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Chapter Seven

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Chapter Summary

This chapter considers the various passages where the crowds are described as following Jesus, and explains why this motif is such a pervasive one in the gospel. In so doing, it determines whether the crowds' following does disclose any disciple, like commitment to Jesus. Jesus is usually made the object of the verb, and Matthew has modified his sources to have Jesus appear almost invariably as the cynosure. The rigours of discipleship are only to be embarked upon with Jesus' authorization. Graham Stanton has argued that Jesus' invitation at 11:28-30 is directed at disciples. The following of the disciples is christological in that the disciples' calling is entirely dependent on the call and the person of Jesus. Thus, the depiction of the crowds as needy and burdened fits well with the portrayal of Jesus' ministry. The people of Israel, in distinction to their leaders, are especially in want of healing.

Keywords: discipleship; Graham Stanton; Israel; Jesus'healing authority; Matthew



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