Study Guide

Gospel of Matthew Summary

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Gospel of Matthew Summary

The life of Jesus starts out pretty well, with awesome birthday presents from some wise men who track him down by following a star. But thanks to a jealous and murderous King Herod, Jesus and company have to flee from Judea to Egypt until God gives them the green light to return home.

Unfortunately, that never happens. And instead, Jesus and his parents make their home in the Northern district of Galilee.

Flash forward a few decades, and Jesus is preparing to teach his version of Jewish law and preach all about the kingdom of heaven. First things first, though: he gets baptized by John the Baptist (who, by the way, has to do a double-take because John somehow already knows who Jesus is and thinks that he himself should be the one getting baptized by Jesus). After spending forty days and nights in the desert and getting tempted by the devil, Jesus is finally ready to begin his ministry.

First, Jesus picks out a posse of twelve to join him on his Tour de Israel. They go with him everywhere, listening to him preach, watching him heal people, and even witnessing Jesus's battles of wits with the Pharisees and high priests. Jesus teaches in so many places and performs so many miracles that eventually he becomes the biggest celebrity around—groupies included. But Jesus's growing popularity causes the Pharisees and high priests to consider him a dangerous threat. And that's when they start plotting to have Jesus arrested and killed.

Like most evil plots go, the chief priests need an inside man. Enter Judas. It only takes thirty pieces of silver to buy a Kiss of Death, and Jesus begins the last days of his human life. After some intense interrogation by Pilate, the Roman governor, Jesus is handed over to be crucified; a slow, horrible death that's generally reserved for criminals.

For mere mortals, death is normally the end of the story. But, not for Jesus. Nope. Three days later, Jesus comes back for Round 2. Don't worry, he's not looking for revenge on the guys who put him to death. Instead, Jesus immediately sends word to his posse that he's back. The Gospel ends with a grand reunion among friends and the final marching orders given by Jesus to his disciples: to go and "make disciples of all nations."

Quite the request, if we do say so ourselves.

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