More Laborers for the Harvest (9:35-38)

Matthew adds a summary statement similar to 4:23-25, making clear that the incidents he has reported are merely some prominent examples of Jesus' many works and teachings. At this strategic point, however, we learn that Jesus' mission is not his alone. This section, which introduces Jesus' mission discourse in chapter 10, parallels Jesus with the disciples who must carry on his works (see also, for example, Davies and Allison 1991:411-12; Allison 1993b:138-39). As Jesus perpetuated John's message concerning the kingdom (3:2; 4:17; compare chaps. 5-7), his followers will do the same (10:7). As Jesus demonstrated the kingdom by compassionately healing (9:35; compare chaps. 8-9), his disciples must do the same (10:8). In short, at this point in the Gospel Matthew clarifies the suggestion of 3:11, 16 that much of Jesus' mission is likewise the church's mission. Matthew rearranges material from various sections of his sources in chapter 10 to emphasize not a past, historical mission with little current significance but a historical model for his community, hence for us who recognize all Scripture as relevant (2 Tim 3:16-17; compare S. Brown 1978).

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