Lectionary Year A
August 29, 1999
Step III: Immediate Context
(JFC) A. IMMEDIATE CONTEXT
Pre – The first twelve verses of Matthew 16 report Jesus’ trying to tell the disciples
they need to be aware of the Pharisees’ and the Sadducees’ teachings. He uses the symbol of yeast to point to their teachings, He explains in Matthew 16:12. Then, the watershed, regarding Simon’s confession at Caeserea Phillipi, leads to our text this week.
Post – Then Matthew 17 begins with the Mount of Transfiguration.
(JFC) B. ORGANIZATION OF THE COMPOSITIONAL WHOLE
Remember, Matthew begins with Jesus’ lineage, advent, preaching, healings,
miracles and then His parables of the Kingdom. This week’s passage reports Jesus beginning to tell His disciples of His death and trying to prepare them for it and for their responsibilities in the future. Consequently, Matthew renders accounts of those events.
(JFC) C. ISSUES OF AUTHORSHIP
We remember, twice in Matthew’s Gospel (9:9 & 10:3), we read of Matthew, a tax collector and called as a disciple by Jesus. Markan and Lukan parallels use the name, Levi. Commentators doubt that this person authored this Gospel. Recall that a second century Bishop, Papias, claimed that Matthew, an apostle of Jesus’ wrote Jesus’ sayings in Hebrew. Our Gospel by that name is written in Greek & tells of much more than just sayings. It was likely written in Syria between 65 & 75 CE, give or take 5 years.
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