Highlights In Today's Reading:
A lot of questions! Are rules more important than people? What does Jesus say (12:1-14)? Jesus said not to tell He healed them. Why (12:15-21)? The true family of Jesus (12:46-50).
Driven by a determination to stop the growing popularity of Jesus, the Pharisees went out, and held a council against Him, how they might destroy (kill) Him. But when Jesus knew it, He withdrew Himself (12:14-15).
The hatred of the religious leaders for Jesus reached a climax when there 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. And all the people were amazed, and said, Is not this the Son of David? (12: 22-23), as foretold by Israel's prophets: The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Of the increase of His government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David (Is. 9:6-7).
The religious leaders attempted to destroy the people's growing faith in Jesus as their Messiah by saying: This fellow (Jesus) doth not cast out devils, but by Beelzebub the prince of the devils (Matt. 12:24), to which Jesus replied: Wherefore I say unto you, All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men: but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost (Spirit) shall not be forgiven unto men (12:31).
Refusing to admit their hypocrisy, the religious leaders continued questioning Jesus, saying: Master, we would see a sign (miracle) from Thee (proving that You are who You claim to be) (12:38). They had already seen numerous miracles, so He answered and said . . . 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).
The sign of the prophet Jonas (Jonah) undoubtedly has more than one meaning. The most obvious is the comparison between Jonah's three days and nights in the belly of the great fish (Jon. 1:17) and Christ's death and burial, which also covered three days and nights.
When Jonah preached to the heathen city of Nineveh, the people sincerely accepted the Word of God and repented; but these experts in the Law refused to believe the One greater than Jonas who stood before them (Matt. 12:41).
What a thrill it is to look forward to His soon return. For whosoever shall do the will of My Father which is in heaven, the same is My brother, and sister, and mother (Matt. 12:50).
Thought for Today:
When the Chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away (I Pet. 5:4).
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 but unoccupied.
For Matt. 12:7: See Hos. 6:6. Matt. 12:18-21: See Is. 42:1-4. Matt. 12:40: See Jon. 1:17.
Pray for International Shortwave Broadcasts in honor of Linda Kennon • Staff: Beth Carlton • Government Officials: Rep. Virginia Brown-Waite (FL), Sen. Benjamin Cardin (MD), Rep. John Boccieri (OH), and Rep. At-Large Dennis Rehberg (MT) • Country: Fiji (813,000) in the southwestern Pacific • Major languages: English and Fijian • Religious freedom • 41% Hindu; 40% Protestant; 9% Roman Catholic; 8% Muslim • Prayer Suggestion: God wants to be exalted through you (Ps. 46:10).
Memory Verse for the Week: Matthew 15:8