Expository Thoughts on the Gospel of Matthew
As the first Gospel in the New Testament, Matthew was, not surprisingly, the first to be published in J. C. Ryle’s series of Expository Thoughts on the Gospels (1856). Ryle’s expositions are a rich combination of doctrinal and practical comments on the Gospel text.
Ryle loved the Gospels because they were so full of the Lord Jesus Christ. ‘No part of the Bible is so important as this’, he wrote, ‘and no part is so full and complete. Four distinct Gospels tell us the story of Christ’s doings and dying. Four times we read the precious account of his works and words. How thankful we ought to be for this! To know Christ is to have peace with God. To follow Christ is to be a true Christian. Being with Christ will be heaven itself. We can never hear too much about the Lord Jesus Christ.’
Ryle’s Expository Thoughts volumes can be used as a help in family worship, or as an aid in pastoral visitation, or simply as a companion to the Gospels in the private reading of Scripture.
Now reprinted in a fresh, new format, Expository Thoughts on the Gospel of Matthew will bring Ryle’s plain yet profound insights to a new generation.
About the Author
In 1841, Ryle was ordained as a minister in the Church of England. In his first position in a rural parish he developed the plain and direct style of communication that would mark his future ministry. He served at several churches for the next forty years, during which time he wrote hundreds of evangelistic tracts. He was a wildly popular writer. His tracts sold more than 12 million copies in his lifetime, and were eventually translated into about a dozen European and Asian languages.
While his ministry flourished, Ryle’s home life was challenging. In 1844, he married his first wife, who died in 1847. He married again in 1849. The couple was happy, but his wife’s health was poor, so the pastor seldom travelled and practically raised his children alone. When his second wife died in 1860, he became a single father with five children between 2 and 14 years old.
Despite these hardships, Ryle became a leader among the evangelical clergy in his day. In 1880, he was appointed the first bishop of the newly formed diocese of Liverpool. Because the diocese was new, it had no system of leadership, no formal administration. During his tenure as Bishop of Liverpool, Ryle raised enough funds to build 90 new houses of worship, ordained over 500 deacons, 500 ministers, and at least 45 salaried lay Scripture readers and 31 Bible women. He founded the Lay Helpers Association, an organization that oversaw Sunday schools, Bible classes, mission services, and cared for sick.