Matthew Chapter 12:1-30
Memory verses for
this week: 1 Pet 1:7 That the trial of
your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth,
though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour
and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ.
last week’s lesson, we studied about Jesus going forth to preach and
teach just like he had told the disciples to do. We then discussed
how that John the Baptist was the greatest man ever to live according
to Christ. At the end of the chapter, we discussed how there are two
kinds of rest. One we receive when we are saved. The other we earn
as we take the yoke of Christ upon us.
I. Jesus Declares
Himself Lord of the Sabbath
Mat 12:1 At that time Jesus went on
the sabbath day through the corn; and his disciples were an hungred,
and began to pluck the ears of corn, and to eat.
Mat 12:2 But when the Pharisees saw
it, they said unto him, Behold, thy disciples do that which is not
lawful to do upon the sabbath day.
The Sabbath day
was a day given for the complete rest of man. In the record of
creation, God, who can not tire, set an example for us and rested on
the seventh day. We are not like God, and need rest. Many today
think they can work seven days a week, but it takes its toll.
Gen 2:1 Thus the heavens and the
earth were finished, and all the host of them.
Gen 2:2 And on the seventh day God
ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day
from all his work which he had made.
Gen 2:3 And God blessed the seventh
day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his
work which God created and made.
Later, God made
the rest of the Sabbath as part of the law. To break this law meant
one would be put to death.
Exo 20:8 Remember the sabbath day,
to keep it holy.
Exo 20:9 Six days shalt thou labour,
and do all thy work:
Exo 20:10 But the seventh day is the
sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou,
nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant,
nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates:
Exo 20:11 For in six days the LORD
made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested
the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and
Num 15:32 And while the children of
Israel were in the wilderness, they found a man that gathered sticks
upon the sabbath day.
Num 15:33 And they that found him
gathering sticks brought him unto Moses and Aaron, and unto all the
Num 15:34 And they put him in ward,
because it was not declared what should be done to him.
Num 15:35 And the LORD said unto
Moses, The man shall be surely put to death: all the congregation
shall stone him with stones without the camp.
Num 15:36 And all the congregation
brought him without the camp, and stoned him with stones, and he died;
as the LORD commanded Moses.
In our text,
Jesus’ disciples were hungry and they plucked the ears of corn as they
walked through the fields on the Sabbath. If we look over in
Deuteronomy, we find that it was legal to pluck the ears of the cord
from their neighbor’s field.
Deu 23:25 When thou comest into the
standing corn of thy neighbour, then thou mayest pluck the ears with
thine hand; but thou shalt not move a sickle unto thy neighbour's
were forever looking to find fault with Christ, and they charge them
with breaking the law of the Sabbath Day. There were not many things
that could be done legally on Saturday, but we find that it was
allowed to relieve both human or animal suffering on the Sabbath.
Luke 14:1 And it came to pass, as he
went into the house of one of the chief Pharisees to eat bread on the
sabbath day, that they watched him.
Luke 14:2 And, behold, there was a
certain man before him which had the dropsy.
Luke 14:3 And Jesus answering spake
unto the lawyers and Pharisees, saying, Is it lawful to heal on the
Luke 14:4 And they held their peace.
And he took him, and healed him, and let him go;
Luke 14:5 And answered them, saying,
Which of you shall have an ass or an ox fallen into a pit, and will
not straightway pull him out on the sabbath day?
Luke 14:6 And they could not answer
him again to these things.
Mat 12:3 But he said unto them, Have
ye not read what David did, when he was an hungred, and they that were
Mat 12:4 How he entered into the
house of God, and did eat the showbread, which was not lawful for him
to eat, neither for them which were with him, but only for the
Mat 12:5 Or have ye not read in the
law, how that on the sabbath days the priests in the temple profane
the sabbath, and are blameless?
Mat 12:6 But I say unto you, That in
this place is one greater than the temple.
Mat 12:7 But if ye had known what
this meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice, ye would not have
condemned the guiltless.
Mat 12:8 For the Son of man is Lord
even of the sabbath day.
Jesus speaks of
two incidents in the Old Testament to show the justification of the
disciples gathering and eating the corn on the Sabbath day.
1 Sam 21:5 And David answered the
priest, and said unto him, Of a truth women have been kept from us
about these three days, since I came out, and the vessels of the young
men are holy, and the bread is in a manner common, yea, though it were
sanctified this day in the vessel.
1 Sam 21:6 So the priest gave him
hallowed bread: for there was no bread there but the showbread, that
was taken from before the LORD, to put hot bread in the day when it
was taken away.
The bread in
God’s house was for the priests, but they took it and gave some to
Num 28:9 And on the sabbath day two
lambs of the first year without spot, and two tenth deals of flour for
a meat offering, mingled with oil, and the drink offering thereof:
Num 28:10 This is the burnt offering
of every sabbath, beside the continual burnt offering, and his drink
points out that the priest offered two lambs for an offering on the
Sabbath day, and they were not held to be breakers of the Sabbath.
Jesus makes a good defense, and then says in verse 7, “But I say unto
you, That in this place is one greater than the temple.” The Temple
embodied all that was most sacred in the life of the nation; yet Jesus
declares that He is greater than all the worship, symbols, and laws of
the house of God. He then declares in verse 8 that he is the Lord of
the Sabbath. Jesus was, and still is, LORD OF ALL. All things were
created by him, and without Him nothing was created.
John 1:1 In the
beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was
John 1:2 The same was
in the beginning with God.
John 1:3 All things
were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was
II. The Healing of
the Withered Hand on the Sabbath
Mat 12:9 And when he was departed
thence, he went into their synagogue:
Mat 12:10 And, behold, there was a
man which had his hand withered. And they asked him, saying, Is it
lawful to heal on the sabbath days? that they might accuse him.
the Synagogue and set an example for us that we need to worship God on
the appointed day. People want so much sometimes to not worship God
that they may push the ox into the ditch so they can stay away from
church and not worship. The divinely appointed day for worship
should be honored. For Christians, our day is Sunday and we should
rest and worship the Lord on that day. The only valid reasons for
missing services on Sunday is to do works of necessity and to provide
mercy. (Helping the sick or infirmed.) The Pharisees watch to see if
the can find fault in Christ and see if he might break the Sabbath
Mat 12:11 And he said unto them,
What man shall there be among you, that shall have one sheep, and if
it fall into a pit on the sabbath day, will he not lay hold on it, and
lift it out?
Mat 12:12 How much then is a man
better than a sheep? Wherefore it is lawful to do well on the sabbath
Mat 12:13 Then saith he to the man,
Stretch forth thine hand. And he stretched it forth; and it was
restored whole, like as the other.
Jesus uses good
logic in his question. If it is allowed for a man to pull a sheep
out of a pit on the Sabbath, surely it would be legal to heal a man on
the Sabbath. Man is certainly more important in the eyes of God than
animals. Our society has lost track of that. It is illegal to
destroy an eagle’s egg, but you can legally kill a baby by abortion.
God help our nation to get our priorities straightened out.
J. Vernon McGee
questioned whether the Pharisees might have put the man with the
withered hand where Christ would come upon him. I don’t know for
sure, but I know for sure one thing. Jesus healed the man.
Was this man with the withered hand
“planted” there, deliberately, by the Pharisees to trap Jesus into
healing him? If so, then there are two important admissions on the
part of the enemies of Jesus:
1. They admitted He had power
to heal the sick. As we have seen, the enemies of Jesus never
questioned His ability to perform miracles. You have to be two
thousand years away from it and working in a musty library on a
master’s or doctor’s degree before you can question His miracles. The
Pharisees freely admitted that He had power to heal the sick. This is
why they planted this man with the withered hand.
2. They acknowledged that when
a helpless man was placed in His pathway, He was moved by compassion
to heal him, even on the Sabbath day. What an admission!
Their question about the legality of
healing on the Sabbath day was designed to trap Him. But Jesus
actually trapped His enemies. They conceded that a sheep should be
rescued on the Sabbath day—in fact, the Mosaic Law made allowances for
How much then is a man better
than a sheep? Wherefore it is lawful to do well on the sabbath days
This is the crux of the whole matter:
Should He do good on the Sabbath day? Regardless of their answer—
Then saith he to the man,
Stretch forth thine hand. And he stretched it forth; and it was
restored whole, like as the other [Matt. 12:13].
Jesus healed the man on the Sabbath
day. Did He break the Law? What is your answer? My answer is that He
break the Law.
Mat 12:14 Then the Pharisees went
out, and held a council against him, how they might destroy him.
As soon as the
Pharisees see the man healed, they don’t rejoice like they should.
Rather they go out and plot how they might destroy Christ.
III. Jesus And The
Mat 12:15 But when Jesus knew it, he
withdrew himself from thence: and great multitudes followed him, and
he healed them all;
Pharisees were planning was not a surprise to Christ. He knew all
things, and could perceive even their thoughts. God knows us that
way. He knows us better than we know ourselves, and knows what we
will and will not do. If we are good, we will do good from the
heart. If evil, we will do evil.
Luke 6:45 A good man out of the good
treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil
man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is
evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh.
Luke 6:46 And why call ye me, Lord,
Lord, and do not the things which I say?
from the Pharisees and a great multitude followed him. But when he
taught serious doctrine, many turned back. Multitudes will come if
you do good for them and feed them. But the true worshippers will
stay even when things are tough and the teachings condemn the heart.
If our hearts are right with God, we will want to bring our lives back
inline with God’s commandments and laws.
6:53 Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you,
Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye
have no life in you.
John 6:54 Whoso eateth my flesh, and
drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the
John 6:55 For my flesh is meat
indeed, and my blood is drink indeed.
John 6:56 He that eateth my flesh,
and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him.
John 6:57 As the living Father hath
sent me, and I live by the Father: so he that eateth me, even he shall
live by me.
John 6:58 This is that bread which
came down from heaven: not as your fathers did eat manna, and are
dead: he that eateth of this bread shall live for ever.
John 6:59 These things said he in
the synagogue, as he taught in Capernaum.
John 6:60 Many therefore of his
disciples, when they had heard this, said, This is an hard saying; who
can hear it?
John 6:61 When Jesus knew in himself
that his disciples murmured at it, he said unto them, Doth this offend
John 6:62 What and if ye shall see
the Son of man ascend up where he was before?
John 6:63 It is the spirit that
quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto
you, they are spirit, and they are life.
John 6:64 But there are some of you
that believe not. For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were that
believed not, and who should betray him.
John 6:65 And he said, Therefore
said I unto you, that no man can come unto me, except it were given
unto him of my Father.
John 6:66 From that time many of his
disciples went back, and walked no more with him.
John 6:67 Then said Jesus unto the
twelve, Will ye also go away?
Mat 12:16 And charged them that they
should not make him known:
Mat 12:17 That it might be fulfilled
which was spoken by Esaias the prophet, saying,
Mat 12:18 Behold my servant, whom I
have chosen; my beloved, in whom my soul is well pleased: I will put
my spirit upon him, and he shall show judgment to the Gentiles.
Mat 12:19 He shall not strive, nor
cry; neither shall any man hear his voice in the streets.
Mat 12:20 A bruised reed shall he
not break, and smoking flax shall he not quench, till he send forth
judgment unto victory.
Mat 12:21 And in his name shall the
the multitudes, and not the Jews only. Christ came first to the house
of Israel, but he also came for the Gentiles. I am so thankful that
he did. Matthew records here how Christ withdrawing was a
fulfillment of scripture from Isaiah. Christ was one who was meek and
gentle. He was always one who did not strive nor cry aloud. And
there will come a time when he will appear in triumph and victory.
It says in verse 21 that in Christ’s name the Gentiles do trust.
There is not another name under heaven by which we can be saved than
Acts 4:10 Be it known unto you all,
and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of
Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by
him doth this man stand here before you whole.
Acts 4:11 This is the stone which
was set at nought of you builders, which is become the head of the
Acts 4:12 Neither is there salvation
in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among
men, whereby we must be saved.
Pharisees Oppose Christ’s Power to Cast Out Demons
Mat 12:22 Then was brought unto him
one possessed with a devil, blind, and dumb: and he healed him,
insomuch that the blind and dumb both spake and saw.
Mat 12:23 And all the people were
amazed, and said, Is not this the son of David?
Mat 12:24 But when the Pharisees
heard it, they said, This fellow doth not cast out devils, but by
Beelzebub the prince of the devils.
always out helping people. He had the heart of a pastor and a
shepherd. He wanted to make people well and for them to have the best
possible life. Jesus healed the blind and dumb. The people were
amazed and asked, “Is not this the son of David?” Yes, he was from
the line of David, but He was so much more. This was the very
begotten Son of God. The attitude of the Pharisees was evil. They
don’t give God credit but claim that Jesus cast out the devils by
Beelzebub, the prince of the devils.
Mat 12:25 And Jesus knew their
thoughts, and said unto them, Every kingdom divided against itself is
brought to desolation; and every city or house divided against itself
shall not stand:
Mat 12:26 And if Satan cast out
Satan, he is divided against himself; how shall then his kingdom
Mat 12:27 And if I by Beelzebub cast
out devils, by whom do your children cast them out? therefore they
shall be your judges.
Mat 12:28 But if I cast out devils
by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God is come unto you.
Mat 12:29 Or else how can one enter
into a strong man's house, and spoil his goods, except he first bind
the strong man? and then he will spoil his house.
Mat 12:30 He that is not with me is
against me; and he that gathereth not with me scattereth abroad.
Jesus knew the
very thoughts of the Pharisees… and he answers them. Their argument
was foolish. Why would Satan cast out his own demons. To do so
would divide his own kingdom and it would not stand. Jesus cast out
demons just like he did all things.. but the power and Spirit of
God. Verse 30 points out that anyone who is not with Christ is
against Him. There is no middle ground.
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4:18 But the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth
more and more unto the perfect day.
e-mail at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Practice Random Acts of Kindness. Each act spreads, and many will be
Vernon McGee, Thru the Bible
commentary [computer file], electronic ed., Logos Library System,
(Nashville: Thomas Nelson) 1997, c1981 by J. Vernon McGee.