Observations on life; particularly spiritual

Comprehensive outline of the book of Matthew

Comprehensive outline of the book of MatthewThe first book of the New Testament, Matthew, was written by the apostle Matthew.

I like having titles on the paragraphs or sections of my Bible. This helps to indicate the context of a particular passage of scripture. A comprehensive outline (section headings) of the book of Matthew is given below. Because of the large number of levels, the labelling is changed in chapters 21-27 (Appendix A).

The top level of headings in this post give a simple outline of the book of Matthew (Appendix B).

The birth of the King 1-2

The royal ancestry of the King 1:1-17
1:1 The introduction
The legal line through Joseph 1:2-16
– 1:2-6a Abraham to David
– 1:6b-11 David to the Babylonian deportation
– 1:12-16 The Babylonian deportation to Jesus through Joseph
1:17 The summary

The unique birth of the King 1:18-25
1:18-19 Spirit-conceived
1:20 Angel-ordered
1:21 Name-significant
1:22-23 Prophecy-fulfilling
1:24-25 Virgin-born

The regal worshipers of the King 2:1-12
2:1-8 The inquiry of eastern magi of Herod the King in Jerusalem for the new-born King of the Jews
2:9-12 The magi worship the child in prophecy-fulfilling Bethlehem
2:13-15 The prophecy-fulfilling flight of Joseph, Mary and Jesus to Egypt

The royal jealousy against the King 2:13-23
2:16-18 Herod’s prophecy-fulfilling murder of male infants in the Bethlehem area
2:19-23 The angel-directed departure of Joseph and family from Egypt to prophecy-fulfilling Nazareth

The presentation of the King 3–4

As prepared by His herald’s requiring spiritual fitness for participation in the kingdom of the heavens 3:1-12
3:1-6 John’s preaching a baptism of repentance in the wilderness of Judea in view of the nearness of the kingdom of the heavens
3:7-10 John’s berating of the Pharisees and Sadducees
3:11-12 John’s prediction of a Mightier One to baptize with the Holy Spirit and with fire

3:13-17 As identifying with the spiritual nature of the kingdom of the heavens: Jesus’ righteousness-fulfilling baptism by John as approved by the Father and the Spirit

As proving His spiritual qualification to reign over the kingdom of the heavens: Jesus’ temptation by Satan in the wilderness 4:1-11
4:1 The initiative of the Spirit
4:2 The preliminary fasting
4:3-4 The temptation to turn stones into bread
4:5-7 The temptation to throw Himself from the temple
4:8-10 The temptation to accept the world’s kingdoms
4:11 The ministry of angels

As introducing the kingdom of the heavens 4:12-25
4:12-16 The King’s prophecy-fulfilling base of operations
4:17 The King’s message: The nearness of the kingdom of the heavens
4:18-22 The King’s choosing of trainees to invite others to participate in His kingdom of the heavens
4:23-25 The King’s methodology: teaching and proclaiming the good news of the kingdom and healing multitudes in Galilee

The requirements of the King: His teaching of the disciples (learners) the requirements for participation in the kingdom of the heavens 5-7

5:1-12 Blessed attitudes in the kingdom of the heavens

5:13-16 The necessity of distinctive, active glorification of God in the kingdom of the heaven

Law attitudes in the kingdom of the heavens 5:17-48
5:17-20 Greatness in the kingdom of the heavens: keeping and teaching the law and the prophets
5:21-22 Murder: Anger and “put-down” speech no more tolerated than murder
5:23-26 Reconciliation: Takes precedence over worship
5:27-30 Adultery: Deliberate lusting after a woman is adultery of the heart
5:31-32 Divorce: Adultery in the only ground for divorce
5:33-37 Oaths: No need for oaths. Always speak the truth instead.
5:38-42 Revenge: Non-resistance is the appropriate response for personal injury
5:43-48 Enemies: Love your enemies as well as your friends

Worship attitudes in the kingdom of the heavens 6:1-18
6:1 The general principle: Righteousness must be practiced before God, not people, or else there is no reward
6:2-4 Giving: Give secretly
Praying 6:5-15
– 6:5-6 Private prayer
– 6:7 Meaningful prayer
– 6:8-13 Model prayer
– 6:14-15 Forgiving prayer
6:16-18 Fasting: Fast secretly

Living attitudes in the kingdom of the heavens 6:19 – 7:12
Money: Bank in heaven 6:19-24
– 6:19-21 Heavenly investment
– 6:22-23 Clear-eyed vision
– 6:24 Single-minded service of God
6:25-34 Anxiety: Work for your Father’s kingdom and He’ll take care of you
7:1-5 Judging: Judge mercifully without hypocrisy
7:6 Sharing of spiritual truth: only with discernment
7:7-11 Praying: Persevere!
7:12 Relationships: Treat others as you wish them to treat you

Warnings for potential subjects of the kingdom of the heavens 7:13-27
7:13-14 The narrowness of the entrance to the kingdom: most will not make it
7:15-23 Beware of false prophets: not all who address Jesus as Lord will enter the kingdom
7:24-27 Obedience brings stability; disobedience brings disaster

7:28- 29 Reactions of amazement at the authoritative requirements of the King

The power of the King: The miracles authenticating His divine power and origin 8–9

8:1-4 Power over leprosy

Power over paralysis at a distance 8:5-13
8:5-6 A Roman centurion’s request for healing of a paralyzed servant
8:7 Jesus’ agreement to come heal
8:8-9 The centurion’s belief in Jesus’ authority to heal at a distance
8:10 Jesus’ amazement at greater Gentile than Jewish faith
8:11-12 Jesus’ prediction of many Gentiles replacing Israelites in the kingdom of the heavens
8:13 Jesus’ healing of the slave from a distance

8:14-15 Power over fever

8:16-17 Power to exorcise and heal all, fulfilling prophecy

Hindrances to following Jesus 8:18-22
8:18-20 Insecure existence
8:21-22 Family ties

8:23-27 Power over a storm

8:28-34 Power over demons

9:1-8 Power over sin

The King’s defense of His policies 9:9-17
9:9 His call of Matthew, a tax-collector
9:10-13 His defense of His associating with tax-collectors and sinners: God desires compassionate service toward the needy rather than rigid adherence to external forms of religion
9:14-17 His explanation of His disciples’ non-fasting

Power over disorder and death 9:18-26
9:18-19 The request of the synagogue official for healing for his daughter
9:20-22 The healing of the woman with a hemorrhage
9:23-26 The raising of the dead girl

9:27-31 Power over blindness

9:32-34 Power over demonic dumbness

The King’s compassion for the multitudes 9:35-38
9:35 His practice among the cities and towns of teaching, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom, and healing
9:36 His compassion for the multitudes
9:37-38 His instruction to the disciples to pray for more evangelistic workers

The multiplication of the King 10-11

The King’s apostolic commissioning of the twelve disciples (learners) into the human harvest to recruit subjects for the kingdom of the heavens 10
10:1 The commissioning of the twelve to exorcise and to heal
10:2-4 The names of the twelve
The procedural instructions to the twelve 10:5-15
– 10:5-6 The audience: Israel only
– 10:7 The message: “The kingdom of the heavens is near.”
– 10:8 The authenticating signs – healing and exorcism
– 10:9-15 The financial support: from those who accept the message
10:16-23 The expected antagonism and persecution
10:24-33 Reasons not to be afraid
10:34-39 Families will be divided over the King
10:40-42 Those who welcome the disciples in the King’s name will be rewarded

The King’s ministry following His disciples (learners) 11
11:1 His departure to teach and preach in their cities
His affirmation of John the Baptist’s ministry 11:2-19
– 11:2-6 His pragmatic answer to John’s query as to whether or not Jesus was the anticipated Messiah
– 11:7-15 His adulation of John before the multitudes
– 11:16-19 The people rejected both John and Jesus
11:20-24 His denunciation of Galilean cities for failing to repent in spite of His miracles
11:25-27 His thanks to the Father for concealment of His Kingship from the learned and for revealing His Kingship to the childlike (i.e. the disciples)
11:28-30 His invitation to the weary to find rest in His kingdom

The mounting conflict with the King 12–15

The Israeli leaders’ constant conflict with the King 12

The conflict over the sabbath 12:1-14
12:1-8 His justification of His disciples’ (learners) eating grain picked on the sabbath
His justification of His healing of a man on the sabbath 12:9-14
– 12:9-10 The dilemma set up by the Pharisees
– 12:11-12 The logic of Jesus: “It is lawful to do good on the sabbath.”
– 12:13 His healing of the man’s withered hand
– 12:14 The determination of the Pharisees to destroy Jesus

12:15-21 The King’s withdrawal from conflict: His withdrawal elsewhere and continued healing to fulfill Isaiah’s (42:1-4) prophecy of the non-violent “Servant-Messiah” (anointed with the Spirit)

The conflict over His source of power 12:22-37
12:22 His healing of a demon-possessed blind/mute
12:23 The Messianic interpretation of the multitudes
12:24 The Satanic interpretation of the Pharisees
Jesus’ denunciation of the Pharisees and their illogical claims 12:25- 37
– 12:25-26 He cannot be casting out demons by Satan’s power, for a kingdom divided against itself cannot stand
– 12:27-29 He must therefore be casting them out by the Spirit of God, so the kingdom of God must have come
– 12:30-32 Blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven
– 12:33-37 Their evil speech condemns their evil hearts on the day of judgment

The conflict over signs 12:38-45
12:38 The request of scribes and Pharisees for a sign
12:39-40 His denial of any signs to an evil and adulterous generation except the sign of the prophet Jonah
His condemnation of them 12:41-45
– 12:41 Through the Ninevites
– 12:42 Through the Queen of Sheba
– 12:43-45 Through His prediction of their demonic spiritual demise

12:46-50 The conflict over family identity

The King’s revelation of the mystery form of the kingdom of the heavens 13:1-52

13:1-9 The parable of the four soils

His explanation of the use of parables 13:10-17
13:10 The disciples’ query as to Jesus’ motive in using parables
The answer of Jesus 13:11-17
– 13:11 Only to the disciples (learners) had it been granted to know the mysteries (previously unrevealed truths) of the kingdom of the heavens
– 13:12-13 The concealment of the truth from outsiders by the use of parables
– 13:14-15 The fulfillment of Isaiah’s prophecy of Israel’s hearing without perception
– 13:16-17 The blessedness of the disciples in hearing what many prophets were unable to hear

13:18-23 The interpretation of the four soils
Interpretation: Four different receptions of the message of the kingdom, only one of which bears fruit.
Application: Most will reject the message of the kingdom. Only a few will receive it.

13:24-30 The parable of the tares among the wheat

13:31-32 The parable of the mustard seed
Interpretation: The kingdom has dominating growth from a small beginning

13:33 The parable of the yeast in the dough
Interpretation: The kingdom has a pervasive influence which dwarfs its size.

13:34-35 Jesus’ use of parables as fulfilling the revelation of hidden things in parables (Psalm 78:2)

13:36-43 The interpretation of the tares among the wheat
The field is the world. (Therefore, the kingdom is to be world-wide.)
There will be evil people in the kingdom, distinguishable from the righteous only at the judgment at the end of the age.
The kingdom will be purged from evil only at the end of the age.

13:44 The parable of the hid treasure
Interpretation: Some will see the value of the kingdom and will sacrifice all to participate in it.

13:45-46 The parable of the pearl of great value
Interpretation: Some will see the value of the kingdom and will sacrifice all to participate in it.

13:47-50 The parable of the fishing net
Interpretation: The kingdom will encompass both good and evil people. At the end of the age angels will sort out the evil from the righteous, casting the former into the fire.

13:51-52 The newness as well as oldness of truths about the kingdom of the heavens

Conflict despite miracles 13:53 – 15:39

13:53-58 Nazareth’s offense at Jesus, the local carpenter

Herod’s guilt-fuelled misperception of Jesus 14:1-12
14:1-2 Herod’s explanation that Jesus and His miraculous powers were really John the Baptist risen from the dead
14:3-12 The circumstances surrounding Herod’s murder of John

Jesus’ feeding of the 5,000 14:13-21
14:13 His attempt at privacy because of sorrow over John’s death
14:14 His compassionate healing of the sick from among the following multitudes
14:15-21 His feeding of 5,000 with 5 loaves and 2 fish

Jesus’ walking on water 14:22-33
14:22-23 His solitary prayer
14:24 The disciples’ difficult boat trip
14:25-27 The disciples’ fear at Jesus’ walking on water
14:28-30 Peter’s fearful walking on water
14:31 Jesus’ chiding Peter’s little faith
14:32-33 The disciples’ worship of Jesus

14:34-36 Jesus’ healing of many at Gennesaret

The conflict over the disciples’ violation of the Jewish elders’ hand-washing tradition 15:1-20
15:1-2 The complaint of the scribes and Pharisees about the breaking of the elders’ tradition
15:3-6 Jesus’ charge that the Jewish leaders by their tradition break God’s command to honor their parents
15:7-20 Jesus’ associating them with Isaiah’s prophecy of lip-honor defiled by human rules (Isa. 29:13)

15:21-28 Jesus’ healing of the daughter of a faith-filled Canaanite woman

15:29-31 Jesus’ healing of many on a seaside mountain

15:32-39 Jesus’ miraculous feeding of 5,000

The preparation by the King: The King’s preparation of His disciples (learners) regarding the two-fold nature of the kingdom of the heavens: (1) Reaffirming the glorious national form but (2) Predicting the sacrificial/service aspect of the mystery form 16-20

His warning of His disciples against the teaching of the Pharisees and Sadducees 16:1-12

16:1 The hypocritical sign-seeking of the Pharisees and Sadducees

16:2-4 His refusal to give an evil generation anything more than the sign of Jonah

16:5-12 His warning of His disciples against the teaching of the Pharisees and Sadducees

His instructing of His disciples about His dual role of glorious, yet suffering Messiah in the kingdom of the heavens 16:13 – 17:13

His affirming of His Messianic identity to His disciples 16:13-20
16:13-14 His asking who people thought Him to be
16:15 His asking who they thought Him to be
16:16 Peter’s identification of Jesus as the Messiah
16:17 Jesus’ confirmation of Peter’s answer
Jesus’ conferring upon Peter great honor and authority 16:18-19
– 16:18 The honor of Jesus’ building His church on Peter’s divinely-revealed statement about Messiah
– 16:19 The authority to control admittance into the (mystery or church form of the) kingdom of the heavens (Keys of the kingdom)
16:20 Jesus’ warning of His disciples not to publicize His Messiahship

His prediction of His death, resurrection and return in glory 16:21-28
16:21-23 His prediction of His death in Jerusalem and resurrection
16:24-27 His insistence to His disciples of self-denial in view of His return in glory and payment to everyone according to their deeds
16:28 His prediction that some would see the Son of Man coming in His kingdom

17:1-8 His transfiguration before Peter, James, John, Moses and Elijah: Foretaste of the kingdom

His reply to the disciples’ expectation of Elijah’s coming prior to the kingdom 17:9-13
17:9-10 The disciples’ query
17:11 Jesus’ confirmation of Elijah’s future coming
17:12-13 Jesus’ revelation that Elijah had been here in the person of John the Baptist (i.e. a partial fulfillment); that Jesus, like John would be put to death

His exorcism of the epileptic boy 17:14-21

17:14-18 Jesus’ exorcism of the epileptic boy whom the awaiting disciples had been unable to help

17:19-21 Jesus’ explanation of their inability: lack of faith

17:22-23 His announcement of His coming death and resurrection

17:24-27 His payment of tax to avoid offending earthly “kings”

His teaching of humility and hindrance in the kingdom of the heavens 18

18:1-5 Jesus’ teaching of the necessity of childlike humility for entrance into and greatness in the kingdom of the heavens

18:6-9 Jesus’ teaching on not stumbling believers

18:10-14 Jesus’ teaching on God’s care of believers

18:15-20 Jesus’ teaching on reproving a sinning brother or sister

Jesus’ teaching on forgiveness 18:21-35
18:21 Peter’s question on the frequency of forgiveness
18:22 Jesus’ answer of unlimited forgiveness
18:23-34 Jesus’ parable about the hypocritical debtor/creditor (Forgiven much, but unwilling to forgive little)
18:35 Jesus’ conclusion: God will not forgive us if we do not forgive our brothers and sisters

His teaching on divorce 19:1-12

19:1-2 His healing ministry in Transjordan

19:3-12 His teaching in response to the Pharisees’ question on divorce. His view of marriage as one man and one woman for life.

His further teaching on the dual form of the kingdom of the heavens (Triumphal ruling preceded by sacrificial service) 19:13 – 20:34

19:13-15 Jesus’ reception of children as the basic building blocks of the kingdom of the heavens

Jesus’ pinpointing of wealth as an obstacle in the kingdom of the heavens 19:16-26
19:16-22 His unsuccessful telling of a wealthy young man to sell all and follow Him to obtain eternal life
19:23-26 His comment on the difficulty of a rich man entering the kingdom of the heavens

Jesus’ teaching about reward and compensation in the glorious, national form of the kingdom of the heavens 19:27 – 20:16
19:27-30 His prediction of the disciples’ judging of the twelve tribes of Israel during the Millennium as reward for having forsaken all to follow Him
20:1-16 His parable of the workers sent into the fields at differing hours, yet all receiving the same wages. Interpretation: Many now first will in the kingdom be last; many now last will in the kingdom be first

20:17-19 Jesus’ warning of the twelve of His imminent death and resurrection in Jerusalem

Jesus’ teaching on greatness through service in the kingdom of the heavens 20:20-28
20:20-21 The request of the mother of James and John for them to sit on Jesus’ right and left hand in His kingdom
20:22-23a Jesus’ ascertaining of their willingness to share His sufferings
20:23b His refusal to grant what was only His Father’s prerogative
20:24 The indignation of the ten
20:25-27 Jesus’ informing them of greatness through servanthood
20:28 Jesus’ own example of existing for serving and of giving His life as a ransom

20:29-34 Jesus’ compassionate healing of two blind men

The terminal conflict with the King 21-27

His controversial assertion of His Messiahship 21:1-17

By His Messianic entry into Jerusalem 21:1-11
21:1-3 His instructions to find the donkey
21:4-5 His fulfillment of prophecy (Zech. 9:9 “Behold your King is coming to you, gentle, and mounted on a donkey”)
21:6-7 The bringing of the donkey
21:8 The spreading of branches and garments
The reaction of the people 21:9-11
21:9 The Messianic quotation of the multitudes (Ps. 118:25-26)
21:10 The query of the city
21:11 The accurate but incomplete reply (prophet, but not Messiah)

21:12-17 By His cleansing of the temple and acceptance of Messianic praise from children, fulfilling Psalm 8:2

His rejection of the nation and its leaders 21:18 – 22:14

21:18-22 His cursing of the fig tree, illustrating His cursing of the nation, from whom He had hoped to find fruit

His criticism of the chief priests, elders and Pharisees for disbelief in God’s messengers 21:23-46
In John the Baptist 21:23-32

21:23 The presenting question of the leaders: “Who gave you authority to enter as Messiah and cleanse the temple?”
21:24-25a Jesus’ response question: Was John’s baptism from heaven or of human origin?
21:25b-27 The leaders’ unwillingness to answer
Jesus’ follow-up question about two sons and doing the will of the father 21:28-32
– 21:28-29 One verbally unwilling but finally obeying
– 21:30 One verbally willing but never obeying
– 21:31a The identification by the leaders of the obedient son
– 21:31b-32 Jesus’ application: Tax collectors and prostitutes will enter the kingdom before the leaders because the former believed John, the latter did not
In Jesus Himself 21:33-46
The parable of the landholder and the tenant farmers 21:33- 41
– 21:33 The arrangements of the landowner
– 21:34-39 His efforts to obtain his rent money frustrated by abuse to the rent collectors and the murder of his son
– 21:40-41 The wrath of the landowner
Jesus’ application 21:42-44
– 2:42 The fulfillment of Psalm 118:22: The rejected stone becomes the chief corner stone
– 21:43 The kingdom to be taken away from Israel and given to the Gentiles
– 21:44 The judgmental nature of the cornerstone (Jesus)
21:45-46 The frustrated anger of the perceptive chief priests and Pharisees

22:1-14 His prediction of the giving of the kingdom of the heavens to the Gentiles in view of Israel’s rejection of the same. (The parable of the wedding feast)
Interpretation: Jesus compares the kingdom of the heavens to a wedding feast in which the invited guests [Israel] never come and are destroyed, with the consequence that the invitation is given successfully to the common people of the land [Gentiles].

A series of entrapment questions 22:15-46

The Pharisees’ and Herodians’ malicious attempt to entrap Jesus with the controversy of paying taxes to the hated Roman oppressors 22:15-22
22:15 Their motivation: entrapment
22:16-17 Their question: payment of taxes to Caesar
22:18-22 Jesus’ response: “Pay Caesar’s due and God’s due”

The Sadducees’ trick theological question about marriage in the resurrection 22:23-33
22:23-28 The question: Is there marriage to multiple pre-deceased partners in the resurrection?
22:29-30 The reply: No marriage in heaven
22:31-32 The instruction: There are no dead [believers]. God is God of the living, not the dead
22:33 The astonishment of the crowds

The Pharisees’ testing question of the greatest commandment 22:34-40
22:34-36 The question
Jesus’ answer 22:37-40
22:37-38 Love God with your whole being (greatest)
22:39 Love your neighbor as yourself (second greatest)
22:40 On these two hang the whole Law and Prophets [the Old Testament]

22:41-46 Jesus’ incriminating return question about the implication of David’s calling the Messiah, his son, Lord

His denunciation of the nation’s leaders 23

His instructions to follow the teachings of the scribes and Pharisees but not their self-exalting practices 23:1-12
23:1-3a Jesus’ command to follow their teachings but not their practices
Jesus’ reasons 23:3b-10
23:3b-4 Because they evade the responsibilities they place on others
23:5 Because they do things to be noticed by people
23:6-10 Because they love positions and titles of honor
Jesus’ assertion of the correct way 23:11-12
23:11 Greatness is achieved through servanthood
23:12 God’s policy: The self-exalted will be humbled; the humble will be exalted

His woes against the scribes and Pharisees 23:13-36
23:13 Woe for preventing entrance into the kingdom of the heavens
23:14 [Not in oldest manuscripts.]
23:15 Woe for proselytizing to unbelief
23:16-22 Woe for dishonest “loophole” swearing
23:23-24 Woe for tithing incidentals and neglecting justice
23:25-26 Woe for cleaning externals and neglecting inner filth
23:27-28 Woe for outward righteousness and inward hypocrisy
23:29-36 Woe for adorning the prophets’ tombs while in the future they will kill, and will persecute prophets, sages and teachers

23:37-39 His lament over murderous, desolate, unresponsive Jerusalem

The King’s Prediction of His return to judge 24 – 25

24:1-2 His prediction of the judgmental destruction of the temple

His prediction of the time of tribulation (the signs of the end of the age) 24:3-28
24:3 The disciples’ instigating questions:
When will the temple be destroyed?
What is the sign of your coming?
What is the sign of the end of the age?
The signs of the first half of the tribulation period 24:4-14
24:4-5 False messiahs
24:6-8 Wars, international conflict, famines and earthquakes as the beginning of labor pains
24:9-10 The persecution of Jewish believers: the betrayal and hatred of Jews by Jews
24:11 False prophets
24:12-13 The cooling off of love
24:14 The proclaiming of the good news of the kingdom to all nations
The signs of the last half of the tribulation period (“The great tribulation”) 24:15-28
24:15 The installation of the “Abomination of desolation” in the Temple
24:16-20 The urgency of sudden flight
24:21-22 The reason for sudden flight: unprecedented, human-race threatening tribulation
The warning against false messiahs and prophets 24:23-28
– 24:23-25 The warning
– 24:26 The locality of the false messiahs
– 24:27-28 The ubiquity of and carnage in connection with the coming of the real Messiah (second coming)

His prediction of His return 24:29-51
The sequence of His return 24:29-31
24:29a The time: at the termination of the tribulation
The signs: 24:29b-30a
– 24:29b The darkening of celestial bodies
– 24:30a The sign of the Son of Man
24:30b The coming of the Son of Man on clouds with power and glory
24:31 The gathering of the elect by the angels
The timing of His return 24:32-36
24:32-34 The nearness of His coming (The analogy of the fig tree: as leaves mean summer is near, so all these signs mean Christ is near – within a generation)
24:35 The sureness of His coming: surer than heaven and earth
24:36 The knowledge of His coming: only the Father knows
The suddenness of His return 24:37-44
24:37-39 Like the flood in Noah’s day
24:40-41 Like an abduction in the middle of a workday
24:42-43 Like a thief in the night
24:44 The warning to be ready in light of the unexpectedness of His return
The accountability at His return: The analogy of the slave “house- steward” 24:45-51
24:45-47 The blessed reward of the faithful slave at his master’s return
24:48-51 The anguish of the unfaithful slave at his master’s return

His prediction of the judgments at His return 25
His judgment of Israel 25:1-30
The analogy of the wedding 25:1-13
– 25:1 The kingdom of the heavens likened to ten virgins meeting the returning bridegroom with lamps at night
– 25:2-10a The preparedness of only five with lamp-oil (symbolizing the possession of the Spirit – a mark of regeneration)
– 25:10b-12 The exclusion of the five unprepared from the wedding (symbolizing exclusion of the unregenerate from the kingdom)
– 25:13 The application to be alert for the unexpected return of the King
The analogy of the journeying slave-owner 25:14-30
– 25:14-15 The entrustment: the journeying man entrusting possessions to his slaves.
Interpretation: Jesus entrusting Israel with the good news of the kingdom in view of His departure to heaven – responsibility according to ability
– 25:16-18 The performance
– The accountability 25:19-30
—- 25:19-23 The reward of the faithful slaves: increased service and responsibility
—- 25:24-30 The judgment of the unfaithful slave cast into anguished outer darkness for fearfully refusing to take the risk of investing in the kingdom
His judgment of the nations 25:31-46
25:31-33 The Son of Man’s separation of the sheep from the goats from among the nations
25:34-40 The King’s invitation of the sheep into the kingdom because of their treatment of the King’s brothers and sisters as unto Him
25:41-45 His rejection of the goats into eternal fire for their neglect of the King’s brothers and sisters
25:46 The outcome: eternal punishment for the goats; eternal life for the sheep

The preparations for His death 26:1-56

Prior to Passover 26:1-16
26:1-2 Jesus’ prediction of His crucifixion after Passover
26:3-5 The plotting of the chief priests and elders to kill Jesus after the feast
A woman’s anointing Jesus with perfume for burial 26:6-13
26:6-7 The anointing
26:8-9 The disciples’ indignation at the waste
26:10-13 Jesus’ commendation of her efforts to prepare His body for burial
26:14-16 Judas’ offer to betray Jesus for thirty pieces of silver

During Passover 26:17-29
26:17-19 The disciples’ preparation of the Passover for Jesus
26:20-25 Jesus’ indication of Judas as His betrayer
26:26-29 Jesus’ revelation of the Passover bread as referring to His body, the wine as the blood of the covenant

On the Mount of Olives 26:30-56
26:30-35 His prediction of the disciples’ falling away from Him
His fruitless urging of the disciples to join with Him in anguished prayer in Gethsemane 26:36-46
26:36-38 His taking three disciples aside to pray; His deep grief and distress
26:39 His solitary, submissive prayer to the Father to take the cross from Him
26:40-45a His disappointment at the three disciples’ inability to watch with Him
26:45b-46 His announcement of His imminent betrayal
Judas’ betrayal of Jesus 26:47-56
26:47 The arrival of Judas and a great armed crowd from the chief priests and elders of the people
26:48-50 Judas’ identification of Jesus with a kiss
26:51 The sword-wielding reaction of one of the disciples
26:52 Jesus’ instruction to put away the sword
26:53 Jesus’ information regarding available angelic help
26:54 Jesus’ insistence on the fulfillment of Scripture
26:55 Jesus’ protest against secretive seizure
26:56 The disciples’ flight

The trials prior to His death 26:57 – 27:31 (Religious: 26:57 – 27:2; Civil: 27:11-31)

The clandestine, night-time trial and sentencing of Jesus 26:57-68
26:57-58 The seizure of Jesus
26:59-62 The false testimony against Jesus
26:63-66 The council’s condemning Jesus to die for claiming to be the Messiah
26:67-68 The council’s mocking of Jesus

26:69-75 Peter’s three-fold denial of Jesus

27:1-2 The day-time, rubber stamp decision of the elders and chief priests to have Jesus executed by Pilate

Judas’ remorse 27:3-10
27:3-4 Judas’ remorse at having betrayed innocent blood
27:5 Judas’ suicide
27:6-10 The chief priests’ purchase of the Potter’s field with Judas’ returned thirty pieces of silver (a fulfillment primarily of Zechariah 11:12-13, secondarily of Jer. 19:1,4,6,11).

Jesus’ mistrial before Pilate 27:11-26
27:11-14 His admission to being King of the Jews; His refusal to respond to any other charges
Pilate’s futile attempt to release Jesus 27:15-26

27:15- 17 His offer to release either criminal Barabbas or Jesus
His motives in trying to release Jesus 27:18-19
– 27:18 His awareness of the Jews’ envy
– 27:19 The warning from his wife
27:20-23 The multitude’s choice to release Barabbas and crucify Jesus
27:24-25 Pilate’s giving in to the blood-thirsty Jews
27:26 Pilate’s release of Barabbas and deliverance of Jesus to be crucified

27:27-31 The Roman soldiers’ mockery of Jesus (“Hail, King of the Jews”)

The Death of the King 27:32-66

27:32 The forced cross-bearing service of Simon the Cyrenian

The disbelief toward Jesus’ death 27:33-44
27:33 The place: Golgotha (Place of a Skull)
27:34 The drink: wine mixed with gall (Psalm 69:21)
27:35-36 The dividing up of His clothes (Psalm 22:18)
27:37 The charge: “Jesus the KING OF THE JEWS”
27:38 The company: robbers
The mockery 27:39-44
27:39-40 Of passersby (Psalm 22:7) “Come down from the cross!”
27:41-43 Of the chief priests, scribes and elders (Psalm 22:8) “Let God deliver Him (if He be the King of Israel)”
27:44 Of the thieves

The significance of Jesus’ death 27:45-56
27:45 The darkness
The cry of separation: “My God, why have you forsaken me?” (Psalm 22:1) 27:46-49
27:46 The translation
27:47-49 The misinterpretation
The final cry and its results 27:50-56
27:50 The voluntary death
27:51a The torn veil
27:51b The earthquake
27:52-53 The opening of tombs and subsequent resurrection of many
27:54 The centurion’s fearful acknowledgment of Jesus’ deity
27:55-56 The onlooking women

27:57-61 The burial of Jesus’ body by Joseph of Arimathea

The securing of the grave site on the next day 27:62-66
27:62-64 The chief priests’ and Pharisees’ expression of concern to Pilate of the disciples’ potential theft of the body to perpetuate a myth about a resurrection
27:65-66 Pilate’s permission to post a guard and seal the tomb

The triumph of the King 28

The Resurrection of Jesus as Discovered by the women 28:1-10

28:1 The approach of women to the tomb

The opening of the tomb 28:2-4
28:2a The earthquake
The tombstone is rolled away 28:2b-4
– 28:2b The angelic rolling away of the stone
– 28:3 The angel’s brilliant appearance
– 28:4 The immobilization of the guards

The angel’s communication with the women 28:5-7
28:5-6a His announcement of Jesus’ resurrection
28:6b His invitation to view the empty tomb
28:7 His instructions
– To report to the disciples
– To meet in Galilee

28:8 The fearful/joyful departure of the women to the disciples

28:9-10 Jesus’ personal reminder to the women of the Galilean rendezvous

The cover-up story of the Jews 28:11-15

28:11 The report of the guard to the chief priests

The bribing of the soldiers to falsify the story 28:12-15
28:12 The money offered
28:13 The fabricated story: the disciples’ theft of the body while the guards slept
28:14 The promise of protection
28:15 The spread of the story

Jesus’ appearance to and commissioning of the eleven in Galilee to disciple (make learners about Jesus of) all the nations 28:16-20

28:16 The procession of the eleven to Galilee
28:17 Their worship mixed with doubt
Jesus’ Apostolic commission 28:18-20
28:18 His possession of all authority in heaven and on earth
His command to disciple all nations 28:19-20a
– 19a Going
– 28:19b Baptizing
– 28:20a Teaching
– 28:20b His ongoing presence with them

Appendix A: Labelling

Because of the large number of levels, the labelling of the hierarchy of sections is changed in chapters 21-27 (“The terminal conflict with the King”). The aim of this is to simplify the outline and reduce complexity.

Appendix B: Simple outline of Matthew

The top level of headings in this post give a simple outline of the book of Matthew.

1-2 The birth of the King
3-4 The presentation of the King
5-7 The requirements of the King: His teaching of the disciples (learners) the requirements for participation in the kingdom of the heavens
8-9 The power of the King: The miracles authenticating His divine power and origin
10-11 The multiplication of the King
12-15 The mounting conflict with the King
16-20 The preparation by the King: The King’s preparation of His disciples (learners) regarding the two-fold nature of the kingdom of the heavens: (1) Reaffirming the glorious national form but (2) Predicting the sacrificial/service aspect of the mystery form
21-27 The terminal conflict with the King
28 The triumph of the King


Bartsch T J “Analytical outline of the Gospel according to Matthew


This post is based on the work of James T Bartsch.

Written, February 2023

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