Israel And The Universal Mission In The Gospel Of Matthew1 -- By: Tae Sub Kim

Journal: Tyndale Bulletin
Volume: TYNBUL 064:1 (NA 2013)
Article: Israel And The Universal Mission In The Gospel Of Matthew1
Author: Tae Sub Kim


Israel And The Universal Mission In The Gospel Of Matthew1

Tae Sub Kim

The present study investigates the relationship between Israel and the universal mission in the Gospel of Matthew. The previous views of scholars deal with this relationship unilaterally proceeding ‘from Israel to the Gentile (or the universal) mission’ alone, but the relationship in the other direction has not yet been discussed. Thus, while introducing new perspectives aiming for a fuller understanding of the reciprocal relationship between Israel and the universal mission in the First Gospel, this study attempts to demonstrate how the completion of the universal mission is associated with the re-establishment of Israel in the Gospel of Matthew.

The first main chapter (chapter 2) probes the purpose of Jesus’ earthly ministry to Israel and its outcome, in order to lay the groundwork for the ensuing two main chapters. In Matthew, Jesus is depicted as Israel’s Messiah, who has come in order to reverse the nation’s predicament of sinfulness (1:21) and lostness (10:6), not least by calling for national repentance (4:17) and attempting to reassemble the twelve tribes of Israel (2:6; 4:25; 10:6; 15:24). Thus, if the people of Israel receive Jesus as their Messiah, the long-standing hope for restoration will come to fruition. However, Jesus is confronted by outright opposition from Israel from the time of his birth. Not only does he meet with hostility from the leadership groups, he is also rejected by the people of his hometown (13:54-58) and eventually the whole people of Israel (23:36; 27:25). Owing to Israel’s failure, she has to suffer divine punishments at a national level. In particular, the evangelist connects Israel’s rejection of Jesus and the withdrawal of the divine presence from the temple (23:29-38; 27:3-10), as well as the destruction of this sanctum itself (27:25). As a result, Israel’s

predicament has become even worse after rejecting Jesus than it was before he came, as declared in 12:43-45.

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