Propulsive Theology in the Gospel of Matthew

It is spatially fascinating that the author of the Gospel of Matthew concludes the narrative on a mountain in Galilee, the region from which Jesus had initially emerged as the Son of Man. He began the formal calling of the twelve disciples while walking along the Sea of Galilee, and here he will give his final instructions. In this setting, Jesus directs his disciples to move forward from the Land and go forth. It is a propulsive thrust with a specific directive to go and make disciples, baptizing them and teaching them. However, this is not the only place for the author to use this directive for forward momentum. This distinctive emphasis is given repeatedly in Matthew, depicting propulsive direction from God. In the opening sentence of the Gospel, the genealogy of Jesus the Messiah is traced as the son of David and the son of Abraham. With Abraham’s name, the first evidence of the propulsive nature of the Gospel begins as the reader recalls Gen. 12:1-3 and the command from God given to Abraham to go forth from his country. This research traces the propulsive momentum through the Gospel, beginning with God’s directive to Abraham in Matthew 1:1 and ending with Jesus’ directive to the disciples to go forth in Matthew 28:16-20.

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