Picking Grain on the Sabbath
1 At that time Jesus was going through a field of grain on the sabbath. His disciples were hungry and began to pick the heads of grain and eat them.
2 When the Pharisees saw this, they said to him, “See, your disciples are doing what is unlawful to do on the sabbath.”
3 He said to them, “Have you not read what David did when he and his companions were hungry,
4 how he went into the house of God and ate the bread of offering, which neither he nor his companions but only the priests could lawfully eat?
5 Or have you not read in the law that on the sabbath the priests serving in the temple violate the sabbath and are innocent?
6 I say to you, something greater than the temple is here.
7 If you knew what this meant, ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice,’ you would not have condemned these innocent men.
8 For the Son of Man is Lord of the sabbath.”
The Man with a Withered Hand
9 Moving on from there, he went into their synagogue.
10 And behold, there was a man there who had a withered hand. They questioned him, “Is it lawful to cure on the sabbath?” so that they might accuse him.
11 He said to them, “Which one of you who has a sheep that falls into a pit on the sabbath will not take hold of it and lift it out?
12 How much more valuable a person is than a sheep. So it is lawful to do good on the sabbath.”
13 Then he said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” He stretched it out, and it was restored as sound as the other.
14 But the Pharisees went out and took counsel against him to put him to death.
The Chosen Servant
15 When Jesus realized this, he withdrew from that place. Many [people] followed him, and he cured them all,
16 but he warned them not to make him known.
17 This was to fulfill what had been spoken through Isaiah the prophet:
18 “Behold, my servant whom I have chosen, my beloved in whom I delight;
I shall place my spirit upon him, and he will proclaim justice to the Gentiles.
19 He will not contend or cry out, nor will anyone hear his voice in the streets.
20 A bruised reed he will not break, a smoldering wick he will not quench, until he brings justice to victory.
21 And in his name the Gentiles will hope.”
Jesus and Beelzebul
22 Then they brought to him a demoniac who was blind and mute. He cured the mute person so that he could speak and see.
23 All the crowd was astounded, and said, “Could this perhaps be the Son of David?”
24 But when the Pharisees heard this, they said, “This man drives out demons only by the power of Beelzebul, the prince of demons.”
25 But he knew what they were thinking and said to them, “Every kingdom divided against itself will be laid waste, and no town or house divided against itself will stand.
26 And if Satan drives out Satan, he is divided against himself; how, then, will his kingdom stand?
27 And if I drive out demons by Beelzebul, by whom do your own people drive them out? Therefore they will be your judges.
28 But if it is by the Spirit of God that I drive out demons, then the kingdom of God has come upon you.
29 How can anyone enter a strong man’s house and steal his property, unless he first ties up the strong man? Then he can plunder his house.
30 Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters.
31 Therefore, I say to you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven people, but blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven.
32 And whoever speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven; but whoever speaks against the holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come.
A Tree and Its Fruits
33 “Either declare the tree good and its fruit is good, or declare the tree rotten and its fruit is rotten, for a tree is known by its fruit.
34 You brood of vipers, how can you say good things when you are evil? For from the fullness of the heart the mouth speaks.
35 A good person brings forth good out of a store of goodness, but an evil person brings forth evil out of a store of evil.
36 I tell you, on the day of judgment people will render an account for every careless word they speak.
37 By your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned.”
The Demand for a Sign
38 Then some of the scribes and Pharisees said to him, “Teacher, we wish to see a sign from you.”
39 He said to them in reply, “An evil and unfaithful generation seeks a sign, but no sign will be given it except the sign of Jonah the prophet.
40 Just as Jonah was in the belly of the whale three days and three nights, so will the Son of Man be in the heart of the earth three days and three nights.
41 At the judgment, the men of Nineveh will arise with this generation and condemn it, because they repented at the preaching of Jonah; and there is something greater than Jonah here.
42 At the judgment the queen of the south will arise with this generation and condemn it, because she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and there is something greater than Solomon here.
The Return of the Unclean Spirit
43 “When an unclean spirit goes out of a person it roams through arid regions searching for rest but finds none.
44 Then it says, ‘I will return to my home from which I came.’ But upon returning, it finds it empty, swept clean, and put in order.
45 Then it goes and brings back with itself seven other spirits more evil than itself, and they move in and dwell there; and the last condition of that person is worse than the first. Thus it will be with this evil generation.”
The True Family of Jesus
46 While he was still speaking to the crowds, his mother and his brothers appeared outside, wishing to speak with him.
47 [Someone told him, “Your mother and your brothers are standing outside, asking to speak with you.”]
48 But he said in reply to the one who told him, “Who is my mother? Who are my brothers?”
49 And stretching out his hand toward his disciples, he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers.
50 For whoever does the will of my heavenly Father is my brother, and sister, and mother.”
"11:2-6 These verses contain a school of debate, probably of post-resurrection origin, over the nature of Jesus' mission, held between disciples of JBap and Christians (Brown et al., p. 652).
11:2 'the works of the Messiah'/ striking phrase created by Matthew turns the debate into one of Messiahship, while it originally might have been one of whether or not he was a divine prophet.
11:3 "John the Baptist had already, on several occasions, declared that Jesus was the Messias. (John i). He could not then doubt of it himself, but sent his disciples to take away their doubt. (Witham)" (Haydock, MT 11:3).
11:5-6 Jesus' response fulfills (and is taken from) the passages of Isaiah.
11:7-19 While Jesus rebukes John, he also reminds all of the greatness of John the Baptist's function.
11:9-10 Common Jewish belief held that there had been no prophet since Malachi, but the coming of a new prophet was eagerly awaited. Because Mal 3:1 & Ex 23:20 both indicate that this prophet was the messenger who would proceed the one who would bring the final age.
11:12 'violent ones take it by a force'/ a puzzling saying over which meaning is disputed. Oddly enough, if you read it with modern eyes, it sounds as if Jesus is talking to us.
11:13 Matthew inverts the normal order and says "prophets and the law" emphasizing the important of the prophetic passages of the law (and "its fulfillment in the teaching of Jesus and to the transitory nature of some of its commandments" (Catholic Book Publishing).
11:14-15 While there were multiple (confusing) notations on these verses, this is the one I found most understandable: "John is here styled Elias, not in the same manner as those who taught the transmigration of souls; but the meaning is, that the precursor came in the spirit and virtue of Elias, and had the same fulness of the Holy Ghost...(St. Jerome in St. Thomas Aquinas)" Haydock, 11:14.
11:16-19 Difficult parable with much dispute about its meaning.
11:19 'Wisdom is vindicated by her works' is sometimes translated as 'Wisdom is justified by her children'
11:21 Tyre, Sidon: pagan cities denounced for wickedness in OT.
11:25-26 This same sentiment (words similar, probably drawn from Q) is also expressed in Lk 10:21-22.
11:27 This verse is vital and is expressed in Lk also. If authentic, as it may well be, it would give us a most important clue to Jesus' self-understanding as absolute Son of the absolute Father (Brown et al., p.653).
11:28-29 These verses are only in Matthew in NT, and are similar to Sirach 51:23-26.
11:29 Jesus clearly states to take the yoke of following his word instead of the yoke of the law.
1 When Jesus finished giving these commands to his twelve disciples, he went away from that place to teach and to preach in their towns.
The Messengers from John the Baptist
2 When John heard in prison of the works of the Messiah, he sent his disciples to him
3 with this question, “Are you the one who is to come, or should we look for another?”
4 Jesus said to them in reply, “Go and tell John what you hear and see:
5 the blind regain their sight, the lame walk, lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the poor have the good news proclaimed to them.
6 And blessed is the one who takes no offense at me.”
Jesus’ Testimony to John
7 As they were going off, Jesus began to speak to the crowds about John, “What did you go out to the desert to see? A reed swayed by the wind?
8 Then what did you go out to see? Someone dressed in fine clothing? Those who wear fine clothing are in royal palaces.
9 Then why did you go out? To see a prophet? Yes, I tell you, and more than a prophet.
10 This is the one about whom it is written: ‘Behold, I am sending my messenger ahead of you; he will prepare your way before you.’
11 Amen, I say to you, among those born of women there has been none greater than John the Baptist; yet the least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.
12 From the days of John the Baptist until now, the kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and the violent are taking it by force.
13 All the prophets and the law prophesied up to the time of John.
14 And if you are willing to accept it, he is Elijah, the one who is to come.
15 Whoever has ears ought to hear.
16 “To what shall I compare this generation? It is like children who sit in marketplaces and call to one another,
17 ‘We played the flute for you, but you did not dance, we sang a dirge but you did not mourn.’
18 For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they said, ‘He is possessed by a demon.’
19 The Son of Man came eating and drinking and they said, ‘Look, he is a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners.’ But wisdom is vindicated by her works.”
Reproaches to Unrepentant Towns
20 Then he began to reproach the towns where most of his mighty deeds had been done, since they had not repented.
21 “Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the mighty deeds done in your midst had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would long ago have repented in sackcloth and ashes.
22 But I tell you, it will be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon on the day of judgment than for you.
23 And as for you, Capernaum: ‘Will you be exalted to heaven?l You will go down to the netherworld.’ For if the mighty deeds done in your midst had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day.
24 But I tell you, it will be more tolerable for the land of Sodom on the day of judgment than for you.”
The Praise of the Father
25 At that time Jesus said in reply, “I give praise to you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, for although you have hidden these things from the wise and the learned you have revealed them to the childlike.
26 Yes, Father, such has been your gracious will.
27 All things have been handed over to me by my Father. No one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son wishes to reveal him.
The Gentle Mastery of Christ
28 “Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest.
29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am meek and humble of heart; and you will find rest for your selves.
30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden light.”
The Mission of the Twelve
1 Then he summoned his twelve disciples and gave them authority over unclean spirits to drive them out and to cure every disease and every illness.
2 The names of the twelve apostles are these: first, Simon called Peter, and his brother Andrew; James, the son of Zebedee, and his brother John;
3 Philip and Bartholomew, Thomas and Matthew the tax collector; James, the son of Alphaeus, and Thaddeus;
4 Simon the Cananean, and Judas Iscariot who betrayed him.
The Commissioning of the Twelve
5 Jesus sent out these twelve after instructing them thus, “Do not go into pagan territory or enter a Samaritan town.
6 Go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.
7 As you go, make this proclamation: ‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand.’
8 Cure the sick, raise the dead, cleanse lepers, drive out demons. Without cost you have received; without cost you are to give.
9 Do not take gold or silver or copper for your belts;
10 no sack for the journey, or a second tunic, or sandals, or walking stick. The laborer deserves his keep.
11 Whatever town or village you enter, look for a worthy person in it, and stay there until you leave.
12 As you enter a house, wish it peace.
13 If the house is worthy, let your peace come upon it; if not, let your peace return to you.
14 Whoever will not receive you or listen to your words—go outside that house or town and shake the dust from your feet.
15 Amen, I say to you, it will be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah on the day of judgment than for that town.
16 “Behold, I am sending you like sheep in the midst of wolves; so be shrewd as serpents and simple as doves.
17 But beware of people, for they will hand you over to courts and scourge you in their synagogues,
18 and you will be led before governors and kings for my sake as a witness before them and the pagans.
19 When they hand you over, do not worry about how you are to speak or what you are to say. You will be given at that moment what you are to say.
20 For it will not be you who speak but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you.
21 Brother will hand over brother to death, and the father his child; children will rise up against parents and have them put to death.
22 You will be hated by all because of my name, but whoever endures to the end will be saved.
23 When they persecute you in one town, flee to another. Amen, I say to you, you will not finish the towns of Israel before the Son of Man comes.
24 No disciple is above his teacher, no slave above his master.
25 It is enough for the disciple that he become like his teacher, for the slave that he become like his master. If they have called the master of the house Beelzebul, how much more those of his household!
Courage under Persecution
26 “Therefore do not be afraid of them. Nothing is concealed that will not be revealed, nor secret that will not be known.
27 What I say to you in the darkness, speak in the light; what you hear whispered, proclaim on the housetops.
28 And do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul; rather, be afraid of the one who can destroy both soul and body in Gehenna.
29 Are not two sparrows sold for a small coin? Yet not one of them falls to the ground without your Father’s knowledge.
30 Even all the hairs of your head are counted.
31 So do not be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.
32 Everyone who acknowledges me before others I will acknowledge before my heavenly Father.
33 But whoever denies me before others, I will deny before my heavenly Father.
Jesus: A Cause of Division
34 “Do not think that I have come to bring peace upon the earth. I have come to bring not peace but the sword.
35 For I have come to set a man ‘against his father, a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law;
36 and one’s enemies will be those of his household.’
The Conditions of Discipleship
37 “Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me, and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me;
38 and whoever does not take up his cross and follow after me is not worthy of me.
39 Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.
40 “Whoever receives you receives me, and whoever receives me receives the one who sent me.
41 Whoever receives a prophet because he is a prophet will receive a prophet’s reward, and whoever receives a righteous man because he is righteous will receive a righteous man’s reward.
42 And whoever gives only a cup of cold water to one of these little ones to drink because he is a disciple—amen, I say to you, he will surely not lose his reward.”
Chapters 8 and 9 are a narrative section composed of nine miracle stories, arranged in groups of three, with a small discourse about discipleship after each. Matthew draws most of the stories from the Gospel of Mark, but he abbreviates the stories in order to draw more attention to the essential actions and the accompanying words. Each group of stories speak of Jesus' teaching, preaching, and healing, but each has its own dominant idea/theme (this does not exclude other levels of meaning, however).
I. The first group of stories, in Matthew 8:1-17, emphasizes Jesus' divine power to heal. The concluding verse of this section, "to fulfill what had been said by Isaiah the prophet: “He took away our infirmities and bore our diseases," makes Matthew's point of Jesus' divinity: we see Jesus fulfilling the prophetic promise. In the choice of those who are ill (leper, Gentile, & tax collector), we see God caring for us all, not just the chosen few.
II. The second group of stories, in Matthew 8:18 through 9:17, emphasizes the conditions and demands of being a disciple. Not only must one renounce those sins and worldly things that hold us back from fully accepting Him, we must also accept the hardships that will come in the future as we continue as disciples.
III. The third group of stories, found in Matthew 9:18-34, emphasizes the essential role of faith. "Faith is, first of all, trust in Jesus' power to heal and transform us." (Senior et al., p.RG 395). All those who are healed in this section show that faith; and it is active, not passive faith (they approach God boldly, not merely waiting passively).
Some of the miracles and healings do not match up perfectly with Mark or Q sources. There are two possible reasons:
1) Matthew has edited them in order to make the points he wishes to make (which does not detract from the fact they occurred)
2) There were many healings...it is possible that some of the stories were similar simply because of repetitiveness.
Evidence towards the first theory is supported by 9:1-17, in which "there are three groups of opponents: scribes (v 3), Pharisees (v 11), and disciples of JBap (v 14). This reflects Matt's care to produce a neat, systemtic coverage of the situation" (Brown et al., p.649). This is also shown in that each of the 10 miracles in chapters 8 & 9 address different problems (leprosy, slavery, fever, natural disasters, demon possession, paralysis, death, hemorrhage, blindness, muteness).
9:1 'His own town': Capharnaum. According to Jansenius, "Christ may be said to have had three cities: Bethlehem, in which he was born; Nazareth, in which he was educated; and Capharnaum, in which he most frequently resided, during his sacred ministry." (Haydock).
9:3 Mark includes the reason for their accusation of blasphemy: "Who but God can forgive sins?" [2:7] The scribes are accurate in their recognition "that the forgiveness of sins, which entail an offense against God, belong to divine activity" (Brown et al., p.649)
9:8 Mark simply has them glorifying God [2:12], while "Matthew's extension to human beings of the authority to forgive sins points to the belief that such authority was being claimed by Matthew's church." (Senior et al.) This reflects the thoughts occupying those of the second- or third-generations, in which faith in Christ was presupposed.
9:9 Mark names this tax collector "Levi" [2:4]. However, no such name appears in the four lists of the twelve apostles (Matthew, Mark, Luke, Acts), while all four list Matthew as "the tax collector." Scholars put forth a variety of explanations, the most common being that Matthew is Levi (changing names after discovering Christ was common in NT). The fundamental meaning of the story remains unchanged.
9:10 Previously it was said Jesus came to his own town Capernuam, thus 'his house' is not completely clear: is this verse referring to the house of Jesus or Matthew?
"Tax collectors." See "People" page for explanation of why tax collectors were often social outcasts.
9:14 Note how they question Jesus about his disciples, not his own behavior.
9:15 Fasting, as a sign of mourning, would be inappropriate at this time of joy (when Jesus is proclaiming the kingdom). This verse also looks forward and indicates that there is a time when he will be taken away from them.
9:16-17 Both parables speak to the unsuitability of attempting to combine the old and new. Jesus' teaching is not a fixing up of Judaism and the gospel cannot be contained within the limits of Mosaic law (as also demonstrated earlier in Matthew when Jesus extended the law, or some places, corrected it).
9:18 Mark has expanded explanation of 'official': "one of the synagogue officials" [5:22].
9:20 'tassel' might also mean 'fringe.' It was worn (according to Mosaic law) as a reminder to keep the commandments.
Women with hemorrhages were considered to be perpetually menstruating, thus permanently unclean.
9:22 St. Chrysostom has an interesting enriching of this verse: "But Jesus turning about. Our divine Saviour, fearing lest he might alarm the woman by his words, says immediately to her, Take courage; and at the same time calls her his daughter, because her faith had rendered her such" (Haydock).
9:24 'sleeping' is a Biblical metaphor for death, thus Jesus is not denying her death, but rather assuring them that she will be roused from her sleep of death.
9:24 The accusation foreshadows the opposition that is growing to Jesus in chapters 11 & 12.
The Healing of a Paralytic
1 He entered a boat, made the crossing, and came into his own town.
2 And there people brought to him a paralytic lying on a stretcher. When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, “Courage, child, your sins are forgiven.”
3 At that, some of the scribes said to themselves, “This man is blaspheming.”
4 Jesus knew what they were thinking, and said, “Why do you harbor evil thoughts?
5 Which is easier, to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Rise and walk’?
6 But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins”—he then said to the paralytic, “Rise, pick up your stretcher, and go home.”
7 He rose and went home.
8 When the crowds saw this they were struck with awe and glorified God who had given such authority to human beings.
The Call of Matthew
9 As Jesus passed on from there, he saw a man named Matthew sitting at the customs post. He said to him, “Follow me.” And he got up and followed him.
10 While he was at table in his house, many tax collectors and sinners came and sat with Jesus and his disciples.
11 The Pharisees saw this and said to his disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?”
12 He heard this and said, “Those who are well do not need a physician, but the sick do.
13 Go and learn the meaning of the words, ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice.’ I did not come to call the righteous but sinners.”
The Question about Fasting
14 Then the disciples of John approached him and said, “Why do we and the Pharisees fast (much), but your disciples do not fast?”
15 Jesus answered them, “Can the wedding guests mourn as long as the bridegroom is with them? The days will come when the bridegroom is taken away from them, and then they will fast.
16 No one patches an old cloak with a piece of unshrunken cloth, for its fullness pulls away from the cloak and the tear gets worse.
17 People do not put new wine into old wineskins. Otherwise the skins burst, the wine spills out, and the skins are ruined. Rather, they pour new wine into fresh wineskins, and both are preserved.”
The Official’s Daughter and the Woman with a Hemorrhage
18 While he was saying these things to them, an official came forward, knelt down before him, and said, “My daughter has just died. But come, lay your hand on her, and she will live.”
19 Jesus rose and followed him, and so did his disciples.
20 A woman suffering hemorrhages for twelve years came up behind him and touched the tassel on his cloak.
21 She said to herself, “If only I can touch his cloak, I shall be cured.”
22 Jesus turned around and saw her, and said, “Courage, daughter! Your faith has saved you.” And from that hour the woman was cured.
23 When Jesus arrived at the official’s house and saw the flute players and the crowd who were making a commotion,
24 he said, “Go away! The girl is not dead but sleeping.” And they ridiculed him.
25 When the crowd was put out, he came and took her by the hand, and the little girl arose.
26 And news of this spread throughout all that land.
The Healing of Two Blind Men
27 And as Jesus passed on from there, two blind men followed [him], crying out, “Son of David, have pity on us!”
28 When he entered the house, the blind men approached him and Jesus said to them, “Do you believe that I can do this?” “Yes, Lord,” they said to him.
29 Then he touched their eyes and said, “Let it be done for you according to your faith.”
30 And their eyes were opened. Jesus warned them sternly, “See that no one knows about this.”
31 But they went out and spread word of him through all that land.
The Healing of a Mute Person
32 As they were going out, a demoniac who could not speak was brought to him,
33 and when the demon was driven out the mute person spoke. The crowds were amazed and said, “Nothing like this has ever been seen in Israel.”
34 But the Pharisees said, “He drives out demons by the prince of demons.”
The Compassion of Jesus
35 Jesus went around to all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom, and curing every disease and illness.
36 At the sight of the crowds, his heart was moved with pity for them because they were troubled and abandoned, like sheep without a shepherd.
37 Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is abundant but the laborers are few;
38 so ask the master of the harvest to send out laborers for his harvest.”
8:2 Jewish law provided for the cleansing of lepers (or those with skin disease) before they were allowed back into the religious communities. We see Jesus healing and the assumption they will be received back without any other cleaning rituals required.
8:3 Touching a leper made one unclean by Jewish law. Jesus touching the leper- he could have healed via a word as he does elsewhere- shows a disregard for said law; that his healing is above the old law.
8:5-13 Extremely detailed arguments continue over whether the similarities to other gospels here reflect a common oral tradition or a common literary source. The cure of the centurion's servant "is a foretaste of the Gentile mission" (Brown et al., p.648).
8:5 A centurion was a military officer commanding a hundred men. He was probably in the service of Herod Antipas (see "people" page).
8:8 Centurion's words show not only humility, but also the awareness of the sensitivity of Jewish customs regarding entering the homes of Gentiles.
8:10 Codex Sinaiticus has the identical wording of Luke 7:9 "not even in Israel," but seems due to harmonization.
8:11-12 Luke 13:28-29 has same phrase "There will be wailing and grinding of teeth." Phrase used frequently to reference final condemnation. "Matthew inserts into the story a Q saying about the entrance of the Gentiles into the kingdom and the exclusion of those Israelites who...refused to believe in Jesus" (Catholic Book Publishing, 8:11-12 note). A warning against religious complacency.
8:14-15 Mark has a request for healing rather than one at Jesus' initiative, and in Mark, she rises to serve "them," not "him."
8:17 This fulfillment of prophecy citation follows the MT version of Isaiah 53:4, not LXX.
8:18 "the other side," i.e. Sea of Galilee.
8:20 "Son of Man" is a peculiar phrase found rarely; it is found only on the lips of Jesus, "save possibly for Mark 2:10 and parallel passages, a fact which probably reflects an authentic tradition that Jesus did refer to himself in this way" (Brown et al., p.648).
8:22 Burying ones' parents was considered a duty of highest import in both the Jewish and Hellenistic cultures.
8:23-27 "From this allegory of the ship and the storm, we may take occasion to speak of the various senses in which the words of Scripture may be occasionally taken" (Haydock). This allegory is carried forth is many homilies by later men. "The author's handling of this miracle shows that he interprets it as an allegory for following Jesus" (Attridge).
8:23 "disciples," learners, those willing to sacrifice everything to follow Jesus. The above examples underline the requirements of discipleship.
8:25 Matthew and Mark contrast sharply: Matthew shows the disciples as pleading for help while Mark shows them almost rebuking Jesus for not helping them.
8:28 "Gadarenes" as the location is not certain. Various early versions of the Bible we have (Codex Vaticanus & Codex Sinaiticus) have different places that are similar in spelling.
8:29 "before the right time"- Apocryphal literature (e.g. Enoch) support the idea that evil spirits/demons were allowed to afflict human beings until the time of final judgement.
8:32 There are many hypothesis on why Jesus allowed the demons to be released into the swine. Bluntly, we cannot know.
The Cleansing of a Leper
1 When Jesus came down from the mountain, great crowds followed him.
2 And then a leper approached, did him homage, and said, “Lord, if you wish, you can make me clean.”
3 He stretched out his hand, touched him, and said, “I will do it. Be made clean.” His leprosy was cleansed immediately.
4 Then Jesus said to him, “See that you tell no one, but go show yourself to the priest, and offer the gift that Moses prescribed; that will be proof for them.”
The Healing of a Centurion’s Servant
5 When he entered Capernaum, a centurion approached him and appealed to him,
6 saying, “Lord, my servant is lying at home paralyzed, suffering dreadfully.”
7 He said to him, “I will come and cure him.”
8 The centurion said in reply, “Lord, I am not worthy to have you enter under my roof; only say the word and my servant will be healed.
9 For I too am a person subject to authority, with soldiers subject to me. And I say to one, ‘Go,’ and he goes; and to another, ‘Come here,’ and he comes; and to my slave, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.”
10 When Jesus heard this, he was amazed and said to those following him, “Amen, I say to you, in no one in Israel have I found such faith.
11 I say to you, many will come from the east and the west, and will recline with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob at the banquet in the kingdom of heaven,
12 but the children of the kingdom will be driven out into the outer darkness, where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth.”
13 And Jesus said to the centurion, “You may go; as you have believed, let it be done for you.” And at that very hour [his] servant was healed.
The Cure of Peter’s Mother-in-Law
14 Jesus entered the house of Peter, and saw his mother-in-law lying in bed with a fever.
15 He touched her hand, the fever left her, and she rose and waited on him.
16 When it was evening, they brought him many who were possessed by demons, and he drove out the spirits by a word and cured all the sick,
17 to fulfill what had been said by Isaiah the prophet: “He took away our infirmities and bore our diseases.”
The Would-be Followers of Jesus
18 When Jesus saw a crowd around him, he gave orders to cross to the other side.
19 A scribe approached and said to him, “Teacher, I will follow you wherever you go.”
20 Jesus answered him, “Foxes have dens and birds of the sky have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to rest his head.”
21 Another of [his] disciples said to him, “Lord, let me go first and bury my father.”
22 But Jesus answered him, “Follow me, and let the dead bury their dead.”
The Calming of the Storm at Sea
23 He got into a boat and his disciples followed him.
24 Suddenly a violent storm came up on the sea, so that the boat was being swamped by waves; but he was asleep.
25 They came and woke him, saying, “Lord, save us! We are perishing!”
26 He said to them, “Why are you terrified, O you of little faith?” Then he got up, rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was great calm.
27 The men were amazed and said, “What sort of man is this, whom even the winds and the sea obey?”
The Healing of the Gadarene Demoniacs
28 When he came to the other side, to the territory of the Gadarenes, two demoniacs who were coming from the tombs met him. They were so savage that no one could travel by that road.
29 They cried out, “What have you to do with us, Son of God? Have you come here to torment us before the appointed time?”
30 Some distance away a herd of many swine was feeding.
31 The demons pleaded with him, “If you drive us out, send us into the herd of swine.”
32 And he said to them, “Go then!” They came out and entered the swine, and the whole herd rushed down the steep bank into the sea where they drowned.
33 The swineherds ran away, and when they came to the town they reported everything, including what had happened to the demoniacs.
34 Thereupon the whole town came out to meet Jesus, and when they saw him they begged him to leave their district.
The Sermon on the Mount covers Chapters 5 through 7, and is one of the five major discourses that are the bulk of Matthew. We see three major themes in these chapters.
I. The teaching about the law and the teaching for a new age. Some read the section to mean that all should follow Jewish laws until the end of days. But further reading indicates this is not so.
Due to the multiple positions/understandings of this topic, it will be covered much more thoroughly under the "Bible Questions" section, specifically answering the questions of if the 10 Commandments still apply to Christians today.
II. Proper action, attitude, and motives. A second major theme of this section is the supreme law of law expressed in committed action. Aka- we are to not only love, but it must be expressed in action, not just felt. This is as applicable today as it was then. Conversely, we see giving, praying, and fasting be done: but to be done with love and with the right attitude.
III. Guide for living. A third theme of this section (related to the above theme) is that it is a guideline for living. It is not a strict ruling of impossible ideals which we cannot fulfill, but teachings that we should strive towards. No simple set of rules, but rather an attitude/outlook towards life which should transform us.
Jennifer Becker Landsberger
Who am I? Freelance writer (magazines, websites, & copywriting), Catholic, military wife, and Mensan. Double Bachelor's in History & Psychology.
Witnessing by charity and love are above all. Studying the Bible and beyond helps me on this quest. Feel free to join my walk into the Bible.
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Thank you & God bless you.
~~~Prayer before Writing-
Oh creator of the universe, who has set the stars in the heavens and causes the sun to rise and set, shed the light of your wisdom into the darkness of my mind. Fill my thoughts with a loving knowledge of you, that I may bring you like to others. Just as you can make even babies speak your truth, instruct my tongue and guide my pen to convey the wonderful glory of the Gospel. Make my intellect sharp, my memory clear, and my words eloquent, so that I may faithfully interpret the mysteries what you have revealed.
To my readers & fellow writers,
1. I will pray that God's grace helps illuminate all of our interactions- both those of simple reading and more active conversations.
2. I will communicate with you respectfully and civilly. These are (rightly) issues which we feel passionate about. But even in disagreements, I will respect you fellow "seekers of truth."
3. I will not fall into negative behavior or words, such as insinuations, exaggerations, blames, or personal attacks. I respectfully ask you to do the same.
4. I will pray we will all find the truth and strive to fulfill the two greatest commandments: "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these." (Mark 12:30-31)
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Sites I Recommend
Biblical Evidence for Catholicism by Dave Armstrong