Gibbs, Jeffrey A. “Matthew 4:25-5:2: Narrative Introduction to the Sermon on the Mount.” St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 2006, pp. 226-233.
Regarding Matthew 4:25, Gibbs reminds the reader that crowds routinely followed Jesus. The crowd is distinguished from disciples, who are actually intent on learning from Jesus (Gibbs 2006, 226). Though the crowd would have been partly Jewish and partly Gentile, consistent with Matthew’s emphasis on Jesus as the Messiah, the areas mentioned here suggest a mostly Jewish crowd.
Gibbs considers the theological claims that Jesus is presented as the new Moses. He concludes that in Matthew 5:1 the evidence of intent is not strong enough. Matthew’s use of mountains rarely suggest a connection to Moses (Gibbs 2006, 227).
Matthew 5 begins the first of Jesus’ five major discourses recorded in Matthew. Gibbs considers it significant that the disciples here are separated from the rest of the crowd. While the crowd hears Jesus’ teaching and is amazed, it remains distinct from the group of disciples (Gibbs 2006, 228).
As he begins to comment on Matthew 5-7, Gibbs notes that these three chapters have historically received a tremendous amount of study and commentary. Gibbs’ intention will be to identify the key ideas as they fit into Matthew’s particular purpose (Gibbs 2006, 230). Gibbs will show the Sermon is based on a foundational blessing at the start, and that the other parts are ordered in light of and dependent on those blessings. The significant turn from the third person to the second person in the Beatitudes point to the need to receive Goid’s gifts as individuals (Gibbs 2006, 232). The concept of God for you is central to Matthew’s Gospel.