|dc.description.abstract||The gospel according to Matthew has particularistic (i.e. specific to the Jews) as well as universal features. The particularistic features are demonstrated by the Jews included in the gospel, whereas the gentiles (non–Jews) are representative of the gospel’s universal nature. Traditionally, it is said that the gentiles in the gospel often come to confess Jesus as the Messiah, whereas the majority of Jews reject Him. Gentiles who come to confess Jesus will likely become part of the church. However, some researchers doubt whether the gospel according to Matthew does indeed present such a positive picture of the gentiles. This may have implications for the inclusion of the gentiles in the church. The question arises whether gentiles become part of the church by virtue of their confession of Jesus as the Christ. The purpose of this study was thus to determine whether gentiles become part of the church by virtue of their confession.
Chapter 1 sets out the background to the research question and the problem statement. Chapter 2 asks whether gentiles do indeed come to confess the Messiah. The birth narratives provide an outlook of gentiles who will come to a confession. In the ministry narratives, the Roman officer and the Canaanite woman acknowledge Jesus’ authority. The Roman officer receives the promise that non–Jews will be part of the Kingdom of Heaven. The Canaanite woman points towards gentiles who will triumph over the gates of hell. When Jesus dies, the Roman soldiers acknowledge Him as the Son of God. This is based on a literature study.
Chapter 3 asks whether the Jews reject Jesus as the Messiah. The fulfilment citations place the unrighteousness of the Jews in continuity with Israel of old, and the disputations and declaration of woe reveal the hypocrisy of the Jewish leaders. This is also based on a literature study. Chapter 4 explores the meaning of the word rock (petra) on which Jesus builds His church ? according to Matthew 16:18. In order to establish the meaning of the word, an overview of the word’s interpretation history is provided. Secondly, the meaning of the word is also determined exegetically. Chapter 5 sets out a summary of all the findings of the study. The main findings are: Gentiles often come to confess Jesus; in contrast, most Jews reject Jesus as the Messiah. Jesus builds the church on Himself as the Rock, but extends the privilege to those, like Peter, who confess Him to become lesser bricks in the church. It can therefore be said that gentiles become part of the church by confessing Jesus as the Christ.||en_US