The Literary Arrangement of Matthew 8-9

Scholars have noted that Matthew 8-9 is carefully arranged with miracles grouped in threes. After each cycle of miracles is a section of teaching on discipleship and/or mission.

Cycle One
1–Jesus cleanses a leper (8:1-4)
2–Jesus heals a centurion’s servant (8:5-13)
3–Jesus heals Peter’s mother-in-law (8:14-17)

Teaching (8:18-22)

Cycle Two
1–Jesus calms a storm (8:23-27)
2–Jesus heals two demoniacs (8:28-34)
3–Jesus heals a paralytic (9:1-8)

Teaching (9:9-17)

Cycle Three
1–Jesus raises a girl and heals a woman (9:18-26)
2–Jesus heals two blind men (9:27-31)
3–Jesus heals a mute man (9:32-34)

Teaching (9:35-38)

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What Part of Scripture . . . ?

You know this: what part of Scripture . . . 

  • was written by an apostle
  • had a multiple and circular readership
  • had readers in Asia
  • had an opening where you can discern the Persons of the Trinity
  • had the word “blessed” in the opening verses
  • spoke of testing faith
  • had the phrase “revelation of Jesus”
  • ascribed praise and honor and glory to God
  • spoke of angels
  • spoke of Jesus as a Lamb
  • used temple language
  • spoke of an earthly ruler
  • mentioned spirits in prison
  • spoke of Jesus in heaven
  • declared that the end was near
  • mentioned “elders”
  • foretold Christ’s return
  • promised a crown of glory
  • featured warnings about the devil
  • used the word Babylon
  • extolled God’s eternal kingdom
  • talked about a “morning star”
  • warned against false prophets
  • spoke of angels committed to chains
  • referred to Sodom
  • promised vindication for the godly and punishment for the ungodly
  • mentioned Balaam
  • specified a “thousand years”
  • prophesied that the heavens would pass away
  • held out hope for a new heavens and a new earth

The answer? The letters of 1-2 Peter, of course. Surprised? Well, pray tell, what book were you thinking of?