Conflict in the Miracle Stories: A Socio-Exegetical Study of Matthew 8 and 9
Publisher T&T Clark
Matthew's Gospel is a witness to conflicting interests. The leaders of Israel are part of the so-called 'retainer class', who pursue their own interests by promoting the interests of the Roman rulers. Jesus (and the Matthaean community), on the contrary, acts on behalf of the marginalized in society. Jesus challenges the underlying values of the leaders who, contrary to what is expected, do not forgive and act mercifully. The leaders try to resolve the conflict negatively by labelling Jesus as possessed by the devil. At the same time, the conflict spirals onward: the Matthaean community is called to act in the interests of the marginalized. It is Vledder's special contribution to Matthaean study that he brings to light the underlying dynamics of this conflict in a stimulating sociological study.