Sound Teaching

This is the teaching site of the West Side church of Christ in Fort Worth, TX. Unless otherwise indicated, all materials were written and prepared by Stan Cox

Index by Subject

Mining the Scriptures: Matthew 2:1-6

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Our text describes a group of men called “magi,” or wise men, from the east who had observed astronomically a sign which led them to believe the King of the Jews had been born. We can only speculate concerning the nature of that star. It is evident that the sign convinced both these wise men and Herod the Great that the promised Messiah had come.

Herod was a usurper of the throne of Judah, and no doubt this event caused him great anxiety. He was “troubled, and all Jerusalem with him” (3). This was the first, but not the last time that the Savior would experience the opposition of men who were more concerned with their status than with the truth.

The place of Jesus’ birth was predicted by Micah (5:2). It was Bethlehem of Judea, the home town of Jesus’ earthly father Joseph. Herod’s inquiry of the scribes was for the purpose of locating and killing the child he perceived to be his rival (cf. 2:13).

Mining the Scriptures: Matthew 1:18-25

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The circumstances of Jesus’ birth are established forthrightly by Matthew and Luke. While modernists struggle with the concept of a child being born of a virgin, the believer accepts God’s intent, purpose and ability to bring this event about.

Matthew reveals the following in this short section of his gospel:

  1. After Joseph and Mary were betrothed (a type of engagement), Mary became pregnant.
  2. At this time Mary was a virgin, the conception was the work of the Holy Spirit.
  3. Joseph was informed of God’s plan, and scuttled his plans to put away Mary (as he obviously had thought from her pregnancy that she had been with another man).
  4. God’s plan was that the virgin would bear a son named Jesus, who would be the Savior of mankind (vs. 21).
  5. The birth of Jesus was a fulfillment of prophecy (Isaiah 7:14). That prophecy refers to the child as “Immanuel” which means “God with us.” Thus, Jesus was declared from birth to be God on earth (cf. John 1:14).
  6. In answer to the vision from God, Joseph did not have sexual relations with his wife until after she gave birth to Jesus.

This account marks the beginning of the events leading to the ultimate redemption of mankind (cf. John 17:3).

Mining the Scriptures: Matthew 1:1-17

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The gospel of Matthew begins with a genealogy of Jesus. This history of Jesus’ ancestors serves a very important purpose. Any individual who would claim to be the Christ would be taken seriously only if he could prove to the Jew that his lineage was in accord with the prophecies concerning the coming “Son of David.”

In both Matthew 1 and Luke 3, the lists supplied show Jesus to be a son of Abraham, a son of Isaac (the son of promise, through whom all nations of the earth would be blessed), a son of Judah (the tribe from whom the Kings came), and the son of David.

In all, according to the record of Matthew, 42 generations spanned the time from Abraham until the day that the Christ was born into the world.

The word “Christ” is an important one. Jesus was the “annointed of God,” the Messiah come into the world. Matthew later recorded these angelic words, “And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name JESUS, for He will save His people from their sins” (vs. 21). Jesus, the son of Abraham, the son of David, Savior of the world.

Mining The Scriptures: Matthew 4:18-22

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Matthew 4:18-22

After being tempted by the devil (vs. 1-11) we find in this passage the beginning of Jesus’ preaching ministry (vs. 17). He immediately began to assemble his disciples, and recorded in this passage is his recruitment of Peter, Andrew, James and John. Each of these disciples were fishermen, and Jesus met them as they tended their nets on the shores of the Sea of Galilee.

Matthew was added to the disciples in chapter 9, and the full list of the twelve is given in chapter 10.

One interesting aspect of this text is Jesus’ play on words as he addressed Peter and Andrew. The Greek states that Peter and Andrew were “fishers” (halieus). Jesus said to them, “Follow me and I will make you fishers of men” (halieus anthropos) (vs. 19).

Using the illustration, we are to “lure” men with the gospel of Christ (cf. Romans 1:16). We seek to entice them, and capture them for Christ. In so doing, we benefit them spiritually, as their souls are saved.

Brethren, it is fine to be a fisherman. But it is a far better vocation to be a fisher of men. Christ expected it of his apostles, and he expects it of us as well.

Mining The Scriptures: Matthew 6:5-8

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Matthew 6:5-8

Before giving a model prayer for his disciples to emulate (vs. 9-13), Jesus instructed his disciples in how to pray.

He taught them to recognize the private and personal nature of prayer. Prayer is not performance, and those who treat it as such merely secure for themselves the recognition of men, not God. The Pharisees were of this ilk, and got what they wanted, the praise of men.

These performances are public, and often consist of “vain repetitions.” While such words may impress the hearers, they do not impress God, who sees the heart.

Instead, we should recognize that God knows our needs and desires. The purpose of prayer is not to inform God of those things, rather it is a means of acknowledging our dependence upon Him. We pray to God, not because He needs us to, but because he deserves our praise and thanksgiving. Pray to be seen of God, not men; and you will be rewarded.

Mining The Scriptures: Matthew 10:5-15

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Matthew 10:5-15

The text consists of what is commonly called the Limited Commission, in contrast to the “Great Commission” recorded in Matthew 28:16-20. On both occasions the apostles were commanded to go and preach, but where the “Great Commission” had as its scope “all the nations,” the commission of Matthew 10 was limited to the “lost sheep of the house of Israel.”

The apostles were to preach the coming of the kingdom, and were to depend totally upon God’s provision to care for and protect them in their ministry.

Two lessons can be learned from the text. First, we can depend upon God’s providence as we live our lives as His children (vs. 9-13).

Second, those who reject the gospel of our Lord show themselves to be unworthy of salvation (vs. 14-15).

Paul and Barnabas referred to those in Israel who rejected the gospel as “judge [-ing] yourselves unworthy of everlasting life” (Acts 13:46).