Kerygma's newest study explains with all we have to unite us, we still find ways to create division. It is an age-old question: do we focus on what sets us apart, or what holds us together?
The First Evangelist and the new Christian community saw themselves first as part of Judaism, not separate from it. This community, like the Gospel writer who addresses it-was the most “Jewish” among the gospel communities.
A distinguishing feature of the Gospel According to Matthew is its use of the Greek term ekklesia, which means an assembly of ones who are called out” and it conveys nothing of the static conception of the word “church” held by many today. Matthew is the only gospel to use this term and both times it comes from the lips of Jesus. The Church is so important to Matthew that he describes the nature and purpose of the Messiah’s new community throughout the gospel and two full chapters are devoted to teachings of Jesus that are specifically aimed at guiding the community of faith in its life and service.
According to Matthew, the Church is an earthly manifestation of the kingdom of God, and it is comprised of Jesus’ followers who have been called out to live righteously in the world and to serve in the manner of the Christ with deep humility and unfathomable forgiveness. In Jesus, there is a new community at work for the blessing of the world. What is it that binds us together? Jesus - God With Us.