Willmington's Bible at a Glance

Matthew at a Glance

Matthew records the earthly life of Jesus. It begins with the genealogical accounts leading His birth and concludes with His ascension.

Bottom Line Introduction


This report was prepared by Matthew the teacher. In it the sermons of Christ are emphasized. The phrase “the kingdom of heaven” appears 32 times in this book, but nowhere else in the Bible. Matthew presents the first of two New Testament genealogies. (Compare Mt. 1 with Lk. 3.)

Facts Regarding the Author of this Book

1. Who? Matthew. He was a former tax collector (Lk. 5:27-29) whom Christ called to be one of the twelve apostles (Mt. 10:3).

2. What? The book of Matthew.

3. When and where? 65 A.D., from Jerusalem.

4. Why? To present Christ as the King of the Jews.

5. To whom? Israel.

Key Events (with chapter reference)

1. Genealogy of Jesus; Joseph’s dream regarding Mary’s purity

2. Visit by the wise men; flight into Egypt; death of the innocents; return from Egypt to Nazareth

3. Ministry of John the Baptist; baptism of Jesus

4. Temptation of Jesus; Jesus’ first disciples

5-7. Sermon on the Mount

8. Healing of a centurion’s servant and Peter’s mother-in-law; stilling of the storm; delivering of the Gadarene demoniac

9. Healing of a paralytic man and woman with an issue of blood; call of Matthew; raising of Jairus’ daughter

10. Call and commission of the twelve

11. Paying tribute to John the Baptist; Jesus’ great invitation

12. Confrontation with the Pharisees for healing on the Sabbath; the unpardonable sin; the sign of Jonah and the Queen of Sheba

13. Parables of the sower and the seed, tares among the wheat, and others; visit to Nazareth

14. Death of John the Baptist; feeding of the 5000; walking on water

15. Rebuking the Pharisees for their ungodly traditions; delivering a demon possessed girl; feeding of the 4000

16. Hearing Peter’s confession; promising to build the church; predicting His death and resurrection

17. Jesus’ transfiguration; delivering a demon-possessed boy; miracle of the tribute money from the mouth of a fish

18. Parable of the unmerciful servant

19. Dialogue on divorce; the rich young ruler

20. Parable of the laborer; the request by the mother of James and John

21. The triumphal entry; second cleansing of the Temple; miracle of the fig tree; parable of the two sons

22. Parable of the marriage feast; confrontations with the Herodians, Sadducees, and Pharisees

23. Condemnation of the wicked Pharisees; Jesus’ lament over Jerusalem

24-25. The Mount Olivet Discourse

26. Plan of Judas to betray Jesus; events in the Upper Room; prayers and arrest in Gethsemane; trials before the Sanhedrin; Peter’s three denials

27. Remorse and suicide of Judas; trial before Pilate; scourgings, crucifixion and death of Jesus

28. Resurrection of Jesus; giving of His Great Commission

Key Individuals

1. Joseph, godly husband of Mary and legal father of Jesus

2. Mary, wife of Joseph and virgin mother of Jesus

3. Wise men, a devout group of astrologers and astronomers from ancient Babylon and Persia who followed God’s star to Bethlehem and presented the infant Messiah with costly gifts

4. Herod the Great, wicked and cruel King who attempted to murder the infant Jesus

5. John the Baptist, one of Scripture’s greatest men who introduced the Messiah, baptized him, and would later be martyred for his fearless preaching

6. Simon Peter, brother of Andrew and the most outspoken and dynamic of all the twelve apostles

7. Andrew, brother of Simon and early disciple of Jesus

8. James, brother of John, disciple of Jesus and the first to suffer martyrdom

9. John, brother of James, former disciple of John the Baptist, disciple of Jesus, and author of five New Testament books

10. Unnamed centurion, a Gentile soldier who built a synagogue for Israel (Lk. 7:5) who requested Jesus to heal his sick servant and was subsequently commended by the Savior for his great faith

11. Peter’s mother-in-law, who was healed by Jesus of a fever in Capernaum

12. Matthew, former tax collector, disciple of Jesus who later authored the Gospel of Matthew

13. Woman with a twelve year infirmity who was healed simply by touching the hem of Jesus’ garment

14. Herod Antipas, son of Herod the Great who murdered John the Baptist and before whom Jesus stood trial just prior to his crucifixion (Lk. 23:7)

15. Herodias, wicked wife of Herod Antipas who successfully plotted the murder of John the Baptist, aided by her daughter Salome

16. Syrophenician mother, whose wise (and desperate) request to Jesus was rewarded by the healing of her demon-possessed daughter

17. Moses and Elijah, Old Testament lawgiver and prophet who appeared and talked with Jesus during His transfiguration

18. Rich young ruler, Jewish leader who sought eternal life from Jesus but then allowed his great wealth to stand in his way

19. Mother of James and John, who asked Jesus that her two sons be allowed to sit on His right and left hand in the Kingdom

20. Caiaphas, wicked Jewish High Priest who plotted with the Sanhedrin to crucify Jesus

21. Mary of Bethany, sister of Martha and Lazarus (Jn. 12:1-2) who anointed the Savior at Bethany just prior to His death

22. Pilate, Roman governor before whom Jesus stood on two occasions during His unfair trials and the man who ordered the Savior to be scourged and crucified

23. Barabbas, an insurrectionist, robber, and murderer whom Pilate released, as demanded by the Jewish rulers instead of the innocent Savior

24. Simon of Cyrene, the man ordered by the Romans to help Jesus carry His cross to Golgotha

25. Judas Iscariot, evil apostle who betrayed Jesus for 30 pieces of silver and later hanged himself

26. Mary Magdalene, former demon-possessed woman (Lk. 8:2), and the first person to see the resurrected Christ (Jn. 20:1-17)

27. Joseph of Arimathaea, wealthy believer who secured the lifeless body of Jesus and placed it in his own new tomb

Key Places

1. Bethlehem: birthplace of Jesus, visited by both the shepherds and the wise men

2. Jerusalem: capital city of Israel and location of Herod’s Temple, both of which would later be destroyed by the Romans as predicted by Jesus (24:2)

3. Egypt: nation where Joseph took Mary and the infant Jesus to escape the wrath of Herod

4. Nazareth: city in Galilee where Jesus lived from age 2 to 30

5. Judean wilderness: a region along the west side of the Dead Sea where John the Baptist preached his ministry of repentance

6. Jordan River: body of water connecting the Sea of Galilee in the north with the Dead Sea in the south, used by John the Baptist to baptize his converts

7. Galilee: the Jewish region north of Samaria which included such towns as Nazareth, Capernaum, Cana, Bethsaida, etc.

8. Wilderness temptation: a desolate area probably southeast of Jericho where Jesus was tempted

9. Capernaum: a city in Galilee, chosen by Jesus to become His northern headquarters, where He would preach and perform many of His sermons and miracles

10. Sea of Galilee: a lake in the Jordan Valley, some 7 miles wide by 14 miles long, where Jesus would perform many miracles

11. Decapolis: a loose federation of ten cities banded together for trading, located on both sides of the Jordan River

12. Gadara: one of the cities of the Decapolis, located east of the Sea of Galilee where Jesus healed a demon possessed maniac

13. Sodom and Gomorrah: two Old Testament cities destroyed by God, used to illustrate the divine wrath upon all who would reject His message of repentance

14. Chorazin, Bethsaida, Capernaum: three cities in Galilee rebuked for their unbelief by Jesus

15. Nineveh: Old Testament capital city of Assyria, that repented upon hearing the preaching of Jonah, referred to by the Savior to contrast the unbelief of His own generation

16. Syrophenicia: country on the coast of Syria. Jesus healed the heartbroken mother of a demon possessed daughter from this area.

17. Caesarea Philippi: area at the base of Mt. Hermon where Jesus announced His plan to build His church

18. Mt. of Transfiguration: a probable reference to Mt. Hermon upon which Jesus was transfigured

19. Jericho: a city west of the Jordan River, some five miles from the Dead Sea where Jesus healed blind Bartimaeus

20. Bethphage: a village near Bethany on the Mount of Olives where Jesus began His triumphal entry into Jerusalem on the foal of an ass

21. Bethany: a village some 20 miles from Jerusalem on the Mt. of Olives, home of Mary, Martha, and Lazarus

22. Gethsemane: a garden located at the western base of Mount Olivet, where Jesus prayed His prayers of agony

23. Akeldama: literally, “a field of blood,” bought by the Jewish priests with the blood money returned to them by the traitor Judas

24. Cyrene: home city of Simon in North Africa who bore the cross of Jesus to Calvary

25. Golgotha: literally, “a skull,” where Jesus was crucified

26. Arimathea: home of Joseph, wealthy Jewish believer, who secured Jesus’ lifeless body and buried it in his own new tomb

Unique Features

1. Two of Christ’s Longest Discourses are found in Matthew. Both were preached on a mountain:

The Sermon on the Mount (ch. 5-7)

The Mount of Olives Discourse (ch. 24-25)

2. The longest series of parables are found in chapter 13.

3. The last three gospel parables are recorded in chapter 25.

4. No other gospel account relates these three

5. More miracles are included in his book than in the other three gospel accounts.

6. He was the only I.R.S. agent to author a biblical book!

7. His is the only gospel account mentioning:

Immanuel (1:23) the only N.T. reference

Herod the Great (2:1) the only N.T. reference

The word “church” (16:18; 18:17)

The only usage of the word “Gentile” in the Gospel accounts (5:47; 6:7; 18:17)

The word “regeneration” (19:28). Found in only one other biblical book (Titus 3:5)

8. The phrase “Kingdom of heaven” is mentioned 33 times, more than any other biblical book.

9. Matthew has more to say about money than any other N.T. book.

10. The Son of David title for Jesus is found ten times, more than any of the three Gospels.

11. This is also the case regarding the terms righteous and righteousness.

12. More about Peter is given in Matthew’s gospel.

13. Matthew also provides:

The most lengthy account of the 12 being sent out (10)

The only self-description of Jesus by Jesus (11:28-30)

The only account of a believer being directly influenced by Satan himself (16:23)

The most lengthy condemnation of the Pharisees (23)

14. There is a heavy emphasis on fulfilled O.T. prophecy in Matthew:

His birth (1:23; Isa. 9:6)

His birthplace 2:6; Micah 5:2)

The return from Egyptian sojourn (2:15; Hosea 11:1)

The killing of the Bethlehem babies (2:18; Jere. 31:15)

His residence in Nazareth (2:23; Isa. 11:1)

The work of His forerunner (3:3; Isa. 40:13)

His ministry location in Galilee (4:15, 16; Isa. 9:1, 2)

His healing ministry (8:17; Isa. 53:4).

His gentle ministry as God’s servant (12:18-21; Isa. 42:1-4)

His teaching (13:35; Isa. 45:3)

His triumphal entry (21:5; Zech. 9:9)

His arrest (26:57; Isa. 53:7)

15. Events found only in Matthew:

Gabriel’s reassurance to Joseph (1:18-25)

Visit by the wise men (2:1-12)

Trip to Egypt (2:13-18)

Move from Egypt to Nazareth (2:19-23)

Denouncing of unbelieving Galilean cities (11:20-24)

The promise to found His church (16:17-20)

Instructions concerning forgiveness (18:15-35)

Death of Judas (27:3-10)

Account of Pilate washing his hands (27:24, 25)

Signs following the crucifixion—the earthquake and raising of dead bodies (27:51-53)

Sealing of the tomb (27:62-66)

Opening of the tomb (28:2-4)

Appearance before the women (28:9, 10)

Report of the guard (28:11-15)

Christ’s final tears over Jerusalem (23:37-39)

16. Parables found only in Matthew:

Two gates, two goals (7:13, 14)

The cook’s leaven and the kingdom of heaven (13:33)

Finding a fortune in a field (13:44)

The pearl of great price (13:45, 46)

Sorting out a sea catch (13:47-50)

A trained man and his treasures (13:52)

The forgiven who wouldn’t forgive (18:23-35)

Hourly workers and daily wages (20:1-16)

The two sons who changed their minds (21:28-32)

The wedding guest with no wedding garment (22:1-14)

Virgins, vessels, and vigilance (25:1-13)

Parable of the talents (25:14-30)

Separating the sheep and the goats (25:31-46)

17. Miracles found only in Matthew:

Healing two blind men (9:27-31)

Healing a deaf demonic (9:32-33)

The fish with a coin in its mouth (17:24-27)

Comparison with Other Bible Books

1. Mark, Luke, and John: their presentation of Jesus can be contrasted as follows:

Matthew presents Jesus as king and emphasizes His sermons

Mark presents Jesus as a servant and emphasizes His miracles

Luke presents Jesus as the perfect man and emphasizes His parables

John presents Jesus as the mighty God and emphasizes His doctrine

2. Acts: Both Matthew and Acts serve as bridge books

Matthew – bridging the Old Testament with the New Testament

Acts – bridging the Gospels with the epistles

3. Revelation:

Matthew 24 helps explain the seal judgments of Rev. 6:1-8:1

Titles for and Types of Jesus

1. Jesus Christ (1:1a)

2. Son of David (1:1b)

3. Son of Abraham (1:1c)

4. Christ Jesus (1:16)

5. Immanuel (1:23)

6. King of the Jews (2:2)

7. A governor (2:6)

8. Young child (2:8)

9. God’s son (2:15)

10. A Nazarene (2:23)

11. The Lord (3:3)

12. God’s beloved son (3:17)

13. A light to the Gentiles (4:15, 16)

14. The fulfiller of the Law (5:17)

15. Lord (7:22)

16. Master (8:19)

17. Son of man (8:20)

18. Bridegroom (9:15)

19. The meek and lowly one (11:29)

20. Greater than Jonah (12:41)

21. Greater than Solomon (12:42)

22. Sower (13:3, 37)

23. Merchant (13:44-46)

24. Carpenter’s son (13:55)

25. A prophet without honor (13:57)

26. John the Baptist (14:2)

27. A ghost (14:26)

28. Elijah (or) Jeremiah (16:14)

29. Son of the Living God (16:16)

30. King (18:23)

31. Householder (20:1)

32. The prophet of Nazareth (21:11)

33. The rejected cornerstone (21:42)

34. Jesus of Nazareth (26:71)

35. King of the Jews (27:11)

36. That righteous man (27:19)

37. The destroyer of the temple (27:40)

38. King of Israel (27:42)

Dr. H. L. Willmington
Founder & Dean, Willmington School of the Bible
Founder & Dean, Liberty Home Bible Institute
Professor, Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary

Copyright © 2007 by Harold L. Willmington. Used by Permission. All Rights Reserved.

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