I like that last week's text starts us on the season of Pentecost. Usually we look at the beginning of a book to get an idea of where it starts. But we could also look at the end and see where it ends. Both parts are important, but this time we looked at the end of the book.
And I can't help thinking that the phrase Jesus gave near the end, to baptize 'in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit' made a deep impression on the disciples, but particularly Matthew. That name, the name of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, is a wonderful summary of who God is and what he did. Maybe they were coming down that mountain, marveling how succinctly Jesus had summarized the entire Old Testament.
How Matthew ended up writing one of the gospel accounts is another story, but the way in which he wrote it has been closely examined. And more than one scholar has noticed that Matthew liked to group things in sets of three. I do not think it is a coincidence that there are several sets of three in this gospel account and that it ends with that special name of three in one--usually called the Trinity.
These groupings of three are important from a Hebrew perspective because of the importance of the middle item within a structure. That is seen as a Hebrew style, and it seems that it was also picked up and employed by some of the Greek writers.
In the text for this Sunday, Matthew has a list of three things that Jesus was doing (9:35): teaching in the synagogues, proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every disease and affliction. Most people would like to focus on the last one, and that is certainly important, but the use of the word 'gospel' in the middle one is even more important. That word has an important history, and it continues to be of critical importance within the church--especially since the number of obvious miracles has dropped dramatically.
I also do not think it is a coincidence that the Son is in the middle of the Trinity. And near the beginning of the work, Matthew brought up the importance of that Son receiving the name of Jesus. It is hard to get away from a focus on Jesus, our Savior.