The book of Matthew is a Gospel that contains Narrative History, Genealogy, Parables, Sermons, and some Prophetic Oracles. It was written by Matthew (Levi), the Disciple of Christ around 48-50 A.D. The keyword in Matthew is “Kingdom” and is used 28 times. The personalities of this book include the Messiah Jesus Christ, His parents Mary and Joseph, the Twelve Disciples, the prophet John the Baptist, and other kinds of leaders. These leaders include those in government like Pilate and religious leaders such as the Pharisees (who attempt to hinder the work of Jesus). The book of Matthew is the first of the synoptic gospels and it was written to reveal the Lord Jesus as the Messiah, the King of the Jews, from the line of David. It also was written to convince the Jews that Jesus Christ was indeed their long-awaited Messiah. • Chapters 1-4 in Matthew mainly deal with the miracle birth of Jesus and the events surrounding His early life. This primarily involves the commonly told Christmas story but also includes the genealogy of Jesus, which goes all the way back to Abraham. “She will bear a Son; and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins” (1:21). • Chapters 5-25 consist of the ministry of Jesus from the interdiction of John the Baptist up to the point of His death at Calvary. These chapters are vital to our knowledge of Jesus Christ and are much of what we know about God living as a perfect man on Earth. These passages include Jesus’ famous Sermon on the Mount, numerous miracles, and priceless teachings to all who would listen and follow. • Chapters 26-28, contain the death and resurrection of Jesus. These chapters present the truth of the “Good News” and about how Jesus took the sins of the world upon Himself. This is the central theme of salvation through faith alone in the complete and finished work of Christ Jesus on the cross. Salvation is possible only through His death, His burial, and His resurrection from the dead, all for the sake of sinners. Numerous and amazing Old Testament prophecies are fulfilled frequently in these final chapters. Some of these are His betrayal for thirty pieces of silver by Judas, crucifixion with two robbers, and those wagging their heads at Jesus while He was yet on the cross.
Proverbs is mainly “Proverbs” as the name describes, there are also some Parables and Poetry. This book was written mainly by Solomon, the wisest king ever to rule, however, some of the later sections are written by Lemuel and Agur. It was written during Solomon’s reign 970-930 B.C. He asked God for wisdom to rule God’s nation and He granted the request. The main purpose of this book is to teach wisdom to God’s people. Proverbs are short clever explanations, which are easy to remember. They contain truisms. These are things that are typically true, however, not always. For example, “He who tills his land will have plenty of bread” (12:11), it is typically true that one who works his land will have bread but it is not a guarantee to always be true. They deal with life, principles, good judgment, and perception. They often draw distinctions between a wise man and a foolish man with parable type examples. • In chapters 1-9, Solomon writes about wisdom for younger people. He speaks of details of Godly living and heeding a parent’s advice, “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge” (1:7). Salvation is through faith and trust in Jesus Christ alone and Proverbs directly teaches us to, “Trust in the LORD with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He will make your paths straight” (3:5-6). • In chapters 10-24, there is wisdom that applies to average people covering various topics. Many of these parables contrast a righteous man and a wicked man and urges us to commit our way to God, “There is a way which seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death” (14:12). • Chapters 25-31, give wisdom to leaders. It was these very proverbs that were transcribed by King Hezekiah’s people, and for good reason (25:1). They contain many warnings and instructions to assist in walking and seeking a Godly life. As would be understood by a leader of an army, Solomon writes in 27:17, “Iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.”