“In The Garden With The Abused”: A Child Abuse Survivor Exegetes Matthew 26

gethsemane

Matthew 26: 36-46

 

36 Then Jesus went with them to a place called Gethsemane; and he said to his disciples, “Sit here while I go over there and pray.” 37 He took with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and began to be grieved and agitated. 38 Then he said to them, “I am deeply grieved, even to death; remain here, and stay awake with me.” 39 And going a little farther, he threw himself on the ground and prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from me; yet not what I want but what you want.” 40 Then he came to the disciples and found them sleeping; and he said to Peter, “So, could you not stay awake with me one hour? 41 Stay awake and pray that you may not come into the time of trial; the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” 42 Again he went away for the second time and prayed, “My Father, if this cannot pass unless I drink it, your will be done.” 43 Again he came and found them sleeping, for their eyes were heavy. 44 So leaving them again, he went away and prayed for the third time, saying the same words. 45 Then he came to the disciples and said to them, “Are you still sleeping and taking your rest? See, the hour is at hand, and the Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners. 46 Get up, let us be going. See, my betrayer is at hand.” (NRSV)

 

Introduction

 

The Agony in Gethsemane is a very intense read in scripture in which the reader is presented with Jesus agonizing at the prospect of death, betrayal, and abandonment as he prepares to encounter the weight of sin itself. He weeps and wails and begs for pardon, but he accepts that the prophecies he has spoken are due to come true. In this pericope, connections can be made between the agony and suffering and the plight of children who are abused in society. The Agony in Gethsemane is a tragic Passion narrative in scripture that finds Jesus agonizing in spiritual pain as his humanity grieves and even further, the agony of a child who is abused.

 

The Whole of Matthew 26

Matthew itself is a Gospel and this particular pericope is part of what is commonly referred to as the Passion narrative (passion means suffering).[1] Matthew’s passion narrative very closely follows the account from Mark 14-15.[2] As stated in the prior section, this pericope is an element in the greater Passion narrative, but it also serves as a movement from Jesus being free to do ministry to becoming a convicted criminal by the priests and elders. The majority of Matthew 26 seems to show Jesus as both a human being and divine in very real and tangible ways. He is accusatory and prophetical as he articulates accurate prophecies and he displays his humanity in agony in Gethsemane. Matthew 26 is also full of prophecies that are fulfilled (with the exception of the death of Jesus) by its conclusion.

The Agony in Gethsemane follows an ABA pattern.[3] The first A is verses 36-38 where the disciples are addressed and told to sit in a particular spot while Jesus goes to pray (v. 36) and then he goes off with James, John, and Peter until he becomes too grief-stricken and withdrawals again (vv. 37-38).[4] B is the threefold prayer of surrender by Jesus (vv. 39-44) where he begs for the cup to pass, but surrenders to god’s will (v. 39), finds the disciples sleeping and goes away again praying for God’s will to be done even if Jesus must drink the cup (v. 42), finding the disciples sleeping again and going off again to pray the same words (v. 44).[5] The second A reflects the first A in that the disciples are addressed again, proclaiming the time for his betrayal has arrived (v. 45) and to get up and prepare for his arrest because his betrayer is arriving (v.46).[6]

The particular section of Matthew that this pericope finds itself in is part of a greater story of the betrayal, arrest, trial, and death of Jesus in Matthew 26-27.[7] The Agony in Gethsemane is told in the broader context of Matthew 26. The chapter beings with the foreshadowing of the ending of the chapter as Jesus predicts His arrest and ultimately, His death in Matthew 26:1-2. The section continues with the high priest Caiaphas, chief priests and elders plotting to arrest Jesus and have Him killed in Matthew 26:3-5. The chief priests specifically serve as the main antagonists in Matthew 26 and 27 as they plot against Jesus (26: 3-4), bribe Judas to betray him (26:15), looking for lies against him (26:59), condemn him for blasphemy (26:65-66), mock and abuse him (26:26-68), and ultimately hand him over to Pilate (27:2).[8] They become the vessel for transporting Jesus from Gethsemane to the cross. If not for these antagonists, there would be no passion narrative at all.

The next section preceding the pericope occurs in Matthew 26:6-13 as Jesus is anointed in Bethany. Here, an anonymous woman anoints the head of Jesus with expensive perfume from an alabaster jar (v. 7). While it seems that her act was a sign of hospitality for an honored guest[9], it serves as the anointing of Jesus’ body for burial in his own rebuke of the disciples (v. 12) and quite possibly the practice of the inauguration of a king found in 1 Samuel 10:1.[10] Jesus concludes that the story of what this woman did will be told “wherever this good news is proclaimed” (v. 13). Her story is to be remembered because in the Jewish context, burying the dead exceeds extending hospitality, almsgiving, and visiting the sick and she participated in the burial of a king both anticipatorily and by the words from the mouth of Jesus.[11]

Following this event, Judas visits the chief priests and makes an arrangement to betray Jesus for thirty pieces of silver (vv. 14-16) in a continuation of the initial plot to arrest and murder Jesus (vv. 3-5). Thirty pieces of silver is used in Matthew as a reference to Zechariah 11:12-13 where the shepherd of a flock destined for slaughter is given thirty pieces of silver and the shepherd must cast the silver pieces into the treasury in the Lord’s house that is played out starting here to Matthew 27:9-10[12] Matthew also sees the silver pieces becoming “blood money” that sees the money pass from Judas back to the chief priests and the temple implicating all of them in the arrest and death of Jesus.[13]

In Matthew 26: 17-30, Jesus oversees the Passover meal with the twelve disciples and institutes the Lord’s Supper. Early in the meal, he acknowledges that he knows that he will soon be betrayed and the betrayal will come from one of the twelve disciples with him (v. 21) and confirms that he knows Judas will be the one to do it (vv. 20-25). Jesus indicates that the disciple who dipped their hand in the bowl with him would be the one to betray him (v. 23) in an effort to emphasize the component of personal connection in Judas’ betrayal as he becomes the disciple sharing a meal with Jesus and not simply just one of the twelve disciples there.[14] The bread of the meal becomes representative of the body of Jesus soon to be broken once he is betrayed and arrested while the contents of the cup represent the blood of Jesus shed in the impending flogging, beatings, and crucifixion to come for the forgiveness of sins (v. 28) in a meal that foreshadows what is yet to come.[15]

Jesus leads the disciples to the Mount of Olives following the meal and informs them that they will betray him to which Peter responds that he will not betray him even in the face of death itself (and all of the disciples say the same) and Jesus counters that Peter will indeed betray him that very night not once, but three times before the rooster crows (vv. 31-35). It becomes clear at this point that Jesus is to be abandoned by all and the disciples will scatter as the sheep did in Zechariah 13:7 and Ezekiel 34:5.[16] This is the setup for the Agony in Gethsemane and Jesus agonizing in the absence of the disciples.

There are several events which follow the Agony in Gethsemane. In Matthew 26:47-56, Jesus is betrayed by Judas in Gethsemane and arrested which leads to the disciples who had come to there with him to flee. Judas greets Jesus as “rabbi” and after he betrays Jesus with a kiss, Jesus calls Judas a “friend” (v. 50) as if Judas is a complete stranger and Jesus does not know his name.[17] The crowd that came with Judas is likely the Temple guard (v. 58) and they put their hands on Jesus to arrest him causing one disciple drawing their own sword to combat the swords of the guard with the sword of the disciple.[18] Jesus corrects the disciple and reiterates the commitment that must be made not to retaliate or return violence for violence as living by the sword brings death by the sword (v. 52). He has made the choice to be arrested without resistance.

Caiaphas gets his wishes from the start of Matthew 26 granted as Jesus is brought before him, the scribes, and the elders in his home by the Temple guard in Matthew 26: 57-68. As Caiaphas looks for instances of false witness, he questions Jesus on whether Jesus is the Son of God or not (v. 63) to which Jesus responds indirectly, “You have said so.” (v. 64). Jesus goes on to merge Daniel 7:9-10;13 and Psalm 110:1 as he equates himself to the Son of Man at God’s right hand who will come down in judgment from the clouds (v. 64)[19] For claiming that he will share in God’s power, Jesus Caiaphas labels Jesus a blasphemer (vv. :65-66) and Jesus is beat, spit on, and mocked (vv. 67-68)[20] before he is sent to Pilate in Matthew 27.

The final section of Matthew 26 sees Jesus’ prediction of Peter denying him three times come true (26:69-75). A servant girl (v. 69), a second servant girl (v. 71), and bystanders (v. 73) all accuse Peter of knowing Jesus and being one of his followers. The response of Peter is to deny the accusations (v. 70), swearing an oath of not knowing Jesus (v. 72), and cursing while swearing an oath as he again denied knowing Jesus followed by the rooster crowing (v. 74). As Matthew 26 ends, all the prophecies Jesus had made regarding betrayal and abandonment had come true and this left Jesus as “a true prophet whose predictions have come to pass (Deut. 18:22).”[21]

Gethsemane In History

Gethsemane is in the Mount of Olives and the Mount of Olives is where David wept over the betrayal of his son and his counselor Ahithophel (2 Sam. 15:30), where the Lord’s feet will stand on the day of the apocalyptic battle (Zech. 14:3,4), and the day of refinement and judgment (Zech. 13:9) paining it as a place of desertion, betrayal, and judgment while finally becoming a place of triumph where the Lord becomes king of the earth (Zech. 14:9).[22] It would be understood that this place had historical significance in this sense and a furthering of the prophecies which Jesus had set out to fulfill.

Agony in Gethsemane

Matthew’s Agony in Gethsemane parallels Mark 14:32-42 (Mark came first) with very minor changes and is also found in all four Gospels.[23] Verse 36 says that Jesus led the disciples to and prayed at Gethsemane which is Aramaic for “oil press”[24] or “olive press”[25] and is thought to be a place that is situated on the way to the Mount of Olives.[26] In John’s account, John speaks of a garden that was “across the Kidron valley”[27] which puts it between Jerusalem and the Mount of Olives.[28]

Jesus calls on three disciples to come with him to another place as they leave the other disciples behind and they are referred to as “Peter and the two sons of Zebedee” (v. 37). The wording Matthew uses is thought to be an echo of Genesis 22:5 when Abraham mandates to his servants that they remain where they are as he takes Isaac to go away and pray.[29] Donald Senior states that the ““binding of Isaac” was a favored motif in rabbinic Judaism that stressed the exemplary faith of Abraham and the willing sacrifice of Isaac, and Matthew may wish to alert the reader that Jesus embodies both the faith of Abraham and the sacrificial spirit of Isaac.”[30] It is hypothesized that Jesus chose these three disciples not only for their companionship, but because “he wishes to disciple them to the very end.”[31] It is assumed that these three disciples were Peter, John, and James and are the same three disciples that Jesus took to the Mount of Transfiguration in Matthew 17:1.[32]

In continuing verse 37, Jesus becomes agitated and grieved “even to death” in verse 38, in an echo of Psalm 42: 4-5; 43:5 and while “even to death” is not explicitly in the two lament psalms, the phrase increases the lament and connects it to the Passion narrative.[33] Another interesting echo comes from Sirach 37:2: “Is it not a sorrow like that for death itself when a dear friend turns into an enemy?” if one considers the coming betrayal of Judas.[34] This is especially interesting since Protestant Christianity largely ignores the Apocrypha and Sirach clearly has informed the writer of Matthew in this pericope. Jesus continues in verse 38 by asking the disciples to “remain here, and stay awake with me.”[35] Here, Matthew echoes Mark 14:34, but he adds the phrase “with me” continuing Matthew’s highlighting of the personal connection Jesus had with his disciples.[36] In telling the disciples to stay awake, Jesus is also inviting them to keep watch harkening back to Matthew 24-25 where Jesus tells the disciples to be alert for the coming end time through parables (24:42-43; 25:13).[37] Donald Senior notes:

The saying of Jesus in 26:18 had interpreted the impending Passion as the kairos, the opportune eschatological moment that called for decisive and alert response (see also 26:16). The Gethsemane scene further specifies the kairos as the precise moment when Judas, the one who would “hand over” Jesus, approaches and sets in motion the events leading to Jesus’ death (see 26:45-46).[38]

 

In verse 39, Jesus distances himself from the disciples as he falls on his face to the ground in prayer. The normal way for Jews to pray is to stand and look towards heaven as Luke 18:11 indicates as well as the Jewish prayer, the Amidah, which means “standing”.[39] However, Numbers indicates times when Aaron, Moses, and other people fall on their faces in the presence of God or in intense distress (Num. 14:5; 16:4, 22, 45; 20:6).[40] At this point, Jesus displays intense grief and sorrow as his impending arrest looms ever closer.

Jesus continues in verse 39 as he prays for the cup to pass from his hands if possible, but for the will of God to be done. Jesus addresses God as “Father” as he does fifty-three times in the Gospel as a metaphor that is in line with Matthew’s Christology that portrays Jesus as the “Son of God” who has astonishing intimacy with God (Matt. 11:25-27) and as being obedient to the will of the “heavenly Father” (Matt. 7:21;12:50).[41] The prayer that Jesus uses in Gethsemane echoes the Lord’s Prayer with both using “my Father” and “your will be done” showing Jesus embodying the prayer he taught his disciples to pray (Matt. 6:9-10; 26:39, 42).[42] Donald Senior notes that the prayer is “at once a prayer for deliverance from death and a resolute commitment to God’s will, a profound paradox that gives the Gethsemane scene its haunting appeal.”[43] Reality sets in that death is imminent for Jesus as he evolves from asking for the cup to pass from him to God’s will being done.[44] The “cup” to which Jesus refers is the cup of suffering and the “cup of wrath” (Isa. 51: 17) and when he prays for the cup to be removed, he is echoing Isaiah 51:22 which works to emphasize the divine wrath of God in response to the sin of God’s people that Jesus is soon to absorb in death.[45]

In verses 40 and 41, Jesus finds the disciples sleeping and sees that Peter could not stay awake with him and acknowledges that the spirit is willing, but it is the flesh that is weak. Once again, Jesus is highlighting the teaching to be “awake” and “watch” from the Sermon on the Mount and acknowledges Peter’s human limitations as he shares in the humanity with him meaning that Peter’s weakness is not in his sleeping, it is the fact that he and the other disciples with Jesus do not pray.[46] This highlights the two dimensions of human beings: the “spiritual” that is willing and the “flesh” that is weak and is found throughout Jewish literature while also seeing use in Paul’s writing in Romans 7:14-25 and continuing Matthew’s assertion that the disciples have “little faith”  (Matt. 6:30; 8:26; 14:31; 16:8; 17:20).[47]

These dimensions are further highlighted as Jesus heads off to pray again in verse 42. This time, Jesus repeats the words from verse 39, but in a negative form “if this cup cannot pass unless I drink it, your will be done.”[48] Worth noting at this point is that the prayers of Jesus are thought by some to be fabrication since he went away from the disciples, but it is likely that the disciples were in earshot range of Jesus and that he was praying quite loudly in his anguish and grief (Heb. 5:7) while also recognizing that prayers during this time were spoken out loud while silent prayer was exceptional (see Hannah’s prayer and Eli’s response in 1 Sam. 1:12-16).[49]

In verse 43, Jesus returns to find the disciples sleeping again. Stanley Hauerwas says of the disciples, “Like the maidens in the parable of the ten bridesmaids, the disciples failed to understand the necessity of being prepared. By sleeping they retreat into the dreams and fantasies that always tempt us as models of escape from the reality of Jesus’s agony.”[50] Indeed, the disciples were reflecting the inner turmoil of Jesus where the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak (v. 41) and their response is one of escape because they have such a luxury while Jesus certainly does not.

This time, Jesus does not wake the disciples and he goes off again to pray the same words he prayed in verse 39. In these prayers, Jesus has exhibited a brawling over the prospect of death in complete loneliness and an apparent abandonment by God with the complete absence of comfort in his humanity.[51] Jesus felt helpless and hopeless in the face of impending death, and yet, he was prepared to endure what was before him.

In verse 45, he returns and finds the disciples sleeping once more to which he tells them to wake up because it is time for him to be turned over “into the hands of sinners.”[52] This statement echoed his earlier predictions of betrayal (Matt. 16:21; 17:22-23; 20:18-19) and more recently, the Last Supper they had just taken part in (Matt. 26: 21-25).[53] Craig Evans notes that Jesus saying “sinners” is “ironic, given the criticism that Jesus’ opponents had leveled against him earlier in his ministry: “Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?” (Matt. 9:11). Those who criticized Jesus for associating with “sinners” are now themselves acting as sinners in the worst way.”[54]

The pericope concludes with verse 46 in which Jesus states, “Get up, let us be going. See, my betrayer is at hand.”[55] Jesus knows both what is going to happen and when as Matthew paints the portrait of Jesus as someone who was in complete control of the situation and willingly gave himself up.[56] What follows this pericope is the betrayal by Judas, the arrest and trial of Jesus, his crucifixion, and his resurrection. By the end of this pericope, Jesus is ready and willing to die, not only in spirit, but in flesh as well.

Bringing It All Together

This pericope is one of the most passionate narratives present in the Bible and that only underlines its classification as a Passion narrative. It takes place in the broader context of Matthew 26 and tells the story of a man who correctly predicted betrayal, denial, and abandonment with a sense of deep lament. Here, Jesus is presented as both fully human and fully divine as his flesh and spirit do battle in agonizing prayer over the impending death he is about to face and the weight of sin, abandonment, and termination that come along with it as the three disciples he asked to stay awake fall into slumbers. Where they succumb to the limitations of the flesh, Jesus overcomes them in prayer and willingly accepts the fate that awaits him at Golgatha.

Agonizing In Abuse

Matthew’s Agony in Gethsemane certainly has modern day implications. When it comes to prophecy in scripture, it can be said that one of the greatest prophecies of all is the end of sin itself. In the modern context, there are many horrific sins which exist that the world awaits an end to. One of those sins is the unfortunate sin of child abuse. Reading the Agony in Gethsemane in the context of a child abuse victim and survivor yields some very fruitful thought.

Jesus takes the disciples to a familiar place that is Gethsemane. It is a place that is largely associated with grief and pain. Many child abuse victims and survivors can relate to the continual occurrence of the abuse they face and where it takes place. For many, that location is the home and the home becomes a place of grief and pain. Many children suffer in silence out of fear of retaliation so they often find themselves reluctantly entering this place of intense suffering to agonize once more.

Three times Jesus finds the three disciples he brought with him sleeping. One cannot help but to notice societal and church trends that encourage silence and slumber when it comes to abuse. Ideas such as the patriarchal family in which a man is the strong, emotionless brute head of their household and the promotion of corporal punishment are two of the greatest offenders of our time. There are systems in place to combat abuse, but there are many times they fail if an abuse victim even becomes vocal. It isn’t that the systems themselves are useless, the spirit of them is very much eager and willing to help abuse victims and end abuse, but the flesh of the people working in governmental and organizational capacities has fleshly limitations that cause exertion and continual, unintended slumber in the face of suffering.

What is one to make of the agonizing Jesus goes through in this context? For one, there is agonizing that results from the abuse dealt towards the abused. It incorporates the lack of closeness, trust, physical pain, emotional pain, and spiritual pain as it begs for deliverance while knowing the offense may indeed occur again. The difference is that for Jesus, the will of God was being sought and lived, but it is not God’s will that a child be assaulted. There is no room for excusing such assault as one child taking the assault so that others in the setting do not have to for example. A child is not meant to turned over to the hands of assault and denial of personhood and Jesus makes it clear that whatever is done to the least among us is also done towards him (Matt. 25:40) in a warning to honor lives with love and compassion just as he taught and invited the disciples to do in their time.

Further, there is the picture of Jesus agonizing on his face in intense guttural prayer. It has been said prior that it was not just death that faced Jesus, it was the weight of human sin as well. One can only come within an ocean’s distance of grasping what the weight of sin truly is, but it seems clear that it was too much for Jesus himself to confront. As said at the beginning of this section, child abuse is unquestionably one of the chief sins and has certainly existed since the dawn of time. With that acknowledged, one can assert that child abuse was certainly on the mind of Jesus as he grieved and lamented over the intense weight over him. In this context, Jesus begs for the cup to pass from him, but God does not answer. For someone being abused on a continual basis, they too, can feel as if God is silent in their pleas for deliverance.

By the third prayer, the humanity of Jesus has come to grips with the spiritual element and he has accepted his fate. Where the abuse victim is not meant to endure abuse, Jesus is meant to die, but he accepts it in an act of suffering, with and for, to companion and comfort the abuse victim during their agony and the abuse survivor as they navigate life once they get away from the abuse. That is what makes this part the most important part of the pericope. Jesus becomes not the single set of Footprints in the Sand, he doesn’t become the hand holder or even the shepherd leading through the darkness. Rather, Jesus in all of his agony is found face down at the feet of the abused grieving immensely and helping to carry the weight of the abuse that has occurred, keeping their walk steady in the midst of calamity, and having his Spirit touch theirs in an act of healing where healing was not possible before.

It is then that abused finds Jesus in the same space they find themselves in: caught in the middle of flesh and spirit where free will reigns and people abuse it. Society and the church are in that space too and they can make choices in that free will to end abuse in all forms. However it takes much more if organizations and churches has fleshly limits: it takes the effort of the whole populace to carry the weight of responsibility together and see the eradication of abuse and the power of grief and agony it brings just as Jesus went on to do to the power of sin and death in Matthew’s Gospel. Careful as well, human beings must not return violence for violence in the face of abuse just as Jesus instructed the disciple not to draw a sword in exchange for a sword being drawn. Only love can conquer violence.

Jesus is inviting the reader today to keep watch for the day when abuse is no more and to be aware of where they need to be and what they need to do to see the dream become a reality. The choice is clear: either human beings answer the call and affirm the relationships they have with Jesus or they choose to betray him like Judas and offer the agonizing Jesus up for death once more.

 

[1] Richard B. Gardner, Matthew, (Scottdale, PA: Herald Press, 1991), eBook Collection (EBSCOhost), EBSCOhost (accessed November 28, 2015): p. 366.

[2] Donald Senior, Matthew, (Nashville, TN: Abingdon Press, 1998): p. 286.

[3] Charles H. Talbert, Matthew, (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2010): p. 292.

[4] Charles H. Talbert, Matthew: p. 292.

[5] Ibid. pp. 292-293.

[6] Ibid. p. 293.

[7] Richard B. Gardner, Matthew, (Scottdale, PA: Herald Press, 1991), eBook Collection (EBSCOhost), EBSCOhost (accessed November 28, 2015): p. 366.

[8] Anna Case-Winters, Matthew. (Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press, 2015): p. 290.

[9] Charles H. Talbert, Matthew, (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2010): p. 286.

[10] Charles H. Talbert, Matthew: p. 286.

[11] Ibid. pp. 286-287.

[12] Donald Senior, Matthew, (Nashville, TN: Abingdon Press, 1998): p. 293.

[13] Donald Senior, Matthew: pp. 293-294.

[14] Craig A. Evans, Matthew, (New York, NY: Cambridge University Press, 2012): p. 429.

[15] Craig A. Evans, Matthew: pp. 430-431.

[16] Charles H. Talbert, Matthew, (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2010): p. 291.

[17] Anna Case-Winters, Matthew. (Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press, 2015): p. 297.

[18] Anna Case-Winters, Matthew: p. 297.

[19] Craig A. Evans, Matthew, (New York, NY: Cambridge University Press, 2012): p. 442.

[20] Craig A. Evans, Matthew: p. 443.

[21] Charles H. Talbert, Matthew, (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2010): p. 298.

[22] Allen C. McSween Jr., “Matthew 26: 31-35: Exegetical Perspective”, in Feasting on the Gospels: Matthew, Volume 2 Chapters 14-28, Edited by Cynthia A. Jarvis and E. Elizabeth Johnson. 290-295. (Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press, 2013): p. 290.

[23] Craig A. Evans, Matthew, (New York, NY: Cambridge University Press, 2012): p. 434.

[24] Craig A. Evans, Matthew: p. 434.

[25] Donald Senior, Matthew, (Nashville, TN: Abingdon Press, 1998): p. 303.

[26] Donald Senior, Matthew, (Nashville, TN: Abingdon Press, 1998): p. 302.

[27] John 18:1

[28] Donald Senior, Matthew: p. 303.

[29] Ibid. p. 303.

[30] Ibid.

[31] Craig A. Evans, Matthew, (New York, NY: Cambridge University Press, 2012): p. 434.

[32] Craig A. Evans, Matthew: p. 434.

[33] Donald Senior, Matthew: p. 303.

[34] Craig A. Evans, Matthew: p. 434.

[35] NRSV.

[36] Donald Senior, Matthew, (Nashville, TN: Abingdon Press, 1998): p. 304.

[37] Donald Senior, Matthew: p. 304.

[38] Ibid. p. 304.

[39] Craig A. Evans, Matthew: p. 435.

[40] Ibid. p. 435.

[41] Donald Senior, Matthew, (Nashville, TN: Abingdon Press, 1998): p. 304.

[42] Donald Senior, Matthew: p. 305.

[43] Ibid. p. 305.

[44] Ibid.

[45] Craig A. Evans, Matthew, (New York, NY: Cambridge University Press, 2012): p. 435.

[46] Stanley Hauerwas, Matthew, (Grand Rapids, MI: Brazos Press, 2006): p. 222.

[47] Donald Senior, Matthew: p. 305.

[48] Craig A. Evans, Matthew, (New York, NY: Cambridge University Press, 2012): p. 436.

[49] Craig A. Evans, Matthew: p. 436.

[50] Stanley Hauerwas, Matthew, (Grand Rapids, MI: Brazos Press, 2006): p. 223.

[51] Brendan Byrne, Lifting the Burden: Reading Matthew’s Gospel in the Church Today, (Collegeville, MN: Liturgical Press, 2004): p. 207.

[52] NRSV.

[53] Craig A. Evans, Matthew, (New York, NY: Cambridge University Press, 2012): p. 436.

[54] Craig A. Evans, Matthew: p. 436.

[55] NRSV.

[56] Charles H. Talbert, Matthew: p. 293.

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charlestinsley

My name is Charlie Tinsley and I blog about The Bible. In particular, I post my thoughts, commentaries, and Bible Study teachings I have done. I hold a Bachelors Degree in Science in Religion Summa Cum Laude with a Biblical Studies Minor. I am currently studying for a Masters In Divinity at Eastern Mennonite Seminary with PhD ambitions in the study of Theology. I am married and have been for several years and I currently reside in Virginia.

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