In this volume Ben Cooper analyses how commitment to God is described within the Gospel of Matthew, how this is related to becoming a disciple of Jesus, and how reading or hearing the Gospel works to evoke such a response. The analysis draws upon a variety of approaches in linguistics and literary studies in a new way to characterise the 'communicative equilibrium' between the author and the subset of readers who process the text compliantly.
Cooper argues that Matthew's Gospel evokes in its compliant readers a particular kind of theocentric commitment, which he calls 'incorporated Servanthood'. Such readers become persuaded that Jesus came to bring forgiveness of sins to the people of God and then to take this salvation out to the nations, a program that can be associated with Isaiah's Servant of the Lord. Compliant readers are humbled so they can be served by the Servant for the forgiveness of their sins. They are then incorporated into his program for the nations, to join in the task of incorporating others.