Lectionary Year A,B and C
Ash Wednesday
Matthew 6:1-6, 16-21

Step II: Disposition


"Alms" is an unfamiliar word for the modern ear. Vs. 2 "be praised by others" is literally "glorified". In addition, the reward given by others is the "total reward".

Is this Didactic material? Perhaps some proverbial material (in the rabbinical style?). Perhaps it's the wisdom of a sage.

The pattern of development is this:

Prohibition
followed by the ironic consequences of violating the prohibitions
followed by teaching on true righteousness.
Extensive use of illustrative material taken from daily life (fasting, giving alms, prayer).
Critical vocabulary: "treasure" & "fasting"

Is this an eschatological text?

Is this a teaching for the "new kingdom" upon which we are supposed to act?

If we read this passage in light of the "beatitudes" (God pronounces blessing on those who ...), how are these passages to be understood?

In what sense is Jesus giving a new law here?

Who are these hypocrites?



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