Exegesis of Matthew 9:35
Καὶ περιῆγεν ὁ Ἰησοῦς τὰς πόλεις πάσας καὶ τὰς κώμας, διδάσκων ἐν ταῖς συναγωγαῖς αὐτῶν καὶ κηρύσσων τὸ εὐαγγέλιον τῆς βασιλείας καὶ θεραπεύων πᾶσαν νόσον καὶ πᾶσαν μαλακίαν.
Translation: And Jesus went throughout all the towns and the villages, teaching in their synagogues and preaching the good news of the kingdom and healing all disease and all sickness.
Matthew 9:35 contains three participles, διδάσκων, κηρύσσων, and θεραπεύων. These three participles serve to explain what Jesus was doing as he went (περιῆγεν) throughout the towns and villages. Jesus’ travels throughout the region were marked by teaching, preaching, and healing. The verb in the verse, περιῆγεν, is imperfect, meaning Jesus was continually traveling through the region. It was a normal, ongoing part of his ministry to go through the towns and villages. The three participles are in the present tense, also denoting a continual action. As Jesus continued to go through the region, he continued to teach, preach, and heal in each place. In this verse, Matthew is giving us Jesus’ typical mode of operation.
Two nouns in this verse, πόλεις and κώμας, are in the accusative case and fiction as direct objects. They describe where Jesus went to teach, preach, and heal. The two words together describe a diversity of places. Typically, a πόλις is a walled city while a κώμη is “the common sleeping place to which labourers in the field return, a village” (Strong’s Greek Lexicon G2968). Jesus went out to where the common people are and served them by his ministry. The adjective πάσας, which is attached to both πόλεις and κώμας, and means “all”. Jesus did not leave a stone unturned but made Himself available to as many people as possible. In this short, simple verse, Matthew paints a picture of Jesus always on the move, seeking to encounter as many ordinary people as he can to teach, preach, and heal.