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Bible Commentaries

Charles Box's Commentaries on Selected Books of the Bible
Matthew 12

 

 

Introduction

Rejection Leading To The Cross

- Matthew Twelve -

Matthew twelve is a section of scripture dealing with the rejection of Jesus by the Jews that ultimately led to His crucifixion. "Then the Pharisees went out and plotted against Him, how they might destroy Him." (Matthew 12:14)

Jesus showed that many of the ideas advanced by the Jews concerning the Sabbath day were in error. He explained that even they allowed works of necessity and mercy on the Sabbath. He wanted them to know that "the Son of man is Lord even of the Sabbath Day." When "the Pharisees went out, and held a council against him, how they might destroy him" Jesus just quietly continued to teach and work miracles showing that He was indeed the Christ.

The scribes and Pharisees accused Jesus of doing His miracles by the power of Satan. Such an attitude was blasphemy against the Holy Ghost and it would not be forgiven. Jesus reminded them that, "every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment."

These people demanded a sign from heaven. Jesus said that Jonah was their sign. "For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale"s belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth." He concluded this chapter by saying; "whosoever shall do the will of my Father which is in heaven, the same is my brother, and sister, and mother."


Verses 1-21

The Pharisees rejected the Savior - Matthew 12:1-21 : The Bible is plain in showing that it is wrong to fail to be as strict as God intents. But, the Bible also shows that it is wrong to be stricter than God intended us to be. The Pharisees desired to trap Jesus. They had no interest in learning truth. If they had desired truth they would have "read in the law" concerning the Sabbath. They would also have learned that, "the Son of Man is Lord even of the Sabbath." (Matthew 12:8)

The Pharisees asked, "is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath?" Jesus showed that they were more concerned about a sheep needing help than a man needing help. They are without excuse, yet they rejected God"s Son and sought opportunity to kill Him. "Then the Pharisees went out and plotted against Him, how they might destroy Him." (Matthew 12:14) Their envy of Jesus led to spiritual blindness, and hardness of heart.

God described Jesus as "my servant whom I have chosen, my beloved in whom my soul is well pleased." (Matthew 12:18) The Pharisees, through their blindness and prejudice, rejected Jesus -- their only hope. The blindness of the Pharisee lead to disobedience to the Lord"s commands. "And this is His commandment: that we should believe on the name of His Son Jesus Christ and love one another, as He gave us commandment." (1 John 3:23)


Verses 22-37

The warning from the Savior - Matthew 12:22-37 : After Jesus healed the demon-possessed man the multitude asked, "could this be the Son of David?" (Matthew 12:23) The Pharisees spoke scornfully of the Christ calling Him -- "this fellow." (Matthew 12:24) Jesus warned them to guard their words so as not to blaspheme the Holy Spirit -- a sin that cannot be forgiven. Jesus warned, "For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned." (Matthew 12:37) The prayer that we all need to pray is, "Lord, put a watch before the door of my lips!"

Blasphemy is pictured as a horrible sin, but what is it? Many are frightened that they might be guilty of some form of blasphemy against the Holy Ghost. The word "blasphemy" means to injure by speaking against. In this text Jesus said that those that blasphemed or spoke against the Spirit could not be forgiven. To deny the personality of the Spirit is to blaspheme Him. When these Jews said miracles that were done by His power were done by the power of the Devil they blasphemed Him. To be hardened against the gospel plan of salvation is likewise to blaspheme the Holy Ghost. With the crucifixion of the Messiah and the outpouring of the Holy Ghost on the Day of Pentecost the age of redemption came. If men rejected that which was verified by the Spirit what else could God offer them? They had hardened themselves against the gospel plan and therefore, blasphemed Holy Ghost. Those that continue with such a spiritual disposition have no means of obtaining forgiveness of sins.


Verses 38-45

The claims of the Savior - Matthew 12:38-45 : Jesus had every right to call on people to repent and to be righteous, (1) He is greater than the temple (Matthew 12:6), (2) He is greater that Jonah (Matthew 12:41) and, (3) He is greater than Solomon. (Matthew 12:42) Jesus is great than Solomon and the Queen of Sheba even said of Solomon, "behold, the half was not told me." (1 Kings 7:10) The Jews were evil, and unfaithful to the covenant that they had made with God. These, apostate, corrupt and adulterous people desired a sign from heaven.

Jesus simply repeated some signs they had already rejected. He showed them that just like Jonah was preserved three days by miracle in the fish"s belly, that He would be raised from the dead on the third day. What happened with Jonah led the people of Nineveh to repent. Jesus and what was happening with Him should have led these Jews to repentance. This would have been the result except for the fact that they were an "evil and adulterous generation."

Jesus used a powerful parable (that of an unclean spirit returning) to show the Jews that they were even worse than before because of the rejection of Jesus. They were full of evil words and evil actions. Wicked words and sinful actions are the overflowing of a heart that is filled with a spirit of wickedness. They were truly a "wicked generation." Many of these Jews would be satisfied with Jesus under no circumstances.


Verses 46-50

The invitation of the Savior - Matthew 12:46-50 : Mary had other children after the birth of our Lord. Matthew 13:55 records, "Is not this the carpenter"s son? is not his mother called Mary? and his brethren, James, and Joses, and Simon, and Judas?" Are these brothers that came with his mother the ones who did not believe? "For even His brothers did not believe in Him." (John 7:5) If so, this is a faith-producing message for them also.

Jesus invited any that are willing to obey to be part of His family. "For whoever does the will of My Father in heaven is My brother and sister and mother." (Matthew 12:50) If we obey Jesus we enter the family of God, with God as our Father and Jesus as our elder brother. What a beautiful lesson it is to see how much Jesus loved His disciples. As He loved His own mother, He loved His disciples even more. The Lord still loves His children today. His heart will always be full of affection for His faithful followers!

The only way to show love to God is through obedience. Do you love the Lord enough to obey?

 


Copyright Statement
These files are a derivative of an electronic edition available at BibleSupport.com. Public Domain.

Bibliography Information
Box, Charles. "Commentary on Matthew 12:4". "Charles Box's Commentaries on Selected books of the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/box/matthew-12.html. 2014.

Lectionary Calendar
Sunday, December 8th, 2019
the Second Week of Advent
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