Matthew 12:1-29

  • Relationship vs Religion (v:1-29)
    • v1-8
      • Jesus and His disciples were hungry so they picked the heads of grain to eat
      • Pharisees didn’t care about the need but only of the keeping of the law
      • Jesus reminded them about what David did (1 Samuel 21:1-6) when he was given the consecrated bread (Exodus 25:30) but was innocent before God
      • Jesus also reminded them of how priests in the temple break the Sabbath but are innocent before God
      • Hosea 6:4-7: Knowing the LORD and loyalty towards Him is greater in His sight than sacrifices or the keeping of the law without relationship with God
      • Jesus declares His deity – Lord of the Sabbath – v8
    • v9-21
      • “Is it lawful?” then is “What does God’s Word say?” when people want to accuse you!
      • Jesus confronts them by telling them that if they would readily save their animal in distress, how much more valuable are people created by God in His image?
      • Jesus then heals the person!
      • Pharisees had no heart for God or His people, like many today, who conspire against Christ instead of confessing their sins to Him.
      • Jesus withdrew when He knew He was in danger. When it comes to doing God’s work, we can remove ourselves out of harms way if we know we are in danger (no benefit in seeking martyrdom)
      • Why did Jesus warn those He healed to not tell who He was? See Isaiah 42:1-4
        • Jesus won’t argue or “be loud”
        • Jesus does not want to/need to be famous
        • Jesus will not force Himself on anyone but will be patient
        • Jesus will fulfil His mission
        • Prophecy in Isaiah is the summary of the sovereignty of God, that is, He is in control and He doesn’t need our help to accomplish His will.
    • v22-32
      • Jesus heals a demon possessed man but the Pharisees attribute His power to Satan
      • Jesus exposes their foolishness by explaining that a divided kingdom will fall, thus He cannot be relying on the power of Satan to drive out Satan!
      • Jesus then asks them on who they rely on to the do what He’s doing, saying they’ll judge these religious hypocrites!
      • Jesus then challenges them saying if He’s doing these miracles by the Spirit of God, then they have no excuse!
      • The law makes a person *think* they are strong but they are bound by religion and is easily plundered by God’s enemy.

Questions to consider

  • Do you know Jesus (relationship) OR do you know what the Bible says (religion)?
  • Does faith and works go hand in hand in your life OR do you come up with excuses (including God) to avoid works?
  • Are there areas in your life where you are more a Pharisee and less a follower of Jesus?

Matthew 12:30-50

  • Unpardonable Sin (v30-32)
    • With Christ or against Him (John 3:18, John 3:36)
    • Gather or scatter (John 15:5)
    • Blasphemy against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven
      • Didn’t Jesus die for all sins?
      • This age or in the age to come?
      • Blaspheming the Holy Spirit is rejecting Him, thus rejecting salvation in Christ (John 6:44)
  • Are you good or evil? (v33-37)
    • Good tree = good fruit VS bad tree = bad fruit
    • Fruit determines the character/nature of the tree, just as words/actions/attitude/thoughts reveal the character/nature of a person
    • We bring out of whatever we store inside – good treasure (Christ) or evil treasure (sin)
    • Justified or condemned by words?
      • Can cause confusion and appear to be a contradiction if taken out of context.
  • Signs (v38-45)
    • Scribes and Pharisees ask for a sign, just like people today
    • Jesus mentions his impending death and resurrection as the sign
      • Nineveh will condemn “this generation”, post resurrection generation, because the preaching of Jonah was enough for them to repent but “this generation” rejects Jesus!
      • Queen Sheba who marvelled at the wisdom of Solomon will condemn “this generation” because Jesus is greater than Solomon!
    • When a person does not invite Jesus in, despite whatever signs they may have seen/experienced, they will end up in a worse position than before, which is what’s happening in “this generation” that’s interested in style but devoid of substance (the indwelling of the Spirit is missing and the study of God’s Word is absent)
  • Family (v46-50)
    • Notice Jesus doesn’t reject His family, rather, emphasises that those who choose to place their trust and faith in Him must see each other as family and should have higher regard for God’s family than even their own who¬†does not do the will of the Father (not Christian).

Questions to consider

  • What sort of a tree are you?
  • How is your relationship with God’s family?

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