes Jesus’ having passed through the city (Lk 19:1) without finding lodging. After meeting Zacchaeus, Jesus and His disciples then went back into Jericho and spent the night in his house. On this return to Jericho, the blind men were healed. This permits all the accounts to harmonize.

6. The problem is not in the details that are given but the details which are omitted. If the full story were told, all of the gospel accounts would undoubtedly be found accurate. As it is, each account adds something to the others. Most significant is the fact that those who sought Jesus earnestly received the demonstration of His miraculous power.

IV. Dr. Charles C. Ryrie, Th. D., Ph. D. (DTS). Scripture Text Examination.

A. 20:1-16. The subject is the reward of willingness to serve, whether one comes early or late. Christ is not teaching economics.

B. 20:2. “a denarius for the day.” A good and normal wage for a rural worker. Additional workers were hired at about 9 AM, noon, 3 PM and 5 PM.

C. 20:10-22. We should be grateful, not envious (v 15), if we are permitted to work long and hard for our Lord. We leave rewards to His judgment.

D. 20:14. “I wish to give.” This is the point of the parable: God’s grace and generosity know no bounds and man’s ideas of merit and earned rewards are irrelevant.

E. 20:16. Not that they trade places but that there will be an equality of rewards for equal faithfulness to differing opportunities given to each of us.

F. 20:22. “the cup that I am about to drink.” I.e., the cup of suffering. “We are able.” James was the first of the apostles to be martyred (Acts 12:2).

G. 20:26. Greatness is not ruling over others but serving them.

H. 20:28. “ransom for many.” The word “for” undebatably means “in the place of.” Christ, here, clearly interprets the meaning of His sacrifices as substitution for sinners.

I. 20:29-34. The differences in this account (which speaks of two blind men and of the miracle being done Jesus left Jericho) and the accounts in Mark 10:46-52 and Luke 18:35-43(which mention only one blind man and the miracle performed as they entered Jericho) are explained thus: (1) there were actually two men involved, but Bartimaeus, being more aggressive, takes place in the prominence; and (2) the men pled with Jesus as He entered Jericho but were not healed until He was leaving after. It is also possible that the healing took place after Jesus left old Jericho, and was nearing new Jericho.

J. 20:30. “Son of David.” The specific messianic title (Ps 72; Isa 9:7). See 9:27.”Son of David.” A title that linked Jesus to the messianic line (cf 1:11).

V. Summing It Up. In 20:17-19, Christ took occasion to separate His twelve disciples from the multitude and remind them that at the end of the road, there was a cross (cf. Mk 10:32-34; Lk 18:31-34). Christ did not reveal “everything to everybody.” The disciples of Christ were told things that the other Jews would not know, until such things were revealed to them through observation. It is important to notice that in 20:21, that the mother of James and John made this request of Jesus: “Command that in Your kingdom these two sons of mine may sit one on Your right and one on Your left.” The point of this request is that when the kingdom comes, “but which has not yet come.” That, for which our Lord asked the Jews to pray in Matt 6:10, “thy kingdom come,” had not yet come to earth, and would not come while our Lord was still on this earth (Acts 1:6) and would not come until His return to earth (Acts 7, 9-11), after the tribulation (Matt 24:29-30) (Zech 14:5, 9) (Rev 19:11-16; 20:4).

VI. For education and other supporting data for each source of information in this article, please refer to my Page, “About My References.” The following link shows information about Dallas Theological Seminary, from which many of my sources have a connection, of student, graduate, instructor. I encourage you to familiarize yourself with the seminary.

VII. Galatians Outline Classroom Teaching.

A. Dr. Mark Yarbrough, President of DTS, M.Th., Ph. D. 

B. Introduction to Galatians. In a way, Paul’s epistle to the Galatians is an emancipation proclamation because it announces our freedom as believers. 

  1. The epistle contains lots of internal evidence for authorship by the apostle Paul.
    1. The author was once a persecutor of the church but was later transformed into a preacher of Christ (Galatians 1:23).
    2. He had a special commission as an apostle to the Gentiles (Galatians 1:16).
    3. He was independent of but endorsed by the apostles (Galatians 2:9).
    4. He was a staunch opponent of Judaizers (Galatians 2:1–5, 11–14).
    5. He is the founder of the churches in Galatia and their spiritual father (Galatians 4:19­–20).
    6. An illness prompted his ministry there (Galatians 4:13).
    7. The Holy Spirit and miracles were evident in Galatia (Galatians 3: 2, 5).
    8. The author and the people were bonded together in love (Galatians 4:15–16).
    9. His credentials were well-known.
  2. The debate over whether the epistle was written to southern or northern Galatia is irrelevant to the book’s message.
  3. The epistle gives us lots of insight into the believers in Galatia.
    1. There were multiple churches with a common problem (Galatians 1:2).
    2. The churches were founded by Paul (4:13­­­–14).
    3. The believers there revered Paul as an “angel of God” (Galatians 4:14).
    4. They loved Paul enough to sacrifice their eyes for him (Galatians 4:15).
    5. The Galatians were mostly Gentiles. As such, they had not been circumcised (Galatians 5:2).
    6. They were familiar with the Old Testament (Galatians 3:6–9).
    7. They had been saved long enough to be mature in their faith (Galatians 5:7–12).
    8. They had fallen prey to a new, deviant gospel (Galatians 1:6–10).
  4. Paul wrote to address a controversy in Galatia.
    1. The controversy struck at the very heart of the gospel.
      1. The Galatians had begun to stray from something they once solidly believed.
      2. Paul expressed great emotion that people he knew so well were beginning to fall away.
      3. Many doctrines should be held loosely; however, there is no room for debate on the issue of seeking God’s favor through performance.
    2. There are several problems with the false gospel tempting the Galatians.
      1. It misrepresents grace.
        • The true gospel is not about our works but God’s work on our behalf.
        • We should revel in the grace Christ offers to us.
      2. It eliminates the cross.
      3. It seeks to bring bondage to the believer.
  5. As typical with an epistle, the book begins with an emphasis on right belief and then moves into a section on right living based on those beliefs.
    1. The book’s three main sections are personal, doctrinal, and practical.
      1. We must not distinguish too heavily between right belief and right practice.
      2. Galatians contains a theological argument and an explanation of how proper theology should affect our lives.
    2. The book’s three sections look at the source, content, and effect of the gospel Paul preaches.
    3. Two key passages encapsulate the book’s message: Galatians 2:15–16 and Galatians 5:1.
    4. The central idea of Galatians is that salvation is by grace alone, through faith alone, and in Christ alone.
    5. The book of Galatians follows a straightforward argument.
      1. In Galatians 1–2, Paul shows that the source of his gospel is God’s revelation alone.
      2. In Galatians 3–4, Paul shows that the essence of his gospel is justification by faith alone.
      3. In Galatians 5–6, Paul shows that the application of his gospel is to have freedom through the Spirit alone

Matthew Chapter 19

I. Jesus Ministers In Perea.

A. Bias. Everyone has a bias on certain subjects. A bias may be healthy or unhealthy.

B. Consideration. Context must be maintained while reading the text.

II. Dr. John F. Walvoord, Th. D. (DTS). Overview.

A. Teachings Concerning Greatness and Forgiveness.

1. Leaving Capernaum for the last time, Jesus began His journey which was to end in Jerusalem and the cross. The expression “into the coasts of Judaea beyond the Jordan” means the region beyond Judea to the east of the Jordan. By taking this route, Christ avoided Samaria, where He had ministered before, and passed through territory that was new to His public ministry. As He went, crowds following Him from Galilee were joined by others.

2. The crowds had four classes: those who came with need, bringing their sick; those who came to trap Him; those who came in admiration; and at least one with a sincere question. A parallel account to Matthew 19 is found in Mark 10:1-31. Only Matthew records, however, that His ministry included healing the sick.

B. Discourse on Divorce. 19:1-12.

Both Mark and Matthew, however, record the question of the Pharisees regarding divorce. Matthew observes that the Pharisees did this in order to tempt Jesus.

C. Jesus Blesses the Children, 19:13-15.

As Jesus was teaching, ambitious parents brought their small children to have Jesus put His hands on them and pray for them (cf. Mk 10:13-16; Lk 18:15-17). The scene was probably the same as “in the house,” mentioned in Mark 10:10. The disciples felt that this was an unwarranted intrusion into the privacy of Jesus, and attempted to restrict the children, but Jesus rebuked the disciples instead saying, “Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me; for of such is the kingdom of heaven” (Mt 19:14). While there is no mention that He actually prayed for them, Mark’s gospel adds that He took the children up in His arms and blessed them (Mk 10:13-16). It is of interest that children instinctively recognized in Jesus one who loved them and cared for them, and they came to Him freely. The one who was the Friend of publicans and sinners was also the Friend of children.

D. Rich Young Ruler, 19:16-22.

1. Later, departing from the house, Jesus was approached by a young man who raised the question, “Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life?”

2. In reply, Jesus first called attention to the fact that he had called Him “good,” which properly refers only to God. As Glover notes, “Good Master is compliment, not adoration.

3. The question is naturally raised by this incident whether it is necessary for a rich man to give up all his possessions in order to receive eternal life. Is not salvation by faith and by grace and not by works?

4. The answer seems to be that in this instance, the questioning of Jesus brought out the shallowness of the young man’s faith. When it came right down to it, he trusted his riches and his position more than he trusted in Jesus Christ. His real problem was lack of faith in Christ, whom he considered a good Teacher but who apparently was not to be regarded as one who had the right to demand that he give up all in order to follow Him. Faith is ultimately a choice, and the young man chose riches rather than Jesus.

E. Relation of Discipleship to Riches, 19:23-30.

1. After the young ruler had left, Jesus observed to His disciples, “Verily I say unto you, That a rich man shall hardly enter into the kingdom of heaven” (19:23). In contrast to the prevailing opinion of the Jews, who, through their riches, thought they were gaining favor with God, Jesus pointed out that often riches are a stumbling block rather than a stepping-stone for those entering the kingdom. He further commented, “It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God” (v. 24). The disciples replied in their amazement, “Who then can be saved?”

2. Various explanations have been given for Christ’s illustration of a camel going through a needle’s eye. Thus construed, He was saying, in effect, that it is impossible.

3. Some have taken the needle’s eye to be a reference to a small, low gate into a walled city requiring one entering to take off his load and crawl through the hole on his knees, but there is no evidence that this is the intended meaning. Like the reference to the blind guides, as in Matthew 23:24, who strain at a gnat and swallow a camel, He was illustrating that which is impossible to do naturally. Jesus was not saying simply that it is difficult for rich men to be saved. What He was saying was that it takes a miracle, a supernatural work of God. This is clear in the comment of Jesus in answering the disciples’ question, “Who then can be saved?” He stated, “With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible” (19:26). The new birth, as an act of creation, is not something that comes naturally or easily.

4. Note should be taken that in verse 24, Jesus used the expression “the kingdom of God” in contrast to the usual expression “kingdom of heaven.” If there is a distinction, the kingdom of God refers to the sphere of salvation, not merely the sphere of profession. A rich man could profess to follow Christ, but apart from supernatural grace, he could not enter into salvation.

5. The discourse of Christ on the place of riches on earth in contrast to “treasure in heaven” (v. 21) led to Peter’s next question, “Behold, we have forsaken all, and followed thee; what shall we have therefore?” (v. 27).

6. To this practical question, Christ gave a specific answer. He stated that in the “regeneration,” or restoration of the kingdom, “When the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory,” the disciples also “shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel” (v. 28). This is clearly a picture of the millennial earth, not heaven. Late in Christ’s ministry, He supports the concept that the kingdom, while postponed as far as human expectation is concerned, is nevertheless certain of fulfillment following His second coming.

7. In addition to the promise that they shall sit on thrones acting as judges, Jesus gave the promise to all His disciples who, for Christ’s sake, have forsaken houses, brethren, sister, father, mother, wife, children, or lands, that they shall receive an hundredfold reward in addition to having eternal life. There is no uncertainty about the riches of heaven, which will endure long after the treasures of the rich young ruler have been dissipated.

8. One final word of caution was given by Jesus, “But many that are first shall be last; and the last shall be first” (v. 30). By this, Jesus meant that God’s estimation of worthiness for reward may be entirely different than man’s estimation. Those prominent in this life may not necessarily be first in reward in the life to come. The widow who gave her two mites but had nothing else to give may be ahead of those who have given much. Those who labor merely for reward may miss it. His discussion of this point is illustrated in the next chapter.

III. Dr. Charles C. Ryrie, Th. D., Ph. D. (DTS). Scripture Text Examination.

A. 19:1. “beyond the Jordan”=Perea, not part of Judea, but within the tetrarchy of Herod Antipas. Perea was a region East of the Jordan, extending from the sea of Galilee almost to the Dead Sea.

B. 19:16. Jews of the time believed that performing some single good act would guarantee salvation.

C. 19:21. “complete.” I.e., generally pleasing to God. “go and sell.” The man was being asked to prove his claim to have kept the commandments, especially the one that says, “you shall love your neighbor as yourself” (v. 19). His unwillingness to do so belied his claim (v. 20) and showed him as a sinner in need of salvation.

D. 19:24. “needle” means a “sewing needle.” In this proverbial expression, Christ does not say that a rich man could not be saved (v. 26), but only that, for him, it is more difficult, since such a person seldom senses his personal need as readily as a poorer man does,

E. 19:27. Peter must have been thinking, “Well, we disciples certainly don’t have any such hindrances of wealth!”

F. 19:28. “in the regeneration” = the new age, the Millennium, when the earth will be made new, during which time the disciples will judge Israel. The only other use of the word “regeneration” in the NT speaks of people being made new in the present age (Titus 3:5). “on His glorious throne.” See 25:31.

IV. Summing It Up. It is import to remember that Jews had no knowledge of people going to heaven, above them, in the sky. They knew about the earthly kingdom that is described in the Davidic Covenant (2 Sam 7:8-17). Whenever “kingdom” is discussed in the four gospels, its meaning is the earthly, Davidic kingdom, upon which Messiah Christ will rule, reign and teach during the 1,000 year Millennium (Rev 20:4), which will take place after the tribulation and the second coming of Christ to earth (Isa 2:2-4), (Matt 24:29-30), (Rev 19:11-16), (Zech 14:4-5; 9).

V. For education and other supporting data for each source of information in this article, please refer to my Page, “About My References.” The following link shows information about Dallas Theological Seminary, from which many of my sources have a connection, of student, graduate, instructor. I encourage you to familiarize yourself with the seminary.

Matthew Chapter 18

I. Video. The Greatest in the Kingdom – The Parable of the Lost Sheep – A Brother Who Sins Against You – The Parable of the Unmerciful Servant.

A. Title. Matthew Chapter 18.

B. Data. LuisetReneeandBill.

C. Bias. Everyone has a bias on certain subjects. A bias may be healthy or unhealthy.

D. Consideration. Context must be maintained while viewing this video, and in reading the text.

II. Overview. Dr. John F. Walvoord, Th. D. (DTS). Chapter 18. Teachings Concerning Greatness and Forgiveness.

A. Sermon on the Little Child, 18:1-14.

1. The disciples had gathered in the home which Jesus had established in Capernaum (Mt 17:24; Mk 9:33). The incident that followed is recorded also in Mark 9:33-50 and Luke 9:46-50. As the disciples gathered, the question was raised, “Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” (Mt 18:1). According to Mark 9:33, Jesus had raised the question, “What was it that ye disputed among yourselves by the way?” Apparently, they did not answer immediately, for Mark 9:34 states, “But they held their peace: for by the way they had disputed among themselves, who should be the greatest.” Breaking the awkward silence, apparently one of the disciples asked the question recorded in Matthew 18:1. As Ironside says, “It is a question that no truly noble soul would ever ask.”

2. In answer to their question, Jesus called a little child to Him, possibly a neighborhood child whom He knew well. When the disciples observed the little child standing in their midst, Jesus then took the child in His arms (Mk 9:36) and said to the disciples, “Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven” (Mt 18:3-4).

3. Undoubtedly, the disciples had been unduly concerned about their status in the coming kingdom. It is clear that they were still anticipating an earthly kingdom, in which Jesus would be the King and they would be His privileged servants. In asking the question concerning who would be the greatest, they did not mean that one of their number should have charge over the others, but rather that probably several of them should take precedence. Jesus had previously singled out Peter, James, and John, as in Matthew 17:1, for special honor. What would the role of each of the disciples be?

4. Jesus, in effect, was saying that they were asking the wrong question. They should have been asking, How can I best serve the King? rather than, How can I best serve myself? The child in the arms of Jesus was a graphic illustration of loving trust, immediate obedience in coming to the arms of Christ, and in seeking only the position of being loved. True greatness involved taking an attitude of unpretentious humility instead of seeking a position of power. These were great lessons for the disciples to learn.

5. These teachings of Jesus were in sharp contrast to that which was popular in the heathen world, where children were often used as human sacrifices and often suffered cruelty and neglect. The disciples, accordingly, were warned not to offend a child. It would be better to be drowned in the deep sea with a millstone around one’s neck than to offend a little one. It would be better to have a hand or foot cut off or an eye plucked out than to offend one of these, especially in spiritual things.

B. Sermon Concerning Forgiveness, 18:15-35.

1. Having related the disciples to children in the preceding context, Jesus then related the disciples to children of God who may be adults physically, even though they are immature spiritually. He introduced first the case of a brother or child of God who has injured one of the disciples in some way (cf. Lk 17:3-4).

2. Jesus instructed him first to go alone to the brother, tell him his fault, and seek an adjustment. The implication is that this may bring the matter to proper solution. If, however, the brother would not heed such an admonition, the disciple was instructed to take two or three witnesses with him and attempt to get the matter resolved by this means. This was in keeping with the law as stated in Deuteronomy 19:15.

3. If this form of entreaty failed, then he should tell it to the “assembly.” Obviously, church organization, as seen in the New Testament, had not yet been established, and it is more probable that He was referring here to a Jewish assembly, with which the disciples were familiar. If the offender refused to correct the matter in front of the whole assembly, he was then to be considered an outsider and was no longer worthy to be considered a brother. It is significant that there was no recognition of church authority, such as a bishop or elder, or even the authority of the disciples themselves.

4. However, Jesus went on immediately to discuss the authority of the disciples. In Matthew 18:18, He declared, “Verily I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.” It should be noted, first of all, that ye is plural. This authority was not given to Peter individually as a pope, but rather it belonged to all of the disciples, and they shared it, according to the preceding verse, with the assembly. The idea was that collectively they had a right to apply the spiritual principles of divine judgment to those who ignore such truth. In applying them correctly, they were recognizing a situation which God had established, whether this referred to binding or loosing, and they were serving as God’s representatives. It should be obvious that their binding or loosing was true only as God confirmed it.

5. Proceeding from the matter of judging a brother, the importance of two or three agreeing was then applied to prayer. Here, instead of the necessity of an entire assembly agreeing, even two or three who agree may be assured that God would answer. There is no instance in Scripture in which two or three of the disciples of Jesus agreed in prayer and the answer was not forthcoming. Only when they prayed singly, as in the case of Paul seeking removal of this thorn in the flesh, was there divine disapproval.

6. Peter returned to the question of forgiveness and asked the Lord in Matthew 18:21, “Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times?” Lenski observes, “The old Jewish teaching was that three times was enough,” based on Amos 1:3 and 2:6. Peter was attempting to be generous in doubling the usual limit of forgiveness.

7. Jesus replied, however, “I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven (Mt 18:22). There is some discussion in commentaries on this figure because of a mistranslation of Genesis 4:24, which Lamach is to be avenged seventy and sevenfold, that is, seventy-seven times. The Septuagint translates it “seventy times seven,” omitting the Hebrew and. There is no clear evidence that Christ was referring to the Septuagint rendering of Genesis 4:24, but it is evident in Matthew that Jesus meant seventy times seven, or four hundred and ninety. This meant that Peter should go on forgiving without counting the number of times, following the example of God himself, who does not impute sin to those who have trusted in Him.

8. It is clear that this is a story which has only partial fulfillment in God’s dealings with His disciples. There is no justification here for the doctrine of purgatory or the concept that a believer can lose justification once bestowed. The penalties refer to this life rather than the life to come in both instances, and chastisement can be experienced even by those who are the objects of God’s grace, if they do not judge their own life in the light of God’s forgiveness (cf. 1 Co 11:27-32; Heb 12:5-10). The illustration, however, enforces the exhortation of Jesus to Peter not to stop forgiving a brother, a truth which is supported by many scripture references (Ps 18:25; Mt 5:7; Lk 6:37; Eph 4:32; Col 3:13; Ja 5:9).

III. Scripture Text Examination. Dr. Charles C. Ryrie, Th. D., Ph. D. (DTS), Chapter 18.

A. 18:3. “are converted” = turn, an active and voluntary turning from sin.

B. 18:4. “humbles himself.” The tense is “whoever humbles himself until he becomes as this little child — exhibiting trust, openness, and eagerness to learn.” These are the childlike qualities that constitute greatness.

C. 18:6-7. “causes…. to stumble.” I. e., leads into sin, “stumbling blocks (v 7) are occasions for stumbling or temptations to sin. “millstones” (v 6).

D. 18:8. “cut it off.” (See note on 5:29-30). This is strong language, used to emphasize; i.e., sin is so dangerous, because it leads to eternal condemnation, that it would be better to lose hands or eyes temporarily than to lose life eternally.

E. 18:16. “Two or three witnesses.” An ancient law (Deu 19:15) for the purpose of reconciliation.

F. 18:17. “church.” Here and in 16:18 are the only mention of the church in the Gospels. [Re: the church (Mt 16:18, Eph 1:22-23), is the spiritual body of born again believers: Jesus promised His church (built on His redemptive work) will be victorious over death, 1 Cor 15:51-57 (Dr. Merrill F. Unger, Th. D., Ph. D., DTS). (Mine; there was no church until the Day of Pentecost.)]

G. 18:`18. On binding and loosing see notes on 16:19 and John 20:23.

1. [ “Matt 16:19: “the keys.” The authority to open the doors of Christendom was given to Peter, who used that authority for Jews on the Day of Pentecost, and for the Gentiles in the house of Cornelius (Acts 10). “shall have been loosed.” Heaven, not the Apostles, initiates all binding and loosing; whereas the Apostles announce these things. In John 20:22-23 sins are in view ; here, things, (i.e., practices). An example of the apostles’ binding practices on people is found in Acts 15:20].

2. [John 20:22-23: (22: “Receive the Holy Spirit.” This was a filling with the Spirit for power until the regularized relationship of the Spirit began at Pentecost.) (23:”have been forgiven…have been retained. “since only God can forgive sins (Mk 2:7), the disciples and the church are here given the authority to declare what God does when a man either accepts or rejects His son.)].

H. 18:21. “Up to seven times?” The rabbis said to forgive three times, so Peter thought he was being exceptionally worthy by suggesting seven times.

I. 18:22. “seventy times seven.” Forgive an uncountable number of times.

1. Mt 6:14-15. Notice that the only point the Lord emphasizes in the prayer is the necessity for forgiving one another. Forgiveness with the Father depends on forgiveness among the members of the family of God. This is the forgiveness that affects fellowship within the family of God; not forgiveness that leads to salvation.

2. Dr. Merrill F. Unger, Th. D., Ph. D., DTS). The Lord was indicating a forgiving spirit in the citizens of the kingdom. He was offering if they, in turn, as regenerate believers, wished to enjoy forgiveness and and unbroken fellowship with their heavenly Father.

3. Personal Salvation. John 3:16.

4. Security in personal salvation. John 10:28-30.

IV. Summing it up.

A. It is clear from the Scripture context, and the commentary of Drs. Ryrie, Walvoord and Unger, that the eighteenth chapter of Matthew, as well as all prior chapters, relate to the offer of Jesus of the Davidic Kingdom, that was made to the Jews of Israel, and only to Jews. Gentiles would have had no understanding of the teaching of the rabbis, in relation to forgiveness.

B. The teachings of Jesus to the Jews is shown throughout the synoptic gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke), with many of them based on the 613 Torah Laws of the Old Testament, and were intended to emphasize discipline of Jews. Torah means teaching, instruction, etc. In Matthew Chapter 18, Jesus discussed such Torah related subjects as: cutting off limbs (vs 8), and plucking out eyes (vs 9). The Law was in effect during the ministry of Jesus, but was fulfilled in Jesus (Matthew 5:17-19).

C. The Law and Animal Sacrifices.

1. The Law Of Burnt Offerings. Leviticus 1:1-17. (1:2″Speak to the sons of Israel and say to them, ‘When any man of you brings an offering to the Lord, you shall bring your offering of animals from the herd or the flock.”)

2. God required animal sacrifices to provide a temporary covering of sins and to foreshadow the perfect and complete sacrifice of Jesus Christ (Leviticus 4:355:10). Animal sacrifice is an important theme found throughout Scripture because “without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness” (Hebrews 9:22). When Adam and Eve sinned, animals were killed by God to provide clothing for them (Genesis 3:21). After the flood receded, Noah sacrificed animals to God (Genesis 8:20-21) (got

3. For the Jews who rejected Jesus as their Messiah, animal sacrifices done in obedience to the Old Testament covenant were stopped in A.D. 70 at the time of the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple by the armies of Rome. Jesus warned of this in the Gospels. For the Christian community, animal sacrifices stopped with the death and resurrection of Christ (

4. Therefore when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, “it is finished!.” And He bowed His head and gave up His spirit (John 19:30). (The price for our redemption was paid in full by our Lord’s death).

V. For education and other supporting data for each source of information in this article, please refer to my Page, “About My References.”

Matthew Chapter 17

I. Video.

A. Title. Matthew Chapter 17. The Transfiguration – The Healing of a Boy With a Demon – The Temple Tax

B. Data. LuisetReneeandBill.

II. Overview. Dr. John F. Walvoord, Th. D. (DTS). Chapter 17. The Coming Kingdom After His Suffering And Death.

A. Transfiguration, 17:1-9.

1. Six days after Peter’s notable confession, recorded in chapter 16, Jesus took Peter, James, and John, the inner circle, to a high mountain, apart from the other disciples (cf. Mk 9:2-13; Lk 9:28-36). Many believe this to be Mt. Hermon, north of Caesarea Philippi, but Matthew does not give the name of the mountain, nor does Mark or Luke.

2. Matthew gives the most complete detailed account of the transfiguration, showing that he is not as dependent upon Mark’s gospel as some have taught. Luke relates that the event occurred “about eight days” after Peter’s confession (Lk 9:28), meaning a week. There is no contradiction between the accounts. Luke also mentions that Jesus was praying and the disciples were sleeping when the transfiguration took place, and suddenly, the face of Christ shone as the sun, and His raiment also took on a supernatural light. Mark states that His raiment was “exceeding white as snow” (Mk 9:3), and Luke mentions especially that “the fashion of his countenance was altered” (Lk 9:29). In determining the nature of the transfiguration, it is sufficient to conclude that it was a real and supernatural revelation of the glory of God, not just an appearance or a theophany.

3. As Jesus was transfigured before His disciples, they were abruptly awakened and, wide-awake, saw Moses and Elijah talking with Jesus. Luke says that they were discussing the coming death of Jesus, which would be accomplished at Jerusalem (Lk 9:31). Attempting to do something about this, Peter, responding to the situation although he had not been addressed, said to Jesus, “Lord it is good for us to be here: if thou wilt, let us make here three tabernacles [tents]; one for thee, and one for Moses, and one for Elias” (Mt 17:4). Both Mark and Luke comment that Peter did not know what he was saying, as it was not a sensible proposition.

4. The answer to his suggestion, however, was a bright cloud which overshadowed all of them, and out of the cloud came a voice of God the Father, “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him” (17:5). Matthew alone records that, in response to this heavenly vision and command, they fell on their faces and were very much afraid. Jesus commanded them, however, to arise and stop being afraid, and with this assurance, when they lifted up their eyes, Moses and Elijah as well as the cloud had disappeared, and Jesus was restored to normal appearance.

5. As they were coming down the mountain to rejoin the other disciples, Jesus instructed them to tell no one of the vision until after His resurrection. Obviously, to tell of this vision would have only aggravated the problem of the people who wanted to make Jesus King by force.6.

6. What is the meaning of the transfiguration? The Scriptures do not provide an immediate commentary on the purpose of the transfiguration. W. A. Criswell suggests that the purpose was to encourage Jesus in view of His coming death, as well as the disciples in the trials which they would face.

7. Probably the disciples needed far more than Jesus’ spoken assurances to offset the frequent references to His death, which they could not fit into their concept of the Lord’s future program. That it left an indelible effect upon the disciples is clear from 2 Peter 1:16-18, where Peter refers to it, and in John 1:14, where John mentions it. It was a dramatic and reassuring experience that no matter what happened, the glory of the kingdom was still ahead.

8. Numerous questions can be raised about the incident. Why were Moses and Elias, or Elijah, selected? Probably the best answer, as Lenski suggests, is that Moses was the greatest lawgiver of the Old Testament and Elijah was the first of the great prophets. It is also true that Moses represents those who, through death and resurrection, will be in glory, and Elijah represents those who will be in glory without dying. The fact that they both have bodies gives some support to the idea of an intermediate body in heaven, prior to the day of resurrection or translation, although Lenski brushes this aside as not being taught in the passage.

9. The selection of Peter, James, and John, rather than all the disciples, was appropriate, following the example of Moses, who, when he went up into the holy mountain, took with him Aaron, Nadab, and Abihu (Ex 24:1). The transfiguration of Christ, however, far exceeded the glory which Moses experienced. While the companions of Moses, including the seventy elders, apparently saw the glory of God, none of them were permitted to accompany Moses when he went up into the mountain to receive the law. The disciples, in the transfiguration of Jesus, were witnesses of the entire transaction.

10. Taken as a whole, the transfiguration was the fulfillment of Matthew 16:28, where they had been promised that they would see the Son of man coming in His kingdom. The transfiguration was the prophetic view of the glorious Christ.

B. Question About Elijah, 17:10-13.

1. The appearance of Elijah on the mount reminded the disciples of a problem they had with the prediction of the coming of Elijah before the day of the Lord (Mai 4:5-6). They now raised this question, “Why then say the scribes that Elias must first come?” (Mt 17:10). As Lenski observes, “It was the popular expectation that Elijah would first teach the Jews, settle all their disputed questions, again give them the pot of manna and Aaron’s rod that blossomed, etc.”

2. In His answer, Jesus acknowledged that the scribes had correctly understood that Elijah was related to the restoration of Israel. Jesus solved the problem by affirming that Elijah had already come and that the scribes had not recognized him. The disciples understood this to be a reference to John the Baptist (cf. Mai 3:1; Mt 11:14; Lk 1:17). Scholars differ as to whether John the Baptist completely fulfilled the prophecy of Elijah, or whether a future appearance of Elijah is necessary. The theory of a yet future appearance of Elijah is connected with the view that he is one of the two witnesses in Revelation 11. The evidence that John the Baptist at least in part fulfilled the prophecy of Elijah is clear, but a future appearance of Elijah is debatable.

C. Healing of the Demon-Possessed Child, 17:14-21.

1. As also recorded in Mark 9:14-29 and Luke 9:37-43, upon the return to the valley, Jesus encountered the other nine disciples in trouble. A child had been brought, severely afflicted with epilepsy caused by demon possession. The expression that he was a “lunatick” is often understood as indicating that he was epileptic on the basis of the symptoms, although he may have also had mental unbalance, as Morgan believes. The case was presented to Jesus by his father, who, kneeling before Jesus, pleaded mercy for his son, whom the disciples could not cure. The incident, no doubt, had been embarrassing to the nine disciples and may have provoked ridicule of the crowd.

2. The failure of the disciples moved Jesus to say, “O faithless and perverse generation, how long shall I be with you? how long shall I suffer you? bring him hither to me” (Mt 17:17). Although addressed generally to the generation, it obviously was a rebuke to the nine disciples.

3. When the child was brought to Jesus, the devil was cast out and the child was cured immediately. Mark 9:20-26 indicates that there was an exchange of conversation between Jesus and the father, in which it was brought out that the child had had this difficulty ever since he was small, and sometimes it caused him to fall into fire or into the water. Jesus, addressing the father, said, “If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth” (Mk 9:23). The father, in response, cried out, “Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief” (v. 24). Even as Jesus was talking, the child “fell on the ground, and wallowed foaming” (v. 20). The situation was attracting a crowd, and Jesus immediately cast out the spirit, according to verse 25. It left the child as one dead, and Jesus took him by the hand and lifted him up (vv. 26-27).

4. Later, as Mark 9:28 indicates, when they had returned to the house, the disciples asked why they could not cast out the demon. Jesus, in reply, made clear to them that their problem was not the demon or the child but their own unbelief. To the disciples, He said, “If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you” (Mt 17:20). Jesus added, however, “Howbeit this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting” (v. 21). What Jesus could accomplish in a word, the disciples needed to accomplish through prayer and fasting.

5. The lessons of this incident are obvious. It is not the greatness of the problem that is the difficulty; it is the lack of faith on the part of believers. How quickly Jesus responded to the simple and sincere cry of the father of the child, “Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief” (Mk 9:24).

D. Announcement of Christ’s Death and Resurrection Repeated, 17:22-23.

With the approaching feast, which would be the time that Jesus would be crucified, He again reaffirmed not only that He would die and be raised, but that He would be betrayed by His friends into the hands of His enemies (cf. Mk 9:30-32; Lk 9:43-45). This time, the disciples did not raise objections, but the Scriptures record, “And they were exceeding sorry” (Mt 17:23). Their sorrow arose not from sympathy but from their lack of understanding of both His death and resurrection. The sorrow is because of the assertion that Jesus would be “betrayed.” The lengthening shadow of the cross is beginning to stretch over the incidents that were to lead Jesus to Jerusalem.

E. Problem of Tribute, 17:24-27.

1. following these incidents, they came to Capernaum for what would be the last visit there before He went to Jerusalem to die. The tax collectors, who were collecting the temple tax, approached Peter because neither he nor Jesus had paid the tax. Matthew alone records this incident. The custom was based on the law which required every Israelite, above twenty years of age, to pay a half shekel in the support of the temple (cf. Ex 30:13-14; 2 Ki 12:4; 2 Ch 24:6; Neh 10:32). It was normal to have this tax collected just before the Passover. Peter had assured the tax collector that his Master would pay the tribute.

2. Before Peter could talk to Jesus about it, Jesus anticipated the question and asked him, “What thinketh thou, Simon? of whom do the kings of the earth take custom or tribute? of their own children, or of strangers?” (Mt 17:25). Peter replied that taxes were collected of strangers not of children.

3. Jesus, having made His point that Jesus and His disciples should not have to pay tax, nevertheless, instructed Peter to cast a hook into the sea, pick up the first fish that came, and open its mouth. He would find a piece of money which he could take to pay the tribute tax (v. 27). Although many have tried to explain away this incident because Matthew does not go on to complete the story, it seems clear that Peter caught the fish with the money in its mouth and paid the tax. According to Mark 12:13-17, the Pharisees were especially desirous to catch Jesus in breaking the law of the tribute. Jesus, at this point as He was facing Jerusalem, did not want to make a small issue important.

III. Scripture Text Examination. Dr. Charles C. Ryrie, Th. D., Ph. D. (DTS), Chapter 17.

A. 17:1. “Six days later.” Luke’s “about eight days” includes the beginning and the ending days, as well as the interval between. “Peter and James and John.” The inner circle of the disciples.

B. 17:2. “Transfigured.” Lit., transformed. The transfiguration gave the three disciples a preview of Jesus’ future exaltation and the coming kingdom. The Lord was seen in His body of glory; Moses and Elijah illustrated those whom Christ will bring with Him (either through death or translation; 1 Thes 4:13-18); the disciples represented those who will behold His coming (Rev 1:7).

C. 17:4. “tabernacles.” Booths or shelters, for temporary residence.

D. 17:10. “scribes.” I.e., the accredited expounders of the Hebrew scriptures.

E. 17:11-12. The sequence of thought is a follows: (1) Elijah is coming as the restorer (Mal 4:5); (2) he came unrecognized, in the person of John the Baptist, and was killed; (3) the Son of Man faces a like fate. The disciples seem to grasp only the first two points.

F. 17:20. On “mustard seed.” Ryrie note Matt 13:32: lesser of all seeds. It is among the smallest seeds and was the smallest used in Israel. The kingdom will grow quickly.

G. 17:24-27. This assessment of a half-shekel (two drachmas), was collected annually for the support of the Temple. Jesus anticipated (v 25) Peter’s confusion by trying to show him that members of the royal family are exempt from the tax. Thus, Jesus, the Son of God, was not personally obligated to pay for the support of God’s house because, because being God, it was His Temple (Mal 3:1). Nevertheless, to avoid offense, He would pay. The miraculously caught fish yielded a shekel, which was equal to two half-shekels, sufficient for Jesus and Peter.

IV. Summing it up. It is clear from the Scripture context, and the commentary of Drs. Ryrie and Walvoord, that the seventeenth chapter of Matthew, as well as all prior chapters, relate to the offer of Jesus of the Davidic Kingdom, that was made to the Jews of Israel, and only to Jews. The term “Son of Man” was known to Jews, as a reference to Messiah (Dan 7:13-14), and not to Gentiles. Additionally, the synoptic gospels of Mathew, Mark, and Luke do not relate to personal salvation but to the Jews of the nation of Israel through its restoration (Luke 13:1-5 {context}; Acts 1:6). Only the Gospel of John (John 3:16) tells of the offer of individual salvation. Compare Luke 13:5 to John 3:16, and you will see a great difference through the context of salvation; Lk 13:5, to the nation of Israel, and John3:16 to individual Jews and Gentiles. Through the ministry of Jesus, during His first advent, He is giving the Jews a glimpse of the coming millennial kingdom (Isa 35:5-6, “Then the eyes of the blind will be opened and the ears of the deaf unstopped. Then will the lame leap like a deer, and the mute tongue shout for joy. Isa 61:2, “to comfort all who mourn.”), which will take place on earth after His second Advent. Gentiles would have had no in-depth knowledge, if any, of Old Testament prophets. Per a past verse, and Ryrie comment on Matthew 10:5-8: This “Great Commission” was limited to going to Jewish people only. Not even Samaritans (a mixed race of Jews and Gentiles who intermarried after the Assyrian conquest of Israel in 722 B.C.) were included, because the Jews had to prepare spiritually for the coming messianic, earthly kingdom first. The disciples’ ministry would be accomplished by miraculous signs (10:8). The reference to the northern tribes of Israel being carried away by the Samaritans is shown in 2 Kings 17:1-6; 18; 22-24. (Isaiah comments, Walvoord; Matthew and Daniel, Ryrie; others are mine).

V. For education and other supporting data for each source of information in this article, please refer to my Page, “About My References.”

Matthew Chapter 16

I. Video.

A. Title. Matthew Chapter 16. The Demand for a Sign – The Yeast of the Pharisees and Sadduccees – Peter’s Confession of Christ – Jesus Predicts His DeathShow less.

B. Data. LuisetReneeandBill.

II. Overview. Dr. John F. Walvoord, Th. D. (DTS). Chapter 16, Teaching In Anticipation of Rejection.

A. Pharisees and Sadducees Seek a Sign, 16:1-4.

1. The Pharisees, who had questioned the disciples’ disregard of their traditions, now joined by the Sadducees, sought to trap Jesus into giving them a sign from heaven. This was the first time the Pharisees and Sadducees, usually in disagreement, joined hands to trap Jesus. Earlier (Mt 12:38), they had asked for a sign and were given the sign of the prophet Jonah, with its prediction of the death and resurrection of Christ. Their asking for a sign indicated that they were unimpressed by the miracles and teaching of Christ, the very credentials predicted in the Old Testament.

2. Jesus, in His reply, alluded to their spiritual stupidity. He pointed out that when it came to seeing signs relating to weather, they could understand; but when it came to the signs of the times, they were unable to relate intelligently to them.

3. In closing His comments, Christ said that a wicked and adulterous generation will not be given a sign, except the sign He had given them earlier, when they had asked the same question, the sign of the prophet Jonah. Although the Pharisees were not accused of being adulterers, spiritually, they were in the same state as those who had no morality and no religion. If He had given them some miraculous sign from heaven, they would have returned to the same accusation recorded in Matthew 12:24, that it was a miracle accomplished only by the power of Satan. Faith is not given to those who are seeking support for unbelief.

B. Leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees, 16:5-12.

1. According to Mark 8-10, the Pharisees had questioned Him while in Dalmanutha, located on the west shore of Galilee. Upon conclusion of His exchange with the Pharisees, Jesus and His disciples again proceeded by boat to the eastern shore. When they arrived, the disciples found that they had forgotten to take bread (Mt 16:5). This would not have been so serious near Capernaum, but the eastern shore was relatively unpopulated.

2. Using this as an occasion for driving home a spiritual point, Jesus warned them against the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees. The disciples thought He was referring to the fact that they had taken no bread. Jesus rebuked them for their concern, reminding them of the feeding of the five thousand and the feeding of the four thousand. He went on to state that He was warning them of the leaven of the Pharisees and the Sadducees. Leaven here, as elsewhere in the Scripture, is a symbol of permeating evil. They were not to be influenced by the infection of unbelief derived from these religious leaders.

C. Prediction of the Church, 16:13-20.

1. Proceeding north and east from the Sea of Galilee, Christ came to the borders of Caesarea Philippi. There He questioned His disciples about their faith in Him, as also recorded in Mark 8:27-30 and Luke 9:18-21. He drew out of them first what others had said about Him. The response had been varied. Some people had considered Him John the Baptist raised from the dead, others Elijah the prophet, others Jeremiah or one of the other prophets. Only Matthew mentions Jeremiah.

2. Having prepared the way, Jesus then asked the important question, “But whom say ye that I am?” In reply, Simon Peter, frequently the spokesman for the twelve, declared, “Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God” (Mt 16:16). Only Matthew adds the expression, “of the living God.”

3. Pronouncing a blessing on Peter as the one who had received this revelation from God the Father, Jesus made the important announcement about the church, which was not recorded in the narratives of the other gospels. He said, “And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.”

4. Peter (Petros) means a loose stone. The “rock” is petra, a large or massive rock, like a cliff. The passage has often been cited to indicate the primacy of Peter as the first pope and the justification for the whole system built upon this concept. It is clear from other Scripture, however, that the rock upon which Christ intended to build is Himself, the solid rock, not Peter, one stone in the church composed of many living stones (1 Pe 2:5). What Jesus said, then, was, “Thou art a little rock, and upon this massive rock [pointing to Himself] I will build my church.”

5. It was not Peter upon which the church would be built but upon the person to whom Peter had witnessed in his confession of faith, Christ, the Son of the living God.

6. The church does not rest on a quality found in Peter and in others like him. The church is not built on the confession her members make, which would change the effect into the cause. By her confession the church shows on what she is built. She rests on the reality which Peter confessed, namely, “the Christ, the Son of the living God.”

7. Some Protestants, however, continue to interpret this as referring to Peter, not as a pope, but as a believer of the first generation, a stone upon which others can build. In any case, the evidence in support of Peter as a bishop of Rome is lacking.

8. The dynamic words, “I will build my church,” significantly are found in the gospel of Matthew, which more than the other gospels is given to the explanation of why the promised kingdom of the Old Testament was not brought in at the first coming of Christ. Here Matthew is introducing very simply the concept which is developed in the upper room discourse, John 13-17, and in the Acts and epistles, that God has a present purpose to be fulfilled in calling out His church, before the ultimate kingdom purpose is fulfilled.

9. The fact that Christ stated it as a future purpose indicates that His present ministry was not building the church, and, accordingly, even the mystery form of the kingdom was not precisely the same as the church.

10. As H. A. Ironside expresses it, “The building of this spiritual temple did not begin until after He had ascended to heaven, and the Spirit of God came as the promised Comforter.”

11. The word build is also significant because it implies the gradual erection of the church under the symbolism of living stones being built upon Christ, the foundation stone, as indicated in 1 Peter 2:4-8. This was to be the purpose of God before the second coming, in contrast to the millennial kingdom, which would follow the second coming. Against this program of God, the gates of hell (hades) will not be able to hold out. Amillenarians tend to ignore this momentous declaration.

12. After this great pronouncement, Christ added, “I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven” (Mt 16:19). In this declaration, Christ was making clear the authority and important place of Peter as having the message which unlocks the entrance into the kingdom of heaven.

13. This, however, is no justification for attributing to Peter authority which was not shared with the other disciples. Although the singular is used here in the word thee, in 18:18, a similar pronouncement is made using ye, applying to all the disciples. In a sense, every believer who has the gospel has the right to declare that those who believe the gospel are loosed on earth as well as in heaven, and to declare that those who reject the gospel are bound in earth as well as in heaven.

14. Jesus concluded His discourse on this important theme by charging His disciples not to tell anyone that He was Jesus the Christ. This strange command for silence is probably best understood as meaning that it was not propitious at this point to spread further the claim that He was indeed the Messiah. The time would come when they would proclaim it fearlessly, even though it would lead most of them ultimately to a martyr’s death.

D. Jesus Again Foretells His Death and Resurrection, 16:21-23.

1. In anticipation of His ultimate rejection, Jesus repeated here earlier warnings concerning His death and coming resurrection. Mark 8:31-33 and Luke 9:22 refer to the same incident. Peter, having risen to great heights of faith in the preceding context, then demonstrated his lack of understanding by rebuking Jesus. In contrast to Christ’s commendation of Peter, in Matthew 16:17-18, Jesus here rebuked Peter, “Get thee behind me, Satan: thou art an offence unto me: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men.” The problem here was lack of spiritual discernment so common to man but not in keeping with Peter’s place of leadership among the disciples. Like many modern readers of the Bible, Peter did not want to accept what did not agree with his hopes and ambitions. The disciples who had been led to faith in the person of Christ were not yet prepared to accept His work on the cross.

2. Earlier, Jesus had spoken of this in veiled language, as when He predicted that if the Jews destroyed the temple, He would raise it again in three days (Jn 2:18-22). This had occurred two years before. To Nicodemus, who came with his questions, in John 3, Jesus had said that He had to be lifted up, even as the serpent in the wilderness, in order to save those who believed in Him (vv. 14-18). In His interchange with the Pharisees, in Matthew 12:38-41, He had indicated that He would spend three days and nights in the heart of the earth. The same thought had been repeated in Matthew 16:4. Now, however, the time had come to speak plainly. Their faith in Him would have to be more than confidence that He was the Messiah of Israel. They would also have to believe that He was the Lamb of God, who had come to take away this sin of the world.

E. Cost and Reward of Discipleship, 16:24-28.

1. After introducing the fact of His death, Jesus proceeded to teach His disciples the basic principles of discipleship. Parallel accounts are found in Mark 8:34-38 and Luke 9:23-26. He had taught them earlier on the same subject (Mt 10:21-42). Discipleship would not immediately fulfill glorious expectations of reigning with Christ in His kingdom or being in places of power and influence. The road to glory is a road of suffering, He taught them. It is only by losing one’s life that one is able to save it. The principles of spiritual triumph differ from the principles of worldly triumph. Negatively, one must deny himself; positively, he must take up his cross and follow Jesus.

2. As the road to triumph differs for a disciple, so also does the reward. For the world, there is immediate gain but ultimate loss: for the disciple, there is immediate loss but ultimate gain. As Jesus pointed out, ultimately the man who loses his own soul in the process of gaining the whole world is exchanging his future glory for a temporary reward.

3. Reaching forward prophetically to the time of His second coming, Jesus declared, “Then he shall reward every man according to his works” (16:27). This applies both to the lost soul and to the one who is saved. Having prophetically reached out to the consummation, He then made the present application in the closing verse of chapter 16, “There be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the Son of man coming in his kingdom.” Jesus was not saying, as some have construed it, that the second coming would occur before those of His generation tasted death. He was introducing, rather, the transfiguration of chapter 17, which anticipated, in vision, the glory of the Son of man coming in His kingdom.

III. Scripture Text Examination. Dr. Charles C. Ryrie, Th. D., Ph. D. (DTS), Chapter 16.

A. 16:4. “adulterous generation…sign of Jonah.” The nation was unfaithful in its vows to the Lord. “the sign of Jonah the prophet.” In Luke 11:29-32 the sign is the warning of judgment to come (Jonah 1:2; 3:4). Here the sign is related to the death and resurrection of the Son of Man. Re Matt 12:40. “THREE DAYS AND THREE NIGHTS.” This phrase does not necessarily require that 72 hours elapse between Christ’s death and resurrection, for the Jews reckoned part of a day to be a whole day. This, prophecy can be properly fulfilled if the death of Jesus occurred on Friday. However, the statement does require an historical Jonah, who was actually swallowed by a great fish. The explanation of the three days and nights finds agreement in the Moody Bible Commentary, MacArthur Study Bible, Holman Christian Study Bible, NKJV Study Bible.

B. 16:14. “John…Elijah…Jeremiah.” Some must have have seen resemblances between Christ’s teachings and those of these great prophets.

C. 16:17. “Blessed are you,” because he had received this insight through divine revelation and not through human influences.

D. 16:24-28. This passage is on discipleship. Verses 13-20 are on messiahship; verses 21-23 are on the Atonement; 17:1-8 concerns eschatology . These four passages together deal with the truth of NT theology.

E. 16:28. “see the Son of Man coming in His kingdom.” This was fulfilled when the disciples witnessed the Transformation (17:1-8), which was, in miniature, a preview of the kingdom, with the Lord appearing in a state of glory (Dan 7:9-14).

IV. Summing it up. It is clear from the Scripture context, and the commentary of Drs. Ryrie and MacArthur, and the referenced study bibles, that the sixteenth chapter of Matthew, as well as all prior chapters, relate to the offer of Jesus of the Davidic Kingdom, that was made to the Jews of Israel, and only to Jews. The term “Son of Man” was known to Jews, as a reference to Messiah (Dan 7:13-14), and not to Gentiles. Additionally,  the synoptic gospels, of Mathew, Mark, and Luke, do not relate to personal salvation, but to the nation of Israel through its restoration (Luke 13:1-5 {context}; Acts 1:6). Only the Gospel of John (John 3:16) tells of the offer of individual salvation. Compare Luke 13:5 to John 3:16, and you will see a great difference through the context of salvation; Lk 13:5, to the nation of Israel, and John3:16 to individual Jews and Gentiles. Through the ministry of Jesus, during His first advent, He is giving the Jews a glimpse of the coming kingdom (Isa 61:2, “to comfort all who mourn.”), which will take place on earth after His second Advent. Gentiles would have had no in depth knowledge, if any, of Old Testament prophets.

V. For education and other supporting data for each source of information in this article, please refer to my Page, “About My References.”

Matthew Chapter 15

I. Video.

A. Title. Clean and Unclean – The Faith of the Canaanite Woman – Jesus Feeds the Four Thousand.

B. Data. LuisetReneeandBill

II. Overview. Dr. John F. Walvoord, Th. D. (DTS). Chapter 15: The Rejected King’s Continued Ministry of Mercy.

A. Controversy with the Scribes and Pharisees 15:1-9

1. Chapter 15 runs parallel to Mark 7:1-8:9, with some variation in the details and order of the discourse. It is clear that both Matthew and Mark are summaries of incidents that were actually much longer and more detailed.

2. The Pharisees and scribes were incensed at the disciples because they did not follow the tradition of washing of hands when they ate bread. They drew the implication that this disregard of tradition was taught by Jesus as a matter of principle rather than as a single act of transgression of ceremonial law. Mark gives a longer explanation, that what was involved was not simply the washing of hands but the washing of cups, pots, brass vessels, and tables (Mk 7:4). The traditions referred to were the haggada and the halacha which were teachings derived only in part from Scripture. The Pharisees paid more attention to these ceremonial washings than they did to the Scriptures themselves.

3. Jesus answered their question by another question, “Why do ye also transgress the commandment of God by your tradition?” (Mt 15:3). He then cited the fifth commandment (Ex 20:12) and Leviticus 20:9, which imposed the death penalty on one who cursed his father or his mother. He pointed out that they controverted the Scriptures in their honor of father and mother by their allowance that a child could declare something a gift or dedicated to God, and, by this means, free himself of the obligation to care for his parents. Jesus summarized this, “Thus have ye made the commandment of God of none effect by your tradition” (Mt 15:16). Jesus did not accuse the Pharisees of cursing their fathers and mothers, but He did point out that the deep-seated principle of honoring the father and mother is violated by their tradition.

4. After having denounced their doctrine, Jesus then turned to their own spiritual need. Addressing them as hypocrites, He quoted from Isaiah 29:13 that Israel would draw nigh to God with their lips but not their hearts. Such worship, Christ said, is empty because it teaches the commandments of man in place of the doctrines of God. The real need of the Pharisees was a changed heart, not more religious traditions.

B. Teaching on the Wicked Heart of Man, 15:10-20. 

1. After having used the objection of the Pharisees as an occasion for exposing the spiritual need of man, He pointed out that the spiritual law is the opposite of the natural law, namely, that not what goes into the mouth defiles a man as the Pharisees held; rather it was that which came out of the mouth that defiled him. Matthew records that the disciples warned Jesus that He had offended the Pharisees. In answering this, Jesus pointed out that the Pharisees were blind leaders of the blind and, eventually, because of their blindness, would fall into the ditch. They were plants not planted by God the Father and would ultimately be rooted up. In the parallel account in Mark 7, these comments are omitted. 

2. When Jesus went into the house to get away from the people, as explained in Mark 7:17, the disciples and Peter in particular (Mt 15:15) wanted Him to explain what He had said. Jesus had said, in effect, that food did not cause spiritual problems for men; it was rather what had come out of one’s heart in the form of words and actions. Jesus itemized such things as “evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies” (v. 19).

3. These things do not necessarily proceed from the mouth but do proceed from the heart. And these things, Jesus said, are the real problem and the real defilement of a man, not when he eats with hands which have not been ceremoniously washed. The occupation with the outward religious ceremony, instead of inner transformation of the heart, has all too often attended all forms of religion and has plagued the church as well as it has Judaism. How many Christians, in the history of the church, have been executed for difference of opinion on the meaning of the elements of the Lord’s Supper or the mode of baptism or for failure to bow to church authority? The heart of man, which is so incurably religious, is also incurably evil, apart from the grace of God.

C. Withdrawal to Tyre and Sidon, 15:21-28.

1. Having previously attempted to withdraw into the desert (Mt 14:13), Jesus again departed from the multitudes which thronged Him, going probably the longest distance away from Jerusalem. Proceeding to the far northwest of the coast, where Tyre and Sidon were located, He encountered a woman of Canaan who pleaded with Him to heal her daughter who was demon possessed. In the parallel account in Mark 7:24-30, the woman is declared to be a Greek, a Syrophenician, meaning that she was a Gentile, using the more contemporary name for her nationality.

2. Although she addressed Jesus as “Son of David,” He did not answer her. Her repeated cries irritated the disciples, who suggested that Jesus send her away. In an explanation of why He had not replied, Jesus told the disciples, “I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel” (Mt 15:24). The woman, however, was not to be easily discouraged, and bowing and worshiping before Him, she said simply, “Lord, help me” (v. 25).

3. Jesus, attempting to explain to the woman His commission to preach to the house of Israel, said, “It is not meet to take the children’s bread and to cast it to dogs” (v. 26). The woman, in reply, pleaded that even dogs were allowed to eat crumbs which fell from the table. In response to this faith, Jesus said, “O woman, great is thy faith: be it unto thee even as thou wilt” (v. 28). Matthew comments that her daughter was healed immediately, implying that they had a later report as to what the outcome of it was.

4. According to Mark, Jesus also told the woman, “The devil is gone out of thy daughter” (Mk 7:29). Mark also goes on to say that when the woman returned home, she found her daughter laid upon a bed and that the demon had departed (v. 30).

D. Return To Galilee, 15:19-31.

Upon His return to Galilee from His short visit to the coast, the multitudes again found Jesus in the mountains. In His customary role as a Teacher, He sat down, healing the lame, the blind, the dumb, the maimed, and many others, with the people glorifying the God of Israel because of this unusual visitation. Mark 7:31-37 singles out one outstanding case of a man deaf with an impediment in speech whom Jesus healed.

E. Feeding of the Four Thousand, 15:32-39.

1. The period of miracles following His return to Galilee apparently extended over three days, or at least parts of three days, and lack of food might cause people to faint on their way home.

2. This incident should be contrasted to the feeding of the five thousand. As Edwin W. Rice has pointed out, “Here the crowds are chiefly of Gentile or semi-Gentile origin; the five thousand were mainly Galilean Jews. Here four thousand are fed; before five thousand. Here they sat on the ground, for the summer sun had burned up the grass; before, they were on grass as it was early spring.”

3. As in the feeding of the five thousand, the earlier incident, Jesus asked what the disciples had available. This time, He found that they had seven small loaves and a few fishes, about enough for one person, in contrast to five loaves and two fishes in the earlier incident. This time the disciples apparently anticipated a miracle. Again, following the preceding order of the feeding of the five thousand, the multitude was asked to sit down. Jesus gave thanks for the food and, breaking it, gave to the disciples to distribute. This time there were seven large baskets of food left over, in contrast to twelve small baskets in the feeding of the five thousand. The place was Decapolis, the opposite side of the lake from the feeding of the five thousand. Sending the multitude away with full hearts and full stomachs, Jesus went by boat to Magdala, or Magadan, an area just north of Tiberias on the west shore of the Sea of Galilee.

III. Scripture Text Examination. Dr. Charles C. Ryrie, Th. D., Ph. D. (DTS), Chapter 15.

A. 15:2. Only traditional interpretational and expansion of the law required this. The written law did not (Lev 22:1-16). Only priests needed to make an ablution before eating to cleanse themselves from anything unclean. Christ accused them of also expanding (and negating) the commandment about honoring parents by devoting goods to God, which then could not be used to support the parents (vv 4-6().

B. 15:11. External washings could not keep the Pharisees (or anyone else) spiritually clean. 

C. 15:15. “the parable.” The reference to verse 11.

D. 15:26. “to the dogs.” Children (“the lost sheep of the house of Israel,” v 24) must be fed before dogs. This Gentile woman, like the centurion, showed great faith (v 28) and was rewarded for it. 

E 15:28. Again, Matthew distinguishes the number of men from women and children (cf. 14:21).

IV. Scripture Text Examination. Dr. Michael G. Vanlaningham, M. Div., Ph. D. (MBI), Chapter 15:22-28.

A. “The children’s bread,” is probably a metaphor for the covenant blessings intended for the Jewish people. 

B. “‘Dogs,” a reference to Gentiles, as those outside of the covenant community in Israel.

C. The Canaanite woman’s response in v 27 indicated a surprising level of insight regarding the relationship of the Jewish people’s covenant blessings and the benefit they provide for Gentiles (See Gen 12:3, Rom 11:17-18, Eph 2:11-22).

D. The salvation-historical priority of Jesus was to reach the Jewish people, but as the Great Commission (Mt 28:18-20) indicates, even Gentiles benefit from the Jewish Messiah. 

V. Summing it up. It is clear from the Scripture context, and the commentary of Drs. Ryrie and Vanlaningham, that the fifteenth chapter of Matthew, as well as all prior chapters relate to the offer of Jesus of the Davidic Kingdom, that was made to the Jews of Israel, and only to Jews. Additionally,  the synoptic gospels, of Mathew, Mark, and Luke, do not relate to personal salvation. Only the Gospel of John tells of the offer of individual salvation. Through the ministry of Jesus during His first advent, He is giving the Jews a glimpse of the coming kingdom (Isa 61:2, “to comfort all who mourn.”), which will take be present on earth after His second Advent.

VI. For education and other supporting data for each source of information in this article, please refer to my Page, “About My References.”

Matthew 14 (Part 1 of 2)

I. Video. Matthew Chapter 14.

A. Title. John the Baptist Beheaded – Jesus Feeds the Five Thousand …more

B. Data. LuisetReneeandBill

C. Scriptures. Matthew Chapter 14:1-21.

II. Dr. John F. Walvoord (Overview).

A. Execution of John the Baptist, 14:1-12.

1. The growing rejection of Christ and His ministry, anticipated in the preceding chapter, now had its toll in the execution of John the Baptist. John had been fearless in his denunciation of Herod Antipas who was living unlawfully with Herodias, his brother Philip’s wife. Herodias, a New Testament Jezebel, had plotted against Herod’s first wife, the daughter of Aretas, king of Arabia, who had to flee for her life. Herodias, although a niece of Herod Antipas, began to live with him in an unlawful union.

2. John had said plainly, “It is not lawful for thee to have her” (Mt. 14:4). For this affront to Herod and Herodias, John had been placed in prison, but Herod was restrained from doing more because he feared the reaction of the Jews who counted John as a prophet.

3. This did not deter Herodias, however, but she bided her time. When Herod was having a drunken feast in honor of his birthday, she had her daughter, Salome, dance before those celebrating the birthday. This pleased Herod to the point that he promised Salome anything she would ask, to half the kingdom. She, having been instructed by her mother, asked for the head of John the Baptist on a large platter, such as was used for food. Herod, although reluctant to give the order, nevertheless, under the pressure of the circumstances, commanded that it should be done. John, summoned out of his dark cell where he had had gloomy thoughts about his own future and the future of the kingdom, ended his lifework abruptly at the executioner’s block, and the head was delivered to the damsel on a platter as she requested. His sorrowful disciples came, claimed the body which had been thrown out as refuse, and gave it a decent burial.

4. For John, it meant leaving the damp castle of Machaerus, built on the cliffs east of the Dead Sea, for a sudden entrance into glory. Like many great prophets before him, he had sealed his testimony with his own blood. When the disciples came to tell Jesus, it was another evidence of the growing rejection of Jesus and His message and a stark reminder of the awfulness of sin and unbelief. Parallel references are found in Mark 6:14-29 and Luke 9:7-9.

B. Feeding of the Five Thousand, 14:13-21.

1. Upon hearing the tidings of John’s execution, Jesus withdrew into an unpopulated place. He wanted to be alone with His disciples and desired to confer with them privately, according to Mark 6:30-31. Although Jesus was rejected by those in authority, the people were still enthusiastic followers of Jesus, and they followed Him out of many cities until they found Him. As Jesus viewed the great multitude, His heart was moved with compassion toward them both for their physical ills and their spiritual needs. All four gospels record this important incident in the life of Jesus (Mk 6:30-44Lk 9:10-17Jn 6:1-14). Although Matthew does not mention that He taught them, Mark 6:34 declares, “He began to teach them many things.”

2. After a long day of teaching and healing, the disciples counseled Jesus to urge the multitude to go away that they might find food in the villages nearby. As far as the disciples were concerned, this was an easy way out. As in the case of the Samaritan woman in John 4, and in the case of the little children who were brought to Jesus in Mark 10, so here they wanted to avoid involvement in the need. But Jesus replied, “They need not depart; give ye them to eat” (Mt 14:16). The disciples, forgetting the power of Jesus to do miraculous things, protested that they had only five loaves and two fishes—enough for one person but not for five thousand.

3. Jesus did not argue with them, but commanded them to bring the five loaves and two fishes to Him. He then ordered the multitude to sit down in an orderly fashion on the grass, and, having the food in His hand, He broke it and gave it to the disciples to distribute. The miracle of multiplication took place, and verse 20 records, “They did all eat, and were filled.” The fragments gathered in twelve baskets were far more than the boy’s lunch that had been placed into the hands of Jesus at the beginning. The multitude, described as five thousand besides the women and children, had been miraculously fed.

4. This illuminating incident of the miraculous power of Jesus to take what little was placed in His hand and to bless it until it was sufficient for the multitude has encouraged all believing hearts. They have realized their own impotence and lack of resources, but have been encouraged by the miraculous power of God to take little and make much of it.

5. Matthew does not mention what is recorded in John 6:14-15, that the multitudes, impressed with this tremendous miracle, not only recognized Christ as the predicted Prophet but wanted to take Him by force and make Him a king. The multitude reasoned that with such a miraculous king who could heal the sick, raise the dead, and multiply food, they had one who had sufficient power to give them victory over the oppression of Rome. Like Moses, who gave manna from heaven and Elisha who miraculously fed a hundred men (2 Ki 4:42-44), Jesus seemed to be a great leader. This was not the way, however, in which the kingdom was to come, and their faith was a superficial confidence that came from having full stomachs. All too soon, some of them would be part of the mob crying, “Crucify him.”

III. Dr. Charles C. Ryrie (Verse comments).

A. 14:1. “Herod the tetrarch.” Herod Antipas, who ruled from 4 B.C. to A.D. 39, son of Herod the Great, and brother of Archelaus (see 2.1; 2:22).

B. 14.3. “Herodias.” The former wife of Herod’s half brother Philip, her uncle. She had been persuaded to leave her husband and marry Herod Antipas, thus committing incest (Lev. 18:16). John condemned him for this, and Antipas knew that John spoke the truth (Mark 6:20).

C. 14:6. “the daughter of Herodias.” Salome (according to Josephus). Her dance was undoubtedly lewd.

D. 14:15. “When it was evening.” The Hebrew day, that is, the interval between dawn and darkness, was divided into three parts: morning, noon, and evening (Ps. 55:17). The Jews distinguished two evenings in the day: the first began about 3 P.M., and the second at sundown (see Ex. 12:6, lit., “between the evenings”). In this verse the first evening is meant, in verse 23 the second.

IV. Dr. Edward E. Hindson (Verse comments).

A. 14:1. The occasion of John’s death signaled a time for Jesus to retreat, lest He provoke an early death, before the appointed time.

B. 14:13-21. The miracle of the feeding of the 5,000 (plus women and children) was the result of the divine person and power of Jesus. As the Creator-God, He multiplied the bread, so that, as each piece was broken off, the original roll still remained intact. No wonder the crowd came back the next day seeking more.

V. Mine. The fact that the ministry of Jesus, and the offer of the Kingdom, was to Jews, and only to Jews, is significant (Matthew 10:5-7).

Matthew 12:31-32 (Blasphemy)

I. Video. Shalom Jerusalem

A. Data. Paul Wilbur.

B. Thoughts. May we continue to offer worship and praise to God, “Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.”

II. Introduction. In order for us to proceed forward in this study we must understand what Jesus meant by the words “blasphemy against the Holy Spirit,” as they relate to the context of the teaching that Jesus had with the Jews of first century Israel. It is also important for us to know that the word “blasphemy” is often used in our world today, without having any basis for truth. We have heard stories of people who believe that they are guilty of having committed blasphemy and, therefore, have a destiny in the lake of fire. We will consider the meaning and context of “blasphemy” in Matthew Chapter 12, and in a scripture of cross reference value in Matthew Chapter 26. This article will show that “the meaning and context” of the term, “blasphemy,” has nothing to do with a person being destined to the lake of fire (Revelation 20:10-15).

III. Chapter Background. Matthew Chapter 12

A. Pharisees Accuse Jesus of Healing by Demonic Power, 12:22-37.

1. Following the many miracles already recorded, an outstanding case of need was presented to the crowd in one who was demon possessed and both blind and dumb. Such a pitiful person should have aroused the sympathy even of the Pharisees. When Jesus, with amazing power, healed him so that he could both speak and see, and by inference cast out the demon, it brought amazement to the people, and they said, “Is not this the son of David?” (v. 23). (Dr. J. Dwight Pentecost).

2. The Pharisees countered by accusing Him of casting out demons by Beelzebub, the prince of demons. Beelzebub was actually a heathen deity, referred to earlier by Jesus in Matthew 10:25, and one supposedly in authority over the demons. (Dr. John F. Walvoord).

3. Jesus answered the Pharisees by showing the illogic of their statement. He pointed out that this would be a kingdom divided against itself. It would be Satan casting out Satan. If the casting out of demons is by Beelzebub, then by whom did the Pharisees who were exorcists cast out demons? The point was that only the power of God or someone under the power of God could accomplish this. (Dr. John F. Walvoord).

4. Jesus then drove home His point. If demons have been actually cast out, then it must have been by the Spirit of God, and then, in the person of Christ, the kingdom of God had come unto them. One could not enter the demonic realm victoriously unless he first had bound the strong man (v. 29). The Pharisees had to make a choice. They were either with Jesus or against Him. But if they were against Him, they were guilty of blasphemy against the Holy Spirit, a sin which by its nature is not forgiven (vv. 31-32). (Dr. John F. Walvoord).

5. There has been much misunderstanding about blasphemy against the Holy Spirit. Here it is properly defined as attributing to Satan what is accomplished by the power of God. Such a sin is not unpardonable in itself, but rather because it rejects the person and work of the Holy Spirit, without whom repentance and restoration are impossible. As far as it applies today, it is not the thought that one seeking pardon will not find it, but rather that one who rejects the Holy Spirit will not seek pardon. It is the ultimate in unbelief. In verse 33, He points out that a good tree brings forth good fruit and a bad tree brings forth bad fruit. They must judge Him on the basis of His works. (Dr. John F. Walvoord).

6. The unbelief of the Pharisees calls forth the strongest language. Christ addressed them, “generation of vipers,” or poisonous snakes. He declared that they were evil and therefore could not speak good and warned them that as unbelievers, every idle word they speak will be called to account on the day of judgment. He concluded in Matthew 12:37, “For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.” This was addressed to the unsaved Pharisees, not to Christians who were justified by faith and whose sins had been forgiven. (Dr. John F. Walvoord).

B. Condemnation of the Pharisees. Matthew 12:31-32.

In Chapters eleven and twelve of Matthew, we see the opposition to the King. The great question before Israel is: “Is not this the son of David?” (Matt. 12:23). It is evident that Israel is answering in the negative. Christ shows that both He and His forerunner have been rejected (11:1-9), and this rejection will result in judgment (11:20-24). Because of the ultimate rejection of the cross Christ can
give a new invitation (11:28-30), an invitation to all. In chapter twelve the rejection comes to a climax. The populace was debating the person of Christ (12:23). The answer given by the Pharisees was: “This fellow doth not cast out devils, but by Beelzebub the prince of the devils (12:24.) The Holy Spirit had borne His witnesses to the Person of Christ through His words and His works, and the leaders who examined the evidence have decided that His credentials are the credentials of hell, not those of heaven. The great warning of judicial blindness and judgment is given by the Lord to the nation (12:31-32). (Dr. J. Dwight Pentecost).

C. Scripture Text. Matthew 12:31:32. Ryrie Study Bible.

31 “Therefore I say to you, any sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven people, but blasphemy against the Spirit shall not be forgiven. 32 Whoever speaks a word against the Son of Man, it shall be forgiven him; but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit, it shall not be forgiven him, either in this age or in the age to come.

1. Verse Examination. Bible Hub. Lexicon. Blasphemy. Matthew 12:31.

 blasphemy. Strongs. 988: slander.

blasphémia: slanderOriginal Word: βλασφημία, ας, ἡ
Part of Speech: Noun, Feminine
Transliteration: blasphémia
Phonetic Spelling: (blas-fay-me’-ah)
Definition: slander
Usage: abusive or scurrilous language, blasphemy.

HELPS Word-studies

Cognate: 988 blasphēmía (from blax, “sluggish/slow,” and 5345 /phḗmē, “reputation, fame”) – blasphemy – literally, slow (sluggish) to call something good (that really is good) – and slow to identify what is truly bad (that really is evil).

Blasphemy (988 /blasphēmía) “switches” right for wrong (wrong for right), i.e. calls what God disapproves, “right” which “exchanges the truth of God for a lie” (Ro 1:25). See 987 (blasphēmeō).

2. Ryrie Study Bible. Verse Examination. Matthew 12:31.

“blasphemy against the Spirit.” Technically, according to the scribes, blasphemy involved direct and explicit abuse of the divine name. Jesus, here, teaches that it also may be the reviling of God by attributing the Spirit’s work to Satan. The special circumstances involved in this blasphemy can not be duplicated today; therefore, this sin can not now be committed. Jesus exhorted the Pharisees to turn and be justified (vv 33, 37 ).

IV. Chapter Background. Matthew Chapter 26.

A. Scripture. Mathew 26:63-65. NASB.

63 But Jesus kept silent. And the high priest said to Him, “I adjure You by the living God, that You tell us whether You are the Christ, the Son of God.” 64 Jesus *said to him, “You have said it yourself; nevertheless I tell you, hereafter you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of Power, and coming on the clouds of heaven.”

65 Then the high priest tore his robes and said, “He has blasphemed! What further need do we have of witnesses? Behold, you have now heard the blasphemy;

B. Trial of Jesus Before Caiaphas and the Sanhedrin. Ryrie Study Bible.

1. In desperation, the high priest addressed Jesus saying, “Answerest thou nothing? what is it which these witness against thee?” (v. 62). Jesus, however, did not answer until the high priest said to Him, “I adjure thee by the living God, that thou tell us whether thou be the Christ, the Son of God” (v. 63). At this official and direct question, Jesus responded, “Thou has said: nevertheless I say unto you, Hereafter shall ye see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven” (v. 64).

2. It is strange that the high priest was unable to produce any witnesses to confirm his charges, as Jesus had freely claimed His deity and Messiahship, but the words of Jesus were all the high priest needed. Jesus not only claimed to be “the Christ, the Son of God,” but He added that He would sit at the right hand of God and come in clouds of heaven as the predicted Messiah. This clear claim of deity prompted the high priest to tear his clothes and say, “He hath spoken blasphemy. What think ye?” The crowd answered, “He is guilty of death” (vv. 65-66).

3. The issue was clear enough. If Jesus were not all He claimed to be, indeed He was guilty of death, according to the Jewish law. What the chief priests and the scribes ignored was the fact that Jesus had not only made the claim but He had fully supported it by the very credentials and miracles which the Old Testament had attributed to Him.

C. Verse Examination. Matthew 26:65. Bible Hub. Lexicon. Blasphemy. See Verse Examination. Lexicon. Blasphemy. Matthew 12:31.

D. Ryrie Study Bible. Verse Examination. Matthew 26:65. Ryrie Study Bible.

“the high priest tore his robes.” An action expressing grief and horror at hearing what he considered to be blasphemy, Christ having claimed to be God.

V. Summing it up.

1. To tell someone that they have blasphemed the Holy Spirit, and are destined for Hell, is horrible, as well as cruel. The Scripture in question (Matthew 12:31), very clearly shows that no one today is guilty of committing such an offense (check the Lexicon explanation of the meaning of blasphemy). Check also the Ryrie notes on 12:31 and 26:63-65, and it will be clear that no one today can commit such an offense. The problem that Jesus had was with the Jewish leaders, and not with the common Jews. The Jewish leaders accused Jesus of committing Blasphemy, and not the other way around. The penalty that the unbelieving Jews were demanding, as relating to Jesus. was death, physical death, which would come at the hands of the Romans, and would not come from the Providence of Yeshua.

2.In Matt 12:24, the charge that was made against Jesus was: 24 “This man casts out demons only by Beelzebul the ruler of the demons.” There has been much misunderstanding about blasphemy against the Holy Spirit. Here it is properly defined as attributing to Satan what is accomplished by the power of God.

3. In Matt 26:65, Jesus had freely claimed His deity and Messiahship, but the words of Jesus were all the high priest needed. Jesus not only claimed to be “the Christ, the Son of God,” but He added that He would sit at the right hand of God and come in clouds of heaven as the predicted Messiah. This clear claim of deity prompted the high priest to tear his clothes and say, “He hath spoken blasphemy. What think ye?” The crowd answered, “He is guilty of death” (vv. 65-66). The issue was clear enough. If Jesus were not all He claimed to be, indeed He was guilty of death, according to the Jewish law. What the chief priests and the scribes ignored was the fact that Jesus had not only made the claim but He had fully supported it by the very credentials and miracles which the Old Testament had attributed to Him. (notice that we are not under Jewish law).

4. In the two scriptural examples of blasphemy, it is clear that no one in today’s guilty can be guilty of committing blasphemy. Also, John 3:16 is permanent, as to its teaching of the unending security and salvation of any believer in Christ.

5. As has been stated in the past, the synoptic gospels (Matthew, Mark and Luke) relate to the offer by Jesus, of the Davidic Kingdom to the nation of Israel, and was not a gospel of soul winning. To get into the teaching of soul winning, John’s Gospel is the source of such information. In addition to John 3:16, consider John 17:3, and John 20:30-31.

VI. Sources. Each of the following book sources should be considered for purchase and used in studies of God’s Holy Word, especially as it relates to its end times teachings.

A. Things To Come, J. Dwight Pentecost, Dallas Theological Seminary. (Th. M., Th. D.).

VI. Acknowledgements. It is important for readers of these articles to know that my sources of information come from biblically sound theologians. Presidents, Instructors, and graduates from Dallas Theological Seminary and Moody Bible Institute are widely known for their sound understanding of Scripture. It has been a blessing for me to have read books, and watched teaching videos that have an origin from those two seminaries. Please check out the following details that tell of each of the seminaries.

A. Dallas Theological Seminary.

B. Moody Bible Institute.

Matthew 13:3,11 (The Mysteries Of The Kingdom Of Heaven)

I. Video. In The Presence of Jehovah.

A. Data. Terry MacAlmon.

B. Thoughts. As we learn more about the future that we will have with Jesus, LORD OF LORD, AND KING OF KINGS (Revelation 19:11), let us not neglect the worship of our Lord in our daily lives.

II. Introduction. In order for us to proceed forward in this study we must understand what Jesus meant by the words “parable” and “kingdom,” as they relate to the context of the teaching that Jesus had with the Jews of first century Israel.

A. Scripture Passage. (Matt 13:3)He (Jesus) spoke many things to them (Disciples) in parables. (Matt 13:11)“To you it has been granted to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been granted.

B. Mysteries and Parables Explanation (The Coming Kingdom).

1. Regarding the kingdom mysteries of Matthew 13, as explained in previous articles, when the parables of Matthew 13 are understood together, we can gain a picture of the course of the present “mystery age.” (p104).

2. Despite this unprecedented opportunity, Israel rejected the kingdom offer (Matt. 12) leading to the kingdom’s postponement. Due to this postponement, Christ began to explain the spiritual conditions that would prevail during the kingdom’s absence. This interim program includes His revelation of the kingdom mysteries (Matt. 13) and the church (Matt. 16:18). Regarding the kingdom mysteries of Matthew 13, as explained in previous articles, when the parables of Matthew 13 are understood together, we can gain a picture of the course of the present “mystery age.” (p140)

C. The Theocratic Administrator and the Theocratic Kingdom (The Coming Kingdom).

Because today’s evangelical world largely believes that the church is presently experiencing the messianic kingdom, we began a study chronicling what the Bible teaches concerning this important issue of the kingdom. That there will be a future, messianic kingdom on earth has been revealed thus far through the divine intention to restore the office of Theocratic Administrator (Gen. 1:26-28) that was lost in Eden (Gen. 3). Likewise, the promise of a future, earthly, messianic reign was prophesied in the Abrahamic Covenant (Gen. 15) and related sub-covenants. It was also explained that while these covenants guarantee that the kingdom will one day come to the earth through Israel, according to the Mosaic Covenant, the kingdom’s ultimate manifestation is conditioned upon the nation’s acceptance of Christ as her long-awaited king during the final events of the future Tribulation period. The previous article also explained how God restored the office of Theocratic Administrator that was lost in Eden, at least in a limited sense, at Sinai. This theocratic arrangement covered most of Old Testament history as God, even after the time of Moses, governed Israel indirectly through Joshua, various judges, and finally, Israel’s kings until the Babylonian Captivity ended the Theocracy (p7-10).

D. The use of the term kingdom of heaven (Things To Come).

1. In the Scriptures the term “kingdom” is used in seven different ways: (1) The Gentile kingdoms, (2) the kingdoms of Israel and Judah, (3) the kingdom of Satan, (4) God’s universal kingdom, (5) a spiritual kingdom, (6) the millennial Davidic kingdom, and (7) the mystery form of the kingdom. For the purposes of this study, we will discuss the spiritual, millennial, and mystery forms of the kingdom (p142). (The Theocratic Kingdom is described above, mine).

2. The spiritual kingdom, which is closely related with God’s universal kingdom, is composed of the elect of all ages, who have experienced a new birth by the power of the Holy Spirit. This kingdom can not be entered into apart from a new birth. It is referred to in Matt 6:33; John 3:3-5, etc. (p142).

3.The millennial kingdom is declared to be a literal earthly kingdom over which Christ rules from David’s throne in fulfillment of the Davidic covenant (2 Sam 7:8-17, Matt 1:1, Luke 1:32). This kingdom is the subject of OT prophecy (2 Sam 7:8-17; Isa 9:6-7; 11:1-16; Jere 23:5, etc. This kingdom was proclaimed as being “at hand” at Christ’s first advent (Matt 3:2; 4:27; 10:5-7); but was rejected by Israel and therefore postponed (Matt 23:37-39). It will again be announced to Israel in the tribulation period (Matt 24:14). It will be received by Israel and set up at the second advent of Christ (Isa 24:23; Rev 19:11-16; 20:1-6) (142).

4.The mystery form of the kingdom brings us to a concept entirely distinct from the preceding two. That God was going to establish a kingdom on earth was no mystery. Since the first sin in heaven, when god’s sovereignty was challenged, it was His purpose to manifest His sovereignty by the establishment of a kingdom over when He ruled. When Adam was created dominion was given to him (Gen 1:26) so he might manifest the sovereignty that belonged to God, which was Adam’s by appointment. But Adam sinned and there was no such manifestation of God’s authority. The reign of conscience was intended to bear evidence to the individual as to his responsibility to the sovereignty to God, but man failed under this test. Human government was ordained that men might recognize that government was a manifestation of God’s sovereignty, but man rebelled against that. God appointed Judges so that these might manifest God’s authority, but man rejected this display of sovereignty. God instituted a theocracy, in which God was recognized as sovereign, but the nation chosen to manifest this display of sovereignty rebelled (1 Sam. 8:7). God then revealed His program to manifest His sovereignty through David’s seed who would reign (2 Sam 7:16). And when Christ came, even this manifestation of God’s purpose to re-establish sovereignty was rejected. Sinful man has consistently rejected each manifestation of the authority of God. Within this program of God, it was not the fact that God was going to establish a kingdom that was an unrevealed secret. The mystery was the fact that when the One in whom this program was to be realized was publicly presented He would be rejected and an age would fall between His ejection and the fulfillment of God’s purpose of sovereignty at His second advent. The mystery form of of the kingdom, then, has reference to the age between the two advents of Christ. The mysteries of the kingdom of heaven describe the conditions that prevail on the earth in that interim while the king is absent. These mysteries thus relate this present age to the eternal purposes of God in regard to His kingdom (p142, 143). (The Mystery Kingdom is also known as the inter-advent age, mine).

III. Sources. Each of the following book sources should be considered for purchase and used in studies of God’s Holy Word, especially as it relates to its end times teachings.

A. The Coming Kingdom, Dr. Andrew M. Woods, Dallas Theological Seminary. (Th. M., J.D., Ph. D.)

B. Things To Come, J. Dwight Pentecost, Dallas Theological Seminary. (Th. M., Th. D.)

IV. Acknowledgements. It is important for readers of these articles to know that my sources of information come from biblically sound theologians. Presidents, Instructors, and graduates from Dallas Theological Seminary and Moody Bible Institute are widely known for their sound understanding of Scripture. It has been a blessing for me to have read books, and watched teaching videos that have an origin from those two seminaries. Please check out the following details that tell of each of the seminaries.

A. Dallas Theological Seminary.

B. Moody Bible Institute.

Matthew 13 (2 of 2)

I. Video.  Matthew Chapter 13 (2 of 2)

A. Title. The Parable of the Weeds Explained – The Parables of the Hidden Treasure and the Pearl – The Parable of the Net – A Prophet Without Honor

B. Data:  LuisetReneeandBill.

C. Scriptures. Matthew Chapter 13:36-58. 

II. J. Dwight Pentecost, Th. M., Th. D. 1915-2014; Things To Come

The Course of this Present Age.

p140. The age from the rejection of the Messiah by Israel unto his reception by Israel at His second advent is outlined in two portions of the Word: Matthew 13 and Revelation 2 and 3; the former from the viewpoint of God’s kingdom program, and latter from the viewpoint of the church program.

Matthew 13.

p140. Matt 13 reveals that our Lord is speaking in order that He may give the course of the “mysteries of the kingdom of heaven.” This instruction comes through the proper interpretation of the parables which are recorded here. There are three different basic approaches to this chapter. There are, first of all, those who divorce any prophetic significance from this passage and study it only for its spiritual of moral lessons as it affects believers today. Since they emphasize the unity of God’s purpose from the fall of man until the eternal state, they fail to make any distinction between God’s program for Israel and that for the church and, as a consequence, they see only church truth in this portion…..There are those, in the second place, who, recognizing the distinction between Israel and the church, hold that this portion is totally limited to God’s program for Israel and relegate it to a revelation concerning Israel in the tribulation period when God is preparing them for the coming King…..Then, there are those, in the third place, who believe that this potion of scripture gives a picture of conditions on the earth in respect to the placement of the kingdom program during the time of the King’s absence from the earth. These parables describe the events of the entire inter-advent period. Such is the approach to the passage adopted to this study.

p141. The setting of the chapter in the Gospel. The Gospel of Matthew is the Gospel which presents the Lord Jesus Christ as Yahweh’s King and Israel’s Messiah. This 13th chapter holds a unique place in the development of the theme of the Gospel. Throughout the book, Christ is seen in His presentation as Messiah. In chapters 11-12 we see we see the opposition to the King. In chapter 12, the rejection comes to a climax. Now that Israel has rejected the offered kingdom, the question naturally arises, “What will happen to God’s program, now that the kingdom has been rejected and the Kingdom is to be absent. Since this kingdom was the subject of an irrevocable covenant, it was unthinkable that it could be abandoned. This chapter gives the events in the development of the kingdom program from the time of its rejection until it is received when the nation welcomes the King at His second advent.

p143. The mystery form of the kingdom has reference to the age between the two advents of Christ. The mysteries of the kingdom describes the conditions that prevail on the earth in that interim while the king is absent. These mysteries thus relate this present age to the eternal purposes of God in regard to His kingdom.

III. Charles C. Ryrie. B.A., Th. M., Th. D., Ph. D.. Litt. D., (1925-2016).

Chapter 13 Notes.

13:44-46. The parables of the treasure and pearl indicate the incomparable value of the kingdom, which will cause a man to do everything to possess it. Another possible interpretation equates the man with Christ (as in v. 37) who sacrifices His all to purchase His people.

13:47-50. Similar to the parable of the wheat and tares. Both genuine and professing people will coexist in the kingdom, to be separated at the end of the age.

13:55. “his brothers.” These were the sons of Joseph and Mary subsequent to the birth of Jesus. To understand them as sons of Joseph by a former marriage, or cousins of Jesus, is contrary to the visual sense of “brothers.”

IV. Scofield Reference Bible. C. I. Scofield. D.D., 1843-1921). 

Chapter 13 Notes.

13:45-46. The pearl of great value.

Such, then, is the mystery form of the kingdom. (See Scofield “ :-“) . See Scofield “ :-“. It is the sphere of Christian profession during this age. It is a mingled body of true and false, wheat and tares, good and bad. It is defiled by formalism, doubt, and worldliness. But within it Christ sees the true children of the true kingdom who, at the end, are to “shine forth as the sun.” In the great field, the world, He sees the redeemed of all ages, but especially His hidden Israel, yet to be restored and blessed, Also, in this form of the kingdom, so unlike that which is to be, He sees the Church, His body and bride, and for joy He sells all that He has 2 Corinthians 8:9 and buys the field, the treasure, and the pearl. end of the consummation of the age. Matthew 24:3.

V. John F. Walvoord. A.B., M.A., Th. B., Th. M., Th. D., D.D., Litt. D. (1910-2002).
(1910-2012) long-time president of Dallas Theological Seminary, was one of the most prominent evangelical scholars of his generation. He is considered perhaps the world’s foremost interpreter of biblical prophecy

The parable of the mustard seed is also found in Mark 4, where it is related to the kingdom of God. This has supported the view of many that the kingdom of God and the kingdom of heaven are identical, as they are occasionally found in parallel passages. There is some indication in Scripture, however, that the kingdom of heaven emphasizes the professing character of the kingdom as including unbelievers who look like believers, as illustrated in the tares, in contrast to the kingdom of God, containing only true believers. It is significant that the kingdom of God is not compared to the second parable, that of the wheat and the tares, as those in the kingdom of God are genuine believers. Putting Matthew and Mark together, the conclusion can be reached that both the number of true believers (the kingdom of God) as well as the sphere of profession in the present age (the kingdom of heaven) will grow rapidly. This is in contrast to the future millennial kingdom, which Christ will bring at His second coming, which will begin abruptly as a worldwide kingdom, rather than as a product of gradual growth.

VI. Dr. Thomas L. Constable., A. B., Th. M. Th. D. Synoptic Problem

Matthew recorded increasing polarization in this section. Jesus expanded His ministry, but as He did so opposition became even more intense. The Jewish leaders became increasingly hostile. Consequently Jesus spent more time preparing His disciples. Jesus revealed Himself more clearly to His disciples, but they only understood some of what He told them. They strongly rejected other things He said. The inevitability of a final confrontation between Jesus and His critics became increasingly clear. The general movement in this section is Jesus withdrawing from Israel’s leaders (Matthew 13:54 to Matthew 16:12) and preparing His disciples for His passion (Matthew 16:13 to Matthew 19:2).

VII.  My Bucket List shows the references that I consult, of theologians and printed resources, whenever I write an article that will be posted. Please find the Pages of my site to find Bucket List.

VIII. My Websites To Follow Eternity Thy Kingdom Come

Matthew Chapter 13 (1 of 2)

I. Video.  Matthew Chapter 13 (1 of 2)

A. Title. The Parable of the Sower – The Parable of the Weeds – The Parable of the Mustard Seed -The Leaven

B. Data:  LuisetReneeandBill.

C. Scriptures. Matthew Chapter 13:1-35. 

J. Dwight Pentecost, Th. M., Th. D. 1915-2014; Things To Come,

P 109. It can be shown that in all the preaching concerning the kingdom by John (3:2), by Christ (Matt 4:17), by the twelve (Matt 10:5-7), by the seventy (Lk 10:1-12), not once is the kingdom offered to Israel anything but an earthly literal kingdom. Even after the rejection of that offer by Israel, and the announcement of the mystery of the kingdom (Matt 13) Christ anticipates such a literal earthly kingdom (Matt 25:1-13, 31-4 6). The New Testament never relates the kingdom promised to David to Christ’s present session.

P129. Any individual who refers to the Scriptures as the Old and New Testaments bears witness to the fact that God has divided His program into time segments. The history of revelation evidences the progress of divine revelation through successive ages. The dispensational study of the Bible consists in the identification of certain well-defined time periods which are divinely indicated, together with the revealed purpose of God relative to each.

P148. The parable of the mustard and the leaven hidden in meal, then, stress the growth of the inter-advent age (has been called the mystery form of the kingdom). 

P177. It must be borne in mind that the purpose of Matthew 13 is not to divulge the history of the church, but the history of the kingdom in its mystery form. The time is not that of the church — from Pentecost to the rapture — but the entire time from the rejection of Christ to His coming reception. Therefore, it seems to have been a mistake, into which many writers fell, to say that the wheat of the parable represents the church. Rather, the Lord is indicating that during the age there is to be a sowing of the seed (the parable of the sower), and also a counter-sowing (the parable of the tares), and that this condition will continue throughout the age. At the end of the age there will be a separation of those who were the children of the kingdom and those who were the children of the evil one. The tribulation period ends with judgment on all enemies of the King. Thus, every unbeliever is removed. Following these judgments the kingdom is instituted into which the righteous are taken. This is perfectly consistent with the teaching of the parable. 

P464. In the parables (Matt 13:1-50), the Lord outlines the program in the development of the theocratic kingdom during the period of the King’s absence, and announces the inception of an entirely new, unheralded and unexpected program — the church (Matt 16:13-20). He prepares the disciples for a long delay in the kingdom program as it relates to Israel (Lk 19:11-27).He promises the second advent, at which time the kingdom program with Israel will be resumed (Matt 24:27-31), and gives the nation signs that will herald His second advent (Matt 24:4-26). He prepares the disciples for their ministry in the new age (John 14-16), but promises them participation in the kingdom, despite its delay (Matt 19:28-30; Lk 22:28-30). The Lord even gives to the disciples a miniature and premature picture of the second coming of Christ to establish His kingdom (Matt 16:27-17:8). Thus we see that the Lord is preparing the disciples for the withdrawal of the offer of the kingdom and the institution of a new program and age before the kingdom program is consummated.   

P467. Concerning the kingdom program in the present age, that God is continuing the development of his overall theocratic kingdom program  is presented in the parables of Matthew 13. It was entirely unknown in the Old Testament that a great interval of time would intervene between the offer of the kingdom by Messiah at His coming to the earth and the reception of that offer. The parables of Matthew 13 reveal the whole course of the development of the theocratic kingdom from the rejection of the King by Israel during His first advent until His reception as Messiah by Israel at His second advent. In Luke 19:11-27, the whole program is developed. 

III. Charles C. Ryrie. B.A., Th. M., Th. D., Ph. D.. Litt. D., (1925-2016).

Charles Ryrie
Charles Ryrie 13 Notes

13:3.”parables.” A parable is a figure of speech in which a moral or spiritual truth is illustrated by an analogy drawn from everyday experiences. These parables present truths about the kingdom in this present day. These truths are called “mysteries” (v 11) because they were not revealed in the OT, and they are revealed by Christ only to those who are properly related to Him (vv 11-13; Mk 4:11-12). The Jewish leaders’ rejection of Christ reached a climax in the “unpardonable sin” of the previous chapter. Though that rejection would continue and strengthen, Jesus now turns to instructing His disciples about the present dispensation (a mystery, Eph 3:5-6) between the first and second comings of the Lord.

13:4. “birds” represent evil (v 19; Rev 18:20).

13:5 “rocky places.” Shallow soil on top of solid rock.

13:13-15, Those who were rejecting Him would not understand these new truths, as Isaiah predicted (Isa 6:9-10).

13:18-23, The parable teaches that there would be four different responses to the Word: no response, emotional response, worldly response, and fruitful response.

13: 25. “tares.” Weeds, in this case probably darnel, which in the blade resembles wheat but which can be distinguished from wheat when fully ripe. 

13:32. “smaller than all other seeds.” Lit., lesser of all seeds. It is among the smallest seeds and was the smallest used in Israel. The parables are designed to reveal the mysteries of the kingdom, that is, the present age, which will grow quickly. 

V. Scofield Reference Bible. C. I. Scofield. D.D., 1843-1921). 

13:24. This parable Matthew 13:24-30 is also interpreted by our Lord Matthew 13:36-43. Here the “good seed” is not the “word,” as in the first parable Matthew 13:19Matthew 13:23 but rather that which the word has produced. 1 Peter 1:231 Peter 1:23 viz.: the children of the kingdom. These are, providentially Matthew 13:37 “sown,” i.e. scattered, here and there in the “field” of the “world” Matthew 13:38. The “world” here is both geographical and ethnic–the earth-world, and also the world of men. The wheat of God at once becomes the scene of Satan’s activity. Where children of the kingdom are gathered, there “among the wheat” Matthew 13:25Matthew 13:38Matthew 13:39. Satan “sows” “children of the wicked one,” who profess to be children of the kingdom, and in outward ways are so like the true children that only the angels may, in the end, be trusted to separate them Matthew 13:28-30Matthew 13:40-43. So great is Satan’s power of deception that the tares often really suppose themselves to be children of the kingdom Matthew 7:21-23. Many other parables and exhortations have this mingled condition in view (e.g.)

Indeed, it characterizes Matthew from Chapter 13 to the end. The parable of the wheat and tares is not a description of the world, but of that which professes to be the kingdom. Mere unbelievers are never the children of the devil, but only religious unbelievers are so called (cf) Matthew 13:38John 8:38-44Matthew 23:15.

13:30. The gathering of the tares into bundles for burning does not imply immediate judgment. At the end of this age (Matthew 13:40) the tares are set apart for burning, but first the wheat is gathered into the barn. ; John 14:31 Thessalonians 4:14-17.

13:31. The parable of the Mustard Seed prefigures the rapid but unsubstantial growth of the mystery form of the kingdom from an insignificant beginning Acts 1:15Acts 2:411 Corinthians 1:26 to a great place in the earth. The figure of the fowls finding shelter in the branches is drawn from Daniel 4:20-22. How insecure was such a refuge the context in Daniel shows. kingdom (See Scofield “Daniel 4:20-27.4.22- :“) .

13:33 (1) Leaven, as a symbolic or typical substance, is always mentioned in the O.T. in an evil sense Genesis 19:3Genesis 19:3 (See Scofield “Genesis 19:3- :“) .

(2) The use of the word in the N.T. explains its symbolic meaning. It is “malice and wickedness,” as contrasted with “sincerity and truth” 1 Corinthians 5:6-81 Corinthians 5:6-8 it is evil doctrine Matthew 16:12 in its three-fold form of Pharisasism, Sadduceeism, Herodianism ; Matthew 16:6Mark 8:15. The leaven of the Pharisees was externalism in religion. Matthew 23:14Matthew 23:16Matthew 23:23-28 of the Sadducees, scepticism as to the supernatural and as to the Scriptures Matthew 22:23Matthew 22:29 of the Herodians, worldliness–a Herod party amongst the Jews ; Matthew 22:16-21Mark 3:6.

(3) The use of the word in Matthew 13:33 is congruent with its universal meaning. 

VI. John F. Walvoord. A.B., M.A., Th. B., Th. M., Th. D., D.D., Litt. D. (1910-2002).
(1910-2012) long-time president of Dallas Theological Seminary, was one of the most prominent evangelical scholars of his generation. He is considered perhaps the world’s foremost interpreter of biblical prophecy

The thirteenth chapter of Matthew marks a new division in the gospel, in which Jesus addresses Himself to the problem of what will occur when He goes back to heaven as the rejected King. The gospel of Matthew began with the proofs that Jesus was indeed the promised Son who would reign on the throne of David (chap. 1), supported by the visit of the wise men and the early ministry of John the Baptist (chaps. 2-3). After His temptation, Jesus presented the principles of His coming kingdom in the Sermon on the Mount (chaps. 5-7), emphasizing spiritual and moral principles that govern the kingdom of God, but especially as these applied to the prophesied kingdom on earth, which the Messiah-King was to bring when He came. The Sermon on the Mount accordingly contained timeless truths always applicable, some truths that were immediately applicable to Christ’s day on earth, and some truths that were to have their fulfillment in the millennial kingdom.

VII. Summary. As you read through the verses and notes of Matthew 13, it will be clear that Jesus was speaking to Jews, and that none of the verses, or Old Testament reference verses, apply to Gentiles. This inter-advent age, which spans the period of time from the first advent of Christ to His second advent. This time period is also the time period in which we are living. To put all of this together, the parables that are found in Matthew 13 represent the spiritual conditions of the present age while the kingdom remains in a state of postponement. These parables, when collectively considered, reveal the coexistence of both good and evil during the inter-advent age. Thus, during this age, both Satan and God will be at work. However, God’s work notwithstanding, the present age should not be confused with what the Old Testament reveals concerning the Messianic Kingdom. Neither should this divine activity be category as a “mystery form of the kingdom”

VIII.  My Bucket List shows the references that I consult, of theologians and printed resources, whenever I write an article that will be posted. Please find the Pages of my site to find Bucket List.

IX. My Websites To Follow Eternity Thy Kingdom Come

Mathew Chapter 12 (2 of 2)

I. Video.  Matthew Chapter 12 (2 of 2)

A. Title. The Sign of Jonah – Jesus’ Mother and Brothers

B. Data:  LuisetReneeandBill.

C. Scriptures. Matthew 12:38-50. 

J. Dwight Pentecost, Th. M., Th. D. 1915-2014; Things To Come

12:45: The word “dwell” used here is a strong word. It is used to describe the fulness of the Godhead that dwelt in Christ (Col 2:9); it is used of Christ’s taking up a permanent abode in the believer’s heart (Eph 3:17), and of demons returning to take absolute possession of a man (Matt 12:45). It is to be distinguished from the general term for “dwell” which has the the idea of transitoriness, “to sojourn.” p 197

12:46-50. Now that Israel has rejected the offered kingdom, the question naturally arises, “what will happen to God’s kingdom program now that the kingdom has been rejected and the King is to be absent?” Since the kingdom was the subject of an irrevocable covenant it was unthinkable that it could be abandoned. The chapter gives the events in the development of the kingdom program from the time of its rejection until it is received when the nation welcomes the King at His second advent. pp 141-142

12:46:50. Because the nation (Israel) had rejected Him, the Lord announces the severance of every natural tie by which He was bound to the nation. From this announcement of the Lord concerning the rejection of the nation a definite movement may be traced in the withdrawal of the offer of the kingdom. pp 463-464.

III. Charles C. Ryrie. B.A., Th. M., Th. D., Ph. D.. Litt. D., (1925-2016).

Chapter 12 Notes

12:39. “adulterous.” The nation was unfaithful in its vows to the Lord. “the sign of Jonah the prophet.” In 16:4 and Luke 11:29-32 the sign in the warning of judgment to come (cf. Jonah 1:2; 3:4). Here the sign is related to the death and resurrection of the Son of Man.

12:40. “three days and three nights.” This phrase does not necessarily require that 72 hours elapse between Christ’s death and resurrection, for the Jews reckoned part of a day to be part of a day to be a whole day. Thus, this prophecy can be properly fulfilled if the crucifixion occurred on Friday. However, the statement does require an historical Jonah who was actually swallowed by a great fish.

12:41. “something greater.” The greek word is neuter here and in vs 42, and refers to the kingdom of God. 

12:42. Just as the pagan “Queen” of sheba acknowledged the superiority of Solomon’s wisdom, so the Pharisees should recognize that the kingdom of God was a hand.

12:43-45, “unclean spirit” = a demon. (see note on 7:22). Self-reformation, without spiritual conversion, can lead to serious ramifications. Notice that some demons are more wicked than others, and they can repossess a person from whom they have been cast out.

12:50. This means that the spiritual relation between Christ and believers is closer than the closest of blood ties. Obedience to God takes precedence over responsibilities to family.

IV. Scofield Reference Bible. C. I. Scofield. D.D., 1843-1921). 

Scofield produced several major theological works. First, he wrote a book called Rightly Dividing the Word of Truth, which expresses the principles of dispensational hermeneutics. Second, his annotated reference Bible became the standard for a generation. Finally, his Bible correspondence course made his teaching readily available around the world. All three of these works are still available today. Scofield’s impact has been magnified by his influence on Lewis Sperry Chafer, who founded Dallas Theological Seminary. DTS became the most prominent dispensational seminary in the world; its many high-profile graduates include Chuck Swindoll, Tony Evans, David Jeremiah, J. Vernon McGee, Hal Lindsey, Bruce Wilkinson, Alva J. Mc Clain, Charles L. Feinberg, John F. Walvoord, and other highly esteemed theologians.

12:46. Rejected by Israel, those of His own race (compare Rom 9:3) our Lord intimates the formation of the new family of faith which will overstep the racial claims that Israel has known to this time and will receive all those “(whoever,” v 50 also who will be His disciples. Compare Jn 6:28-29).

V. John F. Walvoord. A.B., M.A., Th. B., Th. M., Th. D., D.D., Litt. D. (1910-2002).
(1910-2012) long-time president of Dallas Theological Seminary, was one of the most prominent evangelical scholars of his generation. He is considered perhaps the world’s foremost interpreter of biblical prophecy.


Having been challenged to face the evidence that Jesus was indeed who He claimed to be, the unbelieving Pharisees and scribes asked for a particular sign. Jesus recited the experience of Jonah, how he was three days and three nights in the great fish. Jesus described this as a prophetic incident, anticipating that the Son of Man will be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. Jesus was predicting his death and resurrection would be the supreme sign for those seeking evidence of His claims. The use by Jesus of the prophet Jonah as the only sign these unbelievers would have, brings this interesting observation. 

The Ninevites did not witness the rescuscitation of Jonah for themselves: indeed, there is no evidence he even recounted it to them (Jonah 3:1-4;) The Ninevites experienced the effects of a divine sign they never recognized, and this may be Matthew’s point: the Ninevites repented without recognizing a sign, whereas the opponents of Jesus were too hardhearted to repent despite the signs that he had been giving them….All the Ninevites needed was the preaching of Jonah of the truth, yet Jesus was greater than Jonah (12:41).

VI. Summary. The notes on 12:38-41 are key to understanding this passage of scripture, especially in relation to “3 days and 3 nights.”

VII.  My Bucket List shows the references that I consult, of theologians and printed resources, whenever I write an article that will be posted. Please find the Pages of my site to find Bucket List.

VIII. My Websites To Follow Eternity Book Prep Thy Kingdom Come

Matthew Chapter 12 (1 of 2)

I. Video.  Matthew Chapter 12 (1 of 2)

A. Title. Lord of the Sabbath – God’s Chosen Servant – Jesus and Beelzebub

B. Data:  LuisetReneeandBill.

C. Scriptures: Matthew 12:1-37.

II. Dr. Thomas L.Constable., A. B., Th. M. Th. D.(Notes on Matthew) Synoptic Problem


External evidence strongly supports the Matthean authorship of the first Gospel. The earliest copies of the Gospel we have begin: “KATA MATTHAION” (“according to Matthew”). Several early church fathers referred to Matthew (whose name means “Gift of God” or “Faithful”) as the writer, including: Clement of Rome, Polycarp, Justin Martyr, Clement of Alexandria, Tertullian, and Origen.Papias’ use of the term logia to describe Matthew’s work, cited above, is not clear evidence of Matthean authorship of the first Gospel. Since Matthew was a disciple of Jesus and one of the 12 Apostles, his work carried great influence and enjoyed much prestige from its first appearance. We might expect a more prominent disciple, such as Peter or James, to have written it. The fact that the early church accepted it as from Matthew further strengthens the likelihood that he indeed wrote it.

Internal evidence of Matthean authorship is also strong. As a tax collector for Rome, Matthew would have had to be able to write capably, he would have been a note-taker and preserver (unlike Jews of his time in general), and he probably knew shorthand. His profession forced him to keep accurate and detailed records, which skill he put to good use in composing his Gospel. There are more references to money—and to more different kinds of money—in this Gospel, than in any of the others. It has been estimated that about one-fifth of Jesus’ teachings dealt with money matters. Matthew humbly referred to himself as a tax collector, a profession with objectionable connotations in his culture, whereas the other Gospel writers simply called him Matthew (or Levi). Matthew modestly called his feast for Jesus “dining” (Matt. 9:9-10), but Luke referred to it as “a big reception” (Luke 5:29). All these details confirm the testimony of the early church fathers.

According to tradition, Matthew ministered in Israel for several years after Jesus’ ascension to heaven. He also made missionary journeys to the Jews who lived among the Gentiles outside Israel, Diaspora Jews. There is evidence that he visited Persia, Ethiopia, Syria, and Greece.

“It was no ordinary man who wrote a Gospel which Renan, the French critic, eighteen hundred years later, could call the most important book in the world. How many of our current best sellers will still be leading human thought in A.D. 3600?”

III. Charles C. Ryrie. B.A., Th. M., Th. D., Ph. D.. Litt. D., (1925-2016).

Chapter 12 Notes

12:2. “not lawful to do on a Sabbath.” It was lawful for persons to pick grain from another’s field to satisfy hunger (Deu 23:25) but not to do regular work on the Sabbath (Ex 20:10). The latter was the charge of the Pharisees.

12:3. “what David did.”(See 1 Sam 21:1-6).

12:4. “;the consecrated bread.” Better, bread of the Presence. Twelve cakes, made of fine flour, were placed in the Holy Place in the Tabernacle each day on the table that stood opposite the lampstand. The old bread was eaten by the priests. It was this bread that David requested of Ahimelech, the priest, for himself and his men.

12:5. Priests who work on the Sabbath were not blamed.

12:7. Showing mercy is more pleasing to God than external conformity to the law.

12:16. “not to tell who He was.” Many were drawn to Christ because of His reputation as a healer, which may have been diverting attention from His primary role as Messiah.

12:18-21. For the OT quote, see Isa 42:1-4. Here is one of Matthew’s descriptive gems, highlighting the graciousness and gentleness of Jesus.

12:31: “blasphemy against the Spirit.” Technically, according to the scribes, involved direct and explicit abuse of the divine name. Jesus, here, teaches that it also may be the reviling of God by attributing the Spirit’s work to Satan. The special circumstances involved in this blasphemy can not be duplicated today; therefore, this sin can not be committed. Jesus exhorted the Pharisees to turn and be justified (vs 33, 37 ).

12:36. “careless = useless. 

IV. Scofield Reference Bible. C. I. Scofield. D.D., 1843-1921). 

Scofield produced several major theological works. First, he wrote a book called Rightly Dividing the Word of Truth, which expresses the principles of dispensational hermeneutics. Second, his annotated reference Bible became the standard for a generation. Finally, his Bible correspondence course made his teaching readily available around the world. All three of these works are still available today. Scofield’s impact has been magnified by his influence on Lewis Sperry Chafer, who founded Dallas Theological Seminary. DTS became the most prominent dispensational seminary in the world; its many high-profile graduates include Chuck Swindoll, Tony Evans, David Jeremiah, J. Vernon McGee, Hal Lindsey, and Bruce Wilkinson.
Notes provided by editorial revision committee, including: Charles L. Feinberg, Th. D., Ph. D. (1909-1995)  and John F. Walvoord. A.B., M.A., Th. B., Th. M., Th. D., D.D., Litt. D. (1910-2002).

12:18. “Gentiles.”  The rejected King of Israel will turn to the Gentiles (Contrast Mt 10:5-6) In fulfillment this awaited the official rejection ,and the crucifixion and resurrection of Christ (Lk 24:46-48;Acts 9:15; 13:46; 28; 25-28; Rom 11:11).

12:31. Anyone who is concerned about his rejection of Christ has, obviously, not committed the “unpardonable sin,” and can still come to Christ.

V. John F. Walvoord. A.B., M.A., Th. B., Th. M., Th. D., D.D., Litt. D. (1910-2002).

John Walvoord, long-time president of Dallas Theological Seminary, was one of the most prominent evangelical scholars of his generation. He is considered perhaps the world’s foremost interpreter of biblical prophecy.

Pharisees Accuse Jesus Of Healing by Demonic Power (12:22-37).

Following the many miracles already recorded, an outstanding case of need was presented to the crowd in one who was demon possessed and both blind and dumb. Such a pitiful person should have aroused the sympathy even of the Pharisees. When Jesus, with amazing power, healed him so that he could both speak and see, and by inference cast out the demon, it brought amazement to the people, and they said, “Is not this the son of David?” (v. 23).

The Pharisees countered by accusing Him of casting out demons by Beelzebub, the prince of demons. Beelzebub was actually a heathen deity, referred to earlier by Jesus in Matthew 10:25, and one supposedly in authority over the demons.

Jesus answered the Pharisees by showing the illogic of their statement. He pointed out that this would be a kingdom divided against itself. It would be Satan casting out Satan. If the casting out of demons is by Beelzebub, then by whom did the Pharisees who were exorcists cast out demons? The point was that only the power of God or someone under the power of God could accomplish this.

Jesus then drove home His point. If demons have been actually cast out, then it must have been by the Spirit of God, and then, in the person of Christ, the kingdom of God had come unto them. One could not enter the demonic realm victoriously unless he first had bound the strong man (v. 29). The Pharisees had to make a choice. They were either with Jesus or against Him. But if they were against Him, they were guilty of blasphemy against the Holy Spirit, a sin which by its nature is not forgiven (vv. 31-32).

There has been much misunderstanding about blasphemy against the Holy Spirit. Here it is properly defined as attributing to Satan what is accomplished by the power of God. Such a sin is not unpardonable in itself, but rather because it rejects the person and work of the Holy Spirit, without whom repentance and restoration are impossible. As far as it applies today, it is not the thought that one seeking pardon will not find it, but rather that one who rejects the Holy Spirit will not seek pardon. It is the ultimate in unbelief. In verse 33, He points out that a good tree brings forth good fruit and a bad tree brings forth bad fruit. They must judge Him on the basis of His works.

The unbelief of the Pharisees calls forth the strongest language. Christ addressed them, “generation of vipers,” or poisonous snakes. He declared that they were evil and therefore could not speak good and warned them that as unbelievers, every idle word they speak will be called to account on the day of judgment. He concluded in Matthew 12:37, “For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.” This was addressed to the unsaved Pharisees, not to Christians who were justified by faith and whose sins had been forgiven.

VI. Summary.

As has been the case with the prior chapters of this study, this chapter continues to show that the subjects of the Gospel of Matthew are the Jews of the nation of Israel. The verses in which Christ offers for reference would have been known to Jews, but not to Gentiles. Jesus makes a comment in reference to the Gentiles, which is found in 12:18, 21, but was not directed to any Gentile. In 12:31,32, we come across a passage that many believers understand as being “the unpardonable sin.” But, the unpardonable sin is that of “unbelief,” which is addressed in the Gospel of John, in 3:16-18. The unpardonable sin, which is stated as being “the sin of the world” is that which Jesus resolves as is written in John 1:29. The sins that are stated in Matthew relate to the Jews, and their disobedience to the Law. Jesus, in offering the Kingdom to Israel, is saying to Jews, ” I am offering the Kingdom to you; now, you should act like Kingdom people. Jews could have been guilty of theft, but that sin would not have prevented them having eternal life with Jesus. The sin of unbelief is a sin that is unpardonable, but can easily be resolved, “by belief in Christ.”

VII.  My Bucket List shows the references that I consult, of theologians and printed resources, whenever I write an article that will be posted. Please find the Pages of my site to find Bucket List.

VIII. My Websites To Follow Eternity Book Prep Thy Kingdom Come

Matthew Chapter 11 (Jesus and John the Baptist – Woe on Unrepentant Cities – Rest for the Weary)

I. Video.  Matthew Chapter 11

A. Title. Jesus and John the Baptist – Woe on Unrepentant Cities – Rest for the Weary

B. Data:  LuisetReneeandBill.

II. Dr. Thomas L.Constable., A. B., Th. M. Th. D.(Notes on Matthew) Synoptic Problem


Genre refers to the type of literature that a particular document fits within. Certain types of literature have features that affect their interpretation. For example, we interpret letters differently than poems. So it is important to identify the genre or genres of a book of the Bible.

The Gospels are probably more like ancient Greco-Roman biographies than any other type of literature. This category is quite broad and encompasses works of considerable diversity, including the Gospels. Even Luke, with its characteristic historiographic (written history) connections to Acts, qualifies as ancient biography. Unlike this genre, however, the Gospels “combine teaching and action in a preaching-oriented work that stands apart from anything else in the ancient world.” The Gospels also are anonymous, in the sense that the writers did not identify themselves as the writers, as Paul did in his epistles, for example. And they are not as pretentious as most ancient biographies. The word “gospel,” by the way, comes from the old Saxon God’s spell or word.

III. Charles C. Ryrie. B.A., Th. M., Th. D., Ph. D.. Litt. D., (1925-2016).

Chapter 11 Notes

11:2-5. To encourage John the Baptist, the Lord sent a reminder of the miracles that he was doing. The OT predicted that Messiah would give sight to the blind (Isa 29:18), and there are more recorded miracles of our Lord’s doing this than any other kind. This alone should have assured John that Jesus was indeed the Messiah.

11:6. “who does not take offense at Me.” I.e., he who can in full faith acknowledge and accept My “mighty work” (vs 20) as evidence of My messiahship.

11:7-8. These are rhetorical questions expecting negative answers.

11:10. “about whom it was written.” See Isa 40:3 and Mal 3:1.

11:14. “John himself is Elijah.” Jesus is saying that if the Jews had received Him, they would also have understood that John fulfilled the OT prediction of the coming of Elijah before the Day of the Lord (Mal 4:5).. Note on 17:11-12..The sequence of thought is as follows: (1) Elijah is coming as the restorer (Mal 4:5); he came, unrecognized, in the person of John the Baptist, and was killed; (3) the Son of Man faces a like fate. The disciples seem to grasp only the first two points.

11:18-19. The people were rejecting both John’s and Jesus’s ministries even though their styles were exactly opposite. Eventually the “wisdom” of both would be justified.

11:28-30. In contrast to the teaching of the scribes, Jesus’s “yoke” is easy 

IV. Scofield Reference Bible. C. I. Scofield. D.D., 1843-1921). 

Scofield produced several major theological works. First, he wrote a book called Rightly Dividing the Word of Truth, which expresses the principles of dispensational hermeneutics. Second, his annotated reference Bible became the standard for a generation. Finally, his Bible correspondence course made his teaching readily available around the world. All three of these works are still available today. Scofield’s impact has been magnified by his influence on Lewis Sperry Chafer, who founded Dallas Theological Seminary. DTS became the most prominent dispensational seminary in the world; its many high-profile graduates include Chuck Swindoll, Tony Evans, David Jeremiah, J. Vernon McGee, Hal Lindsey, and Bruce Wilkinson.

Matthew Chapter 11 notes provided by editorial revision committee, including:

Charles L. Feinberg, Th. D., Ph. D., 1909-1995;

John F. Walvoord. Th. M., Th. D., 1910-2020;

11:2. John is in prison; the King is rejected, and John’s faith waivers. So the Lord encourages and exhorts His servants (vv 4-6). 

11:11. “greater than he.” Positionally greater, not morally. John the Baptist was as great, in strength and character, as any man “born of women” but, as to the kingdom, his ministry was to announce that it was at hand. The kingdom did not then come, but was rejected, and John was martyred and the King subsequently crucified. The least in the kingdom (Lk 1:31;33), when it is set up in Glory will be greater than John in the fullness of the Lord’s power and glory. It is not heaven which is in question, but Messiah’s earthly kingdom (Matt 3:2).

11:12. “by force.” It has been much disputed whether the violence (force) here is external, as against the kingdom in the persons of John the Baptist and Jesus; or that considering the opposition of the scribes and Pharisees, only the violently resolute would press into it. Both things are true. The King and His herald  suffered violence, and this is the primary and greater meaning; but also, some were resolutely becoming disciples.

11:20-24. The kingdom of heaven, announced as at hand by John the Baptist, the King Himself, and by the Twelve, and attested by mighty works, has been morally rejected. The places chosen for the testing of the nation, Chorazin, Bethsaida, etc., having rejected both John and Jesus, the rejected King, now speaks of Judgment; with these cities today are just ruins, but other cities in the region are still bustling towns. “Sodom, burning.” A city located in the valley of Sidim known for its extreme wickedness and destroyed by God with fire and brimstone. Only Lot and his family survived the destruction. The official rejection was later (Mt 27:21-25). 

11:28. The new message of Jesus. The rejected King now turns from the rejecting nation and offers, not the kingdom but rest and service to all who are in conscious need of His help. It is a pivotal point in the ministry of Jesus. 

V. J. Dwight Pentecost, Th. M., Th., D. 1915=2014. pg 413 Things To Come.

Matthew 11:21-24

The Judgment On The Nation Israel. The Scriptures teach that the future judgment program will begin with a judgment on the nation Israel. To them, which was promised, through the covenants, a kingdom over which the Messiah, David’s son, should reign. Before this kingdom can be instituted at His personal return to the earth, there must be a judgment on Israel to determine those that will enter into this kingdom, for it is clearly revealed that “they are not all Israel which are of Israel (Romans 9:6; Zechariah 12:10-14; Zechariah 14:4; Matthew 25:1-30). 

VI. Summary.

It should be kept in mind that the Gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke, relate to the offer of the kingdom to Israel, and not to personal salvation. The Gospel of John (John 3:16) is written to show the offer of personal salvation to all of the world, at the hands of followers of Jesus (Matthew 28:18-19; Acts 1:8). The disciples were still looking for the kingdom to come, even until the ascension of Jesus to Heaven (Acts 1:8-9), but He told them that it was not the time for such an event to occur (Acts 1:6).

VII.  My Bucket List shows the references that I consult, of theologians and printed resources, whenever I write an article that will be posted. Please find the Pages of my site to find Bucket List.

VIII. My Websites To Follow Eternity Book Prep Thy Kingdom Come

Matthew – Chapter 10

I. Video.  Matthew Chapter 10

A. Title. Jesus Sends Out the Twelve

B. Data:  LuisetReneeandBill.

II. Dr. Thomas L.Constable., A. B., Th. M. Th. D.(Notes on Matthew)

The Synoptic Problem

In 1776 and 1779, two posthumously published essays by A. E. Lessing became known, in which he argued for a single written source for the Synoptic Gospels. He called this source the Gospel of the Nazarenes, and he believed its writer had composed it in the Aramaic language. To him, one original source best explained the parallels and differences between the Synoptics. This idea of an original source or primal Gospel caught the interest of many other scholars. Some of them believed there was a written source, but others held that it was an oral source.

As one might expect, the idea of two or more sources occurred to some scholars as the best solution to the synoptic problem (e.g., H. J. Holtzmann and B. H. Streeter). Some favored the view that Mark was one of the primal sources because over 90 percent of the material in Mark also appears in Matthew and/or Luke. Some proposed another primary source, “Q,” an abbreviation of the German word for source: quelle. It supposedly contained the material in Matthew and Luke that does not appear in Mark.

Gradually, source criticism gave way to “form criticism.” The “form critics” concentrated on the process involved in transmitting what Jesus said and did to the primary sources. They assumed that the process of transmitting this information followed patterns of oral communication that are typical in primitive societies. Prominent New Testament form critics include K. L. Schmidt, Martin Dibelius, and Rudoph Bultmann. Typically, oral communication has certain characteristic effects on stories: It tends to shorten narratives, to retain names, to balance teaching, and to elaborate on stories about miracles, to name a few results.

The critics also adopted other criteria from secular philology (the study of language and languages) to assess the accuracy of statements in the Gospels. For example, they viewed as distinctive to Jesus only what was dissimilar to what Palestinian Jews or early Christians might have said. Given the critics’ view of inspiration, it is easy to see how most of them concluded that the Gospels, in their present form, do not accurately represent what Jesus said and did. However, some conservative scholars have used the same literary method but held a much higher view of the Gospel: for example, Vincent Taylor, who wrote The Gospel According to St. Mark.

III. Charles C. Ryrie. B.A., Th. M., Th. D., Ph. D.. Litt. D., (1925-2016).

Chapter 10 Notes.

10:1. “disciples.” A disciple is one who is taught by another; he is a learner. 

10:2 . “apostles.” The word “apostle” means “one sent forth” as an ambassador who bears a message and who represents the one who sent him. The qualifications included (1) seeing the Lord and being an eyewitness of His resurrection (Acts 1;22: 1 Cor 9:1), (2) being invested with miraculous sign-gifts (Acts 5:15-16; Heb 2:3-4), and being chosen by the Lord and the Holy Spirit (vv. 1:2; Acts 1:26).

10:5-8. This “Great Commission” was limited to going to Jewish people. Not even Samaritans (mixed race of Jews and Gentiles who intermarried after the Assyrian conquest of Israel in 722 B.C.) were included, because the Jews had to prepare spiritually for the cominng messianic, earthly kingdom first. After their rejection of the King, the commission given to the same group was to go to Gentiles (28:18-19). The disciples’ ministry would be accompanied by miraculous signs (v. 8).

10:21-23. These verses are a prediction of persecution in the Tribulation before the second coming of Christ (24:9-14).

10:32-33. The restoration of Israel to the Kingdom is based on their acceptance of Jesus as God’s chosen King (Deu 17:15; Mt 23:39). Individual salvation in the Church age is based on John 3:16. Vs. 32-33 relate to the individual salvation of Jews at the end of the Tribulation (John 19:37; Zech 12:10).

IV. John F. Walvoord. A.B., M.A. Th. B., Th.M., Th. D., D.D., Litt. D. (1910-2002).
(1910-2012) long-time president of Dallas Theological Seminary, was one of the most prominent evangelical scholars of his generation. He is considered perhaps the world’s foremost interpreter of biblical prophecy

The Twelve Apostles Commissioned

Twelve Apostles Named and Given Authority, 10:1-6

In connection with Christ’s commissioning the twelve disciples to preach, accompanied by power to cast out unclean spirits and to heal disease, Matthew names the twelve apostles in pairs (cf. Mk 3:16-19Lk 6:13-16Ac 1:13), unlike the other gospels, possibly indicating that they were sent forth in pairs54 (cf. Mk 6:7). There are small variations in order and in the names given to the disciples in each of the gospels. Only Matthew describes himself as a tax collector, and there are variations in the name of Lebbaeus, surnamed Thaddaeus, whom Luke calls Judas, the brother of James, to distinguish him from Judas Iscariot. Those named as apostles are commissioned and sent forth to perform a ministry on behalf of God.

Apostles Sent Only to Israel, 10:6-23

The discourse in which Christ commissions the twelve has been considered by some interpretaters as a collection of sayings spoken by Christ on many different occasions. As presented by Matthew, however, it is represented as a single discourse, and there is no valid reason for questioning this presentation. Obviously, Christ repeated many of His instructions at different times and in different places, and that there should be similarity to some statements here is not surprising.

The instruction given by Christ to the twelve was to go “to the lost sheep of the house of Israel,” and not go to the Gentiles or the Samaritans (cf. Mk 6:7-13Lk 9:1-6). His first and primary obligation was to deliver the message of the kingdom to Israel, and neither time nor personnel would permit reaching the others. Later, the gospel was to go to every creature. The apostles were given authority to perform miracles, even to raising the dead. While they seem to have been successful in casting out demons and curing all diseases, there is no record that any dead were raised at this time.

Luke records a sending out of seventy disciples, apparently subsequent to the sending of the twelve, or in addition to them (Lk 10:1). The seventy also report success in casting out demons (v. 17). Matthew does not refer to the seventy, but their instructions were similar to those given to the twelve.

In sending them forth, Jesus instructed them not to take provisions of money or clothing and to depend upon the cities in which they preached to provide for them. If they were not welcomed in a particular place, they were to shake off the dust of their feet against it and to pronounce a solemn judgment that it would be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah in the day of judgment than for that city.

The disciples’ task was to be a difficult one, as they would be as sheep in the midst of wolves, but their demeanor should be that of being wise as serpents and harmless as doves. They were to beware of men who might deliver them to the Sanhedrin, but if they were brought before governors and kings, they were not to be filled with care but to rely on God to enable them to speak in that hour. Jesus predicted that ultimately there would be persecution, with brother delivering brother to death, father the child, and children their parents, and they would be hated of all men. It is apparent that these prophecies go beyond their immediate experience and were to be fulfilled after Pentecost. Jesus declared they would not be able to fulfill their tasks of reaching all the cities of Israel until the Son of man had come. This seems to anticipate the second coming of Christ, and views the entire present church age as a parenthesis not taken into consideration in this prophecy.

Cost and Reward of Discipleship, 10:24-42

Continuing His instructions to the twelve, beginning in Matthew 10:24, Jesus discussed the whole matter of discipleship and its reward, including material that extended far beyond the disciples’ immediate situation. Having introduced the thought that discipleship extends until the Son of man returns, He gave instructions covering the whole period. Jesus reminded them that if He, their Master, was called Beelzebub, it is understandable that men would similarly abuse His followers. Beelzebub was the name of a god of the Philistines (2 Ki 1:2), also known as Baal, which the Jews equated with the devil, or Satan.

Jesus instructed His disciples not to fear name-calling. The time would come when truth would be fully revealed and darkness and unbelief condemned. They were not to fear those who could kill the body but not kill the soul, but rather fear the one able to destroy both soul and body in hell. Although God alone has the power of death, the reference here is to Satan, whose activities ultimately result in the destruction of both soul and body.

The disciples were assured of the care of the Father. If two sparrows were worth a farthing, or one-fourth of a cent (equal to about twenty-five cents today), and a sparrow could not fall to the ground without the Father’s permission, they could be assured that they were more valuable than many sparrows and that the very hairs of their head were numbered. Jesus promised them that if they confess Him before men, He will confess them before God the Father; but if they deny Him, they will be denied before God the Father.

Jesus told them bluntly, however, that His purpose was not to bring peace on earth, but rather a sword. A son would be set against his father, a daughter against her mother, and the daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law. A man’s foes would be those of his own household.

In stating that He had not come to bring peace among men, Jesus was referring to His first coming and the result of the proclamation of the gospel of the kingdom. He would be a divider of men. Ultimately, however, He was to bring peace and good will among men, as the angels announced at His birth (Lk 2:14). The Scriptures define many kinds of peace, such as peace with God (Ro 5:1), possessed by every Christian; the peace of God (Phil 4:7), which is a fruit of the Spirit (Gal 5:22); and the promise of peace on earth to be realized in the future millennial reign of Christ, as in Isaiah 11. The Scriptures make plain that there is no peace for the wicked (Is 57:21). Peace is only possible for those who are the recipients of the grace of God by faith.

Disciples accordingly must choose between love of Christ and of the family. Although normally, children should love their father and mother, they are not to love them more than they love Jesus. While parents should love their children, they should not love them more than they love Christ. A true disciple must take up his cross and follow after Jesus. In losing his life for Christ’s sake, he shall find it. Not only disciples, but those who receive a disciple in Christ’s name will receive their reward. Even a cup of cold water given in the name of a disciple will be rewarded in God’s time. The words of Jesus, applicable to the twelve as they went forth, have echoed down through the centuries since, and have encouraged brave men and women to be true even unto death.

V. Summary.

It is important to remember that the activity of these verses show Jesus interacting with Jews, and not Gentiles; vs 5. “Do not go in the way of the Gentiles and do not enter any city of the Samaritans”; vs. 6 “go the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” vs.  15, “judgment will be for Jews and Gentiles after the end of the Tribulation (25:31-46; 41&46; Rev 20:10, 15).

VI.  My Bucket List shows the references that I consult, of theologians and printed resources, whenever I write an article that will be posted. Please find the Pages of my site to find Bucket List.

VII. My Websites To Follow Eternity Book Prep Thy Kingdom ComeH

Matthew – Chapter 9:18-38 (2 of 2)

I. Video.  Matthew Chapter 9 vs 18-38 

A. Title. A Dead Girl and a Sick Woman – Jesus Heals the Blind and Mute – The Workers Are Few

B. Data:  LuisetReneeandBill.

II. Thomas L. Constable., A. B., Th. M. Th. D.(Notes on Matthew). Synoptic Problem

All four of the Gospels are selective accounts of the life and work of Jesus Christ, whose “career was destined to change the history of the world more profoundly than that of any other single individual who ever lived.”

“The Gospels are the most important part of Holy Scripture because all that preceded them led up to them, and all that follows emerges from them. If the revelation of the Gospels were to be removed, the Old Testament would be an enigma, and the remainder of the New Testament would never have been written. These two parts of the Bible, comprising sixty-two of its sixty-six Books, derive their value from the four which we call the Gospels.”

Part of the synoptic problem is determining the sources that the Holy Spirit led the evangelists to use in producing their Gospels. There is internal evidence (within the individual Gospels themselves) that the writers used source materials as they wrote. The most obvious example of this is the Old Testament passages to which each one referred directly or indirectly.

Since Matthew and John were disciples of Jesus Christ, many of their statements represent eyewitness accounts of what happened. Likewise, Mark had close connections with Peter, and Luke was an intimate associate of Paul as well as a careful historian (Luke 1:1-4). Information that the writers obtained verbally (oral tradition) and in writing (documents) undoubtedly played a part in what they wrote. Perhaps the evangelists also received special revelations from God before and/or when they wrote their Gospels.

Some scholars have devoted much time and attention to the study of the other sources the evangelists may have used. They are the “source critics” and their work constitutes “source criticism.” Because source criticism and its development are so crucial to Gospel studies, a brief introduction to this subject follows.(in following article)/

III. Charles C. Ryrie. B.A., Th. M., Th. D., Ph. D.. Litt. D., (1925-2016).

Charles Ryrie
Charles Ryrie

Chapter 9 Notes.

9:20. “the fringe of His cloak.” Probably the fringes or tassels at the corners of Christ’s mantle. These were religious reminders to the wearer to observe their commandments (Num. 15:37-39; Ryrie note (15:37-41, Like “tying a string around the finger,” the “tassels” and “cord” of blue on the edges of their garments were to remind Israel to obey God’s commands). 

Consider the following information:

Unger’s Bible Dictionary, Merrill F. Unger (Th. D., Ph. D.). page 277, dress. “Mantle or cloak,” a piece of cloth, nearly square, a sort of blanket or plaid. Moses commanded that there should be a fringe upon the four corners of this garment, together with a blue cord or ribband, to remind the people of the heavenly origin of his statutes (Matt 9:20, Lk 8:44).

The Moody Bible Commentary, Michael Vanlaningham, M. Div., Ph. D. Re 9:20. “The fringe of His cloak,” may have been the tassels that were worn on the four corners of one’s garments to remind a person of the Law (Nm 15:38-41, Dt 22:12). Re: Dt 22:12. Tassels were to be placed on the four corners of their garments, and while the explanation or reason is not stated here, it was earlier (Nm 15:37-41). The tassels were to serve as an object lesson to help the Israelites remember the Lord’s commandments wherever they went.

Tallit: What Is Tzitzit (and Tallit)?

Tallit: Did Yeshua (Jesus) Wear Tzitzit, the traditional Jewish Fringes?

9:27. “Son of David.” A title that linked Jesus to the messianic line (of 1:1). 

IV. John F. Walvoord. A.B., M.A. Th. B., Th.M., Th. D., D.D., Litt. D. (1910-2002).

Bio –  

John F. Walvoord,
(1910-2012) long-time president of Dallas Theological Seminary, was one of the most prominent evangelical scholars of his generation. He is considered perhaps the world’s foremost interpreter of biblical prophecy.

The Authority Of The King To Forgive Sin (Part 2 of 2)

Two Women Healed, 9:18-26

As Jesus was discussing His answer to the question of the disciples of John, a ruler of the Jews came and, having done obeisance, petitioned Him to raise his daughter whom he declared to be already dead (cf. Mk 5:21-43Lk 8:40-56). As Jesus followed him, a woman in the crowd, afflicted with an issue of blood for twelve years, touched the hem of His garment, believing that if she could but touch His garment, she would be made well. In Mark 5:30, Christ is recorded to have asked the question, “Who touched my clothes?” In response to the question, the woman identified herself. Matthew does not include these details but records the comforting words of Christ that her faith had made her whole.

The journey to the ruler’s house continued, and upon arrival, Jesus saw the musicians who had been hired to play the dirges, as was customary when a death occurred. He told them, however, “Give place: for the maid is not dead, but sleepeth” (Mt 9:24). They responded by laughing with unbelief. Jesus, having put the people out of the house, took the maid by the hand, and she was immediately restored. Because Jesus used a word for sleeping (Gr. katheudo) not customarily used in Scripture for death, some expositors believe that she was not actually dead, but merely in a stupor.52 Most commentators, however, believe that Christ was merely declaring to them that she was sleeping, in the sense that she would soon rise. Actually, her parents were correct that she was dead. The report of the miracle was given widespread notice and added to the fame of Christ, which would have involved a degree of deception if she were not actually dead.

Healing of Two Blind Men, 9:27-31

This account, found only in Matthew, records Christ’s encounter with two blind men who followed Him, saying, “Son of David, have mercy on us” (9:27). Apparently, because Jesus did not heal them immediately, the blind men followed Him into the house. Having thus tested them, Jesus asked if they believed He was able to heal. When they replied in the affirmative, He touched their eyes saying, “According to your faith be it unto you,” and they were healed. Although He told them not to tell anyone, they nevertheless spread abroad His fame. The prohibition of revealing that they had been healed was probably due to the fact that Jesus did not want to excite followers who would come to Him simply to be healed.

Another Demoniac Healed, 9:32-35

As the blind men were leaving with their newfound sight, a man was brought in, possessed of a demon and unable to talk. This account also is found only in Matthew. Christ, according to the record, immediately healed him so that he was able to speak, and as the multitudes watched, they marveled, saying that such miracles had never happened before in Israel. The Pharisees, however, continued to be unbelieving, accusing Him of casting out demons by Satan, the prince of demons. The account of this miracle is followed by a statement summarizing Christ’s ministry of teaching and preaching, accompanied by healing all who came to Him.

Compassion of Jesus for the Multitudes, 9:36-38

Although the miracles of Christ had attracted hundreds of followers, Jesus was all too aware of their spiritual needs. Their faith was superficial, and they were like sheep without a shepherd. His compassion for them moved Him to say to His disciples that they should pray for laborers, for the harvest was great and the laborers few. The great miracles He had performed, recorded in Matthew 8-9, were not accepted by many of the Jews, and growing evidence of unbelief is found in the chapters which follow. As Kelly observes, “The Lord is utterly rejected in chapter 11. And then chapter 12 gives the final pronouncing of the judgment on that generation… The consequence is that the Lord turns from the unbelieving race and introduces the kingdom of heaven, in connection with which He gives the parables in chapter 13.”

In what sense did Jesus introduce the kingdom of heaven at this point? Obviously, He had been talking about kingdom principles all through the gospel of Matthew. The change here relates to the kingdom in its mystery form, the kingdom as it will exist between the first and second comings of Christ, in contrast to the millennial kingdom, predicted in the Old Testament and to be fulfilled after His second advent.

V. Summary.

It is important to remember that the activity of these verses show Jesus interacting with Jews, and not Gentiles.

Per the note of Charles Ryrie on 9:20, Gentiles would have known nothing about the significance of the “fringe of the cloak” of Jesus, or of its relationship to Numbers 15:37-41. Per the note of Ryrie on 9:27, neither would Gentiles have had any knowledge of  the term,”Son of David,” in relation to Jesus as Messiah. 

As the Gospel of  Matthew relates to the offer of the Kingdom to Israel, Jesus was giving the Jews a glimpse of the Kingdom, which will be on earth (Matt 6:10, “thy kingdom come…to earth”), such as in relation to healing, Matt 9:18-35. See Isaiah 35: 5-6. (Ryrie note, The Kingdom and its Blessings), “physical healings will abound.”

VI.  My Bucket List shows the references that I consult, of theologians and printed resources, whenever I write an article that will be posted. Please find the Pages of my site to find Bucket List.

VII. My Websites To Follow Eternity Book Prep Thy Kingdom Come

Matthew Chapter 9 (9:1-9:17)

I. Video.  Matthew Chapter 9 vs 1-17 (1 of 2)

A. Title. Jesus Heals a Paralytic – The Calling of Matthew – Jesus Questioned About Fasting

B. Data:  LuisetReneeandBill.

II. Dr. Thomas L. Constable., A. B., Th. M. Th. D.

Notes On Matthew.

The Synoptic Problem.

The synoptic problem is intrinsic to all study of the Gospels, especially the first three. The word synoptic comes from two Greek words, syn and opsesthai, meaning, “to see together.” Essentially the synoptic problem involves all the difficulties that arise because of the similarities and differences between the Gospel accounts. Matthew, Mark, and Luke have received the title “Synoptic Gospels” because they present the life and ministry of Jesus Christ similarly. The content and purpose of John’s Gospel are sufficiently distinct to put it in a class by itself. It is not one of the so-called Synoptic Gospels.

III.Charles C. Ryrie. B.A.,,Th. M., Th. D., Ph. D.. Litt. D., (1925-2016).

Charles Ryrie
Charles Ryrie

Chapter 9 Notes.

9:1. “your sins are forgiven.”This may indicate that the man’s sickness was the direct result of sin. Some Jews speculated that such was always the case, but see  Phil 2:30 and John 9:2

9:5. It is obviously easier to say, “Your sins are forgiven,” since the validity of the statement can not be tested so easily  as saying, “Get up.”  By making the statement, Christ was asserting a prerogative of God, who alone can forgive sins. 

9:14. “Sinners” were those whose daily occupations rendered them ceremonially unclean and not, In pharaisac eyes, to be associated with. 

9:16-17. The old and the new can not be combined. (See Lk 5:37).

IV. John F. Walvoord. A.B., M.A. Th. B., Th.M., Th. D., D.D., Litt. D. (1910-2002).


Bio –  

John F. Walvoord,
(1910-2012) long-time president of Dallas Theological Seminary, was one of the most prominent evangelical scholars of his generation. He is considered perhaps the world’s foremost interpreter of biblical prophecy.

The Authority Of The King To Forgive Sin

Healing of the Paralyzed Man, and His forgiveness

After being rejected by the people of Gadara, Jesus returned by boat to the other side of the lake to Capernaum. There, a man, paralyzed and lying on a bed, or couch, was brought to Him (cf. Mk 2:3-12Lk 5:18-26). Recognizing the faith of his friends who had brought him, Jesus first said, “Son, be of good cheer; thy sins be forgiven thee” (Mt 9:2). This was done deliberately by Jesus, knowing the unbelief of the scribes who were watching and who, in their hearts, thought that He committed blasphemy.

Replying to the unspoken objection, Jesus posed the question as to whether it was easier to say, “Thy sins be forgiven thee,” or to say, “Arise and walk.” Obviously, merely to say either was easy. In the case of forgiveness of sins, there would be no way to demonstrate whether it had been accomplished, but to say, “Arise and walk,” would have the testimony of immediate healing. To demonstrate His power to do both, however, Jesus then said to the man, “Arise, take up thy bed, and go unto thine house” (9:6). Before them all, the man arose from his sick bed, taking up the portable couch on which he was lying, and departed as the multitude marveled. This miracle closes the second group of three, demonstrating Christ’s control over nature, the demon world, and His power both to heal disease and to forgive sin.

Call of Matthew, 9:9-17

Before introducing the third group of miracles, Matthew records briefly his own call to the ministry (cf. Mk 2:14Lk 5:27-29). In the parallel accounts in Mark and Luke, he is called Levi; but here, he refers to himself as Matthew. As an official in the tax office, he left his lucrative position in order to follow Christ. This tax office, located at Capernaum, probably had the responsibility of collecting taxes from those who were on the caravan route from Damascus to the East, which passed through Capernaum. As a tax collector, he probably knew Greek well, which qualified him for writing this gospel in the Greek language.

The incident which followed, according to Luke 5:29, was a feast, which Matthew held in his own house for Jesus. It possibly was Matthew’s way of introducing Jesus to his fellow tax collectors. To eat with publicans or tax collectors, however, was frowned upon by the Pharisees, who considered tax collectors as the enemies of their people and as those who were compromising morally. As W. H. Griffith Thomas notes, “A tax-gatherer was one who elicited intense animosity on the part of the Jews who strongly opposed this work of Roman domination.”The Pharisees, complaining to the disciples, drew from Jesus the reply, “They that [are] whole need not a physician, but they that are sick” (Mt 9:12). He then decited to them Hosea 6:6, which brings out that God prefers mercy to sacrifice, a point mentioned only by Matthew. In the process, Jesus declared, “I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance” (Mt 9:13).

Objections were also raised by the disciples of John, who, perceiving Jesus attending a feast such as this, wanted to know why the disciples of Jesus did not fast like the Pharisees. To them, Jesus replied that it is unfitting to mourn during a wedding feast, implying that this was not the time in Christ’s ministry to mourn. He prophesied, however, that the time would come when the Bridegroom would be taken away and they then could fast. In this, He anticipated His own death and ascension into heaven.

This attempt to apply the standards of the Pharisees to the new dispensation, which Jesus was introducing, was, in His words, like adding new cloth to an old garment or putting new wine into old wineskins. The Pharisees’ religion, including its fasting, was quite inadequate for what lay ahead, whether it be the dispensation of the church or the dispensation of the kingdom. As Ironside expresses it, “He had not come to add something to the legal dispensation but to supersede it with that which was entirely new… The new wine of grace was not to be poured into the skin-bottles of legality.”

V. Parting Thought.

Consider the following words from the third paragraph above. The conversation clearly is between Jesus and Jews. Gentiles would have had no knowledge of the prophecy of Hosea.

“He then decited to them Hosea 6:6, which brings out that God prefers mercy to sacrifice, a point mentioned only by Matthew. In the process, Jesus declared, “I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance” (Mt 9:13).”

VI.  My Bucket List shows the references that I consult, of theologians and printed resources, whenever I write an article that will be posted. Please find the Pages of my site to find Bucket List.

VII. My Websites To Follow Eternity Book Prep Thy Kingdom Come

Matthew Chapter 8 (The Power Of Jesus)

I. Video.

A. Title. The Man With Leprosy – The Faith Of The Centurion. 

B. Data. luisetReneeandBill

II. Matthew Chapter 8 Notes.

A. Thomas L. Constable. AB. Th M., Th. D.

8:1. Intro. This verse is transitional (cf. Matthew 5:1). Great crowds continued to follow Jesus after He delivered the Sermon on the Mount, as they had before. 

8:1 The Manifestation Of The King 8:1-11:1.

“Matthew has laid the foundational structure for his argument in chapters one through seven. The genealogy and birth have attested to the legal qualifications of the Messiah as they are stated in the Old Testament. Not only so, but in His birth great and fundamental prophecies have been fulfilled. The King, according to protocol, has a forerunner preceding Him in His appearance on the scene of Israel’s history. The moral qualities of Jesus have been authenticated by His baptism and temptation. The King Himself then commences His ministry of proclaiming the nearness of the kingdom and authenticates it with great miracles. To instruct His disciples as to the true character of righteousness which is to distinguish Him, He draws them apart on the mountain. After Matthew has recorded the Sermon on the Mount, he goes on to relate the King’s presentation to Israel (Mat_8:1 to Mat_11:1).” [Note: Toussaint, Behold the . . ., p. 121.]

8:1-34. Demonstrations of the King’s Power.

Matthew described Jesus’ ministry as consisting of teaching, preaching, and healing in Matthew 4:23. Chapters 5-7 record what He taught His disciples: principles of the kingdom. We have the essence of His preaching ministry in Matthew 4:17. Now in Matthew 8:1 to Matthew 9:34 we see His healing ministry. He demonstrated authority over human beings, unseen spiritual powers, and the world of nature. Matthew showed that Jesus’ ability proves that He is the divine Messiah. He possessed the “power to banish from the earth the consequences of sin and to control the elements of nature”. [Note: The New Scofield . . ., p. 1003.] The King authenticated His claims by performing messianic signs. In view of this the Jews should have acknowledged Him as their Messiah.

“The purpose of Matthew in these two chapters [8 and 9] is to offer the credentials of the Messiah as predicted in the Old Testament.” [Note: Walvoord, Matthew: . . ., p. 63.]

Matthew did not record Jesus’ miracles in strict chronological order. The harmonies of the Gospels make this clear. [Note: See, for example, A. T. Robertson, A Harmony of the Gospels for Students of the Life of Christ; or, for the Greek text, E. Burton and E. J. Goodspeed, A Harmony of the Synoptic Gospels in Greek.] His order is more thematic. He also selected miracles that highlight the gracious character of Jesus’ signs. As Moses’ plagues authenticated his ministry to the Israelites of his day, so Jesus’ miracles should have convinced the Israelites of His day that He was the Messiah. Moses’ plagues were primarily destructive whereas Jesus’ miracles were primarily constructive. Jesus’ miracles were more like Elisha’s than Moses’ in this respect.

Matthew recorded 10 instances of Jesus healing in this section of his book (cf. the 10 plagues in Egypt), half of all the miracles that Matthew recorded. Some regard Matthew 8:16-17 as a miracle distinct from the previous healings in chapter 8, resulting in 10 miracles. Others regard Matthew 8:16-17 as a summary of the preceding miracles, resulting in 9 miracles. Both explanations have merit since Matthew 8:16-17 records other miracles, but it does not narrate one specific miraculous healing.

Matthew presented these miracles in three groups and broke the three groups up with two discussions (narrative sections) concerning His authority. The first group of miracles involves healings (Matthew 8:1-17), the second, demonstrations of power (Matthew 8:23 to Matthew 9:8), and the third, acts of restoration (Matthew 9:18-34). Together the section presents “a slice of life” out of Jesus’ overall ministry. [Note: D. J. Weaver, Matthew’s Missionary Discourse, p. 67.]

B. Charles C. Ryrie. B.A.,,Th. M., Th. D., Ph. D.. Litt. D., (1925-2016).

8:4. “The offering that Moses commanded.” Imagine the stunning impact on the priest, since no record exists of any Israelite being cured of leprosy except Mirian (Num 12:10-15). [Re: Lev 14:1-21; The elaborate ritual of cleansing for a leper involved two birds, one killed as a symbol of purification and the other released as a symbol of the man’s newfound freedom (vs 4-7), shaving and washing (vs 8-9), and the offering of guilt, sin, burnt, and grain offerings (vs 12, 13, 21).]

8:11. Gentiles will be included in the blessings of the millennial reign of Christ on this earth. 

8:17. “Healing illnesses.” (which are a result of sin) was a preview of His complete dealing with sin on the cross (Isa 53:4).

8:20. “Son of Man.” The title “Son of  God” is the divine Name of Jesus (v 29), “Son of David” His Jewish Name (9:27), but “Son of Man” is the name that links Him to the earth and to His mission. It was His favorite designation of Himself (used more than 80 times) and was based on Dan 7:13-14. It emphasizes (1) His lowliness and humanity (v 20), (2) His suffering and death (Lk 19:10), and (3) His future reign as King (24-27). 

8:22. Following the Lord required full commitment; therefore, let the spiritually dead bury the physically dead.

8:28. “Gaderenes.” Lived on the eastern shore of the Sea of Galilee.

8:31 The request of the demons to go into the pigs was probably to avoid being sent to the abyss. which is their ultimate doom. 

C. John F. Walvoord. A.B., M.A. Th. B., Th.M., Th. D., D.D., Litt. D. (1910-2002).

The Authority of the King over Disease and Nature.

 Following the pronouncement of the principles of the kingdom in chapters 5-7, chapters 8-9 present the supporting mighty works of Jesus as credentials of the Messiah King.

Three groups of miracles may be observed. In Matthew 8:1-17, the healing of the leper (vv. 1-4), the healing of the servant (vv. 5-13), and the healing of Peter’s wife’s mother (vv. 14-15), are followed by an evening of many miraculous healings (vv. 16-17).

A second group of miracles is found in 8:23-9:8 with the stilling of the storm (vv. 23-27), the casting out of demons (vv. 28-34), and the healing of the paralytic and the forgiveness of his sins (9:1-8).

The third group of miracles is found in 9:18-38 with the healing of the ruler’s daughter (vv. 18-19, 23-26), the healing of the woman with the issue of blood (vv. 20-22), the healing of two blind men (vv. 27-31), the healing of the demoniac (vv. 32-34), followed by a general statement of many instances of healing (v. 35).

In between these accounts of miracles, which are not necessarily in chronological order, are other instances of significant events which took place in Christ’s ministry. The purpose of Matthew in these two chapters is to offer the credentials of the Messiah as predicted in the Old Testament. The order of the presentation deals with Christ’s power over disease in the first group; His power over nature, demons, and authority to forgive sins in the second group; with His power over death and other miscellaneous human needs in the third group. In 8:17, the whole picture is related to Isaiah’s prophecy of a suffering Messiah who would bear the sickness and the sins of Israel.

Leper Healed, 8:1-4

Coming down from the mountain with great multitudes following Him, Jesus was confronted suddenly by a leper (cf. Mk 1:40-45Lk 5:12-14). The crowd undoubtedly surrounded the leper at a safe distance, afraid of his terrible disease. The leper addressed Jesus, “Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean” (Mt 8:2). This is the first instance in Matthew where Christ is addressed as Lord (Gr. kyrios). The word means “master,” but as used of Jesus, it is a recognition of His authority and deity. The leper had confidence in the power of Jesus; he was not sure whether Jesus was willing to heal.

Jesus first touched the leper, which amazed the crowd, for lepers were not touched (cf. Lev 13). With this loving gesture, Jesus said, “I will,” and immediately the leper was healed. The leper was instructed not to tell anyone but to go to the priest, fulfilling the procedure of Leviticus 14 in regard to the cleansing of a leper. Commentators like Wrede and R. H. Lightfoot have strained at the command not to tell others and questioned the purpose of going to the priest. The command not to tell others was probably to avoid gathering ever greater crowds, which by their size were getting out of hand, as Tasker has observed. The command to tell the priest was first of all an act of obedience to the law, but Jesus probably wanted to have a genuine case of healing certified in a formal way. Telling the priests would not increase the problem of the large crowds and did not contradict Christ’s instructions to “tell no man.” The effect on the priests must have been electrifying, as they had never before in their memory had a leper healed. Significantly, in Acts, many of the priests are recorded to have believed in Jesus.

Centurion’s Servant Healed, 8:5-13

As Jesus was entering into Capernaum, a centurion, a Roman soldier, besought Him to heal a servant, sick with palsy and in great suffering (cf. Lk 7:1-10). The servant is called in Greek, a pais, meaning a child, but the word is sometimes used of adult servants. Jesus immediately responded to the centurion with a promise that He would come and heal him. In reply, the centurion declared himself unworthy for Jesus to come into his house, and besought Him to speak the word only, saying that he too was a man in authority who could command and have instant obedience. Jesus marveled at his faith, greater than any He had found in Israel, and commented that in the future kingdom, the children of the kingdom would be cast out and others, that is, Gentiles, would be admitted instead. Jesus then brought the encounter to a close, saying to the centurion, “Go thy way; and as thou hast believed, so be it done unto thee. And his servant was healed in the selfsame hour” (Mt 8:13).

Healing of Peter’s Mother-in-law, 8:14-15

In Capernaum, Jesus went to Peter’s house, which was located there, and finding his wife’s mother sick of fever, He healed her. Then she rose and ministered to them (cf. Mk 1:29-31Lk 4:38-39). The best texts indicate that she ministered to Him (singular) rather than to “them,” although she probably ministered to the others also. In healing first the leper—an outcast—then a Gentile centurion, and finally a woman, Jesus was dealing with those either excluded or unimportant in Jewish thinking. As Morgan expresses it, “He began with the unfit persons for whom there was no provision in the economy of the nation. Jesus was uncontaminated by contact with leprosy and disease, and He was not bound by Jewish narrowness from those whom the world despised.

Evening of Healing, 8:16-17

Matthew brings to a close this group of miracles by stating that that evening, many afflicted with demons and all others who were sick were healed, in fulfillment of Isaiah 53:4-5 (cf. Mk 1:32-34Lk 4:40-41). Matthew, having made his point that Jesus fulfilled the Old Testament prophecies of these miraculous works, is content to summarize many incidents in one short statement.

Price of Discipleship, 8:18-22

Two instances of would-be followers of Jesus are mentioned, typical of the multitude, attracted by the miracles, who wanted to be disciples (cf. Lk 9:57-62). The first to be introduced is a scribe who promised to follow Jesus wherever He went. Jesus replied by pointing out that while foxes have dens and birds have nests, the Son of man did not have a home. Following Jesus would be difficult. Another person is described in Matthew 8:21-22 as desiring to follow Jesus but wanting first to bury his father. Evidently, he meant that he wanted to live with his father until he died. Jesus replied by showing the priority of His claims.

Jesus Stills the Storm, 8:23-27

Beginning a second group of miracles, the account is given of the stilling of the storm on Galilee, also given in Mark 4:35-41 and Luke 8:22-25. While Jesus and the disciples were in the boat on Galilee, a sudden storm overtook them and was filling the boat with water, while Jesus Himself was asleep. The disciples awoke Him with the urgent petition, literally translated, “Lord, save, we are perishing.” Jesus, thus awakened, first rebuked them for being fearful and of little faith; then, He rebuked the winds and the sea, and suddenly there was a great calm. The disciples, accustomed to miracles, were amazed at the suddenness of the change and the evidence of the power of Christ, and, speaking in awe, said, “Even the winds and the sea obey him.”

Healing of Two Demoniacs, 8:28-34

After the instance of stilling the storm on Galilee, as they arrived on the other side of the lake, they were met by two men who were demon possessed and lived in a graveyard, which, because of their presence, was considered so dangerous that others avoided passing that way (cf. Mk 5:1-21Lk 8:26-40). The demons, speaking through the men, recognized Jesus as the Son of God, and expressed the fear that He had come to torment them before their time. The King James translation “devils” is better rendered “demons” and refers to fallen angels who are Satan’s agents. Their ultimate judgment is assured and is apparently simultaneous with Satan being cast into the lake of fire (Rev 20:10).

As an alternative to being cast out completely, the demons requested permission to enter the herd of swine feeding nearby. Jesus gave the simple, abrupt command, “Go.” The demons, entering the herd of swine, caused them to run violently down a steep cliff into the sea, where they perished. The demons’ foolish request demonstrated their limited knowledge, as they were just as much cast out after the swine perished as if they had been cast out of the demoniac without entering any other being.

The report of the keepers of the swine brought out the whole city of Gadara, about six miles from Galilee, a preferred reading to Gergesenes, a town some thirty miles south and east of Galilee. When the people of the town saw Jesus, they urged Him to leave their country. Keeping swine was, of course, forbidden to Israel, and their destruction was a justifiable judgment from God, which should have shown the people their spiritual need. Their choice of swine, rather than Christ, dramatically illustrated their blindness. They preferred pigs and money to Christ and spiritual riches. As the next chapter reveals (Mt 9:1), Jesus obliged them and left. The creature is able to reject the Creator in time, but will render account in eternity for his lost opportunity.

While Matthew does not record it, in the parallel account in Mark 5:1-20, the man delivered from demons is instructed to go to his home and testify to his friends, the only instance where Jesus told one healed to testify to his own people (cf. vv. 19-20).

III. Parting Thoughts. As, in the preceding chapters of Matthew, it is important to know that the context is of Jesus speaking with Jews, with the purpose of Jesus to let Jews know that He is God’s chosen King for the upcoming Davidic Kingdom of Israel (Deu 17:14-15, 2 Sam 7:8-17).

8:4. “go show yourself to the priest and present the offering that Moses commanded, as a testimony to them.” The account of this verse would have no understanding by Gentiles., only to Jews.

8:27. “even the winds and sea obey Him.” From vs 18-27, the context is that of Jesus having control over all of God’s creation, even all nature. The disciples will be going out into the world to tell of Jesus. They will have been first hand eye witnesses of the miracles that Jesus performed. In verse 27, the context is of Jesus having power over nature. The context is “not” that of a person’s life that may have good times, bad times, and in between times. When the disciples go into “all nations” (Matt 28:19) they will encounter many people who are pagan or atheist; the disciples will need every bit of the teachings of Jesus to make known to them the love, strength and saving power of Jesus. 

IV. My Bucket List shows the references that I consult, of theologians and printed resources, whenever I write an article that will be posted. Please find the Pages of my site to find Bucket List.

V. My Websites To Follow. Eternity Book Prep Thy Kingdom Come

Matthew 7 (The Practice Of Kingdom Life II)

I. Video. 

Title. Matthew- Chapter 7. Data:  LuisetReneeandBill.

II. Introduction. Scofield Reference Notes. – Devils – Matthew 7:22

Devils, lit demons. To the reality and personality of demons the N.T. scriptures bear abundant testimony. As to their origin nothing is clearly revealed, but they are not to be confounded with the angels mentioned in 2 Peter 2:4Jude 1:6.

Summary: Demons are spirits Matthew 12:43Matthew 12:45 are Satan’s emissaries ; Matthew 12:26Matthew 12:27Matthew 25:41 and so numerous as to make Satan’s power practically ubiquitous. Mark 5:9. They are capable of entering and controlling both men and beasts Mark 5:8Mark 5:11-13 and earnestly seek embodiment, without which, apparently, they are powerless for evil. ; Matthew 12:43Matthew 12:44Mark 5:10-12. Demon influence and demon possession are discriminated in the N. T. Instances of the latter are ; Matthew 4:24Matthew 8:16Matthew 8:28Matthew 8:33Matthew 9:32Matthew 12:22Mark 1:32Mark 5:15Mark 5:16Mark 5:18Luke 8:35Acts 8:7Acts 16:16. They are unclean, sullen, violent, and malicious ; Matthew 8:28Matthew 9:23Matthew 10:1Matthew 12:43Mark 1:23Mark 5:3-5Mark 9:17Mark 9:20Luke 6:18Luke 9:39. They know Jesus Christ as Most High God, and recognize His supreme authority ; Matthew 8:31Matthew 8:32Mark 1:24Acts 19:15James 2:19. They know their eternal fate to be one of torment ; Matthew 8:29Luke 8:31. They inflict physical maladies ; Matthew 12:22Matthew 17:15-18Luke 13:16 but mental disease is to be distinguished from the disorder of mind due to demonical control. Demon influence may manifest itself in religion asceticism and formalism 1 Timothy 4:1-3 degenerating into uncleanness 2 Peter 2:10-12. The sign of demon influence in religion is departing from the faith, i.e. the body of revealed truth in the Scriptures. 1 Timothy 4:1. The demons maintain especially a conflict with believers who would be spiritual. ; Ephesians 6:121 Timothy 4:1-3. All unbelievers are open to demon possession Ephesians 2:2. The believer’s resources, prayer and bodily control Matthew 17:21 “the whole armour of God” Ephesians 6:13-18. Exorcism in the name of Jesus Christ Acts 16:18 was practised for demon possession. One of the awful features of the apocalyptic judgments in which this age will end is an irruption of demons out the abyss. Revelation 9:1-11.

III. Ryrie Study Bible Notes.

7:1-5. “Do not judge.” This does not mean that one is never, in any sense or to any extent, to judge another, for verse 5 indicates that when one’s own life is pure he should “take the speck out” of the brother’s eye. It does mean, however, that a follower of Christ is not not to be contentious.

7:6. The disciples were expected to make moral distinctions and not allow those who reject the invitation of Christ to treat precious things as cheap. “dogs….swine.” Both animals were despised, and represent unholy people.

7:12. The well-known golden rule. It was also taught by the great Jewish rabbis; such as Rabbi Hillel.

7:11-29. In these verses, notice the two ways (vv 13-14), two trees (vv -15-20), two professions (vv 21-23). and two builders (vv 24-29). The “two ways” was a common teaching method in Judaism and Greco-Roman philosophy,

7:21. Obedience to the will of God comes first.

7:29. The scribes had to rely on tradition for authority; Christ’s authority was His own. It disturbed the Pharisees that He had not “credentials” as any official teacher in their system.

IV. Summary. Walvoord Notes. Doing the Will of the Father.

Judging Others, 7,1-6

The final chapter recording the Sermon on the Mount contrasts the true and false way, that is, doing the will of the Father or not doing the will of the Father.

Morgan calls this chapter “a summary of principles of action.” The chapter begins by forbidding hypocritical judgment of others. Those desiring to judge their fellow men are warned that as they judge so they will also be judged. Too often, the one judging, who is able to see a mote or a small speck in his brother’s eye, overlooks the fact that he has a beam, or a splinter in his own eye, which is much larger. Such judgment is hypocrisy, and Jesus declared one should first cast out the beam from his own eye in order to be able to see clearly to help his brother. However, in helping others, care should be exercised to do that which will be really appreciated and helpful. Something holy should not be cast to dogs because they would not appreciate it; and pearls would only be trampled under the feet of swine, and they might turn and injure their benefactor. Help to others should be thoughtful and deliberate.

Encouragement to Pray, 7:7-11

Earlier, Jesus had given them a model prayer. Now assurance was given that God welcomes prayer. They were, accordingly, exhorted to ask, seek, and knock, with the assurance that those who ask, receive; those who seek, find; and those who knock shall find the door open. As Tasker points out, the force of the present imperative in these commands is iterative: the petitioner should be persistent, keep on asking, seeking, knocking. If a son asks bread, would a father give him a stone? Or if he should ask for fish, would he receive a poisonous serpent? In like manner, if men, who naturally are evil, can give good gifts to their children, how much more can God the Father in heaven, who is infinite in His goodness, give good things to them that ask Him? In the kingdom, there is the reassuring fact that God the Father cares for those who are His.

Golden Rule, 7:12

The moral principles outlined in the Sermon of the Mount are summarized Matthew 7:12 in what is often called the golden rule, which has no exact parallel anywhere else in literature. The principle is laid down that what men would ordinarily want others to do to them, so they should do to others, and this rule is the sum of the law and the prophets. As Morgan expresses it, “That is the whole thing.” Morgan goes on to quote Hillel, Socrates, Aristotle, and Confucius as expressing similar sentiments, but concludes, “These are negative and passive; Christ’s comment is positive and active.”

Two Ways, 7:13-14

Entering into the kingdom is likened to going through a narrow gate, in contrast to going through the gate which is wide and broad, leading to destruction. Jesus gave no assurance that the majority will enter the kingdom; He declared that few find the gate leading to life and righteousness. There have been many attempts to soften this hard fact, to deny that few are saved, and to affirm that all will eventually be reconciled to God. There is no justification for ignoring these plain words of Christ. 

True and False Teachers, 7:15-20

Jesus warned against false prophets who are like wolves clad in sheep’s clothing, preying upon the flock. Tasker holds that false teachers are part of the cause for the way being narrow and hard to find. False prophets can be known by their fruit. Just as a good tree brings forth good fruit and a bad tree brings forth bad fruit, so it is with prophets. In the orchard, trees that do not bear good fruit are cast into the fire, and disciples of Jesus can expect God, in His time, to deal with those that are false.

True and False Profession, 7:21-23

Not only are there false prophets but there is false profession on the part of some who claim to follow Jesus. Not every one who addresses Him as Lord will enter into the kingdom of heaven, even if they have prophesied in the name of Christ and have cast out demons and have performed wonderful works. The ultimate test is whether they are obedient to the Father and characteristically do His will. This principle does not mean that salvation in the kingdom is secured by works, but it does teach that works are the fruit, or evidence, which are found in a true disciple.

True and False Foundations, 7:24-29

The Sermon on the Mount concludes with a parable. Those who hear and respond in obedience to the sayings of Jesus were declared to be like a wise man building his house upon a rock. The storms which beat and the rains which came did not destroy the house because of its solid foundation. The foolish man, however, who built his house upon the sand, in time of storm, discovered that his house would fall, because he had not built upon that which is eternal and true. As Ironside points out, Christ is the rock, the only sure foundation (Is 28:161 Co 3:111 Pe 2:6-8).

This masterful address, comprehensive and authoritative in its pronouncement, astonished the people. As Ironside expresses it, “Never had such words as these been heard in Israel.” The teaching of Christ was in great contrast to the way the scribes taught and clearly showed that this was the truth of God.

The expression “and it came to pass” (Mt 7:28) is a characteristic transitional expression of Matthew (cf. 9:10; 11:1; 13:53; 19:1; 26:1). A similar expression is found much more frequently, however, in Luke and Acts than it is in Matthew, but it serves to introduce a summary of the reactions to what Jesus said and did.

V. Parting Thoughts. Matthew Chapter 7.

It is important to notice that the entire narrative is Jewish, as Jesus was speaking with Jews, and only Jews. Vs 7 shows conditions of the Godly  Kingdom Age, which Isaiah prophesied (Isa 2:1-11; 9:6b-7; 11:1-12; 65:20-25). The last days (Isa 2:2), relate to the last days of Israel, which are the Tribulation and Millennium. The last days of the church are discussed in 1 Tim 4:1-3, and are the days prior to the catching up of the church (1 Thes 4:13-18). Gentiles had no knowledge of the Law,or the prophets, which shows that the conversation in Matt 7 was Jewish.  Verse 7:21 relates to Jews at the end of the Tribulation, when they will have the opportunity to accept Jesus as God’s chosen king (Deu 17:14-15), or be refused entry into the Kingdom Age, (Matt 23:39, Luke 23:34-35; Zech 12:2-14:1-9; Matt 24:29-3). Vs 31 is not the rapture, but of God regathering the elect (Jews) to Israel. At the end of the Tribulation, unsaved Jews and Gentiles, who are still alive, will be taken in death to the Great White Throne Judgment (Matt 24:40-41; Jews taken in judgment to the Great White Throne Judgment, in death, or left behind for the kingdom) (Matt 25:31-34, 41, 45-46, Gentiles left for the Kingdom, or taken in death to the Great White Throne Judgement, and cast into the Lake of Fire, as will Jews (Rev 20:11-15).  By accepting Jesus as God’s chosen king, living Jews show belief in Jesus as Messiah.  Jesus told the disciples that they must believe in Him as Savior (John 3:16), in order to have eternal life. The Apostle Paul made the same statement to the Philippian jailer the in Acts 16:31.  Jesus told His disciples that eternal life begins at the time of belief (John 17:3), and that once we have come to belief in Christ, we can not be “unsaved,” per John 10:27-30).  In the discussion that Jesus had with Nicodemus in John 3:3, Jesus said that unless we are born again, we can not see the Kingdom of God. Once we are born again, we can not be “unborn;” at that time we have the Spirit of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit dwelling within our spirit; no one can force God’s Spirit from within us (John 12:8-11). By having God’s Holy Spirit dwelling within our spirit, we are constantly taught the things of righteousness (John 15:26; 16:7-11).  Nobody but God puts His Spirit within our spirit, therefore, no one, including ourselves, can make God’s Spirit flee from us. In Matthew 7:21, for Jews to do with the will of God is to accept Jesus as God’s chosen king (Deu 17:14-15; Isa 7:14; 9:6b-7; John 14:7-11). Mt 7:21-23 does not relate to those of us who are saved. We don’t beg to get into Heaven; by belief in Christ we are guaranteed such entry. To believe in Jesus is to be born again (John 3:3-8, 16-18).

VI. My Bucket List shows the references that I consult, of theologians and printed resources, whenever I write an article that will be posted. Please find the Pages of my site to find Bucket List.

VII. My Websites To Follow. Eternity Book Prep Thy Kingdom Come

Matthew 6 (The Practice Of Kingdom Life)

I. Video. 

A. Title. Matthew Chapter 6

B. Data. LuisetReneeandBill

II. Introduction. The Kingdom (Scofield Reference Notes). 

The kingdom of God is to be distinguished from the kingdom of heaven, in five respects:

(1) The kingdom of God is universal, including all moral intelligences willingly subject to the will of God, whether angels, the Church, or saints of past or future dispensations Luke 13:28Luke 13:29Hebrews 12:22Hebrews 12:23 while the kingdom of heaven is Messianic, mediatorial, and Davidic, and has for its object the establishment of the kingdom of God in the earth (See Scofield “Hebrews 12:23- :“) 1 Corinthians 15:241 Corinthians 15:25.

(2) The kingdom of God is entered only by the new birth John 3:3John 3:5-7 the kingdom of heaven, during this age, is the sphere of a profession which may be real or false. (See Scofield “John 3:5-43.3.7- :“) Matthew 25:1Matthew 25:11Matthew 25:12

(3) Since the kingdom of heaven is the earthly sphere of the universal kingdom of God, the two have almost all things in common. For this reason many parables and other teachings are spoken of the kingdom of heaven in Matthew, and of the kingdom of God in Mark and Luke. It is the omissions which are significant. The parables of the wheat and tares, and of the net Matthew 13:24-30Matthew 13:36-43Matthew 13:47-50 are not spoken of the kingdom of God. In that kingdom there are neither tares nor bad fish. But the parable of the leaven Matthew 13:33 is spoken of the kingdom of God also, for, alas, even the true doctrines of the kingdom are leavened with the errors of which the Pharisees, Sadducees, and the Herodians were the representatives. (See Scofield “Matthew 13:33- :“) .

(4) The kingdom of God “comes not with outward show” Luke 17:20 but is chiefly that which is inward and spiritual Romans 14:17 while the kingdom of heaven is organic, and is to be manifested in glory on the earth. (See “Kingdom (O.T.),” Zechariah 12:8Zechariah 12:8 note; (N.T.), ; Luke 1:31-331 Corinthians 15:241 Corinthians 15:24 note; Matthew 17:2Matthew 17:2 note.) (See Scofield “Matthew 17:2- :“) , Luke 1:31-33 See Scofield “Luke 1:31-42.1.33- :” See Scofield “Luke 1:31-42.1.33- :

(5) The kingdom of heaven merges into the kingdom of God when Christ, having put all enemies under his feet, “shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father” 1 Corinthians 15:24-28 (See Scofield “1 Corinthians 15:24

III. Ryrie Study Bible Notes.

6:1-18. Christ discusses three pharisaic practices of piety; almsgiving, prayer, and fasting.

6:4. “that your giving be in secret.” Jewish tradition said that there was in the temple a “chamber of secrets” into which the devout used to put their gifts in secret so that the poor could receive “therefrom” in secret.

6:9: “Pray…in this way.” The Lord’s prayer is a model for our prayers. It begins with adoration of God ( v 9), acknowledges subjection to His will (v 10), asks petitions of Him (vv 11-13a), and ends with an ascription of praise (v 13b).

6:11. “bread.” All necessary food. 

6:12. “debts.” These are obligations incurred; i.e. ,sins of omission and commission. Forgiveness means “cancellation of these debts or obligations.”

6:14.-15. Notice that the only point the Lord emphasizes in the prayer is the necessity for forgiving one another. Forgiveness with the Father depends on forgiveness among the members of the family of God. This is the forgiveness that affects fellowship within the family of God, not the forgiveness that leads to salvation.

6:16-18. “neglect their appearance.” Pharisees wanted everyone to know they were fasting, so they did not wash or trim their hair, and sometimes put ashes on their heads.

6:23. When our spiritual eyes are clouded by greed, there is nothing  but darkness.

6:25. “your heavenly Father feeds them.” God feeds the birds not only by miraculous supply of food but through natural processes involving the earth and the birds use of their faculties. Likewise, the child of God, though sometimes the recipient of a miracle, is usually cared for by normal means.

6:27. “add a single hour to his life.” Worry can not add to one’s life span; indeed, it can shorten it. 

6:28: “lilies.” Various flowers.

6:34. “trouble.” Let each day’s trouble be enough for that day. This saying is like a proverb. 

IV. Walvoord Commentary Comments.

The Life Of Faith In The Kingdom

In contrast to chapter 5, dealing mostly with moral issues, chapter 6 delineates the life of faith. Important in this life of faith are four main elements: (1) performing alms in secret and trusting God for open reward (vv. 1-4); (2) praying in secret and trusting God for open reward (vv. 5-18); (3) laying up treasures in heaven rather than on earth (vv. 19-24); (4) seeking the kingdom of God today and trusting God for His supply tomorrow (vv. 25-34).

Giving Alms (6:1-4)

In the opening four verses, Jesus called attention to the ostentatious almsgiving which often characterized Jewry. In the kingdom, alms should be given secretly, but God would reward openly. The reference in verse 1 to “your Father which is in heaven” (cf. also 6:4) is one of seventeen references to God as Father in the Sermon on the Mount, and as Pettingill notes, this “must surely have sounded strange to Jewish ears,” accustomed to thinking of God “as The Great and Dreadful God.”

Instructions Concerning Prayer (6:5-18).

In like manner, instead of praying publicly in the synagogue and on the corners of the street, as was customary for the Pharisees, they were exhorted to pray in secret, trusting God to answer their prayers openly. Likewise, their prayers were not to be repetitious, as if repetition gained merit, but instead they were to pray simply.

As an illustration, in verse 9, He gave them a sample prayer often called the Lord’s Prayer. It is more properly, however, the disciples’ prayer, that is, a prayer for beginners. As Ironside points out, “Jesus Himself could not pray it, for it includes a request for forgiveness of sins, and He was ever the Sinless One. There is no indication that this prayer ever was repeated from memory in the early church or considered a part of its ritual. The same prayer, found in , has minor variations and additions, including the closing clause in Matt 6:13, which is not found in the more ancient manuscripts. According to Jesus, prayers should be addressed to God as the Father who is in heaven, thereby recognizing the disciples’ relationship to God as His children. Worship of God is the essence of prayer, and the first petition is that God’s name be hallowed or revered. In keeping with the context, the next petition is “Thy kingdom come,” certainly including the future millennial kingdom but broad enough to include the contemporary spiritual kingdom. This is followed by that which would be in keeping with the kingdom, that is, that God’s will should be done in earth as it is in heaven. The first three petitions are all aorist imperatives in the Greek text, pointed commandments to be fulfilled in full.

In verse 11, the petitions are changed to the first person, relating to human need. Included in the prayer was the petition for daily bread, representing all necessary temporal needs. Second, forgiveness is sought, assuming that the petitioner also forgives, although the reverse order is observed in the epistles; that is, we should forgive because we are already forgiven. In the family relationship, the other aspect is also true. The Christian already forgiven judicially should not expect restoration in the family relationship unless he, himself, is forgiving. Verse 12 does not deal with salvation but the relationship of a child to his father. This is followed by the petition not to be led into temptation, that is, into unnecessary enticement into sin, but rather to be delivered both from evil temptation and succumbing to it. The King James Version includes the doxology that to God belonged the kingdom, the power, and the glory forever, certainly proper ascriptions, whether included in the original text or not.

In the verses which follow, further exhortation is given concerning the necessity of forgiveness in human relationships if we expect God the Father to forgive us. Again, this must not be interpreted as relating to the issue of personal salvation but rather to proper fellowship between the child and his father.

Contriteness of heart, however, should not be a matter of outward appearance which Jesus attributed to hypocrites, or those who are merely acting sad and who disfigure their outer appearance to indicate that they are fasting. Rather He exhorted them that if they want to fast, they should hide this from men by anointing their head and washing their face and doing their fasting in secret that God may reward them openly. The life of faith depends upon God and not men for recompense. Fasting today is neither commanded nor forbidden, and is beneficial only if practiced under the guidance of the Holy Spirit.Treasures in Heaven, 6:19-24

Important in Jewish thinking was material wealth. In His public ministry, Jesus repeatedly rebuked them for the prominence they gave to material wealth. A true subject of the kingdom, Jesus said, would lay up his treasures in heaven, where they would be impervious to the moth which would eat his beautiful silk fabrics, the rust that would corrupt his jewelry, and would be beyond the grasping fingers of thieves. The principle involved was that their heart would be where their treasure was. If their eyes were in an evil way coveting money and wealth, their whole body would be full of darkness, but if penetrated by the revealing light of eternal values, their whole body would be full of light.

The contrast between the darkness of covetousness and the light of faith and treasure in heaven carries over to the concept of two masters. Necessarily a choice must be made, and they must either regard a master with love and obedience or with hate and disobedience. So, similarly, a choice must be made between God and mammon, or money. As Tasker notes, “Men cannot serve (i.e. ‘be slaves of’) God and mammon (Knox ‘money’) at once, for single ownership and full-time service are of the essence of slavery.”In the kingdom, they must live for God and not for material gain, and in committing their treasures to heaven, they would put their trust in the God of heaven.

Cure For Anxiety  (6:25-34).

The place of material gain in life carries over into the problem of anxious care. Because they could trust God for time as well as eternity, they were not to spend their time worrying about their provision of food and drink and raiment for the body. Like the fowl of the air, they were to trust divine provision; and like the lilies of the field, God would care for them. The argument was advanced that if God can care for the grass of the field, existing only for a day and then used for fuel for the oven, how much more will He clothe and care for those who are the objects of His great salvation? Although concern for earthly things characterized the unbelieving Gentile world, Christ reminded them that their Father knows their needs and that they should seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and that God would add the necessary temporal things to them. The chapter concludes, accordingly, on the note that they should not have anxious care about tomorrow but rather concern themselves with serving God today.

VI. Parting thoughts.

As proof that Jesus didn’t bring the Kingdom to earth with his first advent, Matt 6:10 records Jesus instructing his disciples (Jews) to pray for the Kingdom to come to earth. For followers of Christ in this dispensation of Grace (Church), we don’t pray for the Kingdom to come, we pray for unbelievers to come to belief in Jesus (Acts 16:30-31). In this chapter of the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus is telling the Jews what life will be like in the Kingdom (on earth). 

VII. My Bucket List shows the references that I consult, of theologians and printed resources, whenever I write an article that will be posted. Please the Pages of my site to find Bucket List.

VIII. My Websites To Follow.
 Eternity Book Prep Thy Kingdom Come

Matthew 5:17-48 (Laws and Principles of the Kingdom)

I. Video..

A. Title. Jesus: Sermon On The Mount.

B. Data. Jesus Film.

II. Introduction. (Mathew Chapter 5). Dr. John F. Walvoord (A.B., M.A., Th. B., Th. M., Th. D., D.D., Litt. D., 1910-2002). The laws and principles of the Kingdom.

 In Matthew 5:17-48, the details of the moral principles of the kingdom are outlined, and the following subjects are mentioned: the relation of the law of the kingdom to the Mosaic law and the prophets (vv. 17-19); the righteousness of the kingdom as compared to the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees (vv. 20-32); laws relating to perjury (vv. 33-37); laws relating to injustice and unfair advantage (vv. 38-42); and laws relating to enemies (vv. 43-48).

In introducing the laws of the kingdom, Jesus paid full respect to the Mosaic law. He declared that He had not come to destroy it or replace it, but to fulfill it. Although the Mosaic law, as a dispensation, was to end at the cross, its moral and spiritual implications were to be fulfilled in later dispensations, including the kingdom. While it is not accurate to say that the kingdom period, when Christ reigns on earth, will be under the Mosaic law, any more than the present age of grace is, it is obvious that the future kingdom is more legal in its government as directed by an absolute Ruler, who rules with a rod of iron (Rev 19:15). Jesus called, however, for a righteousness which would exceed that of the scribes and Pharisees. The scribes and Pharisees were attempting to fulfill the letter of the law, but were actually breaking the spirit of the law. They not only fell far short of the Mosaic law but fell even shorter of the law of the kingdom. Just as Jesus was to fulfill the law Himself, so His disciples also would share in the fulfillment of the law of righteousness.

According to Jesus, not one jot, that is, the smallest Hebrew letter, yod, or one tittle, that is, the smallest part of a letter that would change the meaning, would be left unfulfilled. Clearly, Jesus upheld the inerrancy of the Scriptures in their entirety, not simply their moral sense. The kingdom rule which He was presenting had the highest moral standards, and His disciples were expected to obey.

The morality of the kingdom, in many respects, was to exceed that of the Law of Moses. Beginning with Matthew 5:21, He brought up case after case where morality in the kingdom is more precise and exacting than their customary interpretation of the Mosaic law. Whereas Moses said they should not commit murder, in the kingdom it was wrong to be angry with a brother without cause. One who called his brother Raca, or “empty headed” (i.e., a numbskull), would be in danger of the Sanhedrin. Even worse would be to call him a fool, which would place him in danger of eternal punishment, literally, the fire of Gehenna. While this does not necessarily mean that a person who carelessly calls another a fool today is in danger of hell, it involves an attitude of superior wisdom which does not take into consideration the sinful state of everyone who is saved. The order of reference in verse 22 is climactic, but all is contrasted to murder in verse 21.

In keeping with this, if one would bring a gift to the altar of God and would there remember that he had something against a brother, Jesus exhorted him to leave the gift in order to be reconciled to his brother and then to return to offer the gift. The series of exhortations, beginning in verse 20, is addressed to the second person, making it direct exhortation.

Expanding the problem of reconciliation to a brother, in verses 25 and 26, He took up the matter of an honest debt which must be cared for, lest the debtor be hauled into court and imprisoned until the last farthing is paid. The adversary of verse 25 is certainly not the devil, as Morgan suggests, but an ordinary human creditor. The point is that God demands perfect righteousness and what we owe a brother, we owe God.

Proceeding from matters which offend a brother, or debts which are owed a brother, He then took up the matter of adultery and lust and its relationship to divorce. In contrast to the law which forbade adultery, Jesus charged that anyone looking on a woman in lust had already committed adultery. He charged them that if their right eye offend, they should pluck it out, or if their right hand offend, it should be cut off. There is no scriptural support that Jesus meant that lust would be conquered by doing this literally, as there still would be the left eye and the left hand, but rather that the severity of the sin required severe self-judgment. If the choice were to lose a member or to be cast into the eternal damnation of Gehenna, obviously it would be better to be maimed.

With this as a background, He contrasted divorce in the kingdom to divorce in the Mosaic law. In the Old Testament, it was comparatively easy to secure divorce. According to Deuteronomy 24:1, a woman no longer in favor with her husband could be given a bill of divorcement and sent away. If in the meantime, however, she married another, she was under no circumstances to return to her first husband, indicating that the divorce was real and final. In the kingdom, the only justifiable cause is that of fornication, or unfaithfulness. Although the matter of divorce in the teaching of Jesus is subject to various interpretations, the tenor of this passage is to recognize divorce as real and final when there is fornication after the marriage relationship has been established. This was more strict than the Mosaic law but less strict than an absolute prohibition of divorce.

In the kingdom, it was not only true that they should not perjure themselves by failing to perform their oath, which was prohibited in the Mosaic law (Numbers 30:2), but in the kingdom they were not to swear at all, especially in view of man’s limited ability to fulfill his oath. Accordingly, he could say yes or no, but he could not pledge beyond this. This indicates care should be used in giving solemn promises but should not be construed as completely prohibiting entering into a pledge or a promise in this age.

Again, the kingdom standards are in contrast to the Mosaic law with its demand for an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth. Those in the kingdom were exhorted not to resist evil, but if smitten on the right cheek, they were to turn the other also. This principle was further expanded by the instruction that if a man be sued at law, he should allow his adversary not only to take his coat or tunic but his cloak or robe also; if compelled to go a mile, he should volunteer to go two; and should give to those that borrow and not turn them away. In the millennial kingdom, such high standards could be literally enforced.

It is not clear whether Jesus expected immediate compliance. Jesus Himself was unresisting as He went to the cross. Paul, however, claimed his rights as a Roman citizen when falsely accused. The principle should probably be construed as being illustrated here but not applicable to every conceivable situation. What might work with the King present in the millennial kingdom might not work in the mystery form of the kingdom with the King absent.

Although some might deduce from the principles of the kingdom expounded here that the Bible supports pacifism, most interpreters would not draw this conclusion. In dealing with publicans, John the Baptist instructed them not to abuse their power (Luk3 13-14). Jesus here was not trying to give hard and fast principles that are applicable under all circumstances, but was stating the ideals which govern His kingdom.

The principle that our acts should be by unselfish love is clear. This is brought out in the closing passage of Matthew 5, where, in contrast to the law, which exhorted men to love their neighbor but permitted them to hate their enemy, Jesus laid down the principle that citizens of His kingdom should love their enemies, bless those that curse them, do good to those that hate them, and pray for those who persecute them. In this, they would emulate the love of God, which causes His sun to shine upon both the evil and the good and sends rain both for the just and unjust. He pointed out that even the world, with its tax collectors, rewards those that reward them and greets those that greet them. Morgan notes love is “the principle of life that crowns everything,” and that love is the guiding principle of this entire chapter The standard of conduct in all areas should be God’s attitude of love.

Chapter 5 concludes with the exhortation to be perfect, as God the Father in heaven is perfect. Perfection here refers to uprightness and sincerity of character with the thought of maturity in godliness or attaining the goal of conformity to the character of God. While sinless perfection is impossible, godliness, in its biblical concept, is attainable.

III. Key Verse Examinations.  Ryrie Study Bible, 1986, Dr. Charles C. Ryrie, Th. M., Th. D., Ph. D., Litt. D., 1925-20

5:18. “smallest letter of stroke.” The smallest Hebrew letter is “youdh,” which looks like an apostrophe (‘). A “stroke” is a very small extension or protrusion on several Hebrew letters, which distinguish these from similar ones (like, in English, and R from a P). The Lord’s point is that every letter of every word  of the OT is vital and will  be fulfilled. 

5:20. “your righteousness.” We may understand this as “your practice of religion.” The Pharisees’ righteousness was external; it should be internal. 

5:22. “good for nothing,” or “empty head.” “fiery hell.”  The word translated “hell” is “Geenna,” or “Gehenna,” a place in the valley of Hinnom where human sacrifices had been offered (cf. Jer 7:31) and where the continuous burning of rubbish made it an apt illustration of the lake of fire (Mark 9:44, James 3:6, Rev 20:14).

5:28. The lustful desire in one’s heart can lead to the sinful act.

5:29-30. This is strong language, used to emphasize the comparison; i.e., sin is so dangerous because it leads to external condemnation, that it would be better to lose hands or eyes temporarily than to lose life eternally.

5:32. “except for the reason of unchastity.” It is disallowed except for unchastity, which may mean, (1) adultery, (2), unfaithfulness during the period of betrothal, or (3) marriage between relatives (Lev 18). 

5:33-37. “MAKE FALSE VOWS, ” or perjure yourself. (Oaths taken in the name of the Lord were binding, and perjury was strongly condemned in the law (Ex 20:7, Lev 19:12; Deu 19:16-19). Every oath contained an affirmation or promise, and an appeal to God as the omniscient punisher of  falsehoods, which made the oath binding. Thus we find phrases like “as the Lord lives.” (1 Sam 14:39). The emphasis on the sanctity of oaths led to the feeling that ordinary phrasing need not be truthful or binding. Jesus, however, taught (v 37) that we should say, and mean, yes or no, and never equivocate. 

5:38. See Ex 21:24. The “lex talionis” (law of retaliation) did provide for the ending of feuds, but Christ showed another way to do the same (vs 39-42). See note on Lev 24:20.

5:40. “shirt.” An undergarment. “coat.” An outer garment. 

5:43. “LOVE THY NEIGHBOR. See Lev 19:16-18.

5:44. A new teaching, found nowhere in the OT. 

5:48. “perfect.” Not without sin,but mature and complete in the likeness of God. 

IV. Matthew’s significance to the Jews. J. Dwight Pentecost (Th. B., Th., D., 1915-2014) Things To Come, p 140.

The Gospel of Matthew is the Gospel which presents the Lord Jesus Christ as Yahweh’s King and Israel’s Messiah. It unfolds the presentation of the Messiah to Israel. 

More than any other of the Gospels, Matthew’s is allied with the Hebrew Scriptures in theme and tone; their subjects are its subjects, the Messiah, Israel, the Law, the Kingdom, Prophecy. Jewish ideas and terms characterize the whole record. Its witness would not have impressed either the Roman, for whom Mark wrote, or the Greek for whom Luke wrote, but to Jews its significance would be inescapable.

This fact is borne out by the numerous references to the Son of David (1:1, 20; 9:27, etc); to the fulfillment of prophecy (1:22; 2:5, etc.),to Jewish customs (15:1-2; 27:62), to the Mosaic Law (5:17-19 etc.), to the Sabbath (12:1-2, etc.), and to the holy city and the holy place (4:5:, 24:15; 27:53). Christ is related to prophecy throughout. This will have important bearing on the meaning of the term “kingdom of heaven.”

V.  My Bucket List shows the references that I consult, of theologians and printed resources, whenever I write an article that will be posted. Please go to the Pages of my site to find my Bucket List.

VI. My Websites To Follow . Eternity Book Prep Thy Kingdom Come

Matthew 4 (Ministry to Jews)

I. Video.

A. Title: Matthew Chapter 4

B. Data:  LuisetReneeandBill

II. Introduction. (Mathew Chapter 4). Dr. John F. Walvoord (A.B., M.A., Th. B., Th. M., Th. D., D.D., Litt. D., 1910-2002).

A. The message of Jesus to Capernaum was similar to that of John the Baptist, “Repent; for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” This was the theme of His ministry until it became evident that He would be rejected. The kingdom being at hand meant that it was being offered in the person of the prophesied King, but it did not mean that it would be immediately fulfilled.

B. Because of Capernaum’s proximity to the Sea of Galilee, it was natural for Jesus at this time to call His disciples who were fishermen (cf. Mk 1:16-20Lk 5:1-11Jn 1:35-42). To Peter and Andrew, fishing in the sea, He extended the invitation, “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men” (Mt 4:19). In like manner, He called James and John, the sons of Zebedee, who were mending their nets. They too left their occupation and their father and followed Christ. Matthew here records the early call of these disciples. Lenski, because of the disparity between this account and that of Luke 5:1-11, holds that between this first call of Matthew and the call in Luke, the early disciples continued to fish for a time and not until the call in Luke 5 did they forsake all.26 While Matthew’s gospel indicates that they followed Jesus, there is no clear statement that they left their fishing occupation for good.

C. In the days which followed, ceaseless activity characterized the ministry of Jesus (cf. Mk 3:7-12Lk 6:17-19). Going from one synagogue to the next, He preached the gospel of the kingdom, performed countless acts of healing, and was followed by great multitudes, who came not only from Galilee but from Jerusalem in the south and from the territory of Decapolis and Perea on the east of Jordan. His miracles dealt not simply with trivial diseases but with incurable afflictions, such as epilepsy, palsy, and demon possession. No affliction was beyond His healing touch. The kingdom blessings promised by Isaiah 35:5-6, due for fulfillment in the future kingdom, here became the credentials of the King in His first coming.

III. Key Verse Examinations.  Ryrie Study Bible, 1986 (Dr. Charles C. Ryrie, Th. M., Th. D., Ph. D., Litt. D., 1925-2016).

A. 4:17. Like John the Baptist, Christ also preached the necessity of repentance before the messianic kingdom could be established.

B. 4:19. “Follow me.” This was their call to service, and illustrates the directness, profundity, and power of Christ’s command (“go…28:19; “love one another.”  John 13:34). 

C.  4:23. “the gospel of the kingdom.” This is the good news that the presence of the King caused the rule of God on the earth (in fulfillment of many OT prophecies) to be “at hand.” Prerequisites for entrance into the kingdom included repentance (v. 17), righteousness (v. 5:20), childlike faith (18:3), or, in summary, being born again (John 3:3). Because the people rejected these requirements, Christ taught that His earthly reign would not immediately come (Luke 19:11). However, this gospel of the kingdom will be preached again during the Tribulation (24:14), just prior to the return of Christ to establish His kingdom on earth (25:31, 34). 

IV. Purposes of Matthew. Dr. Charles L. Quarles (M. Div., Ph. D. )

A key purpose of the book is to outline the characteristics of the kingdom of God, both for Israel and the church. Orthodox Jews would typically scoff at any assertion that Jesus is their Messiah, let alone their King. They would retort, “If Jesus is King, where is the promised restoration of the kingdom of Israel?” Many Jews of Jesus’ day rejected Him as Messiah, even though both Jesus and John the Baptist continually preached that the kingdom was “at hand” (3:24:1710:7). This rejection of Jesus by the Jews is a dominant theme of Matthew (11:12–2412:28–4521:33–22:14). Because of this rejection, God postponed the fulfillment of His promises to Israel and subsequently extended His blessings to both Jew and Gentile in the church.

V. NASB Study Bible notes.

A. 4:12-13. Jesus begins His ministry. 

B. 4:14-16. This was to fulfill what was spoken through Isaiah the prophet: Isa (9:1-9:2).  

C. 4:17.  The message of Jesus: “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” (See Ryrie note III. A., C.)

D. 4:19. Evangelism was at the heart of the call of Jesus to His disciples.

E. 4:20. The call to discipleship is definite and demands a response of total commitment.

F. 4:23. The synagogues provided a place for teaching on the Sabbath. During the week preaching took place to larger crowds in the open air. 

VI. Parting thoughts.

The focus of Matthew’s gospel is that of Jesus and His ministry to Jews, and did not include ministry to Gentiles (10:5-7). Gentiles would have had no knowledge of the prophecies of Isaiah, neither would Gentiles have been allowed into Synagogues. The preaching of Jesus provided Jews with a glimpse of what the conditions of the Kingdom will be like (Isa 9:6b-7). The preaching of the Gospel of Heaven is not what we preach today. We preach of the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus (1 Cor 15:1-8). The Jews of Matthew did not know about the death of Jesus until Matt 17:22-23. Jesus discontinued His offer of the Kingdom of Heaven to Israel, following His being rejected by the Jews (Mt 12:14, 22-24; 13:11). The offer to Israel of the Kingdom will be made again during the Tribulation (Matt 24:14).

VII. Closing Video.

A Title: I Will Follow Him.

B. Andre Rieu

VII.  My Bucket List shows the references that I consult, of theologians and printed resources, whenever I write an article that will be posted. Please go to the Pages of my site to find my Bucket List.

VIII . My Websites To Follow. Eternity Book Prep Thy Kingdom Come

Matthew 3 (The Kingdom Offered To Israel)

I. Video:

A. Title: Matthew Chapter 3.

B. Data: LuisetReneeandBill.

II. Introduction. (Mathew Chapter 3). Dr. John F. Walvoord (A.B., M.A., Th. B., Th. M., Th. D., D.D., Litt. D., 1910-2002).

A. The message of John was like that of Elijah, as he heralded his exhortation to Pharisees as well as Sadducees and to all who came: “Repent; for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” His role was that of a herald coming before the king. Matthew finds John fulfilling the prediction of Isa 40:3-5), that there would be a voice crying in the wilderness to prepare the way before the Lord. Like the servants of a king who would smooth out and straighten the road in preparation for their sovereign’s coming, so John was preparing the way spiritually for the coming of Christ. 

B. John’s message was a stern rebuke of the hypocrisy and shallow religion of both the Pharisees and the Sadducees. Unquestionably, he was attacking the established religion of his day and demanding sincerity and repentance instead of hypocrisy and religious rites. His call to repentance is backed up by the succinct announcement, “The kingdom of heaven is at hand.” What did John mean by “kingdom of heaven”? 

C. While the precise phrase is not found in the Old Testament, it is based on Old Testament terminology. Nebuchadnezzar, for instance, referred to God as the “King of heaven” (Dan 4:37). Daniel had predicted that the climax of world history would come with the advent of the Son of man, who would be given an everlasting kingdom. This was likewise to be fulfilled by the prediction of (Dan 2:44) that “the God of heaven” would “set up a  kingdom, which shall never be destroyed.” Matthew, alone of New Testament writers, uses “the kingdom of heaven” and rarely uses “the kingdom of God,” which is often used in parallel passages in the other gospels and throughout the New Testament. Most expositors consider the two terms identical. Although the kingdom of heaven and the kingdom of God are similar, there seems to be some distinction. The kingdom of heaven refers to that which is obviously in its outer character a kingdom from above. The kingdom of God is more specific and does not seem to include any but true believers who are born again. In Matt 13, the kingdom of heaven seems to include both the good and bad fish caught in the net and the wheat and the tares in the same field, whereas Nicodemus is informed that the new birth is necessary to enter the kingdom of God (Jn 3:5). All agree that those in the kingdom of God are also in the kingdom of heaven, however. Eschatologically and dispensationally, a threefold distinction must be observed in the use of the term “kingdom of heaven.” First, in John the Baptist’s ministry, it is announced as at hand, meaning that in the person of the King, Jesus Christ, the kingdom was being presented to Israel. Second, in Matt 13, the kingdom in its present mystery form is revealed, that is, the rule of God over the earth during the present age when the King is absent. These are mysteries because they were not anticipated in the Old Testament doctrine of the kingdom. The third and climactic form of the kingdom will be when Christ returns to set up the kingdom of heaven on earth, in fulfillment of Daniel’s prophecies and countless other passages of the Old Testament that picture a golden age, when the Son of David will reign over the entire world in righteousness and peace. Only the premillennial interpretation of the concept of the kingdom allows a literal interpretation of both Old Testament and New Testament prophecies relating to the future kingdom. The ministry of John the Baptist signaled a spiritual crisis in Israel. Would they accept their King, or would they reject Him? 

D. The ministry of John the Baptist was to prepare the way by calling Israel to repentance. It is rather a religious rite, signifying their confession of  sins and commitment to a new holy life, such as was proper for Jews in the old dispensation. The ministry of John the Baptist was very pointed: he challenged the prevailing Jewish concept that they were saved simply because they were descendants of Abraham; he declared that God is able to raise up children unto Abraham from the stones of the earth, certainly a dramatic picture of supernatural, spiritual resurrection; he declared that the ax is already in hand to cut down every tree that does not bring forth fruit. By this he meant individual Jews as well as Judaism as a dead ritual.

III. Key Verse Examinations.  Ryrie Study Bible, 1986, Dr. Charles C. Ryrie, Th. M., Th. D., Ph. D., Litt. D., 1925-2016).

A. 3:2. “Repent.” Repentance is a change of mind that bears fruit in a changed life (see vs 8). “kingdom of heaven.” This is a rule of heaven over the earth. The Jewish people of Christ’s day were looking for this messianic, or Davidic kingdom, to be established on this earth, and this is what John proclaimed as being “at hand.” The requirement that the people must repent in order for the kingdom to be established was new and became a stumbling block to them. The rejection of Christ by the people delayed its establishment until the second coming of Christ (25:31). The character of the kingdom today is described in the parables of Matthew 13.

B. 3:15. “to fulfill all righteousness.” Jesus fulfilled all the righteous requirements to  be Israel’s Messiah. Also, by allowing John to baptize Him, He identified with sinners whom He came to save, though, of course, He Himself had no sin to repent of.

IV. Emphases of Matthew. Matthew. Dr. Charles L. Quarles (M. Div., Ph. D.

A. The Gospel of Matthew has many Jewish overtones. For example, the term “kingdom of heaven” appears 33 times and the term “kingdom of God” four times. No other Gospel lays such stress on the kingdom; the restoration of the glories of David’s kingdom was a burning hope for many Jews at the time. Matthew clearly identifies Jesus with that hope by using the Jewish royal title “Son of David” nine times in his Gospel. Furthermore he calls Jerusalem “the holy city” (4:527:53) and the “city of the great King” (5:35), both uniquely Jewish ways of referring to it. First-century Jews emphasized righteousness, and Matthew uses the words “righteous” and “righteousness” more often than the Gospels of Mark, Luke, and John combined.

B.  Matthew also discusses the law, ceremonial cleanness, the Sabbath, the temple, David, the Messiah, the fulfillment of Old Testament prophecies, and Moses—all from a Jewish point of view. He has 53 Old Testament citations and more than 70 allusions to the Hebrew Scriptures. Thirteen times, the book emphasizes that Jesus’ actions were a direct fulfillment of Old Testament prophecies. The genealogy of chapter 1 is recognizably Jewish, tracing the lineage of Jesus back through David to Abraham, the father of the Jewish people. Furthermore the Gospel mentions Jewish rulers (see 2:12214:1) and customs such as ceremonial washing (see 15:2) without explanation, indicating that Matthew expected his predominantly Jewish audience to be familiar with such practices.

V. The Kingdom described (Ryrie Study Bible).

A. The glory of the future kingdom (Isaiah 2:1-4).

B. The governing of Messiah over the kingdom (Isaiah 9:6a-7).

C. Harmony in the Kingdom (Isaiah 11:1-16).

D. Characteristics of the Kingdom (Isaiah 65:18-25).

VI. Parting Thought. 

Matthew’s gospel was written only to Jews. The offer of the Kingdom by Jesus was made only to Jews (Matt 10:1-7). As Jesus was offering the Kingdom to the Jews of Israel, He made a point of telling them that because they were being offered the Kingdom, that they should repent of the way that they had been living, and to act like Kingdom people. Jesus’s ministry was not to Gentiles. Jesus instructed His disciples in the way that they should witness to Gentiles after His ascension to Heaven (Matt 28:18-19). It is obvious that, after having read the above paragraph on the conditions of the kingdom, that the Kingdom has not yet come (Matt 6:10). Scripture does not say that the Kingdom will enter us; however we are told that we will enter the kingdom. The new birth is not the kingdom.

VII.  My Bucket List shows the references that I consult, of theologians and printed resources, whenever I write an article that will be posted. Please go to the Pages of my site to find my Bucket List.

VIII . My Websites To Follow. Eternity Book Prep Thy Kingdom Come

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