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The Gospel of Matthew

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Kersti Bury

on 24 September 2012

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Transcript of The Gospel of Matthew

Matthew: Gospel of the Messiah Central theme: Jesus the Jewish Messiah brings salvation history to its climax, saving his people from their sins. Concise Style LITERARY FEATURES PLOT Messiah MATTHEW'S PORTRAIT OF JESUS:
THE MESSIAH Disciples OTHER CHARACTERS Promise Fulfillment and the Climax of Salvation History THEOLOGICAL THEMES Messianic (Primary) Purpose PURPOSE Anti-Semitism in History READING MATTHEW TODAY Audience and Occasion SETTING Fulfillment Formulas and OT Quotations Topical Arrangement Structural Signs and Matthew's "Outline" Genealogy PROLOGUE: GENEALOGY & BIRTH APPEARANCE OF THE MESSIAH Overview MINISTRY OF MESSIAH TO ISRAEL Negative Response Theme RESPONSE TO THE MESSIAH: REJECTION BY ISRAEL ACCEPTANCE BY DISCIPLES 1. Public acts which announce Jesus' Messiahship MESSIAH CONFRONTS JERUSALEM Events leading up to crucifixion MESSIAH REJECTED BUT VICTORIOUS: PASSION & RESURRECTION Compared to Mark, Matthew is more concise While Mark is a storyteller, Matthew is more of a reporter Fulfillment formula:
"This was to fulfill what was spoken by the prophet,
saying," followed by OT quote Doesn't always quote Septuagint, sometimes translates from Hebrew Gospel arranged by topic rather than chronology Teachings (5-7), miracles (8-9), mission instruction (10), parables (13), teachings about the church (18), denunciations against religious leaders (23), eschatological teachings (24-25) Sermon on the Mount Matthew uses structural signals to mark important transitions: 1. Outline based on the formula at the end of 5 major discourses, possibly chiastic or pentateuchal "And it came about when Jesus finished these words..." 2. Outline based on phrase "From that time Jesus began to..." possibly a three-fold progression (7:28, 11:1, 13:53, 19:1, 26:1) (4:17) Beginning of public ministry (16:21) Beginning of journey to Jerusalem 3. We will go by Strauss outline (see "Plot") Ch. 1-2 Birth Story Not a comprehensive account For Matthew, it is incredibly important Confirms Jesus' legitimacy as Savior and king Key members are Abraham and David Abraham justifies Gentile mission Organized into 3 sets of 14 Abe Dave, Dave exile, exile Christ Abbreviated for memorization and emphasis Exile emphasis reveals Jesus' purpose to save Israel from sins Remarkably, includes 5 women: -Tamar -Rahab -Ruth -Bathsheba -Mary Repeated emphasis on the fulfillment of prophecy -Born to descendant of David -Born in Bethlehem -Called Jesus (Joshua) to a virgin All about divine purpose and providence -4 dreams of Joseph: lead family to Egypt, return after Herod's death, settle in Nazareth -1 dream of Magi: thwarts Herod's plan and reflects salvation extending to Gentiles Ch. 3:1-4:11 Intro to Jesus' public ministry Main theme: identity of Jesus Obedience & Righteousness Baptism and Temptation At baptism, voice from heaven identifies Jesus Title "Son of God" appears at climactic points in the narrative Baptism and temptation set the stage for Jesus' public ministry "My son" is God's evaluative point of view of Jesus Important messianic qualities Temptation reflects a theme of Jesus fulfilling Israel's role -40 days in wilderness=40 years in desert -3 OT passages Jesus quotes relate to Israel's failures -Matthew develops a typology relation of Jesus to Israel Ch. 4:12-11:1 Ch. 5-7: Sermon on the Mount Ch. 8-9: Kingdom Authority Ch. 10: Conclusion of 1st section of ministry Jesus' type of preaching Call of disciples Summary of preaching and healing Summary of 4:23 (Jesus will be doing) repeated in 9:35 (Jesus has been doing) as inclusio-bookends Ch. 10 concludes section by sending disciples to preach and heal Jesus self-identifies as ultimate OT interpreter and fulfillment Clarifies law of Moses to reveal true intent and raise standards Reveals kingdom authority in teaching murder anger adultery lust Miracles confirm the coming of the kingdom Intro is the conflict with religious leaders -Challenge his authority to forgive sins -Hate him for associating with sinners -Accuse him of casting out demons via prince of demons Discipleship theme Emphasis on opposition they will face Focus on Israel sets stage for Israel's response to Jesus in the next section -Commissioned to go out and preach -Not ready for Gentiles/Samaritans Ch. 11:2-20:34 Ch. 21:1-26:1 Ch. 26-28 Positive Response Theme Parables of the Kingdom Discourse on Church Life and Discipline Rejection theme continues over a series of disputes Jesus compares religious leaders to: -Sabbath controversies -Challenges over clean and unclean foods -Demands for a sign -Beelzebub controversy -Bad trees -Brood of vipers -Evil men -Wicked generation -Hypocrites -Blind guides Jesus declares that no more signs will be given to them Appear mid-section Serves as structural and thematic climax Contrast to rejection of leaders is acceptance by disciples Disciples affirm that they understand the parables Disciples do often show spiritual dullness, lack of faith, pride--but also show awareness of Jesus identity Peter The evaluative point of view of disciples is in line with God -The ones to whom the Son reveals the Father (11:27) -Jesus' true spiritual family (12:49) -Jesus commends Peter -Jesus predicts Peter's role of authority in the church -Matthew omits Peter's ignorance and fear Matthew is the only Gospel to include one Disciples fall and fail, but will be restored Disciples will sit on 12 throne, judging 12 tribes of Israel 2. Conflict with Religious Leaders 3. Olivet Discourse Riding in on a colt fulfills Zech. 9:9 Messianic acts continue with clearing the temple Children shout, "Hosanna to the Son of David!" Next morning, Jesus curses the fig tree, which instantly withers Religious leaders challenge his authority In response, Jesus tells three parables: -Son who says he will work for his father -Wicked tenant farmers -Guests who reject invitation to wedding
banquet All three parables have common theme of the spiritual insiders rejecting God's will and suffering judgment; outsiders receive blessings Narrator presents Jesus defeating his opponents with his superior wisdom Jesus confounds them with a question about Messiah being both Son of David and David's Lord Sequence ends with conclusion that no one dared reply Preceded by seven woes in Ch. 23-denunciations against Pharisees and scribes Two themes: -Destruction of Jerusalem -Responsibilities of Jesus' disciples until the end of the age Two events queried: -Time of destruction of the Temple -Signs related to Jesus' return Jesus affirms that many things will happen before the end Three parables in conclusion affirm themes of readiness, faithful stewardship, and
loving service to fellow
believers Crucifixion Trial and Pilate Messiah is Vindicated: Resurrection Events move quickly: Jesus' 4th passion prediction, description of elders' and priests' plot Jesus and leaders moving to same goal, for different purposes Meanwhile, disciples are helpless spectators As in Mark, in this section the disciples' failures stand in contrast to Jesus' faithfulness Judas betrays Jesus Jesus is aware: identifies Judas as betrayer at Last Supper Judas arrives with crowd to seize Jesus Jesus tells him to do what he must to fulfill Scripture Jesus rebukes crowd for coming deceitfully Jesus says it occurs so prophets will be fulfilled Duplicity of the leaders come to a climax Matthew portrays Pilate as a minor player influenced by the evil will of the religious leaders -They use false evidence and false witnesses -They tell him to claim he is the Christ and despite his
cryptic answer, they declare him blasphemous -They mock and abuse him and send him to Pilate -He knows Jesus is innocent by his own insight and his
wife's dream, but still has him crucified -Washes his hands of it, contrasts with Israel -Crowds choose Barrabas over Jesus -Call for Jesus' crucifixion -Climactically cry, "Let his blood be on us and our
children!" Portrayed in Matthew as an ironic tragedy -Jesus dressed regally and mocked as King of the Jews -Religious leaders, passersby, and even other criminals being crucified mocked him -The irony was that Jesus was in fact all the things they were mocking him as: King of Israel, Son of God, and Savior Jesus' identity confirmed with four events: -Temple curtain torn -Earthquake -Tombs open and holy ones resurrected -Centurion's revelation Plot brought to resolution: Jesus' identity and mission vindicated, disciples restored as representatives over Jesus' church, religious leaders still evil Two appearances of Jesus narrated: -To the two Marys at tomb -To eleven disciples in Galilee:
contains the Great Commission The Great Commission A thematic summary of the Gospel Resolves plot Reinforces important themes: -Jesus has the authority to speak and act on behalf of God -Jesus delegates authority to disciples -Mission to Israel expanded to make disciples of all nations Jesus is leading character and chief protagonist Immanuel Son of God Jesus is Messiah, fulfillment of God's promises "Jesus Christ, the Son of David, the Son of Abraham" (1:1) Christos means "Messiah" or "Anointed One" "Son of David" used 9x Messianic portrait linked to Son of God, son of Abraham, Son of Man, suffering servant, New Moses, and the true Israel All titles connected to OT and theme of promise and fulfillment Jesus is Immanuel, the presence of God 1. Jesus is God's representative and actual presence 2. Jesus performs actions associated with God 3. Jesus speaks and acts in ways with recall OT God language "It has been said...but I say to you" -Forgive sins -Knows the thoughts of human beings -Affirms that people should worship God -Receives and accepts worship from others -Sends prophets, wise men, and teachers to Israel -Protective mother bird to his people -When he establishes kingdom, he will send angels to gather the elect -Will determine human destiny at the final judgment -Promises his presence whenever disciples gather in his name, even until the end Jesus is Immanuel, the wisdom of God -In Jewish tradition, beginning with Proverbs, wisdom is personified as a woman who brings God's truth to human beings -Matthew 11:25-30 reveals a striking parallel to the wisdom tradition Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light. Draw near to me, you who are uneducated, and lodge in the house of instruction...Acquire wisdom for yourselves without money. Put your neck under her yoke, and let your souls receive instruction...See with your own eyes that I have labored but little and found for myself much serenity. Matthew 11:18-20 Sirach 51:23, 25-27 Appears at critical points in the narrative -Baptism and transfiguration -Satan and demons declare it -Temptation narrative revolves around it -Disciples come to this recognition *After Jesus calms the storm *Peter recognizes him *At trial, Jesus affirms it when questioned *Jesus mocked as Son of God *Centurion's declaration *Great Commission Unites messianic and transcendent features of Jesus' identity Peter Religious Leaders The Crowds They struggle with faith and often don't understand Jesus' teachings, but they are clearly on his side 2x understand teachings (16:12; 17:13) 4x Jesus refers to them as "you of little faith" (6:30; 8:26; 14:31; 16:8) Ends with disciples worshiping Jesus and accepting commission Not without ambiguity, "some doubt" (28:17) Much more positive than Mark Very prominent role Several stories about Peter are unique to Matthew -Finding the coin in the fish's mouth -How many times to forgive fellow believer -Peter comes out to walk with Jesus on water -Peter's confession followed by commendation and prediction of role of authority in the church What does this signify? 1. Peter as the symbol of leadership 2. Peter not leader of, but representative of disciples Who is "the rock" of Matt. 16:18? 1. Peter (linked to church establishment and papal succession) 2. Jesus 3. Peter's confession More negative than Mark They lack authority and envy it in Jesus Completely evil In line with Satan: so corrupt they have no hope for redemption Ch. 23 filled with denunciations against them Parable of wheat and tares unique to Matthew (13:24-30, 36-43) Crowds serve as representative of Israel as a whole Amazed by miracles, come to be fed Never fully grasp Jesus' identity Fickle and easily manipulated "Let his blood be on our children!" the final rejection of Jesus Transcendent Purpose Demonstrate that Jesus is the fulfillment of Jewish hopes for the Messiah Provides church with a response against the deniers of Jesus as Messiah and the church as people of God Call the church to greater faith and trust in their risen and ever-present Lord Emphasis on still-future church Emphasis on abiding presence of Christ in the church Frequent use of the title "Lord" for Jesus Jesus is the Culmination of Salvation History Still Relevant and Profound Today The harsh portrayal of the Jewish leaders and crowds may bring up some uncomfortable associations Reading Matthew Anti-Semitically is anachronistic Not an indictment of Jews, but an debate within Judaism If Jesus is the Messiah, then the church (Jews and Gentiles) is the authentic people of God Salvation moves forward through new people of God made from people of all nations Addresses issues of: God's purpose for the world, characteristics of a true disciple, and what to do to find salvation The Kingdom of Heaven Jesus and the Law In Jesus, God has acted decisively to save his people Salvation history reaches its goal and purpose in Jesus the Messiah Matthew uses "kingdom of heaven" 32x
"kingdom of God" 4x Kingdom present and future as in Mark Unique stress on Jesus as God's actual presence Jesus speaks the most about OT law in Matthew Seemingly contradictory teachings 1. Continuing authority of the law 2. Abolishing aspects of the law Why? 1. Matthew moderating between antimonians (rejectors of the law) and legalists (promoters of the law) 2. God's kingdom is breaking in on humanity -New age brings new covenant -Purpose of law was to reveal God's standards for righteousness and provide means to be in covt. relationship with him; both fulfilled in Jesus -As citizens of kingdom, higher standard is required because law is written on their hearts -Acts of righteousness proceeding from loving God and loving neighbor exceed Mosaic Law 3. Disciples still keep Mosaic law during transition period of Jesus' ministry Place and Date Authorship Author writing to Jewish or Jewish/Gentile audience Author's community in debate with larger Jewish community Did the church still consider itself a part of Judaism, did it break from it, or was it expelled? -Matthew a response to Jamnia -Matt's community decisively broke from Judaism -Church trying to assert their faith within Judaism Gospel does not indicate a place of origin Many scholars point to Antioch in Syria -Earliest quote from Matthew by Ignatius of Antioch -Matthew used for Syrian church manual, Didache -Church in Antioch founded by Greek-speaking Jewish Christians -Antioch has large Jewish and Gentile populations Date 80's or 90's -Matthew as a response to Jamnia -Parable of wedding banquet possible allusion to destruction of Jerusalem Date 60's -No indication of Jerusalem destruction -Church tradition Church tradition ascribes it to Matthew, tax collector and disciple External Evidence Internal Evidence Mixed Data -All 3 Synoptics list Matthew as a disciple -Story of his call (9:9-13) -Mark and Luke have the same story, but call him Levi -Papias' statement: Matthew compiled/arranged/composed the logia/oracles/sayings/gospel in the Hebrew/Aramaic language/style, and everyone interpreted/translated them as best they could -Doubts: 1. Papias' statement not trustworthy 2. Markan priority 3. Matthew reflects concerns of 2nd gen. believers -Affirmations: 1. Possibility of an original Aramaic or Hebrew writing 2. Matthew could have borrowed from Mark 3. Nothing points definitively to 2nd gen. concerns -Skillful organization -Use of name Matthew in 9:9 -Prominence of money and tax-collecting themes -Doubters note that his emphasis on Jewish ritual and law does not match well for a tax collector. However, some explain this by positing that Matthew was a converted Scribe/Pharisee -Approach with caution -Church tradition chose Matthew for a reason
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