To really be “righteous” in an honor/shame society requires public recognition. Matthew’s community had to compensate for the surrounding society’s negative judgment. They needed a public forum in which their righteousness could be affirmed. When we examine the beatitudes, we will see how an alternative quasi-public forum was created, an extraordinary tribunal, in which God provided their vindication.
Leland J. White, Grid and Group in Matthew’s Community: The Righteousness/Honor Code in the Sermon on the Mount in Semeia 35 ed John H. Elliott, 80.
If this reading--efforts to restore honor--can be found throughout Matthew--particularly (as is the case here) in "Q" passages, does this count as a point against Q? Or just convenience for Matthew? The latter seems suspiciously ad hoc to me.
Though, I suppose the flipside (as White implies in his paper) is that any Christian group would struggle with honor, having a leader who died so shamefully.