This book was written twenty or thirty years after Jesus had gone back to heaven. It was written for Jewish readers to answer the questions they had about Jesus (24:2).
The book was written by Matthew, a publican (tax collector) for the Roman government who lived in Capernaum and was surnamed Levi (Mark 2:14). Publicans were despised by fellow Jews.
Matthew described Jesus as the Doer and the Teacher. He recorded at least twenty specific miracles and six major messages: the Sermon on the Mount (chapters 5-7), the charge to the apostles (chapter 10), the parables of the kingdom (chapter 13), the lesson on forgiveness (chapter 18), and the prophetic discourse on the Mount of Olives (chapters 24-25).
Matthew did not write to tell us about himself, but instead, he gave us the words and works of Jesus. In fact, we do not find a single recorded word that he spoke.
Matthew’s gospel is saturated with Old Testament quotations, containing some sixty references.
The Old Testament ended with God’s people looking for their long-promised King, their Messiah. Matthew’s gospel shows that Jesus was that King, and thus the theme of the book is Christ the King.
Matthew’s gospel is the bridge that leads us out of the Old Testament and into the New Testament.
Being a Jew, Matthew fully understood the Jewish messianic hope, and his gospel is designed to convince his own nation that the long-awaited Messiah is none other than Jesus.
The genealogy of Christ, ending with Joseph, the foster father of Jesus, is given by Matthew.
The Olivet Discourse (chapters 24-25) is one of the most concise yet comprehensive prophetic passages in the Bible.
Matthew, Mark, and Luke present much similar material about the life of Christ, and thus are called the Synoptic Gospels.
The closing verses record the Great Commission to go into all the world.