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|New American Bible|
2002 11 11
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1 He entered a boat, made the crossing, and came
into his own town.
And there people brought to him a paralytic
lying on a stretcher. When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic,
"Courage, child, your sins are forgiven."
At that, some of the scribes 2
said to themselves, "This man is blaspheming."
Jesus knew what they were thinking, and said,
"Why do you harbor evil thoughts?
Which is easier, to say, 'Your sins are
forgiven,' or to say, 'Rise and walk'?
3 But that you may know that the Son of Man has
authority on earth to forgive sins"
- he then said to the paralytic, "Rise, pick up your stretcher, and
He rose and went home.
4 When the crowds saw this they were struck with
awe and glorified God who had given such authority to human beings.
5 6 As Jesus passed on from
there, he saw a man named Matthew sitting at the customs post. He said to him,
"Follow me." And he got up and followed him.
While he was at table in his house, 7
many tax collectors and sinners came and sat with Jesus and his disciples.
The Pharisees saw this and said to his
disciples, "Why does your teacher 8 eat with tax
collectors and sinners?"
He heard this and said, "Those who are
well do not need a physician, but the sick do. 9
Go and learn the meaning of the words, 'I
desire mercy, not sacrifice.' 10 I did not come to call the
righteous but sinners."
Then the disciples of John approached him and
said, "Why do we and the Pharisees fast (much), but your disciples do not
Jesus answered them, "Can the wedding
guests mourn as long as the bridegroom is with them? The days will come when
the bridegroom is taken away from them, and then they will fast. 11
No one patches an old cloak with a piece of
unshrunken cloth, 12 for its fullness pulls away from the
cloak and the tear gets worse.
People do not put new wine into old wineskins.
Otherwise the skins burst, the wine spills out, and the skins are ruined.
Rather, they pour new wine into fresh wineskins, and both are preserved."
13 While he was saying these things to them, an
official 14 came forward, knelt down before him, and said,
"My daughter has just died. But come, lay your hand on her, and she will
Jesus rose and followed him, and so did his
A woman suffering hemorrhages for twelve years
came up behind him and touched the tassel 15 on his cloak.
She said to herself, "If only I can touch
his cloak, I shall be cured."
Jesus turned around and saw her, and said,
"Courage, daughter! Your faith has saved you." And from that hour the
woman was cured.
When Jesus arrived at the official's house and
saw the flute players and the crowd who were making a commotion,
he said, "Go away! The girl is not dead
but sleeping." 16 And they ridiculed him.
When the crowd was put out, he came and took
her by the hand, and the little girl arose.
And news of this spread throughout all that
17 And as Jesus passed on from there, two blind
men followed (him), crying out, "Son of David, 18 have
pity on us!"
When he entered the house, the blind men
approached him and Jesus said to them, "Do you believe that I can do
this?" "Yes, Lord," they said to him.
Then he touched their eyes and said, "Let
it be done for you according to your faith."
And their eyes were opened. Jesus warned them
sternly, "See that no one knows about this."
But they went out and spread word of him
through all that land.
As they were going out, 19 a
demoniac who could not speak was brought to him,
and when the demon was driven out the mute
person spoke. The crowds were amazed and said, "Nothing like this has ever
been seen in Israel."
20 But the Pharisees said, "He drives out
demons by the prince of demons."
21 Jesus went around to all the towns and villages,
teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom, and curing
every disease and illness.
At the sight of the crowds, his heart was moved
with pity for them because they were troubled and abandoned, 22
like sheep without a shepherd.
23 Then he said to his disciples, "The
harvest is abundant but the laborers are few;
so ask the master of the harvest to send out
laborers for his harvest."
1  His own town: Capernaum; see
⇒ Matthew 4:13.
2  Scribes: see the note on
⇒ Mark 2:6. Matthew omits the reason given in the
Marcan story for the charge of blasphemy: "Who but God alone can forgive
sins?" (⇒ Mark
3  It is not clear whether
"But that you may know . . . to forgive sins" is intended to be a
continuation of the words of Jesus or a parenthetical comment of the evangelist
to those who would hear or read this gospel. In any case, Matthew here follows
the Marcan text.
4  Who had given such authority to
human beings: a significant difference from ⇒ Mark
2:12 ("They . . . glorified God, saying, "We have never
seen anything like this' "). Matthew's extension to human beings of the
authority to forgive sins points to the belief that such authority was being
claimed by Matthew's church.
5 [9-17] In this section the order is
the same as that of ⇒ Mark 2:13-22.
6  A man named Matthew: Mark names
this tax collector Levi (⇒ Mark 2:14). No such name
appears in the four lists of the twelve who were the closest companions of
Jesus (⇒ Matthew 10:2-4; ⇒ Mark
3:16-19; ⇒ Luke 6:14-16;
⇒ Acts 1:13 [eleven, because of the defection of
Judas Iscariot]), whereas all four list a Matthew, designated in
⇒ Matthew 10:3 as "the tax collector." The
evangelist may have changed the "Levi" of his source to Matthew so
that this man, whose call is given special notice, like that of the first four
disciples (⇒ Matthew 4:18-22), might be included
among the twelve. Another reason for the change may be that the disciple
Matthew was the source of traditions peculiar to the church for which the
evangelist was writing.
7  His house: it is not clear
whether his refers to Jesus or Matthew. Tax collectors: see the note on
⇒ Matthew 5:46. Table association with such persons
would cause ritual impurity.
8  Teacher: see the note on
⇒ Matthew 8:19.
9  See the note on
⇒ Mark 2:17.
10  Go and learn . . . not
sacrifice: Matthew adds the prophetic statement of ⇒ Hosea
6:6 to the Marcan account (see also ⇒ Matthew
12:7). If mercy is superior to the temple sacrifices, how much more
to the laws of ritual impurity.
11  Fasting is a sign of mourning
and would be as inappropriate at this time of joy, when Jesus is proclaiming
the kingdom, as it would be at a marriage feast. Yet the saying looks forward
to the time when Jesus will no longer be with the disciples visibly, the time
of Matthew's church. Then they will fast: see Didache 8:1.
12 [16-17] Each of these parables
speaks of the unsuitability of attempting to combine the old and the new.
Jesus' teaching is not a patching up of Judaism, nor can the gospel be
contained within the limits of Mosaic law.
13 [18-34] In this third group of
miracles, the first (⇒ Matthew 9:18-26) is clearly
dependent on Mark (⇒ Mark 5:21-43). Though it tells
of two miracles, the cure of the woman had already been included within the
story of the raising of the official's daughter, so that the two were probably
regarded as a single unit. The other miracles seem to have been derived from
Mark and Q respectively, though there Matthew's own editing is much more
14  Official: literally,
"ruler." Mark calls him "one of the synagogue officials"
(⇒ Mark 5:22). My daughter has just died: Matthew
heightens the Marcan "my daughter is at the point of death"
(⇒ Mark 5:23).
15  Tassel: possibly
"fringe." The Mosaic law prescribed that tassels be worn on the
corners of one's garment as a reminder to keep the commandments (see
⇒ Numbers 15:37-39; ⇒ Deut
16  Sleeping: sleep is a biblical
metaphor for death (see ⇒ Psalm 87:6 LXX;
⇒ Daniel 12:2; ⇒ 1 Thes
5:10). Jesus' statement is not a denial of the child's real death,
but an assurance that she will be roused from her sleep of death.
17 [27-31] This story was probably
composed by Matthew out of Mark's story of the healing of a blind man named
Bartimaeus (⇒ Mark 10:46-52). Mark places the event
late in Jesus' ministry, just before his entrance into Jerusalem, and Matthew
has followed his Marcan source at that point in his gospel also (see
⇒ Matthew 20:29-34). In each of the Matthean
stories the single blind man of Mark becomes two. The reason why Matthew would
have given a double version of the Marcan story and placed the earlier one here
may be that he wished to add a story of Jesus' curing the blind at this point
in order to prepare for Jesus' answer to the emissaries of the Baptist
(⇒ Matthew 11:4-6) in which Jesus, recounting his
works, begins with his giving sight to the blind.
18  Son of David: this messianic
title is connected once with the healing power of Jesus in Mark
(⇒ Mark 10:47-48) and Luke
(⇒ Luke 18:38-39) but more frequently in Matthew
(see also ⇒ Matthew 12:23;
⇒ 15:22; ⇒ 20:30-31).
19 [32-34] The source of this story
seems to be Q (see ⇒ Luke 11:14-15). As in the
preceding healing of the blind, Matthew has two versions of this healing, the
later in ⇒ Matthew 12:22-24 and the earlier here.
20  This spiteful accusation
foreshadows the growing opposition to Jesus in Matthew 11; 12.
21  See the notes on
⇒ Matthew 4:23-25; ⇒ Matthew
22  See ⇒ Mark
6:34; ⇒ Numbers 27:17;
⇒ 1 Kings 22:17.
23 [37-38] This Q saying (see
⇒ Luke 10:2) is only imperfectly related to this
context. It presupposes that only God (the master of the harvest) can take the
initiative in sending out preachers of the gospel, whereas in Matthew's setting
it leads into Matthew 10 where Jesus does so.
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