A Cursory Commentary of St. Matthew’s Gospel

By Father Victor Feltes

Matthew 1

Jesus is not a “once upon a time” myth, he becomes man as a part of real history

Jesus’ genealogy shows that God writes straight with crocked lines. He succeeds despite sins.

Forty forefathers’ generations precede Jesus because forty symbolizes times of preparation.

Like God the Father, Joseph chose mercy over what “the law” permitted (Deuteronomy 22:20.)

Joseph, like his namesake in Genesis, has dreams which lead to the salvation of the world.

Matthew 2

The rising and stopping star is probably a planet. “Planet” = “wandering (star)” in Greek.

The magi pay homage to the less than two-year-old Jesus upon Mary, His throne and ark.

The magi gifts: kingly gold, priestly frankincense incense, and corpse-embalming myrrh.

The Church honors the Holy Innocents of Bethlehem as martyrs who died for Christ.

Matthew 3

John the Baptist appears dressed like the prophet Elijah (2 Kings 1:8.)

Through baptism, we survive the great flood with Jesus and receive a holy dove like Noah.

Matthew 4

The temptations parallel the Passion: bread/Last Supper, temple/trial, mountain/Calvary.

John’s Gospel (1:40) indicates this was not the first time Peter and Andrew had met Jesus.

Our nets are what would entangle us, keeping us from following Jesus like he calls us to.

Matthew 5

Jesus, the New Moses, calls us to the mountaintop to give us the New Law.

Jesus’ Beatitudes are autobiographical. He and His saints embody them best of all.

Anti-Beatitudes: pride, callousness, aggression, indifference, mercilessness, etc.

Salt, light, and Christians are humble and great blessings of God the Father to the world.

Anger, contempt, hatred, murder. Lust, flirting, caresses, adultery. Sin is of the heart (15:18.)

Gehenna refers to the once-idolatrous Valley of Hinnom, a garbage dump outside Jerusalem.

God the Father not only loves everyone, but greets everyone.

Matthew 6

Jesus expects almsgiving, prayer, and fasting to be a part of His disciples’ lives.

“Our Father” comes in the first place, and the “evil one” is given the last place.

We ask for God’s glory, kingdom, and will, to be present on earth as they are in heaven.

“Daily bread” can refer to the Eucharist, literal nutritional need, or any personal need.

As St. Padre Pio often counseled, “Pray, hope, and don’t worry.”

Matthew 7

Jesus does not condemn fraternal correction, but teaches us to look at ourselves first.

Salvation is not by faith alone (“Lord, Lord,”) nor by works alone (“I never knew you.”)

Jesus is the wise man who built his house, the Church, on rock, St. Peter (16:18.)

Matthew 8

Jesus and St. Matthew are aware of distinctions between diseases and demon possessions.

Jesus demands more from His disciples than Elijah required of Elisha (1 Kings 19:20.)

While we are weathering our lives’ violent storms it can seem like Jesus is sleeping.

Matthew 9

The paralytic’s friends demonstrate the power of faith-filled intercession.

Jesus is a bridegroom, not a bachelor, because celibacy is directed towards a spousal love.

Jesus heals the dead, blind, and mute/deaf into new wineskins to receive His Gospel.

Matthew 10

In lists of the twelve apostles, Simon Peter is always first and Judas Iscariot is always last.

It would be a tragedy for someone to reject Jesus on account of the scandal of a Judas.

Jesus forces the missionaries depend on God’s Providence and encounter many people.

Matthew 11

Suffering in prison, John doubts if Jesus is the Christ, but Jesus reassures and praises him.

The Lord does not mind us addressing our sincere questions and doubts to Him.

Critics reject Jesus and John for not conforming to their scripts and expectations.

We are called to be childlike, but not childish (18:3.)

A horizontal cross resembles a yoke made for two bearers; Jesus and you.

Matthew 12

Jesus suggests His divinity by claiming to be greater than the temple and the Sabbath.

Jesus rescues His sheep from a pit when He descends to the dead on Holy Saturday.

The Sabbath rest, then as now, exists not to be a burden but a cause for human thriving.

The sin against the Holy Spirit regards goodness to be evil (e.g., Jesus’ healings.)

Jesus’ preaching and wisdom has been more effective in history than Jonah and Solomon’s.

Matthew 13

Parables allow enemies to dismiss Jesus while receptive hearers ponder them profitably.

The quality of our souls’ soils can vary from person to person, or even day to day.

Kingdom parables describe how the kingdom works within individuals and in the world.

Matthew 14

St. Paul is beheaded like John and St. Peter is crucified like Jesus.

Jesus was sad when He hears of the murder of His relative, John, and wants to pray alone.

In the dark and troubled night, Jesus appears just before the dawn (4th watch = 3-6 AM.)

St. Peter sinks because he takes his eyes off Jesus and begins to fear and doubt.

Matthew 15

Note the surpassing degree to which Jesus honors both His Father and His mother.

The two multiplications of loaves parallel the Last Supper’s verbs and miraculous nature.

Matthew 16

As the saying goes, “Red at night, sailor’s delight. Red in morning, sailor’s warning.”

In the Davidic kingdom, the king’s prime minister held keys signifying his authority.

“Satan” means “Adversary” in Hebrew.

Matthew 17

Moses and Elijah saw God on mountains (Exodus 33:19, 1 Kings 19:11) but not His face.

Jesus’ mustard seed faith comment is an encouragement; it doesn’t take much to do a lot.

Matthew 18

We are accompanied by angel guardians who look upon the Father’s face.

Jesus teaches us a direct and discreet method for fraternal correction.

The first debtor owes 10,000 talents, an amount much more than $100,000,000 today.

Sometimes we must forgive seventy-seven times as old resentments resurface within us.

Matthew 19

In marriage, God has joined life-giving and love-making. “What God has joined…”

Eunuchs serve their king and his kingdom as their own glory and sole legacy.

Couples should be open to life, for whoever receives a child, receives Christ (18:5.)

Eternal life is about more than keeping morality, it needs a relationship with Christ.

Matthew 20

The landowner has pity on those who might otherwise starve for lack of work.

The seats at the left and right of Jesus’ throne are crosses upon the hill of Calvary.

Like Elisha, James and John ask for roles which are very difficult (2 Kings 2:10.)

Those who lead are called to serve.

Matthew 21

“Hosanna” means “(O Lord,) Grant Salvation” in Hebrew.

The merchants and money changers were occupying the Court of the Gentiles.

Teaching a timeless lesson to His disciples is well worth the destruction of one plant.

Matthew 22

Wedding garments symbolize good deeds done through Christ (Revelation 7:14, 19:8.)

All human beings bear God’s image (Genesis 1:26) and belong to God.

Sadducees denied all OT books after the first five, as well as angels and the resurrection.

God’s commands and prophesies are about love. Sin is a failure to love as we ought.

Matthew 23

“Hypocrite” means “Stage Actor” in Greek.

Jesus, gentle with sinners, reproaches hypocrites for loving praise over God and goodness.

“Call no one… father” is hyperbole (1 Corinthians 4:15, Acts 7:2, Romans 9:10.)

In Exodus 19:4, the Lord was as a mighty eagle. Jesus comes as a tender, lowly hen.

Matthew 24

In 70 AD, the Jewish temple and Jerusalem were utterly destroyed by the Romans.

People who claim to know the date the world will end are either guessing or lying.

“Wailing” denotes grief and “grinding of teeth” indicates rage.

The men consecrated to serving God’s servants must not be selfish.

Matthew 25

Women consecrated to the Bridegroom must pursue more than the present comforts.

The good servants both double their differing talents and receive the same praise.

The bad servant does not see the glory in sharing in his master’s (i.e., God’s) work.

The goats are condemned and yet ‘depart’ and ‘go off’ by their own initiative.

In the end, all call Him “Lord,” but the sheep have done righteous works.

Matthew 26

Complainers about beautiful churches tend to spend more on themselves.

While the others call Jesus “Lord,” Judas calls Him “Rabbi” (26:49.)

Jesus next drinks wine ‘in the kingdom of His Father’ on the cross (27:48.)

The hymn sung was likely the Passover’s traditional Great Hallel (Psalms 113-118)

Like David (2 Samuel 15:30,) Jesus mourns His betrayal on the Mount of Olives.

Violently severing ears makes it harder for people to hear to the Gospel.

Jesus honored the wicked high priest’s authority to impose an oath on Him.

Leviticus 21:10 commands the high priest to never “rend his garments.”

Matthew 27

The Sanhedrin and Judas parallel Ahithophel (2 Samuel 16:23-17:4, 17:23.)

“You say so” means “Yes I am, but not like you think.”

While the high priest’s questions were religious, Pilate’s are political.

“Barabbas” means “Son of the Father” in Hebrew.

“One on His right… on His left,” echoes Moses’ victory (Exodus 17:12.)

Wisdom 2:12-22 reflects the attitudes of those who taunted Jesus.

Psalm 22 reflects Jesus’ thoughts and feelings on the cross.

Both the Pharisees and Romans endorse that Jesus’ body is in the sealed tomb.

Matthew 28

On Holy Saturday, Jesus, dead in the tomb, kept the Sabbath rest.

On Easter Sunday, the first day (of the week,) Jesus’ body was remade.

The chief priests’ cover story for the guards: “We saw them do it as we slept.”

Christian disciples are made through sacrament and teaching.

3 Responses to “A Cursory Commentary of St. Matthew’s Gospel”

  1. katiereigel Says:

    I am so thrilled to see you are posting again!!!

  2. Gabriel Says:

    Thank you for your study. Glad to hear from you again.

  3. Pussywillow Says:

    Welcome back to the blogosphere, Father :)

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