Read Matthew 12

Highlights:

Jesus, Lord of the Sabbath; controversy with Pharisees; unpardonable sin; Christ's death and resurrection foretold.

For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale's belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth (Matt. 12:40).

While our Lord was healing great multitudes, the pharisees held a council against Him, how they might destroy Him (Matt. 12:13-14). The hatred and violence of the religious leaders reached a climax when one was brought unto Jesus possessed with a devil, blind, and dumb: and He healed him, insomuch that the blind and dumb both spake and saw. And all the people were amazed, and said, Is not this the son of David (12:22-23)?

Yes, the people were convinced that Jesus fulfilled the prophecies of the Messiah. But in the minds of the religious leaders, this man was a threat to “their” authority and must be stopped.

To destroy the people's belief in Jesus as the Messiah the religious leaders said that He did cast out devils, but that it was through the power of the devil (12:24). By knowingly seeking to attribute the miracle ministry of the Holy Spirit through Christ to that of Satan, the religious leaders had committed the unpardonable sin (Mark 3:29).

The religious leaders continued questioning Jesus, saying Master we would see a sign from You (Matt. 12:38). They had already had hundreds of signs and they had just seen a marvelous miracle. He answered and said unto them, An evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given to it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas (12:39). But with these words Jesus was also pointing out to these religious men the condition of their hearts. When Jonah preached to the heathen city of Nineveh, the people there recognized God's Word and repented. But even when confronted by the Son of God Himself, these experts in the Law would not turn, saying instead: Out of Galilee ariseth no prophet (John 7:52).

Jesus then referred to the Queen of Sheba, a Gentile who had come a great distance to hear the wisdom of God from Solomon. This was also a rebuke to the Pharisees, who would not listen although a greater than Solomon is here (Matt. 12:42). Like the Pharisees this will be the undoing of all who refuse to hear the One whose wisdom is from everlasting; of whom Paul said, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God (I Cor. 1:24).

Thought for Today:

What great foolishness it is to question the Scriptures and profess to be wiser than Jesus Christ Himself!

Cross References:

For Matt. 12:7: See Hos. 6:6. Matt. 12:18-21: See Is. 42:1-4. Matt. 12:40: See Jon. 1:17.

Word Studies:

12:1 corn, grain fields; 12:5 profane, violate or break the law; 12:29 spoil his goods, take away his possessions; 12:44 garnished, ready for use.

Prayer Needs:

Pray for Internet Radio: In memory of Al Joslyn • Pray for Government Officials: Sen. Benjamin L. Cardin (MD) and Rep. Denny R. Rehberg (MT) • Country: Vietnam (78.5 million) in Southeast Asia • Major languages: Vietnamese and French • Very strict control of Christians in the North; the South has been more lenient but is getting tighter • 60% Buddhist; 8% Catholic; 1% Protestant; 3% Cao Dai; 2% Hoa Hao; 3% Islam; 13% Other; 10% None • Prayer Suggestion: Let your prayers be praise to the Lord (Ps. 150:6).

Memory Verse for the Week: James 1:17