Updated: May 22, 2020
9. The five parts of the book are: I. The description and revelation of the Person of Christ (chapters 1, 2). II. His forerunner, John the Baptist (chapter 3). III. His actions, sermons for the most part and miracles (chapters 4-25). IV. His sufferings (chapter 26, 27). V. The glory of the resurrection (chapter 28). Interpreters of the book, Ancient, Reformed, Lutheran, and Roman Catholic, and a Synoptic Table of the book.
Five parts of this Evangelical history with sufficient propriety are established. For, first, the person of Christ is described and revealed, Chapters 1 and 2. Second, His Forerunner, John the Baptist is describing, discharging his office, Chapter 3. Third, His Actions, Sermons for the most part and miracles, are woven together, Chapters 4-25. Fourth, His Sufferings are narrated, Chapters 26 and 27. Finally, fifth, His subsequent Glories are recounted, Chapter 28. We parts we will now attempt to set forth in a few words.
I. Description and revelation of the Person of Christ, Chapters 1 and 2. See:
1. The parentage of the Person of Christ according to the flesh, or the Royal Genealogy, drawn down from Abraham all the way to Joseph, the husband of Mary (verses 1-17); and also His conception and birth from the Blessed Virgin (verses 18-25): chapter 1.
2. The revelation of the same at that time to the Eastern Magi, drawn out of the East by the star, as guide and companion, and coming to Jerusalem, and at Bethlehem adoring the new King and savior of the world (verses 1-12); then, with Herod being about the crush Christ, the new King, in the bud, the parents withdraw Christ by flight into Egypt (verses 13-15), Herod filling the coasts of Bethlehem with the altogether innocent blood of infants (verses 16-18); after whose death Joseph, being warned of Heaven, returns with his own out of Egypt into Judea, and dwells with Christ at Nazareth (verse 19-23): chapter 2.
II. The forerunner of Christ, John the Baptist, discharging his office, Chapter 3.
John, namely, the Baptist, preaching repentance in the wilderness, and represent the Christ as near at hand, baptizes many into the faith of Christ (verses 1-6), with the Pharisees and Sadducees severely rebuked, aspiring with feigned piety to this Baptism (verses 7-12); and with the sacred waves he wets Jesus Himself, departing from Galilee to Jordan, and requesting the baptism of him, with the Holy Trinity magnificently attesting to Him from Heaven (verses 13-17): chapter 3.
III. The Actions of Christ, His sermons for the most part and miracles, Chapters 4-25. See:
1. The preparation unto these through the temptation of Satan, who thrice tempts Christ, assailing Him when He was prolonging His fast unto the fortieth day, with the hook covered with the enticement of vain glory. With which baffled in an extraordinary way by divine art and the protection of the Scriptures (verses 1-11), and with the news received concerning the placing of John in bonds, returning into Galilee, He chooses Capernaum as His seat, publically preaches the Gospel (verses 12-17), and, being about to gather a certain chorus of disciples, which familiars He would have as witnesses of all the things that He was going to teach and do, walking by the lake on the border of Galilee, He calls two brothers-german, Simon and Andrew, sons of Jona; and, going a little farther, two other brothers, James and John, sons of Zebedee: and them yielding, He has as such (verses 18-22): and finally, going through all Galilee, He publically preaches, heals the sick, and wins great authority for Himself (verses 23-25): chapter 4.
2. The sermon held on the mount, chapters 5-7: in which
a. Seeing the crowd becoming denser with different sorts of men, with a mountain ascended, where being about to teach things just as loft and serious, and sitting down, He proclaims the beatitudes from a grassy couch, as it were (verses 1-12); comparing the Apostles with the salt of the earth, the light of the world, and a conspicuously visible city, He prompts them to their duty (verses 13-16); finally, He vindicates the whole law, and its genuine sense from the perverse interpretation of the Pharisees (verses 17-48): chapter 5.
b. He designates fixed laws for alms, prayers, and fasting (verses 1-18); He teaches that treasures pertaining to salvation, and true riches in Heaven, are to be obtained (verses 19-21); He urges uprightness of soul (verses 22, 23); and, forbidding men to be divided between God and men, Heaven and earth (verses 24, 25), He corrects the vice of avarice, veiled under the pretext of human necessity (verses 26-34): chapter 6.
c. Rebuking those that, pardoning themselves in the most grievous sins, act the part of most merciless judges toward a sinning brother (verses 1-5), He prohibits the profaning of sacred things (verse 6); He teaches that blessings are to be sought from God, who denies no one, begrudges no one, while their value is acknowledged (verses 7-11); He prescribes a general form pertaining to the habit of life, which is upheld by mutual duties (verse 12); He unfolds the mystery of the narrow and the broad or wide-open gate (verses 13, 14); He forbids commerce with False Prophets, whom He describes by their outward appearances (verses 15-23); finally, He compares the right hearers of his words with a provident and prudent man, who, being about to build a solid edifice, first discovers for himself a solid and immovable foundation (verses 24-29): chapter 7.
3. Various miracles, suppose, a leper healed with His hand put forth, and by the pleasure of His will alone (verses 1-4), the servant of the centurion restored, for whom as one especially dear and useful in services he implored Christ (verses 5-13), Peter’s mother-in-law, seized with a powerful fever, and healed (verses 14, 15), some demoniacs set free (verses 16-17), a Scribe, itching for society with Him because of the wonders, warned of the inconveniences of those that would accompany Him (verses 18-20), or another, seeking occasion to remove, also reproved (verses 21, 22), a tempest, rising while Christ was sleeping, calmed by Him (verses 23-27), and finally in the region of the Gergesenes two exceedingly fierce demons cast out of the men possessed, and, since they asked it as a boon, sent into a herd of swine (verses 28-34): chapter 8.
4. A paralytic healed, with his sins forgiven him, with certain scribes murmuring protest in vain (verses 1-8), Matthew called from the customs post to the Gospel, with the Pharisees vainly objecting to commerce with publicans (verse 9-13), the proper occasion for fasting demonstrated (verses 14-17), the daughter of a centurion restored to life, and on the same journey a woman freed from an issue of blood (verses 18-26), and vision given to blind men humbly supplicating (verses 27-31), and speech restored to one mute, and also driven by a Devil (verses 32-34), with the Lord fulfilling all things in teaching and miracles, and uncovering the inmost affection of mercy toward the scattered people (verses 35-38): chapter 9.
5. The choosing of twelve disciples, whom He sends, furnished with the eminent power of casting out demons and healing the sick (verses 1-4), of preaching the Gospel to lost sheep of the house of Israel, and of freely healing the sick, with a αὐταρκείᾳ/ sufficiency, readiness, and skill in approaches commended to them (verses 5-15), and He confirms comforts, fortified by the shield of His patience, presence and providence against the fear of persecutions and injuries of men (verses 16-42): chapter 10.
6. A response to the disciples of John bestowed by Christ concerning Himself (verses 1-6), and the praises of John most amply declared by Him (verses 7-19), and the cities of Chorazin, Bethsaida, and Capernaum, being unwilling to repent, grievously reproved (verses 20-24), with at the same time, after the fruit from the preaching of the disciples was perceived, the Εὐδοκίᾳ/good-will of God the Father commended, who bestows His mysteries upon the rude, and grants to Him such great power (verses 25-27), and with all the miserable most kingly invited to Him, provided that with a simple and sincere heart, with the yoke of the world cast off, they willingly take up the yoke of Evangelical doctrine (verse 28-30): chapter 11.
7. Teaching concerning works of charity and mercy, appropriate on the sabbath (verses 1-8), of which He also furnishes an example in healing a crippled and withered hand on the sabbath day; and also a blind and mute demoniac restored (verses 9-23): whence the Pharisees, blaspheming that Christ expels demons by Beelzebub, are themselves convicted as guilty of blasphemy by Christ (verses 24-37); and to the Scribes, seeking a sign from Christ, the sign of Jonah is given, and a most grievous judgment of desolation is denounced, under the enigma of seven spirits succeeding to one expelled (verses 38-45); and finally who Christ’s true mother and brethren are is demonstrated (verses 46-50): chapter 12.
8. An explanation of the Kingdom of heaven, or of the preaching of the Gospel through the veils of parables, namely, of the seed sown in the field (verses 1-23), of a sower, and Tares interspersed by an enemy, but not to be rooted out before the harvest (verses 24-30), of a mustard seed (verses 31, 32), of leaven (verse 33), with a reason then rendered for the parabolic speeches (verses 34, 35), and the parable of the sower declared to the disciples (verses 36-43), of a treasure buried in a field (verses 44-46), of a net cast into the sea, which, having been spread broadly, caught all sorts of fish (verses 47-52), with which finished, Christ, teaching in His own Country of Nazareth, is scorned by his compatriots, esteeming Him not according to His virtues, but according to His conditions and the splendor of His ancestry (verses 53-58): chapter 13.
9. Narration of the martyrdom of John the Baptist (verses 1-12), with which heard, Christ withdrew into the into the wilderness, taking the occasion from the wicked King to join murder to murder, where He feeds a vast multitude of men with five barley loaves and two fish (verses 13-21), and, with the disciples crossing the sea, and being in peril from a sudden storm, He comes to them, walking upon the waters (verses 22-33), and in region of Gennesaret heals those diseased, brought by those coming together from all parts (verses 34-36): chapter 14.
10. A grave invective against the human traditions and institutes religiously and highly commended by the Pharisees (verses 1-20); the daughter of a Canaanite woman after most urgent petitions, and the daughter variously tried by a Demon, set free, and other things miraculously accomplished (verses 21-31): and a numerous multitude of men provided for with seven loaves and a few little fish (verses 32-39): chapter 15.
11. The impudence of the Pharisees, cunningly asking a sign from Heaven, baffled (verses 1-4), and their false doctrine confuted by the enigma of leaven (verses 5-12); and, with the Apostles putting forth an illustrious confession by the mouth of Peter, the building of the Church upon the rock, and the keys of the kingdom of Heaven liberally promised (verses 13-20); Peter, hindering the foretold sufferings of Christ, severely rebuked (verses 21-23); and finally the following of Christ commended (verses 24-28): chapter 16.
12. The Transfiguration of Christ, before three of His disciples, in which, with His face shining like the sun, and His garments as white as light, and with Moses and Elijah appearing, Peter, completely carried away with pleasure and the Majesty of the spectacle, asked that three tabernacles be built, and then, with a luminous cloud overshadowing the Apostles, the voice of the Father sounded from the cloud, attesting Christ as the Prophet par excellence (verses 1-9), and Christ, teaching His disciples concerning the return of Elijah (verses 10-13), restored a Lunatic miserably vexed by an unclean Spirit (verses 14-21), foretold His own approaching sufferings (verses 22, 23), and, returning to Capernaum, with nothing owed, but for the sake of preventing a stumblingblock, paid tribute, a stater found in the mouth of a fish (verses 24-27): chapter 17.
13. The teaching of Christ, in which, so that He might remove from the souls of His disciples the motivation of envy and ambition, by the type of a child set in the midst of the disciples, He teaches them simplicity and humility (verses 1-5), warns that little ones are not to be offended, with a grievous punishment for scandal appointed, but rather to be helped, and led back to the way (verses 6-14), prescribes the manner and steps of correcting and offending brother (verses 15-20), and earnestly urges the forgiveness of offenses, with a parable set forth, about one and the same man, both a debtor of a thousand talents, to whom his master had forgiven so great a debt, and a creditor of one hundred denarii, who, exacting the debt with excessive ferocity, is grievously punished by his master (verses 21-35): chapter 18.
14. His teaching concerning divorce, to what extent that might be lawful or unlawful (verses 1-9), and to what extent it might be advantageous to marry or not (verses 10-12), with Christ then laying His hands upon infants (verses 13-15); a young man puffed up with the character of his own righteousness, with a command to sell his goods leading him to a knowledge of himself (verses 16-22), and with Christ explaining the obstacles to the rich in obtaining salvation (verses 23-26), and giving to His disciples a valuable reward in the place of those worthless things that they willingly left behind (verses 27-29), yet with them warned that it can happen that the first might be last (verse 30): chapter 19.
15. The parable of those called at diverse times into the vineyard of the master, receiving the same reward for unequal labor, in which Christ teaches that it can happen, that the last might be made first, and that salvation depends, not upon calling, but upon election (verses 1-16), with His approaching sufferings foretold again (verses 17-19), and with Christ, the sons of Zebedee aspiring to the first place in the Kingdom of Christ, and the disciples showing resentment, plucking up the roots of ambition, and commending humility (verses 20-28); and finally two blind men with a constant faith toward Him redoubling their cry for His help, with Christ granting them sight (verses 29-34): chapter 20.
16. His entrance into Jerusalem, to celebrate His last passover, and those things that Christ taught and did shortly before His suffering in that city: chapters 21-25. Namely, Christ:
a. Drawing near to Jerusalem, from the mount of olives sent two disciples into the closest village, to find an ass tied and the colt with her, and to lead them away to Him (verses 1-6), on which colt riding, Christ, entering the city with all giving thanks (verse 7-11), and then approaching the Temple, thence expelled those buying and selling with a whip made of cords, and cleansed the Temple, healed the blind and the lame frequenting it (verses 12-17); on the next day, being about to enter the city again, He cursed a fig tree having nothing but leaves, and at the same time taught His disciples the efficacy of prayer (verses 18-22); then, drawing near to the Temple, He also repelled the Priests, agitating a controversy with Him over suitable authority (verses 23-27), and with a twofold parable narrated, the one of two sons, one hypocritical and the other penitent (verses 28-32), the other of a householder farming out his vineyard husbandmen, who three times beat and killed the servants to collect the yielded fruit, and finally ill use the son of the owner; He reproves them both for their hypocrisy and for their ferocity against the Prophets and Himself, and denounces judgment against them (verses 33-46): chapter 21.
b. In a parable of a wedding, prepared for the King’s son, to which having been invited, some excuse themselves to those inviting with frivolous reasons, others at length kill them, after they had been afflicted with many indignities, with a mixed multitude thereafter gathered from all directions, and sitting at the feast; He teaches the malice of the Jews to become hardened, because they are rejected from Evangelical salvation, which the Gentiles are then going to occupy (verses 1-14); He repelled the Pharisees, sensing themselves thus to be unfavorably mentioned, and, with an opportunity sought to kill Him, tempting Him by suborned disciples and Herodians, with a question proposed concerning the paying of tribute to Cæsar (verses 15-22); afterwards He thoroughly instructs the Sadducees concerning the future Resurrection, with their doubt resolved concerning the seven husbands of one wife (verses 23-33); He demonstrates to a scribe what is the principal commandment in the law (verses 34-40); and finally, having been tested with so many questions by the Pharisees, He in turn proposes a question to them, whose son Messiah is, and thus puts them in such a bind that afterwards no one undertook to assail Him with questions of this sort (verses 41-46): chapter 22.
c. With the utmost gravity striking against the Pharisees’ and scribes’, whose doctrine indeed, inasmuch as they are sitting in the seat of Moses, He does not forbid to be heard (verses 1, 2), hypocrisy, while there is not anything that they are not indulging themselves in, although they exact more than the whole law from others; as well as their ambition, avarice, iniquity, perjury, cruelty, and other things (verses 3-33); He denounces the horrible calamity of Jerusalem, guilty of all the murders, from the first parricide of Cain, whereby he killed Abel, unto the slaying of Zacharias the son of Barachias, and foretells His final coming in the name of the Lord (verses 34-39): chapter 23.
d. Predicting the destruction of Jerusalem (verses 1, 2), He declares the times of the same to His disciples asking for certain notes, in such a way that at the same time He conveys prognostic signs of the approaching last time and end of the Age (verses 3-28), and also concomitant things (verses 29-41), and earnestly urges vigilance, with a reward promised to the prudent and faithful servant, and with διχοτομίᾳ, cutting asunder, denounced against the evil and unfaithful: chapter 24.
e. Twin parables, the one concerning ten virgins, who with their lamps taken went out to meet the bridegroom, teaches that there is to be no remissness and drowsiness in this life, but by the assiduous cultivation of piety and by duties unto one’s neighbors preparation is to be made for the future life (verses 1-13): the other concerning servants, to whom their Master, going abroad, commits diverse talents, from which they might render profit to their Master, and not waste them, goads His disciples to the perpetual study of good works, so that they might not allow the teaching and talents received by them to be unfruitful by their negligence, but by study and care turn them unto the advantage of their neighbors (verses 14-30): and finally He sets before the eyes the majesty of His coming unto judgment, the separation of the good from the evil, and an entire representation of the final judgment (verses 31-46): chapter 25.
IV. The Sufferings of Christ, Chapters 26, 27. In which are narrated,
1. The council of the Priests in the courtyard of Caiaphas concerning seizing Christ (verses 1-5); the deed of the woman pouring precious ointment upon the head of Christ wonderfully commended by Christ (verses 6-13); the covenant of Judas concerning the betrayal of Him (verses 14-16); the last passover celebrated (verses 17-29); the foretelling of His coming death and resurrection, and also of the denial of Peter (verses 30-35); a demonstration of the immense sorrow of Christ made in the garden of Gethsemane, with disciples chosen, whom, sleeping during His prayers, He exhorts to vigilance (verses 36-46); the capture of Christ, by the traitor Judas, and Peter’s vain attempt to protect Him, checked by Christ, restoring the severed ear of Malchus (verses 47-56); His condemnation in the house of Caiaphas, concluded after the suborning of false witnesses, and abominable mockery (verses 57-68); the sad fall of Peter, awaiting the end of the matter outside in the courtyard, and revealed by a maid, denying Christ not without frightful oaths (verses 69-75): chapter 26.
2. The delivery of Christ into the hands of Pilate (verses 1, 2); the fatal end of Judas, brought in vain to repentance for his crime (verses 3-10); Christ’s condemnation, after altogether false charges were brought against Him, scourging, crucifixion, and most insolent mocking on the cross (verses 11-44), death, and the portents accompanying His death (verses 45-56), and burial honorably attended to by a rich man (verses 57-61); and the sepulcher sealed, and carefully watched by guards (verses 62-66): chapter 27.
V. The Glory of the Resurrection of Christ, Chapter 28.
Christ, with the stone removed from the mouth of the tomb by an Angel descending from heaven, arising from the dead, is revealed by the same Angel to both Marys, coming to the sepulcher with spices, and appears to the same astonished women, carrying the news to the disciples, and sends them to the disciples, and the disciples to Galilee; with the Priests purchasing a lie from the guards with money, spreading a rumor that Christ was secretly removed (verses 1-15); with Christ, on the other hand, appearing to His disciples in Galilee, and, having spoken beforehand of all power given to Him, sending them to preach and to baptize all nations, and promising His continual presence (verses 16-20):chapter 28.
 See John 1:42. Dr. Dilday's Lecture: "The Person of Christ in the Gospels"