Outline of Matthew

An overview and outline of Matthew intended to assist you as you study God’s holy Word.

Matthew was one of the 12 apostles chosen by Jesus Christ (Matthew 9:9; 10:3). He was a collector of taxes. As such, he was skilled in taking notes and making reports. He also was despised by the Israelites. Tax collectors (sometimes referred to as publicans) were the car-salesmen of their day. They were required to pay a certain amount to Rome, but they were authorized to charge higher prices in order to recompense them for their work. A tax collector could collect as much over the rate as he could. There was no set fee. They were hated by all. Such was Matthew when Christ called him as a disciple.

Many have argued over whether Matthew actually wrote Matthew or whether someone else did, whether Matthew was the first, second, or third gospel written, whether Matthew was written originally in Hebrew, Aramaic, or Greek. Papias (60-130 A.D.) stated that Matthew recorded his history in the Hebrew dialect. Ireneus (175-195) states that Matthew was published by Matthew in Hebrew while Peter and Paul were preaching in Rome. Origen (185-254) stated that Matthew was the first gospel written, it was written by Matthew, and it was published in the Hebrew tongue. Thus, the church fathers appear unanimous in the view that Matthew wrote Matthew. Further, it appears, if it was written while Peter and Paul were at Rome, to have been written in the early 60’s. It was written in the land of Israel, probably Jerusalem. If it was the first gospel written, the others could not have been long thereafter.

Afterwards, tradition tells us that Matthew went to Ethiopia and perhaps to some other countries. Eusebius tells us that Matthew wrote Matthew when he was on the point of going also to the other nations. According to some traditions, Matthew died a martyr in Ethiopia. According to Heracleon (about 150 A.D.) and Clemens Alexander, Matthew did not suffer martyrdom.

Whether written in Hebrew or not, the book has a strong Jewish flavor. There are some 61 quotations from the Old Testament in this book and many more allusions. In contrast, Mark has 31, Luke has 26, and John has 16. Of all of the New Testament books, only Romans has more Old Testament quotations (64).

The book is the culmination of the Old Testament and of all of Scripture. In this book is the record of Jesus Christ fulfilling the prophecies of the Old Testament. It is the only gospel to mention the church. It is the gospel that gives us the message of the kingdom. It is the gospel that gives us the Great Commission. From this gospel we can look backwards and forwards, surveying the landscape of Christological history.

The book contains three great discourses, or lessons. The first is what we know of as the Sermon on the Mount and is found in Matthew 5-7. The second is what we know as the Parables of the Kingdom and is found in Matthew 13. The third is the Olivet Discourse and is found in Matthew 24-25. The first is the finest sermon ever recorded on Christian living, the second gives us great insight on the nature of the kingdom, and the third prepares us for the return of Christ.

Many have long recognized that Matthew actually contains 5 discourses. Each discourse ends with the words “It came to pass that when Jesus had finished these words” or something very similar. (7:28; 11:1; 13:53; 19:1; 26:1) Together with a beginning detailing the birth of Christ and an ending detailing his death and resurrection, these 5 discourses form a 7-fold division in the book.

Date: 61 A.D.(?)

I. The Birth Narrative 1-2

  1. The Genealogy from Abraham to Christ 1:1-17
  2. The Announcement of the Birth 1:18-25
  3. The Visit of the Wise Men 2:1-12
  4. The Trip to Egypt 2:13-23

II. The Opening Movement 3-7

  1. The Start of Jesus’ Ministry 3-4
    1. His baptism 3
    2. His temptation 4:1-11
    3. His ministry of preaching and healing 4:12-25
  2. The Sermon on the Mount 5-7
    1. The Beatitudes 5:3-12
    2. The thesis 5:13-16
    3. Relationship with the law 5:17-20
    4. Relationship with tradition 5:21-48
    5. Proper religious practices 6:1-18
    6. Proper focus 6:19-34
    7. Relationship to others and God 7:1-12
    8. Conclusion 7:13-27
    9. Three key verses
      1. Our Condemnation 5:20
      2. Our Hope 6:33
      3. Our Evidence 7:21
  3. Concluding Remarks 7:28-29

III. Call To Service 8-11:1

  1. The Master of Nature and Teaching 8-9:35
    1. A leper 8:1-4
    2. The centurion’s servant 8:5-13
    3. Peter’s mother-in-law 8:14, 15
    4. Many healed 8:16, 17
    5. There is a cost to discipleship 8:18-22
    6. The winds and the waves 8:23-27
    7. 2 demon-possessed men 8:28-8:34
    8. A paralytic 9:1-8
    9. A tax collector 9:9-13
    10. Fasting 9:14-17
    11. Woman with blood problem 9:19-22
    12. Daughter of a ruler 9:18-19, 9:23-26
    13. 2 blind men 9:27-31
    14. A mute man 9:32-34
    15. Much healing 9:35
  2. Discourse on Mission and Service 9:36-10:42
  3. Concluding Remarks 11:1

IV. Here Come the Parables 11:2-13:53

  1. Instruction to a Wayward People 11-12
    1. To the people 11
    2. To the Pharisees 12
  2. The Parables of the Kingdom 13
    1. The Sower – The Word of God will bear fruit in willing lives 13:1-23
    2. The Wheat and Tares – There will be good and bad people 13:24-30 (parable), 36-43 (explanation)
    3. The Mustard Seed – the kingdom will start small but grow great 13:31,32
    4. The Leaven – the kingdom will spread everywhere 13:33-35
    5. Hidden Treasure – the kingdom is worth it 13:44
    6. Pearl of Great Price – all else must be sold 13:45, 46
    7. A Dragnet – the kingdom will be diverse 13:47-52
  3. Concluding Remarks 13:53

V. Offenses and Forgiveness 13:54-19:1

  1. Who Is this Man? 13:54-17:21
    1. Rejected by His own 13:54-58
    2. 5000 fed 14:1-21
    3. Jesus walks on water 14:22-36
    4. The weeds 15:1-20
    5. Canaanite woman 15:21-28
    6. Healing great multitudes 15:29-31
    7. 4,000 fed 15:32-39
    8. The Pharisees and a sign 16:1-12
    9. The confession of Peter 16:13-20
    10. The offense of Peter 16:21-23
    11. The call to discipleship 16:24-28
    12. The Transfiguration 17:1-13
    13. A boy is healed 17:14-21
  2. Discourse on Offenses and Forgiveness 17:22-18:35
    1. Pay your taxes 17:24-27
    2. Be children 18:1-5
    3. Don’t offend children & don’t sin 18:6-14
    4. Go to your offending brother 18:15-20
    5. Be sure to forgive 18:21-35
  3. Concluding Remarks 19:1

VI. The End Times 19:2-26:1-2

  1. Various Teachings 19:2-22:46
    1. Marriage and divorce 19:1-10
    2. Blessing on children 19:13-15
    3. The danger of riches 19:16-30
    4. The danger of greed 20:1-16
    5. The danger of position 20:17-28
    6. Two blind men
    7. Triumphal Entry 21:1-17
    8. The fig tree 21:13-22
    9. Authority questioned 21:23-27
    10. Parable of 2 sons 21:28-32
    11. Parable of wicked vinedressers 21:33-46
    12. Parable of the wedding feast 22:1-14
    13. Jesus tested 22:15-46
  2. The End Times Discourse 23-25:46
    1. The Denunciation of the religious leaders 23
    2. The Olivet Discourse 24-25
      1. The end times 24:1-31
      2. Be ready 24:31-25:13
      3. There will be a judgment 25:14-45
  3. Concluding Remarks 26:1-2

VII. Christ’s Death and Resurrection 26-28

  1. The Plot 26:15
  2. The Anointing 26:6-13
  3. The Passover 26:17-35
  4. The Garden 26:36-56
  5. Trial Before the Jews 26:57-75
  6. Trial Before Pilate 27:1-26
  7. The Crucifixion 27:27-56
  8. The Burial 27:57-66
  9. The Resurrection 28:1-15
  10. The Commission 28:16-20

Key Idea: Christ is the Messiah

Key Passage: 16:16

Key Lesson: Christ is Messiah and King and His Kingdom Begins within us.

2 thoughts on “Outline of Matthew”

  1. I love this site i am doing a bible study on the book of Matthew I can’t seem to find any information on Matthew ex. how he met Jesus,

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