- What is Matthew’s purpose in writing his opening sentence?
- Is your genealogy important to you or not?
- Jesus’ lineage is quite a mixed bag; discuss some of the names.
What effect would this lineage, positive and negative, have on those Jews reading Matthew’s Gospel for the very first time?
- How does it help us to know about Jesus’ origins?
- Discuss the significance of the 3 parts of the genealogy.
- What hope does Jesus’ name bring to us?
How will a true understanding of his name help our world?
- What is the heritage you are currently working on to pass onto your descendants?
Have you ever waited with anticipation for something only to find that when it came it was not what you wanted at all? When you got it, did it fulfil your expectations? Why/why not?
- Read 1:18-25. What do they tell us about Jesus origin and destiny?
- From the meaning of “Jesus” v21 and “Emmanuel” v23 and “Christ” what total picture do you see of Jesus?.
- Joseph receives specific instructions from God’s messenger.
- What do we learn about guidance and obedience from Joseph’s life?
- Jesus was a true human being, born of Mary. Why was this necessary?
- Read ch2. How does Jesus the heavenly King contrast with Herod the earthly king?
- Discuss the differences between Herod’s search for the new born Christ and that of the Magi.
- In what ways are the responses of the Magi and Herod typical of the ways people respond to Jesus today?
- What do you learn from this passage about seeking what God directs you to seek?
Matthew 3 “Prepare to meet the King”
- Why do people go to great lengths to prepare for visiting guests, dignitaries and heads of state?
- Read the Isaiah quote (v3). Discuss what it means to make straight paths for the Lord.
- Is John’s address towards the Pharisees and Sadducees in v7 warranted? Discuss.
- What does it mean to produce fruit in keeping with repentance? What does this look like in practice?
- Both John and Jesus have ministries of baptism (vv11-12). How are their baptisms similar and different?
- The coming of Christ demands repentance or brings judgment. In what ways do you need to better prepare for his return?
- Discuss the significance of v17. How does this help you to refocus on Christ? Try to be specific and practical.
- The Bible tells us that Jesus was tempted in every way, just as we are.
The only difference is he never gave in to temptation (Heb 4:14-16).
Why is this such good news for Christians today?
- What is the relationship of Jesus’ baptism to the temptations in the wilderness?
What is the relationship of each scripture Jesus quotes to Israel’s experience in the wilderness?
- Was there anything inherently wrong with what Satan asks Jesus to do in the first temptation? Why does Jesus choose not to?
- In Satan’s second attack, he even quotes from scripture. How have you been tempted to justify sin by misusing Bible quotes? How have you heard others do the same?
- Satan’s third attack is far less subtle. In the light of Matthew 28:18, what is Satan offering Jesus here? What does he frequently offer us?
- Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from the evil one (Matt 6:13). What lessons can we learn from the temptation of Jesus to help us resist temptation today? (See also 1 Cor 10:13).
- After John was arrested, Jesus moved from Nazareth to Capernaum. What reason does Matthew give for this? Do you think Jesus was aware of the prophecies surrounding him, and that he deliberately moved to fulfil one?
- Jesus begins his ministry from a Gentile region. What’s the significance of this in light of the quote from Isaiah?
- How is Jesus’ ministry similar to and different from John the Baptist’s ministry?
- Jesus says that the Kingdom of Heaven is near, what does he mean?
- Jesus called on people to repent because the kingdom of heaven is near.
- How is this call by Jesus to us similar and different today?
- What is the significance of Jesus’ call to the two groups of brothers?
- How is Jesus’ call to his first disciples to follow similar to his call to you today?
- How is it different?