Jan 14, 2015

Gentile References in Matthew

I have been working in the Gospel of Matthew. This Gospel is often, and rightly, recognized as the most Jewish of the Gospels. But what is less well known is that there is a significant Gentile thread that runs through the book. Although others have surely produced such a list, I could not find one. So here is a list that I came up with. Feel free to suggest other possible references in the comments section.
1. The references to Rahab (1:5), Ruth (1:5) and Uriah (1:6),
2. The visit and positive presentation of the Magi (2:1–12)
3. The quotation of Isaiah 9:1–2 (“Galilee of the Gentiles”) (4:15–16)
4. Jesus’ fame spreading throughout Syria (4:24)
5. The reference to the Decapolis, a territory that is seen as less Jewish (4:25)
6. The commendation of the Roman centurion’s faith vis-à-vis Israel (8:10)
7. Jesus’ prediction that, “many will come from east and west and recline at table with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven” (8:11)
8. Jesus responds positively to the request of the centurion (8:13)
9. The reference to Nineveh rising up at the judgment against the current Jewish generation (12:41)
10. The reference to the queen of the South rising up at against the current Jewish generation (12:42)
11. The reference to Jesus withdrawing to the district of Tyre and Sidon (15:21)
12. Jesus’ encounter with the Canaanite woman with commendable faith (15:21–28)
13. Some see reference to the Gentiles as at least some of those who are gathered for the wedding banquet (22:1–14)
14. Some see reference to the Gentiles as those who treated Jesus’ “brothers” (Jews) with kindness (25:40)
15. The response of centurion at the death of Jesus: “Surely he was the Son of God” (27:55) 

16. The Great Commission’s call to go and make disciples of all nations

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