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Matthew 28:16-20 and Matthew's Gospel
(1) The last paragraph of Matthew’s gospel ties up the book by bringing together elements from throughout the story. Click on each of the marked phrases an reflect on the relationship between the earlier passages and the closing section.
Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:16-20 NASB).
(2) The mission of Jesus’ followers included “teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you.” This shines the light back on to the five large blocks of teaching Matthew collected in the gospel, thus, effectively making this gospel a red-letter gospel. Take a look at the final verses of the five major discourses to see Matthew’s intentional grouping of the teachings.
(3) Read each of the five discourses: Sermon on the Mount, Missionary Discourse, Parables of the Kingdom, Community Discourse, Mount of Olives Discourse. What is the general character and major themes of each discourse? Do the five discourses share anything in common other than their concluding statements (noted above)? What do you think is the purpose of each of the discourses considered individually? How do these collections of Jesus’ teaching impact the storyline in Matthew’s gospel?
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