12 Matthew

Author

Karen Miller

Scripture

Matthew 12

Observations

  • Matthew 12 begins with Jesus caring for his disciples; it ends with him proclaiming that they are His family.
  • Three times Jesus says, “Something greater than __________________ is here.”  He refers to Himself and is greater than the temple, Jonah and Solomon.
  • “I desire compassion, not sacrifice” is a theme throughout the beginning of the passage.  Jesus exhorts the Pharisees to have compassion for Jesus’ hungry disciples, and compassion for the man with the withered hand.  Later He shows compassion to the deaf and mute man.
  • When Jesus pulls his followers aside and healed them it was to fulfill Isaiah 42, a Servant Song that indicates the Messiah would be a person of justice and compassion for the Gentiles! ( “A battered reed He will not break off, And a smoldering wick He will not put out”)
  • The Pharisees don’t like that Jesus is “breaking the law” on the Sabbath.
  • When the Pharisees accuse Jesus of being of the devil, Jesus gives a logical argument of why this cannot be.
  • Jesus reminds them that a kingdom or house divided against itself cannot stand.
  • Jesus is powerful enough to bind the strong man and plunder the house, meaning he is strong enough to bind Satan and his forces and make them leave a person.
  • When Jesus casts out demons by the spirit of God, then the kingdom of God has come upon that person.
  • But later Jesus warns that if the house is swept and order but nothing is in there, the evil spirit may return with seven worst spirits.   Don’t leave the house empty!
  • When speaking with the Pharisees who ask for a sign, Jesus pronounced judgment and calls them an evil generation.
  • At the end of the passage, Jesus redefines family.  He says that those who do the will of the Father are his new family.
  • Throughout the passage, we see people who follow and believe Jesus contrasted with the Pharisees who accuse Jesus, condemn Jesus, conspire against Jesus, and slander Jesus.
  • A good tree bears good fruit and a bad tree bears bad fruit… our hearts will be known by the fruit in our lives.

Application

  • Jesus was a man of compassion and helped people… both to his disciples and to those he encountered along the way.   May God give me eyes to see people who need compassion this week and a heart after His to be moved to action by compassion.
  • Jesus tells us that a house divided against itself cannot stand.   Pray for unity at Trinity and make sure I am pursuing peace and working through conflict when it comes my way.  A heart of compassion rather than a critical spirit will help!
  • When I encounter people who suffering at the hands of the demonic, I can cast those demons out by the Spirit of God and in the name of Jesus.  Praise God Jesus is so much stronger than Satan.
  • Jesus redefines family… my new family are those who do the will of the Father.   How am I encouraging and helping my family in Christ?

Prayer

Lord, I want to be a person of compassion.   Compassion is a heart attitude that I cannot create myself.   So I ask that you would make me a naturally compassionate person by the power of your Spirit.   And then give me eyes daily to see people who need compassion. I pray for the time to extend compassion and wisdom to know the best way to love them. Specifically Lord, you know that my neighbor is in the hospital and is really reaching out for counsel, prayer and support.   Please help me find time to sit with her and pray for her.  My next two days are so busy. I’m thankful for email and the prayers and Scripture I can send her that way, but I think is more to do than that.   Thank you also for my Trinity family and my broader church family.   Help me to love, encourage and care for them.

1 comment (Add your own)

1. Jim Asselin wrote:
Karen,
I like your emphasis on being moved to action by compassion. A recognition of the dire state of mankind left to his own devices, the way Jesus graciously loves me (us), and the desire to become like Jesus are things that move me to compassion appropriately while not leading me to take action on my own initiative - which may not be useful at all, but may only make me feel good. If I operate only out of gratefulness, I can become like the Pharisee who thanked God he was not like the penitent sinner. This passage and your commentary have helped me to check my compassion for the reasons why I do things. May my actions bear fruit as a result.

Fri, September 4, 2015 @ 9:19 AM

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