Discipleship Themes In Matthew’s Gospel

During the Christmas season the Gospel of Matthew is often read as it is one of the two Gospels that contains an infancy narrative of Christ. Though this holds great significance, there are many other pieces of the Gospel that give us clues on how to live a Christian life. In fact, within Matthew’s account we see many scenarios of what it means to be a disciple of Christ. By the tone of the writing one gets the impression that these events were either experience by Matthew directly, or told to him by a reliable source, such as one of the other Apostles. To illustrate the discipleship theme in Matthew many passages of scripture will be discussed. Among them are Mt. 4:18-22, 5:13-16, 5:43-48, 9:9-13, and lastly 28:19-20.

To assist the exegetical process, we first need to know who Matthew was and to whom his Gospel was intended for. This helps establish the proper historical context for the rest of this essay. The Gospel was most likely written in the last half of the first century and after the destruction of the Jerusalem temple in 70 A.D[1]. The reasons for this are many. First, it is widely believed that Mark was the first Gospel written around 65 A.D with Matthew and Luke following a few years after. It is widely believed that Matthew and Luke used Mark’s Gospel as a type of template which would mean that Mark’s Gospel had been in wide distribution at this time. This took time to happen in the ancient world. Secondly the Gospel shows a developed Christology, especially in regard to linking Christ with events and people in the Old Testament. This is especially important as Matthew links Christ to the fulfillment of the Old Testament, and as such even arranged his Gospel in five parts like the five books or Moses, or Pentateuch[2]. Thirdly, Mt. 22:7 is historically seen as a reference from Christ about the upcoming Jewish revolt in which the Roman army destroyed the city and its temple.

Furthermore, the repeated emphasis of fulfillment of Old Testament prophecy shows that the Gospel was written to a primarily Jewish audience. Perhaps these were Jewish converts and this Gospel was meant to strengthen them, or it was a way to evangelize those who rejected Jesus as the Messiah. The idea of it being written to a primarily Jewish audience is further strengthened by Mt. 2:23 which states, “And he went and lived in a city called Nazareth, so that what was spoken by the prophets might be fulfilled, that he would be called a Nazarene[3]”.  This is important because these words appear nowhere in the Old Testament text. It was part of Jewish oral tradition that was only know to the Jews of the day[4].

It was most likely written with both an apologetic and evangelism purpose in mind. To strengthen the case for Christ being the Messiah foretold in the scriptures and to encourage those who did convert to stay the course as they made the correct decision.

Lastly, we look to the author as understanding his story sets a critical stage for the events that will be discussed later. Matthew, who is sometimes referred to as Levi in other synoptic texts, made his living as a tax collector prior to following Christ. His father is mentioned in Mark 2:14 as Alphaeus and in John 19:25 he is known as Cleopos which is an equivalent in Hebrew. Alphaeus is also the father of the disciple James the lesser, thus he has the distinction of being father to two people in Christ’s inner circle. Other than that, there is not much that can be surmised about his father. Matthew, or Levi, was from the priestly tribe of Levi. The Tribe of Levi in the Torah was designated as the tribe in which the priests of Israel were to come, and their cities were cities of refuge for God’s service (Numbers 35:6).

This priestly vocation is one in which Matthew would have been groomed for. At an early age he would have been immersed in the study or scripture and rabbinic oral tradition such as can be seen in Mt. 2:23. However he turned away from his heritage and became a publican. As a tax collector he worked for the occupying Roman Empire and as such would have been seen as a traitor to his people. The Jewish leaders though of tax collectors and the lowest of the low. To be in such an occupation was to make one cut off from the Jewish community, in other words he was seen as unclean. Matthew worked for King Herod Antipas in collecting taxes on goods going from Damascus to the Mediterranean Sea[5]. This post was one in which a great education would come into play. This lends further credence to his priestly formation as he would have had to know Greek, Aramaic, and Hebrew. In the life of Matthew, we see what it means to become a disciple of Christ as he left all his wealth and luxury to follow Christ and die a martyr’s death. In his Gospel he gives us many accounts and traits of what it means to be a disciple and they still apply today.

This theme of what it means to be a follower of Christ, or disciple, starts very early in Matthew’s account. In the fourth chapter of his Gospel he gives an account of the call of the first disciples. The passage in question in Mt. 4:18-22 which states,

 

“While walking by the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon (who is called Peter) and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea, for they were fishermen. And he said to them, ‘Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.’ Immediately they left their nets and followed him. And going on from there he saw two other brothers, James the son of Zebedee and John his brother, in the boat with Zebedee their father, mending their nets, and he called them. Immediately they left the boat and their father and followed him.”

 

Perhaps this is one of those passages that has been read so much that over time its significance has been lost. The call of the first disciples is an event in church history that cannot be understated. The idea of Peter and Andrew being poor, and therefore having nothing to lose has become a popular thought in modern Christianity. Is this really the case? To be a fisherman at the Sea of Galilee was to be a participant in a thriving industry. In fact, the fish that the water yielded was one the primary protein sources. Fish was also the staple protein of the Greco-Roman world and the fish of Galilee were a highly prized delicacy in Alexandria Egypt and even Syria[6].

Mt. 4:18-22 also reveals that they had a minimum of one fishing boat. However, it was a fairly common practice to form a cooperative of sorts with other fisherman as can be surmised by Luke 5:7, 9-10[7]. These cooperatives were vital because the fish of the sea was a key part of the economy that it was a common practice for the Roman government to contract for fish for other parts of the empire. To have a fishing boat was no small expense, and points to a thriving business that the first disciples were engaged it. It was a business where the fruits of their labor were not only prized locally, but to cities a considerable distance away.

The home that Per lived in in Capernaum, which is on the shore of the Sea of Galilee, was excavated and found to be a two-family home[8]. In Mt. 8:14 we see that Peter had mother in law, but whether his wife was still living at the time is a matter of debate since she is not mentioned. What is certain is that the first disciples owned a boat and a fairly large home. This demonstrated that though they may not have been overly wealthy, they were most likely the equivalent of today’s middle class. The same can most likely be said for James and John.

There is something else that is strikingly interesting when examining the four men mentioned in the passage. Jesus said to follow and the dropped everything and followed. They left their homes, careers, and family to follow Christ. It is possible that this was not their first encounter with Jesus. John 1:35-42 details what many believe to be the first encounter[9]. This passage from Joh assists us in understanding Matthew from a different point of view.

This passage shows us that Andrew and Simon (soon to be Peter) were originally disciples of John the Baptist. Jesus called them then and stayed the night at their home. This lends a crucial perspective to the events that happened in Matthew. Before Andrew and Peter left their profitable fishing business, they met the Lord. It was in this scenario that Christ told Peter, then known as Simon, that he is now Cephas, or Peter in English. This is something that only happened previously in Genesis chapter 17 when the lord changed the name of Abram to Abraham.

In this scenario in Matthew chapter 4 we seen the first disciples formally called to be students, or disciples of Christ. In ancient Israel a student did not choose his teacher, but it was the teacher who chose the student[10]. This would not have been lost on the first disciples called. They had followed John the Baptist, and the Baptist told them to “Behold the Lamb of God” (Jn 1:36). They were seeking the Messiah and they dropped everything to follow Christ. During this time a disciple did everything with the Rabbi. They ate, travelled with, slept, and were constantly taught. More importantly a disciple was expected to drop everything and make a total change in lifestyle for an unforeseen period of time to be under the tutelage of the Rabbi.

One of the images pertaining to discipleship is Matthew is the imagery of salt and light. This is found in Mt. 5:13-16 which states,

“You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people’s feet.

 “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house.  In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven”.

In today’s world we think of salt and think of a condiment that serves to make food taste better. To be clear, this was one use of salt in the ancient world, but it had many more uses that were vital to the continuation of society. With no refrigeration, salt was used as a way to preserve food, particularly meat, for later use. What is often lost in the interpretation of this passage is the symbolism of salt, but its application was very intentional by Christ. Salt was associated with a covenant going back to the book of Leviticus[11]. Salt was an emblem of incorruption and permanence, and this would have made perfect sense to the first century Jewish reader to which Matthew was writing too. To take it a step further, the use of salt in an offering symbolized an everlasting relationship between God and His people (See 2 Chron. 13:5).

As previously stated, the imagery of salt was symbolic of the covenant that God made with Israel regarding the of Aaron and his decedents. Likewise, it was also symbolic of the Davidic covenant the decedents of David. This passage comes after the beatitudes, which is a way that Christ described how to live the ten commandments. The connection here in regard to discipleship is crucial. If disciples do not live up to their calling, they are useless for the kingdom. They have lost the purpose that salt has in this passage. To live up to ones calling is to spread the Gospel through the actions of their lives, speech, and conduct.

The second metaphor that Jesus uses in this text is that of a light on a hill. Light is something that is meant to be seen. When light is not seen the people are in darkness. Oil lamps were used to light homes in times of darkness in the ancient world. Likewise, the world around the disciples in in darkness and they are called to bring the light of Christ to it[12]. It is interesting to note that the “light of the world” is a saying that Christ says about himself in Jn 8:12 and 12:35, but here is also transferring the designation to his followers. Jesus blends this motif with the defensive posture of a city on a hill. Matthew was most likely alluding to the hilly city of Jerusalem at his point since it would hit home with his audience[13]. What sometimes goes unnoticed is that to be a city on a hill was also a defensive posture in ancient warfare. This would allow the soldiers to see approaching forces from great distances and be able to respond accordingly. In a world that has an ever-increasing hostility towards the followers of Christ this is important. This defensive posture does not take the form of arrows or violence, but in showing the light of Christ and being that salt to a world that is losing its flavor. This passage builds on the Beatitudes and serves as a prologue of sorts. In a way this passage acts as the mission statement for the beatitudes. We are to live them and let them give the light to change the world.

This is what Jesus intends in Mt. 5:16 when he tells the disciples to let the world see their good works so they can glorify God. If his disciples are not different than the world then they are doing nothing for the kingdom and the light of Christ will not be shown through them. In Rabbinic tradition there was a saying that said, “The people that walk in darkness will see a great light[14]”. Jesus is that light, and he transferred it to his followers to spread the light throughout the earth.

Jesus gives a very clear example of what it means to be the light of the world later on in chapter 5. This example is seen in Mt. 5:43-48 which states,

“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect”.

This passage is a clear indication of how disciples of Christ are supposed to treat those who persecute them. However, some background on this passage is in order. One of the titles that Matthew gives Jesus is that of the New Moses. When one reads the accounts of Moses in the Pentateuch and the life of Christ there are similarities that arise. Moses wandered through the desert for forty years while Jesus went into the desert for forty days to be tempted by Satan. Moses climbed up Mt. Sinai and gave the Ten commandments, while Jesus climbed up the mountain and delivered the ten beatitudes. This was no accident as Moses was the supreme law giver in the Old Testament, and that law would be fulfilled perfectly by the Messiah Jesus Christ.

In Deuteronomy 19:21 Moses writes, “Your eye shall not pity. It shall be life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot”. However, Jesus is telling us to love our enemies. On the surface this seems like a contradiction, but that is not the case. The verse in Deuteronomy is meant to convey the necessity for the punishment to fit the crime. In other words, this was not meant as a way to exact personal vengeance but was a guideline for authorities to sentence offenders. Why mention “eye for an eye” when it isn’t even mention in Mt. 5:43-48? It is mentioned because passages such as Deuteronomy 19:21 evolved through tradition as permission to hate one’s enemy, and that is not was intended. Here Christ is calling his disciples to a much higher standard of conduct over their Jewish counterparts. In layman’s terms, Jesus was setting the record straight.

Indeed, Moses was the supreme law giver, but Jesus is greater than Moses and came to fulfill the law[15]. Jesus would ultimately show us how do this by asking forgiveness for his executioners, but here he elaborates on how to live it. He wants his disciples to walk the talk. Those who we think are our enemies are those who need the most love. They need the light, love, and mercy that only Christ can give. The term used by Christ in this passage is agape. It is a term of benevolence, affection, or love, and is used in two basic ways. One way is denoting love between people, and another way refers to the love of God[16].

Christ is telling his following to not follow the status quo. For too long people were following the letter of the law, and not the spirit of it. As a result, a law that was meant for just punishment became a guise for personal vengeance. This is clearly not what God intended and Jesus is to the point. If his disciples treat others the way that they are treated, then they are no different than non-believers. To tell one’s followers to love their enemies was the very epitome of being countercultural. He was also countercultural in regard to who he is referring to as a neighbor in Mt. 5:43. This not something unique to Matthew’s Gospel and can be seen in the other synoptic Gospels as well. The most famous one being the story of the good Samaritan in Luke chapter 10. Just as correct sentencing of a criminal morphed over time so did the meaning of neighbor. During the time of Christ, the Israelites thought of their neighbor as another Israelite. Jesus, like he did in the story of the good Samaritan, tells his listeners that everyone is their neighbor. This was another countercultural ideal that would set apart his followers because it shows that his message is for everyone, Jews and Gentiles alike. This even meant the much-hated occupying Roman Empire.

To be clear, this does not mean that to be a disciple of Christ is to be a passivist. If needed to self-defense is something one must do, but these verses speak in regard to morality. Jesus calls his disciples to not hate and love in a way that shows the love of Christ to all mankind. This shows that with Christ they can look past how their sinful tendencies have them look at others and points them in a whole other direction[17].

This is seen clearly in Mt. 5:48 where Jesus says that they must be perfect just as the Father is. Jesus calls his disciples to higher standard than that found in the Old Covenant. The Greek word for perfect used is teleios means to be complete or everything that God intends. Thus, Jesus summarizes what it means to truly love your neighbor as a disciple. This passage sets a great stage for what would occur in chapter nine of Matthew’s Gospel.

 

Perhaps one of the most powerful stories of discipleship in Gospel involves the very call of Matthew himself. This calling takes place in Mt. 9:9-13 and reads,

As Jesus passed on from there, he saw a man called Matthew sitting at the tax booth, and he said to him, “Follow me.” And he rose and followed him.

And as Jesus reclined at table in the house, behold, many tax collectors and sinners came and were reclining with Jesus and his disciples. And when the Pharisees saw this, they said to his disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?”  But when he heard it, he said, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. Go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy, and not sacrifice.’ For I came not to call the righteous, but sinners.”

As was previously discussed, Matthew was a tax collector in Capernaum on the shore of the Sea of Galilee. This was a major trading town and he would have been responsible to collect the custom duties that were due to the bustling trade in the area. When describing the call of Matthew, the other synoptics refer to him as Levi, and Matthew is the only one who uses Matthew. Matthew is an Aramaic name that means gift from God, while Levi was the third son of Jacob in Genesis 29. Those of Jewish heritage who worked for Rome were seen as traitors and the lowest of the low. Unlike Andrew and Peter, there is no scriptural evidence to show that Jesus had met him previous to this event[18]. It was a common practice of tax collectors of the era to engage in extortion. They could seemingly make up a tax and the people would have to pay and what was not sent to the government was extra income for the tax collector. For someone of Jewish lineage to engage in such a practice would be to break the Law of Moses in regard to usury. Yet Jesus calls him, and he heeds the call and follows.

The calling of Matthew to be a disciple was an event that placed Jesus in a scandalous position as far as the Pharisees were concerned. People such as Matthew were to be shunned, but this is an example of Jesus seeing Matthew as a neighbor as was discussed in Mt. 5:43. Perhaps it was that sermon that opened up the heart of Matthew to heed the call of Christ, but that is speculation. What is known that sometime after Matthew becomes disciple, he has a dinner at his home for Jesus. Matthew invited his former associates in the tax collection trade and what the text simple refers to as “sinners”. They flock to Jesus in huge numbers. Though Matthew was a relatively new follower, He has been radically changed by Jesus and he wants his former associates to meet him. Not only is this a great example of discipleship, but evangelism.

The Pharisees saw this as an opportunity to undermine Jesus in front of a large crowd who really needed him[19]. Jesus responds masterfully with a scripture from Hosea 6:6. That passage of scripture states, “For I desire steadfast love and not sacrifice, the knowledge of God rather than burnt offerings”. This passage from Hosea was written during a time when the kingdom was divided amongst North and South. Hosea was prophet to the Northern kingdom and addressed them as being sick and wounded because of their sin. In Hosea’s time the people appeared to be following the covenant, but they were only following the ritual and thus their hearts were not changed[20]. Like the people in Hosea’s time, the Pharisees looked the part. They did the right rituals, said the right things, but their actions told a different story. It told a story of someone going through the motions, and in the end following their own way. In a way similar to the people of Hosea’s time, the Pharisees rejected the Messiah in favor of Mosaic law. They chose the old law instead of the one who would institute the New Covenant.

The tax collectors and sinners that Jesus was eating with were considered to be ritually unclean by the Pharisees. By extending the hand of mercy, Christ is fulfilling what Israel had been intended to truly be. An instrument to a world that was sick that can pave the way for the work of the great physician. The Pharisees lost sight on the divine mission given to Israel by following the letter instead of the spirit of what God had given them[21]. Jesus came to give forgiveness in the new covenant and being with those who were sick with sin was a key part in his work. Likewise, his disciples are called to follow his example.

So far, we have seen how the discipleship theme is deeply intertwined within Matthew’s Gospel. Matthew ends his Gospel with a call for discipleship that is popularly called the Great Commission. The Great Commission is seen in Mt. 28:19-20 which state, “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” This far much detail has been given to a few sections of Matthew’s Gospel that deal with discipleship. One other that deals with it in Mt. 13:52. This passage speaks of scribes being trained for the kingdom and it will bring about treasure[22]. This theme is one that starts at the beginning of the Gospel and ends at the Great Commission.

Christ gives a command to evangelize and to go forth and teach the world. This command is not strictly for the disciples that physically heard it, and it is not only for pastors and teachers. This command applies to all those who make the claim to follow Christ. This commission has its roots back in the Old Testament when the Lord told Abraham that all nations would be blessed in Genesis 22:18.

This type of mission was not uncommon, but it did not happen vary often. There were occasions, such as Jonah, where God told someone to go to a foreign land to tell them to repent but the Great Commission was a novelty. It was a clear-cut example that a new paradigm shift had been established and the old way was no longer the norm. This new way is one that must be made known to every creature (Mk 16:16). With his work on the cross and subsequent resurrection complete, the savior commission all believers to spread his message. It is a mission that confirms the authority of Christ, a very clear set of instructions, and in a way the disciples take the place of Jesus on earth though he is with them and working through them[23].

This passage is also where the trinitarian formula for baptism is seen. Matthew’s Gospel is the only synoptic that specifically lists it, but the mention brings to mind the baptism of John the Baptist at the beginning of the Gospel. Jesus submits to it, not because he needs to, but in effect to lead by example. Most likely this wasn’t done to give authority to the baptism in which John was engaged, but to give Christian baptism a new identity. One that was in the name of the triune God and it reveals the unity of each member of the Godhead.

Throughout Matthew’s Gospel Jesus has been the teacher, but in the Great commission Jesus transfers this responsibility to the disciples. They are to teach what Jesus had taught them. One can only surmise what was going through the minds of the disciples upon hearing this. Perhaps anxiety, fear, or possibly utter terror. However, Jesus makes a profound promise that will last until the end of their lives, and indeed to them end of time itself[24]. Not only does this close out his Gospel, but it brings the description of Christ from the beginning of his Gospel back to the forefront. Jesus is the Christ, the son of the living God, Emmanuel which means “God with us”. Though we are here on earth doing the work that he has given us, his presence is with us and he is directing our paths.

Throughout the last several pages four passages of Matthew’s Gospel have been analyzed to show how they apply to discipleship. It is a theme that begins at the very beginning and culminate with the last verse. There are many other passages that go into great deal on the topic, but it may be helpful to conclude with a summary of the Gospel and to give a finalized ideal of what it teaches within the realm of discipleship.

As with the other three Gospels, the primary objective of Matthew is to share details about the life of Christ. This happens in the first chapter in Mt. 1:21 where Matthew writes that “Jesus will save the people from their sins”. Like any true evangelist Matthew wants to convey the saving power of Christ and what he did for all mankind on the cross. Matthew masterfully intertwined discipleship elements into his Gospel to show its importance to all of us[25]. The conflict that is seen throughout the Gospel assists in offering an antagonist type of perspective. Here is a group that has great intellectual knowledge of the Jewish scriptures. Then know when to do it, why, but they are missing a crucial element. They are doing study and ritual to say that they are doing it, but the whole while it is not changing their heart. They have the head knowledge, but in reality, they are still far from God.

This is a valuable lesson for all who claim to followers of Christ because if we lose sight of who Christ is then there is the risk of falling into the same trap the Pharisees did. They followed the letter of the law, but lost sight of the spirit of the law. Perhaps somewhere along the line this is where Matthew found himself and became a tax collector, or perhaps it was strictly the lure of a wealthy lifestyle. That is speculation, but we do know that he gave it all up one fateful day when he encountered the savior of the world. Jesus uttered two simple words and Matthew literally turned his life upside down. He left his old life behind and moved forward to a new life with Christ[26]. This was also the case with Andrew, Peter, James, and John in Matthew chapter four. They left behind a thriving fishing business to follow someone to the unknown in his public ministry. It was truly a leap of faith.

Matthew’s Gospel focuses much on Jesus as the new Moses, because the teaching of Christ is the application of what the law was supposed to be. Jesus fulfilled it perfectly and showed the disciples how to do to the same. The principles of following where Christ leads, loving those who mistreat you, living a life that reflects the light of Christ, and teaching those things along with the saving power of Christ are what Matthew teaches us to do as disciples.

As was the case with Matthew, being a disciple may cause us the catch the scorn of those who think they know better. We are not to match hate for hate as some of the Pharisees had fallen into doing, but we are to do the opposite[27]. To be fair it is not easy to love one’s enemies, especially when they are active in afflicting pain and punishment. In times such as this it is appropriate to lift them up in prayer. One of the greatest things one can do for an enemy is to pray for them.

Lastly, Matthew shows us how a life can be transformed by following Jesus. Matthew was seen as the lowest of the low among Jews because of his occupation with Rome, but he had wealth and prestige among the Romans. He had everything that the world says will make one happy, but he obviously wasn’t because he dropped everything to follow Jesus. He went 180 degrees in the opposite direction and his life was radically changed. According to tradition he was martyred in Ethiopia for doing what Christ commanded in the Great Commission[28].

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Bibliography

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Benedictine Monks of St. The Book of Saints. London: A & C Black, 1921.

Bisagno, John R. Principle Preaching: How to Create and Deliver Purpose Driven Sermons for Life Applications. Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 2002.

Blomberg, Craig. Matthew. Vol. 22, The New American Commentary. Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 1992.

———. Matthew. Vol. 22, The New American Commentary. Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 1992.

Campbell, Iain D. Opening up Matthew. Opening Up Commentary. Leominster: Day One Publications, 2008.

Cook, Stephen. “The Lineage Roots of Hosea’s Yahwism.” Semia 87 (1999).

Douglas, J. D., Philip Wesley Comfort, and Donald Mitchell. Who’s Who in Christian History. Wheaton, Il: Tyndale House, 1992.

Drane, John William. Introducing the New Testament. Completely rev. and update ed. Oxford: Lion Publishing plc, 2000.

Edersheim, Alfred. The Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah. New York: Longmans, Green, and, 1896.

Edwards, James R. The Gospel According to Mark. The Pillar New Testament Commentary. Grand Rapids, MI; Leicester, England: Eerdmans and Apollos, 2002.

Freedman, David Noel, Allen C. Myers, and Astrid B. Beck. Eerdmans Dictionary of the Bible. Nashville, TN: Eerdmans Publishing, 2000.

Freeman, James M., and Harold J. Chadwick. Manners & Customs of the Bible. North Brunswick, NJ: Bridge-Logos Publishers, 1998.

Gardner, Richard B. Matthew. Believers Church Bible Commentary. Scottdale, PA: Herald Press, 1991.

Hanson, K.C. “The Galilean Fishing Economy.” Biblical Theology Bulletin (12-97): 99–111.

MacEvilly, John. An Exposition of the Gospels of Matthew and Mark. Dublin; New York: M. H. Gill & Son and Benziger Brothers, 1898.

Mangum, Douglas, Derek R. Brown, Rachel Klippenstein, and Rebekah Hurst, eds. Lexham Theological Wordbook. Lexham Bible Reference Series. Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press, 2014.

Morris, Leon. The Gospel According to Matthew. The Pillar New Testament Commentary. Grand Rapids, MI; Leicester, England: W.B. Eerdmans and Inter-Varsity Press, 1992.

Newman, Barclay Moon, and Philip C. Stine. A Handbook on the Gospel of Matthew. New York: United Bible Societies, 1992.

Nolland, John. The Gospel of Matthew: A Commentary on the Greek Text. New International Greek Testament Commentary. Grand Rapids, MI; Carlisle: W.B. Eerdmans and Paternoster Press, 2005.

Schultz, Samuel J., and Gary V. Smith. Exploring the Old Testament. Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books, 2001.

Strange, James F., and Hershel Shanks. “The Galilean Fishing Economy.” Biblical Archaeological Review (8-1982): 26–37.

———. “Has Peter’s House Been Found.” Biblical Archaeological Review (8-1982): 26–37.

Torrey, R. A. Studies in the Life and Teachings of Our Lord. Los Angeles: Bible Institute of Los Angeles, 1907.

Unless otherwise stated all Bible passages are from the. English Standard Version. N.p.: Crossway, 2001.

Utley, Robert James. The First Christian Primer: Matthew. Vol. 2000, 9. Study Guide Commentary Series. Marshall, TX: Bible Lessons International, 2000.

———. The First Christian Primer: Matthew. Vol. 2000, 9. Study Guide Commentary Series. Marshall, TX: Bible Lessons International, 2000.

Water, Mark. The Books of the Bible Made Easy. The Made Easy Series. Alresford, Hampshire: John Hunt Publishing, 2001.

[1]. David Noel Freedman, Allen C. Myers, and Astrid B. Beck, Eerdmans Dictionary of the Bible (Nashville, TN: Eerdmans Publishing, 2000), 871.

[2]. Barclay Moon Newman and Philip C. Stine, A Handbook on the Gospel of Matthew (New York: United Bible Societies, 1992), 2.

[3]. Unless otherwise stated all Bible passages are from the, English Standard Version (n.p.: Crossway, n.d.).

[4]. Mark Water, The Books of the Bible Made Easy, The Made Easy Series (Alresford, Hampshire: John Hunt Publishing, 2001), 40.

[5]. J. D. Douglas, Philip Wesley Comfort, and Donald Mitchell, Who’s Who in Christian History (Wheaton, Il: Tyndale House, 1992), 463.

[6]. James R. Edwards, The Gospel According to Mark, The Pillar New Testament Commentary (Grand Rapids, MI; Leicester, England: Eerdmans and Apollos, 2002), 49.

[7]. K.C. Hanson, “The Galilean Fishing Economy,” Biblical Theology Bulletin (12-97).

[8]. James F. Strange and Hershel Shanks, “Has Peter’s House Been Found,” Biblical Archaeological Review (8-1982).

[9]. Peter Ainslie, Among the Gospels and the Acts Being Notes and Comments Covering the Life of Christ in the Flesh, and the First Thirty Years History of His Church (Baltimore, MD: Temple Seminary Press, 1908), 54.

[10]. Robert James Utley, The First Christian Primer: Matthew, vol. 2000, 9. Study Guide Commentary Series (Marshall, TX: Bible Lessons International, 2000), 34.

[11]. James M. Freeman and Harold J. Chadwick, Manners & Customs of the Bible (North Brunswick, NJ: Bridge-Logos Publishers, 1998), 143.

[12]. Leon Morris, The Gospel According to Matthew, The Pillar New Testament Commentary (Grand Rapids, MI; Leicester, England: W.B. Eerdmans and Inter-Varsity Press, 1992), 103.

[13]. Richard B. Gardner, Matthew, Believers Church Bible Commentary (Scottdale, PA: Herald Press, 1991), 99.

[14]. Alfred Edersheim, The Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah (New York: Longmans, Green, and, 1896), 458.

[15]. R. A. Torrey, Studies in the Life and Teachings of Our Lord (Los Angeles: Bible Institute of Los Angeles, 1907), 63.

[16]. Douglas Mangum et al., eds., Lexham Theological Wordbook, Lexham Bible Reference Series (Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press, 2014), agape.

[17]. John William Drane, Introducing the New Testament, completely rev. and updated. (Oxford: Lion Publishing plc, 2000), 162.

[18]. Blomberg, Matthew, 154.

[19]. MacEvilly, An Exposition Of, x.

[20]. Stephen Cook, “The Lineage Roots of Hosea’s Yahwism,” Semia 87 (1999): 155.

[21]. Samuel J. Schultz and Gary V. Smith, Exploring the Old Testament (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books, 2001), 158.

[22]. Nolland, The Gospel of Matthew, 1265.

[23]. Nolland, The Gospel of Matthew, 1265.

[24]. Newman and Stine, A Handbook On, 887.

[25]. Campbell, Opening up Matthew, 17.

[26]. John R. Bisagno, Principle Preaching: How to Create and Deliver Purpose Driven Sermons for Life Applications (Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 2002), 125.

[27]. Morris, The Gospel According, 129.

[28]. Benedictine Monks of St, The Book of Saints (London: A & C Black, 1921), 187.

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