Thursday, March 27, 2014

Jesus "Great Commission" promise: "I will be with you always, especially until AD 70"?

 Andrew Perriman:

Jesus promises to be with them all the days until the end of the age. The end of the age (hē sunteleia tou aiōos) in Matthew is not the end of the world. It is the moment when Israel will be judged - when the weeds will be gathered out of the kingdom and destroyed (13:40-42), when the good fish are separated from the bad (13:49-50), and when the stones of the temple will be thrown down by an invading army (13:2-3). Jesus’ assurance at this particular point in the narrative is a limited one: he will be with his disciples every moment, no matter what they face, until the Son of man is vindicated for his radical departure from tradition when the armies of Rome raze the temple of Israel’s God to the ground; and because they are the community of the Son of man in Jesus, that moment will also be their vindication.  The not so Great Commission | P.OST


On the strength of the authority that he has received as the suffering Son of Man, the resurrected Jesus sends his disciples out into the nations. He promises that he will be with them not until the end of the world—or the new creation—but until the “end of the age” of second temple Judaism. This is the not-so-great-commission. Given the post-resurrection perspective here, this could perhaps be stretched to include the eschatologically related defeat of pagan empire and the confession of Christ as Lord by the nations. But Matthew would still have in mind the presence of the one who suffered and was vindicated with his disciples, who would likewise suffer and be vindicated in the lengthy historical process by which wrath came first against the Jew and then against the Greek (cf. Rom. 2:6-10).  = link, full article  The Gospel of Matthew and the horizon of the early church

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