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Gospel of Matthew

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Chapter 10: Gospel of Matthew 1 Chapter 10: The Book of the New Community: The Gospel according to Matthew I. An Overview of the Whole a. Matthew contains over 90% of Mark, yet through additions and editing, presents itself as a wholly different Gospel. II. Reminders of Mark a. Comparing Matt 3:1-17 with Mark 1:1-11 i. Q source is present in Mt 3:7-10, 12 ii. “In those days John the Baptizer appeared” 3:1 - This opening phrase achieves two goals: 1. It echoes a standard phrase in prophetic speech (and Mt’s audience would have “heard” this and understood the veiled reference to the Prophets) 2. The phrase connects earlier stories to this new time dawning iii. While Mark’s story begins with the baptism, Matthew’s story begins with Jesus’ genealogy back to Abraham iv. Mt has John object to his baptizing Jesus; this gives Mt an opportunity for Jesus to explain why he is to be baptized: “to fulfill all righteousness” 1. While this explanation is, for us, unsatisfactory, it allows the author to tell the story. v. Jesus reveals his righteousness in the Temptation scene 1. He does so through continual reference to Scripture vi. Mt explains the terms fulfill and righteousness by combining with an understanding of the Law (Mt 5:17-20) vii. These statements prepare for Jesus’ most famous sermon – Sermon on the Mount (Mt 5-7) which expresses his teaching on what it really means to be righteous viii. The connection between this speech and the action of the narrative shows the structure that will prevail throughout Matthew III. Beyond Mark: The Five Speeches a. Where Mark tells us that Jesus taught and left an impression on his listeners, Matthew actually gives us the lessons that Jesus offered b. Mark tells us that Jesus “began to teach them” (1:21; 2:13: 6:2, 6) or “taught them many things in parables” (4:2), telling only of the impression he made, without telling us what he actually taught c. The sequence of narrative/speech segments is as follows: i. Infancy Narrative: Chapters 1–2 ii. Narrative: 3–4 1. Discourse: "Sermon on the Mount": 5–7 iii. Narrative: 8–9 1. Discourse: "Missionary Instructions": 10 iv. Narrative: 11–12 1. Discourse: "Collection of Parables ": 13Chapter 10: Gospel of Matthew 2 v. Narrative: 14–17 1. Discourse: "Community Instructions": 18 vi. Narrative: 19–22 1. Discourse: "Sermon on Eschatology": 23–25 vii. Passion & Resurrection Narrative: 26–28 IV. The Structure and Plot a. Matthew does give a record of Jesus’ teaching, and that in blocks alternating with Jesus’ actions all the way through his ministry b. This makes for an attractive and readable organization of the gospel. c. Each of these blocks treats in a coherent and organized way one particular aspect of the gospel message. d. The plot focuses on the ministry of Jesus divided in this way of alternating between narrative and discourse V. Reading Guide to Matthew a. The Origins of Jesus the Messiah (1-10) i. First Narrative: Jesus, son of Abraham, is shown to be the one who fulfills Scripture’s promises by the manner of his birth and by his actions (1-4) ii. First speech: Jesus reveals his authority to redefine righteousness (5-7) iii. Second narrative: Jesus reveals his authority in 3 cycles of 3 miracles each. (8-9:35) iv. Second speech: Jesus communicates his authority to the disciples and sends them on their mission as an extension of his (9:36-10:42) b. The Responses to Jesus (11-17) i. Third narrative: Jesus is shown to be the “One Who Is to Come” because he performs “the deeds of the Messiah.” (11-12) ii. Third speech: Jesus uses parables to show that the kingdom of God is mysterious and contains both faithful and unfaithful. (13:1-52) iii. Fourth narrative: Various characters respond to Jesus: Herod thinks he is John; the crowds are baffled; the disciples twice confess; the Pharisees and scribes question and are offended; the Canaanite woman persists in her confession; gentiles glorify the God of Israel; Pharisees and Sadducees test him ; Peter confesses him to be the “Messiah the son of God,” witnesses the events on the mountain, and pays the Temple tax. (13:52-17:27) c. The Response of Jesus (18-25) i. Fourth speech: Jesus explains the compassion and forgiveness required for the kingdom (18) ii. Fifth narrative: Jesus debates his opponents and shows that one’s status in the kingdom depends on how well one obeys God. (19-22) iii. Fifth speech: Jesus pronounces judgment on the Pharisees and scribes and on the whole world. (23-25) d. The Death and Vindication of Jesus (26-28)Chapter 10: Gospel of Matthew 3 i. Sixth narrative: The obedient and righteous Jesus, betrayed by his disciples to the schemes of his opponents, dies as the Son of God and is raised from the dead to inherit the universal authority by which he commissions his disciples to make disciples of all the nations. (26-28) e. Table 10.1 on pages 302-303 VI. Reading the Story: Key Incidents a. The Ancestors of Jesus: A New Beginning i. Two literary devices guide the listener’s understanding of this genealogy 1. Numerical symmetry 2. Rhythmic interruption ii. Numerical Symmetry – three sets of 14 generations each (the math is off but this helps scholars to see that Matthew’s point was to focus on the pivotal events of the Davidic kingship and the Exile as milestones in Israel’s history) iii. Rhythmic interruption – son of David, son of Abraham 1. Abraham to David -750 years 2. David to the Exile – 400 years 3. Exile to Jesus – 600 years b. The Words of Jesus: A New Meaning for the Law i. Jesus’ teachings are presented as a new and higher righteousness (higher than the traditional understanding of the Law) ii. Jesus’ portrayal is implicitly a “new Moses” and his portrayal is very similar to Moses in several interesting and significant ways: 1. Just as Pharaoh (the King of Egypt ca. 1300 BC) killed all the baby boys of the Hebrews, and only Moses is saved (Exod 1:22--2:10), so also Herod (King of Israel at that time) kills all the male babies in Bethlehem, and only Jesus is saved (Matt 2:13-18). 2. When Moses' life is in danger, he flees from Egypt to Israel, but returns to Egypt after many years (Exod 2:15; 7:6-7); when Jesus' life is in danger, he takes the reverse itinerary: from Israel to Egypt and later back to Israel (Matt 2:13-21). 3. Just as Moses goes up to a


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