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Bible Commentaries

G. Campbell Morgan's Exposition on the Whole Bible
Matthew 12



Verses 1-50

This chapter chronicles direct attacks on Christ. The first was petty and foolish. It is on the question of the Sabbath. The Master gives to His people the true conception of the sanctity of the Sabbath. It is established, and remains, for "the Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath." "How much is a man better than a sheep? Why, then, rescue a sheep and neglect a man?

The second attack was characterized by malicious hatred; it was an absolute denial of the sovereignty of God. Satan is cast out by Satan. The absolute folly of the position is revealed in the Lord's reply. Only two forces are at work in the world, the gathering and the scattering. Whoever does the one contradicts and hinders the other. Beelzebub and the demons of whom he is prince are breaking up, destroying, scattering! Christ's work is the opposite, healing, saving, gathering.

The third attack was a manifestation of contemptuous unbelief. "Master, we would see a sign from Thee." Christ revealed the true reason for their unbelief, "an evil and adulterous generation."

The last attack would be to Him the bitterest of them all. Mark gives us an insight into it that we miss in Matthew (Mark 3:21-35). Jesus' friends, even His mother, are so far out of sympathy with Him as to believe Him mad, and to desire to put Him under restraint. Of this He makes occasion to declare the blessedness of the relation that the subjects of the Kingdom bear to Him. It has been wrongly imagined by some that the Lord's language here shows disrespect for His mother, as though she had grieved Him. This is surely to miss the deepest truth in His statement. The relationship with Him into which those come who do the will of His Father is as dear as that of brother and sister and mother.


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Bibliography Information
Morgan, G. Campbell. "Commentary on Matthew 12:4". "G. Campbell Morgan Exposition on the Bible". 1857-84.

Lectionary Calendar
Tuesday, October 20th, 2020
the Week of Proper 24 / Ordinary 29
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