"He's got a list, and he's checking it twice." That's a relatively well-known quote (regarding Santa Claus). It should also describe a good biblical scholar.
When we have a biblical text with a list in it, it would be good to check it twice--at least! Actually ALL the words of the text could be understood as sort of a list; thousands of years ago it took a lot to make a list of words of ANY length! But even more important is an actual list of things described, and the order of the things may be critical.
There are a few lists in the Gospel according to Matthew that are worth mentioning. I am especially thinking about the three lists near the end of chapter 4, right before the Sermon on the Mount. That sermon is the start of a significant theme for the entire work--five sermons which only appear somewhat within the other accounts. And these lists are a significant summary of the situation up to this point.
The first list contains three main actions of Jesus: teaching, proclaiming and healing. The second list are those who were sick and whom Jesus healed. I consider there to be five in this list: the sick, those afflicted with various diseases and pains, those oppressed by demons, epileptics, and paralytics. The third list contains the areas from which people came to follow him. I also consider this list to have five in it: Galilee, the Decapolis, Jerusalem, Judea, and the area beyond the Jordan.
Often with a list--and this is so true today in the 21st century--the first thing on it catches the most attention. Sometimes, when the author wants to create some action within the reader or listener, he or she will put something important at the end of the list. (There are top ten lists that start at number ten and work towards the all-important number one thing.) But a more restrained author may put something important in the middle. He doesn't want to hide the point. Perhaps he simply wants the reader or listener to know that this is important. Not everyone will get it, and that's okay; it's still important.
The middle items of the three lists--in an expanded way--are as follows: Jesus is preaching and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom. That word, gospel, is arguably the most significant of the New Testament. Jesus is healing those oppressed by demons. When Jesus heals in this way, there is a noticeably negative response, and in chapter 12 Jesus finally responds by saying that it must be God behind this power (if he were casting out demons because he was the prince of demons, that wouldn't make any sense). People are following him from Jerusalem, and not all those following him are his disciples. Jesus will get into trouble because of those who are from Jerusalem.
By the end of the fifth sermon, Jesus will be very near his death. These lists help to make that transition not only possible, but desirable. At the end of it all, it is still very good news/gospel.