This is the story of Jesus of Nazareth, recorded by the apostle Matthew as a compelling witness that Jesus is the long-anticipated Messiah, who brought the kingdom of God to earth and is the prophesied fulfillment of God’s promise of true peace and deliverance for both Jew and Gentile.
The Upside Down Kingdom
As a church that centers our identity and life on the finished work of Jesus Christ we want to make sure that we are teaching all that Jesus said and did as a regular part of our life together. That has led us to dive into the book of Matthew. Walking through Matthew together will force us to wrestle with our lives today and whether they align with Jesus’ teaching about the Kingdom of God.
Our goal is to understand the message and ministry of Jesus, and to theologically and practically shape our lives around Jesus Christ
You are invited to join us in this journey through the life and ministry of Jesus through the lens of the book of Matthew.
As with any series, the more you put in to it, the more you get out of it. Pray, study, listen, learn and put into practice all that God wants to teach us about Jesus and his Kingdom!
We have made available some resources available from the ESV Study Bible and The Bible Project, and will add more resources as we work through this series.
Join us at 889 E. Santa Clara St. 93001 every Sunday at 5PM to worship and study the bible together! You can learn a little more about our Sunday Gatherings here, our kids ministry here, and how to connect here.
Videos & Graphics
Below are a few resources made available from the ESV Study Bible to help provide context and background to our time in Matthew.
The events in the book of Matthew take place almost entirely within the vicinity of Palestine, an area extending roughly from Caesarea Philippi in the north to Beersheba in the south. During this time it was ruled by the Roman Empire. The opening chapters describe events surrounding Jesus’ birth in Judea, where Herod had been appointed king by the Romans. The closing chapters end with Jesus’ death, resurrection, and ascension during the rule of Pontius Pilate and the tetrarchs Antipas and Philip.
Distinctives of Matthew
Matthew’s major concerns include Jesus’ relationship to Israel and explaining Israel’s rejection of him. Those who were Christians did not seek a break with Judaism but had separated from Judaism because the nation rejected the completion of the divine and scriptural promise Jesus brought and offered. However, that rejection did not stop the arrival of the promise; it raised the stakes of discipleship and led to the creation of a new entity, the church. The message was not limited to Israel but included the whole world. Five discourse units consisting of six discourses (long sections of teaching by Jesus) are the backbone of the book (chs. 5–7; 10; 13; 18; 24–25 [eschatological discourse followed by a parables section]). As with all the Gospels, there is an interaction and interchange between Jesus’ word and deeds. Jesus’ actions support what he preaches. Jesus’ death was an act of the divine plan that led to his vindication and mission. Disciples are those who come to Jesus in personal relationship and trust, seeking forgiveness and the righteousness that God so graciously offers.
A brief listing of major Matthean themes shows the variety of his interests. (Italics identify the key themes, which in some cases overlap with other Gospels and in other cases are unique.) Matthew’s Christology presents a royal, messianic understanding of Jesus, who as Son of God comes to be seen as the revealer of God’s will and the bearer of divine authority. As the promised King of the Jews, Jesus heals, teaches the real meaning of the OT in all its dimensions, calls for a practical righteousness, inaugurates the kingdom, and teaches about the mystery elements of God’s promise. Matthew associates all of this with a program he calls the kingdom of heaven. This kingdom is both present and yet to come (12:28; 13:1–52; 24:1–25:46). Jesus proclaims its hope throughout the nation to the lost sheep of Israel. He calls on them to repent, challenges their current practices, expresses his authority over sin and the Sabbath, and calls them to read the law with mercy. Most of Israel rejects the message, but the mystery is that the promise comes despite that rejection. One day that kingdom will encompass the entire world (cf. the parables ofch. 13). At the consummation, the authority of Jesus in that kingdom will be evident to all in a judgment rendered on the entire creation (chs. 24–25). Thus, for Matthew the kingdom program, eschatology, and salvation history are all bound together.