Understanding The Bible
Clarence E. Mason's "MATTHEW"
I.  The Kingdom Offered  1:1-11:1
(and His rights DISPLAYED)


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Dr. Clarence E. Mason, Jr.
Philadelphia College of Bible


  1. THE KINGDOM OFFERED 1:1-11:1 (and His rights DISPLAYED
    1. His LEGAL right to be King 1-2 ("born King of the Jews" 2:2)
      1. A kingly line l:l-l7 (earthly descent)
        There are two covenants involved. Through Abraham, our Lord has right to the land; through David, to the throne.

        Joseph, though not His actual father, is His legal father: so Jesus is shown to be the son of David via Joseph through Solomon; thus He has legal throne rights. Contrast Luke 3:31, where we see that through another of David's sons, Nathan, He partook of David's humanity (through His mother, Mary).

        It is a striking testimony to the grace of God, and at the same time evidence of the desperate need of Israel and mankind for a Saviour, that all four women mentioned (beside Mary) were disqualified from the usual and proper honor of motherhood by immora1ity (Tamar, v.3; Rahab, v.5: Bathsheha, v. 6) or by being of heathen origin (Rahab,_v. 5; Ruth, v. 5; Dt. 23:3). Even Mary had to bear the shame of misunderstanding from those who did not believe Jesus was supernaturally conceived and virgin born (Jn. 8:41).

        Perhaps a word would be helpful about the three groups of 14 in 1:2-17. There seems superficially to be an error in both the second and the third list of 14 generations. The writer is simply making a general and easily-remembered summary, not a precise count. The solution to the second list is to accept the theory that the last four kings of Judah are grouped as though they were one (because the time covered--less than 23 years--is less than a generation). Jechonias's name (also called Jehoiachin and Coniah) is evidently selected because of the very specific prophecy against his son succeeding him as king. (He did not, for an uncle--Zedekiah--succeeded him, Jer. 22:28-30.) Dr. Ernest J. Pace has suggested that the third grouping of 14 is made up by the following means: No. 11, Jacob; No. 12, Joseph (Jesus' legal father); No. 13, God (His actual Father through the Holy Spirit, vv.18,20); No. 14, Jesus.

        HERE READ LUKE 1. And see Addendum I, section I, at rear of notes.
      2. A unique begetting 1:18-25 (heavenly descent)
        "On this wise"--means something different from the merely natural begettings rehearsed in vv.l-16a. This begetting was supernatural (vv. 18b, 20b). Compare Luke 1:26-56 with Matthew 1:25. How could language be plainer?

        HERE READ LUKE 2:1-39 for continuity of the story.
      3. Royal homage 2:1-11 (".. .and they worshipped Him" v. 11)
        Though our Lord is horn king of the Jews, He will eventually reign over all the earth (Dan. 7:13-14). It is therefore fitting that not only Jews (Lk. 2:15-20) but Gentiles. should recognize His unique Person and qualifications. Let us also bow down and worship HIM"! (If ever there was a strategic opportunity to introduce worship of Mary, it was here. But they "worshipped HIM"!)

        Common misconceptions concerning the wise men:
        1. T'hat the star LED them on their journey FROM the East.
          No, they saw the star while they were still in the East, understood its import (Num. 24:17), traveled to the capital city of the "scepter of Israel" (Jerusalem) to inquire about the newborn king, supposing that everyone there would know about Him (v.2). The star led them only when they left Jerusalem to go to Bethlehem. Evidently they had not seen the star since they left "the east." It apparently reappeared when they left Jerusalem to go down to Bethlehem, in accordance with what the scribes had told them by quoting Micah 5:2. The star NOW led them (for the first time). This is why they rejoiced (v. 10). What had begun to look like a "wild goose chase, " when they came to the Jew's capital city and found no one knew about a king being born (vv.3-6), is now confirmed as God's leading by the star's reappearance, even guiding them to Bethlehem.
        2. That the star was some conflux of stars or planets.
          No, no such phenomenon could be said to stand over a particular house in a particular town more than over other houses or towns. To accomplish this, it had to be a supernatural star unlike any ordinary star.
        3. That there were three wise men, whose names we know,
          No number is given nor do we know them. All such stories are legend and fiction.
      4. Providential protection 2:12-23 ("Arise … flee" v. 13)


        When did the wise men's visit take place? Certainly not on the night of our Lord's birth! No, very probably about 3 to 6 months later.

        1. Here is the way we arrive at that figure.
          Our Lord began His public ministry when He was about 30 (Lk. 3:23). This was not over six months after the ministry of John the Baptist began, because Jesus was six months younger than John (Lk. 1:36). From Luke 3:1, we find John began his ministry in the 15th year of Tiberius Caesar.

          No matter what chronological scheme we adopt, we cannot allow more than 30 years between Jesus' birth and the beginning of His public ministry (Lk. 3:23). Many authorities place the beginning of Tiberius's reign around AD 11 (or 12). Add 15 years to that and we get AD 26 (or 27). Deduct, 30 years from AD 26 and we arrive at around 4 or 5 BC. Now we know that Herod the Great, who received the wise men and later sought Jesus' life, died in March, 4 BC, evidently shortly after the Bethlehem massacre. The wise men of necessity arrived before the massacre, hence before March, 4 BC, but just as obviously after Jesus was presented at the temple when He was 40 days old (Lk. 2:22-24; Lev. 12:1-4; Num. 8:17). We say this because it would have been fatal for Joseph and Mary to take Jesus up to the temple after Herod's jealousy and fury had been aroused by the possibility of a rival king. So, how long after Jesus was 40 days old and how long before the massacre, we do not know. But the time area is restricted by the time of Herod's death.
        2. But because of the time of the death of Herod (March, 4 BC) and the time of the beginning of John's ministry (AD 26), and hence Jesus' ministry, the period between Jesus' birth and the incidents of the arrival of wise men and the massacre, the death of Herod could not have been more than six months later and probably less. At any event the family was no longer in the inn's grotto but in a "house" (v. 11).

          Here is a chart to help us understand the time areas involved:

        3. The fallacy in the whole matter has been the assumption that the first appearance of the star signaled the time at which Jesus was born. The Scripture nowhere says this. Certainly Herod assumed this, but Herod is not a safe guide! Now, it is evident that the time the wise men first saw the star (v. 7) was the guiding factor in Herod's decision to slay all male children two years old and under (v. 16). But it is apparent from the dates cited in the chart above that the appearance of the star could not have been the time of the birth of Jesus, for that would have made His birth take place in 6 BC or before, and AD 26 would have then been when He was 32 years of age instead of 30 when He began His public ministry (Lk. 3:23).

          So, it is evident that the star's first appearance was God's, way of alerting the wise men. First, they had to "decide what it meant (according to Num. 24:17). Then, they had to choose those who would make the journey and prepare for it. Finally, they would have to travel the long distance, at least from Persia ("magus" means "great" and is a Persian tide for teachers or wise men), visit Herod at Jerusalem, and go to Bethlehem. Then, Herod would have to wait for them to return, discover his command was ignored, and order and carry out the massacre.

          All this would take a substantial amount of time and account for perhaps 1 to 1 1/2 years. Since Herod was cunning and eager to destroy any possible rival to the throne, he no doubt added a margin of perhaps six months to the time the wise men said the star had appeared (v. 16) as a safety precaution to be sure to include Jesus in the slaughter. This would obviously be necessary both because it is difficult to distinguish a child's exact age at 18 months to 2 years, and mothers would certainly lie about a son's age. Thus a sufficient margin would be necessary to assure success of his plan.

          TRIP TO EGYPT

          'And they presented.. .gifts" (2:11). The long..and costly journey to Egypt, as well as sustenance for the family in a strange land where work would be difficult to obtain, were cared for providentially by the costly gifts of the wise men, Thus did the heavenly Father provide for His dear Son!

          Before proceeding to Matthew 3, it would be helpful to read Luke 2:40-52 and follow the order of events in Addendum I, section II.

          Also, the following poem is helpful on this section. That much-appreciated hymn writer, Mrs. C. F. Alexander, wrote in 1848 of the events of this chapter in the following well-chosen words, entitled Once in Royal David's City.
          1. Once in royal David's city
            Stood a lowly cattle shed,
            Where a mother laid her Baby
            In a manger for His bed:
            Mary was that mother mild,
            Jesus Christ her little Child.
          2. He came down to earth from heaven;
            Who is God and Lord of all,
            And His shelter was a stable,
            And His cradle was a stall:
            With the poor, and mean, and lowly,
            Lived on earth our Savior holy.
          3. For He is our childhood's pattern;
            Day by day like us He grew;
            He was little, weak, and helpless,
            Tears and smiles like us He knew;
            And He feeleth for our sadness,
            And He shareth in our gladness.
          4. And our eyes at last shall see Him,
            Through His own redeeming love;
            For that Child so dear and gentle
            Is our Lord in heav'n above;
            And He leads His children on
            To the place where He is gone.

            Another appropriate poem concerning our Lord's early life says:

            Where Joseph plies his trade
            Lo! Jesus labors, too;
            The hands that all things made
            An earthly craft pursue,
            That weary men in Him may rest,
            And faithful toil through Him be blest!
            (Author unknown)
    2. His PERSONAL right to be King 3 ("my beloved Son" 3:17)
      1. A forerunner's announcement 3J.-12
        It is significant that no one is ever reported to have asked John what he meant by "the kingdom of heaven." Everyone understood he meant the earthly, literal kingdom, founded on righteous, spiritual bases, promised for hundreds of years through the prophets, and which would confirm the covenant of God with David (2 Sam. 7). Israel had wandered from God and needed to repent in order to be eligible to receive the soon-coming King. It has remained for later (and Gentile) commentators to dream up the idea that this kingdom announced here was not the kingdom prophesied in the Old Testament, but only a "spiritual" kingdom in men's hearts!

        John faithfully warned Israel of national setting aside in judgment, if they did not repent (v. 10), and he warned rejecting individuals of eternal loss (v. 12, "unquenchable fire"). It was because Jesus had not yet judged the chaff that John, while in prison, sent messengers to make sure he had not been mistaken (11:3).
      2. A Father's approval 3:13-17
        Since our Lord was born without sin, and had not committed any sin, it seemed unfitting that He should present Himself to receive "the" baptism of repentance for the remission of sins" (Lk. 3:3). So John demurred (v. 14). But Jesus insisted (v. 15).

        The whole Godhead shared in this event: The Son was baptized; the Spirit descended; and the Father voiced approval (vv. 16-17). Thus the Tri-unity appears on the very "Title-Page" of the New Testament.

        Sin brought His fellow-countrymen here (vv. 5-6). Righteousness brought Jesus here (v. 15). He devoted Himself to the accomplishment of salvation by His death, burial, and resurrection. Which were here pictured by His-baptism (Jn. 10:17).

        Our Lord's baptism is an important event. Involved in the commendation of verse 17 is the Father's approval of:
        1. Our Lord's "silent years" of obedience to His parents (Lk. 2:40, 51-52).
        2. Our Lord's caring for His widowed mother and half-brothers and sisters (13:55-56) after His foster father's death, occurring according to tradition soon after Luke 2:41-51 (presumably). Thus the load of responsibility fell on Him at a comparatively youthful age.
        3. Our Lord's spiritual yearning for His Father's Word and House (Isa. 50:4-5; Lk. 2:49).
        4. His baptism was the Father's approval of His fitness to become the representative sacrifice for the sinful nation, yea for all  sinners. By His baptism He pledged Himself in type and symbol to take their place and, with the Father and Spirit ("thus it becometh us"), to fulfil (bring to completion) the whole work of righteousness, through His death on the cross (20:22) and subsequent resurrection (1 Cor. 15:3-4). (Cp. 2 Cor. 5:19a; Heb. 9:14).

          "This is My Beloved Son" is the formula for Christ's anointing as Prophet (here), Priest (17:5), and King (Ps. 2:7).
    3. His MORAL right to be King 4:1-22 ("get thee hence" 4:10-11)
      1. Temptation 4:1-11
        "Get thee hence, " said our Lord. We may wish that we could say that to Satan. He could command it! No one has a right to rule over others, who cannot rule over himself. That is why all merely human rulers fail. THIS ruler is different. He is ruled by heaven; thus He is eligible to rule over the earth.
        1. Two major viewpoints concerning the Temptation
          1. That Christ could have sinned but would not, or He could have sinned but did not.
            Those who hold this view argue that He could have sinned if He had allowed Himself to give in, but somehow He held out against Satan, but after a struggle ("suffered being tempted" is so interpreted in Heb. 2:18).

            There are many objections to this view but chiefly this. If our Lord could have sinned then. He could sin now (or at any time in the future), and slide off His throne, bringing chaos to the spiritual universe. We say this because His natures (human and divine) have not--and will not--change. Thus, by this viewpoint one's salvation could never be secure or eternal, for Christ might sin at some future time, if He could have sinned while on earth.
          2. That Christ could not have sinned.
            This is the viewpoint held by this teacher and school. The line of proof is: Our Lord had two natures as incarnate. His deity nature could not sin, nor be tempted to sin according to James 1:13. His human nature was likewise incapable of sin, because it was conceived of God. (Indeed, the new nature we believers receive in the new birth cannot? sin. The old nature cannot do anything but sin; the new nature cannot sin, because it partakes of the nature of God.)

            If it be said: "God created Adam holy and he sinned, so Christ could have sinned, " let it be replied: "God created Adam innocent, not holy. By obedience, he could have become holy; by disobedience, he could have become sinful. He chose the latter.

            "Further, our Lord was not created; He was procreated (that is, He was begotten of God--partaking in His human nature of the nature of the One who begat Him, i.e., His Father by the Spirit through the virgin womb of Mary). Thus, He was just as incapable of sin as we, in our old nature, are incapable of righteousness (Rom. 3:9-20; 8:7; Eccl. 7:20). It was contrary to His NATURE to sin."

            Let temptation be likened to a barrel of gunpowder; let my sinful heart be likened to a furnace. If temptation is allowed to find lodgment in my heart there will inevitably be an explosion. But if I take the same barrel of gunpowder and drop it in the river, there is no explosion. Christ's heart was like the river! The gunpowder (temptation) is the same; but the response is utterly different because the constituency of His sinless nature is utterly different from mine. "He knew no sin" (2 Cor. 5:21).

            But someone may ask: "What then does Hebrews 4:15 mean? Does it not say that in spite of temptation our Lord did not sin?" No, it says no such thing. It does not say, as most minds mentally supply, that "He was tempted in all points like as we are, yet without sinning." It says He can sympathize with our every sinless infirmity because "apart from sin, HE was put to the test" in everything affecting infirmity. Infirmity is not sin. Christ is not sympathetic with our sins (He detests them and disciplines us for them, 1 Cor. 11:31-32).

            Thus, the passage means Christ was hungry, tired, tried, betrayed, disappointed, etc., and experienced physical weakness and terrible pain. So, no matter what infirmity we are called to bear, Christ can sympathize with us, for He was the Man of Sorrows. It is true that in our time of weakness (testing), we are most susceptible to temptation to sin, but that is because we have an old nature. He was not susceptible, though Satan thought He would be and attacked at His "weakest" moment of infirmity (after 40 days fasting, Mt. 4:2). It is evident that the phrase "yet without sin" does not have the thought usually attributed to it, as a comparison of the same phrase in Hebrews 9:28 will show. Obviously, in each case, it means "apart from sin, " i.e., sin is not the issue in question, and might be paraphrased "entirely apart from the sin question. "

            "But," someone else may say," Hebrews 2:18 says Christ suffered in temptation, thus He experienced a moral struggle." We answer: "No, the verse does not say that. It does not say that He suffered, like we do, IN the very process of temptation. (Temptation is a very painful experience to us--the very process of struggling to say "no.") The verse rather says "He suffered BEING tempted."

            A son who really loved his banker father would be scandalized, pained, grieved, and insulted if some friend, working in that bank with him, took him aside and tried to persuade him to betray his father and steal from "quiet" savings accounts in the bank. He would not struggle against the temptation and find it hard to say "no" (i.e., "suffer in the temptation"); but he would suffer in the fact that anyone would dream he would be so disloyal and treacherous as to cheat his father (i.e., "suffer, being tempted"). If an earthly son would be pained by such a suggestion from a thief, how do you think the Heavenly Son felt in response to Satan's attempt to have Him betray His beloved Father? You guessed it--"GET THEE HENCE!" Get out before I throw you out (Mt. 4:10).

            In both Hebrews passages cited, it is our Lord's merciful High Priesthood which is the context. What we need, when tempted, is succor not sympathy (2:18). In our infirmity, we may be tempted to sin, but infirmity is not sin. Thus, He sympathizes with us in our infirmities, and succors us when Satan, taking advantage of our infirmities, seeks to solicit us to sin. Thus, His mercy is evidenced.
        2. If our Lord could not have sinned, what then was the purpose of the Temptation?
          To prove to Satan, demons, sinful and defeated men, that here at last was One who could defeat Satan and had the moral right to rule!

          Though each attempt emanated from Satan as a solicitation to evil (i.e., temptation), yet, because of Christ's nature (remember the illustration of the river), it did not strike Christ as a temptation--as we usually conceive it--but as a TEST OF CHARACTER. His character was proven perfect, having no trace of a flaw. It was a positive, rather than a negative result. The temptation was NOT TO SEE IF CHRIST WOULD SIN, BUT TO PROVE THAT HE COULDN'T! Amen! Hallelujah! What a Saviour!

          I am no engineer and the figures I cite below are entirely fictitious and only for the purpose of illustration; but if a bridge were planned to be built with the specification that it must be able to bear 100, 000 Ibs. to the square foot, and the engineer put in material that would stand the strain of 500, 000 Ibs.; and if the bridge should be thought of as a reasonable being, both it and the contractor would KNOW it could NOT fall. Any public demonstration would be to prove what they already knew! The first Niagara Suspension Bridge, for example.
        3. What then is the value to us of the record of Christ's Temptation?
          Twofold: It is instructive as to
          1. the areas in which Satan assaults;
          2. the way to defeat Satan.
            1. The AREAS are threefold (cp. Gen. 3:6; 1 Jn. 2:15).
              1. The BODY--the sphere of bodily appetites--"hungry … stones to bread."
                Eve saw the tree was "good for food" = "the lust of the flesh. "
                Bodily appetites are natural and not inherently sinful. But through yielding to them out of the will of God, Satan seeks to get us to sin.

                Hunger, whether of stomach or sex, etc., is not sin. God made us this way. We sin when we satisfy hunger in a way God does not permit.

                Life is more than existence. We may exist by bread but not LIVE!
              2. The MIND -- the sphere of intellectual curiosity -- "pinnacle … not dash foot."
                Eve saw the tree was "pleasant to the eyes" = "the lust of the eyes.”

                The mind plays tricks on us. The unregenerate mind does not think spiritually. It thinks, "If Jesus should float down from the pinnacle of the temple, the crowd would acclaim Him. Just put God to the test and see if He will do what He said He would do" (Ps. 91:11-12)! We are ever tempted to change faith to sight.

                But faith needs no proof; faith never puts God to the test "to see if." Before faith comes, it may look unreasonable; when we believe, it is most reasonable! Man does not reach faith through reason; God reaches our reason through our faith. The man of faith refuses to seek signs. He rests in confidence in God's character.
              3. The SPIRIT -- the sphere of spiritual sovereignty -- "bow down … worship." Eve saw "a tree to be desired to make one wise" = "the pride of life."

                Satan offered the kingdoms of this world. This was no empty gesture (2 Cor. 4:4; Jn. 14:30). Satan offered what looked like sovereignty (kingdoms), but Christ would have become a subordinate ("bow down") by accepting his proposition. "Why not take what I offer now? Why wait for God to give it to you? Bypass the cross; take the crown now." But our Lord will take NOTHING until the Father gives it to Him. Only in subjection to God are we free agents (Jn. 8:31-36). Anything less is slavery to sin. God MUST be supreme. "No man can serve two masters."
            2. The WAY to defeat Satan.
              1. We must learn the Kingdom is
                spiritual in its NATURE: no materialism,
                spiritual in its METHODS: avoids sensationalism,
                spiritual in its RESOURCES: no compromise with evil.
              2. Our Lord's method was
                absolute dependence upon the Father (Temptation 1)
                absolute confidence in the Father (Temptation 2)
                absolute obedience to the Father (Temptation 3)
              3. Our Lord's weapon was the Word of God!
                Three times He quotes from Scripture (Dt. 8:3; 6:16; 6:13), not at random or in general, but correctly, precisely, skillfully, like three flashing sword-thrusts through Satan's guard, leaving gaping wounds in His adversary, Satan (James 4:7; 1 Pet. 5:8-9). WE HAVE THE SAME SWORD! Let us learn to use it! Satan left Him and angels ministered to Him.

                Now, let us return to our outline. Our first section of the chapter was

        (1. Temptation 4:1-11), followed by

      2. Proclamation 4:12-17
        At this point look back at Addendum I, section II; note all the events from (7)-(17) which follow the Temptation.

        Satan thought he had gotten rid of John’s message by getting John out of the way -- into prison. He failed to realize John's message was not his own but Heaven's message and could not be stopped.

        Here Jesus takes up the message--the same message--right where His forerunner left off! A "great light" is seen in Galilee in fulfilment of prophecy (w.14-16; Isa. 9:1-2, ASV).
      3. Propagation 4:18-22
        Here Jesus chooses the first four disciples to help propagate the gospel of the Kingdom. They are handy fishermen. They are now to fish for men (Lk. 5:10)! This is a call to service, not salvation (see Jn. 1, especially 29-42). Their obedience was immediate. Is ours?
    4. His JUDICIAL right to be King 4:23-7:29 ("authority" 7:29)
      1. The setting 4:32-5:1
        His healing attracts; His preaching amazes; His teaching repels! Here is a strange situation (5:1); the preacher has a crowd but leaves it and goes up into the mountain to talk to His own! Thus, this is not a message to the mass of men, but to those who professed to acknowledge His authority to rule over them (i.e.. His disciples -- "learners").
      2. The sermon -- THE CODE OF THE KINGDOM 5:2-7:27
        In this school we understand that what John the Baptist announced as about to be offered, and what our Lord offered directly (and through His apostles) was the long-promised Messianic kingdom, announced to David and covenanted in 2 Samuel 7 through Nathan, and affirmed through all the prophets, as one which is to be set up on earth; a literal, earthly kingdom, founded indeed on spiritual and righteous bases, but not to be confused with the traditional conception of Christendom that what Christ asked was merely the privilege of ruling over the hearts of men—the "spiritual kingdom" idea. Certainly, He intended to rule over the hearts of all who received His claims, but He had done this in every age. No, the kingdom spoken of here is to be set up on earth with Jerusalem as the capital (5:35). It is the throne of David, as historic a throne as the throne of the House of Savoy or of the Hapsburgs or of the English throne lines. (See Luke 1:30-33; Mark 11:7-10; John 1:49; etc.)

        This, then, is the King's INAUGURAL ADDRESS or MANIFESTO, stating to those then anticipating this kingdom the principles upon which He will govern His kingdom, when it is set up on earth and the character of the citizens who will compose that kingdom. Thus, these principles were binding upon those who, in His earthly ministry, accepted His kingly claims in anticipation of the day He will reign on earth.

        During the period of the King's rejection by Israel (for His claims were refused and these laws of the Kingdom put in abeyance), the moral applications of this sermon are accepted by all who acknowledge the King's right to rule, but the precise details must necessarily await the days immediately before, and entering into, the actual establishment of the Kingdom on earth, when the Lord Jesus Christ returns in glory (cp. Rev. 19:11-20:6).

        This is how our school's emphasis varies from the traditional emphasis of Christendom. They say that this is the Christian's code of life. We say that, although all Scripture is for us and may be applied to our spiritual welfare, not all Scripture is to us. This sermon is law taken to the nth degree--not grace.

        The Sermon is in three movements: Introduction (5:2-20); the Inner Message (5:21-7:12); the Conclusion (7:13-27).
        1. INTRODUCTION 5:2-20
          1. Beatitudes - 5:2-12 - The blessedness of the godly life
            (The necessity of righteousness)
            (Be-attitudes: We must be before we can do.)
          2. Similitudes 5:13-16 The effectiveness of the godly life
            (Power and pervasiveness of righteousness: Colossians 4:6--Salt; John 9:5--Light.)
          3. Attitudes 5:17-20 The quality of godliness required
            Christ's attitude toward Scripture (17-18), moral law (19), righteousness (20). Note: There must be a genuine, inward righteousness (20). We must know Christ as Saviour. before we know Him as Teacher.
        2. THE INNER MESSAGE of the Sermon 5:21-7:12
          In these verses our Lord traces sin back of the overt act to the motive which interprets and gives direction to the deed. It is interesting that our Lord discusses TEN "laws" which remind us of an expanded TEN "commandments, " though they do not parallel each other numerically.
          1. FIRST LAW: concerning Anger 5:21-26
          2. SECOND LAW: concerning Purity 5:27-32
          3. THIRD LAW: concerning Speaking the Truth 5:33-37
          4. FOURTH LAW: concerning Retaliation 5:38-42
          5. FIFTH LAW: concerning Loving our Enemies 5:43-48
          6. SIXTH LAW: concerning Almsgiving, Prayer, and Fasting 6:1-18 (See Addendum for a discussion on the interpretation and use of "The Lord's Prayer.")
          7. SEVENTH LAW: concerning Earthly Treasure 6:19-34
          8. EIGHTH LAW: concerning Criticising Our Brother 7:1-6
          9. NINTH LAW: concerning Prayer 7:7-11
          10. TENTH LAW: The "Golden" Rule 7:12 (contrast The "Platinum" Rule, Eph. 4:32)

            NOTE: The interpretation of a passage is its primary application--the meaning basically intended for the people primarily addressed. The application of a passage refers to secondary, spiritual truths, generally applying in principle (not details). There may be many applications for people of other ages or conditions, but there is only one interpretation. Examples of details which will be appropriate to the time the King will reign in Jerusalem, but not to the period in which we of the Church now live, may be found in verses like 5:24-26, 29-30, 42. So, look at primary and secondary applications of the Sermon on the Mount as charted below:

            Perhaps it would be helpful to explain the preceding chart. Let P represent the Primary application, i.e., the interpretation. Let indicate that at times there are Secondary moral and spiritual applications, but not primary, because the passage or portion is not primarily to the Church, but to Jews who had become disciples of the King and were anticipating the imminent possibility of the setting up of that long promised kingdom (Lk. 1:30-33; Mt. 2:2; 4:17; 10:7).

            The fact that an insufficient number repented and became disciples of the King (at the time of His first coming) made necessary a delay in the setting up of His earthly kingdom, awaiting the repentance of a substantial part of the nation Israel in a day future to our age (the parenthetic church age), when the message of the gospel of the kingdom will again call men to repent and anticipate the coming of the King to establish His kingdom on earth (Rom. 11:11-36, particularly vv. 15, 23-26; Acts 3:19-21; Mt. 23:37-39; 10:6-7, 23; 24:21-22, 27-29; Rev. 19:11-16; 20:1-6).
        3. CONCLUSION: The King's Discriminating Tests 7:13-27
          Note "the multitude" has followed on up the mountain and evidently by this time has joined "the disciples" (7:28), so that the close of the sermon is a series of contrasts between the false and true (7:13-27). Thus, our Lord was particularly aiming at the "multitude" as well as the false among professed disciples in this conclusion:
          1. A false way 13-14
          2. False teachers 15-20
          3. False professors 21-23
          4. False foundations 24-27
      3. The sequel 7:28-29 The effect of the King's authority: astonishment!
        As we close this section on the CODE OF THE KINGDOM, we see the sequel is their utter astonishment at our Lord's authority (cp. Mt. 16:5, ".. .hear ye HIM!"). He does not quote the sayings of famous rabbis or merely rebuke their false conclusions, but goes much farther. He interprets, evaluates, revises, and supersedes Moses (i.e., the O.T.) with His "… but I say unto you." Only One who is "God manifest in the flesh" can speak ex cathedra and with such finality. No wonder HE has the judicial right to rule as King!
    5. His PROPHETIC right to be King.—8:1-11:1
      He did what the prophets said He would do in regard to "the blind, lame, lepers, deaf, dead, poor" (11:4-5). Somewhat as a salesman would open his sample case to demonstrate what his products are like, in His earth-life our Lord showed man a sample of what it will be like when, at long last, He rules and reigns over the earth. When Christ returns, the curse of Genesis 3 will be taken from nature and the bodies of men--disease will vanish, the blind will see, the deaf hear, the lame walk, death indefinitely postponed by longevity, the savagery of beasts removed, and a thousand wonderful things happen (e.g., Isa. 11; 61; 62; 65:20, etc.)

      In addition to being samples of the coming kingdom age, these signs authenticated our Lord as being the Christ of God (Jn. 20:30-31; 21:25), and His message as coming with Heaven's authority. Matthew gathers these incidents from various times in Christ's ministry to show His right to be king. They are not in chronological order.
      1. The King's authority demonstrated 8:1-9:34
        1. His authority over men's BODIES 8:1-18
          These mighty miracles may also be used to illustrate the healing of our sin sick souls by His gracious forgiveness.
          1. Leprosy pictures the loathsomeness of sin 8:1-4
          2. Palsy pictures the enfeeblement of sin 8:5-13
          3. Fever pictures the suffering of sin 8:14-15
          4. "Divers diseases" picture the prevalence of sin 8:16-18
        2. His authority over men's SOULS 8:19-22
        3. His authority over the realm of NATURE 8:23-27
        4. His authority over the realm of SPIRITS (demons) 8:28-34
        5. His authority over the realm of SOUL-SICKNESS (and religion) 9:1-17
          (including the call of Matthew, 9:9)
        6. Result: the Great Physician praised and blasphemed 9:18-34
          (Note particularly v.34 and cp. 12:22-24 later.)
      2. The King's compassion and commission 9:35-11:1 (Key: 10:5-6)
        1. Christ's compassion on spiritually scattered Israel 9:35-38
        2. Christ's choosing of the Twelve 10:1-4
        3. Christ's commissioning of the Twelve 10:5-15
          Two great principles are involved in our Lord's instruction in vv.8-15. First, greater light brings greater responsibility and judgment if that light is rejected.
          Second, the principle of identification:
          1. a town is represented by the elders' acceptance or rejection;
          2. acceptance or rejection of Christ's claims are proved by one's attitude and action toward those who bear His message. The principle is formally affirmed by the prophecy of 25:31-46.

            Any misconception that these verses constitute the missionary marching orders of the Church in this age should be corrected by reference to Luke 22:35-36. No, these are the King's Jewish heralds who have right to the best entertainment the town can provide--if the townspeople really believe the KING'S claims (v. 11).
        4. Christ's comment and prophecy concerning the treatment of His heralds, then and future 10:16-23

          NOTE: The emphasis become more and more future as this paragraph proceeds, climaxing with Christ's return (v.23). Though generally fulfilled in part at that time and more fully in the days of the early Church, as well as in various eras of Church history, the final and full fulfilment awaits the period after the Church is removed from the earth. At that time (the tribulation period), the sharp division between those who follow the Anti-Christ (seen and present), and those who are waiting for God's true Christ (unseen and imminently expected, v.23) will become especially evident and painful, even dividing those within families (w. 35-36).
        5. The crux is the cross applied to one's daily life 10:24-11:1 A clear-cut decision, in this age and that to come, invariably leads to suffering (cp. Acts 14:21-22; 2 Tim. 2:10-12).

          All true service must enter into the experience of His death (Jn. 12:24-28; cp. Phil. 3:10).


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