Matthew chapter 12

Jesus heals on the Sabbath. He is God’s chosen servant. The Pharisees say he is working with demons. Jesus cautions about blasphemy against the Spirit. [UPDATED]

 


 

WORKING ON THE SABBATH

 

VERSE 1. At that time, Jesus went on the Sabbath day through the grain fields. His disciples were hungry and began to pluck heads of grain and to eat.

 

VERSE 2. But the Pharisees, when they saw it, said to him, “Behold, your disciples do what is not lawful to do on the Sabbath.”

 

VERSE 3. But he said to them, “Haven’t you read what David did, when he was hungry, and those who were with him;

Haven’t you not read. Lots of people profess that they know Jesus Christ. But few have actually read the Bible.

Very few Christians have memorized the key teachings of the Bible, making them ready to call to mind and put to use.

 

VERSE 4. how he entered into God’s house, and ate the show bread, which was not lawful for him to eat, neither for those who were with him, but only for the priests?

 

VERSE 5. Or have you not read in the law, that on the Sabbath day, the priests in the temple profane the Sabbath, and are guiltless?

 

VERSE 6. But I tell you that one greater than the temple is here.

 

VERSE 7. But if you had known what this means, ‘I desire mercy, and not sacrifice,’ you wouldn’t have condemned the guiltless.

I desire mercy, and not sacrifice. God desires mercy, not religious sacrifice. Mercy triumphs over judgment. Every time

 

VERSE 8. For the Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath.”

 

JESUS HEALS ON THE SABBATH

 

VERSE 9. He departed there, and went into their synagogue.

 

VERSE 10. And behold there was a man with a withered hand. They asked him, “Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath day?” that they might accuse him.

 

VERSE 11. He said to them, “What man is there among you, who has one sheep, and if this one falls into a pit on the Sabbath day, won’t he grab on to it, and lift it out?

 

VERSE 12. Of how much more value then is a man than a sheep! Therefore it is lawful to do good on the Sabbath day.”

 

VERSE 13. Then he told the man, “Stretch out your hand.” He stretched it out; and it was restored whole, just like the other.

it was restored whole. When God does a miracle, it is complete.

 

VERSE 14. But the Pharisees went out, and conspired against him, how they might destroy him.

 

JESUS IS GOD’S CHOSEN SERVANT

 

VERSE 15. Jesus, perceiving that, withdrew from there. Great multitudes followed him; and he healed them all,

 

VERSE 16. and commanded them that they should not make him known:

 

VERSE 17. that it might be fulfilled which was spoken through Isaiah the prophet, saying,

 

VERSE 18. “Behold, my servant whom I have chosen; my beloved in whom my soul is well pleased: I will put my Spirit on him. He will proclaim justice to the nations.

 

VERSE 19. He will not strive, nor shout; neither will anyone hear his voice in the streets.

 

VERSE 20. He won’t break a bruised reed. He won’t quench a smoking flax, until he leads justice to victory.

 

VERSE 21. In his name, the nations will hope.”

 

IS JESUS WORKING WITH BEELZEBUB?

 

VERSE 22. Then one possessed by a demon, blind and mute, was brought to him and he healed him, so that the blind and mute man both spoke and saw.

 

VERSE 23. All the multitudes were amazed, and said, “Can this be the son of David?”

 

VERSE 24. But when the Pharisees heard it, they said, “This man does not cast out demons, except by Beelzebul, the prince of the demons.”

 

VERSE 25. Knowing their thoughts, Jesus said to them, “Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation, and every city or house divided against itself will not stand.

 

VERSE 26. If Satan casts out Satan, he is divided against himself. How then will his kingdom stand?

 

VERSE 27. If I by Beelzebul cast out demons, by whom do your children cast them out? Therefore they will be your judges.

 

VERSE 28. But if I by the Spirit of God cast out demons, then God’s Kingdom has come upon you.

What was the mission of the Lord Jesus Christ? How did he himself define it? Here are the verses we find in the four gospels »

 

VERSE 29. Or how can one enter into the house of the strong man, and plunder his goods, unless he first bind the strong man? Then he will plunder his house.

bind the strong man. Some Christians say there is a principal demon who has control of their neighborhood. That demon, they say, is “the strong man.”

These Christians say that the first duty in spiritual warfare is to “bind the strong man.” They say something like this: “Demon, I bind you in the name of Jesus.”

Matthew 12:29. Or how can one enter into the house of the strong man, and plunder his goods, unless he first bind the strong man? Then he will plunder his house.

Mark 3:27. But no one can enter into the house of the strong man to plunder unless he first binds the strong man; then he will plunder his house.

Luke 11:21. When the strong man, fully armed, guards his own dwelling, his goods are safe.

 

BLASPHEMY AGAINST THE HOLY SPIRIT

 

VERSE 30. “He who is not with me is against me, and he who doesn’t gather with me, scatters.

 

VERSE 31. Therefore I tell you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven men, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven men.

This verse seems like a command! Would you consider acting on it? More commands of Jesus Christ from the Gospel According to Matthew and from the entire Bible.

Isaiah 22:14. The LORD of Hosts revealed himself in my ears, “Surely this iniquity will not be forgiven you until you die,” says the Lord, the LORD of Hosts.

Matthew 12:31. Therefore I tell you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven men, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven men.

Mark 3:29. but whoever may blaspheme against the Holy Spirit never has forgiveness, but is subject to eternal condemnation.”

Luke 12:10. Everyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but those who blaspheme against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven.

1 John 5:16. If anyone sees his brother sinning a sin not leading to death, he shall ask, and God will give him life for those who sin not leading to death. There is a sin leading to death. I don’t say that he should make a request concerning this.

blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven. Jesus says whoever commits blasphemy against the Holy Spirit will never be forgiven. What does it mean to blaspheme against the Holy Spirit, and how can we avoid doing it?

sin. The Greek word is ἁμαρτία (“hamartia”). It means to miss the mark, guilt, sin, fault, failure.

blasphemy. The Greek word is βλασφημία (“blasphēmia”). It means language that is abusive. It can also mean making scandalous claims about someone with the intention of damaging their reputation. Politicians do that to their opponents.

forgiven. The Greek word is ἀφεθήσεται (“aphethēsetai”). It means to send away, to release, to permit to depart, to remit, to forgive.

Spirit. The Greek word is πνεύματος (“pneumatos”). It means wind, breath, spirit. The context is key to knowing which meaning is intended.

If this word pneumatos is preceded by the word “holy,” then the two words are translated as “Holy Spirit”. However, in this verse, pneumatos is NOT preceded by the word “holy.” So it means “spirit,” and not “Holy Spirit.”

Most translations render the word pneumatos as “spirit.” Here are some examples: NIV 1984, ESV, NASB, HCSB, DR, NAB.

A few translations render the word pneumatos as “Holy Spirit” instead of “spirit.” Here are some examples: KJV, NLT.

Genesis 2:7. The LORD God formed man from the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.

breath. The Hebrew word is נְשָׁמָה (“neshamah”). It means breath, breathes, spirit.

life. The Hebrew word is חָי (“chay”). It means living, fresh, strong, life.

The ‘breath of life’ is not only the rushing of air into the lungs and back out again. We can also interpret it to mean faith. This faith was given to us (2 Peter 1:1).

What we do with our faith is up to us, because we’re given free will. Peter suggests that we supplement our faith (2 Peter 1:5-7).

So perhaps Matthew 12:31 is Jesus rebuking people who do not make an effort to supplement their faith.

Catechism of the Catholic Church. “There are no limits to the mercy of God, but anyone who deliberately refuses to accept his mercy by repenting, rejects the forgiveness of his sins and the salvation offered by the Holy Spirit. Such hardness of heart can lead to final impenitence and eternal loss” (paragraph 1864).

 

VERSE 32. Whoever speaks a word against the Son of Man, it will be forgiven him; but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit, it will not be forgiven him, neither in this age, nor in that which is to come.

 

KNOW A TREE BY ITS FRUIT

 

VERSE 33. “Either make the tree good, and its fruit good, or make the tree corrupt, and its fruit corrupt; for the tree is known by its fruit.

the tree is known by its fruit. We can see if something is right for us by what sort of results it produces.

We try a new flavor of ice cream, and then we know if we like it or not. And we try a new spiritual path in life, and then we can see if it’s right for us.

Here are some ways to decide if it is beneficial:

  • Did it lead to greater joy?
  • Did it lead to growth in holiness?
  • Is life now going in a generally better direction?
  • Are we generally healthier?
  • Are we more physically fit?
  • Are we growing in the ways of faith and hope and love?
  • Is life less worth living, or more worth?
  • Do we sense God’s blessing and favor?
  • Do we have a sense of purpose and direction?
  • Are we blessed in new ways?

 

VERSE 34. You offspring of vipers, how can you, being evil, speak good things? For out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks.

 

VERSE 35. The good man out of his good treasure brings out good things, and the evil man out of his evil treasure brings out evil things.

 

VERSE 36. I tell you that every idle word that men speak, they will give account of it in the day of judgment.

 

VERSE 37. For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.”

 

THE SIGN OF JONAH

 

VERSE 38. Then certain of the scribes and Pharisees answered, “Teacher, we want to see a sign from you.”

 

VERSE 39. But he answered them, “An evil and adulterous generation seeks after a sign, but no sign will be given to it but the sign of Jonah the prophet.

 

VERSE 40. For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the whale, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.

What was the mission of the Lord Jesus Christ? How did he himself define it? Here are the verses we find in the four gospels »

Matthew 12:40. For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the whale, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.

Matthew 16:21.  From that time, Jesus began to show his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things from the elders, chief priests, and scribes, and be killed, and the third day be raised up.

Matthew 17:22-23. While they were staying in Galilee, Jesus said to them, “The Son of Man is about to be delivered up into the hands of men, 23 and they will kill him, and the third day he will be raised up.”

Matthew 20:19. and will hand him over to the Gentiles to mock, to scourge, and to crucify; and the third day he will be raised up.

 

VERSE 41. The men of Nineveh will stand up in the judgment with this generation, and will condemn it, for they repented at the preaching of Jonah; and behold, someone greater than Jonah is here.

 

VERSE 42. The queen of the south will rise up in the judgment with this generation, and will condemn it, for she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and behold, someone greater than Solomon is here.

 

THE RETURN OF AN UNCLEAN SPIRIT

 

VERSE 43. When an unclean spirit has gone out of a man, he passes through waterless places, seeking rest, and doesn’t find it.

 

VERSE 44. Then he says, ‘I will return into my house from which I came out,’ and when he has come back, he finds it empty, swept, and put in order.

 

VERSE 45. Then he goes, and takes with himself seven other spirits more evil than he is, and they enter in and dwell there. The last state of that man becomes worse than the first. Even so will it be also to this evil generation.”

 

THE TRUE FAMILY OF JESUS

 

VERSE 46. While he was yet speaking to the multitudes, behold, his mother and his brothers stood outside, seeking to speak to him.

 

VERSE 47. One said to him, “Behold, your mother and your brothers stand outside, seeking to speak to you.”

 

VERSE 48. But he answered him who spoke to him, “Who is my mother? Who are my brothers?”

 

VERSE 49. He stretched out his hand towards his disciples, and said, “Behold, my mother and my brothers!

 

VERSE 50. For whoever does the will of my Father who is in heaven, he is my brother, and sister, and mother.”

This verse is fantastic! Would you consider memorizing it? More great verses to memorize from the Gospel According to Matthew and from the entire Bible.

This verse seems like a command! Would you consider acting on it? More commands of Jesus Christ from the Gospel According to Matthew and from the entire Bible.

Matthew 25:40. “The King will answer them, ‘Most certainly I tell you, because you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’

 


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MATTHEW

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Unless otherwise noted, all Bible quotations on this page are from the World English Bible and the World Messianic Edition. These translations have no copyright restrictions. They are in the Public Domain.


 

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