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Chapter Six

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Chapter Summary

This chapter focuses on the crowds' reactions to Jesus. Jesus' disciples express astonishment when they hear Jesus state how difficult it is for a rich man to be saved (19:25). Their astonishment becomes the direct consequence of his teaching. It also furnishes the basis for their exclamation about Jesus' wisdom and mighty works (13:54). The Nazareans recognize a quality in Jesus' teaching, presumably his wisdom, that provokes their astonishment. Matthew is also able to demonstrate the crowds' increasing awareness through the inclusion of references to the Jewish leaders, who function as a foil to the crowds. Their openness to Jesus is also evident when it is contrasted with the Pharisees' intransigence. The crowds' adulation stresses the quondam favourable reaction of the Jewish crowds to Jesus, and their onetime amazement at his actions.

Keywords: Jesus' disciples; Jewish crowds; Matthew; Nazareans; Pharisees

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