Matthew’s Gospel in Outline
Don Roberts, Cardiff
This book has for its theme "Christ the King". The genealogy in the opening chapter proves that Christ is the legal Heir to the throne of David, thus forging a link with the Old Testament. The phrase "kingdom of heaven" is prominent, and refers to the rule of the world kingdoms by heaven itself. In many parts, the book if prophetic. It can be divided into five sections by observing the recurring phrase: "when he had finished these sayings" at the end of a section. The outline of the book then looks like this:
Introduction, 1. 1 to 4. 11. This portion deals with the King's genealogy, His birth and His temptation, thus laying the foundation for the opening up of the narrative concerning the gospel of Christ.
Section 1. The regulations of the kingdom, 4. 12 to 7. 28. Practical issues are dealt with, outlining the laws of everyday life. The law is established on the firmer basis of love. As believers today, we are not under the law, but under grace, and while we do not fulfil the law, the righteousness (or righteous requirement) of the law is fulfilled in us who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.
Section 2. The rule of the King, 7. 29 to 13. 53. Here emphasis is placed on the King's divine authority. He has authority and power over all disease, people, the elements, demons, sin, religious leaders, and even death. The Scriptures, history, the sabbath, and prophecy are all overruled by Him. An impressive catalogue indeed of His supremacy!
Section 3. The revolt against the King, 13. 54 to 19. 1. The religious leaders revolted against Him because He was of Galilee; because He attacked their traditions; because of His following, and because He exposed the hypocrisy of their hearts.
Section 4. The rejection of the King, 19. 2 to 26. 1. He was rejected by the rulers, as He is today. Chapter 24 is a warning of the awful consequences of rejecting Christ; let men beware that the King does not reject them.
Section 5. The removal of the King, 26. 2 to 27. 66. This was anticipated by the woman who anointed Him, by Judas Iscariot who betrayed Him, by the Lord Himself who foretold the betrayal, the false trials and His death and burial.
Epilogue. The resurrection of the King, ch. 28. What a fitting conclusion! It is not the end, but the beginning of a new world order. The world has not seen or heard the last of Christ; He will yet be seen with power and glory, and He will reign over all nations.