The man of St Matthew



This discourse is final in two ways. It is the last of the five discourses which are the notable feature of this Gospel. It is also final because it speaks of the last days. The question of the future needs to be addressed by the evangelist and the place in the Gospel to do this is at the end of Jesus's ministry and before the beginning of the Passion.

In our overview of the five chapters, we saw how this discourse has the same ending as the other four but with an added "all": When Jesus had finished saying all these things (26,1).
We also saw that the discourse begins not in 24,1 as is commonly said but rather with Jesus sitting on the Mount of Olives and the disciples asking him two questions (24,3-4). Jesus' answer begins in 24,5.

We have therefore one discourse covering two chapters, 24,3-25,46. As usual, we can wonder if the chapter boundary is in the right place. We need now to look at the discourse as a whole.

Overview: Mt 24-25

What is the setting for this discourse? Once again check back to 5,1 (as we did for the overview of all these chapters).

Chapter 25 is easy, it is made up of three stories one of which is a grand finale.

Chapter 24 is less easy, though for much of the chapter we can see how Matthew is following Mark chapter 13.

Looking at the first half of chapter 24, there is a break which ought to be easy to spot.

What are the two questions asked by the disciples in 24,4 and where does Jesus answer them?

Generally as I noted Matthew is following Mark chapter 13 until he goes his own way. What is the last section which is in common with Mark? What is the last verse which is the same as Mark?

As we have seen a number of times, this sort of questioning begins to open up the discourse. We can therefore go to my response and then look at our reading plan for the chapter.

Now we can go on to read the opening of the discourse, Mt 24,3-14.