Daniel: Introduction – Daniel 1

Read the Passage: Daniel 1

Author and Date: The book of Daniel was written by the prophet Daniel, as this book itself notes (cf. Dan. 8:15, 27; 9:2; 10:2, 7; 12:4–5) and did Jesus (cf. Matt. 24:15, “So when you see the abomination of desolation spoken of by the prophet Daniel. . . .”). Chapters 1–6 of this book are narrative, while chapters 7–12 are written in the first person. Daniel was one of the Jewish captives who was deported to Babylon from Jerusalem in 605 BC, in the first of three Israelite deportations, likely being about 15 years old. Continue reading

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The Resurrection of Jesus – Matthew 28:1–15

Read the Passage: Matthew 28:1-15

The Empty Tomb (28:1–4)

After Jesus died on the cross on Friday evening, His body was placed in the tomb of Joseph of Arimathea (cf. Matt. 27:57–60). At Dawn on Sunday Mary Magdalene and “the other Mary” (Matt. 28:1) went to the tomb to anoint Jesus’ body with burial spices (cf. Luke 24:1). Salome was present (cf. Mark 16:1), as was Joanna (cf. Luke 24:10). Continue reading

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Jesus’ Crucifixion – Matthew 27:1–66

Read the Passage: Matthew 27:1-66

Judas and Barabbas (27:1–25)

It is interesting that Matthew omits the details of Jesus appearance before Herod, and he compresses Jesus’ two trials before Pilate into one event. Each of the gospel narratives cites Judas’ betrayal of Jesus; yet, only Matthew mentions Judas’ remorse and suicide (cf. Matt. 27:3–10). Matthew’s purpose in including or omitting events is in accord with his pattern of showing his Jewish readers how events in Jesus’ life were a fulfillment of Old Testament prophecies. Continue reading

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Before the Crucifixion – Matthew 26:36–75

Read the Passage: Matthew 26:36-75

Three Prayers (26:36–56)

Knowing that His crucifixion was only hours away, after observing the Passover, Jesus retreated with His disciples to pray. Their destination was Gethsemane, for “Jesus often met there with His disciples” (John 18:2; cf. Luke 22:39). Note that Christ was aware that Judas was betraying Him (cf. Matt. 26:25; John 13:27); yet, He still went to a known location. Clearly, Jesus was voluntarily laying down His life (cf. John 10:18). Continue reading

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The Last Passover – Matthew 26:1–35

Read the Passage: Matthew 26:1-35

Blessings and Betrayal (26:1–16)

Jesus had predicted His own death numerous times during His ministry (cf. Matt. 12:40; 16:21; 17:22–23; 20:19). Further, many times Christ had eluded the religious leaders’ attempts to capture or to kill Him (cf. Luke 4:29–30; John 10:39). Finally, though, here in this chapter Jesus’ informs His disciples that His time to die—that is, to make atonement for the sins of mankind—was at hand (cf. Matt. 26:18). Continue reading

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Illustrations of Imminence – Matthew 25

Read the Passage: Matthew 25:1-46

Parable of the Ten Virgins (25:1–13)

In the Olivet Discourse of Matthew 24, in responding to the disciples’ question about the end times, Jesus emphasized the idea of the imminence of His return (cf. Matt. 5:44). In Matthew 25, Christ gave two parables, which are only recorded in Matthew’s Gospel, to illustrate that His second coming could happen at any time and that mankind needs to be spiritually and practically ready for His arrival. The first story is the Parable of the Ten Virgins. Continue reading

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The Olivet Discourse – Matthew 24

Read the Passage: Matthew 24

Suffering of Believers (24:1–25)

Matthew 24 contains what has become known as the Olivet Discourse. This chapter records Jesus’ response, while sitting on the Mount of Olives, to His disciples’ two questions about: (1) the destruction of Jerusalem, and (2) the timing and events related to His second coming (cf. Matt. 24:1–3). Christ addresses the first question in Matt. 24:4–25. In His reply, Jesus speaks about the destruction of Jerusalem, but also He describes the state of the world between His first and second comings. Continue reading

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Conflict with Religious Leaders – Matthew 22:1–33

Read the Passage: Matthew 22:1-33

Parable of the Wedding Feast (22:1–14)

Recall from our study of Matt. 18–20 that Jesus had been teaching about the Kingdom of God (cf. Matt. 18:1). The triumphal entry narrative constituted a break in Christ’s instruction; however, He resumes his teaching on the Kingdom in Matt. 22:1–14 with the Parable of the Wedding Feast, which only appears in Matthew’s Gospel. Note, however, that Jesus gave a similar teaching in the Parable of the Great Supper at Luke 14:15–24. Continue reading

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The Triumphal Entry – Matthew 21:1–22

Read the Passage: Matthew 21:1-22

Arrival of Jesus (21:1–11)

The triumphal entry of Jesus into Jerusalem is one a few narratives that is recorded in all four Gospels. At Matt. 20:29 Jesus left Jericho and began making His way toward Jerusalem. The distance from Jericho to Jerusalem was ~20 miles and the elevation rose ~4,000 feet. Christ stopped in the village of Bethphage, which is only mentioned here in Scripture. It was the time of the Passover, thus Jerusalem would have been full of people. Continue reading

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A Kingdom Disposition – Matthew 20:1–34

Read the Passage: Matthew 20:1-34

Knowing God (20:1–16)

Matt. 20:1–16 contains the parable of the workers in the vineyard. This is one of 39 parables that Jesus told, and it is only recorded in Matthew’s Gospel. Matt. 20:1 is a key verse for this chapter, as we’re told Jesus began this parables saying, “The kingdom of heaven in like . . . .” It is clear, then, that this parable—indeed, this entire chapter—is focused on the theme of the Kingdom of God. Continue reading

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