Matthew Week 1

Introduction to Matthew

Though the Gospel According to Matthew wasn’t the first of our gospels to be composed (most scholars now believe Mark is the oldest of the four), already by the second century many Christians were showing their admiration for this book by placing it first in line among those ultimately included in our New Testament canon. Full reading and audio »


Matthew Week 2

Introducing Jesus: Matthew 1:1–4:17

Last week I mentioned that Matthew created a gospel characterized by careful organization. In fact, a close look at that organization reveals an amazingly complex set of literary patterns designed to direct our reading of Jesus’ story. Full reading and audio »


Matthew Week 3

The Sermon on Discipleship: Matthew 4:18–7:29

This week we consider one of the most well-known portions of Scripture: the Sermon on the Mount. The influence of this masterpiece, Jesus’ first and longest sermon in Matthew’s gospel, is impossible to overstate; its powerful message has inspired and challenged Christian and non-Christian interpreters alike over the centuries. Full reading and audio »


Matthew Week 4

A Messiah of Words and Deeds: Matthew 8:1–11:1

In our reading for this week, Matthew has gathered together three groups of three miracle stories with transitional scenes between each group — all of which sets up the second of Jesus’ sermons in Matthew, the sermon on mission. Full reading and audio »


Matthew Week 5

Responses to the Kingdom: Matthew 11:2–13:53

Last week we saw that the deeds of Jesus elicited a variety of responses, and, in his subsequent teaching, Jesus warned his followers that rejection would be the norm. Our readings for this week go on to explore that rejection more closely. Full reading and audio »


Matthew Week 6

The Formation of the Church: Matthew 14:1–17:13

In today’s reading, the division of Israel caused by the rejection of Jesus’ ministry leads to the emergence of a new, messianic community of Israel called “church.” Accordingly, you’ll notice that Peter starts to assume leadership; though he was listed first among the disciples at 10:2, it isn’t until now that he takes the stage as the “rock” upon which Jesus will build his church. Full reading and audio »


Matthew Week 7

Instructing the Church: Matthew 17:14–20:34

This week’s reading finds Jesus continuing the task of forming his new community by instruction and example as he makes his way to the cross. After glancing at the final narrative scenes from Chapter 17, we’ll spend most of our time studying the fourth sermon in Matthew, the sermon on community. Full reading and audio »


Matthew Week 8

The Confrontation in Jerusalem: Matthew 21:1–23:39

With this week’s reading, we approach the climax of Matthew’s gospel story. Jesus’ Galilean ministry has come to an end, and his journey to Jerusalem is now complete. Full reading and audio »


Matthew Week 9

The Beginning of the End: Matthew 24:1–25:46

The end is near. Jesus’ authoritative denunciation of the Jewish leadership may have silenced their voices, but their secret plotting of his destruction continues unabated. After leaving the temple with his disciples, Jesus launches into the fifth and final sermon in Matthew, the sermon on the future. Full reading and audio »


Matthew Week 10

The Son of Man Goes as It Is Written of Him: Matthew 26:1–27:66

The final sermon has been preached. Now we enter into the last section of Matthew’s gospel, describing Jesus’ passion and resurrection. Once again we can easily divide these chapters into three units: events before Jesus’ arrest, events that bring about his death, and the death itself. Full reading and audio »


Matthew Week 11

The Story Doesn’t End After All: Matthew 28:1-20

It is just before dawn on Sunday, the first day of the week, the day after the Jewish Sabbath. The two Marys have observed the holy day of rest, but their minds are on the horrific events of the day before, the day of their Lord’s murder at the hands of religious and governing authorities. Full reading and audio »