Matthew Chapter 12

(Tap footnote to read it.  Old Testament quotations are underlined.  "Love" with a caret ("^love") is agapé.1"agapé" The Greek words ἀγάπη (agapé, noun), and ἀγαπάω (agapaó; verb) are typically translated "love".  However, unlike our English word "love" – which primarily speaks of affection and feelings – agapé centers on choice and behavior.  It’s the "love" based on will, choice, behavior, and action; not feelings.  (Feelings-based love is the Greek word φιλέω (phileó), which properly means "brotherly love/affection".)  Thus, you could hate someone passionately and still treat him with "agapé".  Agapé "love" is best understood as the pursuit of what is most beneficial to someone or something, regardless of the cost to yourself or the type of response received from the person or thing.  It can also indicate a preference for someone or something over other things. )

Working on the Sabbath
  1. At that time, Jesus went through the grain fields on the Sabbaths, and His disciples were hungry and began to pick and eat heads of grain.
  2. And having seen this, the Pharisees said to Him; “Look, your disciples are doing what isn’t lawful to do on the Sabbath.”
  3. So He told them; “Didn’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 for the men with him to eat, but was only for the priests?
  5. “Or didn’t you read in the law that the priests in the temple violate the Sabbath1The 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. on the Sabbaths and yet are innocent?
  6. “And 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.”2quotation/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 having departed from there, He went into their synagogue.
  2. And behold; a man having a withered hand was there.  And so they might accuse Him, they asked Him saying; “Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbaths?”
  3. Then He said to them; “What man will be among you who will have only one sheep, and if it falls into a pit on one of the Sabbaths, won’t he grab it and lift it out?
  4. “Therefore, how much more valuable is a man than a sheep?  So then, it’s lawful to do good on the Sabbaths.”
  5. Then He tells the man, “Reach out your hand.”  And he reached it out and it was restored to health like his other.
  6. And having gone out, the Pharisees held a council against Him, so they might destroy Him.
  7. But having known this, Jesus departed from 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 found pleasure. I will put My Spirit on Him and He will announce justice to the nations.
  11. He won’t argue angrily, nor will He cry out,3“cry out” 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 has been broken, and He won’t quench a smoldering wick until He leads justice into victory.4quotation/allusion to Isaiah 42:1-4
  13. “And in His name, the gentiles will hope.”
A Divided House
  1. Then a blind and mute demon-possessed man was brought to Him, and He healed him so the mute man was able to speak and to see.
  2. And all the crowds were marveling and were saying; “This man can’t be the Son of David,5“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 having heard this, the Pharisees said; “This man doesn’t cast out demons except by Beelzebub,6From 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). a ruler7“a 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. But *knowing their thoughts, He said to them; “Every kingdom that’s divided against itself is desolated. And every city or house that’s divided against itself won’t stand.
  5. “And if Satan casts out Satan, he was divided against himself; how then will his kingdom stand?
  6. “And if I cast out demons by Beelzebub, then by whom do your sons cast them out? Because of this, they will be your judges.
  7. “But if I cast out demons by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God came upon you.
  8. “Or; how is someone able to enter a mighty man’s house and to openly steal his goods unless he first ties up the mighty man?  And then he will plunder his house.
  9. “The man not being with Me is against Me, and the man not assembling with Me scatters.
  10. “Because of this, I tell you that every sin and blasphemy towards 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 about to come.
Know them by their fruit
  1. “Either make the tree lovely and its fruit lovely, or make the tree rotten and its fruit rotten.  For a tree is known by the fruit.
  2. “You offspring of serpents!8Satan 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 able to speak good things while being evil?  For the mouth speaks from the overflow of the heart.
  3. “The good man brings out good things from the good storehouse of his heart.9“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.10“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 that every careless word that men will speak, they will give an account of it in the day of judgement.
  5. “For by your words, you will be declared righteous.  And by your words, 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 sign from you.”
  2. But answering, He told them; “A wicked generation and an adulteress11The 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 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 and will condemn it because they repented,12“repented” this Greek word doesn’t primarily 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, and she will 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 doesn’t find it.
  2. “Then it says: “I’ll return to my house; from where I left.”  And having gone back, it finds the house vacant, having been *swept and beautifully *decorated.
  3. “Then it goes and takes with itself seven other spirits more evil than itself.  And having entered the house, they settle down there and the end of that man becomes worse than the beginning.  It will also be like that for this wicked generation.
Sons do the Father’s will
  1. Now, while He’s 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 are *standing outside seeking to speak to you.”
  3. But answering the man telling Him this, He said; “Who is My mother?  And who are My brothers?”
  4. And having reached 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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