Reading Acts

Matthew 18 is the fourth sermon in the Gospel of Matthew. Luz calls this section “The Community Discourse” and points out it is not “church handbook” (Luz, Matthew 18-20, 421). Nolland begins the unit with 17:22 and says Matthew is concerned with the “status and behavior in the ‘royal family’” (Nolland, Matthew, 730). If the Sermon on the Mount began with a general statement of what an ideal disciple looks like (the beatitudes), this Discourse begins with the ideal model of humanity.

At the beginning of this discourse, the disciples ask Jesus a question about rank or honor in the kingdom of God. In Mark, the disciples are arguing about who is the greatest, Matthew they simply ask Jesus about who is the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven. But in Matthew 19:28 Jesus promises the disciples they will sit on twelve thrones and judge the nations with…

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