Reading Outline of the book of Matthew : Bible Study


I. Matthew 1; Matthew 2; Matthew 3; Matthew 4:1-11 : The introduction of the King

Chapter 1 Genealogy and birth of Christ

Chapter 2 Worship of the magi and hatred of Herod

Chapter 3 The baptism of Christ in Jordan

Chapter 4:1-11 The temptation of Christ

II. Matthew 4:12-25; Matthew 5; Matthew 6; Matthew 7; Matthew 8; Matthew 9; Matthew 10; Matthew 11; Matthew 12, first main part: The service of the King in Galilee

Chapter 4:12-25 The first deeds of Christ, calling of the disciples

Chapter 5 The Sermon on the Mount: the beatitudes and the relationship to the law

Chapter 6 ” the seeking of the kingdom of God

Chapter 7 ” the narrow path

Chapter 8 Jesus’ power over sickness and Satan

Chapter 9 The calling of Matthew and further acts of power

Chapter 10 The sending forth of the twelve apostles

Chapter 11 The rejection of Christ by the people

Chapter 12 The rejection of Christ by the rulers of the people

III. Matthew 13; Matthew 14; Matthew 15; Matthew 16; Matthew 17; Matthew 18; Matthew 19; Matthew 20, second main part: The service of the rejected King

Chapter 13 The parables of the kingdom of the heavens

Chapter 14 The death of John the Baptist; feeding of the five thousand, Jesus walks on the sea

Chapter 15 The Pharisees, the Canaanitish woman, feeding of the four thousand

Chapter 16 First announcement of the assembly and the sufferings of Christ

Chapter 17 Transfiguration and second announcement of the sufferings of Christ

Chapter 18 Correct behaviour in the kingdom and in the assembly

Chapter 19 About divorce; the rich young ruler

Chapter 20 Parable of the vineyard; third announcement of the sufferings of Christ; the sons of Zebedee

IV. Matthew 21; Matthew 22; Matthew 23; Matthew 24; Matthew 25, third main part: The service of the King in Jerusalem

Chapter 21 Entry into Jerusalem; parable of the husbandmen

Chapter 22 Parable of the marriage supper; the Pharisees and Sadducees

Chapter 23 Seven woes over the scribes and Pharisees

Chapter 24 Sermon on the end times: Israel and its remnant

Chapter 25 ” Christendom and the nations

V. Matthew 26; Matthew 27; Matthew 28 : The completion of the service of the King

Chapter 26 The Passover and the arrest of Jesus

Chapter 27 Condemnation, crucifixion and burial of Jesus

Chapter 28 Resurrection of Jesus and commission to His disciples


The structure of the gospel is underlined by the five great sermons of Christ, which always end with the same sentence: “And it came to pass, when Jesus had finished these words, .”

– In the so-called sermon on the mount (Matthew 5; Matthew 6; Matthew 7:1-28) the Lord proclaims the principles of the kingdom of heaven.

– When sending out the twelve disciples to the people of Israel, the Lord instructs them as to their service as His ambassadors (Matthew 10; Matthew 11:1).

– In the parables of the kingdom of heaven He explains that this kingdom would develop in the new, mysterious way because of His rejection (Matthew 13:1-53).

– In His fourth sermon (Matthew 18; Matthew 19:1) the Lord Jesus presents the various principles for the personal and collective behaviour of believers.

– In His last great sermon about the times of the end the Lord explains to the disciples the fate of Israel (Matthew 24:1-44), Christendom (Matthew 24:45-51; Matthew 25:1-30) and the nations (Matthew 25:31-46) in the times until His appearing in glory.

The kingdom of God describes the rule of God over the world by the man appointed by Him for this purpose, Christ Jesus. The Jews were awaiting this kingdom as liberation from the yoke of the Romans.

Therefore Matthew’s gospel uses the name “kingdom of the heavens” thirty two times, in order to emphasise that the origin of the ruling power of this kingdom is in heaven and not on the earth.

The kingdom of the heavens describes in principle the same as the kingdom of God, but it emphasises the heavenly character of this kingdom.

The kingdom of the heavens is also always viewed in Matthew’s gospel as something future, i.e. beginning after the Lord’s ascension to heaven, whereas the kingdom of God, also in Matthew, is seen as being present already now (Matthew 12:28).


Many parables which are used by Mark and Luke to explain the kingdom of God bear the “heading” kingdom of the heavens in Matthew.

Matthew mentions in total ten parables of the kingdom of the heavens:

the weeds and the tares (Matthew 13:24-30; Matthew 13:36-43)

the mustard seed (Matthew 13:31-32)

the leaven (Matthew 13:33)

the treasure in the field (Matthew 13:44)

the pearl of great price (Matthew 13:45-46)

the fishing net (Matthew 13:47-50)

the unforgiving servant (Matthew 18:23-35)

the workers in the vineyard (Matthew 20:1-16)

the marriage supper of the king (Matthew 22:1-14)

the ten virgins (Matthew 25:1-13).


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