Matthew 12:1-37 – April 26, 2020
Jesus, God’s Chosen Servant
11:28 Come to Me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.
11:29 Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls
11:30 For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”
12:1-2 Jesus never violated the Sabbath, but He often broke man’s legalistic additions to the law about the Sabbath and in my opinion deliberately did so to contrast His yoke to the yoke of the Pharisees. He quoted Deuteronomy 23:25 to show what His disciples did was lawful.
12:3-8 The example Jesus gave about David comes from 1 Samuel 21:4-6 when the priest asks David if his men had not been with women for a period of time
The reference to Hosea 6:6, the passage I desire mercy and not sacrifice and the Pharisees’ lack of understanding of this principle was also a way that Jesus questioned the Pharisees’ own asurance in their man-made traditions. This is because mercy comes from the heart, but sacrifice can become an empty ritual without meaning.
Jesus claims His deity in v8 as Lord of the Sabbath which results in the Pharisees seeking to kill Him – see v14.
12:9-14 Jesus walked to their synagogue and went inside where they had set a Sabbath trap for Him. Jewish tradition prohibited the practice of medicine on the Sabbath except in life or death situations. No Old Testament law made it forbidden to give medicine, healing, or any other form of mercy on the Sabbath.
Jesus makes the point it is always lawful to do good – even on the Sabbath. Then He healed the man.
As a result the Pharisees sought a way to kill Him as noted in v8.
Luke 6:11 (NKJV) tells us the critics of Jesus were filled with rage when Jesus healed this man.
12:15-21 This is one of the few references in the gospels of Jesus healing all on a specific occasion. Here Jesus demonstrated the compassion of God toward everyone including those affected by sin.
Why the warning? Jesus was making sure He was not perceived as a conquering Messiah per rabbinical expectations.
Instead He would be the servant described by Isaiah, a man of gentleness and meekness who would declare righteousness even ‘to the Gentiles.’ He came to show mercy to the weak and the lost.
12:22-24 After Jesus heals this man, the Pharisees foolishly declare Jesus is in league with Satan. Contrast their accusation with what the people asked, Could this be the Son of David? The Pharisees were clutching at straws as Jesus demonstrates in His reply.
12:25-29 Jesus refutes them by asking about their own people driving out demons. But first He notes a kingdom divided against itself cannot stand and it makes no sense for Satan to cast out Satan. Thus the Pharisees needed to explain how Satan would benefit by what Jesus had just done. Spurgeon noted “Envy causes persons often to condemn in one, what they approve in another.”
Guzik notes: Jesus looks at every life delivered from Satan’s domination and says, “I’m plundering the kingdom of Satan one life at a time.” There is nothing in our life that must stay under Satan’s domination. The One who binds the strong man and will plunder his goods is our risen Lord.
12:30-32 Jesus directly confronts the Pharisees deliberate rejection of deeds they know to be of God.
Using Paul’s confession in 1 Timothy 1:13, MacArthur says if Jesus is rejected due to ignorance, the person may be forgiven if the unbelief gives way to genuine repentance.
12:33-35 Nothing reveals a bad tree more truly than the bad fruit of speech. God judges a person by his words as his words reveal the state of his heart.
12:36-37 By your words you will be justified and by your words you will be condemned: By this Jesus answered an anticipated objection – that He made too much of mere words. Instead, because words reflect the heart, one can be rightly judged by their words. No infraction against God’s holiness is a trifling matter and each person will have to give an account of each indiscretion.