Mitch, Curtis & Edward Sri. The Gospel of Matthew. Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2010. Kindle Electronic Edition.
“The Martyrdom of John and the Continuing Ministry of Jesus (Matthew 14:1-15:39)” pp. 186-200.
In Matthew 14-15 we continue the theme of a mixed response to Jesus (Mitch 2010, 186). The account of the death of John the Baptist is a flashback (Mitch 2010, 187). Herod the tetrarch was concerned that Jesus might be a reincarnation of John. While Herod had mixed feelings about John he allowed his execution (Mitch 2010, 188).
Jesus’ work at this time was attracting crowds. Because of his care, he would teach them. In 14:15-19 Jesus provided food for a large crowd from a small amount of fish and bread (Mitch 2010, 189). Mitch sees Jesus’ action here as a foreshadowing of the Eucharist (Mitch 2010, 190).
In 14:22-36, when Jesus walked across the water to his disciples, Mitch notes a theophany. Jesus reveals some of his divine glory in his works (Mitch 2010, 191). Jesus rescues his disciples, including Peter who walked on the water to Jesus (Mitch 2010, 192), correcting them and comforting them.
In Matthew 15:1-20 we see a dichotomy between the Pharisees and Jesus (Mitch 2010, 194). The Pharisees depend on keeping rituals, applying practices commanded of priests to all people. Jesus shows how guarding the tradition could negate God’s law (Mitch 2010, 195). True righteousness is seen by our faithful words and deeds rather than by applying washings (Mitch 2010, 195).
In verses 21-31 Jesus goes to Gentile territory (Mitch 2010, 197). Though Jesus make it clear that he is called to Israel, he heals a Canaanite woman’s daughter, showing that healing is by faith, not national origin (itch 2010, 198). Jesus goes on to feed another large crowd. Mitch observes that while the narrative is similar to that in Matthew 14:13-21, here the crowd is Gentile (Mitch 2010, 199). Jesus shows himself as the Lord not only of the Jews but also the Gentiles.