Parable of Four Soils

Tuesday, January 18, 2022

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A Harvest Story

13 1-3 At about that same time Jesus left the house and sat on the beach. In no time at all a crowd gathered along the shoreline, forcing him to get into a boat. Using the boat as a pulpit, he addressed his congregation, telling stories.

3-8 “What do you make of this? A farmer planted seed. As he scattered the seed, some of it fell on the road, and birds ate it. Some fell in the gravel; it sprouted quickly but didn’t put down roots, so when the sun came up it withered just as quickly. Some fell in the weeds; as it came up, it was strangled by the weeds. Some fell on good earth, and produced a harvest beyond his wildest dreams.

9 “Are you listening to this? Really listening?”

-Mathew 13:1-9 The Message

Jesus Teaches in Parables

13 Verse 1: On that day Jesus had gone out of the house and was sitting by the sea.

Verse 2: And large crowds gathered to Him, so He got into a boat and sat down, and the whole crowd was standing on the beach.

Verse 3: And He told them many things in parables, saying, “Behold, the sower went out to sow;

Verse 4: and as he sowed, some seeds fell beside the road, and the birds came and ate them up.

Verses 2-3 studies: Jesus used a lot of parables to teach crowds of people. Jesus’ purpose of using parables is to compare something familiar to something unfamiliar. It helps us to understand spiritual truth by using everyday objects and relationships. Parables help listeners to see the truth, while those who are lazy and stubborn miss the point, or don’t want to see it. Those who search honestly will become clear. But try not to read too much into a parable, it can force saying things that are not what it is meant to say. All parables have one meaning unless it is specified by Jesus.

Verse 5: Others fell on the rocky places, where they did not have much soil; and they sprang up immediately because they had no depth of soil. Verse 6: But after the sun rose, they were scorched; and because they had no root, they withered away.

Verse 7: Others fell among the thorns, and the thorns came up and choked them out.

Verse 8: But others fell on the good soil and yielded a crop, some a hundred, some sixty, and some thirty times as much.

Verse 8 study: This parable should be used to encourage spiritual “sowers”, those who teach, preach, and lead others. What the farmer did was sow good seeds and the result, not all the seeds sprouted, even though the plants that grew had varying yields. At any time you teach faithfully the Word, do not be discouraged if you don’t see the results. Belief cannot be forced to follow a mathematical formula. For example, a 4:1 ratio of seeds planted to seeds sprouted. It’s a miracle of God’s Holy Spirit as he uses your words to lead others to him.

Verse 9: The one who has ears, let him hear.”

Verse 9 study: Human ears hear many sounds, but there is a deeper kind of listening that results in spiritual understanding. If you are willing to honestly seek God’s will, you will have spiritual hearing and the parables will give you new perspectives.

Cross References

13:1

Mattew 9:28; 13:36; Mark 2:13

13:2

Luke 5:3

13:3

Matthew 13:10; Mark 4:2

13:8

Genesis 26:12; Matthew 13:23

13:9

Matthew 11:15; Revelations 2:7, 11, 17, 29; 3:6; 13, 22

Father, this will be one of many parables we will read in this chapter. I pray that these parables speak to the hearts of those that need to hear them. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Knowing Your Obedience is in Your Blood

Monday, January 17, 2022

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Obedience Is Thicker than Blood

46-47 While he was still talking to the crowd, his mother and brothers showed up. They were outside trying to get a message to him. Someone told Jesus, “Your mother and brothers are out here, wanting to speak with you.”

48-50 Jesus didn’t respond directly, but said, “Who do you think my mother and brothers are?” He then stretched out his hand toward his disciples. “Look closely. These are my mother and brothers. Obedience is thicker than blood. The person who obeys my heavenly Father’s will is my brother and sister and mother.”

-Matthew 12:46-50 The Message

Changed Relationships

Verse 46: While He was still speaking to the crowds, behold, His mother and brothers were standing outside, seeking to speak to Him.

Verse 47: Someone said to Him, “Look, Your mother and Your brothers are standing outside, seeking to speak to You.”

Verse 48: But Jesus replied to the one who was telling Him and said, “Who is My mother, and who are My brothers?”

Verse 49: And extending His hand toward His disciples, He said, “Behold: My mother and My brothers!

Verse 50: For whoever does the will of My Father who is in heaven, he is My brother, and sister, and mother.”

Verses 46-50 studies: Jesus was not denying his responsibility to his earthly family. What he was doing was criticizing religious leaders for not following the Old Testament command to honor their parents (15:1-9). He made sure his mother was protected as he was hung on the cross (John 19:25-27). His mother and brothers were present in the upper room at the Pentecost (Acts 1:14). Jesus was pointing out that spiritual relationships are us binding as physical human beings; he is paving the way for a new community of believers; which is the universal church, our spiritual family.

Cross References

12:46

Matthew 1:18; 2:11; 13:55; Luke 1:43; 2:3, 48, 51; John 2:1, 5, 12; 19:25; Acts 1:14; Mark 6:3; John 2:12; 7:3, 5, 10; Acts 1:14; 1 Corinthians 9:5; Galatians 1:19

The saying goes, “blood is thicker than water.” Which is true defending family, but your way is, “obedience is thicker than blood.” It simply means that we must be willing to obey you at all times, not to forget our family, but to make sure you are first; this goes for marriages. I pray that whatever situation we may all be in that you are the first to be obeyed, then family and friends. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Satan’s Residence

Sunday, January 16, 2022

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43-45 “When a defiling evil spirit is expelled from someone, it drifts along through the desert looking for an oasis, some unsuspecting soul it can bedevil. When it doesn’t find anyone, it says, ‘I’ll go back to my old haunt.’ On return, it finds the person spotlessly clean, but vacant. It then runs out and rounds up seven other spirits more evil than itself and they all move in, whooping it up. That person ends up far worse off than if he’d never gotten cleaned up in the first place.

“That’s what this generation is like: You may think you have cleaned out the junk from your lives and gotten ready for God, but you weren’t hospitable to my kingdom message, and now all the devils are moving back in.”

-Matthew 12:43-45 The Message

Verse 43: “Now when the unclean spirit comes out of a person, it passes through waterless places seeking rest, and does not find it.

Verse 44: Then it says, ‘I will return to my house from which I came’; and when it comes, it finds it unoccupied, swept, and put in order.

Verse 45: Then it goes and brings along with it seven other spirits more wicked than itself, and they come in and live there; the last condition of that person becomes worse than the first. That is the way it will also be with this evil generation.”

Verses 43-45 studies: Jesus describes the behavior of the nation of Israel and religious leaders. Cleaning up life without filling it with God leaves a lot of room for Satan to take residence. In the book of Ezra, it is recorded how people rid themselves of idolatry but failed to replace it with the love of God, and obedience to him. The first step is ridding ourselves of sin; the second step is filling our lives with God’s Word and the Holy Spirit. Vacant and complacent people are easy targets for Satan.

Cross References

12:43

Luke 11:24-26

12:45

Mark 5:9; Luke 11:26; Hebrews 6:4-8; 2 Peter 2:20

Father, let me be transparent. I am one of those people who don’t fill up enough of you, which is why Satan entered in some dark times. I pray that I continue to read your Word in other ways. I failed to do that the last couple of weeks, especially during the holiday weeks. I pray we can stay on your Word for those in my shoes. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

What More Do You Need?

Saturday, January 15, 2022

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Jonah-Evidence

38 Later a few religion scholars and Pharisees cornered him. “Teacher, we want to see your credentials. Give us some hard evidence that God is in this. How about a miracle?”

39-40 Jesus said, “You’re looking for proof, but you’re looking for the wrong kind. All you want is something to titillate your curiosity, satisfy your lust for miracles. The only proof you’re going to get is what looks like the absence of proof: Jonah-evidence. Like Jonah, three days and nights in the fish’s belly, the Son of Man will be gone three days and nights in a deep grave.

41-42 “On Judgment Day, the Ninevites will stand up and give evidence that will condemn this generation, because when Jonah preached to them they changed their lives. A far greater preacher than Jonah is here, and you squabble about ‘proofs.’ On Judgment Day, the Queen of Sheba will come forward and bring evidence that will condemn this generation, because she traveled from a far corner of the earth to listen to wise Solomon. Wisdom far greater than Solomon’s is right in front of you, and you quibble over ‘evidence.’

-Matthew 12:38-42 The Message

The Desire for Signs

Verse 38: Then some of the scribes and Pharisees said to Him, “Teacher, we want to see a sign from You.”

Verse 39: But He answered and said to them, “An evil and adulterous generation craves a sign; so no sign will be given to it except the sign of Jonah the prophet;

Verse 40: for just as Jonah was in the stomach of the sea monster for three days and three nights, so will the Son of Man be in the heart of the earth for three days and three nights

Verses 38-40 studies: The Pharisees were asking for another miraculous sign, but they were not looking to know Jesus. Jesus already knew that they saw enough miracles and proof to convince them that he was the Messiah. But the Pharisees wouldn’t open their hearts. They decided they weren’t going to believe him, and more miracles wouldn’t change that.

People have said, “If I could see a miracle, I would believe in God.” Jesus’ response to the Pharisees applies to us. The evidence we have to believe Jesus is the Messiah is Jesus’ birth, death, resurrection, ascension, and centuries of his work in believers around the world. We shouldn’t look for additional evidence or miracles, let us accept what God has already given and move on. He may use your life as evidence to reach another person.

Verse 41: The men of Nineveh will stand up with this generation at the judgment, and will condemn it because they repented at the preaching of Jonah; and behold, something greater than Jonah is here.

Verses 39-41 studies: Jonah was a prophet sent to the Assyrian city of Nineveh (see the book of Jonah for more). Assyria was a cruel, warlike nation, Jonah tried to run away from his assignment and ended up in the belly of a huge fish. When he did get out, he grudgingly went to the Nineveh, preached God’s message, and saw the city repent. Jesus is clearly saying that his resurrection will prove he is the Messiah. Three days after his death, Jesus will come back to life, just as Jonah will come back to life, just as Jonah was given a new chance of life after three days in the fish.

Verse 42: The Queen of the South will rise up with this generation at the judgment and will condemn it because she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and behold, something greater than Solomon is here.

Verses 41-42 studies: In Jonah’s day, Nineveh was the capital of the Assyrian empire, and it was as powerful as it was evil (Jonah 1:2). The whole city repented at Jonah’s preaching. The Queen of the South aka Queen of Sheba traveled far to see Solomon, the king of Israel and learned about his great wisdom (1 Kings 10:1-10). The Gentiles knew the truth about God when it was presented to them, unlike the religious leaders who ignored the truth even though it stared at them right in the face. Have you responded to the evidence and truth that you have?

Cross References

12:38

Matthew 16:1; Mark 8:11, 12; Luke 11:16; John 2:18; 6:30; 1 Corinthians 1:22

12:39

Luke 11:29-32; Matthew 16:4

12:40

Jonah 1:17; Matthew 8:20; Matthew 16:21

12:41

Jonah 1:2; Jonah 3:5; Matthew 12:6, 42

12:42

1 Kings 10:1; 2 Chronicles 9:1; Matthew 12:6, 41

Father, what more do anybody need to believe in you? Indeed, most people won’t believe in you unless they see miracles. The problem is, they see miracles, but they don’t see them in front of them. I pray that as we teach others, they think back on miracles they have seen and realize it is your work. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Heart of Words

Friday, January 14, 2022

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33 “If you grow a healthy tree, you’ll pick healthy fruit. If you grow a diseased tree, you’ll pick worm-eaten fruit. The fruit tells you about the tree.

34-37 “You have minds like a snake pit! How do you suppose what you say is worth anything when you are so foul-minded? It’s your heart, not the dictionary, that gives meaning to your words. A good person produces good deeds and words season after season. An evil person is a blight on the orchard. Let me tell you something: Every one of these careless words is going to come back to haunt you. There will be a time of Reckoning. Words are powerful; take them seriously. Words can be your salvation. Words can also be your damnation.”

-Matthew 12:33-37 The Message

Words Reveal Character

Verse 33: “Either assumes the tree to be good as well as its fruit good, or assume the tree to be bad as well as its fruit bad; for the tree is known by its fruit.

 Verse 34: You offspring of vipers, how can you, being evil, express any good things? For the mouth speaks from that which fills the heart.

Verse 35: The good person brings out of his good treasure good things; the evil person brings out of his evil treasure evil things.

Verse 36: But I tell you that for every careless word that people speak, they will give an account of it on the day of judgment.

Verses 34-36 studies: Jesus reminds us what we say comes from the heart. Do you have any kind words from your heart? Your words are what your heart is. You can’t solve your heart’s problems, but you can speak in good words. Let the Holy Spirit fill you with new attitudes and motives, then your words will be cleansed as their source.

Verse 37: For by your words you will be justified, and by your words, you will be condemned.”

Cross References

12:33

Matthew 7:16-18; Luke 6:43, 44; John 15:4-7

12:34

Matthew 3:7; 23:33; Luke 3:7; Luke 6:45; Ephesians 4:29

12:35

Matthew 13:52; Colossians 4:6

12:36

Matthew 10:15

I ask myself the question every day are my words meaningful? I have to admit that it is not always pleasurable. I’m a little too bold, not in sharing your word, but bold as in telling people what they need to hear. I’m not bold enough to talk to people about you as much as I should be. My words would not be comforting when I’m confronted with a non-believer. Father, I pray I can be better at my words. Let us all be that way. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Follow Him or Don’t

Thursday, January 13, 2022

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28-29 “But if it’s by God’s power that I am sending the evil spirits packing, then God’s kingdom is here for sure. How in the world do you think it’s possible in broad daylight to enter the house of an awake, able-bodied man and walk off with his possessions unless you tie him up first? Tie him up, though, and you can clean him out.

30 “This is war, and there is no neutral ground. If you’re not on my side, you’re the enemy; if you’re not helping, you’re making things worse.

31-32 “There’s nothing done or said that can’t be forgiven. But if you deliberately persist in your slanders against God’s Spirit, you are repudiating the very One who forgives. If you reject the Son of Man out of some misunderstanding, the Holy Spirit can forgive you, but when you reject the Holy Spirit, you’re sawing off the branch on which you’re sitting, severing by your own perversity all connection with the One who forgives.

-Matthew 12:28-32 The Message

Verse 28: But if I cast out the demons by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God has come upon you.

Verse 29: Or, how can anyone enter the strong man’s house and carry off his property, unless he first ties up the strong man? And then he will plunder his house.

Verse 29 study: When Jesus was born, Satan’s powers and control were disrupted. Remember that Jesus outpowered the devil’s temptation in the wilderness when he was fasting, and he defeated Satan’s main weapon, death. Jesus was resurrected. Satan will be constrained forever according to Revelations 20:10, and evil will no longer rule the earth. Jesus has complete power and authority over Satan and his forces.

The Unpardonable Sin

Verse 30: The one who is not with Me is against Me; the one who does not gather with Me scatters.

Verse 30 study: When you are deciding to join Christ, you can’t be neutral. Those who don’t actively follow Christ are rejecting him. Anybody who wants to remain neutral in the struggle of good against evil is choosing to be separate from God, who is alone is good. To refuse to follow Christ to choose to be on Satan’s team.

Verse 31: “Therefore I say to you, every sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven people, but blasphemy against the Spirit shall not be forgiven.

Verse 32: And whoever speaks a word against the Son of Man, it shall be forgiven him; but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit, it shall not be forgiven him, either in this age or in the age to come.

Verses 31-32 studies: The Pharisees blasphemed against the Spirit by attributing the power by which Christ did miracles to Satan (12:24) instead of the Holy Spirit. This unpardonable sin is one of many ways of refusing to acknowledge God’s power in Christ. This shows no reverse and hardness of the heart. Sometimes, followers worry they have accidentally committed this unforgivable sin. Only those who turned their backs on God and rejected faith have any need to worry. Jesus said they can’t be forgiven, but it is not because the sin is worse than any other, but because they never asked for forgiveness. Whoever rejects the attention of the Holy Spirit removes themselves from the only force that can lead them to repentance and restoration to God.

Cross References

12:28

1 John 3:8

12:30

Mark 9:40; Luke 9:50; 11:23

12:31

Luke 12:10

12:32

Luke 12:10; Matthew 13:22, 39; Mark 10:30; Luke 16:8; 18:30; 20:34, 35

Father, every day, we go through some sort of doubt, even in you. Will you ever come through? Why am I going through this situation? We may not understand that you are preparing for us to be better and ready for the future. Let us open our hearts to be prepared. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Jesus Under Satan’s Spell?

Wednesday, January 12, 2022

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No Neutral Ground

22-23 Next, a poor demon-afflicted wretch, both blind and deaf, was set down before him. Jesus healed him, gave him his sight and hearing. The people who saw it were impressed—”This has to be the Son of David!”

24 But the Pharisees, when they heard the report, were cynical. “Black magic,” they said. “Some devil trick he’s pulled from his sleeve.”

25-27 Jesus confronted their slander. “A judge who gives opposite verdicts on the same person cancels himself out; a family that’s in a constant squabble disintegrates; if Satan banishes Satan, is there any Satan left? If you’re slinging devil mud at me, calling me a devil kicking out devils, doesn’t the same mud stick to your own exorcists?

-Matthew 12:22-27 The Message

The Pharisees Rebuked

Verse 22: Then a demon-possessed man who was blind and unable to speak was brought to Jesus, and He healed him so that the man who was unable to speak talked and could see.

Verse 23: And all the crowds were amazed and were saying, “This man cannot be the Son of David, can he?”

Verse 24: But when the Pharisees heard this, they said, “This man casts out demons only by Beelzebul, the ruler of the demons.”

Verse 24 study: In chapter 9, verse 34, the Pharisees already accused Jesus of being in league with the ruler of the demon. They were trying to discredit Jesus by using an emotional argument. When they refused to believe that Jesus came from God, they also said that Jesus was in league with Satan. Jesus exposed their foolish arguments easily.

Verse 25: And knowing their thoughts, Jesus said to them, “Every kingdom divided against itself is laid waste; and no city or house divided against itself will stand.

Verse 25 study: Jesus gave up his unlimited supernatural abilities in the incarnation. He still had profound insight into human nature. His discernment stopped the religious leaders’ attempts to trick him. We can speak to resurrected Jesus in ways we don’t realize because he knows our thoughts, so we communicate better than we believe. It is comforting to know that he knows what we really mean when we speak to him. But, it is also threatening because we can’t hide, so he knows our selfish motives.

Verse 26: And if Satan is casting out Satan, he has become divided against himself; how then will his kingdom stand?

Verse 27: And if by Beelzebul I cast out the demons, by whom do your sons cast them out? Therefore, they will be your judges.

Cross References

12:22

Luke 11:14, 15; Matthew 9:32, 34; Matthew 4:24; 2 Thessalonians 2:9

12:23

Matthew 9:27

12:24

Matthew 9:34

12:25

Luke 11:17-22; Matthew 9:4

12:26

Matthew 4:10; 13:19

12:27

Matthew 9:34; Acts 19:13

Father, how religious leaders thought of Jesus being under Satan’s power is how non-believers feel about following you. Non-believers need our help, whether they admit it or not. I can’t imagine that their lives are not as great without you in them. So, I pray for Father today to be a shining example to non-believers worldwide. Let our light speak for us instead of our words. That is powerful than speaking words to those who refuse to listen. They can’t avoid looking. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Follow Jesus!

Tuesday, January 11, 2022

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In Charge of Everything

15-21 Jesus, knowing they were out to get him, moved on. A lot of people followed him, and he healed them all. He also cautioned them to keep it quiet, following guidelines set down by Isaiah:

Look well at my handpicked servant;

    I love him so much; take such delight in him.

I’ve placed my Spirit on him;

    he’ll decree justice to the nations.

But he won’t yell, won’t raise his voice;

    there’ll be no commotion in the streets.

He won’t walk over anyone’s feelings,

    won’t push you into a corner.

Before you know it, his justice will triumph;

    the mere sound of his name will signal hope, even

        among far-off unbelievers.

-Matthew 12:15-21 The Message

Verse 15: But Jesus, aware of this, withdrew from there. Many followed Him, and He healed them all,

Verse 16: and warned them not to tell who He was.

Verse 15 study: Jesus was aggressively confronting the Pharisees’ hypocrisy. At this point, he decided to withdraw from the synagogue because a major confrontation was about to go down, so it wasn’t Jesus’ time to die. However, Jesus’ mission wasn’t done as he still needed to teach his disciples and people.

Verse 16 study: Jesus knows what he is doing. He told people he healed not to tell others about his miracles. The reason for that is that he didn’t want people going to him for the wrong reasons. Doing so would have hindered his teaching ministry and caused false hopes about the earthly kingdom. But the news did spread fast about Jesus’ miracles; so many people came to see for themselves (Mark 3:7-8).

Verse 17: This happened so that what was spoken through Isaiah the prophet would be fulfilled:

Verse 18: “Behold, My Servant whom I have chosen;

My Beloved in whom My soul delights;

I will put My Spirit upon Him,

And He will proclaim justice to the Gentiles.

Verse 19: He will not quarrel, nor cry out;

Nor will anyone hear His voice in the streets.

Verse 20: A bent reed He will not break off,

And a dimly burning wick He will not extinguish,

Until He leads justice to victory.

Verse 21: And in His name, the Gentiles will hope.”

Verses 17-21 studies: People expected the Messiah to be a king. The quotation came from Isaiah’s prophecy in Isaiah 42:1-4. That passage showed he is a king, but it also showed what kind of king he is; a gentle, quiet ruler who brings justice to the nations. Like the crowd in Jesus’ day, we may want Christ to rule as our king and bring many victories in our lives. But, Christ’s work is quiet, and it happens according to His perfect timing, not ours.

Cross References

12:15

Matthew 4:23

12:16

Matthew 8:4; 9:30; 17:9

12:18

Isaiah 42:1; Matthew 3:17; 17:5; Luke 4:18; John 3:34

12:19

Isaiah 42:2

12:20

Isaiah 42:3

12:21

Romans 15:12

Father, like in the passage we just read, crowds followed Jesus. We have crowds following Jesus, but not enough. People are following the wrong people. I pray for our sense of direction as a country. Let us go back to the fundamentals of life; you. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Healing of the Withered Hand

Monday, January 10, 2022

Sincerity Having Peace Instagram Post. 01/10/2022

11-14 He replied, “Is there a person here who, finding one of your lambs fallen into a ravine, wouldn’t, even though it was a Sabbath, pull it out? Surely kindness to people is as legal as kindness to animals!” Then he said to the man, “Hold out your hand.” He held it out, and it was healed. The Pharisees walked out furious, sputtering about how they were going to ruin Jesus.

-Matthew 12:11-14 The Message

Verse 11: But He said to them, “What man is there among you who has a sheep, and if it falls into a pit on the Sabbath, will he not take hold of it and lift it out?

Verse 12: How much more valuable then is a person than a sheep! So then, it is lawful to do good on the Sabbath.”

Verse 13: Then He *said to the man, “Stretch out your hand!” He stretched it out, and it was restored to normal, like the other.

Verse 14: But the Pharisees went out and conspired against Him as to how they might destroy Him.

Verses 10-12 studies: The Pharisees placed their law above human need. The situation showed that Jesus performed a miracle, and the miracle he performed was to a man with a withered hand. Which did the Pharisees care about? They didn’t care about the withered hand; they cared about Jesus possibly breaking the law. So that’s what the Pharisees did, place their law over human need. What’s your attitude toward others? If your convictions don’t allow you to help people, your convictions may not be in line with God’s Word. Don’t allow dogma to blind you to human needs.

Verse 14 study: The Pharisees plotted Jesus’ death because they were angry. Jesus overruled their authority (Luke 6:11) and exposed their evil attitudes in front of a crowd in the synagogue. Jesus showed them that the Pharisees were more loyal to the religious system than God.

Cross References

12:11

Luke 14:5

12:12

Matthew 10:31; Luke 14:1-6

12:13

Matthew 8:3; Acts 28:8

12:14

Matthew 26:4; Mark 14:1; Luke 22:2; John 7:30, 44; 8:59; 10:31, 39; 11:53

All of these miracles should give us hope and reason to believe in you. It should also provide us with reason to share the Word with others. So, father, I pray that we help others when it is time and teach others that wrong your Word. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

The Study of Laws and Rules vs. Who is Greater!

Sunday, January 9, 2022

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6-8 “There is far more at stake here than religion. If you had any idea what this Scripture meant—‘I prefer a flexible heart to an inflexible ritual’—you wouldn’t be nitpicking like this. The Son of Man is no yes-man to the Sabbath; he’s in charge.”

9-10 When Jesus left the field, he entered their meeting place. There was a man there with a crippled hand. They said to Jesus, “Is it legal to heal on the Sabbath?” They were baiting him.

-Matthew 12:6-10 The Message

Verse 6: But I say to you that something greater than the temple is here.

Verse 6 study: The Pharisees missed the whole purpose of the temple because they were too busy worrying about religious rituals. The purpose of the temple is to bring people closer to God. Jesus Christ is greater than the temple; imagine how better he can get people to God. To say that God is far more important than the created instruments of worship is an understatement. If we are more concerned with the means of worship than with the One we worship, we will miss God as we think we are worshipping him.

Verse 7: But if you had known what this means: ‘I desire compassion, rather than sacrifice,’ you would not have condemned the innocent.

Verse 7 study: Jesus reminded the Pharisees of the words the Jewish people heard time and time again throughout history (1 Samuel 15:22-23; Psalm 40:6-8; Isaiah 1:11-17; Jeremiah 7:21-23; Hosea 6:6). Our attitude that comes from the heart towards God comes first. Then, we can obey and observe religious regulations and rituals.

Lord of the Sabbath

Verse 8: For the Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath.”

Verse 8 study: When Jesus said he was the Lord of the Sabbath, he claimed to be greater than the law and above it. According to the Pharisees, this was heresy. They didn’t think that Jesus created the Sabbath. The Creator is always greater than creation, meaning Jesus had the authority to overrule their traditions and regulations.

Verse 9: Departing from there, He went into their synagogue.

Verse 10: And a man was there whose hand was withered. And they questioned Jesus, asking, “Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath?”—so that they might bring charges against Him.

Verse 10 study: As they pointed to the man with the withered hand, the Pharisees tried to trick Jesus by asking him if it was legal to heal on the Sabbath. Their Sabbath rules said that people could be helped if their lives were in danger. As seen in these parables, Jesus did heal on the Sabbath, and none were emergencies. If Jesus had waited another day, he would have submitted to the Pharisees’ authority, showing that their petty rules were equal to God’s law. If he had healed the man on the Sabbath, the Pharisees would have accused Jesus of breaking the rules; his power was not from God. Instead, Jesus made it clear their rules were petty. God is a God of the people, not rules. We all know the best time to reach out to someone; when they need help.

Cross References

12:6

2 Chronicles 6:18; Isaiah 66:1, 2; Matthew 12:41, 42

12:7

Hosea 6:6; Matthew 9:13

12:8

Matthew 8:20; 12:32, 40

12:10

Matthew 12:2; Luke 13:14; 14:3; John 5:10, 7:23, 9:16

Father, let us take time to just thank you for all you do for us. Waking us up, food on the table, jobs, health. We are alive and should be thankful. Our task on earth is not done yet, and we continue to work for you every day. Thank you for your love and dedication to us every day. In Jesus’ name. Amen.