The man of St Matthew


Chapter 16: Overview

Chapter 16 is a short chapter but as we will see, its second part continues into the next chapter. Generally, Matthew is continuing to follow Mark, Mk 8,11-9,1.
There is one significant omission, the healing of the blind man, Mk 8,22-26. This healing of the blind man together with the earlier healing of the deaf mute (Mk 7,32-37) which Matthew also omits are important markers in Mark's story. As such, they are not needed in this Gospel.

The first half of the chapter, 6,1-12, is dominated by the unusual combination of Pharisees and Sadducees and Jesus' reaction to them. They are mentioned in 16,1 and 16,12 which makes them a bracket for the scene and also appear in verses 6 and 11.
This therefore gives us our first page.

Caesarea Phillippi - and a Mountain: Mt 6,13-7,13

One look at the second half of chapter 16 and we will be well aware of its importance. It is though a complex episode and it is part of a longer passage which is continued in chapter 17. Let us now look at this passage more closely.

In 16,13, we are told of Jesus arriving at Caesarea Phillippi with his disciples. He has been with the disciples since 16,5 so it is the change of place which marks the new beginning.

The disciples or some of them then remain with Jesus until well into the next chapter. Where do we find a change of audience?
Consider as well how the final verses return to the subject at the beginning of the passage. See what Matthew has added to Mk 9,13.

If I take this change of audience as the next new beginning, look for the markers indicating the scenes in-between after 6,13. What as a result are the four scenes in this episode?

Significant for this reading is the way that Matthew in 16,24 has changed Mk 8,34.

This may seem somewhat enigmatic but remember that the answers are there in the text.
Look now at my response.

As a result of this exploration, the first two scenes will be the second of our two pages for this chapter, 16,13-28.

We are ready therefore to begin our reading with the Pharisees and Sadducees, 16,1-12.