Unformatted text preview: Matthew: Verse by Verse with Jesus
through the Gospel of Matthew
PO Box 152, Menai NSW 2234 Australia
Every true Christian has a solemn duty to make a serious study of the Gospel records. The depth
and nature of the study will vary widely between individuals; for each individual relationship
with the Lord Jesus is unique, and we are all wired differently. These notes are part of my
personal path in seeking to know Him through the medium of the written word, and I only share
them with you in the hope they may play a part in helping you in some aspects of your knowing
of Him. But at the outset, be aware that the written word of the Gospel records is not the only
way to know Jesus. He makes Himself known to us in various ways. The written word is but one
of them- but without it, the other ways of the Lord’s self-revelation are unlikely to be perceived
by us as intended. Hence this book.
I’ve read a lot of theology and Biblical studies. Much is made of the differences between the
Gospel records, and there are various arguments about structure. I make little reference to these
things; not because I am ignorant of them, but because none of the theories presented strike me
as very compelling. There are so many suggested structures- but the multiplicity of them
suggests that they are in the eye of the beholder rather than in the intention of the writer. And
more significantly, I fail to perceive in the genre of the Gospel records any intention by the
authors (nor the inspired Author behind them) that the interpretation of their words depends upon
perception of structure. Nor does their interpretation and meaning appear to be enhanced by any
theories of how (e.g.) Matthew may have borrowed from Mark or ‘Q’.
By all means let me know if I’ve got something really wrong in any of my thoughts. Join me in
praying daily to understand our Lord Jesus, and to understand, trust and obey His words. Know
Him, that we might make Him known. Read something from the Gospels each day, and meditate
upon it. And thereby may the word become flesh in each of us, as it was in Him to perfection.
And may we learn ever more deeply the simple truth many of us were taught from early
childhood: “Jesus loves me, this I know- for the Bible tells me so”.
For Him, Duncan Heaster
[email protected] Contents
Digression 1 John and Isaiah 40
Digression 2 The Wilderness Temptations
Digression 3 “Judge not”
Digression 4 "Let the dead bury their dead”
Digression 5 Legion and the Gadarene Pigs
Digression 6 The Table Manners of Jesus
Digression 7 Matthew 10:16-39 And The
Digression 8 Unclean Spirits in Mt. 12:44,45
Digression 9 Mary’s Mid-Life Crisis
Digression 10: The PARABLE OF THE
WHEAT AND TARES IN A LAST DAYS
Digression 11: The Openness of Jesus in
Feeding the 5000
Digression 12: Peter The Rock
Digression 13: The Compulsion Of The
Digression 14: Curing of Psychosomatic
Digression 15: What Is Conversion? Digression 16: The Indebted Servant of
Digression 17: Jesus: A Man Misunderstood
Digression 18: The Two Sons (Mt. 21:2832)
Digression 19: The Hopefulness of the
Father and Son
Digression 20: Two Invitations- Matthew
Digression 21: The Living Word of God
Digression 22: The Nature of Prophecy
Digression 23: The Upper Room Discourse
(John 14-16) and the Olivet Prophecy
Digression 24: Does The Olivet Prophecy
Have A Break In Fulfillment?
Digression 25: Conditional Prophecy in
Digression 26: With Jesus to Judgment
Digression 27: The Blossoming Of The Fig
Digression 28: Do we Know the Day and the
Digression 29: The Days of Noah and the
Digression 30: A Chronology Of Judgment?
Digression 31: God And Time
Digression 32: The Devil and His Angels
Digression 33: Caiaphas As “The prince of
this world” Digression 34: Was the Last Supper
Digression 35: The Jewish Satan
Digression 36: “As a sheep before her
Digression 37: The Possibility Of Avoiding
Digression 38: Ongoing Crucifixion And
Digression 39: The Reality of Crucifixion
Digression 40: Joseph And Nicodemus Digression 41: The Central Place of the
Crucifixion in the Gospel Records
Digression 42: The Chronology Of The
Resurrection Of Christ
Appendix 1: The Origin of the Gospel
Appendix 2: The Seven Sayings from the
Appendix 3: The Great Commission MATTHEW CHAPTER 1
The Genealogy of Jesus
The book of the generation of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham. 2 Abraham
begot Isaac, Isaac begot Jacob, Jacob begot Judah and his brothers. 3 Judah begot Perez and
Zerah of Tamar and Perez begot Hezron, Hezron begot Ram. 4 Ram begot Amminadab,
Amminadab begot Nahshon, Nahshon begot Salmon. 5 Salmon begot Boaz of Rahab and Boaz
begot Obed of Ruth and Obed begot Jesse. 6 Jesse begot David the king. And David begot
Solomon of her that had been the wife of Uriah. 7 And Solomon begot Rehoboam, Rehoboam
begot Abijah, Abijah begot Asa. 8 Asa begot Jehoshaphat, Jehoshaphat begot Joram, Joram begot
Uzziah. 9 Uzziah begot Jotham, Jotham begot Ahaz, Ahaz begot Hezekiah. 10 Hezekiah begot
Manasseh, Manasseh begot Amon, Amon begot Josiah. 11 Josiah begot Jechoniah and his
brothers, at the time of the captivity in Babylon. 12 And after the captivity in Babylon, Jechoniah
begot Shealtiel, Shealtiel begot Zerubbabel. 13 Zerubbabel begot Abiud, Abiud begot Eliakim,
Eliakim begot Azor. 14 Azor begot Sadoc, Sadoc begot Achim, Achim begot Eliud. 15 Eliud
begot Eleazar, Eleazar begot Matthan, Matthan begot Jacob. 16 Jacob begot Joseph the husband
of Mary, of whom was born Jesus, who is called Christ. 17 So all the generations from Abraham
to David are fourteen generations and from David to the captivity in Babylon fourteen
generations and from the captivity in Babylon to the Christ fourteen generations.
The Birth of Jesus
18 Now the birth of Jesus Christ was as follows. When his mother Mary had been betrothed to
Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Spirit. 19 And Joseph
her husband, being a righteous man and not willing to make her a public example, decided to
send her away secretly. 20 But as he thought on these things, an angel of the Lord appeared to
him in a dream, saying: Joseph you son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife, for
that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. 21 And she shall give birth to a son, and you
shall call his name Jesus; for it is he that shall save his people from their sins. 22 Now all this
happened so what was spoken by the Lord through the prophet might be fulfilled, saying: 23 The
virgin shall be with child and shall give birth to a son; and they shall call his name Immanuel,
which means God with us. 24 And Joseph woke from his sleep and did as the angel of the Lord
commanded him, and took Mary as his wife. 25 But he did not have sexual intercourse with her
until she had given birth to a son; and he called his name Jesus. 1:1 Book of the generation- “Book”, Gk. biblos, suggests a formal volume. It could be that
Matthew refers only to the genealogy- but in this case, biblos hardly seems the appropriate word.
The Gospels were transcripts of the Gospel message preached by e.g. Matthew, and as time went
on and the Lord didn’t return, under inspiration they wrote down their standard accounts of the good news. The Greek genesis translated “generation” is also translated “nature” in its’ other
two occurrences (James 1:23; 3:6). If the “book” refers to the book of the Gospel of Matthew, the
idea could be that this is a Gospel which focuses upon the nature of Jesus. Related words occur
often in the genealogies- people “begat” [Gk. gennao] their descendants, until Jesus was gennao
of Mary (Mt. 1:16). Jesus as a person had a ‘genesis’, He was ‘generated’ by Mary as His
ancestors had been ‘generated’ by the ‘generations’ of their ancestors- the whole chapter is a
huge blow to the idea that Jesus pre-existed as a person before His birth. His ‘generation’ is
presented as being of the same nature as the ‘generation’ of His human ancestors.
Son of Abraham- The Roman emperors and Greek heroes sometimes traced their pedigree back
to a god- and therefore the genealogy of Jesus, whom the Gospels present as the ultimate
Emperor, is quite radical in this regard. For it traces the pedigree of Jesus back to a man,
Abraham. The greatness of Jesus was in his humanity. And yet it could equally be argued that the
Lord’s genealogy was likewise traced back to God in Luke’s record; which would make the
genealogies yet another example of how the cult of the emperor was being subverted by the
inspired Christian authors.
1:2 Judah and his brothers- The fact Isaac and Jacob had brothers is carefully omitted- because
the descendants of Ishmael and Esau were not counted as the covenant people of God.
1:3 Phares and Zara- Since Jesus was descended through the line of Phares, why mention the
birth of Zara- seeing that so many details are omitted in this genealogy, even whole generations,
why take space to record this? Perhaps it was because Zara was the first born, but Phares got the
birthright. And the genealogies teach us how God delights to work through the underling, the
rejected, the humanly weak.
Tamar- A prostitute and adulteress, just like Rahab. See on 1:5.
1:5 Salmon- Of the tribe of Judah, because this is the genealogy through Judah (1:2). The two
spies who had been faithful the first time when spies were sent out were Joshua and Caleb- of the
tribes of Ephraim and Judah (Num. 13:6; Jud. 2:9). It seems a fair guess that when the two spies
were sent out, they were from these same two tribes. Salmon was a prince of the tribe of Judahit’s a fair guess that he was one of the two spies who went to Rahab, and he subsequently married
Rahab- A Gentile and a sinner. Jesus was morally perfect, and yet the genealogy shows how He
had much against Him spiritually. We can’t blame our lack of spirituality upon our bad
background. Note that there was so much intermarriage with Gentiles like Rahab and Ruth
throughout Israel’s history; their standing with God was therefore never on the basis of ethnic
purity, but rather by cultural identity and God’s grace. Matthew’s genealogy features [unusually,
for Jewish genealogies] several women, who had become the ancestors of Messiah through
unusual relationships. It’s almost as if the genealogy is there in the form that it is to pave the way
for the account of Mary’s conception of Jesus without a man. 1:6 David the king- Literally “the David the king”. The others aren’t mentioned as being kings.
The implication may be that Jesus was the promised descendant of David and the promises of
eternal Kingship made to David’s descendant are therefore applicable to Jesus.
Of Uriah- Literally “she of Uriah”. “She that that been the wife of” is added by some translators
in explanation, but isn’t in the original. Whilst God ‘forgets’ sin in the sense that He no longer
holds it against us, the memory of those sins isn’t obliterated, and His word is full of such
allusions to sin which although He has forgiven it and symbolically “blotted it out”, it still
remains within Divine history. We too can forgive but ‘forgetting’ isn’t always possible, and is no
sign that we have failed to forgive.
1:7 Roboam... Abia - Wicked Roboam begat wicked Abia; wicked Abia begat good Asa; good
Asa begat good Josaphat; good Josaphat begat wicked Joram. Perhaps the emphasis is that
spirituality isn’t genetic, and neither is sinfulness. Jesus was perfect despite being from such
“bad blood”; and we likewise can’t blame our failures on bad background. Neither can we
assume that the children of the faithful will be righteous.
1:8 Joram begat Ozias- Three generations are skipped here. See on 1:17. Perhaps the omission
was because Joram married Athaliah, daughter of Jezebel the wife of Ahab, and those
generations were idolaters. As we note on 1:12, children who don’t worship the true God are
forgotten in the ultimate course of Divine history. In this case, his iniquity was indeed visited
upon the third generation (Ex. 20:3-6).We also see here a fulfilment of the prophecy that Ahab’s
house would be eradicated (2 Kings 9:8).
1:11 Jechonias- The apparent contradiction with 1 Chron. 3:5,6 is solved if we understand this to
be a reference to Joachin.
1:12 Jechonias begat Salathiel- Therefore the reference to Jechoniah being written “childless”
(Jer. 22:30) perhaps means that as Jeremiah goes on to comment “No man of his seed shall
prosper”. If our children aren’t spiritually prosperous, it is as if we were childless. Thus we see
that the whole purpose of having children is to “raise a Godly seed”.
1:14 Sadoc- Zadok. But there was a Levite at this time also called “Zadok” (Neh. 10:21). It could
be that this person was descended from both Judah and Levi through an inter-tribal marriage of
his parents. In this case he would’ve been a potential king-priest, preparing the way for us to
understand Jesus as a king-priest.
1:15 Matthan- The genealogies prove that Joseph was a descendant of David, indeed the rightful
king of Israel had there been a monarchy at the time of Jesus. Jesus was his adopted son; he was
"as was supposed", or 'as was reckoned by law', the son of Joseph (Lk. 3:23). The record in Luke
appears to be that of Mary; Joseph being "the son of Heli" was probably by reason of marrying
Mary, the daughter of Heli (Lk. 3:23); the Talmud speaks with gross vitriolic about Mary the
daughter of Heli going to hell for her blasphemy, referring to Mary the mother of Jesus. This
shows that the Jews accept that Mary was the daughter of Heli. Heli's father was Matthat, who can be equated with Matthan the grandfather of Joseph. Thus Mary and Joseph were cousins
(hinting at an arranged marriage?), and therefore Jesus was a son of David through both his
mother and father by adoption. In the light of this it is evident that the question mark over the
validity of a genealogy through Joseph is an irrelevancy, seeing that Joseph and Mary had a
common grandfather. The point has to be made that a humanly fabricated genealogy would be
sure to make some glaring errors, especially if it was produced by simple, uneducated men as the
Jews claim the New Testament was. The wonder of the New Testament genealogies is that closer
study reveals ever more intricate internal evidence for their truth and reliability, rather than
exposing more problems.
1:16 Lk. 3:27 describes Zerubbabel as the head / chief / leader. The term rhesa is incorrectly
rendered in many versions as a name. Perhaps Luke’s point was that the Lord Jesus was the final
Messiah, after the failure of so many potential ones beforehand. ‘Zerubbabel the chief’ would
then be a similar rubric to “David the king” in Matthew’s genealogy (Mt. 1:16).
Joseph was actually the rightful king of Israel, according to this genealogy. Yet he was living in
poverty and without recognition for who he was- exactly the kind of person God would use for
the great task of raising His only begotten Son.
1:17 Forty two- This must have some connection with the 42 stopping places before Israel
reached Canaan, as described in Num.33:2. Thus the birth of Christ would be like God's people
entering the promised land of the Kingdom in some way. It could be argued from this (and other
evidence) that it was God’s intention for the Kingdom to be entered by Israel at the time of Jesusit was, after all, His intention that Israel accepted their Messiah. But they crucified Him, and
therefore the potential didn’t come true. This open ended nature of God’s prophetic program
means that it’s impossible to fit together all latter day prophecies into some chronological
The genealogy presented by Matthew doesn’t include every generation, there are some gaps (see
on 1:8; and Zorababel was Salathiel’s grandson, 1 Chron. 3:19, yet 1:12 says he “begat” him).
Thus some “begat” their grandson or great grandson. Clearly Matthew had a purpose in
presenting the material like this- but expositors have failed to come up with anything convincing.
It could simply be that the Gospels were designed to be memorized, as most Christians were
illiterate [see Appendix 1]; and the 3 x 14 structure was to aid memorization. One interesting
observation is that the last 14 generations from the captivity to the time of Christ amount to the
490 years prophesied for this same period by Dan. 9:25- if we take a generation to be 35 years,
which it is in Job 42:16. The numerical value of the Hebrew word “David” is 14, so it could also
be that Matthew is eloquently demonstrating that Jesus was indeed the promised seed of David.
If indeed six is the number of man and seven represents perfection, then 6 x 7 = 42- the
generations culminated in the perfect man, Jesus.
1:18 Found with child of the Holy Spirit- The Greek seems to imply she was understood
[“found”] to be with a child which had come ek, out of, from, the Holy Spirit. This could be implying that Joseph himself believed or perceived that the child was from the Holy Spirit. This
would explain why he sought not to humiliate her publically about the matter (1:19).
The descriptions of Mary as keeping things in her heart (Lk. 2:19,52), and the way it seems she
didn’t tell Joseph about the Angel’s visit, but instead immediately went down to Elisabeth for
three months… all these are indications that Mary, like many sensitive people, was a very closed
person. Only when Mary was “found” pregnant by Joseph (Mt. 1:18- s.w. to see, perceive, be
obvious) was the situation explained to him by an Angel. It seems his move to divorce her was
based on his noticing she was pregnant, and she hadn’t given any explanation to him. She
“arose” after perhaps being face down on the ground as the Angel spoke with her, and went off
immediately to Elisabeth. And then, after three months she returns evidently pregnant (Lk. 1:39).
Mary is portrayed as somehow separate from the other ministering women. It would have been
psychologically impossible, or at best very hard, for the mother of the Lord to hang around with
them. The group dynamics would have been impossible. Likewise in Acts 1:14 we have “the
women, and Mary the mother of Jesus”, as if she is separate from them. She followed Him to
Cana, uninvited, and also to Capernaum. Next she is at the cross risking her life, but she isn't
among the women who went to the grave [although see commentary on chapter 28]. Why not? It
was surely natural that she would go there, and that the other women would go with her to
comfort her. But she was a loner; either she went alone, as I think I would have tried to, or she
just couldn’t face contact with the others and simply hid away. And could it be that Jesus, in
recognition of her unique perception of Him, appeared to her first privately, in a rightfully
unrecorded meeting? But by Acts 1:14, she was in the upper room, as if His death led her to be
more reconciled to her brethren, to seek to get along with them... although by nature, in her heart
and soul, she was a loner, maybe almost reclusive. A struggler to understand. A meditator, a
reflector, who just wanted to be alone, one of those who take their energy from themselves rather
than from other people.
1:19 A just man- The very same phrase is used by Matthew to describe Christ as the ultimately
just or righteous man as He hung upon the cross (27:19,24; Lk. 23:47; 1 Pet. 3:18); the
implication is surely that Joseph’s ‘justice’ or righteousness played a role in the final perfection
of Jesus as the ultimately “just man”. For it was he who would’ve first taught Jesus the shem...
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