The man of St Matthew


Chapter 9: Overview

We are following the chapters of the Gospel in our reading even when, as with this chapter, the chapter divisions do not follow Matthew's own arrangement of his episodes. The chapters are the best way of ordering our reading even though there will have to be some exceptions as we will see at the end of this chapter.

With chapter 9 therefore, our reading begins with the healing of the Paralytic (9,1-8). As we saw earlier, this is the third episode of the second trio of Jesus's deeds of power which are being told in the two chapters 8 and 9.
We will therefore read this incident as our first page for this chapter even though it is only a few verses long.

Our second page for this chapter will also be quite short. This is the interlude (9,9-17) that follows this healing. We can take together the calling of the tax collector, the meal and the subsequent question about fasting. They would seem to be have been linked already in the traditions available to Matthew because we find them together in Mark (Mk 2,13-22) as well.

Our third page for this chapter will then be the third trio of Jesus' deeds of power and the comment that follows (9,18-34).

Finally, see how the final verses of this chapter (9,35-38) are better read as part of the first page of the following chapter (which will be 9,35-10,4). Verse 35 actually points in both directions, we have seen how it repeats 4,23. Even so, we will read these verses with chapter 10 as the introduction to the discourse that follows.

We can now go straight on to read the first part of the chapter.