The Way Opened Up by Jesus: A Commentary on the Gospel of Matthew
CATEGORY: New Testament
Jesus never intended to found a Church made up of "adherents to a religion", but to call together "followers of the Way" that he was opening up. Today's Christian communities can only live up to that vision by keeping the real-life person of Jesus and his message—the reign of God—at the center of their life. The four gospels, written in different historical and cultural contexts, give us different perspectives on that person and that message. This commentary explores Matthew's perspective, using the Matthean passages. Each passage is examined, both in the context that shaped Matthew's telling of the story, and in the context of today's Christian communities.
Matthew's perspective shows Jesus transforming the expectations of the People of Israel. He is the fulfillment of God's ancient promises to them; he is God's new presence with them after the destruction of the Temple; he is the Prophet of a new Law, proclaimed from a new Mount Sinai; and he is the Messiah who calls together the new Israel, which Matthew calls the Church. He is also the Teacher of Life, whose surprising —and disconcerting— sermons and parables offer the new spiritual energy that today's churches need in order to be transformed from adherents into followers.
José Antonio Pagola was born in Spain in 1937. He completed his theological studies in 1962 at the Pontiﬁcal University in Rome and his studies in Sacred Scripture at the Papal Biblical Institute in Rome in 1966. He also studied biblical sciences at the École Biblique in Jerusalem. Pagola is a professor at St. Sebastian Seminary and at the Faculty of Theology of Northern Spain.
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