Berean Bible Study
The Gospel of Matthew
Now the Bereans were of more noble character than the Thessalonians, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true. - Acts 17:11
This is my first attempt at writing a full Bible study for several years. I would greatly appreciate your prayers and comments as I work at it. If it is meaningful at all, it will be all God, and He deserves any credit. If I screw it up, that will be me. My father always used to say that “whatever” (fill in the blank – he applied it to a lot of things) was better than a hole in the head. For several years, now, I have been struggling with, “holes in my head” or quite literally, holes in my brain. There have been days when I couldn't even follow conversations. I am better, but not where I was by a long shot. However, I guess God thinks I am good enough. I will be depending on Him to help me do this.
As I always have done in the past, I will be drawing from the works of others and from my own study. I will include lots of links for you to continue to study on your own, if that suits your style. I will try to be clear, as I always have, where the thinking behind the point of view came from. While I am personally Lutheran, this is not a Lutheran-approved Bible study. In fact, chances are, (as Chuck Missler always said), I will have something to offend everyone.
That's where your responsibility comes in. You need to be a Berean, and decide, through your own study of Scripture, whether what I'm saying fits with God's word or not.
We're going to be studying the Gospel of Matthew, but in the process of doing so, we will be all over the Bible. This is not going to be an easy study. I am not going to hold back, but will be covering some things that you may personally not have much knowledge of.
When I first started teaching the Bible from my own study and writing, I went through some basics. I called that series, “Learning to be a Berean.” You can find that study online here. When that study was completed, I had thought to do Matthew next. That's not the way it went, though, and I wound up doing the Gospel of John instead. Those studies are here.
There are times when you look back at your life, and you realize that God orchestrated everything, even when you had no knowledge of it - no inkling that God was arranging the timing of absolutely everything that crossed your path. I just got a phone call from a dear friend, and that truth was once again brought home to me. Her friend, someone I have known from my friend's conversations but had never personally met, had been estranged from her son. This was something that was a daily trial to her and broke her heart. Something that, from my friend's testimony about it, caused her to weep all the time. I know how that feels, and perhaps, before this study is finished, I'll be in a place to share my story. I don't know all the details, but this past Christmas, she was reconciled with her son. Her tears were past - her heartache healed. And then she died.
From the sounds of it, neither she nor her family had any idea that her days were limited and time was running out for this reconciliation. But – God knew. God knew her days from beginning to end, and that reconciliation was always part of His plan.
The Bible says, “A man’s heart plans his way, But the Lord directs his steps.” (Proverbs 16:9)
So, what does all that have to do with Matthew – and the fact that I had planned to do Matthew ten years ago, but did John instead? Wish I could tell you that I knew what God was (and is) doing, but I can't. However, I have this sense that this went exactly the way it was supposed to. And that doing Matthew now, 2016, is what God wants.
The Gospel of John was written for the edifying of the church - the growth and maturing of the church. The Gospel of Matthew was to help the Jews recognize their Messiah. I am convinced that we are rapidly approaching the day when the Jews will finally have their blindness removed and will recognize their Messiah.
I wasn't ready to teach Matthew ten years ago. I thought I was. I thought I could do it justice, but God knew better. For one thing, look at all those “I, I, I's.” This time, I know I CAN'T do it justice, but with God's help, I'll teach whatever He allows me to see. It will be in His hands. I'd love for you to join us.
If you are following along online, please feel free to comment. You can e-mail me, (just let your mouse hover over that and you can see the actual address, usually down in the lower left corner of your screen) or leave a comment on my blog, or send me a Facebook message (I will be diligent about checking my “other” box). I will include your comments, questions, whatever, in the next study.