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Romans 9:1-5; Matthew 14:13-21

Paul and Jesus, each facing a crisis, are tempted to succumb to despair and fear. Each man has gone out in ministry to his own people and been rejected. Paul recognizes that his Jewish listeners do not accept his message about Jesus and opens Romans 9 with what is the barest beginning of his anxious questioning about whether God’s salvation story still includes the people of Israel. The context in Matthew’s Gospel for Jesus’ feeding of the 5,000 differs significantly from accounts in the other three Gospels. Here, Jesus has withdrawn from his ministry and his disciples after the double blow of being rejected in his hometown and learning about the execution of John the Baptist. Both Paul and Jesus respond by turning to God, who above all is compassionate.

 

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