This Sunday’s gospel is from Matthew 10, the second great discourse, of five in Matthew’s gospel. This section is called the Missionary Discourse. This year we’re walking through Matthew’s gospel. Here’s an outline.
Matthew’s gospel is neatly arranged into 5 sections like the five books of Moses. Matthew presents Jesus as the new Moses, the new law-giver. “You have heard it said, love your neighbor and hate your enemy, but I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.” Sermon on the Mount. Moses said… now I say to you…
In the early 20th century a guy named B. W. Bacon noticed that Jesus used the phrase, “When Jesus finished saying these things…” (Καὶ ἐγένετο ὅτε ἐτέλεσεν ὁ Ἰησοῦς τοὺς λόγους τούτους…) five times, at the end of five long discourses, or sermons (Mt. 7:28, 11:1, 13:53, 19:1, 26:1). He pointed out the five-fold narrative/discourse structure. To oversimplify, one could organize Matthew’s gospel as follows:
Introduction: Matthew 1
1. Narrative: Matthew 2-4. Discourse: Matthew 5-7 (Sermon on the Mount)
2. Narrative: Matthew 8-9. Discourse: Matthew 10 (Missionary Discourse).
3. Narrative: Matthew 11-12. Discourse: Matthew 13 (Parables of the Kingdom).
4. Narrative: Matthew 14-17. Discourse: Matthew 18 (Living in Community).
5. Narrative: Matthew 19-22. Discourse: Matthew 23-25 (Olivet Discourse).
Conclusion: 26-28 (Death Resurrection)