Matthew: Behold Your King!
By Ray C. Stedman
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The first book of the New Testament is Matthew, and this is the place where most people start reading the Bible. I think more people begin reading in the New Testament than the Old, therefore, that would make Matthew the most widely read book in all the world. In fact, Renan, the French skeptic, said of this book, "This is the most important book of all Christendom." He also said, "The most important book that has ever been written is the Gospel of Matthew." But it has its critics, too. There are those who claim that this book contains nothing but the early legends of the church which grew up around Jesus, that these accounts are not historical, and that this book was not actually written until the fourth century A.D. Therefore, they say, we are uncertain as to how much is really true. Other critics make the claim that this is only one of many gospels that were circulated. As you know, this Gospel was written by Matthew, otherwise known as Levi. He was a publican, and publicans were those men who took the taxes from the people. His name means "the gift of God," and to call a tax collector by that name obviously indicates that he was converted. It was perhaps our Lord himself who designated him Matthew, just as he changed Simon's name to Peter, and perhaps the names of others of the disciples as well. Tradition tells us that Matthew lived and taught in Palestine for 15 years after the crucifixion, and then he began to travel as a missionary, first to Ethiopia and then to Macedonia, Syria, and Persia. Finally he died a natural death in either Ethiopia or Macedonia, but this is not certain. It is one of the legends or traditions that have come down to us about Matthew. Read More...
||The Mystery of History (Matthew 13:1-17)||We have completed our studies in the book of Acts. We left Paul a prisoner in Rome, dwelling in his own hired house. He was awaiting trial before the emperor, but was free to have his friends visit him and to write letters to all parts of the empire. That is as far as Luke's inspired account goes. That is as much as we know from Acts of what happened to the early Christians. The book of Acts closes about A. D. 62.||29 9 2010||Free||View In iTunes|
||The Case of the Lavish Farmer (Matthew 13:3-23)||We shall turn again this morning to the thirteenth chapter of the Gospel of Matthew. Here we are looking together at the Sermon on the Sea which our Lord preached from a boat on the Sea of Galilee. A great crowd was assembled on the beach listening to him as he delivered seven parables which he called the secrets, or mysteries, of the kingdom of heaven. These seven parables constitute a view of the age following our Lord's appearance on earth, the present age in which we live.||22 9 2010||Free||View In iTunes|
||The Case of the Mysterious Harvest (Matthew 13:24-43)||We are returning this morning to Matthew 13 where we are looking at of parables our Lord gave to describe the age in which we live, the age introduced by his first coming and which has been unfolding now for almost twenty centuries. He looked down those twenty centuries and gave us in parable form some clues to the understanding of our own age. It is very important that we see what these are. We come today to the second in this series of parables. We looked last week at the parable of the sower.||15 9 2010||Free||View In iTunes|
||The Case of the Ambitious Seed (Matthew 13:31-32)||Today we come to the third of the remarkable parables which our Lord called the secrets, the mysteries, of the kingdom of heaven. These were all given in one message delivered on a single occasion as he sat in a boat on the Sea of Galilee teaching the people gathered on the shore. One by one he unfolded these amazing mysteries, these secrets of the age between his comings, the present age in which we live. They give us insightful views of what is going on in our own time, and of what has been going on in history since our Lord was here and before he comes again.||8 9 2010||Free||View In iTunes|
||The Case of the Sneaky Housewife (Matthew 13:33)||I invite you now to turn again to the thirteenth chapter of the Gospel of Matthew where we will examine another of the parables that our Lord gave on a single occasion by the Sea of Galilee. In them he sets forth in parable form the great secrets of the kingdom of heaven, the mysteries of the present age, the revelation of the forces and powers at work in the age which began with our Lord's first coming and which will end with his second appearing. Today we come to the fourth of these parables. It occupies but one verse in the chapter, Verse 33:||1 9 2010||Free||View In iTunes|
||The Case of the Buried Treasure (Matthew 13:44)||In the great series of parables in Matthew 13 our Lord gave us, as he said, "The secrets of the kingdom of heaven." The kingdom off heaven is God's work among men, God's rule and authority in the midst of human affairs. In this series Jesus is revealing the work of the kingdom as it is going on throughout the centuries of this present age since his first coming and before his return. We come to the fifth parable this morning, the parable of the buried treasure.||25 8 2010||Free||View In iTunes|
||The Case of the Valuable Pearl (Matthew 13:45-46)||We turn again this morning to the marvelous secrets our Lord is telling us in the thirteenth chapter of Matthew. They unveil to us things we would never know about history if he had not told us about these secrets of the kingdom of heaven, the mysteries of God at work in this present age. As we have been studying these parables in past weeks we have seen how accurately our Lord foresaw and foretold all that has happened in these twenty centuries of Christian life.||18 8 2010||Free||View In iTunes|
||The Case of the Great Dragnet (Matthew 13:47-50)||We come now to the seventh and last in the series of our Lord's parables recorded in Matthew 13. These parables convey what Jesus calls "the secrets of the kingdom of heaven," the mysteries of what God is doing behind the scenes of history in the age in which we live, the age which began with Jesus' first coming and will end with his second. As we look back over this series we can see through the eyes of our Lord something of what has been happening in our present age.||11 8 2010||Free||View In iTunes|
||How to Handle Life (Matthew 13:51-52)||In recent weeks we have been looking together at the great series of parables recorded in the thirteenth chapter of Matthew by which our Lord Jesus has unfolded the way God works in the affairs of men -- especially during this present age. As we have examined these parables one by one we have seen that they predict great movements and events which history now records as having taken place. The very things which Jesus said would happen have happened through this present age. As we are drawing toward its close now we can see how fully accurate his words are.||4 8 2010||Free||View In iTunes|