Gospel of Matthew – Jesus as Divine Son

Gospel of Matthew – Jesus as Divine Son February 9, 2021

David Bauer’s The Gospel of the Son of God: An Introduction to Matthew really is a good intro to Matthew, quite readable, informative, certainly good for students. I’m still a Mark-guy, but I’ve developed a better appreciation of Matthew in recent years thanks to reading books like Bauer, as well as Pennington, McKnight, Luz, and how could I forget my former PhD students Jason Hood and Danny Zacharias!

Here is what Bauer says about Matthew’s construal of Jesus and God:

In sum, then, Matthew gives several indications, most significantly the worship of Jesus, that Jesus is divine as well as human. Jesus’ relationship to God is characterized by both equality and subordination. This is not to suggest that Matthew offers a clear and explicit portrayal of the deity of Jesus that we find in the Gospel of John, nor that Matthew communicates anything like a worked-out Chalcedonian Christology. But his presentation of Jesus, with its indirect suggestions of deity, served as an understandable foundation for later christological conceptualizations. Indeed, Matthew’s portrait of Jesus does not focus on ontology, that is, issues pertaining to his being. Any ontological claims must be inferred from Jesus’ actions and relationships, both to God and to other persons. Rather, Matthew presents Jesus’ association with God in functional and relational terms. The primary claims Matthew wishes to make about Jesus are that he functions with divine authority and that he is perfectly obedient to the will of his Father (p. 275).

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