The Gospel of Matthew: Life in the Way of God

Experience the life and teachings of Jesus through art, reflection, and spiritual practices

Watch a Preview Enroll Now

A Journey into Following Jesus

The Gospel of Matthew is full of implications for how we can live (and even thrive) in the 21st century, but they may not be clear without first understanding the deeper context. Having a complete framework—from the historical and the theological to the cultural and literary—is what brings the teachings of Jesus to life.

This course is where that journey begins, and you're invited to join us. Over seven self-paced modules, you'll incorporate the Gospel of Matthew into your day-to-day life with in-depth analysis and transformative spiritual practices. Are you ready?

What You'll Learn

  • How the Gospel of Matthew helps us experience God's presence in our lives.
  • Engaging with Scripture in fresh ways through imagery from A Cartoonist's Guide to the Bible
  • Practices to weave Jesus' teachings into your daily life
  • Scholarly insights into the Gospel of Matthew in digestible, understandable language.
  • And much more!

About this Course

  • Modules


  • Learning Elements


  • Videos


  • Practices & Activities


  • Time

5 hours, 30 minutes

  • Price


Enroll Now

Here's What's Inside...

Get oriented to the course. Meet your instructor, discover the course learning outcomes, and access all your course resources.

In this module, you will...

  • Understand how the Roman occupation of Israel in the first century shaped the theological imagination and expectations of the various types of Jewish people to whom Matthew was written.
  • Identify the author of Matthew, the community to whom Matthew was written, and key themes in Matthew that may connect to your present context.
  • Feel excited about meeting Jesus through Matthew’s perspective.
  • Reflecton key issues/questions that you bring to the story from your own context.

In this module, you will...

  • Consider how Matthew’s account of Jesus’ birth reflects the purposes of the gospel.
  • Experience the ways in which God’s presence is felt in your life.

In this module, you will...

  • Define Jesus’ use of the phrase “the Kingdom of Heaven has come near.”
  • Put the Sermon on the Mount in context with the big story of Matthew.
  • Understand the radical nature of Jesus’ teaching and how he was calling Israel to actually behave according to God’s original covenant to bless all nations.
  • Choose one part of Jesus’ sermon and try to put it into practice in your own context.

In this module, you will...

  • Identify the different ways that Jesus interacted with the marginalized and how it disrupted/challenged the religious establishment.
  • Recognize how Jesus sent his disciples into the countryside to do the same things he was doing.
  • Brainstorm practical ways you might live this type of mission in your own context.

In this module, you will...

  • Define the term “parable” and how to approach the study of parables.
  • Identify ways that Jesus behaved contrary to culturally acceptable norms and consider how his life was a living parable.
  • Articulate possible ways Jesus’ parables invite us to think about the Kingdom of Heaven.
  • Reflect on ways you conform to cultural norms, when that conformity serves the Kingdom of Heaven, and when God might be calling you to challenge cultural norms.

In this module, you will...

  • Recognize how Jesus was being challenged to expand his mission beyond the boundaries of the people of Israel.
  • Recognize that inclusion and forgiveness are the hallmarks of Jesus’ community.
  • Identify areas of unresolved conflict, exclusion, or unforgiveness in your life and make a plan to address it.

In this module, you will...

  • Identify the key events and timeline of Jesus’ final week of ministry.
  • Recognize how the placement of Jesus’ parables in chapters 21-25 reveal the revolutionary nature of Jesus’ mission.
  • Recognize that “the end of the age” was the coming destruction of the Temple and the implications that would have on living in the Kingdom of Heaven.
  • Reflect on the parable of the sheep and the goats and the implications it might have on your own context.

In this module, you will...

  • Identify the implications of Jesus’ resurrection in light of his crucifixion, and the message of hope for new life in the midst of cruelty and oppression.
  • Define the following terms in the context of Matthew: disciple, baptism, and obedience. Create a plan to implement one or two of Jesus’ teachings from Matthew into your life over the next month.
  • Evaluate how you are being a disciple of Jesus as well as how you are making disciples of Jesus.

Find out your next steps as you complete the course and how to stay connected with your group. You'll also be able to submit feedback about your course.

You'll Learn How to Tell the Story
page 21_0010_panel 6-5

The words "Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John" roll off our tongues so effortlessly that it can be easy to miss the life-changing power of the Gospels. After all, these four books are where we encounter Jesus of Nazareth: fully man, and fully God.

The Gospel of Matthew: Life in the Way of God is a chance to slow the tape, to re-examine the stories we may have grown accustomed to, and to be changed by the life of Jesus in a brand new way.

Gain Instant Access

Here's everything you get for just $55:

Enjoy this special introductory price!

  • Ten (10) virtual modules you can enjoy at your own pace
  • Includes course videos, study materials, and instruction
  • A downloadable handbook featuring the art of Steve Thomason
  • A safe place to learn and grow in your faith
Enroll Now Enroll A Group

Meet Your Instructor

  • Rev. Dr. Steve Thomason

    Rev. Dr. Steve Thomason’s passion and purpose intersect in the areas of theology, spiritual formation, and art. Mixing a lifelong love of drawing, illustrating, and animating with degrees from Wheaton College, Bethel Seminary, and Luther Seminary, Steve has done everything from owning and operating his own art studio to pastoring an 8,000 member congregation.

    In addition to his faculty position at Luther Seminary, Steve has developed and maintains A Cartoonist’s Guide to the Bible. He is also the author of several books, including The Visual Preacher: Proclaiming an Embodied Word (Fortress Press, 2022), A Cartoonist’s Guide to John (Vibble Books, 2022), A Cartoonist’s Guide to Luke (Vibble Books, 2021), A Cartoonist’s Guide to Mark (Vibble Books), and A Cartoonist’s Guide to Matthew (Vibble Books, 2019).

Connect as you learn

Connect inside the Faith+Lead Learning Lab

Learning happens best when you do it together with folks who are on the same journey as you are.

That's why our private social network, the Faith+Lead Learning Lab, hosts conversations about course content with other learners, instructors, TAs, and community leaders.

Enroll Now

Study together with a small group or congregation

Want to bring The Gospel of Matthew: Life in the Way of God to your Bible study, small group, or even your entire congregation?

Choose "Enroll a Group" at checkout and select how many people you'd like to provide access to the course. You can go through the course together in-person, watch lessons together via Zoom, or even create a private group in the Learning Lab where participants can connect asynchronously.

Enroll A Group
School for Lay Ministry Popup. Upcoming Live Learning Community
School for Lay Ministry Popup. Upcoming Live Learning Community

Unlock your full potential with the School for Lay Ministry