Thursday, May 11, 2006

Matthew 12

(I will post for a few weeks the Wednesday night Matthew notes here. Let me know if it helps, especially if you're an Amis Chapeler, by clicking the comment box at the end of the post.)

Key Verse: 12:34 – Words & actions reveal your heart attitude.

Personal Application: God values mercy and compassion.

Outline: Opposition begins to stiffen to Jesus. First they accuse Jesus’ disciples of doing what is unlawful on the Sabbath (12:1-8). When Jesus heals on Sabbath, they attack Jesus directly. Jesus exposes the Pharisees’ indifference to human need – so they plot to kill Him! (vv. 9-14) Rather than engage them, he withdraws to continue his healing ministry (vv. 15-21). When Jesus heals a demonized man, the crowd speculates that He might be the promised Messiah (vv. 22-23), the desperate Pharisees accuse him of having dark powers! Christ ridicules the notion, warning them about committing an unforgivable sin (vv. 24-32). Their words show the evil in their hearts (vv. 33-37). When the Pharisees demand a sign, Jesus promises only the “sign of Jonah,” speaking of his resurrection (vv. 38-45). Later, Jesus claims that all those doing the will of God are His brothers and sisters (vv. 46-49). From this point forward, the relationship with Jesus is more important than the blood relationship.

12:1-14 – Lord of the Sabbath
Neither disciples nor Jesus broke the Law. See Deut 23:24-25. They violated rabbinical interpretations of the law. Pharisees miss the point: He is a God of mercy. A hungry man must eat. Jesus heals on Sabbath showing there is nothing wrong with doing good on Sabbath – or anytime.

To Pharisees, rubbing was threshing and fell into 39 classes of work that included reaping.
Jesus goes back to Scripture and corrects their interpretation. Cf. Lev 24:5-9 on Shewbread – symbol of the Presence; 1 Samuel 21:1-6 on David & Shewbread. Jewish tradition held that David ate the showbread on the Sabbath – when the bread was changed. David filled himself with God’s Presence. Rabbinical proverb: “No Sabbath in the Temple” b/c Num 28:1-10 that while Sabbath is holy, sacrifices must continue without rest.

This David broke the tabernacle law and was justified, not Sabbath law. Because the story is recorded in 1 Samuel 21, the Pharisees would see it as having more authority than the oral law which later was written as the Mishnah. Now this Son of David has come and eaten heads of grain. Verse 6: One greater than the Temple is here. He is the merciful One. He is the Rest of Sabbath (Hebrews 4). Jesus defends his own and break with the religious rulers comes. He refers to David, a shadow, who looks out for his own as well. Jesus asserts his Kingship is being rejected as King, in line with theme of Matthew.

Application: Absolute truth, convictions, preferences. We catch more heat for violating what some people think than for sin. Honor the Sabbath day with ministry, doing good, worship (Isaiah 58:13-14).

12:15-21 – Jesus withdraws and continues his ministry
Jesus avoids a quarrel and gets on with what the Father has called him to do, caring for others.

Use the NT interpretation of the OT to inform your interpretation of the OT. Much OT interpretation today is not based on this simple hermeneutic, but it is the key to understanding the OT.

12:22-37 – Opposition from the dark world and dark hearts
Believing is seeing – miracles do not produce faith. Miracles can strengthen the faith of those who already believe, but if you don’t want to believe in them, you’ll never see them.

Only the Messiah could deliver a person of a blind, deaf, and dumb demon, b/c the person cannot tell you what is ailing them. Cf. 11:5. This great authority, if Jesus is not the Messiah (not a possibility for Jewish leaders), must come from the highest dark power, the Adversary himself. Demonic miracles are real (Exodus 7:22; 8:7). Beelzeboul – lord of dung; Beelzebub – lord of a fly. Beel Zibub – lord of high places.

vv. 30-37 – Jesus gives grace to the Jewish leaders again, one last time to see Him for who He is, the King, the Messiah.

Unpardonable Sin: willfully continuing to deny the Gospel when the Holy Spirit has made clear to you that it is true, and or rejecting Jesus at that time in his ministry on earth. The latter cannot be done now in this respect. It is not falling from grace. It is rejecting the Gospel. John 3:18. Such a person positions himself to be unforgiven.

12:38-45 – Sign of Jonah
Jesus never cheapens/dilutes his message b/c people want a more casual message or are hostile. (16:1-4; 26:59-68; Mk 8:27-33; 14:55-64; 15:27-33; Luke 11:29-30; John 2:18-22). Jonah was sent to the wicked non-Jewish city of Nineveh. Queen of Sheba (1 Kings 10:1-10; 2 Chron 9:1-12) was a non-Jew, and they all believed. What is wrong with Jews?

12:46-50 – Jesus’ Family
Jesus did not violate the fifth commandment – Mt 19:19. cf. 15:46.
Relationship with Jesus is more than blood (being Jewish). It is by faith, like Abraham.
Jesus and his family: John 7:2-9; 2:3-5; Luke 1:26-56; 2:25-38, 41-51.
Eventually his family came to faith – Acts 1:14; Galatians 1:19; 1 Cor 15.

PARABLES OF THE KING (11:1 - 13:52)
PRIORITY OF THE KING (13:53 - 16:20)
PRESENCE OF THE KING (16:21-25:46)