Theology Of Matt

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Theology of Matt. 5.1-12

Theology of Matt. 5.1-12


Although Jesus' teaching in these three chapters seems to be addressed only to the disciples (vv. 1b-2), there are also indications that it was also for the "crowds". There are double sets of "bookends" (inclusio) within and without the Sermon. The Sermon begins with Jesus seeing the crowds (5:1). It ends with the statement, "Now when Jesus had finished saying these things, the crowds were astounded at his teaching, ...." (7:28). The word "crowd" (ochlos) does not occur anywhere else in the sermon. In the verse just before our text, we are told, "Great crowds followed (akoloutheo) him ...." (4:25). In the verse just after the Sermon, we are told, "... great crowds followed (akoloutheo) him (8:1). Prior to this, the only ones who had followed (akoloutheo) Jesus, were the four fishermen he had called (4:20, 22). I think that this suggests that the Sermon was not just for the 12 "disciples" (the first time the word is used in Matthew), but intended for all who "follow" Jesus(Francis, 1990,, 353).

The Beatitudes

Powell critiques those who would (1) try to fit all the beatitudes into the scheme of either eschatological reversal or eschatological reward and (2) interpret each beatitude on its own terms without any thought to the whole. He suggests that the structure can provide a third alternative. It is clear that the beatitude in 11-12 is different from the other eight by its second person reference, its length, and its imperative mood (v. 12). In addition, there are the "bookends" of "for theirs is the kingdom of heaven" [an alternative translation will be offered below] in vv. 3 & 10, which seem to separate these first 8 beatitudes from the last one.

Ten Commandments

We understand that “all Scripture is money-making” (2 Timothy 3:16). We should also understand that some portions of Scripture are more vital than others. Some texts of Scripture serve as a key to the comprehending of other Scripture. For example, the parable of the dirt (Matthew 13:1-23; Mark 4:1-25) is a significant sign to comprehending the educating of our Lord. It is a key to grasping the reason for His use of parables (Mark 4:13). It was furthermore the key to understanding the differing responses of men to the note of our Lord.

The Decalogue210 (the Ten Commandments) is one of the keys to comprehending the Old Testament. Cole writes: “… the 'ten words' are at one time the starting and the heart of the Mosaic revelation. round the 'ten phrases' it is likely to assembly most of the provisions of the 'book of the covenant' in sections 21-23, and round the book of the covenant in turn to assembly the rest of the Torah.”211

While all do not agree on this issue, I believe that Cole is right in his conclusion that the Ten Commandments are an introductory summary of the Law,212 the central centre of the more lengthy Law of Moses which will pursue in the ...
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