The mission opens in Galilee, where the Great Commission (
) will occur.
Arrested (lit.“handed over”) is used for Judas's betrayal and the divine delivering of Jesus (see Isa 53.6
). Withdrew, typical of Jesus' response to danger (see 12.15; 14.13
Capernaum, home to Peter and Andrew, will be Jesus' own city (
. Matthew emphasizes Galilee's gentile
connection; here the Great Commission (
Summarizes Jesus' message; repent reflects the Hebrew “Tshuva,” “return” or “change direction.”
The abrupt calling of the disciples is common in Hellenistic
and Hebrew stories (see 1 Kings 19.19–21
Only Jesus teaches and proclaims.
Good news is “gospel.” Their synagogues
need not indicate alienation; Jesus restricts his mission to Israel (
Leprosy (see Lev 13–14
) refers to various skin diseases. Lepers required priestly sanction to reenter society.
centurion. Verse 7
may be read as a question—Shall I heal him?—anticipating a negative answer. Elsewhere Jesus restricts his mission to Jews
), and prior to the resurrection he displays reluctance at extending it to gentiles (
Matthew's Jesus never enters a gentile's home (contrast Mk 7
Centurions command between 50 and 100 soldiers; here the centurion admits his helplessness and faith in Jesus' power.
May refer to Diaspora
Jews or to gentiles.
Heirs (lit. sons) of the kingdom refers in v. 13
to Jesus' followers: Even those inside the church may forfeit salvation through improper action and belief.
Peter's mother-in-law “serves”; the term derives from the Greek term for “deacon.” Peter's wife is not mentioned.
Another fulfillment citation; prior to the Gospels, this passage, like many other fulfillment citations, was not viewed as
referring to the messiah.
See Isa 53.4
. Matthew lacks Mark's commands for the demons' silence.
Itinerancy marks Jesus' mission and that of his followers (see ch. 10
Teacher is used by those who are not disciples; in Matthew, Jesus calls disciples; followers do not apply for the position.
Son of Man means “human being” (Ezek 37
), but it also carries divine connotations (Dan 7.13–14
Jesus' saying shocks; nothing, not even one's own family, takes precedence over service to him.
Preparations for Jerusalem. In Matthew (and Mark), this is Jesus' first entry into Jerusalem: Luke and John depict earlier visits. Although this event
is traditionally called “Palm Sunday,” palms are mentioned only in John; in Matthean chronology, the entry occurs on Monday.
See comment on Mk 11.2
The ninth fulfillment citation, from Isa 62.11; Zech 9.9
Matthew takes literally Zechariah's poetic reference to two donkeys.
originally a plea for salvation, became a festive shout. The citation comes from Ps 118.25–26
, the last Hallel Psalm sung at Passover.
One who comes has messianic connotations.
Pilate's involvement. The Roman governor came from Caesarea to Jerusalem at Passover.
Judas's death. A scene unique to Matthew, Judas's death evokes the suicide of Ahithophel, who betrayed David (2 Sam 17
). According to Acts, Judas dies a much less dignified death. In both accounts, the death is linked to the purchase of a field for the burial of foreigners.
See Zech 11.12–13; Jer 18.1–3; 32.6–15
Son of David and Son of God.
Account of the genealogy, literally, “Book of genesis.” Christ is the Greek for the Hebrew term “mashiach,” “anointed
one.” Son of David is a messianic title. References to Abraham (
3.9; 8.11; 22.32
) have universalistic import.
On Tamar, Rahab, Ruth, the wife of Uriah, and Mary, see sidebar, “Women in the Genealogy,” p.
goes through David's son Nathan, not Solomon.
See 2 Kings 24.8–16
Joseph is the legal father.
The last division contains thirteen names.
Joseph's righteousness may refer to his unwillingness to shame Mary, or to his decision to divorce her.
Like his namesake in Genesis, Joseph dreams. Dreams are a Matthean motif.
Jesus, the Greek form for Joshua, means “the Lord saves” or “Yahweh helps”; allusions to Moses' successor are likely.
See Isa 7.14
; Matthew cites the Septuagint
; the Hebrew refers to an already pregnant “young woman.”
Later claims for Mary's perpetual virginity are not noted.
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