Original Research

Matthew’s Messianic Shepherd-king: In search of “the lost sheep of the house of Israel”

Joel Willitts
HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies | Vol 63, No 1 | a209 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/hts.v63i1.209 | © 2007 Joel Willitts | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 05 May 2007 | Published: 08 May 2007

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Joel Willitts, North Park University, Chicago, United States

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The article intends to grasp the meaning of the phrase “the lost sheep of the house of Israel” in the Matthean logia of 10:5b-6 (and 15:24). It shows that in recent Matthean research the phrase has become an abstract salvation-historical category disconnected from narrative and historical particularity. However, generally seen, scholars have neglected a thorough treatment of the phrase within both Matthew’s own presentation of the story of Jesus and a firstcentury Jewish schatological context. In this article the context of the phrase is investigated at several levels. It argues that it should be read against the backdrop of the political-national framework of the Messianic Shepherd-King expectation with its attending expectations for territorial restoration.


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