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The Rejection of the Humble Messianic King

A Study of the Composition of Matthew 11-12


Donald Verseput

Although the prominence of Matthew's anti-Jewish polemic has been widely recognized in recent years, curiously little attention has thus far been given to the contribution made by chapters 11 and 12 to this theme. Often dismissed as a loose compendium of controversy-stories, this narrative section actually displays a solid, thematic unity dealing with the tragic fact of Jesus'rejection by the covenant people, Israel. Matthew's usually thoughtful style is evident in these chapters as he proceeds in a quite independent manner to clarify the unexpectedly humble nature of the messianic mission, the consequences of its rejection and the identity of the true people of God.
Contents: The Drama of the Matthean Gospel - The Rejection of Salvation (Mt 11:1-24) - God's Mercy in Jesus (Mt 11:25-12: 21) - Israel's Rejection Revisited (Mt 12:22-45) - The True Messianic Community (Mt 12:46-50).