Highlights In Today's Reading:
There are significent issues in this chapter! Jesus' actions on the Sabbath (vss 1-13) are condemned by the highly-religious Pharisees who even blaspheme the Holy Spirit (vss 24-32). Note how Jesus describes Himself (vss 6,8,41,42). He then turns to the Gentiles (vss 18-21) and then foretells His burial and resurrection (38-41).
While Jesus was teaching to a crown within a home, He was interrupted (12:46). He was told that His mother and His brothers were standing outside desiring to speak to Him. But He answered and said . . . Who is My mother? and who are My brethren? And He stretched forth His hand toward His disciples, and said, Behold My mother and My brethren! For whosoever shall do the will of My Father which is in heaven, the same is My brother, and sister, and mother (12:48-50). The Apostle Mark relates that they could not so much as eat bread (eat their meal because of the crowds) (Mark 3:20). His family was concerned and said: He is beside Himself (3:21). The closest human relationship — even meal time, mother, or family — could not come between Him and His Heavenly Father's will.
Jesus made use of this interruption by giving a new and loving view of His disciples as a happy family united to Himself, to each other, and to our Father who is in heaven. This eternal family relationship includes all who receive Him as Savior and desire to do His will. The precious words brother, and sister, and mother (Matthew 12:50) become significant terms for our relationship with other Christians. The effect of His words was to make it clear that earthly ties are only meaningful when in alliance with the family ties of heaven.
This is the revelation of the family of God made by Jesus as He stretched out His hand toward His disciples, and then to all the world, by the word whosoever (12:50), and have put on the new man (the new nature received at the new birth — John 3:3,5; II Corinthians 5:17) (Colossians 3:10). As many as received Him, to them gave He power to become . . . born . . . of God (John 1:12-13). What a privilege it is to be in the family of God, doing the Father's will and with every believer accepted as a brother or sister.
Jesus promised: Verily I say unto you, There is no man that hath left house, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my sake, and the Gospel's, But he shall receive an hundredfold now in this time, houses, and brethren, and sisters, and mothers, and children, and lands, with persecutions; and in the world to come eternal life (Mark 10:29-30).
Thought for Today:
The family of God is a blood relationship. Christians are made one family by the blood of Jesus Christ.
12:1 corn =b> grain fields; 12:5 profane =b> violate or break the law; 12:29 spoil his goods =/i> take away his possessions; 12:44 garnished =b> ready for use.
For Matthew 12:7: See Hosea 6:6. Matthew 12:18-21: See Isaiah 42:1-4. Matthew 12:40: See Jonah 1:17.
Pray for Radio Sri Lanka International Shortwave Broadcasts sponsored by Mrs. Raymond M. Fritzler • Government Officials: Rep. Virginia Brown-Waite (FL), Rep. Benjamin Cardin (MD), and Rep. Dennis Rehberg (MT) • Country: Iceland (272,000) at the northern end of the Atlantic • Major language: Icelandic • Religious freedom • 94% Protestant; 6% Roman Catholic • Prayer Suggestion: Confess your sins to the Lord; He is quick to forgive (Psa. 32:5).
Memory Verse for the Week: Matthew 6:33