New American Bible (Revised Edition)
III. Ministry and Mission in Galilee[a]
The Cleansing of a Leper. 1 (A)When Jesus came down from the mountain, great crowds followed him. 2 And then a leper[b] approached, did him homage, and said, “Lord, if you wish, you can make me clean.” 3 He stretched out his hand, touched him, and said, “I will do it. Be made clean.” His leprosy was cleansed immediately. 4 [c]Then Jesus said to him, “See that you tell no one, but go show yourself to the priest, and offer the gift that Moses prescribed;(B) that will be proof for them.”
The Healing of a Centurion’s Servant.[d] 5 (C)When he entered Capernaum,[e] a centurion approached him and appealed to him, 6 saying, “Lord, my servant is lying at home paralyzed, suffering dreadfully.” 7 He said to him, “I will come and cure him.” 8 The centurion said in reply,[f] “Lord, I am not worthy to have you enter under my roof; only say the word and my servant will be healed. 9 For I too am a person subject to authority, with soldiers subject to me. And I say to one, ‘Go,’ and he goes; and to another, ‘Come here,’ and he comes; and to my slave, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.” 10 When Jesus heard this, he was amazed and said to those following him, “Amen, I say to you, in no one in Israel[g] have I found such faith. 11 (D)I say to you,[h] many will come from the east and the west, and will recline with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob at the banquet in the kingdom of heaven, 12 but the children of the kingdom will be driven out into the outer darkness, where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth.” 13 And Jesus said to the centurion, “You may go; as you have believed, let it be done for you.” And at that very hour [his] servant was healed.
The Cure of Peter’s Mother-in-Law.[i] 14 (E)Jesus entered the house of Peter, and saw his mother-in-law lying in bed with a fever. 15 He touched her hand, the fever left her, and she rose and waited on him.(F)
Other Healings. 16 When it was evening, they brought him many who were possessed by demons, and he drove out the spirits by a word[j] and cured all the sick, 17 to fulfill what had been said by Isaiah the prophet:[k](G)
“He took away our infirmities
and bore our diseases.”
The Would-be Followers of Jesus.[l] 18 (H)When Jesus saw a crowd around him, he gave orders to cross to the other side.[m] 19 (I)A scribe approached and said to him, “Teacher,[n] I will follow you wherever you go.” 20 Jesus answered him, “Foxes have dens and birds of the sky have nests, but the Son of Man[o] has nowhere to rest his head.” 21 Another of [his] disciples said to him, “Lord, let me go first and bury my father.” 22 [p]But Jesus answered him, “Follow me, and let the dead bury their dead.”
The Calming of the Storm at Sea. 23 [q](J)He got into a boat and his disciples followed him. 24 Suddenly a violent storm[r] came up on the sea, so that the boat was being swamped by waves; but he was asleep. 25 (K)They came and woke him, saying, “Lord, save us![s] We are perishing!” 26 He said to them, “Why are you terrified, O you of little faith?”[t] Then he got up, rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was great calm. 27 The men were amazed and said, “What sort of man is this, whom even the winds and the sea obey?”
The Healing of the Gadarene Demoniacs. 28 (L)When he came to the other side, to the territory of the Gadarenes,[u] two demoniacs who were coming from the tombs met him. They were so savage that no one could travel by that road. 29 They cried out, “What have you to do with us,[v] Son of God? Have you come here to torment us before the appointed time?” 30 Some distance away a herd of many swine was feeding.[w] 31 The demons pleaded with him, “If you drive us out, send us into the herd of swine.”(M) 32 And he said to them, “Go then!” They came out and entered the swine, and the whole herd rushed down the steep bank into the sea where they drowned. 33 The swineherds ran away, and when they came to the town they reported everything, including what had happened to the demoniacs. 34 Thereupon the whole town came out to meet Jesus, and when they saw him they begged him to leave their district.
The Healing of a Paralytic. 1 [x](N)He entered a boat, made the crossing, and came into his own town. 2 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.”(O) 3 At that, some of the scribes[y] said to themselves, “This man is blaspheming.” 4 Jesus knew what they were thinking, and said, “Why do you harbor evil thoughts? 5 Which is easier, to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Rise and walk’? 6 [z]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 go home.”(P) 7 He rose and went home. 8 [aa]When the crowds saw this they were struck with awe and glorified God who had given such authority to human beings.
The Call of Matthew.[ab] 9 As Jesus passed on from there,(Q) he saw a man named Matthew[ac] sitting at the customs post. He said to him, “Follow me.” And he got up and followed him. 10 While he was at table in his house,[ad] many tax collectors and sinners came and sat with Jesus and his disciples.(R) 11 The Pharisees saw this and said to his disciples, “Why does your teacher[ae] eat with tax collectors and sinners?” 12 He heard this and said, “Those who are well do not need a physician, but the sick do.[af] 13 Go and learn the meaning of the words,(S) ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice.’[ag] I did not come to call the righteous but sinners.”
The Question About Fasting. 14 (T)Then the disciples of John approached him and said, “Why do we and the Pharisees fast [much], but your disciples do not fast?” 15 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.[ah] 16 No one patches an old cloak with a piece of unshrunken cloth,[ai] for its fullness pulls away from the cloak and the tear gets worse. 17 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.”
The Official’s Daughter and the Woman with a Hemorrhage. 18 [aj]While he was saying these things to them,(U) an official[ak] came forward, knelt down before him, and said, “My daughter has just died. But come, lay your hand on her, and she will live.” 19 Jesus rose and followed him, and so did his disciples. 20 A woman suffering hemorrhages for twelve years came up behind him and touched the tassel[al] on his cloak. 21 She said to herself, “If only I can touch his cloak, I shall be cured.”(V) 22 Jesus turned around and saw her, and said, “Courage, daughter! Your faith has saved you.” And from that hour the woman was cured.
23 When Jesus arrived at the official’s house and saw the flute players and the crowd who were making a commotion, 24 he said, “Go away! The girl is not dead but sleeping.”[am] And they ridiculed him. 25 When the crowd was put out, he came and took her by the hand, and the little girl arose. 26 And news of this spread throughout all that land.
The Healing of Two Blind Men.[an] 27 (W)And as Jesus passed on from there, two blind men followed [him], crying out, “Son of David,[ao] have pity on us!”(X) 28 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. 29 Then he touched their eyes and said, “Let it be done for you according to your faith.” 30 And their eyes were opened. Jesus warned them sternly, “See that no one knows about this.” 31 But they went out and spread word of him through all that land.
The Healing of a Mute Person. 32 (Y)As they were going out,[ap] a demoniac who could not speak was brought to him, 33 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.”(Z) 34 [aq]But the Pharisees said,(AA) “He drives out demons by the prince of demons.”
The Compassion of Jesus. 35 [ar](AB)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. 36 (AC)At the sight of the crowds, his heart was moved with pity for them because they were troubled and abandoned,[as] like sheep without a shepherd. 37 [at](AD)Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is abundant but the laborers are few; 38 so ask the master of the harvest to send out laborers for his harvest.”
- 8:1–9:38 This narrative section of the second book of the gospel is composed of nine miracle stories, most of which are found in Mark, although Matthew does not follow the Marcan order and abbreviates the stories radically. The stories are arranged in three groups of three, each group followed by a section composed principally of sayings of Jesus about discipleship. Mt 9:35 is an almost verbatim repetition of Mt 4:23. Each speaks of Jesus’ teaching, preaching, and healing. The teaching and preaching form the content of Mt 5–7; the healing, that of Mt 8–9. Some scholars speak of a portrayal of Jesus as “Messiah of the Word” in Mt 5–7 and “Messiah of the Deed” in Mt 8–9. That is accurate so far as it goes, but there is also a strong emphasis on discipleship in Mt 8–9; these chapters have not only christological but ecclesiological import.
- 8:2 A leper: see note on Mk 1:40.
- 8:4 Cf. Lv 14:2–9. That will be proof for them: the Greek can also mean “that will be proof against them.” It is not clear whether them refers to the priests or the people.
- 8:5–13 This story comes from Q (see Lk 7:1–10) and is also reflected in Jn 4:46–54. The similarity between the Q story and the Johannine is due to a common oral tradition, not to a common literary source. As in the later story of the daughter of the Canaanite woman (Mt 15:21–28) Jesus here breaks with his usual procedure of ministering only to Israelites and anticipates the mission to the Gentiles.
- 8:5 A centurion: a military officer commanding a hundred men. He was probably in the service of Herod Antipas, tetrarch of Galilee; see note on Mt 14:1.
- 8:8–9 Acquainted by his position with the force of a command, the centurion expresses faith in the power of Jesus’ mere word.
- 8:10 In no one in Israel: there is good textual attestation (e.g., Codex Sinaiticus) for a reading identical with that of Lk 7:9, “not even in Israel.” But that seems to be due to a harmonization of Matthew with Luke.
- 8:11–12 Matthew inserts into the story a Q saying (see Lk 13:28–29) about the entrance of Gentiles into the kingdom and the exclusion of those Israelites who, though descended from the patriarchs and members of the chosen nation (the children of the kingdom), refused to believe in Jesus. There will be wailing and grinding of teeth: the first occurrence of a phrase used frequently in this gospel to describe final condemnation (Mt 13:42, 50; 22:13; 24:51; 25:30). It is found elsewhere in the New Testament only in Lk 13:28.
- 8:14–15 Cf. Mk 1:29–31. Unlike Mark, Matthew has no implied request by others for the woman’s cure. Jesus acts on his own initiative, and the cured woman rises and waits not on “them” (Mk 1:31) but on him.
- 8:16 By a word: a Matthean addition to Mk 1:34; cf. 8:8.
- 8:17 This fulfillment citation from Is 53:4 follows the MT, not the LXX. The prophet speaks of the Servant of the Lord who suffers vicariously for the sins (“infirmities”) of others; Matthew takes the infirmities as physical afflictions.
- 8:18–22 This passage between the first and second series of miracles about following Jesus is taken from Q (see Lk 9:57–62). The third of the three sayings found in the source is absent from Matthew.
- 8:18 The other side: i.e., of the Sea of Galilee.
- 8:19 Teacher: for Matthew, this designation of Jesus is true, for he has Jesus using it of himself (Mt 10:24, 25; 23:8; 26:18), yet when it is used of him by others they are either his opponents (Mt 9:11; 12:38; 17:24; 22:16, 24, 36) or, as here and in Mt 19:16, well-disposed persons who cannot see more deeply. Thus it reveals an inadequate recognition of who Jesus is.
- 8:20 Son of Man: see note on Mk 8:31. This is the first occurrence in Matthew of a term that appears in the New Testament only in sayings of Jesus, except for Acts 7:56 and possibly Mt 9:6 (// Mk 2:10; Lk 5:24). In Matthew it refers to Jesus in his ministry (seven times, as here), in his passion and resurrection (nine times, e.g., Mt 17:22), and in his glorious coming at the end of the age (thirteen times, e.g., Mt 24:30).
- 8:22 Let the dead bury their dead: the demand of Jesus overrides what both the Jewish and the Hellenistic world regarded as a filial obligation of the highest importance. See note on Lk 9:60.
- 8:23 His disciples followed him: the first miracle in the second group (Mt 8:23–9:8) is introduced by a verse that links it with the preceding sayings by the catchword “follow.” In Mark the initiative in entering the boat is taken by the disciples (Mk 4:35–41); here, Jesus enters first and the disciples follow.
- 8:24 Storm: literally, “earthquake,” a word commonly used in apocalyptic literature for the shaking of the old world when God brings in his kingdom. All the synoptics use it in depicting the events preceding the parousia of the Son of Man (Mt 24:7; Mk 13:8; Lk 21:11). Matthew has introduced it here and in his account of the death and resurrection of Jesus (Mt 27:51–54; 28:2).
- 8:25 The reverent plea of the disciples contrasts sharply with their reproach of Jesus in Mk 4:38.
- 8:26 You of little faith: see note on Mt 6:30. Great calm: Jesus’ calming the sea may be meant to recall the Old Testament theme of God’s control over the chaotic waters (Ps 65:8; 89:10; 93:3–4; 107:29).
- 8:28 Gadarenes: this is the reading of Codex Vaticanus, supported by other important textual witnesses. The original reading of Codex Sinaiticus was Gazarenes, later changed to Gergesenes, and a few versions have Gerasenes. Each of these readings points to a different territory connected, respectively, with the cities Gadara, Gergesa, and Gerasa (modern Jerash). There is the same confusion of readings in the parallel texts, Mk 5:1 and Lk 8:26; there the best reading seems to be “Gerasenes,” whereas “Gadarenes” is probably the original reading in Matthew. The town of Gadara was about five miles southeast of the Sea of Galilee, and Josephus (Life 9:42) refers to it as possessing territory that lay on that sea. Two demoniacs: Mark (5:1–20) has one.
- 8:29 What have you to do with us?: see note on Jn 2:4. Before the appointed time: the notion that evil spirits were allowed by God to afflict human beings until the time of the final judgment is found in Enoch 16:1 and Jubilees 10:7–10.
- 8:30 The tending of pigs, animals considered unclean by Mosaic law (Lv 11:6–7), indicates that the population was Gentile.
- 9:1 His own town: Capernaum; see Mt 4:13.
- 9:3 Scribes: see note on Mk 2:6. Matthew omits the reason given in the Marcan story for the charge of blasphemy: “Who but God alone can forgive sins?” (Mk 2:7).
- 9:6 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.
- 9:8 Who had given such authority to human beings: a significant difference from Mk 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.
- 9:9–17 In this section the order is the same as that of Mk 2:13–22.
- 9:9 A man named Matthew: Mark names this tax collector Levi (Mk 2:14). No such name appears in the four lists of the twelve who were the closest companions of Jesus (Mt 10:2–4; Mk 3:16–19; Lk 6:14–16; Acts 1:13 [eleven, because of the defection of Judas Iscariot]), whereas all four list a Matthew, designated in Mt 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 (Mt 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.
- 9:10 His house: it is not clear whether his refers to Jesus or Matthew. Tax collectors: see note on Mt 5:46. Table association with such persons would cause ritual impurity.
- 9:11 Teacher: see note on Mt 8:19.
- 9:12 See note on Mk 2:17.
- 9:13 Go and learn…not sacrifice: Matthew adds the prophetic statement of Hos 6:6 to the Marcan account (see also Mt 12:7). If mercy is superior to the temple sacrifices, how much more to the laws of ritual impurity.
- 9:15 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.
- 9:16–17 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.
- 9:18–34 In this third group of miracles, the first (Mt 9:18–26) is clearly dependent on Mark (Mk 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 evident.
- 9:18 Official: literally, “ruler.” Mark calls him “one of the synagogue officials” (Mk 5:22). My daughter has just died: Matthew heightens the Marcan “my daughter is at the point of death” (Mk 5:23).
- 9:20 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 Nm 15:37–39; Dt 22:12).
- 9:24 Sleeping: sleep is a biblical metaphor for death (see Ps 87:6 LXX; Dn 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.
- 9:27–31 This story was probably composed by Matthew out of Mark’s story of the healing of a blind man named Bartimaeus (Mk 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 Mt 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 (Mt 11:4–6) in which Jesus, recounting his works, begins with his giving sight to the blind.
- 9:27 Son of David: this messianic title is connected once with the healing power of Jesus in Mark (Mk 10:47–48) and Luke (Lk 18:38–39) but more frequently in Matthew (see also Mt 12:23; 15:22; 20:30–31).
- 9:32–34 The source of this story seems to be Q (see Lk 11:14–15). As in the preceding healing of the blind, Matthew has two versions of this healing, the later in Mt 12:22–24 and the earlier here.
- 9:34 This spiteful accusation foreshadows the growing opposition to Jesus in Mt 11 and 12.
- 9:35 See notes on Mt 4:23–25; Mt 8:1–9:38.
- 9:36 See Mk 6:34; Nm 27:17; 1 Kgs 22:17.
- 9:37–38 This Q saying (see Lk 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 Mt 10 where Jesus does so.