Lectionary Year A
August 25, 2002
Matthew 16:13-20

Step III: Immediate Context


Pre The first 12 verses of Matthew 16 report Jesus' trying to tell the disciples they need to be aware of the Pharisees' and the Sadducees' teachings. He uses the symbol of yeast to point to their teachings, He explains in Matthew 16:12.

Post Following our pericope, verses 21-26 of Matthew 16 tell of Jesus' setting His face toward His passion, death and resurrection. When Peter tries to dissuade Him, He tells him, "Any who would be My followers will deny themselves, take up their crosses and follow Me." Then He refers to "those who want to save their lives will loose them and those who would loose their lives for My sake will find them."


Matthew begins with Jesus' lineage, advent, preaching, healings, miracles and then His parables of the Kingdom. This week's passage reports Peter's confession, often referred to as a watershed in the Gospels. Thereafter, Jesus begins telling His disciples of His death and trying to prepare them for it and for their responsibilities in the future. Consequently, Matthew renders accounts of those events.


Remember, twice in Matthew's Gospel (9:9 & 10:3), the name Matthew is mentioned as a tax collector and called as a disciple by Jesus? Markan and Lukan parallels use the name, Levi. Commentators doubt that this person authored this Gospel. Recall that a second century Bishop, Papias, claimed that Matthew, an apostle of Jesus' wrote Jesus' sayings in Hebrew. Our Gospel by that name is written in Greek and tells of much more than just sayings. It was likely written in Syria between 65 & 75 CE, give or take 5 years.

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