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Archive for January 18th, 2020

Matthew 28:18-20: The Missionary Mandate as Theological Key to the Gospel

Posted by Dim Bulb on January 18, 2020

Matthew’s Gospel is made up of six major blocks of material. The first five blocks (Mt 1-25) contain two parts: 1. major narrative [N] and 2. major discourse/sermon [D/S]. These block can be outlined as follows:

 

Block 1~ Mt 1:1-7:29. [N] Mt 1-4. [D/S] Mt 5-7.

 

Block 2~ Mt 8:1-10:42. [N] Mt 8-9. [D/S] Mt 10.

 

Block 3~ Mt 11:1-13:53. [N] Mt 11-12. [D/S] Mt 13:1-53.

 

Block 4~ Mt 13:54-18:35. [N]Mt 13:54-17:27. [D/S] Mt 18.

 

Block 5~ Mt 19:1-25:46. [N] Mt 19:1-22:46. [D/S] 23-25.

 

The purpose of this arrangement is quite simple: each narrative prepares for the discourse that follows it, and each discourse helps explain its preceding narrative. The sixth and final block of material has a markedly different structure and serves a different purpose. Like the other blocks it consists of a major narrative [Passion and Resurrection, Mt 26-28], but in contrast to the other blocks it contains a seemingly minor discourse: “And Jesus coming, spoke to them, saying: All authority is given to me in heaven and in earth. For this reason go, teach ye all nations: baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost. Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you. And behold I am with you all days, even to the consummation of the world (Mt 28:18-20).

 

These, the last words spoken by Jesus are, however, anything but minor; they serves to recapitulate nine themes that permeate the book and are especially prominent in the first five discourses (but see Theme 5).

 

Theme 1:  Authority of Jesus: “All authority is given me in heaven and earth.”

 

D/S 1. Mt 5:17-48; 7:28-29.

D/S 2. Mt 10:27, 31-33, 34-40.

D/S 3: Mt 13:41.

D/S 4. Mt 18:3, 10, 18.

 

Theme 2: Authority of Apostles: “For this reason, go…”

 

D/S 1. Mt 5:13-19.

D/S 2. Mt 10:1, 5, 16, 40.

D/S 3. Mt 13:17, 52 (implicit).

D/S 4. Mt 18:18. But implicit throughout.

D/S 5. Mt 23:8-12, 34.

 

Theme 3: Apostolic Mission: “Make disciples”

 

D/S 1. Mt 5:19-20; 6:9-10.

D/S 2. Mt 10:5-6.

D/S 3. Mt 13:52.

D/S 4. Mt 18:12-14.

D/S 5. Mt 24:45-51; 25:14-30.

 

Theme 4: The Mission is Universal: “All nations.”

 

D/S 1. Mt 5:13-14.

D/S 2. Mt 10:17-18, 27.

D/S 3. Mt 13:32, 38.

D/S 4. Mt 18:18.

D/S 5. Mt 24:14, 30; 25:32.

 

Theme 5: Mission Consists of Baptizing: “Baptizing them.”

 

Not explicit in any discourse, but see Mt 3:8-12. Implicit in Mt 20:17-23.

 

Theme 6: Mission Consists of Teaching: “Teaching them.”

 

D/S 1. Mt 5:13-16 (implicit). Mt 5:19.

D/S 2. Mt 10: 7, 14 (implicit).

D/S 3. Mt 13:52.

D/S 4. None.

D/S 5. Mt 23:10.

 

Theme 7: What is Taught: “Observe all things I have commanded you.”

 

D/S 1. Mt 5:17-48; 6:1-34; 7:15-27. See esp., Mt 6:10.

D/S 2. Mt 10:8, 42.

D/S 3. Mt 13:8, 23. Implicit in Mt 13:17, 52.

D/S 4. Mt 18:33.

D/S 5. Mt 23:3, 23; 25:31-46.

 

Theme 8: Jesus’ Presence: “I am with you all days.”

 

D/S 2. Mt 10:22, 40.

D/S 4. Mt 18:20.

 

Theme 9: Jesus is Present Until the Judgement: “Even to the consummation of the ages.”

 

D/S 1. Mt 6:13, 7:21-27.

D/S 2. Mt 10:22.

D/S 3. Mt 13:30, 40-43, 49-50.

D/S 4. Mt 18:35.

D/S 5. Mt 24:14, 31, 44, 50-51; 25:13, 14-30, 31-46.

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