Today's reading starts where the Parable Sermon ended and goes through the fourth sermon of Matthew, the Kingdom Sermon.
- Matthew 13 ends with a little insight into Jesus' family. He had brothers and sisters, for example. And, interestingly, he did not make anyone get healed. He didn't heal unless people had faith.
- A lot of the material in these chapters is core "Mark" material (it's generally thought that both Matthew and Luke used Mark as a starting point): feeding of 5000, feeding of 4000, tussle with Pharisees on washing hands, Peter's confession of Jesus as the Christ, the Transfiguration, etc...
- Matthew 16's version of Peter's confession has the famous statement (very important to Catholics) that Jesus would build his kingdom on Peter? on the rock that was Peter's confession?
- Curious story about Jesus paying the Temple Tax (not tax to Caesar but to the Temple). Peter finds the coin they need in a fish!
- Matthew 18 has that classic passage on how to address a person caught in a sin in the church.
- The Parable of the Unforgiving Sermon is quite shocking because, after being forgiven and then not forgiving someone else, the master decides not to forgive him after all. In other words, God's forgiveness comes with expectations.
- Although I usually reference the Mark 7 version, very significant for my theology are the verses that indicate that purity is something that starts in the heart and makes its way to the outside. Righteousness is a matter of the heart, not of externals.