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2. Matthew and Mark begin the true story

Leader's page and Student's page best viewed left/right side together.

Lesson 2 Leader’s page:

Matthew and Mark begin the true story

Matthew - Jesus the Promised Messiah - the complete Jew - the King

Ask four different ladies to read one each of the references opposite.

Share what the verses show

In the western world genealogies need to be exact – father/son

Matthew is not exact in that sense, but he is accurate – we just do not have as many difficult names to say!

Why is it important that these five ladies are mentioned? Opposite and below.

Tamar took the law into her own hands – and became a onetime prostitute

Rahab may have been a prostitute but trusted Israel’s God

Ruth was a Moabitess, not acceptable to the Jews, but supported her mother-in-law

Bathsheba, Uriah’s wife, was part of an adulterous relationship with King David

Mary, Joseph’s wife, chosen by God.

They may not fit our idea of who God uses – they were not all Jews –Jewish religious leadership was usually male, with a few other notable exceptions, like Deborah and Esther.

Student's page

Lesson 2 Matthew and Mark begin the true story

Matthew - Jesus the Promised Messiah - the complete Jew - the King

Matthew (also called Levi) was a tax collector and disciple of Jesus - Matthew 9:9-12,

Mark 2:13-17, Luke 5:7-31. Matthew was probably not a popular man as a tax collector for the hated Romans, but he reached out to other tax collectors and brought them to have a meal and meet Jesus. A natural evangelist.

The Gospel according to Matthew was placed at the beginning of the compiled New Testament. Perhaps because of his Jewish emphasis Matthew’s gospel was seen as the obvious choice to continue the true story from the Old Testament and break the 400 years of silence since the prophet Malachi. Israel came under Roman domination in 63B.C. In 37B.C. Herod was appointed ruler of Israel under Rome.

The first sentence of Matthew’s gospel gives his purpose “This is the genealogy of Jesus the Messiah the son of David, the son of Abraham.” Genealogy. Matthew starts his gospel with a list of family history. History and family were important in Jewish culture, as they are for many South Sudanese and Sudanese people. He starts with Abraham, the father figure of Jews, and comes through King David, the greatest king Israel ever had and from whom the Messiah was promised to come.

Check 1 Chronicles 17:7-14, Isaiah 9:6-7, Acts 2:29-36 and Revelation 5:5-6.

For the Jews genealogies were representative, not strictly accurate in a modern, mathematical way. ‘Father’ in this context can mean ‘father’, ‘forefather’ or ancestor’. Matthew is highlighting that King David was an important ancestor of Jesus. Notice in 1:16 that Matthew is careful to point out that Joseph was the husband of Mary - not the father of Jesus. He takes the family line through Joseph, the legal father. Chapter 1:17 says there are fourteen generations in each of three sections of this genealogy. Seven in Jewish symbolism meant completion and perfection. By here using the number seven six times Matthew is pointing to God’s perfect plan from Abraham, the father of the Jewish nation to Jesus. Matthew is highlighting the Jewish lineage of Jesus. Unusually he includes five women, and not all Jewish. Verse 3 Tamar, verse 5 Rahab, verse 5 Ruth, verse 6 Bathsheba, verse 16 Mary. Briefly check who they were and why their inclusion is important. Genesis 38; Joshua 2:1-21, 6:17,22-25; Ruth 1:11-18, 4:15; 2 Samuel 11, Luke 2:4-7.

Matthew is the only gospel writer to tell the story of the visit of the Wise Men - the astrologers and astronomers from Iran or Arabia, see 2:1-12 - foreigners who came to visit a baby King. Herod was unsettled because he was king appointed by Rome, not by birth. Important wise men, from hundreds of miles away came - with gold for a King, frankincense for a priestly King and myrrh for suffering Saviour. All for Jesus, not for Herod.

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Leader's page:

How do these Bible passages – Matthew 4:1-11




confirm Jesus’ mission?

Mark - Jesus the Servant of God, a powerful Saviour

Get the ladies to cover their notes and then look up the seven references about

Mark (opposite) and find the information about him

Student's page:

Dreams. Matthew records a dream God sent to Joseph, Matthew 1:20-24

A dream to the wise men 2:12

A dream to Joseph 2:13-14

Another two dreams to Joseph 2:19-23.

All are God’s interventions to protect the promised Messiah. The family settle in Nazareth in Galilee, and years pass of which we know nothing from Matthew.

God can speak to us however He wants, but that does not mean that every dream is from God.

Confirming Jesus’ mission. John the Baptist, Jesus’ cousin, began preaching and baptising in the Judean wilderness. His main message was ‘Repent of your sins and turn to God because the Kingdom of Heaven is near.’ Jesus left Nazareth and went to the River Jordan where John was baptising. He asked John to baptise Him, and as He came out of the water there was a confirmation from heaven of Who Jesus was (and is), as God said “This is My beloved Son, and I am fully pleased with Him”, 3:13-17.

Testing of Jesus 4:1-11. Beginning of ministry 4:12-17. First disciples 4:18-22.

Preaching and healing ministry in Galilee with large crowds 4:23-25.

Everything is in place for the ministry of Jesus, a descendant of both Abraham and David, confirmed by God the Father, revealed by Matthew as the promised Messiah, the King.

Mark - Jesus the Servant of God, a powerful Saviour

John Mark, to give him his full name, was a young man, not one of the inner group of twelve disciples. What do we know about him?

Acts 12:12 His mother, Mary, had a large house where the followers of Jesus met.

Acts 12:25 He joined the team with Paul and his relative, Barnabas.

Acts 12:5, 13:5,13 John started out on the First Missionary Journey with them but

left them at Perga and returned to Jerusalem.

Colossians 4:10 He sent greetings to the Colossians - he knew some of them.

2 Timothy 4:11 He was useful to Paul. 1 Peter 5:13 Peter valued Mark, ‘my son in the faith’.

Mark’s purpose in writing his gospel is put most clearly in Mark 10:45, where Jesus tells the disciples, “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many.”

There is very little preamble in Mark’s gospel - verses from Malachi and Isaiah which speak of John the Baptist - then a summary of John’s ministry, Mark 1:4-8,

- Jesus’ baptism by John, 1:9, God’s confirmation of Who Jesus is, 1:10-11,

- a brief mention of Jesus being tempted by Satan in the wilderness, (1:12-13),

- Jesus beginning to preach, heal, choose followers and attract crowds (1:14-45).

Everything is in place for the ministry of Jesus, confirmed by God the Father as His Son, and revealed by Mark as the Servant of God.

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