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    Bosch Comparison of Gospel of Matthew and Luke-Acts Essay

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    Gospel of Matthew: Discipleship Model The gospel of Matthews overarching theme can be summarized in the Great Commission, Matthew 28:16-20. It is for the Jewish Christian Community that Matthew writes his gospel. His goal is to assist with the development of a missionary culture that will match the challenges of his community and he uses his gospel as a vehicle to accomplish his goal. (Bosch: 59) Matthew, through his gospel, suggests that the differences between the Pharisaic Jews and the Jewish Christians could be bridged through missions to the Gentiles. He desired for his community to transition from a sectarian view to an inclusive one.

    Bosch: 60) In Matthews opinion, a missionary community was one that understood itself as being different from the community in which it lived but also commuted to changing that community for the better. (Bosch: 84) Matthew used the key concepts of the Great Commission as a tool to assist his readers with self-identity and to attempt to bridge the gap between the Jewish Christians and the legalistic Pharisees of the time. The important concepts found in the Gospel of Matthew were “the reign of God, Gods will, Justice, commandments, the challenge to be perfect, to surpass or xcel, to observe or keep, to bear fruit and to teach. Matthews gospel focuses on these key concepts; which could also be called key attributes of an individual who wants to follow Christ. Matthew used the parables of Jesus, Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount and very specific language to reinforce his viewpoint of mission. According to Bosch, in surveying the Gospel of Matthew there is no “universal theme” with regard to missions; however, he did believe that in order for Christians to find out who they really are they must be involved in missions by sharing the gospel with others. (Bosch: 84) Luke-Acts: Forgiveness and Solidarity

    Although Luke was a Gentile, his focus was on the Jewish Christians and the relationship between Jews and Gentiles in respect to salvation and forgiveness; and salvation and forgiveness were his main themes. Luke takes a theological approach to explaining mission. In Luke’s writings there are also recurring themes, as in Matthew that are evident: the ministry of the Holy Spirit, the centrality of repentance (Bosch: 87) Through the aforementioned concepts/themes Luke’s addressed the issue of the transition of the Christian community from being exclusively Jewish to being predominately Gentile.

    He used his writings to express the importance of Jesus and his coming and he uses the Holy Spirit throughout his writings to affirm his viewpoint. (Bosch:88) Luke also uses geography to explain the importance of mission to the Jews as well as the Gentile by focusing on where Jesus’ ministry began and would ultimately end. He used Jesus’ Journey to explain the salvation offered to all, Jews first and then the Gentiles. He also focused on the Jewishness of Jesus, Just a Matthew did. Bosch:95) It is apparent that Luke focuses on salvation and repentance throughout his gospel as well as the book of Acts. His focus is on Jesus Christ and his sacrifice as the reason why individuals should repent and live better lives. What’s interesting about Luke is that, unlike Matthew, he does not portray the Jewish people as the only ones who reject Jesus but writes that both Jews and Gentiles rejected Jesus. In his writings, it is the Holy Spirit that “initiates” the mission and directs the missionary where they should go, as seen in his writings about Paul. Bosch 115) Now let’s look at Bosch’s comparison of the gospels. Comparison of Matthew and Luke-Acts According to Bosch, for some scholars/theologians Luke 4:16-21 replaces the Great Commission as the key text for understanding both Jesus’ mission and the mission of the church. Matthews audience was the Jewish Christian Community, whereas Luke’s audience was for Christians who were predominately Gentile. Matthew was probably writing to a single community in his gospel and Luke was probably writing to several different communities. Bosch:85) With regard to similarities, both gospels were written around the same time. Both Matthew and Luke used Marks gospel and the “Sayings-Source (or Q)” as sources for their writings. Both were writing to communities that were going through a transitional period. The men wrote their ospels during a time when individuals had all but forgotten about the significant things Jesus accomplished during his ministry and excitement over the second coming of Jesus had grown cold.

    Both were in communities where the church was being tested and going through some identity crises. Both wanted to encourage the churches in their communities and help them through the transitions but they had different perspectives on how to do it; however, the both felt that mission was of fundamental importance. Bibliography Bosch, David J. Transforming Mission: Paradigm Shifts in Theology of Mission. Maryknoll, New York: Orbis Books, 2011.

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