Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Matthew Section 5: Purpose Revealed

After showing Jesus' authority (Section 3) and explaining why Jesus came (Section 4), Matthew then shows that Jesus began to declare His purpose for coming. This section begins, interestingly, with examples of people misunderstanding Jesus' purpose. First, the people in His home town reject Him simply because they knew Him as he grew up (Matt. 13:55). Then, Matthew tells how Herod misunderstood Jesus as well. Herod saw Jesus as John the Baptist reincarnated and then Matthew gives the background story between John the Baptist and Herod. Next, the crowds misunderstand why Jesus came. Jesus feeds the 5000 and there are leftovers enough for twelve baskets, presumably for the disciples. John's Gospel indicated that the people misunderstood Jesus feeding them (John 6:14-15). Finally, after the feeding of the 5000, the disciples sailed out on the sea of Galilee and were afraid when Jesus came out to them. After Jesus commented on their lack of faith (Matt. 14:31), the disciples began to see that Jesus was in fact God's Son (Matt. 14:33).

After these stories, Matthew portrays Jesus interacting with the crowds directly and talking about Jesus' purpose. For example, Jesus explains why he speaks in parables (Matt 15:15-20), He talks to the disciples about who Jesus is (16:13-20), and He begins to tell them of His suffering and death (17:11-13). Then Jesus launches into an extended sermon about forgiveness.

Here is a visual aide for the fifth section of Matthew (Click picture for larger image):

I would expect about 20 sermons from this section as well. This fifth section, Matthew begins to clearly show Jesus' purpose. While the disciples will not truly understand until Jesus rises from the dead, believers today have the benefit of hindsight and see that Jesus did tell them His purpose as Messiah.


Mark said...

While I would be excited to preach through the whole book, this section is one I would look forward to. The parables, as mentioned previously, IMO would be the hardest to preach, but this section starts an exciting portion of the Gospel to preach. There is a lot of interaction between Jesus, the disciples and the people. As stated previously, I would love to hear these sermons!