Teaching Students About Matthew From The Bible
The Gospel of Matthew holds a vital significance in Christian education, comprising fascinating narratives, parables, and teachings of Jesus Christ. As an instructor, it’s essential to transmit the spiritual wisdom embedded within this text to your students effectively. This article is designed to help educators provide comprehensive lessons on the Gospel of Matthew while ensuring thorough understanding and personal growth for their students.
An Overview of Matthew
Setting the stage is crucial when teaching any subject, especially when dealing with the Bible. Provide students with an overview of the Gospel of Matthew by highlighting:
1. Its position: The first book in the New Testament canon. It’s one of the three synoptic gospels (along with Mark and Luke), sharing similar content and structure.
2. Authorship: Traditionally attributed to the apostle Matthew (also known as Levi), a tax collector turned disciple.
3. Date and audience: Likely written between 80-90 CE, intended primarily for Jewish Christians.
4. Purpose: To demonstrate that Jesus is the promised Messiah (Christ) who fulfills Old Testament prophecies in His life, teachings, crucifixion, and resurrection.
Discussing major themes in the Gospel will help your students recognize its underlying messages. Consider focusing on:
1. The fulfillment of prophecies: Show how Matthew repeatedly emphasizes Jesus’ actions as confirmation of Old Testament predictions or “righteousness.”
2. Teachings on God’s kingdom: Highlight Jesus’ extensive teachings about the kingdom of heaven through parables (stories) such as the Mustard Seed or Wheat & Tares.
3. Discipleship: Discuss Jesus calling His disciples, what it meant to follow Him, and their role after His ascension.
4. Ethics and righteousness: Dive deep into the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7) where Jesus sets forth guidelines for righteous living.
To make learning enjoyable, use a variety of teaching methods:
1. Discussion groups: Encourage your students to share their thoughts and interpretations with their peers to foster mutual understanding.
2. Roleplay: Let students act out stories or parables from Matthew’s Gospel to help them internalize the scriptural lessons.
3. Creative projects: Encourage students to depict scenes or themes from Matthew’s Gospel through drawings, paintings, poetry, or songs.
4. Scripture memorization: Assign key verses for memorizing, such as the Beatitudes or the Great Commission, helping students internalize essential teachings.
Connecting Scripture to Modern Life
Emphasize practical application by encouraging students to connect these Biblical teachings with contemporary issues:
1. Social justice: Discuss Jesus’ outreach to marginalized communities and His condemnation of hypocrisy among religious leaders.
2. Conflict resolution: Help students reflect upon Jesus’ instructions for resolving interpersonal conflicts (Matthew 18:15-20).
3. Leadership and service: Explore Jesus’ teachings on humility and servant leadership (Matthew 20:25-28).