On Saturday 14 March, Blacktown Uniting Church will host ‘Meet Matthew’, a chance to get a closer look at the text,
Rev. Dr Rob Macfarlane, Presbytery minster for Parramatta-Nepean Presbytery, will be the guest speaker at the event. He told Insights that people who attend could expect to leave with a better understanding of what makes Matthew’s Gospel distinctive.
“They will learn to
understand individual passages within the whole narrative world of Matthew,” he
“For instance, how do we read the pretty extreme ethical demands of the Sermon on the Mount? Are the meant to be literal or are they impossible to fulfil?”
The event is expected to be of interest to preachers but is also open to anyone that wants to get a better understanding of the text.
“There will be direct
applications to their ministries,” Rev. Dr McFarlane said.
“However, the sessions won’t just be limited to passages in the lectionary; getting a sense of the whole narrative will be of interest to anyone interested in doing a bit of thinking to deepen their personal spiritual life.”
“Matthew’s Gospel is unique. Of all the gospels, it is the one that shows Jesus most clearly as a Jewish teacher and healer. Matthew’s central focus is on how we should live, as individuals and communities.”
“Each Gospel has its own distinctive voice. That’s why there are four of them. They each speak to a different context. Understanding the diversity of their ancient contexts helps us find how the text relates to our context today. Reading a Gospel is like real estate: it’s all about location, location, location AND timing.”
The event is part of an annual tradition for Blacktown Uniting Church, which hosts a biblical day each year that is open to a wider audience. In 2019, the event saw Rev. Dr Bill Loader take a closer look at Luke’s gospel.
Meet Matthew takes place at Blacktown Uniting Church on Saturday, 14 March from 9am to 3:30pm. Registration costs $15 and is available here.