Who, When, Where

Written by Matthaios (Matthew). Matthaios, also known as Levi, was a tax collector before he left it all behind to follow Yeshua. He was one of Yeshua's chosen 12.
The temple was destroyed by the Romans, along with the rest of Jerusalem in 70AD.
Towards the end of Matthew, he mentions Yeshua saying that the temple would one day be destroyed, but doesn’t add any note that this was when the Romans did it… So it is almost certain that Matthew was written before 70AD. Yeshua was executed around 30AD, so somewhere in between there, and most likely in the 60’s.
In Jerusalem.


Matthew is the first of four “Gospels”. Four scrolls which describe the life and ministry of Yeshua, the son of Yahweh, the Anointed. (The Hebrew word Messiah, and the Greek word Christ, both mean “Anointed”)

Matthew was written for Jews to realise that Yeshua was their Messiah. The one they had been waiting for for hundreds of years.

Matthew is mostly written in chronological order. Some of the others are not. They were trying to tell you about Yeshua, not just document a person’s life. You can read the gospels in chronological order here: Gospels in Order

Matthew had his own encounter with Yeshua, and left his work as a tax collector to follow him (in Matthew 9). Tax collectors were doubly hated men in Yeshua’s time. First because they collected the taxes on behalf of Rome, and secondly because they usually collected more than they should and kept the rest for themselves.

Before You Read

If you were writing the story of Yeshua, what would you say? Where would you start? Where would you finish?

What are the important things of your journey of discovery of who Yeshua really is?

There are some difficult to understand teachings in Matthew. Write down anything you don’t understand and ask God to show you what they mean. It might take a long time to get an answer, but be patient.

Some of the analogies are helpful. But it would have been easier to just tell the plain truth. Why do you think Yeshua spoke to the people in analogies?

Yeshua was about 30 when he started his public ministry. And based on the number of times he went to Jerusalem for passover we think his ministry only lasted a few years.
Does that inspire you? Are you burning brightly in ministry? Or are you still waiting? What are you waiting for? Everyone can do something. Find your thing and start shining.

Key Verses

Matthew 6:33

But first, seek the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.

Put God first. Do you? In everything? Before work? Before family? First. Always?
Yeshua said that if you do, all your physical needs will be met.
Trust him. It's true.

Matthew 7:1

Don’t judge, so you won’t be judged.

Do you like being judged by others?
Then stop judging them.

Matthew 7:7

Request and it’ll be given to you. Seek and you’ll find. Knock and it’ll be opened to you.

That is a huge promise. Imagine you have a really really rich friend, and he says, look, I've got heaps of money. I'm not going to just give it to you now, but whenever you need anything, just ask and I'll give it to you.
Would you ask? Yeshua has everything you need, physically, spiritually, health, emotionally. If you need something - ask.

Matthew 7:12

All things then, whatever you want people to do to you, do to them in the same way. For this is the law and the prophets.

That's a simple way to sum up how we should live.
It's a great question to ask yourself on a regular basis… am I treating others the way I want to be treated?

Matthew 7:21

Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord. Lord.’ will enter into the kingdom of the heavens, but the one who does the will of my father who’s in the heavens.

That's a bit intimidating! How about you? Will you be in or out?
Some people try to get in by "being good" or "doing good". But Yeshua is the only way in. Your righteousness has to come from him. Otherwise, you could call him Lord, you could spend your time volunteering with the poor, you could give all your money away… but you'll still be out.

Matthew 11:28

Come here to me all you who labour and are loaded down, and I’ll give you rest.

One of the hardest things for us to comprehend with the Gospel is that Yeshua did it all.
We have to stop doing things. We have to stop trying to achieve on our own effort. We have to rest in Yeshua and let him.

Matthew 18:15

And if your brother sins against you, go off and expose him, just between you and him. If he listens to you then you’ve gained your brother.

This is a great verse. It's great advice. Don't go and tell anyone else, don't spread gossip and rumours - go and see the person face to face. Maybe it was just a misunderstanding and you can clear it up.
The next part says that if you can't then take a few friends and see if they can decide between you. And if that doesn't work, tell the whole church and let them decide.
Many people are afraid of confrontation, but Yeshua says we need to face it early.

Matthew 24:36

And nobody knows about that day and hour, not even the messengers of the heavens, except only my father.

Yeshua told us quite a bit about the end times. And a lot of people speculate about it being this year or that year.
But he was very specific here. Nobody knows. Not even him! So forget the speculation and just be ready.

Matthew 28:19-20

As you go, disciple all the nations, immersing them into the name of the father, and of the son, and of the holy spirit, and teaching them to keep all things, whatever I’ve directed you. And look! I’m among you all the days until the conclusion of the age. Amen.”

This is a pretty famous verse. But one thing that is very important. All the "you"s are plural. This was said to a crowd. It was a team command. Like telling a soccer team to score goals.
Not every player will score a goal. They have to work together, each doing their role as well as they possibly can, to score goals.
What's your role on Yeshua's team? Do it well, and don't feel guilty if you're not a goal-scorer.

After You Read

What verses really stood out to you?

How would you summarize this book in a sentence or two? What is it about? What is God trying to say to us?

The magicians were most likely Zoroastrians from Persia. And it seems they were into astrology! (But they got it right). God said in Genesis 1 that the sun, moon and stars were put into the heavens to give us signs. That certainly isn’t the modern star signs rubbish, but what do you think that is all about?

The sermon on the mount is often misunderstood by Christians. As you read the New Testament you will see over and over again that we are no longer under the Old Testament Law. (The Ten Commandments, etc… are just for Jews).
At first this sermon seems to be saying that we ARE under law, in fact we should be super strict and go beyond the Law. In fact, Yeshua is saying that to be right with God you do need to be much more righteous than just obeying the Law, you need to go way beyond that.
The Pharisees were thought of by everyone as being very strict with the Law. Yeshua said you need a righteousness way beyond theirs.
What he was saying is that you need the righteousness that comes from him. It is the only way to be right with God. The Pharisees were living proof that we cannot earn it ourselves. We can only have it when we have received it as a free gift from God.

What did you think about the whole “Lord’s Prayer” thing in Matthew 6? Do you feel like it’s a liturgy that has to be repeated literally? Or is there something more to it?
How does it compare to the Lord’s prayer in Matthew 17?

There are some amazing miracles recorded in Matthew. Which one stands out to you the most? Which one amazes you?

We often think that Yeshua was the only person who ever walked on water, but Petros did it too. That’s pretty cool stuff! How would you respond if Yeshua asked you to walk on water?
He is asking you to do way more than that! Don’t be afraid.

Matthew 24 and 25 are all about the things we should expect to see in the end times. Do you see any of them happening now? How much longer do you think it can be?

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