Gospel that opens with a genealogy and the coming of the wise men, includes the sermon on the mount, and ends with the commission to make disciples of all nations.

3 Wise Men

Wise men came from the East
to worship him

Matt 1-2 tells of Jesus' birth and childhood. Matthew begins with a genealogy that roots the story of Jesus in Israel's history by tracing his ancestry back to David and Abraham. Joseph, a descendant of king David, is engaged to Mary, whom he discovers is pregnant. When Joseph decides not to marry her, an angel tells him that the child was conceived by the Holy Spirit to fulfill the prophecy that a virgin would conceive and bear a son. Jesus is born in Bethlehem and visited by wise men who were foreigners from the east. When King Herod learned of the Messiah's birth, he slaughtered the children in and around Bethlehem, but Joseph fled with Mary and Jesus to Egypt.

Matt 3-25 recounts Jesus' public ministry. Jesus is baptized by John and the Spirit descends on him in the form of a dove. Then Jesus fasts in the desert, where the devil tempts him to turn stones into bread, hurl himself from the Temple, and worship him. In Matt 5-7 he gives the Sermon on the Mount , which includes the Lord's Prayer and sayings like "Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven." After healing the sick and stilling a storm, Jesus sends the disciples on a mission to "the lost sheep of the house of Israel" (Matt 10).

Afterward, John the Baptist's followers asked whether Jesus was the one who is to come. Jesus engages in controversies concerning sabbath laws and tells parables about the Kingdom of God (Matt 11-13). When Jesus asks who people say that he is, Peter confesses that Jesus is the Messiah. Jesus says, "You are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church." Jesus then appears in glory in the scene known as the "transfiguration." A discourse on community discipline follows (Matt 14-18). Jesus travels to Jerusalem and rides into the city on a donkey. He drives the merchants out of the Temple, engages in controversies with Jewish leaders. He taught that the greatest commandment is to love the Lord with all your heart, then to love your neighbor as yourself. He told parables about a vineyard owner who paid all workers the same wage, and about the future judgment (Matt 19-25).

Matt 26-28 recounts Jesus' passion and resurrection. A woman anoints Jesus with expensive ointment, and when the disciples object he explains that it prepared him for burial. Jesus eats the Passover meal with his disciples and goes to a garden, where he prays, "Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from me." Jesus is arrested, tried by the Jewish authorities, and condemned to death by Pilate, the Roman governor, who washed his hands to absolve himself from guilt. The crucifixion culminates in Jesus' words "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?" and in the centurion's confession that Jesus is the Son of God. The Jewish authorities place a guard beside the tomb to prevent the disciples from stealing the body. On Easter and angel opens the tomb and announcs that Jesus will meet his followers in Galilee. Jesus appears to several women in Jerusalem, then to his disciples in Galilee, commanding them to make disciples of all nations.

Matt 2:1-12 - Birth of Christ
Matt 5:1-20 - Sermon on the mount
Matt 27:32-54 - Death of Christ
Matt 28:1-20 - Resurrection


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Photo by Craig Koester.

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