Morris, Leon. The Gospel according to Matthew. Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans, 1992.
“III. Jesus’ Ministry in Galilee, 4:12-13:52” pp. 79-363.
Due to the length of this portion, we will divide notes roughly by biblical chapter.
“D. Jesus’ Ministry of Healing 8:1-9:34” “Matthew 8” pp. 186-212.
Morris reminds the reader that Matthew had summarized Jesus’ work as “teaching, preaching, and healing” in Matthew 4:23 (Morri 1992, 186). After the teaching of chapters 5-7 Matthew turns attention to Jesus’ healing, which is clustered mostly in the earlier part of the Gospel (Morris 1992, 186). In the three healings of Matthew 8:1-17, Jesus shows care for a leper, a Gentile and then a woman. This would have been stroking in his culture (Morris 1992, 187). Leprosy was deadly and the leper would be separated from society. However, a leper approached Jesus (Morris 1992, 189). Jesus’ response of touching the leper was surprising as thi would make Jesus unclean (Morris 1992, 189). He directs the leper to follow the ceremonial custom and not to promote Jesus as a miracle worker (Morris 1992, 190). Jesus next is asked to care for a centurion’s servant. Morris points out that Matthew frames the incident differently than the other evangelists (Morris 1992, 192). The centurion’s understanding of authority is commended by Jesus (Morris 1992, 194). Matthew next tells of Jesus healing a fever which Peter’s mother-in-law is dealing with (Morris 1992, 197).
In Matthew 8:18 the attention shifts again to the way Jesus would have his followers believe in him wholeheartedly (Morris 1992, 199). Jesus’ call in verse 18 that people should follow him, though this is left somewhat indefinite (Morris 1992, 200). At this point Jesus begins to be referred to as the “Son of man” (Morris 1992, 201ff). The refusal to follow Jesus indicates a serious failure in commitment which Jesus openly rejected (Morris 1992, 203). At verse 22 Jesus and the disciples get into a boat to cross the sea of Galilee. Morris brings out Matthew’s distinctive and shows that Matthew uses the story to show trust in Jesus (Morris 1992, 204). The storm was clearly very serious, yet Jesus was asleep in the boat (Morris 1992, 205). After rebuking the disciples for unbelief Jesus rebuked the storm, showing dominion over nature (Morris 1992, 206). The conclusion of Matthew 8 features Jesus casting out demons from two men (introduced as one in the other accounts) (Morris 1992, 208). These men identify Jesus and his purpose in coming (Morris 1992, 209). but they do not expect to be allowed to escape. Asking to go into some nearby pigs, Jesus allows it (Morris 1992, 210) and the demons destroy the pigs. The reaction includes concern about the economic loss of many pigs (Morris 1992, 211). Jesus leaves the community by popular request. Morris leaves the reader with a number of questions which Matthew left unanswered at the end of chapter 8 (Morris 1992, 212).