The nature and demands of the sovereign rule of God in the Gospel of Matthew

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This work argues that the author of the Gospel of Matthew structures his work as a Bios or biography of Jesus, so as to encapsulate, in narrative form, the essence of his theological understanding of God's Basileia (sovereign rule), as proclaimed and taught in the teaching and healing mission of Jesus. Evidence for this is found in Matthew's careful use of structural markers to divide his story of Jesus into significant thematic sub-sections in which he uses a series of Basileia logia at incisive points to highlight aspects of Jesus' teaching and healing mission. In this way, Matthew is able to portray Jesus, as God's promised Messiah, who instructs his disciples through discourse and narrative, hence in word and example, in the nature and demands of God's sovereign rule.
By structuring his Gospel as a story, Matthew depicts Jesus giving instructions to his disciples and also instructs the readers of the text. Hence, Matthew's Gospel becomes a manual of instruction on the nature and demands of God's sovereignty. Its purpose is to ensure that not only the members of the Matthean community, but all future disciples of Jesus are competently trained to carry out Jesus' commission: "Go therefore and disciple all the nations ..." (28:19-20). In this way, the goods news of God's saving presence is proclaimed to all the nations until God's eschatological reign is finally established.


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