Jesus Facing Conflict: An Exploration of Matthew’s Narrative

Of the four evangelists, Matthew offers the most extensive information about the teaching of Jesus, and so his Gospel is the natural source-book for a life of discipleship. Anabaptists, among others, have studied extensively the ‘Sermon on the Mount’ (Chs. 5-7) and the discourse on community relationships (Ch.18) to find guidance for Christian conduct. From these texts emerge challenging precepts: forgo revenge, love your enemy, forgive without limit, be as little children.

And yet the first gospel is not just a teaching manual. Matthew also offers a vivid portrayal of Jesus’ words and actions in relationship with others. The events in which Jesus is personally faced with conflict are particularly striking.

Colin Patterson wonders whether sufficient attention has been given to the narrative elements of Matthew’s gospel, which are surely meant to cohere with the didactic elements. In this seminar, Colin will examine the way that Jesus, according to Matthew, handles conflict. To what extent is conflict a key element of the whole story? What impact does the narrative have if we pay attention to relationship dynamics, levels of tension, choice of words, body language and tone of voice? How does Jesus model his own precepts? What does “God with us” look like in relation to facing conflict?

The seminar will be participatory in style. Together we will bring movement, drama and empathy to Matthew’s story, and try to know Jesus better.

Colin Patterson is the assistant director of our Bridge Builders programme and an Anglican priest. Based in Durham, Colin is an experienced adult educator, who worked for 12 years as a training officer for the Diocese of Durham. Colin is author of the Grove booklet How to Learn Through Conflict

Fee: £20 (£10 unwaged) - includes VAT and meal

Info and booking
London Mennonite Centre
14 Shepherds Hill
Highgate
London N6 5AQ

Tel: 0845 4500 214
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