October 5

Read Matthew 12

In Today’s Reading:

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

Jesus was confronted by the Pharisees who criticized His disciples by saying: Behold, [Your] disciples do that which is not lawful to do [on] the Sabbath day (Matthew 12:2). Jesus responded: In this place is One greater than the Temple. . . . For the Son of Man is Lord even of the Sabbath day (12:6-8). The Old Testament worship system foreshadowed the life and ministry of Jesus Christ and His Church. Israel was commanded to keep the last day of the week, the Sabbath, as a day of rest to commemorate God's work of creation in six days. Equally important, circumcision distinguished the Israelites as God’s own peculiar people.

Most Christians assemble to collectively worship the Lord Jesus Christ on the first day of the week because He rose from the grave on the first day of the week (Mark 16:9). In this way they honor Him as Lord of their lives by putting Him first in every week. The Sabbath day of rest has its counterpart in the New Covenant: That in all things He (Christ) might have the preeminence. . . . Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holy day, or of the new moon, or of the Sabbath days: Which are a shadow of things to come (Colossians 1:18; 2:16-17). The Sabbath, as well as all Jewish worship days, which were also Sabbaths, were a shadow of things to come. The early church recognized this, and, in commemoration of His resurrection, upon the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul preached [to] them (Acts 20:7). A few years later, Paul was led to write: Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as God [has] prospered him (I Corinthians 16:2).

Under the New Covenant, circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter (Romans 2:29). [You] are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ: Buried with Him in baptism, wherein also [you] are risen with Him (Colossians 2:11-12).

The Passover commemorating Israel's freedom from Egyptian bondage was fulfilled in Christ's final Passover, when He instituted the Lord’s Supper. As Jesus and the apostles were eating the Passover meal, Jesus took bread, and blessed it, and [broke] it, and gave it to the disciples, and said, Take, eat; this is My Body. And He took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink . . . all of it; For this is My Blood of the New Testament (Covenant), which is shed for many for the remission of sins (Matthew 26:26-28).

When we refuse the assembling of ourselves together (Hebrews 10:25) to worship our Lord Jesus Christ, we also miss honoring Him in partaking of the Lord's Supper. The Lord's Supper is not a man-made ordinance! It was instituted by our Lord Jesus Himself. The Apostle Paul reminds us: As often as [you] eat this Bread, and drink this Cup, [you] do [show] the Lord's death till He come (I Corinthians 11:26).

Thought for Today: How foolish are those who question the validity of any Scripture!

Word Studies:

12:1 corn = grainfields; 12:5 profane = guilty of violating or breaking the law; 12:29 spoil his goods = take away his possessions; 12:44 garnished = put in order.

Cross References:

For Matthew 12:7: See Hos. 6:6. Matt. 12:18-21: See Isa. 42:1-4. Matt. 12:40: See Jonah 1:17.

Prayer Needs:

Government Officials: Rep. Benjamin Cardin (MD) and Rep. Dennis Rehberg (MO) · Pray your Sunday School teacher · Country: Zimbabwe (11 million) in south-central Africa · Major languages: English and Shona · Limited religious freedom · 43% Protestant; 38% animism, mediums, and spirit-possession cults; 16% Roman Catholic · Prayer Suggestion: Pray with unwavering faith so that your prayers may be answered (James 1:5-7).

Memory Verse for the Week: Romans 15:4