Matthew Chapter 12

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“Working” on the Sabbath
  1. At that time, Jesus went through the grain fields on the Sabbaths.[1]Sabbath here is plural, which might indicate this was a habit of His.  Now, His disciples were hungry, and began to pick and eat heads of grain.
  2. And seeing this, the Pharisees said to Him; “Look, your disciples are doing what isn’t lawful to do on the Sabbath.”
  3. So He said to them; “Haven’t you read what David did when he and the men with him were hungry?”
  4. “How he entered God’s house and they ate the consecrated bread, which wasn’t lawful for him – nor the men with him – to eat; but was only for the priests?
  5. “Or haven’t you read in the law that – on the Sabbath – the priests in the temple violate[2]literally “profane” the Sabbath[3]The Mosaic law required sacrifices to be made in the temple twice a day, every day. (Exodus 29:38) Even on the Sabbath they were offered.  Of course, the priests had to work to perform the sacrifice. and aren’t guilty?
  6. “But I tell you that One greater than the temple is here.
  7. “And if you had understood what is written: “I desire mercy and not sacrifice.”[4]quotation/allusion to Hosea 6:6 you wouldn’t have condemned the innocent.
  8. “For the Son of Man is lord of the Sabbath.”
Healing on the Sabbath
  1. And departing from there, He went into their synagogue.
  2. And behold; a man with a withered hand was there. And they asked Him, saying; “Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath?” so they might accuse Him.
  3. Then He said to them; “What man among you has only one sheep?[5]literally “What man will be among you who will have one sheep.”  The tenses of the verbs were altered to make the sentence readable in English.  And if it falls into a pit on the Sabbath, won’t he grab it and lift it out?
  4. So then, how much more valuable is a man than a sheep!  Therefore, it’s lawful to do good on the Sabbath.
  5. Then He told the man, “Reach out your hand.”  And he reached it out and it was restored to health, like his other.
  6. And after going out, the Pharisees held a council against Him, so they might kill Him.
  7. But knowing this, Jesus left there.  And many crowds followed Him and He healed them all.
  8. And He warned them, so they might not make Him known.
  9. This was so it might be fulfilled; what was spoken through Isaiah the prophet, saying:
  10. Behold; My servant whom I chose.  My beloved, in whom My soul is well pleased. I will put My Spirit on Him, and He will announce justice to the nations.
  11. He won’t argue angrily, nor will He shriek like an animal,[6]“will He shriek like an animal” Is one word in Greek.  It can mean any sort of loud “cry”, shout, or shriek; but especially those made by animals. It’s root comes from the “caw” sound a raven makes. nor will someone hear His voice in the wide streets.
  12. He won’t crush a reed that was – and is – broken.  And He won’t quench a smoldering wick, until He irresistibly leads justice to victory.
  13. And in His name, the nations will hope.”[7]quotation/allusion to Isaiah 42:1-4
A Divided House
  1. Then a blind and mute man being possessed by a demon was brought to Him, and He healed him so the mute man could speak and see.
  2. And all the crowds were marveling and saying; “This man can’t be the Son of David,[8]“Son of David” was a title of the promised messiah in Jewish eyes.  This stems from 2 Samuel 7:12-13, in which God promised David would have a descendant who would sit on the throne forever. can He?”
  3. But hearing this, the Pharisees said; “This man can’t cast out demons except through Beelzebub,[9]From the Hebrew phrase “Baal Zebub” that translates as “lord of the flies”.   It’s likely a play on words for the pagan Canaanite god Baal.  One of his names was “Ba’al Zevul”, which roughly translates as “Lord of the exalted house”.  Since “Ba’al Zevul” sounds very similar to “Baal Zebub”, it was likely a derogatory Hebrew nickname for the Canaanite god.  Apparently, the title was later applied to an actual demon.  There is some debate on whether Beelzebub is a nickname for Satan, or for another high ranking demon (see following note). ruler[10]“ruler” The Greek word here could mean the one of greatest authority, but it doesn’t have to.  It means any “ruler”, not necessarily the one of highest authority.  The traditional interpretation of this word in this verse is “prince”. of the demons.”
  4. And knowing[11]literally “did – and does – knowing”.  The Greek word here is in the perfect tense, which is (sort of) a combination of our past and present tenses. their thoughts, Jesus said to them; “Every kingdom that’s being divided against itself becomes desolate. And every city or house that’s being divided against itself won’t stand.
  5. “And if Satan casts out Satan, he is divided against himself.  How then will his kingdom stand?
  6. “And if I cast out demons by Beelzebub, by whom do your sons cast them out? Because of this, they will be your judges.
  7. “But if I cast out demons by God’s Spirit, then the kingdom of God has come upon you.
  8. “Or; how is someone able to enter a mighty man’s house – and to seize his goods – unless he first ties up the mighty man?  And then will he plunder his house.
  9. “The man who isn’t with Me is against Me.  And the man who doesn’t assemble with Me scatters.
  10. “Because of this, I tell you every sin and blasphemy of men will be forgiven.  But blasphemy against the Spirit won’t be forgiven.
  11. “And whoever might speak a word against the Son of Man, he will be forgiven.  But whoever might speak against the Holy Spirit, he won’t be forgiven; neither in this age, nor in the age to come.
Know them by their fruit
  1. “Either make the tree beautiful and its fruit beautiful, or make the tree rotten and its fruit rotten.  For a tree is known by the fruit.
  2. “You offspring of serpents.[12]Satan is typically represented as a serpent. Therefore, calling them “offspring of serpents” is akin to saying they are Satan’s children or followers.  How are you – being evil – able to speak good things?  For the mouth speaks from the excess of the heart.
  3. “The good man brings out good things from the good storehouse of his heart.[13]“storehouse of his heart” is one word in Greek.  It refers to a place where treasure is stored, and can include things “treasured” in the heart or mind of a person. And the wicked man brings out wicked things from the wicked storehouse of his heart.[14]“storehouse of his heart” is one word in Greek.  It refers to a place where treasure is stored, and can include things “treasured” in the heart or mind of a person.
  4. “But I tell you this; for every careless word that men will speak, they will give a reason[15]The Greek word here is ” λόγος” (Logos), and is typically translated “word”.  (As in John 1:1.)  It properly refers to “reasoning expressed through speech”, which is why logos is the root of our English word “logic”. for it in the day of judgement.
  5. “For by the reason behind your words,[16]“reason behind… …words” is one word in Greek.  It’s the Greek word “λόγος” (Logos), and is typically translated “word”.  (As in John 1:1.)  It properly refers to “reasoning expressed through speech“, which is why Logos is the root of our English word “logic”. you will be declared righteous.  And by the reason behind your words,[17]“reason behind… …words” is one word in Greek.  It’s the Greek word “λόγος” (Logos), and is typically translated “word”.  (As in John 1:1.)  It properly refers to “reasoning expressed through speech“, which is why Logos is the root of our English word “logic”. you will be condemned as guilty.
The Sign of Jonah
  1. Then some of the Scribes and Pharisees answered Him, saying; “Teacher, we wish to see a miraculous sign from you.”
  2. But answering, He said to them; “A wicked generation – and an adulteress[18]The traditional interpretation here is “a wicked and adulterous generation”.  However, the word translated “adulteress” is a noun here, not an adjective. Additionally, a feminine singular pronoun – “she” in English – is used later in the verse.  In order to make the traditional interpretation fit, “she” must be changed to the neuter pronoun, “it”.  Jesus was calling that whole generation an “adulteress”, or a woman guilty of adultery. – seeks a miraculous sign.  And a sign won’t be given to her, except the sign of Jonah the Prophet.
  3. “For just as Jonah was in the belly of the whale three days and three nights, so the Son of Man will be in the heart of the earth three days and three nights.
  4. The men of Nineveh will stand up with this generation in the judgement.  They will also condemn it because they changed their minds, and thus their deeds,[19]“change their minds, and thus their deeds” is one word in Greek, typically translated “repent”. However, it doesn’t speak of remorse or guilt for wrong actions. Rather, it literally means to “think differently after” or to “reconsider”, with an assumed change in behavior. To both the Hebrews and 1st century Greeks/Romans, a change in mind was synonymous with a change in behavior; you couldn’t have the first without the second. at the preaching of Jonah.  And behold; One greater than Jonah is here.
  5. The queen of the south will be raised in the judgement with this generation.  She will also condemn it, because she came from the ends of the earth to hear Solomon’s wisdom.  And behold; One greater than Solomon is here.
The Evil Spirit Returns
  1. “Now, when the unclean spirit comes out of the man, it travels through waterless places seeking rest… and finds none.
  2. “Then it says: “I’ll return to my house; from where I left.”  And going back, it finds the house vacant; it was – and is – swept and beautifully decorated.
  3. “Then it goes and takes with itself seven other spirits more evil than itself.  And entering the house, they settle down there.  Indeed, the end[20]The Greek word here is “ἔσχατος” (eschatos), which indicates the final state of a thing. It’s the root of the English word “eschatology”, which is the study of “end times”. (Revelation in Christian circles) of that man becomes worse than the beginning.  And it will be like that for this wicked generation.
Sons do the Father’s will
  1. Now, while He was speaking to the crowds, behold; His mother and brothers had been standing outside seeking to speak to Him.
  2. So someone told Him; “Look, your mother and your brothers were – and still are – standing outside. They’re seeking to speak to you.”
  3. But answering the man who told Him, Jesus said; “Who is My mother and who are My Brothers?”
  4. And reaching His hand toward His disciples, He said; “Look, My mother and My brothers.
  5. “For whoever does the will of My Father in the heavens; he is My brother and sister and mother.”

 

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