Sermon on the Mount
|Matthew 1||Matthew 2||Matthew 3||Matthew 4|
What is our main purpose today?
Establish the context for the Sermon on the Mount
What is so critical about context?
What are the main divisions of Mt 1?
Mt 1:1-17 Genealogy of Jesus Christ
Mt 1:18-25 Birth of Jesus Christ
5 women are mentioned, 2 of whom are harlots (Tamar, Rahab), one an adulteress (wife of Uriah = Bathsheba), 3 are Gentiles (Tamar, Rahab, Ruth the Moabitess)
In light of these truths...
What one word could describe the first 17 verses?
Scripture elevates women to a stature equal with men. Scripture places undeserving sinners, women and Gentiles in the line of Jewish Messiah! That is manifold unmerited favor!
What sin are you carrying around like a heavy burden? Is God able to lift it?
What other features are unique about Matthew's genealogy? (cf Lu 3:23-38)
3 sets of 14 generations. Significance ? but Matthew a tax collector likes numbers in this gospel
Luke gives a completely different genealogy (cf Luke 3:23-38). Matthew (whose purpose is to present Christ as King) documents the kingly or royal line (through male heirs) and thus gives Joseph's lineage beginning with Abraham, the father of the Jews and "ascending" from there to Jesus Christ.
Luke presents the genealogy through Mary's line (see note) documenting Jesus' (last Adam 1Co 15:45) physical line beginning with Jesus and "descending" to "Adam, the son of God" (Lu 3:38). (Click for more discussion)
How does Matthew begin the list? Why?
He is especially addressing the Jewish reader. The Jews considered Abraham their "father" and David as their greatest king both of whom the Messiah was prophesied to come from. (cf David = 2 Sa 7:13-14, Abraham = Genesis 12:1-3, 22:18, Gal 3:16)
Jesus = Hebrew Yeshu'a (Joshua) = Jehovah is Help or Yahweh is salvation.
Christ (Gk Christos) = Messiah (Heb Mashiach) = "Anointed One" (cf Da 9:25-26)
Why would Matthew begin with a genealogy?
One could consult the genealogical records that had been preserved and were present in the Temple.
What happened to those records in 70AD when Titus the Roman general destroyed the Temple? And why would this fact be significant?
They were lost forever. Jesus Christ was the culmination and they were no longer needed. Note that no Jewish leader disputed His lineage, only His message!
Virgin: noted three times
Mt 1:18 "before they came together"
Mt 1:23 "virgin" ( = Isa 7:14)
Mt 1:25 "kept her a virgin" (knew her not)
(See note on "virgin")
Mary though a virgin would bear a Son conceived by the Holy Spirit
Why did Joseph a righteous man desire to put her away secretly (divorce her)?
She was pregnant. Jewish marriage consisted of 3 stages: engagement (usually done by parents, not binding), betrothal (binding as marriage albeit not yet physically consummated), formal wedding ceremony. Betrothal could only be broken by divorce.
What do we learn about Joseph that shows him to be "a righteous man"?
He obeyed without argument or questioning the angel of the Lord's instruction (took her as his wife, kept her a virgin, named Him Jesus)
What does Matthew appeal to repeatedly to validate his record of Jesus Christ (birth, early life and ministry)?
Old Testament Scriptures
Note that in the NAS translation one can easily discern an OT quotation in the NT because these quotes are in ALL CAPS.
Mt 1:21, 23 What is the significance of His names?
Name speaks of character in Scripture
Jesus = His purpose to save His people (Israel) from their sins.
Immanuel = God with us
Take a moment to bow down and worship Him...
What are the 4 geographic locations in this drama?
1) Jerusalem - Mt 2:1, 2:3
2) Bethlehem - Mt 2:1, 2:5-6, 2:8, 16
3) Egypt - Mt 2:13-15, 19
4) Nazareth - Mt 2:23 (cf 4:13)
Who are the 4 groups of "actors" in Jerusalem and what are their "re-actions" to Messiah "the King"?
1) Magi: from east, seek to worship He Who is born "King of the Jews" Mt 2:1-2
What does a
A "kingdom" - keep that thought in mind in Mt 3:2, 4:17, 23, 5:3, 10, 19, 20, 6:10, 6:13, 6:33, 7:21)
Worship (pros = before + kuneo = kiss) to kiss toward, throw kisses as one bows to their knees sometimes in the Orient touching their forehead to the ground
3) All Jerusalem: troubled (Mt 2:3)
4) Chief priests & scribes: knowledge without action (indifferent)
What did the chief priests and scribes clearly understand?
OT prophecy in Micah 5:2 of Messiah's specific place of birth
At this time extra-biblical sources report that (1) there were as many as 60 men purporting to be the Messiah and (2) there was a general feeling that the Messiah would arrive. And yet the priests and scribes were indifferent! (cf Luke 3:15 realizing that this was some 30 years later)
How does the (Gentile) Magi's attitude toward Messiah contrast with (Jewish) priests and scribes?
Rejoiced to see His star (Mt 2:10),
Fell down and worshiped Him (Mt 2:11),
Presented Him gifts (Mt 2:11)
Note order: See Him, fall down, worship, then present gifts - He wants us to present ourselves to Him (cf 2 Cor 8:5, Ro 12:1) before we present our gifts and service to Him. Are you serving and yet not worshiping beloved?
When wise men came seeking for Jesus from far,
With rich gifts to greet Him and led by a star,
They found in a stable the Savior of men,
A manger His cradle, so poor was He then.
Though laid in a manger, He came from a throne,
On earth though a stranger, in Heaven He was known.
How lowly, how gracious His coming to earth!
His love my love kindles to joy in His birth. (R. Slater, Play hymn)
What 4 Messianic prophecies are fulfilled in Mt 2?
Birth place - Bethlehem
Mt 2:6 = Mic 5:2
Callout of Egypt -
Mt 2:15 = Ho 11:1
Herod's attempt to kill -
Mt 2:18 = Jer 31:15
Home in Nazareth - called a Nazarene
Mt 2:23, no single prophet
What are the main divisions in Matthew 3?
Mt 3:1-12: John ("Gift of Jehovah") the Baptist's ministry
Mt 3:13-17: Jesus' Baptism (cf. Mark 1:9-11; Luke 3:21, 22; John 1:32-34)
Note that some 30 years elapsed (Luke 3:1 gives time) between the return of Jesus, Joseph and Mary from Egypt to Nazareth (cf Mt 2:23 and 3:1. Only Lu 2:39-52 gives any information on these years)
Isaiah the prophet
Mt 3:3 = Isaiah 40:3
What was John's purpose?
Cry out in the wilderness and make ready the way of the Lord, make His (Messiah) paths straight (cf Mal 3:1)
How did John prepare the way for Messiah?
Preaching (Click note)
"Repent" (Click) (present imperative) John was calling the Jewish audience to have a radical change of thinking. It does not mean as many English dictionaries define it simply to "be sorry about" or "to regret". (See excellent Scriptural picture of repent in 1Thes 1:9)
Stop for a moment and try to picture the scene of this strangely dressed man all of a sudden appearing and "making a public proclamation with that formality, gravity, and authority which must be listened to and obeyed, in the uninhabited region of Judaea" (not in Jerusalem where all the religious people lived!).
Keep the historical context in mind. Israel had not heard from God for 400 years - now after 4 centuries of silence they hear God's prophetic word through John and of all places in the barren region of the Judean desert! One had to want to hear a word from God to come to this desolate pulpit! And what a message it was! (cf Elijah 1 Ki 18:21)
Mt 3:8 How can one recognize repentance as genuine?
Fruit (cf Mt 7:16-20, 23, 24) A change of mind should be accompanied by a change of conduct (fruit as manifest in one's thoughts, words and deeds!) (See note) (See word study on fruit = Greek word karpos)
What did John give as positive motivation to encourage the Jews to manifest a radical change of thinking?
The Kingdom of Heaven was at hand = had come near and was imminent! (remember John's purpose was to prepare the way for the King cf Isa 40:3)
Messiah the King was about to step onto the stage of history! So as the Amplified Version says
"think differently; change your mind, regretting your sins and changing your conduct"
Mt 3:5-6 What else was John doing besides preaching?
Baptizing in the Jordan River those who had confessed their sins. (See note)
Mt 3:7-12 How did John's message change when "he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming for baptism" (see note on "vipers")? How would you sum it up in these verses?
"Turn or burn"
Repent or experience coming judgment
Bring forth fruit in keeping with repentance - Mt 3:8
Have a change of thinking (repent) and stop thinking that because as a Jew one could claim Abraham as physical father assured escape from the wrath to come - Mt 3:9 (see note)
"Change your thinking"
This was John's clear call and do it now because the Kingdom (and the King) is near. Otherwise you will experience the alternative, the fire of judgment and God's wrath.
John pictures judgment in several ways:
1) Wrath to come (Mt 3:7)
2) Axe at the root of the trees - trees that do not bear good fruit will be "cut down and thrown into the fire" (Mt 3:10),
3) Baptism "with...fire" (Mt 3:11)
4) Burning "up the chaff with unquenchable fire" (Mt 3:12)
To baptize him
What was John's reaction?
Tried to prevent Him
What was Jesus' rationale?
To fulfill all righteousness - interpretation is debated but at least part of the answer seems to be that He might fully identify with those He came to rescue.
What happened at Jesus' baptism?
Spirit of God descended on Him as a dove
His Father spoke from heaven "This is My beloved Son in Whom I am well pleased"
What do you learn about God in these verses? What doctrine is portrayed?
God was pleased that Jesus had fulfilled all righteousness
What are the main divisions in Matthew 4?
Mt 4:1-11: Temptation of Jesus
Mt 4:12-17 Jesus' Ministry Begins
Mt 4:18-22 Jesus Calls His Disciples
Mt 4:23-25 Jesus in Galilee Teaching, Preaching, Healing
What are the circumstances leading to Jesus' temptation?
When? "Then" = follows His baptism and His Father's praise
How? Spirit led Him (cf "full of the Spirit" Lu 4:1, 14, 18, Mk 1:12 adds that "immediately the Spirit impelled [ekballo = threw out, jettisoned] Him out into the wilderness")
What purpose? To be tempted (cf Heb 2:18, 4:15-16, 5:2, 5:7-9)
What are the names of the Jesus' opponent?
Mt 4:1, 5, 8, 11 Devil
Diabolos (dia = between + ballo = throw) his name = his purpose = "to throw between" = cause division
Mt 4:3 Tempter (only in 1Th 3:5, cf same verb used in Mt 16:1, 19:3, 22:18, 22:35, note who "tests" Him; pictured in Ge 3:1, 4-5)
Mt 4:10 Satan (false accuser Zec 3:1, adversary, cf Job 1:6-12, 2:1-8, 2Sa 24:1 = 1Chr 21:1, Luke 22:31, 1Pe 5:8-9, Rev 12:9-10)
How does Jesus counter the Devil's 3 temptations?
With the Word of God
Where does Jesus begin His ministry and why?
Galilee because He heard John had been taken into custody (This marks Jesus' official beginning of His public ministry) (cf, "Jesus returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit" Lu 4:14)
First to Nazareth then left (Lu 4:16-30 explains why He left)
Jesus went and settled in Capernaum
What was significant about His travels?
Isaiah 9:1-2 - Land of Zebulun & Naphtali = Galilee of the Gentiles (so named because Galilee lay on the route thru which all Gentiles passed in and out of Israel)
Note providential outworking of God - John in prison leads to Jesus moving into Galilee to fulfill prophecy. Once again Matthew is appealing to the Jews who should have known the OT Scriptures.
How were the people described (Mt 4:16)?
Sitting in darkness - saw a great light
Shadow of death - a light dawned
Jesus = the "Great Light" (cf Jn 1:9, 8:12, 12:46)
How did He shine His light (Mt 4:17)?
Preached - Repent, for the Kingdom of heaven is at hand. (cf Mark 1:15 "The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.") (His Light was also seen in Mt 4:23 in His teaching, preaching and healing)
Who is proclaiming this message about the Kingdom of Heaven? (cf Mt 2:2)
The "King of the Jews"!
Who does Jesus call and what is their response?
Peter, Andrew, James and John - all fisherman
Immediately left... followed (Mt 4:20,22)
What does the picture of "left...followed Him" define?
What did they leave? What did it
Their livelihood (nets, boat, father ~ relatives) (Note)
What was Jesus doing throughout all Galilee?
Teaching in synagogues
Preaching the gospel of the Kingdom (cf Mk 1:15)
Note: This "good news" is most likely not the same as the "gospel" of His death for our sins, burial and resurrection (cf 1Cor 15:1-5) because this was the beginning of His ministry. The good news for His audience of Matthew 4 would have been that the kingdom (King) had come into their midst.
Healing every kind of disease and sickness
Note: Jesus' message and miracles set Him distinctly apart from the many false "Messiahs" that according to extra-biblical sources had arisen at that time
Large crowds followed
Syria, Galilee, Decapolis, Jerusalem, Judea, beyond (east of) the Jordan
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Sermon on the Mount
|Matthew 5||Matthew 6||Matthew 7|
Where is Jesus?
On the mountain
Sitting down- when Rabbis sat down it indicated that what they were going to say was official
Disciples are present
Great multitudes (large crowds) (cf Mt 4:25, 5:1, 7:28, 8:1)
What is the first major division of Matthew 5? What is repeated?
Mt 5:3-12 Blessed...nine times
What happens to the "blessed" in Mt 5:10-12?
Persecution (not a popular topic to preach from the pulpit!)
Why? What relationship might this treatment have to what Jesus has just taught?
For the sake of righteousness (those qualities demonstrated in Mt 5:3-9)
What does "righteousness" mean (in simple terms)?
righteousness = is what is right before God.
The world knows another type of righteousness = that which is right before men. Watch Jesus contrast these two types of righteousness in His teaching that follows
righteousness is can also be defined as Right character (inner) before God and right conduct (external motivated by inner) before men.
righteousness is what is right according to God's standards (His Word, His character)
God's righteousness is all that God is, all that He commands, all that He demands, all that He approves, all that He provides (through Christ).
How does Jesus describe the blessed in Mt 5:13-16?
Salt - adds flavor, preserves, etc
Light - shines, shows the way in darkness, etc
What is the relationship to the previous verses Mt 5:3-12?
These word pictures (metaphors) describes the calling (the purpose) of those who are the "blessed"
What is the main subject of the next division Mt 5:17-20? (Clue: How does Jesus begin?)
The Law and the Prophets = Old Testament (OT) (another synonym for the OT is the word "Scriptures", eg Mt 21:42)
What does Jesus say about His relationship to the Law and the authority of the Law?
He fulfills the Law and the Prophets
What happens to those who annul or do away with the commands Mt 5:19?
Least in the Kingdom of Heaven
Who might Jesus have been speaking to with this warning?
Jesus was alluding to the scribes and Pharisees.
What is the righteousness Jesus says one needs in order to enter the Kingdom of heaven?
Greater than the Scribes and Pharisees
Scribes = writers learned in the Mosaic law and in sacred writings
Pharisees = the religious leaders who originated during the 400 years of silence (inter-testament period between the Old and New Testaments) who held strictly to the Law and added many commandments and traditions to God's Law. (see description)
This is the key verse of the Sermon on the Mount which describes the righteous lifestyle of those who enter the Kingdom of Heaven
What did you learn about the Kingdom of Heaven in Mt 5-7?
What does this statement imply about those who are truly part of the Kingdom of Heaven? How does this relate to the church today?
They are not necessarily the "super" religious.
What is the pattern Jesus uses in the last major section of Mt 5:21-48?
"You have heard..."
What had they heard?
Why does Jesus make the contrasting declaration "but I say"? Is He adding a new "stroke" to the Law? Is He annulling the Law and teaching His disciples and the multitudes to do the same?
Clearly He is not adding to, changing or annulling the Law = He specifically addressed those issues in (Mt 5:17-20)
Jesus took the Law to it's deeper meaning, explaining the heart of the Law.
What kind of righteousness does Jesus proceed to explain in this section (Mt 5:21-48)?
True righteousness - a righteousness demanded by the Father
A new way of thinking about righteousness ("you have heard" ... "but I say")
What is another way to describe a "new way of thinking"?
What did John (Mt 3:2) and Jesus (Mt 4:17) preach was necessary to enter the Kingdom of heaven?
So what does Jesus seek to do to show them regarding their thinking?
Change the way they think about righteousness - not external righteousness they had been taught by their Scribes and Pharisees but internal righteousness as He explains - then you will enter the Kingdom of Heaven
What are the basic Laws that they had heard taught, that Jesus now takes to a deeper level ("but I say")?
Mt 5:21-26 Murder
Mt 5:27-30 Adultery
Mt 5:31-32 Divorce
Mt 5:33-37 False vows
Mt 5:38-42 Eye for an eye
Mt 5:43-47 Love your enemy
What impossible standard does God call His audience (and each of us) to in Mt 5:48?
To be Perfect like His Father
How does Mt 5:48
The greater righteousness that Jesus called His audience to in Mt 5:20 is ultimately the righteousness of His Father
What is the key verse that helps unlock Matthew 6:1-18?
M 6:1 is the key verse - Jesus' warns his audience to beware of practicing their righteousness before men to be noticed by them.
Matthew 6:1-18 then practical righteousness contrasting it with genuine righteousness
Matthew 5:21-48 is about perverted righteousness
What are the general categories of practical righteousness which Jesus addresses? What word introduces them?
When...Mt 6:2, 5, 7
Whenever... Mt 6:16
Did you read each of these "when..." by first reading Mt 6:1? Try it...
Mt 6:1 > 6:2
Mt 6:1 > 6:5-6
Mt 6:1 > 6:7-15
Mt 6:1 > 6:16
What are key repeated words in Matthew 6:1-18?
Reward (Mt 6:1, 2, 4, 5, 6, 16, 18)
Father (Mt 6:1, 4, 6, 8, 9, 14, 15, 18
What is Jesus' point? Does He teach one should not be motivated by rewards?
He does not condemn rewards
He condemns the practice when it is performed to please men not our Father
In short He condemns a wrong motive for rewards
In Matthew 6:19-34 Jesus teaches several things not to do.
What does He say not to do and what is the contrast He presents?
Mt 6:19 Do not story up for yourselves treasures on earth
Mt 6:20 In contrast ("but") Store up for yourselves treasures in heaven
Mt 6:21 What does where you store your treasure teach?
Where your heart is - remember that the Jews were used to performing acts according to the letter of the Law but were not obeying from the heart.
What does Jesus teach is not possible according to Mt 6:24?
No one can serve two masters
What master competes with God?
Now keeping context in mind (treasure on one side and mammon on the other) what is Jesus teaching about the clear eye versus the bad eye in Mt 6:22-23?
He is referring to the eye as the organ which sees and which desires what it sees. If it covets treasure on earth or mammon, it is not clear but will fill the body with darkness.
What is the main subject in Mt 6:25-34?
What was the worry over?
What does Jesus say not to do?
Mt 6:25 Do not be worried about your life
Mt 6:31 Do not worry about what you will eat, drink or wear
What is Jesus' prescription for worry over necessities of life (Mt 6:33)?
Seek first His kingdom and His righteousness
All these things
What does Jesus command against in Matthew 7:1-5?
Do not judge
Why not judge?
To judge is to suffer
To judge is to be blind to one's own faults (Mt 7:3-5)
What is Jesus saying - is He saying one should never exercise discernment?
No, because in Mt 7:5 he affirms the speck removing ministry as long as the log has been removed from our own eye. (Compare also Mt 7:6, 15-21)
What is Jesus instruction
Do not give what is holy to dogs
Do not throw your pearls before swine
Note that determining who is a "dog" or "swine" involves some discernment (~judgment)!
We'll discuss these in later lessons
What does Jesus command in Mt 7:7-11? Why repeat prayer now? What is the context?
Prayer - Ask, seek, knock
We need God's wisdom to judge correctly (cf Solomon's request 1 Ki 3:9)
We need God's heart and power to fulfill the command in Mt 7:12
What is Jesus' instruction in Mt 7:12 and how do many refer to this verse?
This is the golden rule
The Law and Prophets taught how to do this, but His audience needed a change of thinking. Jesus spoke of the heart of the Law. Our righteous treatment of others should not be for outward show but from the heart to please our Father.
Which of Jesus' instructions hits home to you?
On which of these do you need to have a change in the way you think so that you change the way you act?
What is the tenor of the last section of Jesus' sermon (Mt 7:13-27)?
Jesus gives clear warnings...
Mt 7:13-14 2 Gates, 2 Ways
Mt 7:15-20 False prophets - 2 Trees known by their fruits (cf Mt 3:8)
Mt 7:21-23 False profession (relate this to Mt 5:20) - The problem is that the person has religious activity but continually practices lawlessness (cf Mt 3:8)
Mt 7:24-27 False foundation - 2 Builders and 2 Houses -
Hearing Jesus' words without obedience will bring a great fall
What was the crowd's reaction to the Sermon? Why?
Teaching with authority not as one of their scribes (who quoted the various rabbis and so-called experts of the Law) - Jesus' voice had an unusual, unmistakable ring of authority and no wonder, for they were listening to the King Himself!
What is your reaction to Jesus' Sermon on the Mount? Amazed? Convicted that you need a change of thinking in some area?
Continue this study that you might have your thinking more and more conformed to the mind of Christ (cf 1Co 2:16). You will know how to be obedient from the heart.
Mt 1: Jesus' genealogy & birth
Mt 2: Magi, Herod, Jesus to Egypt then Nazareth
Mt 3: John the Baptist, repent, Jesus baptized
Mt 4: Jesus Tempted, preached repent
Mt 5: Blessed, You've heard but I say
Mt 6: Giving, praying, fasting
Don't store up, Don't worry, Seek first
Mt 7 Don't Judge, 2 gates, 2 trees, false profession, 2 foundations
Do you really want to be righteous?
Sermon on the Mount
The genealogy of Jesus Christ, the Son of David, the Son of Abraham...
This introduction reflects the fact that Israel was anticipating the arrival of their long promised King, but most of the Jews misunderstood the coming King's purpose. Most were looking for a political king who would overthrow the crushing Roman rule. And so Matthew presents the royal blood line of the King of the Jews. Comparison of Matthew's genealogy with Luke's genealogy can be confusing and lead one to believe that they are two entirely different genealogies, which they are. The simple explanation is that Matthew gave Messiah's ancestry through his step father Joseph and Luke presented his physical blood line through Mary's ancestors.
Matthew's Genealogy > Through Joseph > Royal line
Luke's Genealogy > Through Mary > Physical line
Second Samuel records the prophesied line of the future King, God speaking to King David through the prophet Nathan, declaring...
This declaration is often referred to as the "Davidic Covenant" although the word "covenant" or the act of cutting of a covenant is not specifically stated. To be sure it was a promise from Jehovah which Matthew shows (in the context of his entire gospel) is fulfilled in one person alone, the person of Jesus Christ.
Now if you've looked at Luke's genealogy, you may still be somewhat confused. Luke begins...
Luke affirms the Virgin Birth by the phrase "being supposedly...son of Eli. From Matthew's genealogy we know that Joseph was Jacob's son by birth, for Matthew records...
So who is Joseph's father? Jacob or Eli? It cannot be both. The clue is "being supposedly...son of Eli (Heli)" (or as the NCV paraphrases it "People thought that Jesus was Joseph’s son") which is another way of saying that yes Jesus was related to Joseph who was His step-father. Joseph was also related to Eli, but via his betrothal and marriage to Mary, as this was Mary's physical father. Thus Eli was Joseph's father in law. In short, Luke's record is apparently the genealogy of Jesus through His mother, Mary. Below is a simple diagram (from Believer's Study Bible) summarizing the facts concerning the two genealogical records of Jesus.
Matthew began with Abraham and went forward in time. Luke began with Jesus and went backward in time, including but going past Abraham's time (Luke 3:34) all the way back to the beginning, to "Adam, the son of God" (Lu 3:38).
Morris in the Defender's Study Bible explains Luke's genealogy this way...
There is still one "sticky point". The following explanation is somewhat confusing but read it slowly with the corresponding Scriptures. In the preceding note by Morris, he makes mention of Jeconiah who is in the legal or royal line of Joseph (see Mt 1:11,12). Jeconiah (sometimes called Coniah) was a descendant from David through Solomon. Jeconiah was the last king of Judah in the direct line from King David. When he was deported to Babylon by Nebuchadnezzar (2Chronicles 36:10), Jeconiah's uncle Zedekiah was assigned to rule Judah for a brief reign, but he also was put down, and no later king related to David was ever able to regain the throne. So it might appear as if God had broken His promise to David "I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever." (2 Sa 7:14) But look at the diagram above and note that it "splits" at King David, one branch going through King Solomon and the other through the physical line, Nathan, one of David's physical sons. King Jeconiah arose from King Solomon's line but read God's decree upon Jeconiah and his line
Compare the preceding verse with God's reiteration of His promise to David, which Jeremiah records as a prophecy of Messiah...
So God solves this obvious dilemma by providentially ordering that Messiah would come through King David's son, Nathan, who had no curse (that his line could not give birth to a king) and therefore who could give rise to a physical heir who could qualify as a King from the line of David. Thus Luke records Messiah's descent through Nathan to Mary (the "seed of the woman" Genesis 3:15).
In fairness, not everyone agrees with the above explanation and that perfect and completely satisfactory resolution of Matthew's and Luke's genealogies is difficult to establish. On the other hand, what is clearly established is that Messiah descends physically from the line of David and thus fulfills the God's immutable promise that David would have have an heir on the throne forever. Amen!
Troubled (5015) (tarasso) means agitated, shaken like water in a glass sharply jarred, causing inward commotion which takes away one's calmness of mind, disturbs one's equanimity and makes one restless. It can mean to strike one's spirit with fear and dread. To render anxious or distressed. To perplex the mind by suggesting scruples or doubts. Figuratively of the mind, stirred up, troubled, disturbed with various emotions such as fear.
Baker New Testament Commentary ties these first three chapters together commenting that...
Preaching (2784) (kerusso) primarily means to herald or cry out in public. It was used of the official whose duty it was to proclaim loudly and extensively the coming of the king. Kerusso conveys a suggestion of formality, gravity and an authority which must be listened to and obeyed. Greco-Roman rulers had special heralds made announcements to the people, having been commissioned by the ruler and making their announcements in a loud, clear voice so everyone could hear. The herald described not an ambassador but a messenger with a proclamation to be heard and heeded. In the ancient world not to heed the ruler’s herald was serious and to abuse the messenger was even worse.
A T Robertson discussing John's amazing wardrobe wonders...
The Amplified Version has a nice "definition" of "repent" built into the translation (one of the advantages of checking this version, the phrases in parentheses functioning almost like a "mini-lexicon" if you will)...
Repent (metanoeo) (Click word study of related noun form metanoia) means to have another mind and so to change one's mind and to think differently. It means to turn around, to change direction or to change the mind and will. It does not denote just any change, but always a change from the wrong to the right, away from sin and to righteousness. This change of mind may be preceded by sorrow (cf 2Co 7:8-11); but sorrow for sin, though it may cause repentance, is not repentance. To repent is to demonstrate a godly sorrow for sin, to turn around and to go in the opposite direction. John A. Broadus (Commentary on Matthew) observes that “wherever this Greek word is used in the New Testament the reference is to changing the mind and the purpose from sin to holiness.”
For an excellent illustration of repentance see 1 Thes 1:9-10 (Paul is speaking about the Gentile converts in Macedonia and Achaia).
Baker NT Commentary notes that John's...
The Bible Knowledge Commentary notes that...
Kingdom of heaven: (see related discussion on "the Kingdom") Matthew is the only Gospel to use this specific phrase, the other Gospel's using the phrase "Kingdom of God". Most authorities agree that since Matthew's target audience was primarily Jews, he avoided using the name "God" so as not to offend the Jews who traditionally neither pronounced or wrote the name "God". As we shall see in the Sermon on the Mount, the its primary meaning of "Kingdom of heaven" is on “God’s kingly rule.” That is, the basic emphasis is on the actual rule of God as an activity, rather than on the realm or territory over which He rules. This will become clearer in later studies. Click here to study over 100 uses of the "Kingdom" most of which refer to the Kingdom of Heaven/God.
John MacArthur has an excellent discussion of "kingdom of heaven" writing that...
Easton's Bible Dictionary has the following entry on "Kingdom of God"...
Being baptized (click study of Greek verb baptizo) is in the imperfect tense which presents a vivid picture of over and over John was carrying out this act) by him in the Jordan River, as they confessed their sins.
The parallel passage in Luke reads...
The idea is not that the baptizing saved anyone but that the only acceptable recipients of John's baptism were those who were willing to repent. The remission of sins, having already been accomplished in repentance, was symbolized in baptism. The New Living Translation helps us see this truth paraphrasing it as...
Pharisees - see articles on Pharisees (longer article ) (See Torrey's Topic) (See Self-righteousness) originated in the 400 years between the Old and the New Testaments and by the time of Jesus were the most influential party among the people. Pharisees believed in the resurrection, angels, spirits and the coming of the Messiah but their primary "strength" was their knowledge of the Law. In fact they had reduced God's Law to a code of 365 negative commandments and 250 positive commandments, both of which included many of their own interpretations (think of Jesus' description "you have heard"... "but I say"). They claimed their interpretations came from direct inspiration and were God given. The upshot is that what they taught the average Jew was in essence a perversion of God's original Law. This fact explains why Jesus was so "hard" on the Scribes and Pharisees. As a result of their distorted teaching, sin had become reduced only to external acts, rather than being related to the internal condition of one's heart. Thoughts, words and deeds were declared "right or wrong" because an external condition was judged to have been absent or present (respectively). William Barclay gives a number of examples of this attention to the external at the expense of neglecting the internal. For example, if a Jew gave an offering (alms) to the poor on the Sabbath, the distortion of the Law stated that they could only give if the beggar placed his hand through the door to receive the offering. If the Jew making the offering extended his own hand out of the door to give the alms to the beggar, he was considered to have broken the Sabbath! Are their any traditions you are holding to which are not Biblical?
Easton's Bible Dictionary writes that Pharisees were...
William Barclay describes the Pharisees noting that...
Sadducees - see articles on Sadducees (longer article )
Fruit in keeping with repentance
There must be a genuine change in one’s lifestyle. A person who has truly repented will stop doing evil and begin to live righteously. Along with a change of mind and attitude, true repentance will begin to produce a change in conduct. (See separate word studies on fruit, keeping and repentance)
A T Robertson comments that
The Baker NT Commentary adds that...
'We have Abraham for our father'
The Jews thought that having Abraham as their ancestor assured them of entry into the "kingdom of heaven", but they were sorely deceived as John declares. John the Baptist was fully aware of the fact that physical descent from Abraham did not guarantee being a true son of Abraham. (cf Ro 2:28-29)
Many Jews believed that salvation was based on their obedience to God in being circumcised, and that, therefore, their eternal security rested in that rite. In his commentary on the Book of Moses, Rabbi Menachem wrote,
The book Akedath Jizehak taught that
A T Robertson adds that...
the winnowing fork is in His hand...
Dwight Pentecost comments that...
Jesus endured the fullest force of temptation. Whoever yields before the end has never felt the worst part of the trial, which is always just before Satan gives up. It is because our Lord Jesus resisted to the very end that He knows, as no one else has ever known, just how severe the worst strain of temptation can be This is why He is so perfectly understanding as He helps us to overcome (Heb 2:18, 4:15, 16).
Follow Me and I will make you fishers of men
Wiersbe notes that...
MacDonald writes that...
BKC adds that...
teaching...proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom
MacArthur explains that...
B. B. Warfield said,
Robertson writes that...
Great multitudes followed Him...
Constable writes that...
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