Matthew 12

Matthew 12:

The Lord of the Sabbath 

Jesus goes through a cornfield on the Sabbath, He and His Apostles pluck ears of corn to eat. However when the Pharisees see this, they try to find Jesus in contempt of the Sabbath. Jesus tells them otherwise; “…Have ye not read what David did, when he was an hungered, and they that were with him; How he entered into the house of God, and did eat of the showbread…” (Matthew 12:3-4) Jesus tells them “…the Son of man is Lord even on the Sabbath.” (Matthew 12:8) Essentially Jesus is telling them that when work has to be done or when someone is hungry, the rules of the Sabbath and keeping it Holy does not apply.

Jesus leaves the field and enters into the synagogue, there a man asks him; “…Is it lawful to heal on the sabbath days? … And he said unto them, What man shall there be among you, that shall have one sheep, and if it fall into a pit on the sabbath day, will he not lay hold of it, and lift it out? How much then is a man better than a sheep? Wherefore it is lawful to do well on the sabbath days?” (Matthew 12:10-12) The man in the synagogue wanted to catch Jesus in a trap and try to accuse Him of breaking the Sabbath. However, Jesus makes it very clear that we are not to follow the old law (Law of Moses), where one would have to count steps on the Sabbath day. Jesus makes it very clear that we need to do good on the Sabbath. What good should we do? This is where we need to look at each situation on a case-by-case account. For example, someone is sick and you are out of medicine; In general is it acceptable to go to the store on a Sunday? No. However if someone is sick and no medicine is to be found, going to the store and “breaking” the Sabbath would be appropriate in order to follow the general law of “doing good” on the Sabbath.

The Pharisees continue to persecute Jesus and even hold a counsel on how they plan to destroy Him. Jesus hears this and departs; from here, someone who is possessed by an evil spirit comes across His path. Jesus heals him and makes the blind to see and the dumb to speak. People stand in awe and ask how this is possible. The Pharisees jump into to criticize Jesus; “…This fellow doth not cast out devils, but by Beelzebub the prince of the devils.” (Matthew 12:24), essentially the Pharisees are saying that Jesus is not the Son of God, but a devil himself and by the power of the devil He is casting out devils. Doesn’t sound logical, right? Well Jesus knew their thoughts and their intentions of catching him in another trap to accuse him of doing wrong. Jesus tells them; “…Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and every city or house divided against itself shall not stand: And if Satan cast out Satan, he is divided against himself; how shall then his kingdom stand? …But if I cast out devils by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God is come unto you.” (Matthew 12:25-28)

                Jesus continues to tell the Pharisees that He could not be casting out devils by the Spirit of the Devil, but only by the Spirit of God. He tells those gathered; “He that is not with me is against me… Wherefore I say unto you, All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men: but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men.” (Matthew 12:30-31)

                Jesus tells them that by speaking ill of the Son of Man and denying the Holy Ghost by not recognizing His power and authority they are in jeopardy of their salvation. He reminds them that good men seek good treasures and evil men, seek evil treasures. He tells them “…every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment.” (Matthew 12:36) Jesus is essentially telling them that they will be judged according to their works and their words. Our actions and words are recorded in heaven and will be put into account in the Day of Judgment.

The Pharisees continue to persecute Jesus and ask Him for a sign, Jesus reminds us that we should not ask for signs, but instead ask for the Spirit of God to be with us. Jesus tells us that “…An evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given to it…” (Matthew 12:39), therefore we should not seek after signs to prove what we already know to be true through the Holy Ghost. Those who seek signs have denied the Holy Ghost and are in serious jeopardy of not being forgiven. Remember that all we do, good and evil are recorded in heaven for the Day of Judgment. So we need to focus on doing good and following God always.

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