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Matthew: The Man who Delivered the Solution

It was no coincidence that Matthew ended his gospel with the Great Commission.  Indeed, it was the very reason he wrote it.  Matthew's job, as he understood it, was to make disciples.  And rest assured, Matthew knew exactly what he was doing; he knew what one should look like.  Jesus had trained Matthew for this particular job.

 

A Massive Misconception

One of the biggest misconceptions in Christianity today, I believe, is?a prevalent idea concerning the Gospels.? Most believe that they were all written in the form of a biography; that each of the Gospel writers were intent on giving a 'life and times' version of the Savior.? This is quite understandable, as Jesus?was the central figure in each, and each gospel dealt with various events in His life in a somewhat chronological manner.? But three of the four gospel writers were Hebrews.? And what scholarship is finding today is that the Hebrew authors?wrote in ways that were much different than our own.? These scholars are finding that the Hebrews used their unusual literary conventions - most of which, we, as westerners, have never encountered - to communicate meaning to their readers.? They also used teaching techniques that were different than anything we might use today.??And when these literary conventions and teaching techniques are seen and understood in the book of Matthew, something wonderful comes out from behind the text.? Matthew was not written as a biography, but instead, a wonderfully complex and robust teaching manual, with very specific teaching lessons for the disciple-to-be.?



 

The First Century Discipleship Curriculum

Matthew, in typical Hebrew fashion, hid the original, first-century discipleship curriculum just under the surface of his gospel (like a treasure hidden in a field, or wisdom that must be sought out).  Within the Gospel of Matthew, the original, specific body of wisdom has been buried.  Yet, we in the west (who do not think like first-century Hebrews), easily see his gospel as a simple biography.  Yet, it was never intended to be a simple 'biography'. 

To gain a measure of understanding regarding this discipleship manual, aka The Gospel of Matthew, go to www.theparablediscovery.com or obtain a copy of my book by the same name, which is available on this site.

The First Gospel is a robust and in-depth training manual, that when properly used, will produce well-rounded disciples who will know and understand exactly what a disciple looked like and what his or her responsibilities are.  And because they know these specific duties, having implemented them into their own lives, they will be able to confidently replicate the specific body of wisdom in others, as was commanded by Jesus, through The Great Commission. 



 

It Just Makes Sense

No where in the First Gospel does Matthew record that Jesus commanded him, or any of the other Apostles, to write a biography of His life.  Many believe that Matthew wrote his gospel to the Jews in order to convince them that Jesus was the Messiah.  Yet, Jesus never tried to convince anyone that He was the Messiah.  Either those who saw Him and His works believed, or they didn't.  It was never a matter of argument.  But, Matthew was commanded to make disciples, and he chose to include this command as the very last entry in his gospel.  For a specific purpose?

Jesus did command Matthew to make disciples.

Since we know this to be the case, doesn't it make sense that Matthew might compose a discipleship manual, designed for the training of disciples?  Jesus commanded him to make disciples, and Matthew boldly acknowledged this command by making it his last (highlighted) comment regarding Jesus.  Understanding that Matthew created a discipleship manual is the first step in being able to use it as such.  It just makes sense that Matthew would create a discipleship manual, especially since Jesus commanded him to make disciples.



 

The Benefit

Can you imagine what it would be like if we knew exactly what the discipleship of the first century really looked like?  Wouldn't it be wonderful if we knew what real disciples chose to do, what's expected of them, and consequently, exactly how to train new ones? 

Some people have rejected such ideas because a regimented method would be restrictive.  There certainly would be differences of opinion between denomination and continent.  But what I want you to realize is that discipleship necessarily means replication.  The Great Commission is about replication.  So regimentation is, to a large degree, quite necessary.  I believe discipleship is the force, by the power of the Holy Spirit, that can change the world, just as we saw change in the first century.

But the greatest benefit found in the First Gospel is that we have a discipleship curriculum that was written not by Chuck Swindoll, Max Lucado, Bruce Wilkinson, or some other modern day theologian, though they all could produce many wonderful insights.  None of these men have the personal authority to create such a manual, at least not like the Apostle who was there when the edict was given.  No, we have a curriculum that was written by one who personally knew the Master, Jesus Christ; by one who was His disciple.  Matthew is qualified, more than any living human being, to provide such a manual.  This understanding has the opportunity to unify denominations and continents in the making of disciples.  And if we - the worldwide Church - were to begin again making large numbers of real disciples, who are all pulling on the rope, all at the same time, all in the same direction....   just take a minute and imagine.     



Ways You can Participate

1.  Commit to understanding the book of Matthew as a discipleship manual.  Doing this will allow you to be discipled by Matthew, himself.  I have written three books over a five-year period that will get you started.  I also am teaching Internet classes (for the books and the Internet teaching, please see the catalog page).  Too, I travel to churches and other groups that are interested in original, first-century discipleship.  Please contact me by email to explore these options.

2.  Tell your friends about this site and the ways they can participate.  Word of mouth is the best means of moving anything to a higher level.  If you are interested in discipleship and a worldwide movement in this area, please bookmark this site and send it to all your friends and acquaintances who might have an interest in an original discipleship to Jesus Christ.

3.  Pray for this ministry.

4.  Pray for more workers in the field



 

My Hope

My hope, simply stated, is to see the Church of Jesus Christ (all believers) re-adopt the Gospel of Matthew as its discipleship manual.  I personally desire to be a helper to the Apostle Matthew, in essence, bringing men and women around the world to the understanding that he stands ready, through his gospel and the power of the Holy Spirit, to disciple them.  I'm convinced he wrote his gospel for the purpose of discipleship, alone.  I am confident that what happened in the first century (the explosion of Christianity) can happen again today.  And I believe that if we begin anew, concentrating on making original disciples, just like they did in the first century, we will be poised to see another powerful and mighty move of God.  The fulfillment of this hope will only be accomplished through the power of the Holy Spirit, if it is to be accomplished, and I gladly acknowledge that fact. 



 

For more information regarding original, first-century discipleship, please visit:

www.theparablediscovery.com

 



 



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