WORKSHOP 4: MUTUAL REWARDS
After four hundred years of silence a despised Jewish tax collector for Rome would write the gospel of Matthew. Matthew explains Jesus Christ the Messiah is the sacrificial Son of Abraham and the legitimate descendent of David, fulfilling the Abrahamic and Davidic covenants. Matthew 1-4 provides the opening narrative, chapters 5-25 contain Jesus' five discourses (Sermon on Mount 5-7, calling & commissioning the first leaders, kingdom parables, teaching on kingdom relationships, olivet discourse) and chapters 26-28 close the gospel and provide the climax.
Jesus is resurrected from the dead and commissions the disciples to go and spread the good news. In Matthew 18:1-14, Jesus discusses Christian relationships specifically around life in the church. The disciples desired to know who was the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. Jesus gave them needed instructions on what true kingdom wealth entailed. “Little Ones” are described as people, children or adults, who are in need of Jesus’ love. Every person who desires to know God’s love can come to Jesus receiving God’s grace and mercy.
The greatest in the kingdom of heaven is the disciple who helps these little ones know God, so they will not be lost. Jesus reassured the disciples the little ones have angels in heaven who constantly see the face of God. God’s silence after 400 years had been broken at the right time, in the right place, once again assuring God’s people of God’s faithfulness in their covenant relationship.