Ironies within Matthew’s gospel.
There are many “ironies” that lie embedded within Matthew’s gospel that I think we are meant to see and respond to.
Jesus is hungry, (4v2), but feeds others, (14v13-21; 15v29-39).
Jesus grows weary (8v24) but offers others rest (11v28).
Jesus is the King Messiah but pays tribute (17v24-27).
He is called the devil but casts out demons (12v22-32).
He dies the death of a sinner but comes to save his people from their sins (1v21)
He is sold for thirty pieces of silver but gives his life as a ransom for many (20v28)
He will not turn stones into bread for himself (4v3-4), but gives his own body as bread for people (26v26)
Jesus confounds all our understanding of the way the world is. Which leads us back to the Hauerwas quote.
Our task is not to understand the story Matthew tells in the light of our understanding of the world. Rather, Matthew would have our understanding of the world fully transformed as the result of reading his gospel. Matthew writes so that we might become followers, be disciples, of Jesus. To be a Christian does not mean that we are to change the world, but rather that we must live as witnesses to the world that God has changed.
Matthew wants us to become followers of Jesus rather than just admirers of him.
Written by Tony Thompson