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Part III: Conclusion

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Chapter Summary

This section examines the "favourable" characterization of the crowds in the gospel. This portrayal includes most of the crowds' words and actions during Jesus' public ministry. When the disciples do react, they worship Jesus. The crowds do not worship Jesus, but they praise God because of him, and evince an increasing penetration of Jesus' identity, even if it stops well short of the understanding displayed by the disciples. As "lost sheep", the crowds are the object of Jesus' and the disciples' ministry. The crowds do in fact occupy a position midway between that of the disciples and their leaders. Matthew clearly uses Jesus' involvement with the crowds to develop his Christology and his representation of the crowds. The favourable role of the crowd also has a manifest apologetic function.

Keywords: apologetic function; Christology; God; Jesus' ministry; lost sheep; Matthew

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