Matthew’s Gospel and getting things in order

The logical Gospel
The Jewish Gospel

Getting everything in order

Matthew iconMatthew’s Gospel is my favourite Gospel.

It wasn’t always so. At first, it was Luke, I was handed a free Gospel of Luke whilst at University from a member of the Christian Union. I still have a soft spot for Luke, as reading this book lead to my becoming a Christian a few months later.

Then I liked John’s Gospel. The focus on who Jesus is and how we relate to him now, nit just in the I am passages and throughout helped me to go beyond just believing in Jesus through to having a relationship with him.

Then I went back to Luke being favourite, his writings show God’s bias for the poor and downtrodden, the underdogs, helped me to learn that spirituality is much more than being about me relating to God, but I have to relate to other people as well.

Then Mark’s Gospel was where I focussed on the immediacy, of the writing, the narrative never slows down.

John’s Gospel is universal in scope, it seems to have been written to counter false teaching such as Gnosticism. Mark, the earliest to be completed, is about Jesus the servant and is written to a Roman worldview. Luke, written to a Greek worldview, has, in the middle part what looks to be a random list – another time Jesus was… – there seems to have been little attempt at chronology in this part of Luke. Matthew is the Gospel with a Jewish or Hebrew focuses shown in a wider use of the apocalyptic style than the others.

Structure

Matthews Gospel is also highly structured, separated into sections which end with a statement like when Jesus had finished saying these things, which is the transition to the next part. Each part has a narrative part, then a teaching part.

Narrative Teaching Transition
1—4 5—7 7:28
8:1—9:34 9:35-10:42 11:1
11:2—12: 50 13:1—52 13:53
13:53—17:27 18:1—35. 19:1
19:1—22:46 23:1—25:46 26:1
26:1—28:20 (The Passion)

I find the structured nature very easy for my structured autistic brain to get around. I have already blogged on the beatitudes in Matthew chapter 5 and in Lent 2018 did the rest of the sermon on the mount (Matthew 5 to 7). I intend to do chapters 1 to 4, the nativity story in the first 2 chapters during Advent, and chapters 3 and 4 in the new year.

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