Bible Journaling: The Book of Matthew

In this first book of the New Testament, we find the start of the second part of the big story between God and His people. How does the New Testament point back to the Old Testament?

BlogFaith & Spirituality Bible Journaling: The Book of Matthew

In this first book of the New Testament, we find the start of the second part of the big story between God and His people. How does the New Testament point back to the Old Testament?

For a broader view of this book of the Bible, we encourage you to watch this video:

Bible journaling tip: 

A lot of stories about Jesus are told in all 4 Gospels, and even mentioned in some of the later letters in the New Testament. Some are also fulfilling prophecies of the Old Testament. When a Jesus story stands out for you, pause and create a picture of it. Add all the Scripture references that speak about this picture by writing them on the back of the page. You can even add the differences described in the many versions of the story to have a fuller picture of what happened. This way, you will see the Bible as a connected story and not as separate parts. Jesus himself says he had come to fulfil the law and the prophets, not to erase them.

LOOK UP (information): encounter God through the Scripture 


This book was written by Matthew, Jesus’ disciple who used to be a tax collector. He had a mathematical mind and was quite clever. Do you see this in the way that he wrote?


The Gospels were written to tell everyone about Jesus - the very essence of Evangelism. See if you can find places in the text where it is clear who this book was written for. How does this speak to modern readers?


This story does not stand alone, but it is the climax of the whole Old Testament. Does this help you understand why the New Testament starts with a gynealogy?  Highlight in the following parts in the gynealogoy in your Bible and write the bits in brackets next to it in the margins. Or, you could write your own notes about each story you recognize from the Old Testament!

  • Abraham (God’s promises), Isaac & Jacob (father offering son), Boaz & Ruth (undeserved love), David (wrote Psalms), Solomon (wrote Song of Songs), etc.


The book of Matthew is the first of the four Gospels in our Bible, but they do not follow each other chronologically. Rather, we can read the Gospels parallel to each other since they often tell the same story but through the eyes of a different disciple. What makes the book of Matthew unique?

LOOK IN(revelation): contemplate / reflect on our own lives

Key verse:

Matthew 9:9-12 NIV

As Jesus went on from there, he saw a man named Matthew sitting at the tax collector’s booth. “Follow me,” he told him, and Matthew got up and followed him. While Jesus was having dinner at Matthew’s house, many tax collectors and sinners came and ate with him and his disciples. When the Pharisees saw this, they asked his disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?” On hearing this, Jesus said, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick.” 


This is Matthew’s testimony! Have your realized that this is where Matthew writes about how Jesus approaches him. He had a deep awareness of how badly he needed Jesus - he was a tax collector and a sinner and Jesus had mercy on him. He even invited him to follow him and become his disciple, something that was only reserved for very special Jews in that time. What an honor!

LOOK OUT(transformation): respond with creative worship action  

Drawing prompt:

Draw or paint a picture of Jesus and His twelve disciples. Remember that Jesus was a Jewish person in Bethlehem. He most likely had dark olive skin, brown eyes and dark hair - even though the Western world had spread the idea of a blonde Jesus with white skin and blue eyes far and wide. Does this challenge how you relate to Jesus? 

Bible Journey with JournalOwl:

Here are some questions / prompts provided by the JournalOwl community. 

  • To escape the multitudes, Jesus went up into a mountain and when he was set, who came and were taught by him? (Matthew 5:1)
  • Finish this quote – “Blessed are the meek: ____” (Matthew 5:5)

Follow this link to dive into this book with an online Bible Study group.

 Writing prompt:

Take a look at the Beatitudes in Matthew 5 again. What does it mean when it says “blessed” - what do we know about this word from the Old Testament? What does that say about God? 

You can write your own summary of these blessing statements where you elaborate more on each one.  

For example: 

Blessed are the pure in heart for they will see God.

  • Being pure in heart means to not have any hidden agendas and being wholeheartedly committed. The words ‘pure in heart’ is also used in Psalm 24 “Who may ascend the mountain of the Lord? Who may stand in his holy place? The one who has clean hands and a pure heart.” 
  • Seeing God means having an unobstructed view of God. When Moses saw God his face shone so that he had to cover it for a few days. In the Old Testament, people could not see or touch God - this is why the priest alone could enter the most deep part of the temple where the Ark was kept. 


God, I want to thank you for the book of Matthew. It is amazing to be able to read this firsthand account about Jesus, written by his disciple and friend Matthew. Help me to see it this way so that the text may become more real for me. Let my response to this text be worship unto you!