The man of St Matthew

THE GOSPEL OF MATTHEW

Chapter 15: Overview

Preparing for our reading of chapter 15 is straightforward just as it was with the previous chapter. We can note as we go along how Matthew is following and editing Mark, Mk 7,1-8,10.

The chapter begins with a long section concerning the traditions of the elders, what is important and what is not important about them, 15,1-20. There is a clear beginning because the Pharisees and scribes enter the scene in 15,1. There is also a clear end because Jesus goes to the region of Tyre and Sidon in 15,21. This section is also divided into two by the change of audience in verse 10, taking us from a direct to an indirect confrontation. There we have our first page for this chapter.

This is followed by Jesus going to the region of Tyre and Sidon, 15,21-28. There follows remarkable encounter with the Canaanite woman. Reading that encounter forms be our second page for this chapter.

"Moving on from there" says verse 29 and we find Jesus is back again in Galilee. Once more he goes up a mountain and sits down (as in 5,1). The final section of the chapter, 15,29-39 tells of the events that take place there, where Jesus for a second time feeds a crowd. Though, oddly, we find in verse 39 that Jesus is back at the lakeside where he gets into the boat. That gives us a third page for this chapter.

We can therefore go straight to our reading and another encounter with the Pharisees and scribes, 15,1-20.