12:49 PM

Purpose

We will use this space to collect our thoughts and interact on Matthew 10.

Comment (1)

1.) In 10:7, Jesus instructs the disciples to proclaim, “the Kingdom of heaven is near” which furthers the continuing theme of heaven’s kingdom approaching mentioned also in 3:2 by John and 4:17 by Jesus (Carter, 234). Does this verse refer to the approaching time of Christ’s return (as v. 23 mentions) and establishment of an apocalyptic and eschatological kingdom, or does 10:7 rather reference the earthly and physical exemplification of the kingdom of heaven on earth through the disciples’ healing of diseases, proclamations of peace, and simple lifestyle?

2a) The only mention Luz gives to the matter is simply to state, “The Kingdom of God is primarily the setting for the ethical proclamation of Jesus” (75) While maintaining healing is the “concrete experience of salvation” given so that the proclamation of the kingdom of heaven does not become “mere ethical exhortation,” Luz does not further expound upon this argument.

2b) Likewise, Carter seems to align with the latter interpretation, although he offers little explanation for his views. Carter states that 10:7 refers to “God’s empire” that “challenges all other reigns, including Roman imperial power and the religious elite’s control (234). Carter maintains Jesus’ imperatives to heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse lepers, and cast out demons demonstrate God’s “life-giving reign.” However, Carter notes also that “response to the mission involves eschatological consequences of vindication or condemnation (233).

3) It seems that the Gospel of Matthew portrays Jesus’ and then the disciples’ proclamation and exhibition of God’s kingdom of heaven on earth as pointing towards Christ’s apocalyptic return and establishment of an eschatological heaven. 3:2 and 4:17’s seems to account for the apocalyptic element to this reference of Jesus by mentioning the necessity of repentance. However, it seems Jesus first and foremost accounts for the disciples seeking to live as the household, or kingdom, of God on earth due to Jesus instruction for the apostles to live out such kingdom values as poverty, powerlessness, and self-denial.

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