The man of St Matthew


Chapter 12: Overview

We can begin by seeing how a main theme of this chapter concerns one group of people and their attitude to Jesus. See verses 2,14,24,38. Consider the unity of the chapter. Consider too how this chapter could be seen as a commentary on 11,30.

With this in mind, look for the main breaks in the chapter, phrases which are strong enough to indicate a new incident is taking place. There are five of them by my count. However, for one of them a key word continues into the next incident - if you need a clue, look at Mk 2,23-36. Also one incident is marked out by the same words forming a bracket round it. Can you spot this?

Having done all that, how would you divide the chapter into pages for our reading?

Then go to my response.

Matthew and Mark

We have now seen that 12,14 is parallel to Mk 3,6 and we can also see that the end of the chapter, 12,46-50 is parallel to Mk 3,31-35 before both evangelists move on to parables. In between, from 12,15 to 12,45, Matthew has re-cast Mark 3,7-30 so that while dealing with the same theme, they are not really parallel.
It will certainly help our reading of chapter 12 to see how Matthew has edited Mark. Look therefore at the various parts from 12,15 to 12,45 and make the comparison. What has he omitted from Mark? How has he altered Mark's editing? What section is unique to Matthew?

Then take a look at my response.

The Sunday Gospel

No passage from this chapter is used as a Sunday gospel reading.

We are now ready therefore to begin our reading of the chapter with 12,1-14.