The Book of Matthew ch.1-5

Welcome! I am so glad you have joined us for Through the Word. You will want to bookmark this blog post as it will be updated frequently as we are in the book of Matthew. Here you will find commentary, teachings and short devos about various passages; you will find resources for creative Bible Journaling; and we will be sharing links to additional resources from several of our Soul Friends.

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Author, Date, and Recipients
Matthew was probably written in the late 50s or early 60s A.D. Matthew (also called Levi), the former tax collector who became Jesus’ disciple, is the author. The original audience may have been the church in Antioch of Syria. Its members included Jewish and Gentile Christians.

Matthew tells the story of Jesus of Nazareth, the long-expected Messiah who brought the kingdom of God to earth.

Matthew writes his Gospel to demonstrate that Jesus is the Messiah, that he has the right to the throne of David as Israel’s true King, and that he is the ultimate fulfillment of God’s promise to Abraham that his descendants would be a blessing to all the world (1:1; Gen. 12:1–3). Matthew seeks to encourage Jewish Christians (and all future disciples) to stand strong despite opposition. They should feel secure in the knowledge of their citizenship in God’s kingdom. Matthew shows that Gentiles also can find salvation through Jesus the Messiah.

You can access this content - along with much more - in our free printable Through the Word journal for the book of Matthew.

Chapter 1

Read Matthew 1:18-25. Title: God’s Promises
“Therefore, the LORD himself will give you a sign: See, the virgin will conceive, have a son, and name him Immanuel” (Isaiah 7:14).

Isaiah spoke this prophecy over 700 years before the birth of Jesus Christ. Isaiah, the prophet, spoke God’s truth to the people of Israel for several decades, constantly warning of God’s coming judgment and calling upon them to repent. However, he also described how God would one day restore the nation after God’s punishment and purification had been completed.

The story of Christmas, the coming of a son who would bring peace and salvation to a darkened world due to sin, had finally arrived. Immanuel, God with us, became fulfilled being wrapped in swaddling clothes lying in a manger. God’s promise became fulfilled! God is always true to His promises. The angels sang to the shepherds, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace goodwill toward men” (Luke 2:14).

The promise of a son came after 700 years. We learn from this that God’s time is definitely not our time. Fortunately, for us, God knows what’s best for us. The Apostle Peter wrote this about God’s timing: “The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance…Bear in mind that our Lord’s patience means salvation, just as our dear brother Paul also wrote you with the wisdom that God gave him” (2 Peter 3:9).

So, it’s best for us that God’s thoughts are not our thoughts, and His ways are not our ways. He protects us and shields us from our own self demise. Therefore, God sent his son, his only son into the world to offer salvation to all who believe. God’s timing is everything. Look how God’s timing has affected your life and your family’s life. “For while we were still helpless (weak from sin), at the right time Christ died for the ungodly” (Romans 5:6). Although 700 years after the prophecy, at the right time, a baby was born, which broke the curse of Satan on humankind. God’s timing is everything. Praise Him!

Jeff Pruitt

You might also enjoy this wonderful teaching series from Lisa Appelo:
The Hope of Christmas: The Women in Jesus' Family Tree 


For those who love creative journaling, here is a page I added to my Bible for Matthew 1:23. “Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel” (which means, God with us). 
I would love to hear from each of you about your time reading through Matthew chapter one. Share with us in the comments below and let us learn from and encourage each other. 

Chapter 2

Read Matthew 2:1-11. Title: The Wise Men

When they saw the star, they were overwhelmed with joy. Entering the house, they saw the child with Mary, his mother, and falling to their knees, they worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts: gold, frankincense, and myrrh (2:10-11).

This story of the wise men is an incredible story of man’s search for meaning, man’s greatest longing. What we all need is a Savior, to be saved from ourselves. These men were wise and it was worth every bit of expense and time paid to get on bended knees and show him reverence. They knew this child was more than “king of the Jews.” This child was king of all things!!! They had brought their treasures to honor the child. The journey was well worth it. They found Christ and also found themselves. God always provides a sign for our journey to Him. The question is, are we willing to take the journey as tough as it may appear or not? The wise men were overwhelmed with joy to follow the star. They understood the blessings at the end of the journey. It would be a new beginning of life for them. They knew in this child was the totality of God Almighty. Only God could place a star in the sky to follow.

So much in this story. Have we personally discovered the sign God has placed before us to follow to see the totality of Jesus Christ? Do we live daily on bended knees or are there times when we scoff at the Savior? Do we really have anything to boost about? The Apostle Paul wrote, “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless, I live, yet not I, but Christ lives in me” (Galatians 2:20).

Last, the wise men brought their treasures to Christ. What do we do with our treasures? Do we present them to Jesus? Look at your checking account and see where you spend your money? Where your treasure is, is where your heart will be also!

Recall these words of the song, “Jesus Paid It all”:
I hear the savior say thy strength indeed is small. 
Child of weakness, watch and pray; find in me thine all and all.
Jesus paid it all, all to him I owe.
Sin had left a crimson stain, he washed it white as snow.
Lord, now indeed I find thy power and thine alone
can change the leper’s spots and melt the heart of stone.
Jesus paid it all, all to him I owe…

Wise men understand this and find the Christ child and give him all the glory!!

Jeff Pruitt

You might also enjoy this blog post from Carmen Horne: Writing Scripture


Writing Scripture will be my primary goal as we are going Through the Word. My goal is to write out the whole Bible. I will be using simple spiral bound notebooks. For me there is a definate connection between my hands and my brain, so my prayer is that writing out the Scriptures - at a slower pace than reading, will allow God's words to really seep in and hide away in my heart. I also hope these notebooks will be a blessing to others one day.

Chapter 3

Our study questions for chapter 3 of Matthew ask, “Summarize John the Baptist’s message.”
The short answer is “repent!”

I think most of us have an understanding of this word and this message, although I wonder how often we experience it on a soul level.  

Listen to how some commentaries describe John the Baptist’s message of repentance.

>The doctrine he preached was repentance. The word used here (metanoeite) implies a total alteration in the mind. This change of mind produces a change of way. 

>Repentance here means to be sorry for you sins, and thus amend your lives. “to grieve for a fault committed as to amend it.”

>Repentance implies sorrow for past offenses (2 Corinthians 7:10); a deep sense of the evil of sin committed against God (Psalm 51:4); and a full purpose to turn from transgression and to lead a holy life. 

John the Baptist’s message is very clear, his call to repentance is not a simple apology or acknowledgement of something done wrong, but a resolve to make a change of manner and life.

Sadly, this isn’t a message we hear preached very much these days, although we all need to hear it, as we all have sin in our lives. Repentance is vital and a key indicator of one’s salvation. We can join a church, walk the aisle, believe in God, but unless we repent by saying, “God I am sorry for my sin” we will never truly experience what it means to receive the grace of God. The grace which allows God to change us from the inside out.


You might also enjoy one of my fav on-line study resources: Bible Hub


There are many wonderful resources when it comes to studying the Bible and digging deeper in research. One I love and recommend the most is a website It is free and very easy to navigate. It provides so many resources.

Three of their resources I use the most are:
1) Parallel Bible - this lists a verse side by side with multiple translations. It is easy to quickly compare translations and see any differences. I use this often, especially for a word study.
2) Greek & Hebrew - this provides a word by word Greek / Hebrew translation, with links to dive further for each word. Another great resource for a word study. This also provides additional references where the same word has been used in the Bible.
3) Commentaries - these provide scholarly detail and reflection on Scriptures. The variety of authors provide everything from summary explanations to detail theological teachings.

There are many more study tools available on their website. If you visit, I would love to hear about which resource you enjoy using. 

Chapter 4

Read: Matthew chapter 4  
The temptation of Jesus. What an example He gives us here. (James 1:4-11)

Our friend Jodie Barrett from Faithfully Following Ministries shares this insight with us today:

We can learn 3 things from Jesus in these scriptures:
1. Satan knows the Word of God and will try to use it to tempt us.
2. Jesus was not afraid to tell Satan to flee from him and nor should we be.
3. Knowing what is written in God's Word arms us against Satan's schemes.

Then Jesus said to him, “Be gone, Satan! For it is written, “‘You shall worship the Lord your God and him only shall you serve.’” Matthew 4:10 ESV

As I Journaled this in my Bible today, I really enjoyed the King James Translation of, "Get thee hence, Satan!" 😊

But seriously, I think I don't say this enough. But I'm sayin' it today.
I am most often asked, "what do you use to paint / color in your Bible?"
I love gelatos and gel crayons. I use both with a water brush and they paint like watercolors and do not bleed through the pages. I also use a black Sharpie pen for writing, drawing and outlining. 


Thank you, Jesus for being our example, that you know the pangs of temptation. That you have shown us how to respond to Satan. Hide your word in my heart so I will know your precepts and be armed when the enemy attacks. In your holy name, Amen
Remember to bookmark this blog post and keep coming back this week as we add more resources and teachings for Matthew chapters 1 - 5.

Blessings Soul Friends,


Download your free printable Through the Word study journal for the book of Matthew.
Jana Kennedy Spicer is a wife, mom and Nana.  A born and raised Texas-girl who loves boots, sunflowers, and sweet tea.  She has a heart for studying God's Word and is passionate about encouraging women to do the same.  Connect with Jana at


Debbie Williams - January 2nd, 2023 at 4:40pm

Thank you Jana for all you do. I'm looking over this - not promising I can do it all working with studies at church (Experiencing God) and they asked me to facilitate. I'm praying about it all, but I love what you've done and going to get this week done and see how it goes.

Jana Kennedy-Spicer - January 2nd, 2023 at 10:01pm

I totally understand Debbie. This isn't intended to overwhelm, just to hopefully motivate and encourage all of us to spend time with God in His Word.


Kathy - January 4th, 2023 at 11:42am

Hi Jana and friends! I'm doing the scripture writing each day and want to start a bible journal art with it some how...Jana, will you be offering traceables of the work you are doing in your bible for this?

Jana Kennedy-Spicer - January 4th, 2023 at 3:23pm

Hi Kathy, some of the artwork I will share is available in our shoppe. However, as alot of what I journal is inspired by other artists, I do not offer printables of those journaled pages.

I will include links to those resources which are available.

Thanks for following along.