Lectionary Year A
September 8, 2002
Matthew 18:15-20

Step III: Immediate Context


Pre - The first 14 verses of Matthew 18 tell of Jesus' teaching the disciples about how they are to become humble in order to enter the Kingdom of Heaven and how becoming humble is symbolized in a child He sets in their midst as an object lesson. Then, Jesus addresses the issue of causing children to stumble and how some symbolic parts of human anatomy might cause stumbling. He concludes these paragraphs in Matthew leading up to today's lesson with the parable of the shepherd going to find one (out of 100) lost sheep.

Post - Following this week's lesson, we read of Jesus' telling the parable of the Unforgiving Servant. It is an illustration to answer Peter's question, "How often must we forgive someone who sins against me?"


Remember, Matthew begins with Jesus' lineage, advent, preaching, healings, miracles and then His parables of the Kingdom. After last week's passage reported Jesus' beginning to tell His disciples of His death and trying to prepare them for it and for their responsibilities in the future, Matthew renders accounts of those events.


We remember, twice in this Gospel (9:9, 10:3), we read of Matthew, 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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