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The IVP New Testament Commentary Series – Gentile Oppressors Become Models of Faith in Christ (27:54)
Gentile Oppressors Become Models of Faith in Christ (27:54)

Whereas Jesus' own people had not believed, the supervising centurion and those with him recognized Jesus' identity the way Peter had some time before (16:16). In contrast to Peter, however (16:21-22), these Gentiles recognize Jesus' sonship in the cross rather than by ignoring the cross, all the more remarkable because this defied Gentile models of leadership (20:25).

The Gospel has come full circle: again the religious leaders of Israel have missed the significance of Jesus, whereas the pagans one would expect to be most hostile to Christ have understood and embraced his true identity (2:1-12). Matthew's message to his Jewish Christian audience is clear: regardless of the response of the Jewish religious leaders, you must evangelize the Gentiles. His message to us today is no less clear: although church people often live in disobedience to the gospel and take Christ for granted, we must take him beyond the walls of our churches to a waiting world.

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