Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Matthew Section 2: Jesus' Teaching

The second section of Matthew begins with Jesus calling the first of His disciples and beginning actual ministry. The majority of this section is what is known as The Sermon on the Mount. Jesus is essentially setting the religious establishment on its ear with this sermon. Matthew shows that Jesus, being the Messiah, has the authority to preach in such a manner. In fact, that is how the section ends (7:28-29).

The major discourse for this section is obviously the Sermon on the Mount. It is two chapters long is the longest sermon of Jesus we have on record. If we want to know what Jesus was about, we must understand these chapters. In this section we have the first of the challenges we find throughout Matthew. Here we have the challenge to enter into the kingdom. The bible student will remember this passage as the wide gate and the narrow gate. The observations of these challenges are not original with me but, again, I cannot seem to find who enlightened me of them.

Again, I have a visual aide for this section. And, as with all the visual aides I will produce for the overview of Matthew, the title is not mine but I cannot find whose it is. The brief section titles are mine to help me remember the flow of thought throughout Matthew. (Click picture for larger image).

Jesus covers a multitude of topics in this section and it should be fascinating to not only trace Jesus' thoughts throughout this sermon, but also to preach on what Jesus preached on.

I see no more than twenty-three sermons in this section. However, I would anticipate a much smaller number since many of the section are two verse sections. This indicates to me that they are not stand alone thoughts but are related to the previous or following verses. Again, this is one whole sermon and was not meant to be busted up into several weeks of teaching. However, to do a fair job with the text and in the culture we live in today, the pastor must do just that while remaining faithful to the passage. In short, I am not sure how many sermons would be produces from this section but I would anticipate at least four months in the sermon on the mount.