Friday, December 3, 2010


1. The very first verse is one of the two majestic summaries of the Sermon on the Mount. Jesus hands over the three important ministries to the apostles namely teaching (didactic), preaching (kerygmatic) and healing (therapeutic).

2. Like sheep not having a shepherd: The image of Israel as lost sheep is rooted in many Old Testament texts (Num 27:17, 1 Kgs 22: 17, 2 Chr 18:16, Ezek 34: 5, Zech 13:7). Jesus shows compassion towards his people and wishes to serve as their shepherd. The need of the flock is stressed by the addition of two participles ‘harassed and torn apart’

3. Jesus calls the Twelve and gives them authority over demons and diseases. Matthew does not have a separate account of the call of the Twelve unlike Mark and Luke. So far Matthew has given us only the names of five disciples. This is the only place where he uses the term apostles. He prefers to use the term disciples and they are to the nucleus of the future Church the new Israel.

4. The sermon begins with the warning not to go to the gentiles and the Samaritans but to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. He will expand the area of mission to the ends of the earth towards the end of the gospel. He demands austerity in the provisions and clothing of the itinerant preachers. There is a sense of urgency to their proclamation so they are simply to go without first procuring money and supplies.

5. The Lord’s ministers must try by His gracious help to visit as He visited, to preach as He preached. His sheep are very dear to him; He should care for his people. All Christians must pray for their pastors and ministers.

It was the compassion of Jesus which moved him to call his disciples. Compassion literally means bowels/intestine. Therefore in all the ministries we Christians undertake, we should have this compassion. If we fail to be compassionate towards the people there is no meaning in our ministry. The strict rules are meant for the disciples but unfortunately we are too strict with our flock but are very compassionate with ourselves. Today’s gospel calls us to understand the significance of our call as a Christian. ‘A Christian without compassion is like a body without soul’


Sacra Pagina Series

Anchor Bible Commenatary

Class Notes on Matthew

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