Kim Paffenroth, «Jesus as Anointed and Healing Son of David in the Gospel of Matthew», Vol. 80 (1999) 547-554
Matthew handles his material in order to relate Jesus anointing, healing, and his title "Son of David". Matthew does this in order to present Jesus as the uniquely anointed "Christ", the Son of David who has come to heal, and who is in that respect (and others), greater than his father David.
preference for the former13. More significant than quantity, however, is the way in which Matthew redacts Markan material to depict Jesus primarily as a healer14. Matthew redacts his Markan material in three ways: he minimizes the exorcistic elements in some stories, making them into more generalized healings; he turns accounts of Jesus teaching into accounts of his healing; and he summarizes Jesus ministry as one of "teaching and healing" rather than "teaching and casting out demons".
In two stories, Matthew has substantially curtailed the demonic and magical elements found in Mark. Instead of Marks graphic story of the deaf mute (Mark 7,31-37), with its magical overtones in Jesus use of saliva, Matthew has made a generalized summary of Jesus healing ministry, "And great crowds came to him, bringing with them the lame, the maimed, the blind, the mute, and many others, and they put them at his feet, and he healed them" (Matt 15,30)15. In the healing of the epileptic boy (Mark 9,14-29 // Matt 17,14-21), Matthew has omitted almost all the details that make the story an exorcism, leaving out any reference to the "unclean spirit" or Jesus words of command to it. Matthews version reads simply, "And Jesus rebuked him, and the demon came out of him, and the boy was healed (e)qerapeu/qh) instantly" (Matt 17,18)16.
Redacting exorcisms into healings, while it may be significant, is a relatively minor change, as the two types of stories are formally so similar. But Matthew also changes several of Marks accounts of Jesus teaching into accounts of his healing. The first of these seems the most logical in context, and therefore least indicative of Matthews particular interests: both Matthew and Luke thought it a strange reaction that after Jesus "was moved with compassion" (e)splagxni/sqh) for the crowds, he would then proceed "to teach" them (Mark 6,34)17. Both redactors turn the story into one of general healing: "As he went ashore he saw a great throng; and he had compassion on them, and healed their sick" (Matt 14,14; cf. Luke 9,11). The second instance, however, seems a more deliberate substitution: instead of Marks "... crowds gathered to him... and... he taught them" (Mark 10,1), Matthew has "... large crowds followed him, and he healed them" (Matt 19,2)18.