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. To be with Christ will be heaven itself. We can never hear too much about the Lord Jesus Christ.’
Ryle’s Expository Thoughts 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.