When did we take care of you? (Mt 25:37-25:39)

“Then the righteous

Will answer him.

‘Lord!

When was it

That we saw you hungry?

When did we

Give you food?

When were you thirsty?

When did we

Give you something to drink?

When was it

That we saw you

A stranger?

When did we

Welcome you?

When did we

See you naked?

When did we

Give you clothing?

When was it

That we saw you

Sick?

When did we

See you in prison?

When did we

Visit you?’”

 

τότε ἀποκριθήσονται αὐτῷ οἱ δίκαιοι λέγοντες Κύριε, πότε σε εἴδομεν πεινῶντα καὶ ἐθρέψαμεν, ἢ διψῶντα καὶ ἐποτίσαμεν;

πότε δέ σε εἴδομεν ξένον καὶ συνηγάγομεν, ἢ γυμνὸν καὶ περιεβάλομεν;

πότε δέ σε εἴδομεν ἀσθενοῦντα ἢ ἐν φυλακῇ καὶ ἤλθομεν πρός σε;

 

This last judgment section is unique to Matthew.  Jesus then said that the righteous ones answered the Lord (τότε ἀποκριθήσονται αὐτῷ οἱ δίκαιοι λέγοντες Κύριε).  They wanted to know when they had seen him hungry and gave him food (πότε σε εἴδομεν πεινῶντα καὶ ἐθρέψαμεν)?  When was he thirsty and they gave him something to drink (ἢ διψῶντα καὶ ἐποτίσαμεν)?  When was he a stranger and they welcomed him (ἢ διψῶντα καὶ ἐποτίσαμεν)?  When was he naked and they gave him some clothing (ἢ γυμνὸν καὶ περιεβάλομεν)?  When was he sick (πότε δέ σε εἴδομεν ἀσθενοῦντα)?  When was in prison (ἢ ἐν φυλακῇ)?  When did they visit him (καὶ ἤλθομεν πρός σε)?  They wanted to know when did all these activities take place?

You took care of me (Mt 25:35-25:36)

“I was hungry!

You gave me food!

I was thirsty!

You gave me something

To drink!

I was a stranger!

You welcomed me!

I was naked!

You gave me

Clothing!

I was sick!

You took care of me!

I was in prison!

You visited me!”

 

ἐπείνασα γὰρ καὶ ἐδώκατέ μοι φαγεῖν, ἐδίψησα καὶ ἐποτίσατέ με, ξένος ἤμην καὶ συνηγάγετέ με,

γυμνὸς καὶ περιεβάλετέ με, ἠσθένησα καὶ ἐπεσκέψασθέ με, ἐν φυλακῇ ἤμην καὶ ἤλθατε πρός με.

 

This last judgment section is unique to Matthew.  Jesus said to the sheep on the right side that they had taken care of him.  He said that when he was hungry, they gave him food to eat (ἐπείνασα γὰρ καὶ ἐδώκατέ μοι φαγεῖν).  When he was thirsty, they gave him something to drink (ἐδίψησα καὶ ἐποτίσατέ με).  When he was a stranger, they kindly took him in (ξένος ἤμην καὶ συνηγάγετέ με).  When he was naked, they gave him clothes to wear (γυμνὸς καὶ περιεβάλετέ με).  When he was sick, they visited and took care of him (ἠσθένησα καὶ ἐπεσκέψασθέ με).  When he was in prison, they came to visit him (ἐν φυλακῇ ἤμην καὶ ἤλθατε πρός με).  All of this was in the first person singular.  This sounds like the beatitudes mentioned earlier in chapter 5:3-11, but here they are more specific and personal.

Jesus cured the sick (Mt 14:35-14:36)

“After the people

Of that place

Recognized him,

They sent word

Throughout the region.

They brought

All who were sick

To him.

They begged him

That they might touch

Even the fringe

Of his coat.

All who touched it

Were healed.”

 

καὶ ἐπιγνόντες αὐτὸν οἱ ἄνδρες τοῦ τόπου ἐκείνου ἀπέστειλαν εἰς ὅλην τὴν περίχωρον ἐκείνην, καὶ προσήνεγκαν αὐτῷ πάντας τοὺς κακῶς ἔχοντας,

καὶ παρεκάλουν αὐτὸν ἵνα μόνον ἅψωνται τοῦ κρασπέδου τοῦ ἱματίου αὐτοῦ· καὶ ὅσοι ἥψαντο διεσώθησαν.

 

There is something similar to this in Mark, chapter 6:54-56.  Once the people of this area realized and recognized that this was Jesus (καὶ ἐπιγνόντες αὐτὸν), the men of that place sent word throughout the surrounding region (οἱ ἄνδρες τοῦ τόπου ἐκείνου ἀπέστειλαν εἰς ὅλην τὴν περίχωρον ἐκείνην).  They bought all the sick people to him (καὶ προσήνεγκαν αὐτῷ πάντας τοὺς κακῶς ἔχοντας).  They begged or entreated him (καὶ παρεκάλουν αὐτὸν), if only they might touch the fringe or the tassel of his tunic coat (ἵνα μόνον ἅψωνται τοῦ κρασπέδου τοῦ ἱματίου αὐτοῦ).  Everyone who touched this fringe or tassel was healed (καὶ ὅσοι ψαντο διεσώθησαν).  These people in Gennesaret were well aware of the powers of Jesus.  They wanted to take advantage of his healing magic touch.  They wanted to touch his outer garment or tunic coat.

Well people do not need doctors (Mt 9:12-9:12)

“But when Jesus

Heard it,

He said.

‘Those who are well

Have no need

Of a physician,

But those who are sick

Do need one.’”

 

ὁ δὲ ἀκούσας εἶπεν Οὐ χρείαν ἔχουσιν οἱ ἰσχύοντες ἰατροῦ ἀλλ’ οἱ κακῶς ἔχοντες

 

This response of Jesus is almost the same as in Mark, chapter 2:17, and Luke, chapter 5:31-32.  Jesus heard (ὁ δὲ ἀκούσας) what the Pharisees were saying to his disciples.  He responded that the well people or strong ones do not need (εἶπεν Οὐ χρείαν ἔχουσιν οἱ ἰσχύοντες) a physician or medical doctor (ἰατροῦ), but the sick do (ἀλλ’ οἱ κακῶς ἔχοντες). As Pope Francis likes to say, the Church is a mobile ambulance, not a hospital waiting for people to come in.

Healing the sick and possessed (Mt 8:16-8:16)

“That evening,

They brought to him

Many who were possessed

With demons.

Jesus cast out

The spirits

With a word.

He cures all

Who were sick.”

 

Ὀψίας δὲ γενομένης προσήνεγκαν αὐτῷ δαιμονιζομένους πολλούς· καὶ ἐξέβαλεν τὰ πνεύματα λόγῳ, καὶ πάντας τοὺς κακῶς ἔχοντας ἐθεράπευσεν·

 

There are similar generic statements about healing sick and chasing out demons in Mark, chapter 1:32-34, and Luke, chapter 4:40-41.  When evening came (Ὀψίας δὲ γενομένης), they brought many people who were possessed with demons or under the power of evil spirits (προσήνεγκαν αὐτῷ δαιμονιζομένους πολλούς).  He cast out these demons with merely a word (καὶ ἐξέβαλεν τὰ πνεύματα λόγῳ).  He cured or healed all the sick people (καὶ πάντας τοὺς κακῶς ἔχοντας ἐθεράπευσεν) around there without indicating how this was done.  Apparently, during biblical times, there were a lot of people who were possessed by the devil.  Jesus was also a daring faith healer.

The healing of Peter’s mother-in-law (Mt 8:14-8:15)

“When Jesus entered

Peter’s house,

He saw

His mother-in-law

Lying in bed

With a fever.

He touched

Her hand.

The fever left her.

She got up.

She began to serve them.”

 

Καὶ ἐλθὼν ὁ Ἰησοῦς εἰς τὴν οἰκίαν Πέτρου εἶδεν τὴν πενθερὰν αὐτοῦ βεβλημένην καὶ πυρέσσουσαν·

καὶ ἥψατο τῆς χειρὸς αὐτῆς, καὶ ἀφῆκεν αὐτὴν ὁ πυρετός· καὶ ἠγέρθη, καὶ διηκόνει αὐτῷ.

 

This healing story about the mother-in-law of Peter can be found in Mark, chapter 1:29-31, and Luke, chapter 4:38-39.  The context is different in Luke and Mark since Jesus was leaving the synagogue.  He also went into Simon’s house, his Hebrew name, rather than Peter’s house, his Greek name.  Here Jesus entered Peter’s house (Καὶ ἐλθὼν ὁ Ἰησοῦς εἰς τὴν οἰκίαν Πέτρου).  He then saw Peter’s mother-in-law (εἶδεν τὴν πενθερὰν αὐτοῦ), lying in bed sick with a fever (βεβλημένην καὶ πυρέσσουσαν).  He then touched her hand (καὶ ἥψατο τῆς χειρὸς αὐτῆς) and her fever went away (καὶ ἀφῆκεν αὐτὴν ὁ πυρετός).  Then she got up and began to serve or wait on them (καὶ ἠγέρθη, καὶ διηκόνει αὐτῷ.) with her normal hospitality.  This was a typical healing that took place with a touching hand.  The mother-in law of Peter was staying at his house.  She was cured so well, that she able to do the normal tasks of hospitality.  However, there was no mention of Peter’s wife.

Famous faith healer in Syria (Mt 4:24-4:24)

“So,

Jesus’ fame spread

Throughout all Syria.

They brought to him

All the sick.

This included

Those afflicted

With various diseases,

And with oppressive pains.

It also included

Demoniacs,

Epileptics,

And paralytics.

He cured them.”

 

καὶ ἀπῆλθεν ἡ ἀκοὴ αὐτοῦ εἰς ὅλην τὴν Συρίαν· καὶ προσήνεγκαν αὐτῷ πάντας τοὺς κακῶς ἔχοντας ποικίλαις νόσοις καὶ βασάνοις συνεχομένους, δαιμονιζομένους καὶ σεληνιαζομένους καὶ παραλυτικούς, καὶ ἐθεράπευσεν αὐτούς.

 

Once again, Matthew has some unique information about the fame or the news of Jesus that had spread all over Syria (καὶ ἀπῆλθεν ἡ ἀκοὴ αὐτοῦ εἰς ὅλην τὴν Συρίαν) that was not in the other gospel stories.  This was not impossible since Syria was just north of Galilee and actually Damascus was closer to the Sea of Galilee than Jerusalem.  Besides, there was a large Jewish population in Syria also.  Perhaps this Gospel of Matthew came from Syria.  However, the key element was the healing power of Jesus that also was very strong in the Gospel of Mark.  Here in Matthew, Jesus is the faith healer per excellence.  They brought all kinds of sick people to Jesus (καὶ προσήνεγκαν αὐτῷ πάντας τοὺς κακῶς).  This included people with various diseases and oppressive pains (ἔχοντας ποικίλαις νόσοις καὶ βασάνοις συνεχομένους).  There was also demoniacs, epileptics, and paralytics (δαιμονιζομένους καὶ σεληνιαζομένους καὶ παραλυτικούς) who came to him.  He cured them all (καὶ ἐθεράπευσεν αὐτούς.).  There was no difference between spiritual and physical illness, so that healing those possessed of the devil was not out of the question.