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The Gospel According to

Mat the w
For centuries, Jews had anxiously waited for the Messiah, basing their dreams
and expectations on a multitude of Old Testament promises. To Abraham, the father of the nation of Israel, God promised that through him all the families of the
earth [would] be blessed (Gen.12:3). To David, Israels most beloved ruler, God
likewise promised an enduring kingdom (2Sam.7:16). Through the prophets, God
renewed this promise by providing details about the One who would fulfill it (for
example, Is.7:14; 9:6, 7; Dan.2:44; 7:13, 14).
Over the years, various figures came and went. Some claimed to be the Messiah; some were
regarded as likely candidates. But none proved convincing or fulfilled the expectations either
of scholars who carefully studied the Scriptures, or of everyday people who developed their
own ideas about what the Chosen One would accomplish.
Then along came Jesus. He claimed to be Gods Son. He performed extraordinary miracles
that seemed to indicate divine power. This rabbi, or teacher, spoke with unprecedented authority and attracted followers from unexpected walks of life. Yet He was largely rejected by
the nations spiritual leaders. He died a criminals death. How could He be the fulfillment of
Gods promises? Was He really Israels Messiah?
Matthews Gospel answers with a resounding yes! Matthews account is filled with Old Testament prophecies that point to Jesus as Gods Chosen One (Matt.1:23; 2:6, 15, 18, 23, to mention just a few). The disciple wanted his fellow Jews to study the Scriptures and see that Jesus is
the Christ, the Son of David, the Son of Abraham, and the Son of God.
However, while this book speaks to Old Testament prophecies, it is more than merely a
Jewish Gospel. It is a global Gospel. In Jesus, all peoples of the world may find hope regardless
of their ethnic or religious background. All are eligible for Gods blessing. All can participate in
His salvation. Every human being is welcome to the unparalleled joy of Gods ways, love, and
values through His Son, Jesus the Messiah.
As a tax collector, Matthew was a member of a group detested by other Jews. Tax collectors
were perceived not only as cheats but as mercenaries serving the Romans. Condemned by religious leaders as unrighteous and ostracized by the general public as frauds and traitors, they
found friends only among prostitutes, criminals, and other outcasts.
Yet Jesus selected Matthew to follow Him (9:9). Scripture gives no indication why Jesus
chose Matthew, but it does record the Lords comment, Go and learn what this means: I
desire mercy and not sacrifice [Hos.6:6]. For I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners,
to repentance (Matt.9:13). Apparently the call of Matthew was an act of mercya decision
that outraged smug religionists like the Pharisees. Jesus never condoned nor glorified sinful
choices, but He reached out to people who knew that they were sick and lost. The Book of Matthew shows that Jesus can save anyonethat is, anyone who admits he needs saving.
Early church tradition identifies Matthew as the author of this book. But the Gospel itself
does not name its writer, and it is curious that a man who followed Jesus as closely as Matthew
did would rely so heavily on the work of Mark, who was not among the Twelve. (The Gospel of
Matthew repeats 601 of the 678 verses in the Gospel of Mark, which is believed to have been
the first Gospel written.) One possibility is that Matthew collected Jesus teachings, especially
the five discourses that form the structure of the account, but left it to someone else to combine these sayings with much of Marks Gospel in order to produce what we know as the Gospel
of Matthew. However the book came to be written, it was probably completed well before the
end of the first century a.d.

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Matthew Introduction

Key Events in Matthew

Wise men search for the King of the Jews and find Jesus (Matt.2:112).
King Herod orders the execution of all baby boys in and around Bethlehem in an attempt to kill the infant Jesus (Matt.2:1318).

Jesus is tested by Satan in the wilderness (Matt.4:111).

Jesus delivers the Sermon on the Mount (Matt.57).
Jesus calls Matthew to follow Him (Matt.9:9).
Jesus feeds the five thousand (Matt.14:1321).
Peter confesses that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God (Matt.16:1328).
Peter, James, and John witness the transfiguration of Jesus and the appearance of Moses
and Elijah (Matt.17:19).

Crowds cheer as Jesus enters Jerusalem on a donkey. (Matt.21:111).

Pontius Pilate washes his hands, saying he is innocent of Jesus blood since the multitude is determined to kill Him (Matt.27:24).

Jesus is crucified between two thieves (Matt.27:3554).

Jesus rises from the dead (Matt.28:110).
Jesus commands His followers to make disciples of the nations (Matt.28:1620).




















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Area of












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denotes New Testament




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Matthew 1:23

M atthew
TheGenealogy ofJesus Christ

he book of the genealogy of Jesus

Christ, the Son of David, the Son of
2 Abraham begot Isaac, Isaac begot
Jacob, and Jacob begot Judah and his
brothers. 3 Judah begot Perez and Zerah
by Tamar, Perez begot Hezron, and Hez
ron begot Ram. 4Ram begot Amminadab,
Amminadab begot Nahshon, and Nahshon
begot Salmon. 5Salmon begot Boaz by Ra
hab, Boaz begot Obed by Ruth, Obed begot
Jesse, 6and Jesse begot David the king.
David the king begot Solomon by her
who had been the wifea of Uriah. 7Sol
omon begot Rehoboam, Rehoboam begot
Abijah, and Abijah begot Asa.a 8Asa begot
Jehoshaphat, Jehoshaphat begot Joram,
and Joram begot Uzziah. 9Uzziah begot
Jotham, Jotham begot Ahaz, and Ahaz be
got Hezekiah. 10Hezekiah begot Manasseh,
Manasseh begot Amon,a and Amon begot
Josiah. 11Josiah begot Jeconiah and his
brothers about the time they were carried
away to Babylon.
12 And after they were brought to Bab
ylon, Jeconiah begot Shealtiel, and Sheal
tiel begot Zerubbabel. 13Zerubbabel begot
Abiud, Abiud begot Eliakim, and Eliakim
begot Azor. 14 Azor begot Zadok, Zadok be
got Achim, and Achim begot Eliud. 15Eliud
begot Eleazar, Eleazar begot Matthan, and
Matthan begot Jacob. 16And Jacob begot
Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom was
born Jesus who is called Christ.
17So all the generations from Abraham
to David are fourteen generations, from

Name Means Gift of the Lord.
Also known as: Levi.
Home: Capernaum, the headquarters of Jesus
ministry; later, Damascus.
Family: Son of Alphaeus.
Occupation: Tax collector; later, a writer and
pastor in Damascus.
Special interests: Collecting Jesus sermons
and stories. He preserved them in a book
regarded by some as a new Torah because it
shows Jesus fulfilling Old Testament prophecy
and reshaping Mosaic law.
Best known as: The author of the Book of
Think About It: What obstacles do you suppose
Matthew faced by switching occupations from
disreputable tax collector to more honorable
work? How might he have managed these?

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David until the captivity in Babylon are

fourteen generations, and from the captiv
ity in Babylon until the Christ are fourteen

Christ Born ofMary

18 Now the birth of J

esus Christ was
as follows: After His mother Mary was
betrothed to Joseph, before they came
together, she was found with child of the
Holy Spirit. 19T hen Joseph her husband,
being a just man, and not wanting to make
her a public example, was minded to put
her away secretly. 20But while he thought
about these things, behold, an angel of the
Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying,
Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to
take to you Mary your wife, for that which
is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit.
21And she will bring forth a Son, and you
shall call His name Jesus, for He will save
His people from their sins.
22 So all this was done that it might be
fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord
through the prophet, saying: 23Behold, the
virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son,
and they shall call His name Immanuel,a
which is translated, God with us.

1:6aWords in italic type have been added

for clarity. They are not found in the original
Greek. 1:7aNUText reads Asaph.
1:10aNUText reads Amos. 1:23aIsaiah 7:14.
Words in oblique type in the New Testament are
quoted from the Old Testament.

Jesus Family Tree

Genealogies may seem irrelevant, but they
serve multiple important purposes. Matthew
opens his book with Jesus family tree to
demonstrate at least three crucial facts:
1. Jesus was Gods Son yet a flesh-and-
blood human being. This is a difficult
concept but central reality (see Jesus
Family Line at Luke 3:2338). We
worship a God who actually knows what
its like to live as a human being (see
Heb.2:17-18, 4:14-16).
2. Jesus was Israels long-awaited Messiah.
Note how prominently David and
Abraham appear.
3. Jesus is Savior of every tribe and every
nation. His genealogy reaches beyond
the Jews to include other ethnic groups
(see The Women in Jesus Genealogy
at Matt.1:36). Jesus came to make
disciples of all the nations (28:19).
More: See The Purpose of Genealogies at
Gen. 5:1 and Genealogies: Records of Gods
Grace at 1Chr.1:29.

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Matthew 1:24

God-With-U s
Jesus is Immanuel, God-With-Us (Is.7:14).
Rather than demand that we attempt the
impossible task of reaching Him, God came
to us as a human being and took up residence in our world (John 1:14). He showed
us how to live. He brought a salvation that
invites us not to escape the world but to engage our surroundings. Because God is with
us, we can undertake the tasks He has for
us right where we live and work. Since He
is with us, we have the power to face the
world (see You Shall Receive Power at Acts
1:8). And rather than taking us out of the
turmoil of life in this world, Jesus walks with
us through it.

24T hen Joseph, being aroused from

sleep, did as the angel of the Lord com
manded him and took to him his wife, 25and
did not know her till she had brought forth
her firstborn Son.a And he called His name

Wise Men from theEast

ow after Jesus was born in Bethlehem

of Judea in the days of Herod the king,
behold, wise men from the East came to
Jerusalem, 2saying, Where is He who has
been born King of the Jews? For we have
seen His star in the East and have come to
worship Him.
3W hen Herod the king heard this, he
was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him.
4 And when he had gathered all the chief
priests and scribes of the people together,
1:25aNUText reads a Son.

The Women in Jesus Genealogy

Matt.1:3 6
Matthews genealogy highlights four women in Jesus background in addition to His mother
Mary. Each was touched by scandal, and all were remembered in part as sinners and foreigners.
Their inclusion shows that Jesus is the Messiah for women as well as men, and for people disparaged by others for their bloodlines or past behavior. He is the Messiah for all people, regardless
of gender, ethnicity, or past mistakes.

Tamar (Matt.1:3; Gen.38:130)

Widowed by Er, Judahs firstborn son.
Married Onan, Judahs second son, who
refused to consummate their marriage. His
death left her childless and with no means
of support.
Sent home to her own village by her father-
in-law Judah, who shirked his responsibility
to provide another husband.
Prostituted herself to trick Judah into
fathering an heir to provide for her. The
child continued the family line that led to
Jesus. Judah acknowledged that Tamar was
more righteous than I (Gen.38:26).

Rahab (Matt.1:5;
Josh.2:124; 6:2225)
A Canaanite prostitute in Jericho.
Sheltered two Hebrew spies in exchange for
protection from Israelites surrounding the
Married a Hebrew and gave birth to Boaz,
Davids great-grandfather.
Praised for her trust (Heb.11:31) and for
putting faith into action (James 2:25).

Ruth (Matt.1:5; the Book of Ruth)

A woman from Moab, a nation born through
Lots incest with his daughters (Gen.19:30
38); Moab was a bitter enemy of Israel.
Left alone and childless when her Hebrew
husband died.

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Migrated to Israel with her mother-in-law

Married Boaz (Rahabs son) and gave
birth to Obed, making her Davids great-
grandmother. Ruth and Boazs marriage
joined hostile nationsIsrael and Moab
to accomplish Gods will.

Uriahs Wife (Matt.1:6;

Unnamed by Matthew but named in the
Old Testament: Bathsheba, wife of Uriah
the Hittite.
Attracted King Davids interest while she
was taking a bath on her roof.
Summoned by King David, who committed
adultery with her.
Endured Davids murder of her husband
and the death of the child she conceived
by David as a result of their adultery.
Married David and gave birth to a second
child, Davids successor Solomon. If
Bathsheba was a Hittite like Uriah, then
Solomon was half-Jew, half-Gentile.
However, she was more likely a Hebrew
who had married a Hittite sojourner.
More: See Tamars profile at Gen.38:6; Rahabs
profile at Josh.2:3; and Ruths profile at Ruth 1:4.
To learn more about Bathsheba, see Admit Early,
Dont Cover-Up at 2Sam.11:4, 5.

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Matthew 2:9

7T hen Herod, when he had secretly

he inquired of them where the Christ was
called the wise men, determined from
to be born.
5So they said to him, In Bethlehem of them what time the star appeared. 8 And
Judea, for thus it is written by the prophet: he sent them to Bethlehem and said, Go
and search carefully for the young Child,
6 But you, Bethlehem, in the land of
and when you have found Him, bring back
word to me, that I may come and worship
Are not the least among the rulers
Him also.
of Judah;
9W hen they heard the king, they de
For out of you shall come a
parted; and behold, the star which they had
seen in the East went before them, till it
Who will shepherd My people
2:6aMicah 5:2

A Month-L ong Journey with Jesus

The most important thing The Life Application Bible can do is help
people know Jesus Christ. Nothing matters more than our relationship
with Him. These 31 readings, listed in the order of their occurrence in
the New Testament, are a good way to begin getting acquainted with
our Savior.

Day 1
Jesus is born,
then becomes a
refugee as an evil
king seeks to kill
Him. Finally, His
family returns

Day 2

Day 3

Day 4

Day 5

Day 6





Mark 4:141

Jesus confronts very real


Jesus faces rejection based on

His family, their
work, and the
small size of His

Jesus speaks
out against
deceit, pride, and

Jesus judges
mankind according to mercy
and compassion
rather than
outward displays
of spirituality.

Jesus begins
to explain the
kingdom of God,
using stories and
images from the

Day 7

Day 8

Day 9

Day 10

Day 11

Luke 2:152

Luke 4:1437

Luke 6:1749

Luke 9:1836

Luke 22:124:53

Luke describes
events connected
with Jesus birth
and tells of an
incident during a
boyhood trip to

Jesus goes public

with His purpose
and immediately encounters

Jesus teaches basic truths about

attitudes, charity,
evaluating others, and making
wise decisions.

Jesus talks with

His followers
about who He is.

Jesus is betrayed,
judged, executed, buried,
resurrected, and
reconnected with
His followers.

Day 12

Day 13

Day 14

Day 15

Day 16

John 1:118

John 5:1947

John 6:3551

John 8:1230

John 10:118

John, one of
Jesus followers,
describes how
God became a
man through
Christ, who is
full of grace and

Jesus explains His

relationship with
His Father and
its implications
for us.

Jesus teaches that

He is the Bread
of Life and shares
how people can
find Him.

Jesus announces
that He is the
Light of the

Jesus asserts that

He is the Good
Shepherd who
seeks His Fathers
lost sheep.

continued on next page

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Matthew 2:10

The Gifts of the Magi

Scripture does not say what happened to
the gifts that the wise men presented to
Jesus. Their gold, frankincense, and myrrh
were an expression of the Magis worship of
the newborn King. Some have supposed
that the costly gifts may have enabled Jesus
familys flight to Egypt (Matt.2:1315).
The angels warning to Joseph was sudden and unexpected. There was no time
to save money for the journey, if saving
was even an option. Jesus family was indisputably poor (see A Lowly Sacrifice for
the Highest at Luke 2:2224), and the gifts
they received from the wise men probably
represented more wealth than Joseph and
Mary would see in a lifetime. God promises
to care for His childrens needs (Matt.6:19
34), and in this case, the offerings of strangers may have paid for a new life in a foreign

came and stood over where the young Child

was. 10W hen they saw the star, they rejoiced
with exceedingly great joy. 11And when
they had come into the house, they saw the
young Child with Mary His m
other, and fell
down and worshiped Him. And when they
had opened their treasures, they presented
gifts to Him: gold, frankincense, and myrrh.
12T hen, being divinely warned in a
dream that they should not return to Herod,
they departed for their own country anoth
er way.

TheFlight into Egypt

13Now when they had departed, behold,

an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph
in a dream, saying, Arise, take the young
Child and His mother, flee to Egypt, and
stay there until I bring you word; for Herod
will seek the young Child to destroy Him.
14W hen he arose, he took the young
Child and His mother by night and departed
for Egypt, 15and was there until the death
of Herod, that it might be fulfilled which
was spoken by the Lord through the proph
et, saying,Out of Egypt I called My Son.a

2:15aHosea 11:1

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Day 17

Day 18

Day 19

Day 20

Day 21

John 11:112:8

John 14:115:8

John 21:1525

Acts 2:2242


Jesus describes
His relationship
with some of His
friends and their
profound love
and care for each

Jesus explains
that He is the
Way, the Truth,
and the Life.

Jesus loves Peter,

even though he
had denied Him
and was jealous
of another

Peter explains
Jesus to a
massive crowd
in Jerusalem and
welcomes 3,000
people into the

Paul explains
how Jesus sets
people free from
sin and makes
them acceptable
to God.

Day 22

Day 23

Day 24

Day 25

Day 26





Paul teaches
about Jesus
resurrection and
the destruction
of our enemy,

Paul describes
Jesus work for
us from three
vantage points:
before creation,
in the present,
and in eternity.

Paul explains
the choices Jesus
made in order
to become a
man, as well as
the choices we
should make in
following Him.

Paul states that

Jesus is Lord of
today, and


Day 27

Day 28

Day 29

Day 30

Day 31





The author
of Hebrews
describes Jesus
complete and
wonderful work
on our behalf.

The author of
Hebrews asserts
that Jesus has
every kind of test
or trial we will
ever face.

Jesus takes away

sin, once and for
all. Forgiveness is
ours in Him.

Peter explains
that our salvation
in Jesus is a
reality that even
the angels and
Old Testament
prophets did not


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Paul testifies
that Jesus will
return and bring
history to its

Jesus will rule

heaven and earth
and will welcome
believers to eternal life with Him
in heaven.

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Matthew 3:3

to Joseph in Egypt, 20 saying, Arise, take

16T hen Herod, when he saw that he was the young Child and His mother, and go
deceived by the wise men, was exceedingly to the land of Israel, for those who sought
angry; and he sent forth and put to death all the young Childs life are dead. 21T hen he
the male children who were in Bethlehem arose, took the young Child and His moth
and in all its districts, from two years old er, and came into the land of Israel.
22 But when he heard that Archelaus
and under, according to the time which he
had determined from the wise men. 17T hen was reigning over Judea instead of his fa
was fulfilled what was spoken by Jeremiah ther Herod, he was afraid to go there. And
being warned by God in a dream, he turned
the prophet, saying:
aside into the region of Galilee. 23And he
18 A voice was heard in Ramah,
came and dwelt in a city called Nazareth,
Lamentation, weeping, and great
that it might be fulfilled which was spoken
by the prophets, He shall be called a Naz
Rachel weeping for her children,
Refusing to be comforted,
Because they are no more.
John theBaptist Prepares theWay

Massacre oftheInnocents

TheHome in Nazareth

when Herod was dead, behold,

an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream

In those days John the Baptist came

preaching in the wilderness of Judea,
saying, Repent, for the kingdom of
heaven is at hand! 3For this is he who was
spoken of by the prophet Isaiah, saying:
2 and

The voice of one crying in the

Prepare the way of the Lord;
Make His paths straight.a

Jesus the Refugee



Mediterranean Sea

Sea of




2:18aJeremiah 31:15 3:3aIsaiah 40:3











The nativity story in Matthew shows Jesus as

a refugee fleeing certain death in His homeland. The family found political sanctuary in
Egypt, avoiding the infanticide ordered by
King Herod, the ruthless ruler of Palestine.
The text does not divulge where exactly
the family stayed. They may have found refuge among the one million Jews estimated to
have lived in Alexandria at the time. We do
know that Jesus, perhaps close to two years
old at the start of the journey (Matt. 2:16),
spent at least some of His formative years
in Africa. When the family migrated back
to Palestine (2:22, 23), they settled not in a
privileged neighborhood but in Nazareth, a
small town in rural Galilee.
Jesus identifies with the displaced peoples of the world. He is a worldwide Savior
who understands the trauma of being forced
to emigrate due to natural disasters, famine,
or political unrest.
More: Africans played a significant role in biblical history. See Africans in the Bible at Jer.38:7.

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Grieving the Loss of a Child

In Matthew 2:18, Matthew quotes the
prophet Jeremiahs description of Rachel as
wailing over the exiled tribes (Jer. 31:15).
Rachel had lots of experience with tears. Her
father tricked her fianc into marrying her
sister. After she did finally get married, she
remained childless for years (Gen. 29:1
30:24). And just as Rachel could not be comforted, the weeping in Bethlehem could not
have been quickly silenced. The murdered
babies of Bethlehem and the scattered exiles
of Israel shared a common bond: in both
cases, innocent people suffered as a result
of the proud, ungodly acts of the powerful.
The tragic account in Matthew 2 shows a
wickedly jealous king slaughtering a villages
baby boys in order to protect his throne. The
scene reminds us that adult sins still take
the lives of countless children. Like Rachel,
mothers all over the world weep for their
childrenmany in developing nations and
abusive homes.
Jesus offers comfort to all who grieve the
loss of a child. The deaths of the infant boys
of Bethlehem must have been a pain He carried throughout His life and onto the cross.
Significantly, Jesus went out of His way to
affirm and bless children, and warn adults
of the perils of misleading them (Matt.18:6,
7; 19:1315). Let the little children come to
Me, Jesus said, for of such is the kingdom
of heaven (19:14).

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Matthew 3:4


4 Now John himself was clothed in cam

els hair, with a leather belt around his

waist; and his food was locusts and wild
honey. 5T hen Jerusalem, all Judea, and all
the region around the Jordan went out to
him 6and were baptized by him in the Jor
dan, confessing their sins.
7But when he saw many of the Pharisees
and Sadducees coming to his baptism, he
said to them, Brood of vipers! Who warned
you to flee from the wrath to come? 8T here
fore bear fruits worthy of repentance, 9and
do not think to say to yourselves, We have
Abraham as our father. For I say to you
that God is able to raise up children to
Abraham from these stones. 10And even
now the ax is laid to the root of the trees.
Therefore every tree which does not bear
good fruit is cut down and thrown into the
fire. 11I indeed baptize you with water unto
repentance, but He who is coming after me
is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not
worthy to carry. He will baptize you with
the Holy Spirit and fire.a 12His winnowing
fan is in His hand, and He will thoroughly
clean out His threshing floor, and gather
His wheat into the barn; but He will burn up
the chaff with unquenchable fire.

John Baptizes Jesus

13T hen Jesus came from Galilee to John

the Jordan to be baptized by him. 14 And

John tried to prevent Him, saying, I need
to be baptized by You, and are You coming
to me?
15But Jesus answered and said to him,
Permit it to be so now, for thus it is fitting
for us to fulfill all righteousness. Then he
allowed Him.
16W hen He had been baptized, Jesus
came up immediately from the water; and
behold, the heavens were opened to Him,
and Hea saw the Spirit of God descending
like a dove and alighting upon Him. 17And
suddenly a voice came from heaven, say
ing, This is My beloved Son, in whom I am
well pleased.

Satan Tempts Jesus

hen J esus was led up by the Spirit into

the wilderness to be tempted by the dev

il. 2And when He had fasted forty days and

forty nights, afterward He was hungry.

3Now when the tempter came to Him, he
said, If You are the Son of God, command
that these stones become bread.
4 But He answered and said, It is writ
ten, Man shall not live by bread alone,
but by every word that proceeds from the
mouth of God.a
5T hen the devil took Him up into the
holy city, set Him on the pinnacle of the
temple, 6 and said to Him, If You are
the Son of God, throw Yourself down. For
it is written:

He shall give His angels charge over

3:11aMText omits and fire. 3:16aOr he
4:4aDeuteronomy 8:3

Real Temptation
The account of Jesus temptation in Matthew
4:111 demonstrates that Jesus understands
exactly what we endure, because He faced
the same enticements to sin that we encounter in our lives. And because He was
able to resist, He can help us do the same
(Heb.2:18). He completely understands our
feelings, and He can train us in practical
steps toward doing right despite the appeal
of doing wrong.
More: Temptation is not sin, but giving in is. See
Persistent Prayer at Luke 11:513. Few Bible
teachings have more practical implications than
the truth that people are fallen and continually
battle urges to do wrong. See Escaping Temptation at 1Cor.10:12, 13.

The Purpose of Strength


Money Temptations

If we think that strength is nothing more

than the power to dominate, we will always
be intimidated by those who seem to have
more than usmore expertise, experience,
energy, intelligence. But John the Baptist
had a different understanding of strength. It
was a gift from God to be used for His purposes. Johns humility gave him remarkable
energy (Matt. 3:5) to welcome and to serve
othersin this case, the Son of God.

As we struggle to follow God in a materialistic

culture, we are wise to recognize that a longing for money and all that it symbolizes
prestige, power, luxury, authoritycan be a
powerful tool in Satans hands. The devil employed this tool in his attempt to draw Christ
away from His mission. When we feel tempted by wealth, whether we have it or yearn for
it, Christs response in verse 10 equips us. He
fought off wealths temptation by recalling
that only God is worthy of worship. Serving
money will make us a slave. Period.

More: Like John, Paul challenged Gods people

to cultivate humility, an incredibly powerful
choice. See Humility: The Scandalous Virtue
at Phil.2:3.

9780718042523_int_05a_matt_mark_awsb.indd 10

More: See Wealthy People in the New Testament at Matt.27:57.

6/23/15 3:31 PM

Matthew 4:16
been put in prison, He departed to Gali
In their hands they shall bear you up,
Lest you dash your foot against a
lee. 13And leaving Nazareth, He came and
dwelt in Capernaum, which is by the sea, in
7Jesus said to him, It is written again, the regions of Zebulun and Naphtali, that
You shall not tempt the Lord your God.a it might be fulfilled which was spoken by
8Again, the devil took Him up on an ex Isaiah the prophet, saying:
ceedingly high mountain, and showed Him 15 The land of Zebulun and the land of
all the kingdoms of the world and their glo
ry. 9And he said to Him, All these things
By the way of the sea, beyond the
I will give You if You will fall down and
worship me.
Galilee of the Gentiles:
10T hen J
esus said to him, Away with 16 The people who sat in darkness have
you,a Satan! For it is written, You shall
seen a great light,
worship the Lord your God, and Him only
And upon those who sat in the region
you shall serve.b
and shadow of death
11T hen the devil left Him, and behold,
Light has dawned.a
angels came and ministered to Him.

Jesus Begins His Galilean Ministry


when Jesus heard that John had

4:6aPsalm 91:11, 12 4:7aDeuteronomy

6:16 4:10aMText reads Get behind
Me. bDeuteronomy 6:13 4:16aIsaiah 9:1, 2

The King Declares His Kingdom

Jesus began His public ministry with a simple but urgent call for repentance. It was a familiar
messageidentical, in fact, to sermons given by John the Baptist, Jesus forerunner (Matt.3:2).
Both men urged their listeners to change their minds and hearts for the sake of what they called
the kingdom. But what did that mean?

Who Is the King?

When Is the Kingdom?

Most importantly, the kingdom exists because

Jesus is King. He is the Messiah, the Savior
promised in the Old Testament (1:22, 23;
2:6; Is.7:14; Mic.5:2). He is not only King of
Israel but Lord over every nation (see Jesus
Family Tree at Matt.1:116 and A Savior for
the Whole World at Matt. 8:10). At the start
of His life, the wise men asked Herod where
they could find the King of the Jews (2:2). As
Jesus neared His death, the Roman governor
Pontius Pilate asked Him, Are you the King of
the Jews? When Jesus affirmed that He was
(27:11, 12), Pilate seized upon His response as
reason to crucify Him (27:37).

No less puzzling is the question of when the

kingdom has or will come. As John the Baptist
and Jesus began their ministries, they declared
that the kingdom was at hand (Matt. 3:2;
4:17). A few years later, when Jesus followers
asked whether He was ready to restore Israels
kingdom, He said that the timing of His reign
was something that only His Father could
know (Acts 1:6, 7). Sometimes the kingdom
seemed to be a present reality (Matt. 12:28;
13:1823; 21:43). At other times, it seemed to
be a future hope (16:28; 20:2023; 26:29).
Theologians still debate if and in what form
the kingdom has already been established,
whether it is coming presently or in the future, or if it is coming at all. There is no simple way to understand this essential doctrine.
Jesus followers have puzzled over His statements about the kingdom since the moment
He made them. But many agree that Christs
kingdom began with His birth, continues to
advance as His people live out the gospel message throughout the world, and will not be
ultimately realized until He returns.

Where Is the Kingdom?

Foretold by Scripture and announced by John
the Baptist, Jesus arrived to establish His rule.
But His agenda disappointed many of His contemporaries. They looked back in awe on the
brief decades of Israels prosperous, peaceful
monarchy under David and his son Solomon.
They read Old Testament prophecies as predictions that the Messiah would reestablish
that political kingdom, with some seeing the
Messiahs arrival as an opportunity to overthrow Romes iron rule and set up a free
Jewish state. But Jesus told Pilate that His kingdom was not of this world and that no army
fought on His behalf (John 18:36). He told the
Pharisees that the kingdom was not outwardly
observable but was within (Luke 17:21).

What Is the Kingdom?

Although we cannot define Christs kingdom
with precision, we can say that it has to do
with Christs reignand with all the people,
places, and things over which He rules. This is
why Jesus initiated His ministry with a call to
repentance; the repentance of our sins
continued on next page

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6/23/15 3:31 PM

Matthew 4:17



that time Jesus began to preach

and to say, Repent, for the kingdom of
heaven is at hand.

Four Fishermen Called asDisciples

18And J
esus, walking by the Sea of Gal
ilee, saw two brothers, Simon called Peter,
and Andrew his brother, casting a net into
the sea; for they were fishermen. 19T hen He
said to them, Follow Me, and I will make
you fishers of men. 20T hey immediately
left their nets and followed Him.
21Going on from there, He saw two oth
er brothers, James the son of Zebedee, and
John his brother, in the boat with Zebedee
their father, mending their nets. He called
them, 22and immediately they left the boat
and their father, and followed Him.

Jesus Heals a Great Multitude

23 And J
esus went about all Galilee,
teaching in their synagogues, preaching
the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all
kinds of sickness and all kinds of disease
among the people. 24T hen His fame went
throughout all Syria; and they brought to
Him all sick people who were afflicted with
various diseases and torments, and those
who were demon-possessed, epileptics, and
paralytics; and He healed them. 25Great
multitudes followed Himf rom Galilee,
and from Decapolis, Jerusalem, Judea, and
beyond the Jordan.


nd seeing the multitudes, He went up

on a mountain, and when He was seat
ed His disciples came to Him. 2T hen He
opened His mouth and taught them, saying:
3 Blessed

are the poor in spirit,

For theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
are those who mourn,
For they shall be comforted.
5 Blessed are the meek,
For they shall inherit the earth.
6 Blessed are those who hunger and
thirst for righteousness,
For they shall be filled.
7 Blessed are the merciful,
For they shall obtain mercy.
8 Blessed are the pure in heart,
For they shall see God.
9 Blessed are the peacemakers,
For they shall be called sons of God.
10 Blessed are those who are persecuted
for righteousness sake,
For theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
4 Blessed


are you when they revile and

persecute you, and say all kinds of evil
against you falsely for My sake. 12Rejoice
and be exceedingly glad, for great is your
reward in heaven, for so they persecuted
the prophets who were before you.

Believers Are Salt and Light

13 You are the salt of the earth; but if

the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be sea

continued from previous page

involves a decided change of mind or purpose.

In terms of the kingdom, it involves:
1. A change of allegiance. If Christ is the
King, He deserves our honor, loyalty, and
obedience. We put ourselves under His
authority and power. Whatever He says,
we do. That is the essence of our request
in the Lords Prayer for His kingdom to
come and His will to be done on earth
as it is in heaven (6:10). The citizens of
Christs kingdom submit to the Kings will.
2. A change of expectations. The kingdom
can be difficult to perceive when the
world seems to grow more distant from
God by the day, which makes it tempting
to live as if this present life is all that
matters. But the Christian hope counts
on the fact that there is far more to life
than what we presently see. Jesus made
extraordinary promises about a future
kingdom for all who follow Him as King.
The kingdom may not yet be fulfilled
completely, but it has been established, is
spreading, and will last forever (6:13).
3. A change of values. Modern culture
prizes individual achievement, success,
independence, and high social status.
But kingdom ideals reflect what matters
to the King. Jesus described many of His

9780718042523_int_05a_matt_mark_awsb.indd 12

values in Matthew 5:310, a section of

the Sermon on the Mount known as the
Beatitudes (or as some call them, the
beautiful attitudes). Kingdom people
adopt the Kings values and make choices
in line with those values.
4. A change of priorities. Kingdom living
changes how we spend time and money.
Jesus made an inescapable connection
between His kingdom and our attitude
toward material things (6:2434). Without
disparaging the worth of human labor or
the things we need to live in this world,
He challenges us to incorporate kingdom
values into our pursuit of success. To
seek first the kingdom (6:33) reshapes
our goals, processes, and results.
5. A change of mission. Whether we are
naturally driven to accomplish great tasks
or live from day to day without purpose
or direction, Jesus alters our outlook.
He gives us a purpose and a mission,
commanding us to live as His subjects
and promote kingdom values in every
part of life. He also wants us to extend His
message to the far reaches of earth, giving
everyone everywhere the opportunity
to bow to Him as their Savior and King

6/23/15 3:31 PM

soned? It is then good for nothing but to be
thrown out and trampled underfoot by men.
14You are the light of the world. A city
that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. 15Nor
do they light a lamp and put it under a bas
ket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light
to all who are in the house. 16Let your light
so shine before men, that they may see
your good works and glorify your Father
in heaven.

Matthew 5:24


I say to you, that unless your righ

teousness exceeds the righteousness of
the scribes and Pharisees, you will by no
means enter the kingdom of heaven.

Murder Begins in theHeart

21You have heard that it was said to

those of old, You shall not murder,a and
whoever murders will be in danger of the
judgment. 22But I say to you that whoever
is angry with his brother without a causea
Christ Fulfills theLaw
shall be in danger of the judgment. And
17 Do not think that I came to destroy
whoever says to his brother, Raca! shall
the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to be in danger of the council. But whoever
destroy but to fulfill. 18For assuredly, I say says, You fool! shall be in danger of hell
to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one fire. 23T herefore if you bring your gift to
jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the altar, and there remember that your
the law till all is fulfilled. 19W hoever there brother has something against you, 24leave
fore breaks one of the least of these com your gift there before the altar, and go your
mandments, and teaches men so, shall be way. First be reconciled to your brother,
called least in the kingdom of heaven; but
whoever does and teaches them, he shall 5:21aExodus 20:13; Deuteronomy 5:17
be called great in the kingdom of heaven. 5:22aNUText omits without a cause.

The Way Up Is Down

Of all the virtues Christ commended in the Beatitudes, it is significant that the first is humility,
being poor in spirit, a quality that underlies all the others:
You cannot mourn (Matt.5:4) without
appreciating how insufficient you are to
handle life by your own strength.
You cannot be meek (5:5) unless you have
experienced and admitted a need for
You cannot hunger and thirst for
righteousness (5:6) if you consider yourself
already good. Unlike a Pharisee who
boasted of his righteousness, the humble
tax collector of one of Jesus parables
prayed, God, be merciful to me a sinner!
and went away justified (Luke 18:13).

You cannot be merciful (Matt.5:7) without

recognizing your own need for mercy.
You cannot be pure in heart (5:8) if your
heart is filled with pride.
You cannot be a peacemaker (5:9) if you
believe that you are always right.
You cannot stand up for Christ in the face
of persecution (5:1012) without putting
Him before yourself.
More: Humility is a mindset completely foreign to
our world. See Humility: The Scandalous Virtue
at Phil.2:3.

Salt and Light

Following Jesus goes far beyond private spirituality. It also involves a believers public life, particularly through work and participation in the community. Jesus used two everyday metaphors
to describe how we should impact our world. He called His followers salt and light.
In Jesus day, salt was used not only to season food but also to preserve it from decay.
This implies that Christians help protect society from moral and spiritual decay, especially through work that affects laws and public
opinion. By standing up for Jesus values, we
help to prevent the spread of evil.
Jesus also called us the light of the world.
Light is used both to illuminate and communicate. Jesus wants us to shine not to bring
attention to ourselves but to act as a beacon,
pointing people toward Him. By living in a way

9780718042523_int_05a_matt_mark_awsb.indd 13

that reflects Jesus values, Christians fulfill this

role, attracting people to the gospel through
their actions, which become luminous with
Christs love.
More: It was William Tyndale, in his early English
translation of the Bible, who gave us the expression the salt of the earth (Matt.5:13). Spreading
Christs message requires more than broadcasting
the facts. See Faith Impacts the World at Mark
16:15, 16.

6/23/15 3:31 PM

Matthew 5:25


and then come and offer your gift. 25Agree

with your adversary quickly, while you are
on the way with him, lest your adversary
deliver you to the judge, the judge hand you
over to the officer, and you be thrown into
prison. 26Assuredly, I say to you, you will
by no means get out of there till you have
paid the last penny.

31Furthermore it has been said, Who

ever divorces his wife, let him give her a
certificate of divorce. 32But I say to you that
whoever divorces his wife for any reason
except sexual immoralitya causes her to
commit adultery; and whoever marries a
woman who is divorced commits adultery.

Adultery in theHeart

Jesus Forbids Oaths

27 You have heard that it was said to

those of old,a You shall not commit adul
tery.b 28But I say to you that whoever looks
at a woman to lust for her has already com
mitted adultery with her in his heart. 29If
your right eye causes you to sin, pluck it out
and cast it from you; for it is more profit
able for you that one of your members per
ish, than for your whole body to be cast into
hell. 30And if your right hand causes you
to sin, cut it off and cast it from you; for it
is more profitable for you that one of your
members perish, than for your whole body
to be cast into hell.

Marriage Is Sacred and Binding

33 Again you have heard that it was

said to those of old, You shall not swear
falsely, but shall perform your oaths to the
Lord. 34 But I say to you, do not swear at
all: neither by heaven, for it is Gods throne;
35nor by the earth, for it is His footstool; nor
by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great
King. 36Nor shall you swear by your head,
because you cannot make one hair white or
black. 37But let your Yes be Yes, and your

5:27aNUText and MText omit to those

of old. bExodus 20:14; Deuteronomy 5:18
5:32aOr fornication

The Sermon on the Mount

Matt.5:1, 2
As Jesus began His public ministry in Galilee, He cried out, Repent, for the kingdom of heaven
is at hand (Matt.4:17). His message quickly spread, drawing huge crowds from Galilee, from
nearby Syria and the Decapolis, and from as far away as Jerusalem, Judea, and places east of
the Jordan River (4:24, 25).
People came to hear about an earthly kingdom. Jesus instead introduced them to a heavenly lifestylethe new attitudes and actions. With perhaps thousands gathered on a hillside or
mountainthe exact location is unknownJesus spelled out the implications of repentance.
He required far more than an outward show. He urged His listeners to make such a complete
change of heart and action that they would be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect
At first glance the Sermon on the Mount appears to be a lengthy speech detailing kingdom
lifestyle, holding it up like a multifaceted jewel to examine from many angles. But Jesus may
have delivered the contents of Matthew 57 on multiple occasions. Parts of the sermon can be
found throughout the Gospels, and like many good teachers, Jesus probably drove home His
message by repeating it at other times and places.
The Sermon on the Mount contains the core of Jesus moral and ethical teaching:
Blessings (5:312). The beatitudes show true happiness comes through doing life from Gods
Influence (5:1316). Jesus wants His followers to be salt and light, to influence the worlds
moral and spiritual climate.
Morality (5:1748). Jesus listeners intellectually recognized the Law and the traditions
added by generations of rabbis, but Jesus revealed a morality based in the spirit of the Law.
Spiritual disciplines (6:118). Real faith is more than an outward show of religion. It
reshapes our inner character.
Treasures (6:1934). Jesus does not denounce earthly possessions, but He displayed the
nature of true treausres
Right and wrong (7:16). Rather than be quick to point out the moral flaws of others, we
should work to remedy our own.
Asking and receiving (7:712). We can take all our requests to God, relying on Him to answer
us as a loving Father. Moreover, God expects us to extend to others the same kind of love.
Obedience (7:1329). Jesus wraps up His message with a challenge to obey. Living a lifestyle
worthy of the kingdom results in life and joy; disobedience to His way brings death and
When Jesus finished describing this kingdom lifestyle, the people were astonished at His
teaching (7:28; literally overwhelmed or stunned). His voice had the ring of authority (7:29).
How does His ring of authority change what you do and what you say?

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6/23/15 3:31 PM


Matthew 5:42

one wants to sue you and take away your

tunic, let him have your cloak also. 41And
whoever compels you to go one mile, go
Go theSecond Mile
with him two. 42Give to him who asks you,
38 You have heard that it was said, An
and from him who wants to borrow from
eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth. you do not turn away.
39But I tell you not to resist an evil per
son. But whoever slaps you on your right 5:38aExodus 21:24; Leviticus 24:20;
cheek, turn the other to him also. 40If any Deuteronomy 19:21

No, No. For whatever is more than these

is from the evil one.

Possible location of the

Sermon on the Mount

Sea of Galilee

The Sea of the Sermon

The location where Jesus preached the Sermon on the Mount remains unknown, but the hills
near Capernaum are a traditionally accepted site. As Jesus taught He probably looked past His
listeners down toward the Sea of Galilee, a setting closely connected with His ministry. Much
of His teaching and more than half of His recorded miracles occurred on or around this body
of water.
Situated some sixty miles north of Jerusalem, the Sea of Galilee is actually a freshwater lake
fed by the Jordan River. Its surface is about seven hundred feet below sea level.
The Sea of Galilee supported a thriving fishing industry. Peter, Andrew, and James and John
the sons of Zebedee were among Jesus followers who made their living as fishermen. To learn
more, see The World of the Fishermen at Luke 5:111.

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6/23/15 3:31 PM

Matthew 5:43


even the tax collectors do the same? 47And

if you greet your brethrena only, what do
you do more than others? Do not even the
tax collectorsb do so? 48T herefore you shall
bless those who curse you, do good to those be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is
who hate you, and pray for those who spite perfect.
fully use you and persecute you,a 45that you
may be sons of your Father in heaven; for
aCompare Leviticus 19:18 5:44a NUText
He makes His sun rise on the evil and on 5:43
omits three clauses from this verse, leaving,
the good, and sends rain on the just and But I say to you, love your enemies and pray
on the unjust. 46For if you love those who for those who persecute you. 5:47a MText
love you, what reward have you? Do not reads friends. bNUText reads Gentiles.

Love Your Enemies

43 You have heard that it was said, You

shall love your neighbora and hate your en
emy. 44But I say to you, love your enemies,

You Have Heard that It Was Said

Matt.5:17 48
Some say Jesus was nothing more than a good teacher who wanted people to love each other.
But Jesus was and is the Son of God. Jesus did command us to love our neighbor (Matt.22:39);
He also taught how to do that, through a wide range of complex personal and moral issues.
In this section of the Sermon on the Mount,
some of Jesus statements sound extreme (for
example, Matt.5:22, 30, 37, 3942), and several are easy to misinterpret.
Understanding this passage begins by realizing that Jesus references to the Law
and the Prophets (5:17) were references to
the Old Testaments moral teaching. Those
Scriptures were to govern the moral conduct
and character of His Jewish listeners.
Unfortunately, the people had not heard
the true words of the Law and the prophets.
They had instead learned a heavily doctored
version of the Old Testaments teachings. Their
rabbis often stressed the letter of the Law
rather than its spirit. At times they favored
their own traditions over Gods actual teaching (12:912; 15:19). Sometimes they twisted
the Law to fit their own agendas (19:38). No
wonder Jesus labeled these teachers as hypocrites and warned people not to follow their
example (23:136).

This background helps to explain a phrase

that Jesus repeats in His sermon: You have
heard that it was said . . . but I say to you
(5:21, 22, 27, 28, 33, 34, 38, 39, 43, 44). Jesus
spoke with integrity and authority about murder (5:2126), adultery (5:2732), vows and
oaths (5:33
37), vengeance (5:38
42), and
love and hate (5:4347). He began His remarks
with an appeal to fulfill the Law (5:1720)
and concluded with a challenge to act as the
Father would act (5:48).
We should not blunt the challenges these
words present. We should, instead, be careful to interpret them as Jesus intended: as a
correction of mistaken understandings of Old
Testament law and as a true expression of His
kingdom values.
More: Old Testament law was part of the covenant that set Israel apart as Gods people. It governed their worship, their relationship to God, and
their social interactions. See Staying Focused at
Deut.5:1 and The Law at Rom.2:12.

An Eye for an Eye

Matt.5:38 42
At times Jesus demands can seem unrealistic: Should Gods people not use force in self-defense?
Should they not contest a lawsuit? Should they comply with all demands that help people?
Should they give and loan without reserve?
In this section of the Sermon on the Mount,
it is important to remember that the Lord was
addressing issues of justice with allusions to
Old Testament laws dealing with public vengeance. The Law limited damages in criminal
cases to no more than the loss suffered, an
eye for an eye (Ex.21:24, 25). However, some
of Jesus hearers had appealed to the same
texts to justify personal vengeance. Basically,
they tried to take the law into their own

Jesus challenged the morality of their

approach. He recognized that some circum
stances call for resistance and self-
The Law sanctioned self-
protection when a
person was left with no other choice (Ex.22:2).
He Himself protested when He was slapped
(John 18:22, 23). But Jesus warned against
needless force, particularly for the sake of revenge. Failing to defend ourselves might lead
to injury or death. But vengeance inflicts harm
after any immediate danger is past. A slap on
continued on next page

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6/23/15 3:31 PM


Matthew 6:9

you pray, do not use vain repetitions as the

Take heed that you do not do your char heathen do. For they think that they will be
itable deeds before men, to be seen by heard for their many words.
8 Therefore do not be like them. For
them. Otherwise you have no reward from
your Father in heaven. 2T herefore, when your Father knows the things you have
you do a charitable deed, do not sound a need of before you ask Him. 9In this man
trumpet before you as the hypocrites do in ner, therefore, pray:
the synagogues and in the streets, that they
Our Father in heaven,
may have glory from men. Assuredly, I say
Hallowed be Your name.
to you, they have their reward. But when
you do a charitable deed, do not let your
6:4aNUText omits openly. 6:6a NUText
left hand know what your right hand is do omits
ing, that your charitable deed may be in
secret; and your Father who sees in secret
will Himself reward you openly.a
Anonymous Givers

Do Good to Please God

TheModel Prayer
5 And

when you pray, you shall not be

like the hypocrites. For they love to pray
standing in the synagogues and on the
corners of the streets, that they may be seen
by men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have
their reward. 6But you, when you pray, go
into your room, and when you have shut
your door, pray to your Father who is in the
secret place; and your Father who sees in
secret will reward you openly.a 7And when

Meeting Gods Expectations

Matt.5:43 48
Jesus does not expect us to meet His high
moral standards unaided. When we belong
to Him, we are made into new creatures. The
Holy Spirit lives in us and changes us to become more like our Lord. See New Creatures
with New Character at Galatians 5:22, 23.

Matt.6:1 4

Fundraisers know that people are often motivated to donate large sums of money because of the prestige they receive in return.
But Jesus denounced that motivation for
giving. He much preferred the poor widow
who gave the small amount she could give
to the wealthy people who gave the large
amounts they would give (Mark 12:4144).
These wealthy men and women may have
appeared pious, but Jesus knew that behind
the scenes they often neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and
faith (Matt.23:23).
Here, Jesus suggests that a good way to
ensure that we are giving from the right
motives is to give anonymously. When the
source of our gifts is known only to ourselves
and God, Jesus promises that your Father
who sees in secret will Himself reward you
openly (6:4).

continued from previous page

the cheek is little more than an insult, leaving

no reason for a violent response. Vengeance
belongs to God alone (Deut. 32:35; compare
Rom.12:1921), who often uses governing authorities to carry out His judgment (13:4).
In the case of lawsuits (Matt.5:40), the Law
allowed demanding a shirt (tunic) in pledge
for a loan but prohibited taking a coat (cloak)
overnight, because it was needed for warmth
(Ex. 22:26, 27). But in Jesus day it was common to press for people to inflict heavy damages in court, in effect suing the pants off
each other. Christs point was that if lawsuits
have to go to extremes, it ought to be extremes
of charity. Paul made a similar argument in
1Corinthians 6:18.
In the command to go a second mile
(Matt. 5:41), the word compels means to
requisition or press into service. Ancient
Persian law permitted postal carriers to compel private citizens to help carry their loads.
The Romans sometimes inflicted similar demands on bystanders. For example, Roman
soldiers compelled Simon of Cyrene to carry
Jesus cross (27:32). Jesus was likely referring

9780718042523_int_05a_matt_mark_awsb.indd 17

to the need to obey those in public positions

of authority (see Governmental Authority at
Rom.13:17) rather than a need to obey anyone who issues a command.
When it comes to the issue of lending, Jesus
was likely making a point not merely about
personal charity but also about collective,
societal issues of debt, loans, and repayment.
Old Testament law prohibited charging interest on loans to the poor (Ex.22:25), required
that a persons family be given the opportunity to buy back lands lost due to poverty and
persons sold into slavery, and mandated sabbatical and Jubilee years to allow for a regular
redistribution of wealth and freedom from servitude (see The Sabbath Year at Lev.25:28
and The Year of Jubilee at Lev. 25:817).
These laws were public methods of making
room for mercy and justice on behalf of the
societys disadvantaged members.
Jesus challenged His followers to respond
to injustice in ways that actually stopped it. He
urged grace in place of vengeance, integrity in
place of self-interest. It is through acts of sacrifice that we are able to become more like Him.

6/23/15 3:31 PM

Matthew 6:10


Your kingdom come.

Your will be done
On earth as it is in heaven.
11 Give us this day our daily bread.
12 And forgive us our debts,
As we forgive our debtors.
13 And do not lead us into temptation,
But deliver us from the evil one.
For Yours is the kingdom and the
power and the glory forever.
14 For if you forgive men their tres
passes, your heavenly Father will also for
give you. 15But if you do not forgive men
their trespasses, neither will your Father
forgive your trespasses.

stroy and where thieves break in and steal;

20 but lay up for yourselves treasures in
heaven, where neither moth nor rust de
stroys and where thieves do not break in
and steal. 21For where your treasure is,
there your heart will be also.

TheLamp oftheBody

22 The lamp of the body is the eye. If

therefore your eye is good, your whole body
will be full of light. 23But if your eye is bad,
your whole body will be full of darkness.
If therefore the light that is in you is dark
ness, how great is that darkness!

You Cannot Serve God and Riches

24No one can serve two masters; for ei

ther he will hate the one and love the other,
16 Moreover, when you fast, do not be or else he will be loyal to the one and de
like the hypocrites, with a sad countenance. spise the other. You cannot serve God and
For they disfigure their faces that they may mammon.
appear to men to be fasting. Assuredly, I
say to you, they have their reward. 17But Do Not Worry
25 Therefore I say to you, do not worry
you, when you fast, anoint your head and
wash your face, 18 so that you do not appear about your life, what you will eat or what
to men to be fasting, but to your Father who you will drink; nor about your body, what
is in the secret place; and your Father who you will put on. Is not life more than food
and the body more than clothing? 26Look
sees in secret will reward you openly.a
at the birds of the air, for they neither sow
nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your
Lay Up Treasures in Heaven
19 Do not lay up for yourselves trea heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of
sures on earth, where moth and rust de more value than they? W hich of you by
worrying can add one cubit to his stature?
28 So why do you worry about clothing?
Consider the lilies of the field, how they
Stop Worry
grow: they neither toil nor spin; 29and yet I
say to you that even Solomon in all his glo
ry was not arrayed like one of these. 30Now
Of all the scriptures on the topics of money
if God so clothes the grass of the field,
and work, Jesus words from the Sermon on
which today is, and tomorrow is thrown
the Mount are often misused to imply Jesus
into the oven, will He not much more clothe
is against money or that He considered
you, Oyou of little faith?
31Therefore do not worry, saying,
everyday work a distraction from spiritual
What shall we eat? or What shall we
A careful reading of the text shows
drink? or What shall we wear? 32For after
all these things the Gentiles seek. For your
that Jesus condemned not work but worry
heavenly Father knows that you need all
(Matt.6:25, 27, 28, 31, 34). He did not tell us
these things. 33But seek first the kingdom
to quit our daily labors (6:32). God provides
of God and His righteousness, and all these
for us in many waysincluding through our
things shall be added to you. 34T herefore do
everyday jobs.
not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow
God makes us responsible for looking
will worry about its own things. Sufficient
after our physical and material needs. But
for the day is its own trouble.
Jesus urged us not to let worry about these
things overtake our minds and corrupt our
Do Not Judge
values. Instead of worrying over what might
Judge not, that you be not judged. 2For
happen, we should work toward everything
with what judgment you judge, you will
falling into place. This happens as we seek
be judged; and with the measure you use, it
first the kingdom of God and His righteouswill be measured back to you. 3And why do
ness (6:33).
you look at the speck in your brothers eye,
but do not consider the plank in your own
More: God gives work as a gift. See People at
eye? 4Or how can you say to your broth
Work at Ps. 8:6. Despite what many people
er, Let me remove the speck from your
think, work is not a curse. See Work Itself is a
eye; and look, a plank is in your own eye?
Gift from God at Gen.3:1719. Bringing Christ
5Hypocrite! First remove the plank from
into our everyday work has a far-reaching imyour own eye, and then you will see c learly
pact on how we do our jobs. See Your Work6:13aNUText omits For Yours through Amen.
style at Titus 2:911.

Fasting to Be Seen Only by God

6:18aNUText and MText omit openly.

9780718042523_int_05a_matt_mark_awsb.indd 18

6/23/15 3:31 PM


Matthew 8:3

to remove the speck from your brothers

6 Do not give what is holy to the dogs;
nor cast your pearls before swine, lest they
trample them under their feet, and turn and
tear you in pieces.

cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree

bear good fruit. 19Every tree that does not
bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into
the fire. 20T herefore by their fruits you will
know them.

Keep Asking, Seeking, Knocking

21Not everyone who says to Me, Lord,

Lord, shall enter the kingdom of heaven,
but he who does the will of My Father in
heaven. 22Many will say to Me in that day,
Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in
Your name, cast out demons in Your name,
and done many wonders in Your name?
23And then I will declare to them, I never
knew you; depart from Me, you who prac
tice lawlessness!

7 Ask,

and it will be given to you; seek,

and you will find; knock, and it will be
opened to you. 8For everyone who asks
receives, and he who seeks finds, and to
him who knocks it will be opened. 9 Or
what man is there among you who, if his
son asks for bread, will give him a stone?
10 Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him
a serpent? 11If you then, being evil, know
how to give good gifts to your children, how
much more will your Father who is in heav
en give good things to those who ask Him!
12T herefore, whatever you want men to do
to you, do also to them, for this is the Law
and the Prophets.

I Never Knew You

Build on theRock

24Therefore whoever hears these say

ings of Mine, and does them, I will liken
him to a wise man who built his house on
the rock: 25and the rain descended, the
floods came, and the winds blew and beat
TheNarrow Way
13 Enter by the narrow gate; for wide on that house; and it did not fall, for it was
founded on the rock.
is the gate and broad is the way that leads
26 But everyone who hears these say
to destruction, and there are many who go ings of Mine, and does not do them, will
in by it. Because narrow is the gate and be like a foolish man who built his house
difficult is the way which leads to life, and on the sand: 27and the rain descended, the
there are few who findit.
floods came, and the winds blew and beat
on that house; and it fell. And great was
You Will Know Them by Their Fruits
15 Beware of false prophets, who come its fall.
28And so it was, when Jesus had end
to you in sheeps clothing, but inwardly ed these sayings, that the people were as
they are ravenous wolves. You will know tonished at His teaching, 29for He taught
them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes them as one having authority, and not as
from thornbushes or figs from thistles? the scribes.
17Even so, every good tree bears good fruit,
but a bad tree bears bad fruit. 18A good tree Jesus Cleanses a Leper

Judge Not
People tend to read their own meaning into
Jesus command to judge not. They may
assume it means tolerating anything and
everything. Or never calling out untruth. Or
considering one belief or behavior as valid
as the next.
Those each misapply the Lords teaching.
Jesus was not commanding acceptance of all
behavior. He was commanding grace toward
others. We should not blame, condemn, or
put down others while excusing or exalting
ourselves. We need to quit picking at the failings of others and start attending to our own
The very next verses command evaluating others. But we are to approach others as
Jesus didwith empathy (Matt.7:12).
More: Scripture gives clear guidelines for restoring those who have become entangled in
sin. Read Matt. 18:1517; 1 Cor. 6:18; and

9780718042523_int_05a_matt_mark_awsb.indd 19

hen He had come down from the

mountain, great multitudes followed
Him. 2And behold, a leper came and wor
shiped Him, saying, Lord, if You are will
ing, You can make me clean.
3T hen J
esus put out His hand and
touched him, saying, I am willing; be
cleansed. Immediately his leprosy was
7:14aNUText and MText read How... !

Jesus Authority
Scribes were members of an educated class
in Israel who studied Scripture and tradition
and who served as copyists, editors, and
teachers (see Scribes at Luke 20:39). But
while they held positions of authority, Jesus
was the ultimate Person of authority. His expertise, credibility, and power were features
of who He was, not what He learned. The
scribes had the privilege of learning about
Jesus and any authority they had was based
in Jesus.

6/23/15 3:31 PM

Matthew 8:4

Effective Leaders
Like Jesus, the centurion was a man under
authority. The encounter between the two
offers essential lessons on authority and
Effective leaders admit when they need
help. The centurion faced a problem
beyond his own power. He recruited Jesus
to intervene.
Effective leaders respond with heart.
The centurion felt compassion for his
suffering servant and perceived that Jesus
possessed power beyond any physicians
Effective leaders show humility. A Roman
officer could have ordered Jesus to act or
offered Him money. He instead came in
faith, humbly asking for help.
Effective leaders recognize the nature of
authority. The centurion understood
submission. When he issued a command,
his soldiers obeyed. He saw that Jesus had
the same authority over illness.
Effective leaders notice when someone is
worthy of trust. The centurions faith was
impressive because it was invested in the
right person. Leadership based on blind
faith is foolhardy, but discernment is a
mark of a true leader.

4 And Jesus said to him, See that you
tell no one; but go your way, show yourself
to the priest, and offer the gift that Moses
commanded, as a testimony to them.

Jesus Heals a Centurions Servant

5Now when J
esus had entered Caper
naum, a centurion came to Him, pleading
with Him, 6 saying, Lord, my servant is
lying at home paralyzed, dreadfully tor
7And J
esus said to him, I will come and
heal him.
8T he centurion answered and said,
Lord, I am not worthy that You should
come under my roof. But only speak a
word, and my servant will be healed. 9For
I also am a man under authority, having
soldiers under me. And I say to this one,
Go, and he goes; and to another, Come,
and he comes; and to my servant, Do this,
and he does it.
10W hen J
esus heard it, He marveled,
and said to those who followed, Assured
ly, I say to you, I have not found such great
faith, not even in Israel! 11And I say to you
that many will come from east and west,
and sit down with Abraham, Isaac, and
Jacob in the kingdom of heaven. 12But the
sons of the kingdom will be cast out into
outer darkness. There will be weeping and
gnashing of teeth. 13T hen Jesus said to the
centurion, Go your way; and as you have
believed, so let it be done for you. And his
servant was healed that same hour.

A Savior for the Whole World

Matthews Gospel offers insights into Jesus Jewish roots and His fulfillment of Old Testament
prophecies of a Messiah for Israel. But it also presents Jesus as a worldwide Savior. Note Jesus
interracial connections:
a group of foreigners who first came looking
Jesus Roots
Jesus genealogy includes at least two and pos- for the Messiah.
sibly three Gentiles:
Davids great-great-grandmother Rahab
was a Canaanite (Matt.1:5; Josh 2:124;
Davids great-grandmother Ruth was a
Moabite (Matt.1:5; the Book of Ruth).
Davids lover (and later wife) Bathsheba,
widow of Uriah (Matt.1:6; 2Sam.11:1
12:25), may have been a Hittite like Uriah,
although she was more likely a Hebrew
married to a Hittite sojourner.

The Flight to Egypt

Egypt provided a refuge for the baby Jesus

from an outraged Herod the Great (Matt.2:13,
14). Centuries before, this Gentile nation saved
Jacobs family from starvation and became
the land where a family grew into a nation

Jesus Childhood in Galilee

Jesus grew up in Nazareth, a small town

of Galilee in the northern part of Palestine
(Matt. 2:22, 23). The regions multicultural
population earned it the name Galilee of
Wise Men from the East
The first worshipers of Jesus to appear in the the Gentiles (4:15). Jesus began His ministry
Book of Matthew were not Jews but Gentiles in Galilee, and many of His early followers
from the East (Matt. 2:112). The wise men were non-Jews from Syria and the Decapolis, a
may have been astrologers from Persia Gentile region of Palestine (4:2325).
(modern-day Iran). Whatever the case, it was
continued on next page

9780718042523_int_05a_matt_mark_awsb.indd 20

6/23/15 3:31 PM


Peters Mother-in-Law Healed

14 Now when Jesus had come into Peters

house, He saw his wifes mother lying sick
with a fever. 15So He touched her hand, and
the fever left her. And she arose and served

Matthew 8:31

Wind and Wave Obey Jesus

23Now when He got into a boat, His

disciples followed Him. 24 And suddenly a
great tempest arose on the sea, so that the
boat was covered with the waves. But He
was asleep. 25T hen His disciples came to
Him and awoke Him, saying, Lord, save
Many Healed in theEvening
us! We are perishing!
26 But He said to them, Why are you
16W hen evening had come, they brought
to Him many who were demon-possessed. fearful, Oyou of little faith? Then He
And He cast out the spirits with a word, and arose and rebuked the winds and the sea,
healed all who were sick, 17 that it might be and there was a great calm. 27So the men
fulfilled which was spoken by Isaiah the marveled, saying, Who can this be, that
even the winds and the sea obey Him?
prophet, saying:

He Himself took our infirmities

And bore our sicknesses.a

Two Demon-Possessed Men Healed

28W hen He had come to the other side,

country of the Gergesenes,a there
TheCost ofDiscipleship
two demon-possessed men, com
18And when Jesus saw great multitudes
ing out of the tombs, exceedingly fierce, so
about Him, He gave a command to depart that no one could pass that way. 29And sud
to the other side. 19T hen a certain scribe denly they cried out, saying, What have
came and said to Him, Teacher, I will fol
we to do with You, J esus, You Son of God?
low You wherever You go.
Have You come here to torment us before
20And J
esus said to him, Foxes have
the time?
holes and birds of the air have nests, but the
30Now a good way off from them there
Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head.
21T hen another of His disciples said to was a herd of many swine feeding. So the
Him, Lord, let me first go and bury my demons begged Him, saying, If You cast
8:15aNUText and MText read Him.
22But Jesus said to him, Follow Me, and
8:17aIsaiah 53:4 8:28aNUText reads
let the dead bury their own dead.

continued from previous page

Living on the Fringes

Matthew shows Jesus breaking His cultures
hardened habits of discrimination by building

bonds with Samaritans, Gentiles, and others

who lived on the fringes of Jewish society:

Person or Group

Jesus Response

A leper, physically diseased and religiously

unclean (Matt.8:24)

Touched him when others would not; healed


A Roman centurion (Matt.8:510)

Healed his servant and praised his faith

Two demon-possessed men from a Gentile

region (Matt.8:2834)

Delivered them when the town rejected them

Matthew the tax collector and his disreputable

friends (Matt.9:913)

Called Matthew as a disciple and dined with his


A hemorrhaging woman (Matt.9:2022)

Healed her and praised her faith

The Gentile cities of Tyre, Sidon, and Sodom


Said they will be better off than Jewish cities in

the judgment because of Jewish unbelief

Nineveh and the queen of the South


Praised their repentance and said they would

judge the Jews of His day

The people of Gennesaret, a Gentile region


Healed their sick

A Canaanite woman from the region of Tyre and

Sidon (Matt.15:2128)

Healed her daughter and praised her faith

More: The roots of hostility between Jews and Gentiles stretched deep into Israels history. See No
Racial Divisions at Matt.15:24.

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6/23/15 3:31 PM

Matthew 8:32


us out, permit us to go awaya into the herd

of swine.
32 And He said to them, Go. So when
they had come out, they went into the herd
of swine. And suddenly the whole herd of
swine ran violently down the steep place
into the sea, and perished in the water.

33T hen those who kept them fled; and

they went away into the city and told every
thing, including what had happened to the
demon-possessed men. 34 And behold, the
whole city came out to meet Jesus. And
when they saw Him, they begged Him to
depart from their region.

Jesus Forgives and Heals aParalytic

Angels and Demons


The Gospels show Jesus frequent encounters

with demons, such as those that possessed
the Gergesene men, affirming the reality of
potent spiritual forces that exist beyond the
visible universe.
Scripture teaches that angels are members of an order of heavenly messengers
(Heb. 2:7; 2 Pet. 2:11; see also Angels
at Rev. 7:1). Unlike God, angels are not
powerful or all-
knowing (Ps. 103:20;
God often sends them to announce good
news, such as the birth of Jesus (Luke 1:30,
31). Or they may carry warnings of danger, such as Sodoms looming destruction
Angels were involved during the events
surrounding Jesus birth, resurrection, and
ascension. They...

Matthew theTax Collector

Urged Joseph to wed Mary (Matt.1:20).

Warned Joseph to flee to Egypt with Mary
and infant Jesus (2:13).
Instructed Joseph to bring his family back
to Palestine (2:19).
Foretold to Zacharias the birth of John
the Baptist (Luke 1:1138).
Announced to shepherds the birth of
Christ (2:815).
Strengthened Jesus in the Garden of
Gethsemane (22:43).
Rolled back the stone from Jesus tomb
Announced Jesus resurrection to women
at the empty tomb (Luke 24:47, 23; John
Promised Jesus return after His ascension
(Acts 1:911).
The frequency of angelic involvement
in human events seems to have lessened
since Pentecost, possibly because of the
Holy Spirits expanded role in the lives of
Demons are angels who rebelled against
God and were cast out of heaven. They seek
to undermine Gods righteous purposes in
the world (1Pet.3:19, 20; 2Pet.2:4; Jude 6;
see also Demons at Luke 11:14). Scripture
gives them a variety of names: unclean spirits (Mark 6:7), wicked or evil spirits (Luke
7:21; Acts 19:12, 13), spirit of divination
(Acts 16:16), deceiving spirits (1 Tim. 4:1),
and spirit of error (1John 4:6).

9780718042523_int_05a_matt_mark_awsb.indd 22

o He got into a boat, crossed over, and

came to His own city. 2T hen behold,
they brought to Him a paralytic lying on a
bed. When Jesus saw their faith, He said to
the paralytic, Son, be of good cheer; your
sins are forgiven you.
3 And at once some of the scribes
said within themselves, This Man blas
4 But
Jesus, knowing their thoughts,
said, Why do you think evil in your
hearts? For which is easier, to say, Your
sins are forg iven you, or to say, Arise and
walk? 6But that you may know that the
Son of Man has power on earth to forgive
sinsthen He said to the paralytic, Arise,
take up your bed, and go to your house.
7And he arose and departed to his house.
8Now when the multitudes saw it, they
marveleda and glorified God, who had giv
en such power to men.
9As J
esus passed on from there, He saw
a man named Matthew sitting at the tax
office. And He said to him, Follow Me. So
he arose and followed Him.
10Now it happened, as Jesus sat at the
table in the house, that behold, many tax
collectors and sinners came and sat down
with Him and His disciples. 11And when the
Pharisees saw it, they said to His disciples,

8:31aNUText reads send us. 9:8a NUText

reads were afraid.

The Power of Forgiveness

Matt.9:4 8
The crowd that watched Jesus heal a paralytic responded enthusiastically to His dramatic
display of power. But they overlooked His
more significant ability to forgive sins, an
aspect of His authority that deeply troubled
the scribes.
Jesus urges us to forgive those who wrong
or hurt us (Matt. 6:14, 15; 18:2135) in
moments of pain and anger we discover
the difficulty of authentically extending
forgiveness. It can feel almost impossible to
lay down our hurt and reach out to pardon
an offender. But that powerful act releases
our own hearts from bitterness and frees a
wrongdoer from paralyzing guilt. It can even
change the course of a persons life (James
5:19, 20).
We can forgive others only in Jesus power.

6/23/15 3:31 PM

Why does your Teacher eat with tax col
lectors and sinners?
12W hen Jesus heard that, He said to
them, Those who are well have no need of
a physician, but those who are sick. 13But
go and learn what this means: I desire mer
cy and not sacrifice.a For I did not come
to call the righteous, but sinners, to repen

Jesus Is Questioned About Fasting

14T hen

the disciples of John came to

Him, saying, Why do we and the Phari
sees fast often,a but Your disciples do not
15And J
esus said to them, Can the
friends of the bridegroom mourn as long as
the bridegroom is with them? But the days
will come when the bridegroom will be tak
en away from them, and then they will fast.
16No one puts a piece of unshrunk cloth on

Tax Collectors
Tax collectors in ancient times were agents
who collected government levies. Some
translations incorrectly call them publicans,
who were usually wealthy non-Jewish men
who contracted with the occupying Romans
to take responsibility for a districts taxes.
They were often backed by military force.
Tax collectors were hired by publicans to
actually collect monies. They were Jews and
usually not wealthy.
Tax collectors gathered several different
taxes. Depending on the type of rule in a
given Jewish province, Rome levied a land
tax, a poll tax, even a tax for the operation
of the temple (Matt. 17:2427). Taxes from
provinces such as Galilee, which was not under an imperial governor, remained in the
province rather than going to the imperial
treasury at Rome. Perhaps it was these inequities that prompted the Pharisees in the
imperial province of Judea to ask Jesus, Is it
lawful to pay taxes to Caesar, or not? (22:17).
Tax collectors often demanded more
than the government required and pocketed
the excessa practice that John the Baptist
specifically condemned (Luke 3:12, 13). Tax
collectors were also hated because fellow citizens saw them as mercenaries working for
their Roman oppressors. They were altogether despised by their fellow Jews and were
often lumped together with other sinners
(Matt.9:10, 11; Mark 2:15).
More: The Jews of Jesus day were probably paying no less than 30 or 40 percent of their income
on taxes and religious dues. See Taxes at Mark
12:14. Zacchaeus was called the chief tax collector of Jericho, meaning he may have been a
publican. Nevertheless, he responded to Jesus
call. See Startling Change at Luke 19:110.

9780718042523_int_05a_matt_mark_awsb.indd 23

Matthew 9:25

an old garment; for the patch pulls away

from the garment, and the tear is made
worse. 17Nor do they put new wine into old
wineskins, or else the wineskins break,
the wine is spilled, and the wineskins are
r uined. But they put new wine into new
wineskins, and both are preserved.

A Girl Restored to Life and aWoman


18W hile He spoke these things to them,

behold, a ruler came and worshiped Him,
saying, My daughter has just died, but
come and lay Your hand on her and she will
live. 19So Jesus arose and followed him,
and so did His disciples.
20And suddenly, a woman who had a
flow of blood for twelve years came from
behind and touched the hem of His gar
ment. 21For she said to herself, If only I
may touch His garment, I shall be made
well. 22But J esus turned around, and when
He saw her He said, Be of good cheer,
daughter; your faith has made you well.
And the woman was made well from that
23W hen
Jesus came into the rulers
house, and saw the flute players and the
noisy crowd wailing, 24 He said to them,
Make room, for the girl is not dead, but
sleeping. And they ridiculed Him. 25But

9:13aHosea 6:6 bNUText omits to repentance.

9:14aNUText brackets often as disputed.

The Bleeding Woman

The woman in Matthew 9:2022 had been
excluded from worship and was an outcast
of society for a dozen years. Jews considered
women ritually unclean during menstruation, and a woman who experienced bleeding other than during her menstrual cycle
was considered unclean until the bleeding
stopped. Anyone who touched a menstruating woman was unclean until evening
By approaching Jesus, the woman broke
a rule that held her accountable as an unclean person to stay away from others. In her
desperation, she reached out and touched
Jesus. The Lord perceived that power had
gone out from Him and sought her out. As
she explained her disease the crowd probably backed away, not wanting to contaminate themselves. But Jesus did not withdraw.
He addressed her with the affectionate term
daughter and sent her away in peace,
healed at last.
When we meet outcasts in the world today, do we back away, or do we embrace
them as fellow members of Christs family?
How can we respond to their needs with
Christlike love?

6/23/15 3:31 PM

Matthew 9:26


when the crowd was put outside, He went saying, It was never seen like this in Is
in and took her by the hand, and the girl rael!
34 But the Pharisees said, He casts out
arose. 26And the report of this went out into
demons by the ruler of the demons.
all that land.

Two Blind Men Healed

TheCompassion ofJesus

blind men followed Him, crying out and

saying, Son of David, have mercy on us!
28 And when He had come into the
house, the blind men came to Him. And
Jesus said to them, Do you believe that I
am able to do this?
They said to Him, Yes, Lord.
29T hen He touched their eyes, saying,
According to your faith let it be to you.
30And their eyes were opened. And Jesus
sternly warned them, saying, See that
no one knows it. 31But when they had de
parted, they spread the news about Him in
all that country.

TheTwelve Apostles

27W hen Jesus departed from there, two

A Mute Man Speaks

35T hen Jesus went about all the cities

and villages, teaching in their synagogues,
preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and
healing every sickness and every disease
among the people.a 36But when He saw the
multitudes, He was moved with compas
sion for them, because they were wearya
and scattered, like sheep having no shep
herd. 37T hen He said to His disciples, The
harvest truly is plentiful, but the laborers
are few. 38T herefore pray the Lord of the
harvest to send out laborers into His har


nd when He had called His twelve

disciples to Him, He gave them power
over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and
to heal all kinds of sickness and all kinds

32As they went out, behold, they brought

to Him a man, mute and demon-possessed.
33And when the demon was cast out, the
9:35aNUText omits among the people.
mute spoke. And the multitudes marveled, 9:36aNUText and MText read harassed.

Jesus Urban Ministry

Some people imagine Jesus spending His entire life in tiny towns and on long walks in the
wilderness. After all, He did begin His life in
a manger surrounded by livestock and shepherds. And He seemed to endlessly wander the
countryside telling parables with rural themes
such as the sower and the seed, the wheat
and the weeds, and the lilies of the field. But
this image of Jesusand His worldis simply
The Palestine of Jesus day experienced
rapid urban development. A population of up
to three million people lived in preindustrial
cities and towns around Jerusalem, the hub of
the region. Jerusalem itself had a population
that modern scholars conservatively estimate
at between fifty-
five thousand and ninety
thousand. (Josephus, a first-
century Jewish
historian, placed the number at three million; the Talmud claims an incredible twelve
Jesus focused His ministry on Palestines
cities (Matt.9:35; 11:1; Luke 4:43; 13:22), and
He made at least three visits to Jerusalem. His
travels brought Him into contact with a wide
variety of people. He attracted large numbers
of women, soldiers, religious leaders, the rich,
merchants, tax collectors, Gentiles, prostitutes, beggars, and the poor.
Jesus strategy became a pattern for His
followers to imitate. Jesus sent His disciples
to preach in cities (Matt. 10:5, 1114; Luke

9780718042523_int_05a_matt_mark_awsb.indd 24

Sea of

J o r d an R i v e r

Dead Sea



Nazareth Sychar Ephraim
Tyre Cana
Samaria Jerusalem







10:1, 8
16). The early church later spread
throughout the Roman empire by establishing Christian communities in no fewer than
forty cities by the close of the first century
(see Churches Unlock Communities at Acts
Jesus cares about urban communities, and
His strategy should prompt all of His followers
to ask how we are bringing His message to an
increasingly urban, multicultural, and pluralistic world. His ministry should be a model for
our engagement with the world.
More: Even in ancient times, Canaan was experiencing urbanization. See Following God in the
City at Deut.6:10. For more on the explosive start
of the early church, see The Ephesus Approach:
How the Gospel Transformed a Community at
Acts 19:841.

6/23/15 3:31 PM

of disease. 2Now the names of the twelve
apostles are these: first, Simon, who is
called Peter, and Andrew his brother;
James the son of Zebedee, and John his
brother; 3Philip and Bartholomew; Thom
as and Matthew the tax collector; James
the son of Alphaeus, and Lebbaeus, whose
surname was a Thaddaeus; 4 Simon the
Cananite,a and Judas Iscariot, who also
betrayed Him.

Sending Out theTwelve

5T hese twelve Jesus sent out and com

manded them, saying: Do not go into the
way of the Gentiles, and do not enter a city
of the Samaritans. 6But go rather to the lost
sheep of the house of Israel. 7And as you go,
preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven is
at hand. 8Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers,
raise the dead,a cast out demons. Freely
you have received, freely give. 9Provide
neither gold nor silver nor copper in your
money belts, 10nor bag for your journey,
nor two tunics, nor sandals, nor staffs; for
a worker is worthy of his food.
11Now whatever city or town you enter,
inquire who in it is worthy, and stay there
till you go out. 12And when you go into a
household, greet it. 13If the household is
worthy, let your peace come upon it. But
if it is not worthy, let your peace return to
you. 14 And whoever will not receive you
nor hear your words, when you depart from
that house or city, shake off the dust from
your feet. 15Assuredly, I say to you, it will
be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and
Gomorrah in the day of judgment than for
that city!

Matthew 11:1

Beelzebub,a how much more will they call

those of his household! 26T herefore do not
fear them. For there is nothing covered that
will not be revealed, and hidden that will
not be known.

Jesus Teaches theFear ofGod

27 Whatever I tell you in the dark, speak

in the light; and what you hear in the ear,
preach on the housetops. 28And do not fear
those who kill the body but cannot kill the
soul. But rather fear Him who is able to de
stroy both soul and body in hell. 29Are not
two sparrows sold for a copper coin? And
not one of them falls to the ground apart
from your Fathers will. 30But the very hairs
of your head are all numbered. 31Do not
fear therefore; you are of more value than
many sparrows.

Confess Christ Before Men

32 Therefore whoever con

fesses Me
before men, him I will also confess before
My Father who is in heaven. 33But whoever
denies Me before men, him I will also deny
before My Father who is in heaven.

Christ Brings Division

34 Do not think that I came to bring

peace on earth. I did not come to bring
peace but a sword. 35For I have come to
set a man against his father, a daughter
against her mother, and a daughter-in-law
against her mother-in-law; 36and a mans
enemies will be those of his own house
hold.a 37He who loves father or mother
more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he
who loves son or daughter more than Me is
not worthy of Me. 38And he who does not
take his cross and follow after Me is not
Persecutions Are Coming
16 Behold, I send you out as sheep in the worthy of Me. 39He who finds his life will
midst of wolves. Therefore be wise as ser lose it, and he who loses his life for My sake
pents and harmless as doves. 17But beware will findit.
of men, for they will deliver you up to coun
cils and scourge you in their synagogues. A Cup ofCold Water
40 He who receives you receives Me,
18You will be brought before governors and
kings for My sake, as a testimony to them and he who receives Me receives Him who
and to the Gentiles. 19But when they deliver sent Me. 41He who receives a prophet in the
you up, do not worry about how or what name of a prophet shall receive a prophets
you should speak. For it will be given to you reward. And he who receives a righteous
in that hour what you should speak; 20for it man in the name of a righteous man shall
is not you who speak, but the Spirit of your receive a righteous mans reward. 42And
whoever gives one of these little ones only
Father who speaks in you.
21Now brother will deliver up brother a cup of cold water in the name of a disci
to death, and a father his child; and chil ple, assuredly, I say to you, he shall by no
dren will rise up against parents and cause means lose his reward.
them to be put to death. 22And you will be
hated by all for My names sake. But he who John theBaptist Sends Messengers to Jesus
endures to the end will be saved. 23W hen
Now it came to pass, when Jesus fin
they persecute you in this city, flee to an
ished commanding His twelve disci
other. For assuredly, I say to you, you will ples, that He departed from there to teach
not have gone through the cities of Israel and to preach in their cities.
before the Son of Man comes.
24 A disciple is not above his teach 10:3aNUText omits Lebbaeus, whose surname
10:4aNUText reads Cananaean.
er, nor a servant above his master. 25It is was.
10:8aNUText reads raise the dead, cleanse
enough for a disciple that he be like his the lepers; MText omits raise the dead.
teacher, and a servant like his master. If 10:25aNUText and MText read Beelzebul.
they have called the master of the house 10:36aMicah 7:6


9780718042523_int_05a_matt_mark_awsb.indd 25

6/23/15 3:31 PM

Matthew 11:2
2 And


when John had heard in prison

about the works of Christ, he sent two ofa
his disciples 3and said to Him, Are You the
Coming One, or do we look for another?
4Jesus answered and said to them, Go
and tell John the things which you hear
and see: 5The blind see and the lame walk;
the lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear;
the dead are raised up and the poor have the
gospel preached to them. 6And blessed is
he who is not offended because of Me.
7As they departed, J
esus began to say
to the multitudes concerning John: What
did you go out into the wilderness to see? A
reed shaken by the wind? 8But what did you
go out to see? A man clothed in soft gar
ments? Indeed, those who wear soft clothing are in kings houses. 9But what did you
go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I say to you,
and more than a prophet. 10For this is he of
whom it is written:
Behold, I send My messenger before
Your face,
Who will prepare Your way before
11Assuredly, I say to you, among those
born of women there has not risen one
greater than John the Baptist; but he who
is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater
than he. 12And from the days of John the
Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven
suffers violence, and the violent take it by
force. 13For all the prophets and the law
prophesied until John. 14 And if you are

Evidence of God
Matt.11:2 6
When John the Baptist wanted reassurance
that Jesus was all that He claimed to be, Jesus
replied with a list of things He had done that
revealed Gods presence, power, and love.
The most forceful evidence was His work
among the poor and broken.
People all around us watch to see whether Jesus is still alive among His people. Like
John, they ask whether those of us who claim
to follow Christ truly have insight into who
God isor whether they should look somewhere else. They especially pay attention to
our approach to the worlds suffering people,
whether nearby or far away. Onlookers want
to know if we care about our neighbors material needs as well as their spiritual needs.
They want to see unmistakable evidence of
Christ working within us to spread His love in
every way possible.
More: Scripture has much to say about our responsibilities to the poor and needy. See I Have
Not Coveted at Acts 20:3338; and Christ Became Poor at 2Cor.8:8, 9. Mother Teresas and
Francis of Assisis work for the poor has made
them some of the most venerated Christians in

9780718042523_int_05a_matt_mark_awsb.indd 26

willing to receive it, he is Elijah who is to

come. 15He who has ears to hear, let him
16 But to what shall I liken this genera
tion? It is like children sitting in the mar
ketplaces and calling to their companions,
17and saying:
We played the flute for you,
And you did not dance;
We mourned to you,
And you did not lament.
18For John came neither eating nor drink
ing, and they say, He has a demon. 19T he
Son of Man came eating and drinking, and
they say, Look, a glutton and a winebibber,
a friend of tax collectors and sinners! But
wisdom is justified by her children.a

Woe to theImpenitent Cities

20T hen He began to rebuke the cities in

which most of His mighty works had been
done, because they did not repent: 21Woe
to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida!
For if the mighty works which were done in
you had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they
would have repented long ago in sackcloth
and ashes. 22But I say to you, it will be more
tolerable for Tyre and Sidon in the day of
judgment than for you. 23And you, Caper
naum, who are exalted to heaven, will bea
brought down to Hades; for if the mighty
works which were done in you had been
done in Sodom, it would have remained
until this day. 24But I say to you that it shall
be more tolerable for the land of Sodom in
the day of judgment than for you.

Jesus Gives True Rest

25At that time J

esus answered and said,
I thank You, Father, Lord of heaven and
earth, that You have hidden these things
from the wise and prudent and have re
vealed them to babes. 26Even so, Father,
for so it seemed good in Your sight. 27All
things have been delivered to Me by My
Father, and no one knows the Son except
the Father. Nor does anyone know the Fa
ther except the Son, and the one to whom
the Son wills to reveal Him. 28Come to Me,
all you who labor and are heavy laden, and
I will give you rest. 29Take My yoke upon
you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and
lowly in heart, and you will find rest for
your souls. 30For My yoke is easy and My
burden is light.

Jesus Is Lord oftheSabbath


t that time J esus went through the

grainfields on the Sabbath. And His
disciples were hungry, and began to pluck
heads of grain and to eat. 2And when the
Pharisees saw it, they said to Him, Look,
Your disciples are doing what is not lawful
to do on the Sabbath!

11:2aNUText reads by for two of.

11:10aMalachi 3:1 11:19aNUText reads
works. 11:23aNUText reads will you be
exalted to heaven? No, you will be.

6/23/15 3:31 PM


He said to them, Have you not

read what David did when he was hungry,
he and those who were with him: 4how he
entered the house of God and ate the show
bread which was not lawful for him to eat,
nor for those who were with him, but only
for the priests? 5Or have you not read in
the law that on the Sabbath the priests in
the temple profane the Sabbath, and are
blameless? 6Yet I say to you that in this
place there is One greater than the temple.
7But if you had known what this means, I
desire mercy and not sacrifice,a you would
not have condemned the guiltless. 8For the
Son of Man is Lord evena of the Sabbath.

Matthew 12:37
A bruised reed He will not break,
And smoking flax He will not
Till He sends forth justice to victory;
21 And in His name Gentiles will

A House Divided Cannot Stand

22T hen one was brought to Him who

was demon-possessed, blind and mute; and
He healed him, so that the blind anda mute
man both spoke and saw. 23And all the mul
titudes were amazed and said, Could this
be the Son of David?
24 Now when the Pharisees heard it they
said, This fellow does not cast out demons
Healing on theSabbath
except by Beelzebub,a the ruler of the de
9Now when He had departed from there,
25But Jesus knew their thoughts, and
He went into their synagogue. 10And be
hold, there was a man who had a withered said to them: Every kingdom divided
hand. And they asked Him, saying, Is it against itself is brought to desolation, and
lawful to heal on the Sabbath?that they every city or house divided against itself
might accuse Him.
will not stand. 26If Satan casts out Satan,
11T hen He said to them, What man is
he is divided against himself. How then
there among you who has one sheep, and will his kingdom stand? 27And if I cast out
if it falls into a pit on the Sabbath, will not demons by Beelzebub, by whom do your
lay hold of it and lift it out? 12Of how much sons cast them out? Therefore they shall
more value then is a man than a sheep? be your judges. 28But if I cast out demons
Therefore it is lawful to do good on the Sab by the Spirit of God, surely the kingdom
bath. 13T hen He said to the man, Stretch of God has come upon you. 29 Or how can
out your hand. And he stretched it out, one enter a strong mans house and plunder
and it was restored as whole as the other. his goods, unless he first binds the strong
14T hen the Pharisees went out and plotted
man? And then he will plunder his house.
against Him, how they might destroy Him. 30He who is not with Me is against Me, and
he who does not gather with Me scatters
Behold, My Servant
15But when Jesus knew it, He withdrew
from there. And great multitudes fol TheUnpardonable Sin
lowed Him, and He healed them all. 16Yet
31Therefore I say to you, every sin and
He warned them not to make Him known,
17 that it might be fulfilled which was spo blasphemy will be forgiven men, but the
blasphemy against the Spirit will not be
ken by Isaiah the prophet, saying:
forgiven men. 32Anyone who speaks a word
18 Behold! My Servant whom I have
against the Son of Man, it will be forgiven
him; but whoever speaks against the Holy
My Beloved in whom My soul is well
Spirit, it will not be forgiven him, either in
this age or in the age to come.
I will put My Spirit upon Him,
And He will declare justice to the
A Tree Known by Its Fruit
33 Either make the tree good and its
19 He will not quarrel nor cry out,
fruit good, or else make the tree bad and
Nor will anyone hear His voice in the
its fruit bad; for a tree is known by its fruit.
34 Brood of vipers! How can you, being evil,
speak good things? For out of the abun
dance of the heart the mouth speaks. 35A
Political Intrigue
good man out of the good treasure of his
hearta brings forth good things, and an evil
man out of the evil treasure brings forth
The Pharisees feared Jesus as much as they
evil things. 36But I say to you that for every
hated Him. They were concerned that His
idle word men may speak, they will give
popularity might draw additional Roman
account of it in the day of judgment. 37For
by your words you will be justified, and by
troops to the area and end what little indeyour words you will be condemned.
pendence the nation had. So they plotted to
destroy Him. The mastermind of their plans
12:7aHosea 6:6 12:8aNUText and M
was Caiaphas the high priest, a Sadducee
Text omit even. 12:15aNUText brackets
who was equally opposed to Jesus. Learn
multitudes as disputed. 12:21aIsaiah 42:14
more in The Religious Power Broker at
12:22aNUText omits blind and. 12:24aNU
Text and MText read Beelzebul. 12:35aNU
Matthew 26:35.

Text and MText omit of his heart.

9780718042523_int_05a_matt_mark_awsb.indd 27

6/23/15 3:31 PM

Matthew 12:38


TheScribes and Pharisees Ask for a Sign

38T hen

some of the scribes and Phari

sees answered, saying, Teacher, we want
to see a sign from You.
39But He answered and said to them,
An evil and adulterous generation seeks
after a sign, and no sign will be given to it
except the sign of the prophet Jonah. 40For
as Jonah was three days and three nights in
the belly of the great fish, so will the Son of
Man be three days and three nights in the
heart of the earth. 41T he men of Nineveh
will rise up in the judgment with this gener
ation and condemn it, because they repent
ed at the preaching of Jonah; and indeed a
greater than Jonah is here. 42T he queen of
the South will rise up in the judgment with
this generation and condemn it, for she
came from the ends of the earth to hear the
wisdom of Solomon; and indeed a greater
than Solomon is here.

An Unclean Spirit Returns

43 When an unclean spirit goes out of

a man, he goes through dry places, seek
ing rest, and finds none. 44T hen he says,
I will return to my house from which I
came. And when he comes, he finds it
empty, swept, and put in order. 45T hen he
goes and takes with him seven other spirits
more wicked than himself, and they enter
and dwell there; and the last state of that
man is worse than the first. So shall it also
be with this wicked generation.

Jesus Mother and Brothers Send for Him

46W hile He was still talking to the mul

titudes, behold, His mother and brothers
stood outside, seeking to speak with Him.
47T hen one said to Him, Look, Your moth
er and Your brothers are standing outside,
seeking to speak with You.
48But He answered and said to the one
who told Him, Who is My mother and who

are My brothers? 49And He stretched out

His hand toward His disciples and said,
Here are My mother and My brothers! 50For
whoever does the will of My Father in heav
en is My brother and sister and mother.

TheParable oftheSower


n the same day Jesus went out of the

house and sat by the sea. 2And great
multitudes were gathered together to Him,
so that He got into a boat and sat; and the
whole multitude stood on the shore.
3T hen He spoke many things to them
in parables, saying: Behold, a sower went
out to sow. 4 And as he sowed, some seed
fell by the wayside; and the birds came and
devoured them. 5Some fell on stony places,
where they did not have much earth; and
they immediately sprang up because they
had no depth of earth. 6But when the sun
was up they were scorched, and because
they had no root they withered away. 7And
some fell among thorns, and the thorns
sprang up and choked them. 8But others fell
on good ground and yielded a crop: some a
hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty. 9He
who has ears to hear, let him hear!

ThePurpose ofParables

10And the disciples came and said to

Him, Why do You speak to them in par
11He answered and said to them, Be
cause it has been given to you to know the
mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but
to them it has not been given. 12For who
ever has, to him more will be given, and he
will have abundance; but whoever does not
have, even what he has will be taken away
from him. 13T herefore I speak to them in
parables, because seeing they do not see,
and hearing they do not hear, nor do they
understand. 14 And in them the prophecy of
Isaiah is fulfilled, which says:

The Unpardonable Sin

Matt.12:31, 32
Many people wonder and worry if it is possible to commit a sin so heinous that God cannot or
will not forgive it. Scripture says that this is not possibleand that it is.
The blood that Jesus Christ shed on the
cross paid for all of the worlds sin (John 1:29;
Rom.5:1221; 8:3), and there is no wrongdoing that God has not overcome through Christ.
So no one ever has to be afraid of going beyond the reach of Gods grace or restorative
power. No matter what our sins may be, God
will forgive them if we come to Him in repentance (Acts 2:38; 1John 1:9).
However, it is possible to put ourselves beyond the reach of Gods grace by persisting in
rebellion and resisting His call to repentance.
That was the sin of the Pharisees and other
Jewish leaders (compare Acts 7:51, 52). When
Jesus healed a demon-possessed man through

9780718042523_int_05a_matt_mark_awsb.indd 28

the power of the Holy Spirit (Matt. 12:28),

His enemies claimed that He was an agent of
Satan (12:24, where Satan is called Beelzebub).
The accusation confirmed that these leaders had rejected Jesus. It also slandered the
Holy Spirit and revealed that their moral nature had become so perverted that they were
beyond any hope of repentance and faith
and therefore beyond forgiveness.
There is no unpardonable sin (12:31) for
those who cry out like the tax collector in Jesus
parable, God, be merciful to me a sinner!
(Luke 18:13). But there is no help for those
who count on their own self-righteousness, reject Christ, and slander His Holy Spirit.

6/23/15 3:31 PM

Matthew 13:23
Hearing you will hear and shall not
sower: 19W hen anyone hears the word of
the kingdom, and does not understand it,
And seeing you will see and not
then the wicked one comes and snatches
away what was sown in his heart. This is
15 For the hearts of this people have
he who received seed by the wayside. 20But
grown dull.
he who received the seed on stony places,
Their ears are hard of hearing,
this is he who hears the word and imme
And their eyes they have closed,
diately receives it with joy; 21yet he has
Lest they should see with their eyes
no root in himself, but endures only for a
and hear with their ears,
while. For when tribulation or persecution
Lest they should understand with their arises because of the word, immediately
hearts and turn,
he stumbles. 22Now he who received seed
So that I shoulda heal them.b
among the thorns is he who hears the word,
16 But blessed are your eyes for they see, and the cares of this world and the deceit
the word, and he
and your ears for they hear; 17for assuredly, fulness of riches choke
I say to you that many prophets and righ becomes unfruitful. But he who received
teous men desired to see what you see, and seed on the good ground is he who hears
did not see it, and to hear what you hear, the word and understands it, who indeed
bears fruit and produces: some a hundred
and did not hearit.
fold, some sixty, some thirty.

TheParable oftheSower Explained

18 Therefore

hear the parable of the

13:15aNUText and MText read

would. bIsaiah 6:9, 10

Workplace Analogies
Jesus captivated listeners by putting spiritual truths into everyday terms they could understand.
He probably spent most of His life working in His familys carpentry business. Although we know
little about His youth from adolescence until the start of His public ministry around age thirty,
the Bible tells us that His father was a carpenter (Matt.13:55) and that Jesus also practiced the
trade (Mark 6:3). Carpenters worked not only with wood but also with metal and stone to produce household furnishings and farm implements.
Jesus may have continued His occupation
even after He began to travel and teach.
Rabbis of the day provided for themselves by
third to one-
spending anywhere from one-
half of their time working, usually with their
hands. Many of Jesus opponents were also
religious teachers, and while they attacked
Jesus on several fronts, they never accused
Him of laziness. He was known to them as a
That reputation passed on to the early
church. One writer described Jesus as working as a carpenter when among men, making
ploughs and yokes, by which He taught the
symbols of righteousness and an active life.
Jesus hands-on background stands out in His
parables (brief scenes or stories that illustrated
moral principles and explained the realities of
His kingdom). Matthew 13 collects eight of His
workplace analogies that explain His kingdom:
1. The parable of the sower (13:123)
evaluates the openness of people who
hear about the kingdom.
2. The parable of the wheat and the tares
(weeds) (13:2430) warns that people who
pretend to be part of the kingdom cannot
fool God.
3. The parable of the mustard seed (13:31,
32) promises that the kingdom will
become a force to be reckoned with.
4. The parable of the leaven (13:33) describes

9780718042523_int_05a_matt_mark_awsb.indd 29

how the kingdom quietly yet effectively

expands to accomplish powerful results.
5. The parable of the hidden treasure
(13:44) says that the kingdom is the most
important thing anyone can possess.
6. The parable of the pearl of great price
(13:45, 46) also declares that the kingdom
is worth sacrificing everything to possess.
7. The parable of the dragnet (13:4750)
warns that those who accept the kingdom
will be separated from those who reject it.
8. The parable of the householder (13:51, 52)
calls those who understand the kingdom
to share their insight with others.
Jesus stories connected spiritual truth with
agriculture (sowing, harvesting, growing), the
food industry (baking, fishing), real estate
(land purchasing, home ownership), and retail
(the sale of pearls). His images and language
brought His message to life for ordinary people. He also demonstrated that God takes an
interest in the workplace and desires us to
serve Him wherever we live and work.
More: The prophets Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and Zechariah also told parables. See The Parables of Jeremiah at Jer.18:110; The Parables of Ezekiel at
Ezek.15:18; and The Parables of Zechariah at
Zech.5:14. Like Jesus, the apostle Paul supported himself by means of a secular occupation. See
Pauls Tentmaking at Acts 18:13.

6/23/15 3:31 PM

Matthew 13:24

Treasures Old and New

Christian truth is inexhaustible. No matter
how long we have followed Jesus or how
much theology we master, we can never
reach the end of what God reveals in Christ
and in the Biblea fact that Jesus addressed
in His parable of the householder.
Understanding this parable starts with
the question Jesus asked His followers:
Have you understood all these things?
(Matt. 13:51). These things refers to the
series of kingdom parables that He had just
told (13:150). The disciples answered yes.
They assumed that they had absorbed everything Jesus had to say. But these men could
not possibly have grasped all of the practical
applications of these stories, much less the
implications of an idea as complex as the
kingdom of God. Scholars still debate the full
meaning of what Jesus said (see The King
Declares His Kingdom at Matt.4:17).
Jesus was aware that the disciples thought
they had more insight than they actually possessed, and His parable of the householder
poked at their perspective. A householder
the head or master of a home
brings out family treasures to entertain or
impress a visitor. He might unveil a family
heirloom or a recent purchase. Jesus said His
disciples were like householders. They would
tell people about old treasuresthe basic
tenets of the gospeland they would tell
people about new treasuresapplications
of His teaching to new situations.
His disciples would be like scribes instructed concerning the kingdom of heaven
(13:52). Scribes were highly educated students of Scripture who worked as copyists,
editors, and teachers. They occupied a prestigious position, as only ordained teachers
were allowed to transmit and create religious
tradition. And just as Jewish scribes taught
truths that had been known for centuries as
well as fresh insights that applied Gods Word
to new situations, the disciples were storing
up Jesus teaching and would one day repeat
and apply His words for the benefit of others.
They would pass down things new and old
The New Testament contains the written
record of the disciples lifetime of discoveries. Like those early followers, we still uncover treasures both old and new, looking back
to fundamental truths that never change
and discerning ways to apply biblical principles to new issues.
More: Becoming a scribe required constant
study, often beginning at age 14 and continuing
to the age of 40.


TheParable oftheWheat and theTares

24 Another parable He put forth to them,

saying: The kingdom of heaven is like a
man who sowed good seed in his field;
25but while men slept, his enemy came and
sowed tares among the wheat and went his
way. 26But when the grain had sprouted
and produced a crop, then the tares also
appeared. 27So the servants of the owner
came and said to him, Sir, did you not sow
good seed in your field? How then does it
have tares? 28He said to them, An enemy
has done this. The servants said to him,
Do you want us then to go and gather them
up? 29But he said, No, lest while you gath
er up the tares you also uproot the wheat
with them. 30Let both grow together until
the harvest, and at the time of harvest I will
say to the reapers, First gather together
the tares and bind them in bundles to burn
them, but gather the wheat into my barn.

TheParable oftheMustard Seed

31Another parable He put forth to them,

saying: The kingdom of heaven is like a
mustard seed, which a man took and sowed
in his field, 32which indeed is the least of all
the seeds; but when it is grown it is great
er than the herbs and becomes a tree, so
that the birds of the air come and nest in
its branches.

TheParable oftheLeaven

33 Another parable He spoke to them:

The kingdom of heaven is like leaven,
which a woman took and hid in three mea
suresa of meal till it was all leavened.

Prophecy and theParables

34 All these things J

esus spoke to the
multitude in parables; and without a para
ble He did not speak to them, 35that it might
be fulfilled which was spoken by the proph
et, saying:

I will open My mouth in parables;

I will utter things kept secret from the
foundation of the world.a

TheParable oftheTares Explained

36T hen Jesus sent the multitude away

and went into the house. And His disciples
came to Him, saying, Explain to us the
parable of the tares of the field.
37He answered and said to them: He
who sows the good seed is the Son of Man.
38T he field is the world, the good seeds are
the sons of the kingdom, but the tares are
the sons of the wicked one. 39T he enemy
who sowed them is the devil, the harvest is
the end of the age, and the reapers are the
angels. 40T herefore as the tares are gath
ered and burned in the fire, so it will be at
the end of this age. 41T he Son of Man will
send out His angels, and they will gather
out of His kingdom all things that offend,

13:33aGreek sata, approximately two pecks in

all 13:35aPsalm 78:2

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6/23/15 3:31 PM


Matthew 14:15

and those who practice lawlessness, 42and

will cast them into the furnace of fire.
There will be wailing and gnashing of
teeth. 43T hen the righteous will shine forth
as the sun in the kingdom of their Father.
He who has ears to hear, let him hear!

brother Philips wife. 4 Because John had

said to him, It is not lawful for you to have
her. 5And although he wanted to put him
to death, he feared the multitude, because
they counted him as a prophet.
6But when Herods birthday was cele
brated, the daughter of Herodias danced
before them and pleased Herod. 7T herefore
TheParable oftheHidden Treasure
44Again, the kingdom of heaven is like he promised with an oath to give her what
treasure hidden in a field, which a man ever she might ask.
8 So she, having been prompted by her
found and hid; and for joy over it he goes
and sells all that he has and buys that field. mother, said, Give me John the Baptists
head here on a platter.
9And the king was sorry; nevertheless,
TheParable ofthePearl ofGreat Price
45 Again, the kingdom of heaven is like because of the oaths and because of those
he commanded it to be
a merchant seeking beautiful pearls, 46who, who sat with him,
when he had found one pearl of great price, given to her. So he11sent and had John
went and sold all that he had and boughtit. beheaded in prison. And his head was
brought on a platter and given to the girl,
and she brought it to her mother. 12T hen his
TheParable oftheDragnet
47 Again, the kingdom of heaven is disciples came and took away the body and
buried it, and went and told Jesus.
like a dragnet that was cast into the sea
and gathered some of every kind, which, Feeding theFive Thousand
when it was full, they drew to shore; and
13W hen J
esus heard it, He departed
they sat down and gathered the good into
there by boat to a deserted place by
vessels, but threw the bad away. So it
will be at the end of the age. The angels Himself. But when the multitudes heard
followed Him on foot from the cit
will come forth, separate the wicked from it, they
among the just, 50 and cast them into the ies. And when Jesus went out He saw a
furnace of fire. There will be wailing and great multitude; and He was moved with
compassion for them, and healed their sick.
gnashing of teeth.
15W hen it was evening, His disciples came
51Jesus said to them,a Have you under
to Him, saying, This is a deserted place,
stood all these things?
and the hour is already late. Send the mul
They said to Him, Yes, Lord.b
52T hen He said to them, Therefore
13:51aNUText omits Jesus said to
every scribe instructed concerninga the them. bNUText omits Lord. 13:52aOr for
kingdom of heaven is like a householder 13:55aNUText reads Joseph.
who brings out of his treasure things new
and old.

Jesus Rejected at Nazareth

53Now it came to pass, when Jesus had

finished these parables, that He departed
from there. 54W hen He had come to His
own country, He taught them in their syn
agogue, so that they were astonished and
said, Where did this Man get this wisdom
and these mighty works? 55Is this not the
carpenters son? Is not His mother called
Mary? And His brothers James, Joses, a
Simon, and Judas? 56And His sisters, are
they not all with us? Where then did this
Man get all these things? 57So they were
offended at Him.
But J esus said to them, A prophet is not
without honor except in his own country
and in his own house. 58Now He did not
do many mighty works there because of
their unbelief.

John theBaptist Beheaded


t that time Herod the tetrarch heard

the report about J esus 2and said to
his servants, This is John the Baptist; he
is risen from the dead, and therefore these
powers are at work in him. 3For Herod had
laid hold of John and bound him, and put
him in prison for the sake of Herodias, his

9780718042523_int_05a_matt_mark_awsb.indd 31

Hateful Herodias

Herodias enjoyed her privilege and position

as the wife of Palestines appointed ruler. But
she had no control over the outspoken John
the Baptist, who had publicly condemned
Herodiass marriage to Herod Antipas. A
granddaughter of Herod the Great, Herodias
had first married her fathers brother, Herod
Philip I. Then she left Philip to marry his half
brother Herod Antipas, who divorced his
wife to marry Herodias.
When John denounced their immoral behavior, Herodias was determined to silence
the troublesome prophet. She persuaded
Herod to have John arrested and imprisoned,
but she could not bring about an execution
until Herods promise to give Herodiass
daughter Salome whatever she might ask
(Matt. 14:7). Not many people remember
Herodiass name, but her evil cunning and
violent revenge are far from forgotten two
thousand years after she walked the earth.
Whether or not your name is remembered, your actions will teach. Perhaps for
generations. What are you teaching?

6/23/15 3:31 PM

Matthew 14:16


titudes away, that they may go into the vil

lages and buy themselves food.
16But Jesus said to them, They do not
need to go away. You give them something
to eat.
17And they said to Him, We have here
only five loaves and two fish.
18 He said, Bring them here to Me.
19T hen He commanded the multitudes to
sit down on the grass. And He took the five
loaves and the two fish, and looking up to
heaven, He blessed and broke and gave the
loaves to the disciples; and the disciples
gave to the multitudes. 20So they all ate and
were filled, and they took up twelve baskets
full of the fragments that remained. 21Now
those who had eaten were about five thou
sand men, besides women and children.

Public Faith
Matt.14:13, 14
Knowing that God seeks a relationship with
every individual on earth, many Christians
enthusiastically pursue the private side of
spirituality, building habits of prayer, private
Bible reading, self-examination and confession, personal holiness, acts of charity, and
more. But what about the public side of
faith? For example:
How do we live out our faith in public
arenas such as work, school, and politics?
How strategic and energetic is our
collective witness as Gods people to a
watching world?
How do we influence our society as a
wholeits ideologies, needs, and values?
These far-
reaching questions have no
quick answers. But the public side of Jesus
ministry shows that we cannot ignore them.
Many in His day withdrew from society to
perfect a private spirituality (such as the
Essenes; see Political Parties of Jesus Day
at Matt. 16:1). But Jesus actively engaged
His culture. He participated in its rituals.
He focused on its cities (see Jesus Urban
Ministry at Matt. 9:35). He interacted with
its leaders. He welcomed its crowds. He particularly reached out to its poor, both the
financially poor and the poor in spirit (5:3).
Jesus rules not only our private lives but
also our public lives. As His followers we
are more than private individuals. We have
been made part of a royal priesthood and
a holy nation. We were once not a people, but now we are the people of God
(1 Pet. 2:9, 10). We must visibly act on our
faith as a united community in order to powerfully impact our world.
More: Jesus used two metaphors to describe a
believers public life, particularly in terms of
work and participation in the community. See
Salt and Light at Matt.5:1316.

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Jesus Walks on theSea

22Immediately Jesus made His disciples

get into the boat and go before Him to the
other side, while He sent the multitudes
away. 23And when He had sent the multi
tudes away, He went up on the mountain by
Himself to pray. Now when evening came,
He was alone there. 24 But the boat was
now in the middle of the sea,a tossed by the
waves, for the wind was contrary.
25Now in the fourth watch of the night
Jesus went to them, walking on the sea.
26 And when the disciples saw Him walk
ing on the sea, they were troubled, saying,
It is a ghost! And they cried out for fear.
27But immediately Jesus spoke to them,
saying, Be of good cheer! It is I; do not be
28 And Peter answered Him and said,
Lord, if it is You, command me to come to
You on the water.
29So He said, Come. And when Peter
had come down out of the boat, he walked
on the water to go to J esus. 30But when he
saw that the wind was boisterous,a he was
afraid; and beginning to sink he cried out,
saying, Lord, save me!
31And immediately J
esus stretched out
His hand and caught him, and said to him,
O you of little faith, why did you doubt?
32And when they got into the boat, the wind
33T hen those who were in the boat came
anda worshiped Him, saying, Truly You
are the Son of God.

Many Touch Him and Are Made Well

34W hen they had crossed over, they

came to the land ofa Gennesaret. 35And
when the men of that place recognized
Him, they sent out into all that surrounding
region, brought to Him all who were sick,
36 and begged Him that they might only
touch the hem of His garment. And as many
as touched it were made perfectly well.

Defilement Comes from Within


hen the scribes and Pharisees who

were from Jerusalem came to J esus,
saying, 2Why do Your disciples transgress
the tradition of the elders? For they do not
wash their hands when they eat bread.
3He answered and said to them, Why
do you also transgress the commandment
of God because of your tradition? 4For God
commanded, saying, Honor your father
and your mother;a and, He who curses
father or mother, let him be put to death.b
5But you say, Whoever says to his father or
mother, Whatever profit you might have
received from me is a gift to God6 then
he need not honor his father or mother.a

14:24aNUText reads many furlongs away

from the land. 14:30aNUText brackets that
and boisterous as disputed. 14:33a NUText
omits came and. 14:34aNUText reads came
to land at. 15:4aExodus 20:12; Deuteronomy
5:16 bExodus 21:17 15:6aNUText omits or

6/23/15 3:31 PM


Matthew 15:24

Thus you have made the commandmentb of without understanding? 17Do you not yet
God of no effect by your tradition. 7Hypo understand that whatever enters the mouth
crites! Well did Isaiah prophesy about you, goes into the stomach and is eliminated?
18But those things which proceed out of the
mouth come from the heart, and they defile
8 These people draw near to Me with
a man. 19For out of the heart proceed evil
their mouth,
thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications,
And honor Me with their lips,
thefts, false witness, blasphemies. 20T hese
But their heart is far fromMe.
are the things which defile a man, but to
9 And in vain they worship Me,
eat with unwashed hands does not defile
Teaching as doctrines the
a man.
commandments of men.
10W hen He had called the multitude to
Himself, He said to them, Hear and under
stand: 11Not what goes into the mouth
defiles a man; but what comes out of the
mouth, this defiles a man.
12T hen His disciples came and said to
Him, Do You know that the Pharisees
were offended when they heard this say
13But He answered and said, Every
plant which My heavenly Father has not
planted will be uprooted. 14Let them alone.
They are blind leaders of the blind. And if
the blind leads the blind, both will fall into
a ditch.
15T hen Peter answered and said to Him,
Explain this parable to us.
16 So
Jesus said, Are you also still

A Gentile Shows Her Faith

21T hen Jesus went out from there and

departed to the region of Tyre and Sidon.
22 And behold, a woman of Canaan came
from that region and cried out to Him,
saying, Have mercy on me, OLord, Son
of David! My daughter is severely demon-
23But He answered her not a word.
And His disciples came and urged Him,
saying, Send her away, for she cries out
after us.
24 But He answered and said, I was not
sent except to the lost sheep of the house
of Israel.

5:6bNUText reads word. 15:8a NUText

omits draw near to Me with their mouth, And.
15:9aIsaiah 29:13

Evaluating Tradition
Jesus rebuked the scribes and Pharisees for allowing their traditions to supersede Gods clear
commands. He specifically called out the stringent rabbinical rules regarding ritual washings
for preparing and serving food.
Today we do not follow the rigid pronounce- Why does this tradition exist? Why is it
ments of a priestly class. Yet there are countless
maintained? Are there solid reasons to
traditions and expectationsmany unspoken
continue itor to end it?
that govern our behavior, and sometimes cause Who benefits and who suffers from
us to squabble. As Christians, we are called at
maintaining this tradition? Who might be
times to uphold tradition and at other times to
helped or hurt by a change?
create new patterns of life. There are no simple
formulas to guide our decisions, but we can More: Tradition can preserve values and beliefs
start by reflecting on questions like these:
for future generations. See Remembering Gods
Action at Ex.12:26, 27.
What values and principles does a
particular tradition seek to embody? How
do those align with what Christ wants?

No Racial Division
The roots of social division stretched far back into Israels history, when a remnant of Jews had
come home from captivity in Babylon to rebuild Jerusalem around 458 b.c. Ezra, their leader,
commanded them to purify themselves from all pagan influences, particularly marriages to
foreign-born wives (Ezra 10:24). Later, after centuries of Greek and Roman domination, Jews
had developed a hatred for Gentiles so strong that it led them to avoid any and all contact with
foreigners if at all possible. According to Tacitus, a Roman historian, they regard the rest of
mankind with all the hatred of enemies (Histories, 5.5).
continued on next page

9780718042523_int_05a_matt_mark_awsb.indd 33

6/23/15 3:31 PM

Matthew 15:25


25T hen

she came and worshiped Him,

saying, Lord, help me!
26But He answered and said, It is not
good to take the childrens bread and throw
it to the little dogs.
27And she said, Yes, Lord, yet even the
little dogs eat the crumbs which fall from
their masters table.
28T hen J
esus answered and said to her,
O woman, great is your faith! Let it be to
you as you desire. And her daughter was
healed from that very hour.

Jesus Heals Great Multitudes

they all ate and were filled, and they took

up seven large baskets full of the fragments
that were left. 38Now those who ate were
four thousand men, besides women and
children. 39And He sent away the multi
tude, got into the boat, and came to the re
gion of Magdala.a

ThePharisees and Sadducees Seek a Sign


hen the Pharisees and Sadducees

came, and testing Him asked that He
would show them a sign from heaven. 2He
answered and said to them, When it is eve
ning you say, It will be fair weather, for the
sky is red; 3and in the morning, It will be
foul weather today, for the sky is red and
threatening. Hypocrites!a You know how
to discern the face of the sky, but you can
not discern the signs of the times. 4 A wick
ed and adulterous generation seeks after a
sign, and no sign shall be given to it except
the sign of the propheta Jonah. And He left
them and departed.

Jesus departed from there, skirt
ed the Sea of Galilee, and went up on the
mountain and sat down there. 30T hen great
multitudes came to Him, having with them
the lame, blind, mute, maimed, and many
others; and they laid them down at Jesus
feet, and He healed them. 31So the multi
tude marveled when they saw the mute
speaking, the maimed made whole, the
lame walking, and the blind seeing; and
they glorified the God of Israel.
TheLeaven ofthePharisees and

Feeding theFour Thousand

32Now Jesus called His disciples to Him-

self and said, I have compassion on the

multitude, because they have now contin
ued with Me three days and have nothing
to eat. And I do not want to send them away
hungry, lest they faint on the way.
33T hen His disciples said to Him,
Where could we get enough bread in the
wilderness to fill such a great multitude?
34 Jesus said to them, How many loaves
do you have?
And they said, Seven, and a few little
35 So He commanded the multitude to
sit down on the ground. 36And He took the
seven loaves and the fish and gave thanks,
broke them and gave them to His disciples;
and the disciples gave to the multitude. 37So


5Now when His disciples had come to

the other side, they had forgotten to take
bread. 6T hen Jesus said to them, Take
heed and beware of the leaven of the Phar
isees and the Sadducees.
7And they reasoned among themselves,
saying, It is because we have taken no
8But J
esus, being aware of it, said to
them, O you of little faith, why do you
reason among yourselves because you
have brought no bread?a 9Do you not yet
understand, or remember the five loaves of
the five thousand and how many baskets

15:39aNUText reads Magadan. 16:3aNU

Text omits Hypocrites. 16:4aNUText omits
the prophet. 16:8aNUText reads you have
no bread.

continued from previous page

The Jews who lived in Jesus day divided the

world into two types of peoplethemselves
and everyone else. Jews regarded Gentiles as
morally unclean and spiritually lost. Jews were
Gods people, and they saw all others as outside His family. Peter expressed this attitude
when the Lord sent him to meet the Roman
centurion Cornelius: You know how unlawful
it is for a Jewish man to keep company with or
go to one of another nation, Peter said (Acts
Matthews Gospel shows the tension between the divisions between Jew and Gentile.
Jesus was the long-awaited Christ of the Jews
(Matt 15:24), the fulfillment of Old Testament
messianic prophecies (for example, Matt.1:23;
2:6, 14, 18, 23). But Jesus also broke down the
wall of hatred and separation between Jews
and Gentiles. By dealing with both groups

9780718042523_int_05a_matt_mark_awsb.indd 34

alike, Jesus shattered the established systems

of His day and shocked His fellow Jews.
Racism and ethnic hatred have no place
in Gods plan. They originate in sinful human
hearts, and Jesus repudiated the evil of bigotry
wherever He found it. There is no doubt God
will continue to tear down ethnic and racial
walls in the modern world. And as His followers, it is our job to lead the way in showing
equal acceptance and love for all peoples of
the world.
More: While Matthews Gospel highlights the
Jewish roots of Jesus, it also reveals Him as the
Messiah for the whole world. See A Savior for
the Whole World at Matt.8:10. Samaritans were
treated with scorn by their Jewish cousins because
they were half-Jew, half-Gentile. See The Road
Less Traveled at John 4:442.

6/23/15 3:31 PM


Matthew 16:9

Political Parties of Jesus Day

Jesus seemed acutely aware of His societys power brokers. He showed remarkable skill at political gamesmanship.
But He functioned in a system completely unlike our own. While we cannot do more
than speculate on Jesus political leanings, we can still grapple with the political dynamics of
Palestine during the first half of the first century. Jesus ministered in a tumultuous environment
where at least five major political parties flourished among the Jews.

The Herodians:
Defenders of the Status Quo
Took their name from Herod the Great (37
4 b.c.) and his supporters (Acts 12:1, 2).
Encouraged the spread of Greco-Roman
culture and policies in Palestine.
Favored political autonomy. Fearing
military intervention from Rome, they
stridently resisted challengers to the
status quo, including the Zealots, John the
Baptist, Jesus, and the early Christians.
Joined forces with other parties to eliminate
Jesus (Matt.22:16; Mark 3:6; 12:13).

The Pharisees: Religious Legalists

Name means To Separate.
Held views similar to the Essenes but chose
not to flee the larger society. Many chose
to study the Law on their own, having lost
respect for a corrupt priesthood.
Many served on the Jewish Council (see
The Council at Acts 6:1215).
Considered the doctors of the Law; scribes
were considered laymen.
Collected and preserved voluminous
products of oral tradition and Old
Testament commentary.
Legalistic and fanatically devoted to
rabbinic tradition. Some refused to eat with
non-Pharisees for fear of contamination
from food not ritually cleansed.
Favored political autonomy.
Differed with the Sadducees over the
doctrine of resurrection.
Understood the coming kingdom as a
literal fulfillment of Gods promise to David
of a King to reign over Israel forever.
Developed an elaborate theology of angels
and their intervention in human affairs.

The Sadducees: The Urban Elite

Included many of the aristocrats, priests,
merchants, and urban elite in Jerusalem
and other cities of Judea.
Many served on the Jewish Council. Most
high priests in the days of Jesus and the
early church were Sadducees.
Denied the existence of angels, a
resurrection or life after death, as well as
the doctrines of everlasting punishment
and a literal kingdom.
Denied that God controls history, insisting
on free will and the responsibility of

9780718042523_int_05a_matt_mark_awsb.indd 35

humans to make wise choices according to

the Law.
Held only to the Law of Moses (the first
five books of the Old Testament) as

The Zealots: Firebrands of Revolution

Fervent nationalists who awaited an
opportunity to revolt against Rome.
Resisted paying taxes to Rome or to the
Their tax revolt led by Judas the Galilean
against Rome (6 b.c.) secured Galilees
reputation as a seedbed of revolutionaries.
Blamed by some for the collapse of Judea
to Rome in the war of a.d. 6670.
Sided with the Pharisees in supporting the Law.
Opposed the Herodians and Sadducees, who
tried to maintain the political status quo.
Intolerant of the Essenes and Christians for
their tendencies toward nonviolence.
The Zealots Judas Iscariot and Simon the
Canaanite were recruited by Jesus.

The Essenes: Detached Purists

A sect of ascetics that thrived from the
middle of the second century b.c. until the
Jewish-Roman war of a.d. 6670.
Unlike the Pharisees, they separated
from society, withdrawing into monastic
communities like Qumran, where the Dead
Sea Scrolls were found.
Known today mostly through secondary
Lived in groups that held property in
Believed in the immortality of the soul,
angels, and an elaborate system of end-
times prophecies. Some awaited as many
as three different Messiahs.
Known for celibacy, pacifism, opposition
to slavery, caring for their sick and elderly,
trading only within their own sect, simple
meals and dress, and rejection of all
ostentatious display.
Carefully guarded the Sabbath and paid
more attention than the Pharisees to
ceremonial purity than even the Pharisees.
May have influenced some early Christian
practices and rituals.
More: In addition to the regional politics of Palestine, Jesus and His followers lived under Romes
potent influence.

6/23/15 3:31 PM

Matthew 16:10

The Gates of Hell

The citizens of ancient cities built walls to
protect themselves from invaders. Along
the walls they built massive gates that could
be opened to allow traffic into the city and
closed to deny entry to bandits or attacking
City gates became thoroughfares of
commerce and social debate. Bazaars and
forums congregated around a citys gates.
Goods changed hands and decision-makers
gathered to hear news and deliberate. In
some cities, these gates continue to serve as
a hub for public life today.
During ancient times, gates eventually
became a metaphor for the economic and
political life of a city. The powerful and influential did their business in the gates.
The husband of the virtuous woman of
Proverbs 31, for example, is known in the
gates, when he sits among the elders of the
land (Prov.31:23). Boaz went to the gates to
buy a marriage license to marry Ruth (Ruth
4:112; compare Deut.25:7). War plans were
drawn up and military treaties were signed
in the gates (Judg.5:8, 11). Kings sat in the
gates to address their people (2Sam.19:8).
Even conspirators hatched their plots and
were exposed in the gates (Esth.2:1923).
When Jesus mentioned the gates of
Hades, His words would have had potent
political associations for His listeners, like
we might have with the terms city hall, the
Capitol, or the White House. The gates of
Hades were not a mere spiritual abstraction
but real evil forces working through human
systems that included government, specifically the Roman government, which was
quickly becoming more and more corrupt
and anti-Christian.
Jesus alluded to a spiritual warfare of
cosmic proportions. His followers battle
forces that both attack individual Christians
and infiltrate institutions to enlist them in a
campaign against Christ. Satans guises take
many forms (see Angels and Demons at
Jesus promised that the gates of Hades
will not succeed in the end. He offers hope to
all of His followers who cope with challenging situations and battle for good against entities backed by spiritual forces of evil. In the
midst of the fight, Jesus has declared, I will
build My church (16:18).
More: During this conversation, Jesus and His
disciples stood in the shadow of a city named in
honor of Romes emperor.

you took up? 10Nor the seven loaves of the
four thousand and how many large baskets
you took up? 11How is it you do not under
stand that I did not speak to you concern
ing bread?but to beware of the leaven
of the Pharisees and Sadducees. 12T hen
they understood that He did not tell them
to beware of the leaven of bread, but of the
doctrine of the Pharisees and Sadducees.

Peter Confesses Jesus as theChrist

13W hen Jesus came into the region of

Caesarea Philippi, He asked His disciples,
saying, Who do men say that I, the Son of
Man, am?
14So they said, Some say John the Bap
tist, some Elijah, and others Jeremiah or
one of the prophets.
15He said to them, But who do you say
that I am?
16 Simon Peter answered and said, You
are the Christ, the Son of the living God.
Jesus answered and said to him,
Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah, for
flesh and blood has not revealed this to
you, but My Father who is in heaven. 18And
I also say to you that you are Peter, and on
this rock I will build My church, and the
gates of Hades shall not prevail against it.
19And I will give you the keys of the king
dom of heaven, and whatever you bind on
earth will be bound in heaven, and what
ever you loose on earth will be looseda in
20T hen He commanded His disciples
that they should tell no one that He was
Jesus the Christ.

Jesus Predicts His Death and Resurrection

21From that time Jesus began to show to

His disciples that He must go to Jerusalem,
and suffer many things from the elders and
chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and
be raised the third day.
22T hen Peter took Him aside and began
to rebuke Him, saying, Far be it from You,
Lord; this shall not happen to You!
23But He turned and said to Peter, Get
behind Me, Satan! You are an offense to
Me, for you are not mindful of the things of
God, but the things of men.

Take Up theCross and Follow Him

24T hen J
esus said to His disciples, If
anyone desires to come after Me, let him
deny himself, and take up his cross, and
follow Me. 25For whoever desires to save his
life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for
My sake will find it. 26For what profit is it
to a man if he gains the whole world, and
loses his own soul? Or what will a man give
in exchange for his soul? 27For the Son of
Man will come in the glory of His Father
with His angels, and then He will reward
each according to his works. 28Assuredly,
I say to you, there are some standing here

16:19aOr will have been bound... will have

been loosed

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6/23/15 3:31 PM


Matthew 17:24

who shall not taste death till they see the pleased. Hear Him! 6And when the disci
Son of Man coming in His kingdom.
ples heard it, they fell on their faces and
were greatly afraid. 7But Jesus came and
Jesus Transfigured on theMount
touched them and said, Arise, and do not
Now after six days Jesus took Peter, be afraid. 8W hen they had lifted up their
James, and John his brother, led them eyes, they saw no one but Jesus only.
9 Now as they came down from the
up on a high mountain by themselves; 2and
He was transfigured before them. His face mountain, J esus commanded them, saying,
shone like the sun, and His clothes became Tell the vision to no one until the Son of
as white as the light. 3And behold, Moses Man is risen from the dead.
10And His disciples asked Him, saying,
and Elijah appeared to them, talking with
Him. 4T hen Peter answered and said to Why then do the scribes say that Elijah
Jesus, Lord, it is good for us to be here; if must come first?
You wish, let usa make here three taberna
Jesus answered and said to them,
cles: one for You, one for Moses, and one Indeed, Elijah is coming firsta and will
for Elijah.
restore all things. 12But I say to you that
5W hile he was still speaking, behold, a Elijah has come already, and they did not
bright cloud overshadowed them; and sud know him but did to him whatever they
denly a voice came out of the cloud, saying, wished. Likewise the Son of Man is also
This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well about to suffer at their hands. 13T hen the
disciples understood that He spoke to them
of John the Baptist.


Grow On Up
Matt.16:22, 23

Peter liked to take charge and set his own

agenda. But he found himself in over his
When Jesus walked on water, Peter tried
to confirm Jesus identity by demanding
an invitation to join Him on the water.
After a few steps, Peter was overwhelmed
by the wind and the waves and sank in
fear (Matt.14:2232).
Peter exaggerated his commitment to
Christ, claiming that even if I have to die
with You, I will not deny You! (26:35).
Only a few hours later he denied having
any connection to Jesus (26:6975).
Peter tried to singlehandedly defend
Jesus against Roman soldiers who came
to arrest Him, even though he had failed
to watch and pray with Christ (26:36
46; John 18:111).
Peter refused to let Jesus wash his feet
at the Last Supper, then begged Him to
wash his hands, feet, and head as well
Peters leadership impulses were eventually brought under control, and he became a
significant figure in the early church. Despite
the false starts that resulted from Peters impetuous nature, Peter grew up. Jesus enlisted
this loyal follower to feed My sheep (21:17).
Like Peter, our leadership skills may be
raw. We might be ready to jump at the first
idea that enters our mind. We can instead let
Jesus harness our energies and talents for His
glory. He has a plan for our growth, and it may
require slowing down before speeding up.
More: Peter was not the only follower of
Christ who seemed like an unlikely candidate
to become a leader. See Unlikely Leaders at

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A Boy Is Healed

14 And when they had come to the mul

titude, a man came to Him, kneeling down
to Him and saying, 15Lord, have mercy on
my son, for he is an epileptica and suffers
severely; for he often falls into the fire and
often into the water. 16 So I brought him
to Your disciples, but they could not cure
17T hen J
esus answered and said,
O faithless and perverse generation, how
long shall I be with you? How long shall
I bear with you? Bring him here to Me.
18 And
Jesus rebuked the demon, and it
came out of him; and the child was cured
from that very hour.
19T hen the disciples came to J
esus pri
vately and said, Why could we not cast it
20 So Jesus said to them, Because of your
unbelief;a for assuredly, I say to you, if you
have faith as a mustard seed, you will say
to this mountain, Move from here to there,
and it will move; and nothing will be impos
sible for you. 21However, this kind does not
go out except by prayer and fasting.a

Jesus Again Predicts His Death and


22Now while they were stayinga in Gal

ilee, Jesus said to them, The Son of Man
is about to be betrayed into the hands of
men, 23and they will kill Him, and the third
day He will be raised up. And they were
exceedingly sorrowful.

Peter and His Master Pay Their Taxes

24W hen they had come to Capernaum,a

those who received the temple tax came to

17:4aNUText reads I will. 17:11a NUText

omits first. 17:15aLiterally moonstruck
17:20aNUText reads little faith. 17:21aNU
Text omits this verse. 17:22aNUText reads
gathering together. 17:24aNUText reads
Capharnaum (here and elsewhere).

6/23/15 3:31 PM


The Names of Jesus

During the Transfiguration God the Father called Jesus My beloved Son. Elsewhere, Scripture
calls Jesus by names and titles that highlight other aspects of His nature, character, and mission.
Name or Title


Adam (1Cor.15:45)

The first Adams sin brought death to humankind. Jesus, the last
Adam, brought life to humankind.

The Alpha and the Omega


Jesus is eternal, The Beginning and the End. Alpha is the first
letter of the Greek alphabet, and omega is the last.

Apostle (Heb.3:1)

Apostle means messenger. Jesus came to bring the good news

of salvation to humanity.

The Bread of Life (John 6:35, 48)

Jesus is the spiritual food God gives to those who ask.

The chief cornerstone


Jesus is the churchs foundation.

The Chief Shepherd (1Pet.5:4)

Jesus cares for His flock, the church.

The Christ (Matt.1:1, 17; 16:16;

Luke 2:11; John 1:41)

From the Greek word Christos, Messiah or Anointed One.

Jesus fulfills the Old Testament promise of a Messiah for Gods

The Consolation of Israel (Luke


Jesus came to comfort the nation of Israel (Is.40:1, 2).

The firstborn from the dead


Jesus overcame death to give life to those who believe in Him.

The firstborn over all creation


As Gods Son, Jesus rules over everything that exists.

The Good Shepherd (John 10:11,

14; compare Heb.13:20)

Describes Jesus relationship to His people.

The head of the body, the

church (Eph.1:22, 23; 4:15, 16;

Jesus is His peoples leader and their source of life.

High Priest (Heb.3:1)

Like an Old Testament high priest, Jesus offers an acceptable

sacrifice for sin.

The Holy One of God (Mark 1:24;

John 6:69)

Jesus is the sinless Messiah promised by God.

I AM (John 8:58)

A name related to the verb to be, which God used to reveal

Himself to Moses (Ex.3:14).

The image of the invisible God


Jesus expresses God in bodily form.

Immanuel (Matt.1:23)

God-With-Us (Is.7:14).

Jesus (Matt.1:21; Luke 1:30;

Acts 9:5)

The name that God instructed Joseph and Mary to call their Son.

King of kings and Lord of lords


The formal title that indicates Jesus supremacy as the one to

whom every knee should bow (Phil.2:911).

King of the Jews (Matt.2:2;

27:11, 12; John 19:19)

As the Messiah, Jesus is Israels King and the fulfillment of Gods

promises to David (2Sam.7:1216).

The Lamb of God (John 1:29, 35)

Jesus became the atoning sacrifice for sin.

The Light of the World (John 9:5)

Jesus brings truth and hope to light in the midst of spiritual


continued on next page

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6/23/15 3:31 PM

Peter and said, Does your Teacher not pay
the temple tax?
25He said, Yes.
And when he had come into the house,
Jesus anticipated him, saying, What do
you think, Simon? From whom do the kings
of the earth take customs or taxes, from
their sons or from strangers?
26Peter said to Him, From strangers.
Jesus said to him, Then the sons are
free. 27Nevertheless, lest we offend them,
go to the sea, cast in a hook, and take the
fish that comes up first. And when you have
opened its mouth, you will find a piece of
money;a take that and give it to them for
Me and you.

Who Is theGreatest?


t that time the disciples came to

Jesus, saying, Who then is greatest
in the kingdom of heaven?
2T hen J
esus called a little child to Him,
set him in the midst of them, 3and said,
Assuredly, I say to you, unless you are
converted and become as little children,
you will by no means enter the kingdom
of heaven. 4T herefore whoever humbles
himself as this little child is the greatest
in the kingdom of heaven. 5W hoever re
ceives one little child like this in My name

Matthew 18:12

Jesus Warns ofOffenses

6 Whoever causes one of these little

ones who believe in Me to sin, it would
be better for him if a millstone were hung
around his neck, and he were drowned in
the depth of the sea. 7Woe to the world be
cause of offenses! For offenses must come,
but woe to that man by whom the offense
8 If your hand or foot causes you to sin,
cut it off and cast it from you. It is better
for you to enter into life lame or maimed,
rather than having two hands or two feet,
to be cast into the everlasting fire. 9And if
your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out and
cast it from you. It is better for you to enter
into life with one eye, rather than having
two eyes, to be cast into hell fire.

TheParable oftheLost Sheep

10 Take heed that you do not despise

one of these little ones, for I say to you that
in heaven their angels always see the face
of My Father who is in heaven. 11For the
Son of Man has come to save that which
was lost.a
12 What do you think? If a man has

17:27aGreek stater, the exact amount to pay

the temple tax (didrachma) for two 18:11aNU
Text omits this verse.

continued from previous page

Name or Title


Lord (Luke 2:11; 1Cor.2:8;


A title indicating ultimate sovereignty.

Mediator between God and men


Jesus reestablishes the relationship between God and humanity.

The only begotten of the Father

(John 1:14)

Jesus is Gods only Son.

The Prophet (Mark 6:15; John

7:40; Acts 3:22)

Jesus is the leader that God promised to raise up like Moses

(Deut.18:15, 18, 19).

Rabbi (John 1:38; 3:2)

Friends and enemies alike recognized Jesus as Teacher.

Savior (Luke 1:47; 2:11)

Jesus came to save people from their sins.

Seed (of Abraham; Gal.3:16)

God made promises to Abraham and his Seed, identified by

Paul as Christ (Gen.13:15; 17:8).

The Son of Abraham (Matt.1:1)

Jesus descended from Abraham and fulfills Gods promises to

Abraham (Gen.22:18).

The Son of David (Matt.1:1)

Jesus descended from David and fulfills Gods promises to David


The Son of God (John 1:34;


Jesus is one of three Persons of the Trinity (Father, Son, and Holy

The Son of Man (Matt.18:11;

John 1:51)

Though fully God, Jesus took on a human body (compare


The Word (John 1:1; Rev.19:13)

Jesus is fully God and the full expression of God.

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6/23/15 3:31 PM

Matthew 18:13


a hundred sheep, and one of them goes

astray, does he not leave the ninety-n ine
and go to the mountains to seek the one that
is straying? 13And if he should find it, as
suredly, I say to you, he rejoices more over
that sheep than over the ninety-nine that
did not go astray. 14Even so it is not the will
of your Father who is in heaven that one of
these little ones should perish.

Dealing with a Sinning Brother

15Moreover if your brother sins against

you, go and tell him his fault between you
and him alone. If he hears you, you have
gained your brother. 16But if he will not
hear, take with you one or two more, that
by the mouth of two or three witnesses ev
ery word may be established.a 17And if he
refuses to hear them, tell it to the church.
But if he refuses even to hear the church,
let him be to you like a heathen and a tax
18 Assuredly, I say to you, whatever you
bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and
whatever you loose on earth will be loosed
in heaven.
19 Again I saya to you that if two of you
agree on earth concerning anything that
they ask, it will be done for them by My Fa
ther in heaven. 20For where two or three are
gathered together in My name, I am there
in the midst of them.

wicked servant! I forgave you all that debt

because you begged me. 33Should you not
also have had compassion on your fellow
servant, just as I had pity on you? 34 And
his master was angry, and delivered him
to the torturers until he should pay all that
was due to him.
35So My heavenly Father also will do to
you if each of you, from his heart, does not
forgive his brother his trespasses.a

Marriage and Divorce


ow it came to pass, when Jesus had

finished these sayings, that He de
parted from Galilee and came to the region
of Judea beyond the Jordan. 2 And great
multitudes followed Him, and He healed
them there.
3T he Pharisees also came to Him, test
ing Him, and saying to Him, Is it lawful
for a man to divorce his wife for just any
4 And He answered and said to them,
Have you not read that He who made a
them at the beginning made them male
and female,b 5and said, For this reason a
man shall leave his father and mother and
be joined to his wife, and the two shall be
come one flesh?a 6So then, they are no lon
ger two but one flesh. Therefore what God
has joined together, let not man separate.
7T hey said to Him, Why then did Mo
ses command to give a certificate of di
vorce, and to put her away?
TheParable oftheUnforgiving Servant
8He said to them, Moses, because of the
21T hen Peter came to Him and said,
hardness of your hearts, permitted you to
Lord, how often shall my brother sin divorce your wives, but from the beginning
against me, and I forgive him? Up to seven it was not so. 9And I say to you, whoever di
22 Jesus said to him, I do not say to you, vorces his wife, except for sexual immorali
ty,a and marries another, commits adultery;
up to seven times, but up to seventy times and whoever marries her who is divorced
seven. T herefore the kingdom of heaven commits adultery.
is like a certain king who wanted to settle
10His disciples said to Him, If such is
accounts with his servants. 24 And when the case of the man with his wife, it is better
he had begun to settle accounts, one was not to marry.
brought to him who owed him ten thousand
talents. 25But as he was not able to pay, his
Teaches on Celibacy
master commanded that he be sold, with Jesus
11But He said to them, All cannot ac
his wife and children and all that he had,
only those to whom
and that payment be made. 26T he servant cept this saying, but
therefore fell down before him, saying, it has been given: For there are eunuchs
Master, have patience with me, and I will who were born thus from their mothers
pay you all. 27T hen the master of that ser womb, and there are eunuchs who were
vant was moved with compassion, released made eunuchs by men, and there are eu
nuchs who have made themselves eunuchs
him, and forgave him the debt.
28 But that servant went out and found for the kingdom of heavens sake. He who is
one of his fellow servants who owed him able to accept it, let him accept it.
a hundred denarii; and he laid hands on
him and took him by the throat, saying, Jesus Blesses Little Children
13T hen little children were brought to
Pay me what you owe! 29So his fellow ser
vant fell down at his feeta and begged him, Him that He might put His hands on them
saying, Have patience with me, and I will and pray, but the disciples rebuked them.
pay you all.b 30And he would not, but went
and threw him into prison till he should 18:16aDeuteronomy 19:15 18:19a NUText
Text read Again, assuredly, I say.
pay the debt. 31So when his fellow servants and M
18:29aNUText omits at his feet. bNU
saw what had been done, they were very Text
and MText omit all. 18:35a NUText
grieved, and came and told their master omits his trespasses. 19:4aNUText reads
all that had been done. T hen his master, created. bGenesis 1:27; 5:2 19:5aGenesis
after he had called him, said to him, You 2:24 19:9aOr fornication

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6/23/15 3:31 PM


Matthew 20:7

14 But

Jesus said, Let the little children 19Honor your father and your mother, a
come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of and, You shall love your neighbor as your
such is the kingdom of heaven. 15And He self.b
20T he young man said to Him, All these
laid His hands on them and departed from
things I have kept from my youth.a What
do I still lack?
21Jesus said to him, If you want to be
Jesus Counsels theRich Young Ruler
16 Now behold, one came and said to perfect, go, sell what you have and give
Him, Good a Teacher, what good thing to the poor, and you will have treasure in
heaven; and come, follow Me.
shall I do that I may have eternal life?
22But when the young man heard that
17So He said to him, Why do you call
Me good? No one is good but One, that is, saying, he went away sorrowful, for he had
God.b But if you want to enter into life, keep great possessions.
the commandments.
18He said to Him, Which ones?
With God All Things Are Possible
Jesus said, You shall not murder, You
23T hen J
esus said to His disciples, As
shall not commit adultery, You shall not
ly, I say to you that it is hard for a rich
steal, You shall not bear false witness,
man to enter the kingdom of heaven. 24 And
again I say to you, it is easier for a camel
to go through the eye of a needle than for
Jesus Valued Children
a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.
25W hen His disciples heard it, they
were greatly astonished, saying, Who then
can be saved?
The warm welcome that Jesus extended to lit26But J
esus looked at them and said to
tle children spoke loudly about their worth.
them, With men this is impossible, but
The disciples who rebuked the mothers for
with God all things are possible.
bringing their babies to Jesus (Matt. 19:13)
27T hen Peter answered and said to Him,
may have reflected the dominant Greco-
See, we have left all and followed You.
Roman view of childhood as an insignificant
Therefore what shall we have?
stage of life. Children were necessary for a
28 So J
esus said to them, Assuredly I
familys survival but were not valued for
say to you, that in the regeneration, when
their own sake.
the Son of Man sits on the throne of His
Unwanted infants in pagan cultures were
glory, you who have followed Me will also
routinely abandoned on roadsides and at
sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve
garbage dumps. Gender and economics oftribes of Israel. 29And everyone who has
ten determined an infants fate: girls were
left houses or brothers or sisters or father
left more often than boys because girls
or mother or wifea or children or lands, for
represented a financial burden while boys
My names sake, shall receive a hundred
would eventually contribute to a familys infold, and inherit eternal life. 30But many
come. Most abandoned infants died. A few
who are first will be last, and the last first.
were found by others and raised to become
slaves, gladiators, or prostitutes. Children
TheParable oftheWorkers
were considered so unimportant that prointheVineyard
fessional beggars sometimes mutilated these
For the kingdom of heaven is like a
abandoned children and used their misery
landowner who went out early in the
to garner sympathy from passersby.
morning to hire laborers for his vineyard.
Among the Jews, however, children had
2Now when he had agreed with the laborers
traditionally been considered a blessing from
for a denarius a day, he sent them into his
God. The Law instructed both fathers and
vineyard. 3And he went out about the third
mothers to nurture and care for children, but
hour and saw others standing idle in the
Jewish fathers had ultimate authority over
marketplace, 4and said to them, You also
all aspects of their childrens lives. They were
go into the vineyard, and whatever is right
obligated to teach their children Gods comI will give you. So they went. 5Again he
mands and raise them as active members of
went out about the sixth and the ninth hour,
Gods chosen people (Deut.6:68). Children
and did likewise. 6And about the eleventh
in return were to honor their parents (5:16).
hour he went out and found others standing
In Jewish culture, mothers usually took
idle,a and said to them, Why have you been
care of infants, who typically nursed until
standing here idle all day? 7T hey said to
the age of two or three. Wealthy Greeks and
him, Because no one hired us. He said to
Romans employed wet nurses, and as the
19:16aNUText omits Good. 19:17aNU
children grew, their care was turned over
Text reads Why do you ask Me about what is
to slaves. Poor women worked with babies
good? bNUText reads There is One who is
slung on their backs, and children were
good. 19:19aExodus 20:1216; Deuteronomy
taught to help in their parents work as soon
5:1620 bLeviticus 19:18 19:20a NUText
omits from my youth. 19:29aNUText omits
as they were able.


or wife. 20:6aNUText omits idle.

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6/23/15 3:31 PM

Matthew 20:8


them, You also go into the vineyard, and

whatever is right you will receive.a
8 So when evening had come, the owner
of the vineyard said to his steward, Call the
laborers and give them their wages, begin
ning with the last to the first. 9And when
those came who were hired about the elev
enth hour, they each received a denarius.
10But when the first came, they supposed
that they would receive more; and they
likewise received each a denarius. 11And
when they had received it, they complained
against the landowner, 12 saying, These
last men have worked only one hour, and
you made them equal to us who have borne
the burden and the heat of the day. 13But he
answered one of them and said, Friend, I
am doing you no wrong. Did you not agree
with me for a denarius? 14Take what is
yours and go your way. I wish to give to
this last man the same as to you. 15Is it not
lawful for me to do what I wish with my
own things? Or is your eye evil because I
am good? 16 So the last will be first, and
the first last. For many are called, but few

Jesus a Third Time Predicts His Death and


Jesus, going up to Jerusalem,
took the twelve disciples aside on the road
and said to them, 18 Behold, we are going
up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will
be betrayed to the chief priests and to the
scribes; and they will condemn Him to
death, 19and deliver Him to the Gentiles to

mock and to scourge and to crucify. And

the third day He will rise again.

Greatness Is Serving

20T hen the mother of Zebedees sons

came to Him with her sons, kneeling down
and asking something from Him.
21 And He said to her, What do you
She said to Him, Grant that these two
sons of mine may sit, one on Your right
hand and the other on the left, in Your
22But Jesus answered and said, You
do not know what you ask. Are you able
to drink the cup that I am about to drink,
and be baptized with the baptism that I am
baptized with?a
They said to Him, We are able.
23So He said to them, You will indeed
drink My cup, and be baptized with the
baptism that I am baptized with;a but to
sit on My right hand and on My left is not
Mine to give, but it is for those for whom it
is prepared by My Father.
24 And when the ten heard it, they were
greatly displeased with the two brothers.
25But Jesus called them to Himself and said,
You know that the rulers of the Gentiles
lord it over them, and those who are great

20:7aNUText omits the last clause of this

verse. 20:16aNUText omits the last sentence
of this verse. 20:22aNUText omits and be
baptized with the baptism that I am baptized
with. 20:23aNUText omits and be baptized
with the baptism that I am baptized with.

Wages and Grace


Leaders Serve

Anyone who feels underpaid and undervalued can appreciate the reaction of the
workers in the parable about wages. Jesus
described an employer who hired some
workers for a full day, others for two-thirds
of a day, others for half a day, and others
for even less. Yet he paid them all the same
amount. Those who had worked long and
hard in the heat of the day felt abused.
The first thing to notice as we struggle
to understand this parable is that none of
the workers had a job before the landowner hired them (Matt.20:3, 6, 7). They found
work because of the employers goodwill
and initiative, not because of anything they
brought to the situation. Moreover, the landowner promised the first group fair wages for
a days work, which he delivered (20:2; see
also Seventy Times Seven at Matt. 18:21
35), and he offered the rest of the workers an
undetermined amount (whatever is right,
20:4, 7). As it turned out, he paid everyone
for a full day. In the kingdom of God, we
receive grace because of the nature of the
Giver, not because of our own worthiness.

When Jesus disciples quarreled over who

among them was greatest, He called their attention to His new style of assessing importance. He told them that attaining greatness
required becoming a slave. Leading would
mean taking the role of a servant. Jesus own
example shows us what servant-leadership
looks like:

9780718042523_int_05a_matt_mark_awsb.indd 42

We are called by God to serve and lead.

We intimately know the people we serve
and lead.
We care deeply about those we serve and
We willingly sacrifice our own
convenience to meet the needs of people
we serve and lead.
Nehemiah embraced the kind of servant-
leadership that Jesus praised. Learn more
in Leadership Principles from Nehemiah:
Leaders Resist Underhanded Politics at
Nehemiah 6:5
9. Discover the powerful
image Jesus used when He compared true
leadership to slavery in Who You Serve at
Romans 6:16.

6/23/15 3:31 PM

exercise authority over them. 26Yet it shall
not be so among you; but whoever desires
to become great among you, let him be your
servant. 27And whoever desires to be first
among you, let him be your slave28just as
the Son of Man did not come to be served,
but to serve, and to give His life a ransom
for many.

Two Blind Men Receive Their Sight


as they went out of Jericho, a

great multitude followed Him. 30And be
hold, two blind men sitting by the road,
when they heard that J esus was passing
by, cried out, saying, Have mercy on us,
OLord, Son of David!
31T hen the multitude warned them that
they should be quiet; but they cried out
all the more, saying, Have mercy on us,
OLord, Son of David!
32 So J
esus stood still and called them,
and said, What do you want Me to do for
33T hey said to Him, Lord, that our eyes
may be opened. 34So Jesus had compas
sion and touched their eyes. And imme
diately their eyes received sight, and they
followed Him.

TheTriumphal Entry


ow when they drew near Jerusa

lem, and came to Bethphage,a at the
Mount of Olives, then Jesus sent two disci
ples, 2 saying to them, Go into the village
opposite you, and immediately you will find

Matthew 21:10

a donkey tied, and a colt with her. Loose

them and bring them to Me. 3And if anyone
says anything to you, you shall say, The
Lord has need of them, and immediately
he will send them.
4 Alla this was done that it might be ful
filled which was spoken by the prophet,

Tell the daughter of Zion,

Behold, your King is coming to
Lowly, and sitting on a donkey,
A colt, the foal of a donkey.a
6 So the disciples went and did as Jesus
commanded them. 7T hey brought the don
key and the colt, laid their clothes on them,
and set Hima on them. 8And a very great
multitude spread their clothes on the road;
others cut down branches from the trees
and spread them on the road. 9T hen the
multitudes who went before and those who
followed cried out, saying:
Hosanna to the Son of David!
Blessed is He who comes in the name
of the Lord!a
Hosanna in the highest!
10And when He had come into Jerusa
lem, all the city was moved, saying, Who
is this?
21:1aMText reads Bethsphage. 21:4aNU
Text omits All. 21:5aZechariah 9:9
21:7aNUText reads and He sat. 21:9aPsalm

A Humble Parade

9780718042523_int_05a_matt_mark_awsb.indd 43

Sheep Gate





. o







Possible route of
Jesus entry into
temple area

Ro d f

Jerusalem was overflowing with an influx of

religious pilgrims. The citys preparations for
the Passover created the perfect moment for
Jesus to enter Jerusalem to the loud cheers
of people who were familiar with His ministry. Two prophets had foretold His arrival in
Jerusalem (Is. 62:11; Zech. 9:9). But as Jesus
entered the city, He demonstrated not pride
but humility.
The Messiah did not plan a parade of chariots, trumpets, and orchestrated ceremony.
He did not ride into town on a prancing war
horse. Rather than walking arm-in-arm with
powerful officials and other prominent citizens, He was accompanied by a small band of
fishermen, rural Galileans, even a former tax
collector. He arrived on a donkey, a common
beast of burden.
At the end of the parade route, Jesus did
not seek a welcome from city leaders. He
marched to the temple, where He overthrew
tables of businesses that manipulated the
poor and made the house of worship into a
place of profit (Matt.21:12, 13). He focused on
the blind, the lame, and children (21:1416).
And when He completed the days tasks, He






spent the night in a humble house in nearby

Bethany (21:17).
As Jesus prepared to die, He focused His
final activities on people in need of His love,
forgiveness, and hopepeople without privilege and power (Luke 4:18).
More: Jesus surrounded Himself with people who
had low social standing and little influence. See
Ordinary People at the Cross at Matt.27:32.

6/23/15 3:31 PM

Matthew 21:11



the multitudes said, This is J esus,

the prophet from Nazareth of Galilee.

Jesus Cleanses theTemple

12T hen Jesus went into the temple of

Goda and drove out all those who bought
and sold in the temple, and overturned
the tables of the money changers and the
seats of those who sold doves. 13And He
said to them, It is written, My house shall
be called a house of prayer,a but you have
made it a den of thieves.b
14T hen the blind and the lame came to
Him in the temple, and He healed them.
15But when the chief priests and scribes
saw the wonderful things that He did, and
the children crying out in the temple and
saying, Hosanna to the Son of David!
they were indignant 16and said to Him, Do
You hear what these are saying?
And Jesus said to them, Yes. Have you
never read,
Out of the mouth of babes and nursing
You have perfected praise?a

marveled, saying, How did the fig tree

wither away so soon?
21So Jesus answered and said to them,
Assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith
and do not doubt, you will not only do what
was done to the fig tree, but also if you say
to this mountain, Be removed and be cast
into the sea, it will be done. 22And what
ever things you ask in prayer, believing,
you will receive.

Jesus Authority Questioned

23Now when He came into the temple,

the chief priests and the elders of the peo
ple confronted Him as He was teaching,
and said, By what authority are You do
ing these things? And who gave You this
24 But Jesus answered and said to them,
I also will ask you one thing, which if you
tell Me, I likewise will tell you by what au
thority I do these things: 25T he baptism of
Johnwhere was it from? From heaven or
from men?
And they reasoned among themselves,
saying, If we say, From heaven, He will
17T hen He left them and went out of the
say to us, Why then did you not believe
city to Bethany, and He lodged there.
him? 26But if we say, From men, we fear
the multitude, for all count John as a proph
TheFig Tree Withered
et. 27So they answered Jesus

and said, We
18Now in the morning, as He returned do not know.
to the city, He was hungry. And seeing a
And He said to them, Neither will I tell
fig tree by the road, He came to it and found you by what authority I do these things.
nothing on it but leaves, and said to it, Let
no fruit grow on you ever again. Immedi TheParable oftheTwo Sons
28 But what do you think? A man had
ately the fig tree withered away.
two sons, and he came to the first and said,
TheLesson oftheWithered Fig Tree
Son, go, work today in my vineyard. 29He
20And when the disciples saw it, they answered and said, I will not, but after
ward he regretted it and went. 30T hen he
came to the second and said likewise. And
A Challenge to Authority
he answered and said, I go, sir, but he did
not go. 31W hich of the two did the will of
his father?
They said to Him, The first.
When Israels top leaders attacked Jesus with
Jesus said to them, Assuredly, I say to
threatening questions, He answered with
you that tax collectors and harlots enter
questions of His own. His interaction with the
the kingdom of God before you. 32For John
chief priests and elders reveals two important
came to you in the way of righteousness,
and you did not believe him; but tax col
lectors and harlots believed him; and when
1. The motives of the challengers. The
you saw it, you did not afterward relent and
scribes and Pharisees were not looking
believe him.
to understand the reach or source of
Jesus authority. They wanted solely to
TheParable oftheWicked Vinedressers
protect their own interests and power.
33 Hear another parable: There was a
Their behavior prompts us to examine
certain landowner who planted a vineyard
how often we question or resist people
and set a hedge around it, dug a winepress
in authority simply because we are
in it and built a tower. And he leased it to
afraid or jealous of them.
vinedressers and went into a far country.
2. The confidence of Jesus. The Lords
34 Now when vintage-t ime drew near, he
attackers were unable to force the
sent his servants to the vinedressers, that
reaction they wanted from Him because
they might receive its fruit. 35And the vine
Jesus knew with absolute certainty who
dressers took his servants, beat one, killed
He was and whose authority He wielded
one, and stoned another. 36Again he sent
(Matt.28:18). His response encourages
other servants, more than the first, and
us to remember that no one can
21:12aNUText omits of God. 21:13aIsaiah
intimidate us without our permission.


9780718042523_int_05a_matt_mark_awsb.indd 44


7:11 21:16aPsalm 8:2

6/23/15 3:31 PM

they did likewise to them. 37T hen last of all
he sent his son to them, saying, They will
respect my son. 38But when the vinedress
ers saw the son, they said among them
selves, This is the heir. Come, let us kill
him and seize his inheritance. 39So they
took him and cast him out of the vineyard
and killed him.
40 Therefore, when the owner of the
vineyard comes, what will he do to those
41T hey said to Him, He will destroy
those wicked men miserably, and lease his
vineyard to other vinedressers who will
render to him the fruits in their seasons.
42 Jesus said to them, Have you never
read in the Scriptures:
The stone which the builders rejected
Has become the chief cornerstone.
This was the Lords doing,
And it is marvelous in our eyes?a
43 Therefore I say to you, the kingdom
of God will be taken from you and given
to a nation bearing the fruits of it. 44 And
whoever falls on this stone will be broken;
but on whomever it falls, it will grind him
to powder.
45Now when the chief priests and Phar
isees heard His parables, they perceived
that He was speaking of them. 46But when
they sought to lay hands on Him, they
feared the multitudes, because they took
Him for a prophet.

Matthew 22:22

vants, treated them spitefully, and killed

them. 7But when the king heard about it,
he was furious. And he sent out his armies,
destroyed those murderers, and burned up
their city. 8T hen he said to his servants,
The wedding is ready, but those who were
invited were not worthy. 9T herefore go into
the highways, and as many as you find, in
vite to the wedding. 10 So those servants
went out into the highways and gathered
together all whom they found, both bad and
good. And the wedding hall was filled with
11But when the king came in to see the
guests, he saw a man there who did not
have on a wedding garment. 12So he said
to him, Friend, how did you come in here
without a wedding garment? And he was
speechless. 13T hen the king said to the ser
vants, Bind him hand and foot, take him
away, anda cast him into outer darkness;
there will be weeping and gnashing of
14For many are called, but few are cho

ThePharisees: Is It Lawful to Pay Taxes

to Caesar?

15T hen the Pharisees went and plotted

how they might entangle Him in His talk.
16And they sent to Him their disciples with
the Herodians, saying, Teacher, we know
that You are true, and teach the way of God
in truth; nor do You care about anyone, for
You do not regard the person of men. 17Tell
TheParable oftheWedding Feast
us, therefore, what do You think? Is it law
A nd Jesus answered and spoke to ful to pay taxes to Caesar, or not?
them again by parables and said:
18But J
esus perceived their wickedness,
2 The kingdom of heaven is like a certain
and said, Why do you test Me, you hypo
king who arranged a marriage for his son, crites? 19Show Me the tax money.
3 and sent out his servants to call those
So they brought Him a denarius.
who were invited to the wedding; and they
20And He said to them, Whose image
were not willing to come. 4 Again, he sent and inscription is this?
out other servants, saying, Tell those who
21T hey said to Him, Caesars.
are invited, See, I have prepared my din
And He said to them, Render therefore
ner; my oxen and fatted cattle are killed, to Caesar the things that are Caesars, and
and all things are ready. Come to the wed to God the things that are Gods. 22W hen
ding. 5But they made light of it and went
their ways, one to his own farm, another to 21:42aPsalm 118:22, 23 22:13aNUText omits
his business. 6And the rest seized his ser take him away, and.


Harlots Enter the Kingdom

Matt.21:31, 32
Jesus startling statement about harlots entering the kingdom of God was not an endorsement
of their profession but a condemnation of the self-righteousness and unbelief of Israels religious leaders. Faith was the key to the kingdom, and prostitutes showed more faith in Jesus
than those who claimed to be religious.
Despite laws against adultery and bans on
the ritual sexual activities that took place in
many pagan temples, prostitutes were common in Hebrew society (see Prostitutes in the
Ancient World at Judg. 16:1). In Jesus day
they endured the scorn of the religious elite,
especially the Pharisees, who avoided contact
with anyone they regarded as sinful.

9780718042523_int_05a_matt_mark_awsb.indd 45

By contrast, Jesus was known as a friend

of sinners who welcomed people who knew
they needed forgiveness (Matt. 11:19; Luke
7:3650). His words show that people do not
have to become good before they meet God.
He responds to faith no matter how troubled
our past. Then He guides us as we establish a
new life.

6/23/15 3:31 PM

Matthew 22:23


they had heard these words, they marveled,

and left Him and went their way.

TheSadducees: What About


wife of the seven will she be? For they all

had her.
Jesus answered and said to them,
You are mistaken, not knowing the Scrip
tures nor the power of God. 30For in the res
urrection they neither marry nor are given
in marriage, but are like angels of Goda in
heaven. 31But concerning the resurrection
of the dead, have you not read what was
spoken to you by God, saying, 32I am the
God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the
God of Jacob?a God is not the God of
the dead, but of the living. 33And when
the multitudes heard this, they were aston
ished at His teaching.

23T he same day the Sadducees, who say

there is no resurrection, came to Him and
asked Him, 24saying: Teacher, Moses said
that if a man dies, having no children, his
brother shall marry his wife and raise up
offspring for his brother. 25Now there were
with us seven brothers. The first died after
he had married, and having no offspring,
left his wife to his brother. 26Likewise the
second also, and the third, even to the sev
enth. 27Last of all the woman died also. 22:30aNUText omits of God. 22:32aExodus
28T herefore, in the resurrection, whose 3:6, 15

Trick Questions
The Sadducees tried to trap Jesus in front of a crowd with a question on serial marriage relationships. They attempted to corner Him regarding His teaching on the resurrection, a belief
they rejected.
Jesus exposed their thinly veiled plot and
at the same time affirmed the resurrection. He
used the very Scriptures they loved to quote
(Matt.22:32 is from Ex.3:6) and refused to let
them twist things to their advantage. He cut to
the heart of the matter.
There is nothing wrong with being discreet
or stating things subtly and diplomatically.
Sometimes we need to plant seeds in another
persons thinking and allow time for an idea
to take root. But here Jesus challenged selfish

manipulation and trickery. The world should

know His followers as people who speak the
More: Speaking the truth in love is one of the
main qualities of Christlike character. Read
Think About It: What is the difference between
manipulation and stating things subtly or

What Kind of Love?

Matt.22:34 40
The Greek language employed by New Testament authors had four different words for love:
1. Eros was used in the context of male-
female relationships and included
physical desire, craving, and longing. This
word for love does not appear in the New
2. Stergos denoted affection and was often
applied to the mutual love between
family members. This word is also not
used in the New Testament.
3. Philos reflected the concern and care
of friends for each otherwhat we call
brotherly love. Peter and Jesus discussed
this kind of love when the Lord sent Peter
to care for His followers (John 21:1517).
4. Agape described a supreme love involving
a conscious and deliberate choice to do
good for another. It is powered by the
choice of the one who shows love, not
the worthiness of the one who receives
it. Agape is best seen in Gods love

9780718042523_int_05a_matt_mark_awsb.indd 46

for the world (3:16). It is also the love

that God calls His followers to display
When Jesus spoke the greatest of the commandments, He called us to agape-love. He
commanded an ongoing, conscious choice
to graciously serve God and others while expecting nothing in return. As His followers, we
learn this kind of love from Him. (1John 3:11
24). His constant care for us empowers us to
sustain love as an act of the will rather than as
a fleeting expression of emotion. We show love
even when we feel weary or rejected. Love is
intentional, expresses itself, and includes compassion and grace.
More: The Bible invites us to discover loves true
nature through its portrayal of love from many
angles. See Love Is as Strong as Death at Song

6/23/15 3:31 PM


TheScribes: Which Is theFirst

Commandment ofAll?

34 But when the Pharisees heard that He

had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered
together. 35T hen one of them, a lawyer,
asked Him a question, testing Him, and
saying, 36 Teacher, which is the great com
mandment in the law?
37Jesus said to him, You shall love the
Lord your God with all your heart, with all
your soul, and with all your mind.a 38T his
is the first and great commandment. 39And
the second is like it: You shall love your
neighbor as yourself.a 40 On these two
commandments hang all the Law and the

Jesus: How Can David Call His Descendant


41W hile the Pharisees were gathered to

gether, Jesus asked them, 42saying, What
do you think about the Christ? Whose Son
is He?
They said to Him, The Son of David.
43He said to them, How then does Da
vid in the Spirit call Him Lord, saying:
44 The

Lord said to my Lord,

Sit at My right hand,
Till I make Your enemies Your
45If David then calls Him Lord, how is He
his Son? 46And no one was able to answer
Him a word, nor from that day on did any
one dare question Him anymore.

Woe to theScribes and Pharisees


hen J esus spoke to the multitudes

and to His disciples, 2 saying: The
scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses
seat. 3T herefore whatever they tell you to
observe,a that observe and do, but do not
do according to their works; for they say,
and do not do. 4 For they bind heavy bur
dens, hard to bear, and lay them on mens
shoulders; but they themselves will not
move them with one of their fingers. 5But
all their works they do to be seen by men.
They make their phylacteries broad and en
large the borders of their garments. 6T hey
love the best places at feasts, the best seats
in the synagogues, 7greetings in the mar
ketplaces, and to be called by men, Rabbi,
Rabbi. 8But you, do not be called Rabbi;
for One is your Teacher, the Christ,a and
you are all brethren. 9Do not call anyone
on earth your father; for One is your Fa
ther, He who is in heaven. 10And do not be
called teachers; for One is your Teacher,
the Christ. 11But he who is greatest among
you shall be your servant. 12And whoever
exalts himself will be humbled, and he who
humbles himself will be exalted.
13 But woe to you, scribes and Phari
sees, hypocrites! For you shut up the king
dom of heaven against men; for you neither
go in yourselves, nor do you allow those
who are entering to go in. 14Woe to you,

9780718042523_int_05a_matt_mark_awsb.indd 47

Matthew 23:34

scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you

devour widows houses, and for a pretense
make long prayers. Therefore you will re
ceive greater condemnation.a
15 Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees,
hypocrites! For you travel land and sea to
win one proselyte, and when he is won, you
make him twice as much a son of hell as
16 Woe to you, blind guides, who say,
Whoever swears by the temple, it is noth
ing; but whoever swears by the gold of the
temple, he is obliged to perform it. 17Fools
and blind! For which is greater, the gold or
the temple that sanctifiesa the gold? 18And,
Whoever swears by the altar, it is nothing;
but whoever swears by the gift that is on
it, he is obliged to perform it. 19Fools and
blind! For which is greater, the gift or the
altar that sanctifies the gift? 20T herefore
he who swears by the altar, swears by it
and by all things on it. 21He who swears by
the temple, swears by it and by Him who
dwellsa in it. 22And he who swears by heav
en, swears by the throne of God and by Him
who sits onit.
23 Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees,
hypocrites! For you pay tithe of mint and
anise and cummin, and have neglected the
weightier matters of the law: justice and
mercy and faith. These you ought to have
done, without leaving the others undone.
24 Blind guides, who strain out a gnat and
swallow a camel!
25 Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees,
hypocrites! For you cleanse the outside of
the cup and dish, but inside they are full
of extortion and self-indulgence.a 26Blind
Pharisee, first cleanse the inside of the cup
and dish, that the outside of them may be
clean also.
27 Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees,
hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed
tombs which indeed appear beautiful out
wardly, but inside are full of dead mens
bones and all uncleanness. 28Even so you
also outwardly appear righteous to men,
but inside you are full of hypocrisy and
29 Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees,
hypocrites! Because you build the tombs of
the prophets and adorn the monuments of
the righteous, 30and say, If we had lived in
the days of our fathers, we would not have
been partakers with them in the blood of
the prophets.
31Therefore you are w
itnesses against
yourselves that you are sons of those who
murdered the prophets. Fill up, then, the
measure of your fathers guilt. 33Serpents,
brood of vipers! How can you escape the
condemnation of hell? 34T herefore, indeed,
22:37aDeuteronomy 6:5 22:39aLeviticus
19:18 22:44aPsalm 110:1 23:3a NUText
omits to observe. 23:8aNUText omits the
Christ. 23:14aNUText omits this verse.
23:17aNUText reads sanctified. 23:21aM
Text reads dwelt. 23:25aMText reads

6/23/15 3:31 PM

Matthew 23:35


I send you prophets, wise men, and scribes:

some of them you will kill and crucify, and
some of them you will scourge in your syn
agogues and persecute from city to city,
35that on you may come all the righteous
blood shed on the earth, from the blood of
righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah,
son of Berechiah, whom you murdered be
tween the temple and the altar. 36Assuredly,
I say to you, all these things will come upon
this generation.

Jesus Laments over Jerusalem

37 O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the one who

kills the prophets and stones those who are
sent to her! How often I wanted to gather
your children together, as a hen gathers her

chicks under her wings, but you were not

willing! 38See! Your house is left to you des
olate; 39for I say to you, you shall see Me no
more till you say, Blessed is He who comes
in the name of the Lord!a

Jesus Predicts theDestruction



hen Jesus went out and departed

from the temple, and His disciples
came up to show Him the buildings of the
temple. 2And J esus said to them, Do you
not see all these things? Assuredly, I say to
you, not one stone shall be left here upon
another, that shall not be thrown down.
23:39aPsalm 118:26

Matt.23:23, 24
The word tithe means a tenth part. In the Old Testament, God commanded the Israelites to
give tithesa tenth of their produce or incomefor three reasons:
1. To support the Levites, who were
responsible for the tabernacle and
worship (see Sharing the Wealth at
2. To support feasts and sacrifices
(see Celebrating Abundance at
3. To set aside resources to assist the poor,
orphans, widows, and foreigners (see The
Third-Year Tithe and Government Aid at
Deut.14:28, 29).
In the New Testament, neither Christ nor
the apostles give explicit instructions about
tithing. Jesus clearly endorsed the practice,
however, as He did all the dictates of the
20; 23:23). He denounced
Law (Matt. 5:17
the Pharisees for hypocritically ignoring the
weightier matters of the Law, such as justice,
mercy, and faith, but those important issues
did not negate other matters such as tithing.
As Christians evaluate the practice of tithing
today, several principles emerge:
1. Our giving should spring from a
love of Christ rather than a sense of
obligation. Abraham gave the first tithe

(Gen.14:1720) as an expression of
gratitude when God rescued him in battle.
Scripture always puts worship at the heart
of tithing.
2. Everything we have ultimately comes
from and belongs to God, not only what
we give away but also what we keep. God
claims 100 percent of our income, not 10
3. Ten percent is a good starting point for
4. The New Testament is clear that
vocational Christian workers have a right
to financial support from those to whom
they minister (1Cor.9:13, 14; Gal.6:6).
5. Many churches and other ministries
assist the needy, and it seems legitimate
to encourage members of a Christian
community to donate money to those
6. No matter how much we give or to whom,
Jesus indicates that our first priority
should be to ensure that justice is carried
out around us. We are to show mercy to
our neighbors. Rather than just talk about
our faith, we are to put it into action.

Whitewashed Tombs
Matt.23:27, 28
Jesus drew on a grim image as He denounced
the self-righteous Pharisees. At the end of a
Jewish funeral processiona slow march that
onlookers were obliged to jointhe body was
placed in a tomb on a rock shelf. Once the
flesh had decomposed, bones were collected
and removed, allowing the shelf to be reused.

9780718042523_int_05a_matt_mark_awsb.indd 48

Since Jews were made ritually unclean by

touching graves (Num.19:16), the rocks used
to seal tombs were whitewashed as a warning
to stay away. The glaze gave the outside of a
tomb a clean appearance, even though inside
corpses were decomposing.

6/23/15 3:31 PM


3Now as He sat on the Mount of Olives,

the disciples came to Him privately, saying,
Tell us, when will these things be? And
what will be the sign of Your coming, and
of the end of the age?

Palestines leading city throughout much of
the biblical era.
Well-situated for defense on two triangular
ridges that converged to the south, bordered by the Kidron Valley on the east and
the Valley of Hinnom on the west.
Appears in the Bible as early as Abraham
(Gen.14:18), and the site had likely been
inhabited for centuries before then.
Captured by David and made Israels
Site of Solomons temple during the monarchy
and Herods temple during the first century.
Population in Jesus day was probably
60,000 to 70,000, though estimates range
all the way from 40,000 to 12 million.
Besieged and destroyed by Rome in A.D. 70.
Relatively small but densely populated with
numerous suburbs.
Long before and after Christ, Jerusalem
has been esteemed as far more than an ordinary city. And as the center of Israels government, culture, and religion, it bore the brunt
of Jesus anguished cry over the Jews rejection
of Him (Matt.23:37, 38).
Even though Jesus visited Jerusalem several times, most of its population never responded to the Son of God. Nor did the city
welcome His followers when they brought the
message of His resurrection. The place known
as the holy city (4:5) rejected the Holy One of
Israel, the Son of God.



Jordan R iver












Sea of



an S


Center of Jewish
the Holy City.


9780718042523_int_05a_matt_mark_awsb.indd 49

Matthew 24:29
4 And

TheSigns oftheTimes and theEnd


Jesus answered and said to them:

Take heed that no one deceives you. 5For
many will come in My name, saying, I am
the Christ, and will deceive many. 6And
you will hear of wars and rumors of wars.
See that you are not troubled; for alla these
things must come to pass, but the end is not
yet. 7For nation will rise against nation, and
kingdom against kingdom. And there will
be famines, pestilences,a and earthquakes
in various places. 8All these are the begin
ning of sorrows.
9 Then they will deliver you up to trib
ulation and kill you, and you will be hated
by all nations for My names sake. 10And
then many will be offended, will betray one
another, and will hate one another. 11T hen
many false prophets will rise up and de
ceive many. 12And because lawlessness will
abound, the love of many will grow cold.
13But he who endures to the end shall be
saved. 14 And this gospel of the kingdom
will be preached in all the world as a wit
ness to all the nations, and then the end will

TheGreat Tribulation

15 Therefore when you see the abomi

nation of desolation,a spoken of by Daniel
the prophet, standing in the holy place
(whoever reads, let him understand),
16 then let those who are in Judea flee to
the mountains. 17Let him who is on the
housetop not go down to take anything
out of his house. 18And let him who is in
the field not go back to get his clothes.
19But woe to those who are pregnant and
to those who are nursing babies in those
days! 20And pray that your flight may not
be in winter or on the Sabbath. 21For then
there will be great tribulation, such as has
not been since the beginning of the world
until this time, no, nor ever shall be. 22And
unless those days were shortened, no flesh
would be saved; but for the elects sake
those days will be shortened.
23 Then if anyone says to you, Look,
here is the Christ! or There! do not believe
it. 24For false christs and false prophets will
rise and show great signs and wonders to
deceive, if possible, even the elect. 25See, I
have told you beforehand.
26 Therefore if they say to you, Look,
He is in the desert! do not go out; or Look,
He is in the inner rooms! do not believe it.
27For as the lightning comes from the east
and flashes to the west, so also will the
coming of the Son of Man be. 28For wher
ever the carcass is, there the eagles will be
gathered together.

TheComing oftheSon ofMan


29 Immediately after the tribulation of

those days the sun will be darkened, and
the moon will not give its light; the stars
will fall from heaven, and the powers of the

24:6aNUText omits all. 24:7aNUText omits

pestilences. 24:15aDaniel 11:31; 12:11

6/23/15 3:31 PM

Matthew 24:30


heavens will be shaken. 30T hen the sign of

the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and
then all the tribes of the earth will mourn,
and they will see the Son of Man c oming
on the clouds of heaven with power and
great glory. 31And He will send His angels
with a great sound of a trumpet, and they
will gather together His elect from the four
winds, from one end of heaven to the other.

TheParable oftheFig Tree

32 Now learn this parable from the fig

tree: When its branch has already become
tender and puts forth leaves, you know that
summer is near. 33So you also, when you
see all these things, know that ita is near
at the doors! 34 Assuredly, I say to you, this
generation will by no means pass away till
all these things take place. 35Heaven and
earth will pass away, but My words will by
no means pass away.

No One Knows theDay or Hour

36 But of that day and hour no one

knows, not even the angels of heaven,a but
My Father only. 37But as the days of Noah
were, so also will the coming of the Son of
Man be. 38For as in the days before the flood,
they were eating and drinking, marrying
and giving in marriage, until the day that
Noah entered the ark, 39and did not know
until the flood came and took them all away,
so also will the coming of the Son of Man
be. 40Then two men will be in the field: one
will be taken and the other left. 41Two women will be grinding at the mill: one will be
taken and the other left. 42Watch therefore,
for you do not know what houra your Lord
is coming. 43But know this, that if the mas
ter of the house had known what hour the
thief would come, he would have watched
and not allowed his house to be broken into.
44T herefore you also be ready, for the Son of
Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.

groom. 2Now five of them were wise, and

five were foolish. 3T hose who were foolish
took their lamps and took no oil with them,
4but the wise took oil in their vessels with
their lamps. 5But while the bridegroom was
delayed, they all slumbered and slept.
6 And at midnight a cry was heard:
Behold, the bridegroom is coming;a go
out to meet him! 7T hen all those virgins
arose and trimmed their lamps. 8And the
foolish said to the wise, Give us some of
your oil, for our lamps are going out. 9But
the wise answered, saying, No, lest there
should not be enough for us and you; but
go rather to those who sell, and buy for
yourselves. 10And while they went to buy,
the bridegroom came, and those who were
ready went in with him to the wedding; and
the door was shut.
11Afterward the other virgins came
also, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us! 12But
he answered and said, Assuredly, I say to
you, I do not know you.
13 Watch therefore, for you know nei
ther the day nor the h
oura in which the Son
of Man is coming.

TheParable oftheTalents

TheFaithful Servant and theEvil Servant

14 For the kingdom of heaven is like a

man traveling to a far country, who called
his own servants and delivered his goods to
them. 15And to one he gave five talents, to
another two, and to another one, to each ac
cording to his own ability; and immediately
he went on a journey. 16T hen he who had
received the five talents went and traded
with them, and made another five talents.
17And likewise he who had received two
gained two more also. 18But he who had re
ceived one went and dug in the ground, and
hid his lords money. 19After a long time the
lord of those servants came and settled ac
counts with them.
20 So he who had received five talents
came and brought five other talents, say
ing, Lord, you delivered to me five talents;
look, I have gained five more talents be
sides them. 21His lord said to him, Well
done, good and faithful servant; you were
faithful over a few things, I will make you
ruler over many things. Enter into the joy
of your lord. 22He also who had received
two talents came and said, Lord, you deliv
ered to me two talents; look, I have gained
two more talents besides them. 23His lord
said to him, Well done, good and faithful
servant; you have been faithful over a few
things, I will make you ruler over many
things. Enter into the joy of your lord.
24 Then he who had received the one
talent came and said, Lord, I knew you
to be a hard man, reaping where you have
not sown, and gathering where you have

TheParable oftheWise and Foolish Virgins

24:33aOr He 24:36aNUText adds nor the

Son. 24:42aNUText reads day. 24:48aNU

45 Who then is a faithful and wise ser

vant, whom his master made ruler over his
household, to give them food in due season?
46Blessed is that servant whom his master,
when he comes, will find so doing. 47As
suredly, I say to you that he will make him
ruler over all his goods. 48But if that evil
servant says in his heart, My master is de
laying his coming,a 49and begins to beat
his fellow servants, and to eat and drink
with the drunkards, 50 the master of that
servant will come on a day when he is not
looking for him and at an hour that he is not
aware of, 51and will cut him in two and ap
point him his portion with the hypocrites.
There shall be weeping and gnashing of


Then the kingdom of heaven shall Text omits his coming. 25:6aNUText omits
be likened to ten virgins who took is coming. 25:13aNUText omits the rest of
their lamps and went out to meet the bride this verse.

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6/23/15 3:31 PM


Matthew 26:3

not scattered seed. 25And I was afraid, and

went and hid your talent in the ground.
Look, there you have what is yours.
26 But his lord answered and said to
him, You wicked and lazy servant, you
knew that I reap where I have not sown,
and gather where I have not scattered seed.
27So you ought to have deposited my mon
ey with the bankers, and at my coming I
would have received back my own with in
terest. 28So take the talent from him, and
give it to him who has ten talents.
29 For to everyone who has, more will
be given, and he will have abundance; but
from him who does not have, even what he
has will be taken away. 30And cast the un
profitable servant into the outer darkness.
There will be weeping and gnashing of

on His right hand, but the goats on the left.

34T hen the King will say to those on His
right hand, Come, you blessed of My Fa
ther, inherit the kingdom prepared for you
from the foundation of the world: 35for I was
hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty
and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger
and you took Me in; 36I was naked and you
clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I
was in prison and you came to Me.
37 Then the righteous will answer Him,
saying, Lord, when did we see You hun
gry and feed You, or thirsty and give You
drink? 38W hen did we see You a stranger
and take You in, or naked and clothe You?
39 Or when did we see You sick, or in pris
on, and come to You? 40And the King will
answer and say to them, Assuredly, I say
to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the
least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.
41Then He will also say to those on the
TheSon ofMan Will Judge theNations
31When the Son of Man comes in His left hand, Depart from Me, you cursed,
glory, and all the holya angels with Him, into the everlasting fire prepared for the
then He will sit on the throne of His glory. devil and his angels: 42for I was hungry and
32 All the nations will be gathered before you gave Me no food; I was thirsty and you
Him, and He will separate them one from gave Me no drink; 43I was a stranger and
another, as a shepherd divides his sheep you did not take Me in, naked and you did
from the goats. 33And He will set the sheep not clothe Me, sick and in prison and you
did not visit Me.
44 Then they also will answer Him, a
Quality, Not Quantity
saying, Lord, when did we see You hun
gry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick
or in prison, and did not minister to You?
45T hen He will answer them, saying, As
Jesus parable of talents offers a vital lesson
suredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did
on success. God measures our achievements
not do it to one of the least of these, you did
not by how much we have but by what we do
not do it to Me. 46And these will go away
with what He gives us. We are managers eninto everlasting punishment, but the righ
trusted with resources and responsibilities.
teous into eternal life.
He evaluates whether we use those gifts to
obey and honor Him. Finding success as our
ThePlot to Kill Jesus
culture measures it, in terms of wealth, presNow it came to pass, when Jesus had
tige, power, or fame, doesnt matter in the
finished all these sayings, that He
long run. What counts is faithfully serving
said to His disciples, 2You know that after
the Lord (Matt.25:21, 23). We must avoid the
two days is the Passover, and the Son of
fate of the third servant, wasting our lives by
Man will be delivered up to be crucified.
3T hen the chief priests, the scribes,a and
failing to carry out our Masters business.
the elders of the people assembled at the
More: A talent was an immense amount of money. Jesus told a different version of this parable
25:31aNUText omits holy. 25:44a NUText
and MText omit Him. 26:3aNUText omits
in Luke 19:1527.


the scribes.

The Religious Power Broker

As high priest, Caiaphas was the most influential member of the Sanhedrin, the ruling council
and supreme court of the Jews (see The Council at Acts 6:1215). The position afforded him
vast authority but little job security. High priests served at Romes pleasure, and between 37b.c.
and a.d. 67, the empire appointed no fewer than twenty-eight men to the position. The fact that
Caiaphas kept his job for eighteen years points to his uncommon political savvy. Some have
suggested it is evidence of a corrupt alliance with Rome.
Yet even if Caiaphas was in league with He feared that the slightest civil disorder
Rome, his goal was to protect Israels interests. would mobilize Roman troops and crush the
continued on next page

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6/23/15 3:31 PM

Matthew 26:4


with the twelve. 21Now as they were eating,

He said, Assuredly, I say to you, one of you
will betray Me.
22 And they were exceedingly sorrow
ful, and each of them began to say to Him,
Lord, is it I?
23 He answered and said, He who
TheAnointing at Bethany
6And when Jesus was in Bethany at the dipped his hand with Me in the dish will
house of Simon the leper, 7a woman came betray Me. 24T he Son of Man indeed goes
to Him having an alabaster flask of very just as it is written of Him, but woe to that
costly fragrant oil, and she poured it on His man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed!
head as He sat at the table. 8But when His It would have been good for that man if he
disciples saw it, they were indignant, say had not been born.
25T hen Judas, who was betraying Him,
ing, Why this waste? 9For this fragrant oil
might have been sold for much and given answered and said, Rabbi, is it I?
to the poor.
He said to him, You have said it.
10But when Jesus was aware of it, He
said to them, Why do you trouble the wom Jesus Institutes theLords Supper
an? For she has done a good work for Me.
26And as they were eating, Jesus

11For you have the poor with you always,
bread, blesseda and broke it, and gave it
but Me you do not have always. For in to the disciples and said, Take, eat; this is
pouring this fragrant oil on My body, she My body.
did it for My burial. 13Assuredly, I say to
27T hen He took the cup, and gave
you, wherever this gospel is preached in
and gave it to them, saying, Drink
the whole world, what this woman has done
from it, all of you. 28For this is My blood of
will also be told as a memorial to her.
the newa covenant, which is shed for many
palace of the high priest, who was called
Caiaphas, 4 and plotted to take Jesus by
trickery and kill Him. 5But they said, Not
during the feast, lest there be an uproar
among the people.

Judas Agrees to Betray Jesus

14T hen

one of the twelve, called Judas

Iscariot, went to the chief priests 15and said,
What are you willing to give me if I deliver
Him to you? And they counted out to him
thirty pieces of silver. 16So from that time
he sought opportunity to betray Him.

Jesus Celebrates Passover withHis


17Now on the first day of the Feast of

the Unleavened Bread the disciples came to
Jesus, saying to Him, Where do You want
us to prepare for You to eat the Passover?
18 And He said, Go into the city to a
certain man, and say to him, The Teach
er says, My time is at hand; I will keep
the Passover at your house with My disci
19 So the disciples did as Jesus had di
rected them; and they prepared the Pass
20W hen evening had come, He sat down

26:26aMText reads gave thanks for.

26:28aNUText omits new.

Waste or Worship?
The woman who anointed Jesus was Mary,
Lazaruss sister (see Funeral Preparations at
John 12:18). As she poured oil on His head,
what the disciples saw as waste, the Lord saw
as worship. The tension between the two still
exists. Christians argue over whether it is
right to spend millions on new church facilities when so many poor and homeless sleep
in the streets. See also Sparing No Expense
at 1Kings 5:5.
More: Spikenard was a fragrant, costly oil imported from Asia. See The Fragrance of Love
at Song 1:1214. Marys act was the first step in
preparing Jesus body for the grave.

continued from previous page

nation. When Jesus drew vast crowds and performed astounding miracles
especially His
raising of Lazarus from the deadCaiaphas
decided that He would have to be done away
with (John 11:4550).
This led to a well-conceived plot in which
Jesus was arrested, brought to an illegal
trial, and confronted with false evidence
(Matt. 26:3, 4, 5768). By playing Pilate (the
Roman governor) and Herod (the Jewish king)
against each other, and by encouraging a mob
mentality from the people (Luke 22:66
23:25), Caiaphas successfully orchestrated
Jesus conviction and execution.

9780718042523_int_05a_matt_mark_awsb.indd 52

Caiaphas was stunned when the movement

that he thought he had killed came roaring
back to life. The apostles began preaching the
gospel in Jerusalem and all over the Roman
empire with great success. Like Jesus, they performed miracles that drew the peoples attention and prompted a response to the saving
message about Christ (Acts 3:14:13).
Think About It: There are always more players
than you in any encounter. When are you tempted
to be a power broker, just to win? When can political actions be way to truly work for good?

6/23/15 3:31 PM

for the remission of sins. 29But I say to you,
I will not drink of this fruit of the vine from
now on until that day when I drink it new
with you in My Fathers kingdom.
30And when they had sung a hymn, they
went out to the Mount of Olives.

Matthew 26:56

ThePrayer in theGarden

36T hen Jesus came with them to a place

called Gethsemane, and said to the dis
ciples, Sit here while I go and pray over
there. 37And He took with Him Peter and
the two sons of Zebedee, and He began to
be sorrowful and deeply distressed. 38T hen
Jesus Predicts Peters Denial
He said to them, My soul is exceedingly
31T hen Jesus said to them, All of you sorrowful, even to death. Stay here and
will be made to stumble because of Me this watch with Me.
39He went a little farther and fell on His
night, for it is written:
face, and prayed, saying, O My Father,
I will strike the Shepherd,
if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me;
And the sheep of the flock will be
nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will.
40T hen He came to the disciples and
32But after I have been raised, I will go be found them sleeping, and said to Peter,
What! Could you not watch with Me one
fore you to Galilee.
33 Peter answered and said to Him, hour? 41Watch and pray, lest you enter into
Even if all are made to stumble because temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but
the flesh is weak.
of You, I will never be made to stumble.
42 Again, a second time, He went away
34 Jesus said to him, Assuredly, I say
to you that this night, before the rooster and prayed, saying, O My Father, if this
cup cannot pass away from Me unlessa I
crows, you will deny Me three times.
35Peter said to Him, Even if I have to drink it, Your will be done. 43And He came
and found them asleep again, for their eyes
die with You, I will not deny You!
were heavy.
And so said all the disciples.
44 So He left them, went away again,
and prayed the third time, saying the same
Judass Betrayal
words. 45Then He came to His disciples and
said to them, Are you still sleeping and
resting? Behold, the hour is at hand, and the
Son of Man is being betrayed into the hands
The New Testament never mentions Judas
of sinners. 46Rise, let us be going. See, My
Iscariot without a reminder that he was
betrayer is at hand.
the man who betrayed Jesus (for example,
Matt.10:4; Mark 3:19; John 12:4). To this day
Betrayal and Arrest inGethsemane
the name Judas is a symbol of betrayal.
47And while He was still speaking, be
The Gospels suggest that Judas was mohold, Judas, one of the twelve, with a great
tivated to betray Jesus by his greed. But the
multitude with swords and clubs, came
amount that the priests paid him to hand
from the chief priests and elders of the
over Jesusthirty pieces of silverwas relpeople.
48Now His betrayer had given them a
atively small. Besides, he had access to the
disciples money box and apparently was
sign, saying, Whomever I kiss, He is the
known for helping himself to its contents
One; seize Him. 49Immediately he went up
to Jesus and said, Greetings, Rabbi! and
kissed Him.
Some have suggested that Judas believed
50But J
esus said to him, Friend, why
that his betrayal would force Jesus to assert
have you come?
His true power and overthrow the Romans.
Then they came and laid hands on J esus
Others say that Judas became convinced
and took Him. 51And suddenly, one of those
that Jesus was a false Messiah and that the
who were with J esus stretched out his hand
true Messiah was yet to come. Or perhaps
and drew his sword, struck the servant of
he was upset by Jesus seemingly casual atthe high priest, and cut off his ear.
titude toward the Law and didnt like how
52But Jesus said to him, Put your sword
He associated with sinners or apparently viin its place, for all who take the sword will
olated the Sabbath. No one can say exactly
perisha by the sword. 53Or do you think that
why Judas turned against Jesus. He remains
I cannot now pray to My Father, and He will
a shadowy figure, unknown by his companprovide Me with more than twelve legions
ions, unfaithful to his Lord, unmourned in
of angels? 54How then could the Scriptures
his death.
be fulfilled, that it must happen thus?
55In that hour Jesus said to the multi
More: After Judas took his own life, his death
tudes, Have you come out, as against a
was ironically memorialized with the purchase
robber, with swords and clubs to take Me?
of a plot of ground for a cemetery. The New
I sat daily with you, teaching in the temple,
Testament mentions several other Judases. One
and you did not seize Me. 56But all this was
was a brother of Jesus and probably the author
of the Book of Jude (Matt.13:55; see also the
26:31aZechariah 13:7 26:42a NUText
reads if this may not pass away unless.
introduction to Jude).

26:52aMText reads die.

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6/23/15 3:31 PM

Matthew 26:57


done that the Scriptures of the prophets

might be fulfilled.
Then all the disciples forsook Him and

Jesus Faces theSanhedrin

57And those who had laid hold of Jesus

led Him away to Caiaphas the high priest,
where the scribes and the elders were as
sembled. 58But Peter followed Him at a dis
tance to the high priests courtyard. And
he went in and sat with the servants to see
the end.
59 Now the chief priests, the elders, a
and all the council sought false testimony

Unlikely Leaders
Jesus was close to the end of His earthly ministry. His life was about to suffer an agonizing
finish at the hands of His enemies. Those He
had trained to succeed Him would assume
leadership of His new movement, a transition that would prove near catastrophic.
During those final days and hours, His followers began to fall apart:
Bravado caused them to overstate their
commitment (Matt.26:35). When the
moment of decision came, they deserted
their Lord (26:56).
When Jesus asked them to keep watch
with Him during His final hours of
freedom, they twice fell asleep (26:40,
As Jesus endured mockery and beatings,
Peter, who had led the others in vowing
their loyalty (26:35), denied even knowing
his Master (26:6975).
The disciples hardly seem to have had
what was needed to continue the work that
Jesus began. But even after an experience of
excruciating suffering and glorious resurrection, Jesus returned to these same followers
and announced that they were still His chosen leaders to continue His work. He even
affirmed His commitment to stick with them
to the end (28:19, 20).
Jesus treatment of the disciples shows
that failure is not an unforgivable act. In fact,
it seems to be necessary to create character.
It is not meant to eliminate but to transform
the weak and wavering. Christ does not look
for perfect people but for faithful followers
who will experience His forgiveness, and
move on to learn and grow.
More: The Twelve were all men, but women
also played an important role in Jesus life and
ministry. See The Women Who Followed Jesus
at Luke 8:13. God has always valued devotion over perfection. See The Hall of Faith at
Heb.11:1 40.

9780718042523_int_05a_matt_mark_awsb.indd 54

against Jesus to put Him to death, 60 but

found none. Even though many false wit
nesses came forward, they found none.a
But at last two false witnessesb came for
ward 61and said, This fellow said, I am
able to destroy the temple of God and to
build it in three days.
62 And the high priest arose and said to
Him, Do You answer nothing? What is it
these men testify against You? 63But Jesus
kept silent. And the high priest answered
and said to Him, I put You under oath by
the living God: Tell us if You are the Christ,
the Son of God!
64 Jesus said to him, It is as you said.
Nevertheless, I say to you, hereafter you
will see the Son of Man sitting at the right
hand of the Power, and coming on the
clouds of heaven.
65T hen the high priest tore his clothes,
saying, He has spoken blasphemy! What
further need do we have of witnesses?
Look, now you have heard His blasphemy!
66W hat do you think?
They answered and said, He is deserv
ing of death.
67T hen they spat in His face and beat
Him; and others struck Him with the palms
of their hands, 68 saying, Prophesy to us,
Christ! Who is the one who struck You?

Peter Denies Jesus, and Weeps Bitterly

69Now Peter sat outside in the court

yard. And a servant girl came to him,
saying, You also were with J esus of Gal
70But he denied it before them all, say
ing, I do not know what you are saying.
71And when he had gone out to the gate
way, another girl saw him and said to those
who were there, This fellow also was with
Jesus of Nazareth.
72But again he denied with an oath, I
do not know the Man!
73And a little later those who stood by
came up and said to Peter, Surely you also
are one of them, for your speech betrays
74T hen he began to curse and swear,
saying, I do not know the Man!
Immediately a rooster crowed. 75And
Peter remembered the word of Jesus who
had said to him, Before the rooster crows,
you will deny Me three times. So he went
out and wept bitterly.

Jesus Handed Over to Pontius Pilate


hen morning came, all the chief

priests and elders of the people plot
ted against Jesus to put Him to death. 2And
when they had bound Him, they led Him
away and delivered Him to Pontiusa Pilate
the governor.
26:59aNUText omits the elders. 26:60aNU
Text puts a comma after but found none, does
not capitalize Even, and omits they found
none. bNUText omits false witnesses.
27:2aNUText omits Pontius.

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Judas Hangs Himself

3T hen Judas, His betrayer, seeing that

He had been condemned, was remorseful
and brought back the thirty pieces of silver
to the chief priests and elders, 4 saying, I
have sinned by betraying innocent blood.
And they said, What is that to us? You
see to it!
5T hen he threw down the pieces of sil
ver in the temple and departed, and went
and hanged himself.
6 But the chief priests took the silver
pieces and said, It is not lawful to put them
into the treasury, because they are the price
of blood. 7And they consulted together and
bought with them the potters field, to bury
strangers in. 8T herefore that field has been
called the Field of Blood to this day.
9T hen was fulfilled what was spoken
by Jeremiah the prophet, saying, And
they took the thirty pieces of silver, the
value of Him who was priced, whom they
of the children of Israel priced, 10 and gave
them for the potters field, as the Lord di
rected me.a

Jesus Faces Pilate

11Now J
esus stood before the governor.
And the governor asked Him, saying, Are
You the King of the Jews?
Jesus said to him, It is as you say.
12 And while He was being accused by the
chief priests and elders, He answered noth
13T hen Pilate said to Him, Do You not
hear how many things they testify against
You? 14But He answered him not one word,
so that the governor marveled g reatly.

Matthew 27:42

But they cried out all the more, saying,

Let Him be crucified!
24W hen Pilate saw that he could not
prevail at all, but rather that a tumult was
rising, he took water and washed his hands
before the multitude, saying, I am inno
cent of the blood of this just Person.a You
see to it.
25And all the people answered and said,
His blood be on us and on our children.
26T hen he released Barabbas to them;
and when he had scourged Jesus, he deliv
ered Him to be crucified.

TheSoldiers Mock Jesus

27T hen the soldiers of the governor

took Jesus into the Praetorium and gath
ered the whole garrison around Him. 28And
they stripped Him and put a scarlet robe
on Him. 29W hen they had twisted a crown
of thorns, they put it on His head, and a
reed in His right hand. And they bowed the
knee before Him and mocked Him, saying,
Hail, King of the Jews! 30T hen they spat
on Him, and took the reed and struck Him
on the head. 31And when they had mocked
Him, they took the robe off Him, put His
own clothes on Him, and led Him away to
be crucified.

TheKing on a Cross

32Now as they came out, they found a

man of Cyrene, Simon by name. Him they
compelled to bear His cross. 33And when
they had come to a place called Golgotha,
that is to say, Place of a Skull, 34they gave
Him soura wine mingled with gall to drink.
But when He had tasted it, He would not
35T hen they crucified Him, and divided
Taking thePlace ofBarabbas
His garments, casting lots,a that it might be
15Now at the feast the governor was
fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet:
accustomed to releasing to the multitude
They divided My garments among
one prisoner whom they wished. 16And
at that time they had a notorious prisoner
And for My clothing they cast lots.b
called Barabbas.a 17T herefore, when they
had gathered together, Pilate said to them, 36Sitting down, they kept watch over Him
Whom do you want me to release to you? there. 37And they put up over His head the
Barabbas, or Jesus who is called Christ? accusation written against Him:
18For he knew that they had handed Him
over because of envy.
19W hile he was sitting on the judgment
seat, his wife sent to him, saying, Have 38T hen two robbers were crucified with
nothing to do with that just Man, for I have Him, one on the right and another on the
suffered many things today in a dream be left.
39And those who passed by blasphemed
cause of Him.
20But the chief priests and elders per Him, wagging their heads 40 and saying,
suaded the multitudes that they should ask You who destroy the temple and build it
for Barabbas and destroy J esus. 21T he gov in three days, save Yourself! If You are the
ernor answered and said to them, Which Son of God, come down from the cross.
41Likewise the chief priests also, mock
of the two do you want me to release to
ing with the scribes and elders,a said, 42He
saved others; Himself He cannot save. If
They said, Barabbas!
22Pilate said to them, What then shall I
27:10aJeremiah 32:69 27:16aNUText reads
do with Jesus who is called Christ?
Jesus Barabbas. 27:24aNUText omits just.
They all said to him, Let Him be cru 27:34
aNUText omits sour.
27:35a NUText
and MText omit the rest of this verse. bPsalm
23T hen the governor said, Why, what
22:18 27:41aMText reads with the scribes,
evil has He done?
the Pharisees, and the elders.

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Matthew 27:43


He is the King of Israel,a let Him now come

down from the cross, and we will believe
Him.b 43He trusted in God; let Him deliver
Him now if He will have Him; for He said,
I am the Son of God.
44 Even the robbers who were crucified
with Him reviled Him with the same thing.

Jesus Dies on theCross

cried out with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli,

lama sabachthani? that is, My God, My
God, why have You forsaken Me?a
47Some of those who stood there, when
they heard that, said, This Man is calling
for Elijah! 48Immediately one of them ran
and took a sponge, filled it with sour wine
and put it on a reed, and offered it to Him
to drink.

45Now from the sixth hour until the

27:42aNUText reads He is the King of
ninth hour there was darkness over all Israel! bNUText and MText read we will
the land. 46And about the ninth hour Jesus believe in Him. 27:46aPsalm 22:1

Ordinary People at the Cross

Unlike many who rise to prominence, Jesus never lost touch with normal people. He did not
insulate Himself from difficulties by cushioning His life or associating only with the powerful,
wealthy, and privileged. His birth, life, and death involved very ordinary people.
Jesus surrounded Himself with people who
had little social standing or influence. The
events surrounding His birth involved a minor
priest and his barren wife, a small-town girl
and a poor carpenter, shepherds, an elderly woman, and three foreigners. His closest
adult friends were fishermen, and He was
known for hanging out with tax collectors and

prostitutes. During His final days and hours

an ordinary visitor to Jerusalema resident
of northern Africawas compelled to carry
His cross. Others showed curiosity about Him,
demonstrated understanding and loyalty, or
acted with compassion. These humble people
were uniquely able to perceive His message
about true values and needs.

Ordinary People Who Saw Jesus to the Cross

Simon the leper, once an
untouchable outcast

Hosted Jesus as his houseguest (Matt.26:6).

An unnamed woman (probably Mary of Bethany; see

Marys Devotion at John
11:2; compare 12:18)

Anointed Jesus head with expensive ointment (Matt.26:7).

An unnamed homeowner in

Opened his home to Jesus and the Twelve for their last meal
together (Matt.26:18).

The disciples, Jesus chosen

successors from rural Galilee

Proclaimed their faith (Matt.26:35) and joined Jesus in the Garden

of Gethsemane during the final hours before His arrest (26:40,
43, 56).

An unnamed servant girl

Asked Peter about his association with Jesus (Matt.26:69).

Another girl in the crowd

Also asked Peter about his relationship with Jesus (Matt.26:71).

Unnamed crowd members

Also inquired if Peter knew Jesus (Matt.26:71).


Betrayed Christ; later broke down with guilt and committed

suicide (Matt.27:35).

Barabbas, a convicted criminal

Was freed instead of Jesus because of a mobs demands

(Matt.27:16, 26).

Simon of Cyrene, a man in the


Was conscripted to carry Jesus cross (Matt.27:32).

Two dying thieves

Were executed with Jesus (Matt.27:38, 44).

An unnamed crowd member

Offered Jesus a drink as He was in His death throes (Matt.27:48).

An unnamed Roman centurion

Observed that Jesus must be the Son of God (Matt.27:54).

Some loyal women from


Looked on from afar (Matt.27:55, 56).

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Wealthy People in the New Testament

Unlike Joseph of Arimathea, most of Jesus followers were not wealthy. But we can learn about
the dangers and disciplines of money from other wealthy people noted in the New Testament.
Having money is in itself not safe or dangerous, bad or good. But how we handle it can be. Then
and now, God calls His followers to use whatever we have at our disposal to show compassion,
mercy, and justice to all.

How They Handled Their


Lessons to Learn

Zacchaeus the tax collector

(Luke 19:110)

Before faith, cheated citizens

and abused the poor.
After faith, repented and
made restitution.

Ill-gotten gain must be

God saves and changes
usall the way down to our

Joseph of Arimathea
(Matt.27:5761; Mark 15:42
46; Luke 23:5053)

Prepaid his own funeral.

Donated his tomb for Jesus

Forsaking earthly treasures

for the lasting kingdom of
God will be rewarded.

Female supporters of Christ

(Luke 8:13*; 23:5524:10;
Mark 15:40; 16:1)

Supported Jesus work.

Assisted in Jesus burial
(probably donated expensive

Generosity should characterize those who follow Jesus.

Roman centurion who believed

(Matt.8:513; Luke 7:15)

Showed kindness toward the

Paid for the construction of a
Showed compassion for his
ailing servant.

Authentic love for others

shows in the things we do
and the projects we support.

Rich young ruler (Matt.19:16

30; Mark 10:1731; Luke

Unwilling to part with his

wealth when tested by Jesus.

Those who cling to wealth

find it
difficult or impossible to enter
Gods kingdom.
Righteousness cannot be
earned and must be received
as a gift.
Many who are first will
be last, and the last first

Philemon (Philem.1*)

Owned slaves and other

Was urged to forgive a runaway slave and accept him as
a brother in Christ.

People are more valuable

than property.

Joseph, called Barnabas (Acts

4:36, 37*)

Sold land and gave the

proceeds to other followers
of Jesus.

Partnership in the gospel

means putting your money
at the disposal of fellow
believers in need.

Ananias and Sapphira (Acts


Sold land and tried to

deceive the church about
the proceeds to gain a good

God is not fooled by gracious

appearances but sees the
heart and acts accordingly.

Rich Christians disapproved of

by James (James 2:17)

Exploited the tendency

of people to cater to the
Dragged other Christians into
court and slandered Jesus.

God favors those who are

rich in faith; they will inherit
the kingdom.

continued on next page

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Matthew 27:49


49T he

rest said, Let Him alone; let us

see if Elijah will come to save Him.
50And Jesus cried out again with a loud
voice, and yielded up His spirit.
51T hen, behold, the veil of the temple
was torn in two from top to bottom; and
the earth quaked, and the rocks were split,
52 and the graves were opened; and many
bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep
were raised; 53and coming out of the graves
after His resurrection, they went into the
holy city and appeared to many.
54So when the centurion and those with
him, who were guarding J esus, saw the
earthquake and the things that had hap
pened, they feared greatly, saying, Truly
this was the Son of God!
55And many women who followed Jesus
from Galilee, ministering to Him, were
there looking on from afar, 56among whom
were Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of
James and Joses,a and the mother of Zebe
dees sons.

Jesus Buried in Josephs Tomb

Pilate Sets a Guard

62 On the next day, which followed

the Day of Preparation, the chief priests
and Pharisees gathered together to Pi
late, 63 saying, Sir, we remember, while
He was still alive, how that deceiver said,
After three days I will rise. 64T herefore
command that the tomb be made secure
until the third day, lest His disciples come
by nighta and steal Him away, and say to
the people, He has risen from the dead. So
the last deception will be worse than the
65Pilate said to them, You have a guard;
go your way, make it as secure as you know
how. 66 So they went and made the tomb
secure, sealing the stone and setting the

He Is Risen


ow after the Sabbath, as the first

day of the week began to dawn, Mary
Magdalene and the other Mary came to see
the tomb. 2And behold, there was a great
earthquake; for an angel of the Lord de
scended from heaven, and came and rolled
back the stone from the door,a and sat on it.
3His countenance was like lightning, and
his clothing as white as snow. 4 And the
guards shook for fear of him, and became
like dead men.
5But the angel answered and said to the
women, Do not be afraid, for I know that
you seek Jesus who was crucified. 6He is

57Now when evening had come, there

came a rich man from Arimathea, named
Joseph, who himself had also become a
disciple of Jesus. 58T his man went to Pi
late and asked for the body of Jesus. Then
Pilate commanded the body to be given to
him. 59W hen Joseph had taken the body, he
wrapped it in a clean linen cloth, 60and laid
it in his new tomb which he had hewn out of
the rock; and he rolled a large stone against
the door of the tomb, and departed. 61And 27:56aNUText reads Joseph. 27:64a NUText
Mary Magdalene was there, and the other omits by night. 28:2aNUText omits from
Mary, sitting opposite the tomb.
the door.

continued from previous page

Lydia (Acts 16:14*, 40)

Hosted the first European

church in her home.

We should use our homes

and resources to accomplish
Gods purposes.

Cornelius the centurion (Acts


Generous to the poor.

Sought out Peter concerning
the faith.

Fear of God should prompt

us to admit our need for a

The Ethiopian treasurer (Acts


Traveled to Jerusalem to
nurture his belief in God.
Invited Philip to explain
more about the faith.

Stewardship of money and

study of Scripture go hand
in handas do business
trips and opportunities for

Simon the sorcerer (Acts


Craved spiritual power and

thought it could be bottled
and sold.

Gods gifts cannot be bought.

*See individual profiles at texts indicated.

More: Wealth is a major topic in the New Testament. Jesus warned about its dangers. Read Matt.6:24;
Mark 10:1731; and Luke 12:1321. Likewise, Paul challenged believers to use their resources in a
Christlike way. See Christians and Money at 1Tim.6:619.

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not here; for He is risen, as He said. Come,
see the place where the Lord lay. 7And go
quickly and tell His disciples that He is ris
en from the dead, and indeed He is going
before you into Galilee; there you will see
Him. Behold, I have told you.
8 So they went out quickly from the tomb
with fear and great joy, and ran to bring His
disciples word.

TheWomen Worship theRisen Lord

Matthew 28:12

worshiped Him. 10T hen J esus said to them,

Do not be afraid. Go and tell My brethren
to go to Galilee, and there they will see Me.

TheSoldiers Are Bribed

11Now while they were going, behold,

some of the guard came into the city and re
ported to the chief priests all the things that
had happened. 12W hen they had assembled
with the elders and consulted together, they
gave a large sum of money to the soldiers,

9And as they went to tell His disciples,a

behold, Jesus met them, saying, Rejoice! 28:9aNUText omits the first clause of this
So they came and held Him by the feet and verse.

Surprised by God
The women who went to the tomb on the first Easter Sunday were exceedingly frightened by
what they foundor rather, by what they did not find. The tomb was empty!
God understands how it feels when He sends
startling spiritual events. He helps us overcome our fears and sort out whatever comes
our way. He sent an angel to comfort and enlighten Mary and Mary Magdalene about the
truth of Christs resurrection. He sent an angel
to Joseph when he was troubled by Marys inexplicable pregnancy (Matt.1:1825).
Many other people in Scripture were no
less troubled by the occurrence of spiritual
events and realities. The help they received
from God included messages from angels. But
He also sent other people, dramatic and even

miraculous demonstrations of His power, stirring promises, and the enormous comfort of
His Word. God appreciates the impact of spiritual light suddenly shining in a dark world.
He helps us overcome the shock not only of
what He has spoken but also the fact that He
has spoken.
Will we respond to His message? No matter
how uncomfortable we may feel about new
adventures in faith, we dare not avoid them.
God opens up these uneasy places in our lives
to draw us to Him.

To Every Nation
Jesus sent His followers to make disciples of all the nations (ethne, peoples; Matt.28:19). That
mandate may seem obvious to us who know that two thousand years of Christian outreach have
been based on this and similar passages. Christianity has spread from its Middle Eastern roots to
become a global religion followed by roughly one-third of the worlds population.
Modern technology would seem to make
expanding that outreach even further a relatively simple task. In many ways, however,
we still resemble Jesus original disciples.
They wanted a local hero, a Messiah just for
Israel, one who would keep their customs and
confirm their prejudices. They were no doubt
stunned by the scope and implications of the
cross-cultural vision that Jesus presented. He
was more than the King of the Jews. He was
the global Christ, the Savior of the entire
Jesus had tried to open their eyes to this
fact since the start of His ministry. Matthew
recorded again and again His work among
Gentiles (for example, Matt. 8:10; 15:24). He
even cited Isaiah 42:1
4, highlighting that
Jesus would declare justice to the Gentiles

[nations] . . . and in His name Gentiles will

trust (Matt. 12:1421). Yet now the disciples
had a hard time believing their Lords words.
Could He really be interested in all the nations? They certainly were not.
It is easy to nod in agreement with the idea
that Jesus cares for the whole world. But it is
not as easy to blend real people from varying
backgrounds. Even so, what a good adventure
it becomes when we intentionally obey God in
building friendships.
Culture, after all, is the key. Jesus told His
Galilean followers to make disciples, and
they didJewish disciples. They experienced
profound culture shock when the Holy Spirit
brought new groups into the burgeoning
church, including Hellenist disciples (Acts
7), Samaritan disciples (8:4
25), and
continued on next page

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Matthew 28:13


13 saying, Tell them, His disciples came at

night and stole Him away while we slept.

14 And if this comes to the governors ears,
we will appease him and make you secure.
15So they took the money and did as they
were instructed; and this saying is com
monly reported among the Jews until this

TheGreat Commission

saw Him, they worshiped Him; but some

18And J
esus came and spoke to them,
saying, All authority has been given to Me
in heaven and on earth. 19Go thereforea and
make disciples of all the nations, baptizing
them in the name of the Father and of the
Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20teaching them
to observe all things that I have command
ed you; and lo, I am with you always, even
to the end of the age. Amen.a

16T hen the eleven disciples went away

into Galilee, to the mountain which Jesus 28:19aMText omits therefore. 28:20aNU
had appointed for them. 17W hen they Text omits Amen.

continued from previous page

eventually Gentile disciples from a variety of

backgrounds (10:111:18; 15:121). As the
gospel spread to people of different cultures,
there was always the danger of ethnic and racial factions going their separate ways. Paul
urged Christians to pursue unity in the body
of Christ and charity among the peoples of the
world (see One People at Rom.11:1324).
The bulk of new disciples today are non-
Caucasian and non-Western. Not surprisingly,
they bring widely different cultural perspectives into the church. One of the greatest challenges we will face as we move together into
the future is to delight in these differences.

9780718042523_int_05a_matt_mark_awsb.indd 60

Its the same difficulty that the original disciples faced at the inauguration of the Christian
movement: not merely to acknowledge but to
act on, and enjoy, the fact that Jesus truly is
Lord of all the nations.
More: Gods plan to make disciples of people
throughout the world was part of His overall,
long-term objective of making His name great
among the nations. See Great Among the Nations at Mal.1:11. The spread of the gospel to the
rest of the world began just a few days after Jesus
spoke the words recorded in Matt.28:19.

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