The Word of Our Lord

The New Testament


The Holy Gospel According to Matthew


The position of the Gospel according to Matthew as the first of the four gospels in the New Testament reflects both the view that it was the first to be written, a view that goes back to the late second century A.D., and the esteem in which it was held by the church; no other was so frequently quoted in the non canonical literature of earliest Christianity. Although the majority of scholars now reject the opinion about the time of its composition, the high estimation of this work remains. The reason for that becomes clear upon study of the way in which Matthew presents his story of Jesus, the demands of Christian discipleship, and the breaking-in of the new and final age through the ministry but particularly through the death and resurrection of Jesus.

The gospel begins with a narrative prologue (⇒ Matthew 1:1-⇒ 2:23), the first part of which is a genealogy of Jesus starting with Abraham, the father of Israel (⇒ Matthew 1:1-17). Yet at the beginning of that genealogy Jesus is designated as "the son of David, the son of Abraham" (⇒ Matthew 1:1). The kingly ancestor who lived about a thousand years after Abraham is named first, for this is the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the Messiah, the royal anointed one (⇒ Matthew 1:16). In the first of the episodes of the infancy narrative that follow the genealogy, the mystery of Jesus' person is declared. He is conceived of a virgin by the power of the Spirit of God (⇒ Matthew 1:18-25). The first of the gospel's fulfillment citations, whose purpose it is to show that he was the one to whom the prophecies of Israel were pointing, occurs here (⇒ Matthew 1:23): he shall be named Emmanuel, for in him God is with us.

A synopsis of each chapter is provided below. Please click on the synopsis of the chapter you wish to read.

Chapter 1 - The record of Jesus Christ, son of David, son of Abraham. Mary bore a son by the Holy Spirit. An angel told Joseph to name him Jesus.

Chapter 2 - Wise men came from the east to worship the child. King Herod ordered that all the baby boys be killed. An angel warned Joseph to flee.

Chapter 3 - John the Baptist was preaching, "Repent, the kingdom is near!" Jesus was baptised by John. A voice from heaven said, "This is my Son."

Chapter 4 - Jesus was tempted by Satan in the wilderness. He called Peter, Andrew, James and John to follow him. He preached and healed the sick.

Chapter 5 - Jesus said, "Blessed are the pure in heart. I have come to fulfil the law. Whoever is angry will be judged. I say, love your enemies."

Chapter 6 - "Do your good deeds in secret. Pray, 'Father, your kingdom come.' You cannot serve God and money. Do not be anxious about your life."

Chapter 7 - "Do not judge others. Do to others what you would have them do to you. Whoever obeys is like a man who built his house on the rock.

Chapter 8 - Jesus cleansed a leper. He healed the servant of a centurion who had faith. He calmed a storm at sea and cast demons out of two men.

Chapter 9 - Jesus healed a paralytic. Many sinners came to eat with him. He raised a girl to life and healed two blind men. The crowds marvelled.

Chapter 10 - Jesus sent out the twelve to proclaim the kingdom. "You will be hated for my name, but do not fear. Whoever receives you receives me."

Chapter 11 - John sent word from prison. Jesus said, "John the Baptist is Elijah." Jesus denounced the cities and said, "Come, my burden is light."

Chapter 12 - The Pharisees opposed Jesus when he healed on the Sabbath. He said, "A tree is known by its fruit. The sign of Jonah will be given."

Chapter 13 - Jesus gave a parable about a sower. He told the disciples, "Seeing they do not see." He said, "The kingdom is like hidden treasure."

Chapter 14 - Herod had John the Baptist killed. Jesus fed 5,000 men with five loaves and two fish. Jesus came to the disciples walking on the sea.

Chapter 15 - Jesus challenged the Pharisees about tradition. He healed a Canaanite woman's daughter. He taught on the mountain and fed 4,000 men.

Chapter 16 - Peter said, "You are the Christ." Jesus told them that he must be killed and be raised. He said, "Take up your cross and follow me."

Chapter 17 - Jesus took Peter, James and John and was transfigured. A voice said, "This is my son." Jesus healed an epileptic. Peter paid the tax.

Chapter 18 - Jesus said, "Become like children to enter the kingdom. A shepherd searches for the lost sheep. Forgive seventy times seven times."

Chapter 19 - Jesus was asked about divorce. He said, "Do not separate what God has joined." He told a rich man, "Sell everything and follow me."

Chapter 20 - "The kingdom is like a master paying wages." Jesus told the disciples, "The Son of Man came to give his life as a ransom for many."

Chapter 21 - Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a donkey. He healed and taught in the temple. "A man sent his son to his tenants, but they killed him."

Chapter 22 - Jesus said, "The kingdom is like a wedding." The Pharisees questioned him about the law. He said, "Love God and love your neighbour."

Chapter 23 - Jesus said, "The Pharisees preach but do not practise. You strain out a gnat but swallow a camel. You kill and crucify the prophets."

Chapter 24 - Jesus said, "In the end there will be tribulation. Let those in Judea flee. The Son of Man will come in glory. No one knows the day."

Chapter 25 - "The kingdom is like virgins awaiting the bridegroom. A man entrusted talents to his servants. The Son of Man will judge the nations."

Chapter 26 - Jesus took Passover with his disciples. He prayed in agony in Gethsemane. Judas betrayed Jesus to the chief priests. Peter denied him.

Chapter 27 - Jesus was handed over to Pilate. The crowd said, "Crucify him!" He was mocked and crucified. Darkness fell and he gave up his spirit.

Chapter 28 - The women went to the tomb. An angel said, "He has risen!" Jesus met them. He came to the eleven and said, "Go and make disciples of men.”