One helpful way of thinking about Matthew’s gospel is that it is a training manual for discipleship. It is a curriculum for the Christian life.
You could say that chapters 5 through 9 give us our first semester’s study of who Jesus is: the teaching and touching savior. We hear him teaching, giving us His great manifesto of His kingdom (5-7), and then we see Him in action saving (8-9). We hear His word and see His work.
(I know…it is only an analogy…it took us a lot longer than 12 weeks to work through it…and it will take us a lot longer than 12 weeks to truly live it 🙂
As we shift from chapter 9 into chapter 10, we are moving into semester number two: the mission of the kingdom and the person of Christ. We begin this semester once again with His teaching (chapter 10). Our class this semester is about the mission of the kingdom. And then we see Him in action, with the focus of chapters 11 and 12 on His person. So for this semester, we learn about His mission and His person.
Here we begin to unpack Jesus’ great sermon on mission, or evangelism. Up until this point He has been doing all the talking and touching, the instructing and the healing. Now He is going to employ His disciples in His great work of restoring all things.
But before He sends them out, He will equip, educate, and empower them.