Mapping Matthew

Explore Matthew's Gospel through this unique set of bible study 'maps'; perfect for small groups or individual reflection.

In this pack are five maps:

  • Jesus is found by the magi

  • Jesus teaches his disciples

  • Jesus stills the storm

  • Jesus is transfigured

  • Jesus foretells his death

Each 'map' takes you on a reflective journey through a key episode of the Gospel with the help of art, poetry and music and invites an interactive response. No prior knowledge is required, yet even for those who know the gospel well there’s something new to discover.


MAP 1: Jesus is found by the magi

Only Matthew writes of the wise visitors who, searching for ‘The King of the Jews’, find him in the child Jesus. Here, as throughout his gospel, he draws our attention to passages from the Jewish scriptures, making connections, seeing fulfilment, and thus revealing the long-awaited one. But then, this Messiah is revealed to foreign star-gazers who represent nothing less than the whole Gentile world…

Map 2: Jesus teaches his disciples

Under the spotlight here is a series of short and startling sentences all structured in the same way and beginning with the word ‘Blessed’. These ‘Beatitudes’ open that section of Matthew’s gospel (chs 5 -7) generally called ‘The Sermon on the Mount’. Matthew, for whom Jesus as teacher is of central importance, presents here a master of the craft, at once stark yet profoundly enlarging, reassuring yet radical.

MAP 3: Jesus stills the storm

The nub of this story comes right at the end with the disciples’ question, ‘What sort of man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey him?’ And to understand both their question and the implicit answer that they are too amazed to spell out in words, we need a bit of background knowledge about the way in which the Jews of Jesus’ day would have felt about the sea.

Map 4: Jesus is transfigured

Like the baptism of Jesus (Mt 3 vs 16-17), which it echoes so deliberately, this passage holds another startling moment of holy revelation. The veil separating heaven from earth, and the future from the present, is removed for a moment: the air is charged overwhelmingly with God’s presence and there is ringing endorsement for Jesus, the beloved Son, whose human flesh and blood is flooded with light and glory.

Map 5: Jesus foretells his death

Jesus has reached Jerusalem. The crowds have gone wild, greeting him as the ‘Son of David’, but the hostility of the religious leaders is mounting. Aware that the final showdown between himself and the authorities is inevitable and imminent, Jesus tells the story on which we focus here - that of the vineyard and its wicked tenants.