Reflecting on Matthew for the Fourteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

From The Gospel of Matthew, by Curtis Mitch and Edward Sri, commenting on Matthew 11:25-30

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Using the form of a Jewish prayer of thanksgiving, Jesus praises the Lord of heaven and earth for the favors he has bestowed on his people (see Tob 10:14). In this case the identity of Jesus as the one who speaks for the Father (10:40), though concealed from the wise and learned of the day, has been revealed to Jesus’ followers, whose open acceptance of him shows them to be childlike in their receptivity to the gospel (18:4).

Thanks to God’s gracious and elective will, these “little ones” (10:42) who form the community of Christian disciples have come to know more about Jesus than the religious scholars who oppose the kingdom of heaven, namely the scribes (9:3) and the Pharisees (9:34). The disciples’ willingness to embrace the mystery of Jesus has nothing to do with their intelligence or level of education; rather, they are recipients of a grace that comes from the Father in heaven (see also 16:17).

The final line of the prayer serves as a revelation to the reader. All things, Jesus says, have been given over to him from the Father. The meaning of this statement is not explained, but looking back over the Matthean storyline thus far, one may surmise that it refers to the divine authority that Jesus wields in the world. He possesses teaching authority that ranks him above Moses (5:21–46); he displays healing authority to cure sicknesses and cast out demons in an instant (4:23; 8:3, 13–17; 9:22); and he is vested with spiritual authority to forgive the sins of others at will (9:1–8).

© 2010 Curtis Mitch, Edward Sri, and Baker Academic. Unauthorized use of this material without express written permission is strictly prohibited.