The Gospel according to Matthew is a manual ofChristianteachinginwhichJesus Christ, Lord ofthe new-yet-oldcommunity,the church, is describedparticularly as the fulfiller and fulfilment of God's will disclosed in theOldTestament. Jesusissetforthas Israel's Messiah in whom God's purpose culminates and by whose words and life his followers, the true Israel, may gain divine forgiveness and fellowship.
The accounts of Jesus' deeds and words , drawn from Christian sources both oral and written, are arranged in a generally biographical order: chs. 1- 2, Birth of Jesus; 3.1-12, Activity of John the Baptist; 3.13- 4.11, Baptism and temptation ofJesus;4.12- 18.35, Jesus' preaching and teaching in Galilee; chapters19-20,JourneytoJerusalem;chapters21-27, The last week, concludingwithJesus'crucifixionandburial;chapter28,Theresurrection; Jesus' commission to his disciples.
Within this natural framework the accounts of what Jesus said or did are grouped by common subject matter. The five discourses of Jesus, a noteworthyfeatureof this Gospel 7.28 n.), are collections ofteachingsonspecificthemes:chapters5-7,The Sermon on the Mount; chapter 10, Instructions for missionary disciples; chapter 13, The parables of the kingdom ofGod; chapter 18, On sincere discipleship; chapters 24-25, On the end of this age.
This Gospel is anonymous. The unknown Christian teacherwho preparedit duringthelast third of the first century may have used as one of his sources acollectionofJesus' sayings that the apostleMatthewis said to have made. Intime atitle containingMatthew's name, and signifying apostolic authority, came to identify the whole.