VERSE 1- "AT THAT TIME JESUS WENT ON THE SABBATH DAY THROUGH THE CORN; AND HIS DISCIPLES WERE AN HUNGRED, AND BEGAN TO PLUCK THEEARS OF CORN, AND TO EAT."
A. We do not know if this even took place immediately after the events in chapter 11.
1. The gospels, and especially Matthew, do notstrictly adher to chronological order.
2. Luke recognizes it as "just after the secondPassover of Jesus' ministry." (Luke 6:1)
B. We know that the disciples were not violating the Sabbath law because Jesus said they were guiltless. (verse 7)
1. One could pluck ears from another's field.
2. While the Law condemned work on the Sabbath (Numbers 15:32-36), it did not condemn eating.
C. "THROUGH THE CORN"
VERSE 2- "BUT WHEN THE PHARISEES SAW IT, THEY SAID UNTO HIM BEHOLD, THY DISCIPLES DO THAT WHICH IS NOT LAWFUL TO DO UPON THE SABBATH DAY."1. This was probably either barley or wheat because corn was not native to Europe and was discovered from the Indians in North America.
A. This shows how the Pharisees would seek any excuseto accuse Jesus of wrongdoing.
B. They were saying that the act of the disciplesplucking the ears of grain was work and not the act of eating.
C. They were legalists.
VERSE 3- "BUT HE SAID UNTO THEM, HAVE YE NOT READ WHAT DAVID DID WHEN HE WAS AN HUNGRED, AND THEY THAT WERE WITH HIM;"1. Matthew 23
A. See I Samuel 21:1-7VERSE 4- "HOW HE ENTERED INTO THE HOUSE OF GOD, AND DID EAT THESHEWBREAD, WHICH WAS NOT LAWFUL FOR HIM TO EAT, NEITHER FOR THEM WHICH WERE WITH HIM, BUT ONLY FOR THE PRIESTS."
A. Actually could only be eaten by the Priests.
1. Leviticus 24:9
2. Exodus 29:32
B. Jesus cited this example because the Pharisees wouldnot have condemned David for doing this unlawful act but would condemn his disciples for doing a lawful act.
VERSE 5- "OR HAVE YE NOT READ IN THE LAW, HOW THAT ON THE SABBATH DAYS THE PRIESTS IN THE TEMPLE PROFANE THE SABBATH, AND ARE BLAMELESS."1. "Why, then, did Christ mention those unlawful actions of David? It was because the Pharisees wholeheartedly apporved of that far more flagrant case of sabbath-breaking by David (for David's action was unlawful; the disciples' was not), and yet were willing to press an accusation of wrong-doing against the Christ for something of infinitely less consequence. That the Pharisees did approve David's conduct was well know; and, it they had not approved it, they could have turned Jesus' words against him by saying, 'So, you class yourself with David, but both you andDavid are sinners.' That they did not so respond proves that they approved of David's conduct. Thus, their hypocrisy was open for all to see." (Burton Coffman)
A. The Law of Moses commanded certain work to be done on the Sabbath day.
1. Leviticus 24:5-9
a. This Old Testament passage illustrates the principle we call "the law of exclusion". When God speaks specificly and positively on a subject we are not free to do what we want from God's silence.
2. Numbers 28:9-10
3. I Samuel 21:6
B. "PROFANE THE SABBATH, AND ARE BLAMELESS."
1. The priests were not profaning God's law but the pharisees' interpretation of the Sabbath laws.
2. Actually the priests work could only be considered "profaning the Sabbath" if it had be other work.
VERSE 6- "BUT I SAY UNTO YOU, THAT IN THIS PLACE IS ONE GREATER THAN THE TEMPLE."3. Jesus was comparing the holy work of the priests under the old law with the work of his disciples. If the work of the priests profaned the Sabbat yet was authorized, the work of the disciples would be just as blameless.
A. Jesus was drawing a parallel between the authorize work the priests did in service to the temple of God and the disciples and their service to God's living temple, Jesus.
B. Jesus was superior to the temple.
1. Hebrews 3:3-"...he that hath builded the house hath more honour than the house."
a. If the lesser party has a right, then the greater should have at least as equal right.
C. Just as the temple was the dwelling place for God in the Old Law, the body of Jesus was the dwelling place for deity during his ministry.
1. John 2:19-"Jesus answered and said unto them, Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up."
2. John 10:30-"I and my Father are one."
VERSE 7- "BUT IF YE HAD KNOWN WHAT THIS MEANETH, I WILL HAVE MERCY, AND NOT SACRIFICE, YE WOULD NOT HAVE CONDEMNED THE GUILTLESS."3. Colossians 2:9-"For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily."
A. This was the true character of the Pharisees.
1. They had no mercy or love.
B. Love and mercy would not have winked at clear sin,but would have avoided judgmental and mote hunting.
1. Matthew 7:1-5
2. Jesus gives a fuller application of mercy on the Sabbath to the next example cited by Matthew.
C. Old Testament reference
1. Hosea 6:6-9 (Hosea talks about a reprobate priesthood)
D. All the speculation that Christ was setting aside Old Testament law is clearly incorrect.
VERSE 8- "FOR THE SON OF MAN IS LORD EVEN OF THE SABBATH DAY."1. " YE WOULD NOT HAVE CONDEMNED THE GUILTLESS."
A. In addition to the other arguments he made he is saying that he is above the Law of Moses.
1. This is a claim for divinity.
B. This verse has been cited as "proof" that we should keep the Sabbath today.
1. Completely out of context.
(Also recorded in Mark 3:1-5 and Luke 6:6-10)
VERSE 9- "AND WHEN HE WAS DEPARTED THENCE, HE WENT INTO THEIR SYNAGOGUE:"
A. Notice Luke's account.
1. Luke tells us that this is a different sabbath day then the one previously in question.
2. Luke 6:6
3. This is another evidence that Matthew did not follow a strict chronological order but grouped by similar events.4. Luke tells us Jesus in entering the synagogue-teaching.
a. Luke 6:6
B. This doubtless took place in Galilee, probably in Capernaum.VERSE 10-"AND, BEHOLD, THERE WAS A MAN WHICH HAD HIS HAND WITHERED. AND THEY ASKED HIM, SAYING, IS IT LAWFUL TO HEAL ON THE SABBATH DAYS? THAT THEY MIGHT ACCUSE HIM."
A. "AND, BEHOLD, THERE WAS A MAN WHICH HAD HIS HAND WITHERED."
1. They knew Jesus attutide of love and mercy toward those who were sick and downtrodden.
2. The two attitudes contrasted.
a. When Jesus saw the man he saw a fellow member of the human race in need.
b. When the scribes and pharisees saw him they say an opportunity to trap and enemy.
3. The man had an affliction that paralyzed his hand.
a. Luke says it was his right hand.
b. For most this would be their work hand.
B. "AND THEY ASKED HIM, SAYING, IS IT LAWFUL TO HEAL ON THE SABBATH DAYS? THAT THEY MIGHT ACCUSE HIM."
1. Matthew is the only gospel writer who refers to the Pharisees' question.
2. While someone could reason with surface reasoning that it was wrong to heal on the sabbath, Jesus understood that a proper interpretation of the Law allowed for acts of mercy for the sick.
C. Their purpose was not for information.
1. It was to gather evidence against Jesus.
2. They were trying to be more careful, not attacking Jesus directly on this occasion but asking what perceived as a loaded question.
D. Another contrast
VERSE 11-"AND HE SAID UNTO THEM, WHAT MAN SHALL THERE BE AMONG YOU, THAT SHALL HAVE ONE SHEEP, AND IF IT FALL INTO A PIT ON THE SABBATH DAY, WILL HE NOT LAY HOLD ON IT, AND LIFT IT OUT?"1. Their wickedness was beginning to anticipate the occasions that Jesus would excercise his goodness and mercy.
A. The pharisees knew well the scriptures that allowed the Jews to rescue trapped animals.
1. Exodus 23:4,5
2. Deuteronomy 22:4
B. The Pharisees thought that it was lawful to come to the aid of a dumb animal but one could not help a man, made in the image of God.
C. This revealed a carnal spirit among the Pharisees.
1. They were only interested in the outward appearance.
a. Matthew 23:25-28
b. Mathew 15:2
2. They would seek to cheat others.
a. Matthew 23:14
VERSE 12-"HOW MUCH THEN IS A MAN BETTER THAN A SHEEP? WHEREFORE IT IS LAWFUL TO DO WELL ON THE SABBATH DAYS."b. Matthew 15:3-6
A. Jesus used this "How much better" line of argument in Matthew 6:26ff.
B. WHEREFORE IT IS LAWFUL TO DO WELL ON THE SABBATH DAYS."
1. Again, Jesus says that he was not transgressing the Sabbath day law by doing good to someone in need.
2. This is not dealing with "excusable violations of the sabbath" as some commentators contend.
a. It is never right to commit an evil act so that good may come.
VERSE 13-"THEN SAITH HE TO THE MAN, STRETCH FORTH THINE HAND. AND HE STRETCHED IT FORTH: AND IT WAS RESTORED WHOLE, LIKE AS THE OTHER."1. Romans 3:8
A. We need to notice concerning Jesus healing of this man-
1. It was instantaneous. It didn't take a long process of time and faith like are needed by modern-day healers.
2. There was no question concerning the validity of the miracle.3. In fact, Jesus' enemies never questioned that he performed the miracles that he did.
B. William Barclay tells us concerning Jesus miracle-
1. Jesus gave him back his health.
2. Jesus gave him back his wealth. Gave him back his ability to earn a living.
3. Jesus gave him back his self-respect. "A man becomes a man again when, on his two feet and with his own two hands, he can face life and with independence provide for his own needs and for the needs of those dependent on him."
C. Jesus didn't let the criticism of some prevent him from doing what he knew was right.
1. Jesus never backed away from the Pharisees and their allies.
VERSE 43-"WHEN THE UNCLEAN SPIRIT IS GONE OUT OF A MAN, HE WALKETH THROUGH DRY PLACES, SEEKING REST, AND FINDETH NONE."2. Matthew 15:12-14
A. Jesus uses this occasion, in which he had just cast out a demon, to tell a parable concerning the Jewish nation as a whole.
1. He is not specificly refering to the man whom he had had just healed.
2. Remember that Jesus had been verbally sparring with the Scribes and Pharisees.
3. He is dealing with their unwillingness to accept the saviour who had been provided by the Father.
B. Some backround about this verse.
1. This "parable" relates some common ideas that the Jews of his day held about demons.
2. The Jews thought that the demons prefered dry places to reside.
3. They also thought that the demons took advantage of people who borrowed water and would reside in crumbs or fragments of food.
C. It is obvious that Jesus did not subscribe to these common false notions of his day.1. Jesus borrowed water from the Samaratan woman, commanded his disciples to gather up the fragments of food after feed the five thousand, and the four thousand, and often frequented desert places.
2. Jesus often used illustrations that were common in his day without endorsing them.
a. The wicked Judge
b. The wicked servant
3. This seems to be what Jesus is doing in this passage.
D. The interpretation.
1. It seems likely that Jesus is speaking of the time when John the Baptist began his work.
a. It appeared, at least at first, that based upon the multitudes that had come out to be baptized of John that the body (nation) of Israel was prepared for their messiah.
2. He "cast out the demon" from the Jewish nation and prepared it for the Messiah.
VERSE 44-"THEN HE SAITH, I WILL RETURN INTO MY HOUSE FROM WHENCE I CAME OUT; AND WHEN HE IS COME, HE FINDETH IT EMPTY, SWEPT, AND GARNISHED."3. When the Lord began his ministry it was ready for his work.
A. When the Lord was rejected the Jewish nation was empty, devoid of the Father's blessing and spiritual righteousness.
1. It was not ready to fall prey to any religious error and misfortune.
B. Having rejected God, it would be obvious that the Jewish nation would be seduced by the prince of demons- the Devil.VERSE 45-"THEN GOETH HE, AND TAKETH WITH HIMSELF SEVEN OTHER SPIRITS MORE WICKED THAN HIMSELF,AND THEY ENTER IN AND DWELL THERE: AND THE LAST STATE OF THAT MAN IS WORSE THAN THE FIRST.EVEN SO SHALL IT BE ALSO UNTO THIS WICKED GENERATION."
A. The number seven is significant.
1. Seven is the number that the Jews considered total or complete.
2. If this demon went and fetched seven more we would understand this to mean that the evil that would be caused by this legion of demons would be far, far, more than what had been done before the one was cast out.
B. "THE LAST STATE OF THAT MAN IS WORSE THAN THE FIRST"
1. The condition of the Jewish nation would be far worse after the rejection of the messiah than before.
2. Josephus commented that it seemed that some curse was upon the Jews in the years immediately preceeding the destruction of Jerusalem.
3. Untold thousands were slaughtered in fighting with the Romans and among themselves.
4. There was a sorry chain of religious hypocrisy, suffering, and calamities that began to unfold after the rejection of Jesus and concluded in the destruction of Jerusalem.
C. "EVEN SO SHALL IT BE ALSO UNTO THIS WICKED GENERATION."
1. Jesus identifies when these great calamities would take place.
VERSE 46-"WHILE HE YET TALKED TO THE PEOPLE, BEHOLD, HIS MOTHER AND HIS BRETHREN STOOD WITHOUT, DESIRING TO SPEAK WITH HIM."3. There would be those who had rejected Jesus who would be present when all these terrible events took place.
A. "HIS MOTHER"
1. While Jesus' mother has a place of honour among women for bearing the Son of God, she does not carried the high exaultation that Roman Catholics place for her.
2. False doctrines concerning Mary
a. That she never had sexual relations.
1. Matthew 1:25
b. That she never had children other than Jesus.
c. That she never sinned.
d. That she was miraculously conceived herself to avoid the taint of original sin.
e. That she never died but had a bodily assumption into heaven.
f. That she is a co-mediatrix, can be prayed to and through to God.
g. These are all based on false assumptions.
B. "His Brethren"
1. Comes from the greek word "adelphos"
2. Thayer's Lexicon identifies it as "a brother (whether born of the same two parents, or only of the same father or the same mother)
a. According to Thayer this word denotes a "blood relation"
3. See Matthew 13:55
4. Matthew 1:25- tells us that Mary and Joseph had normal sexual relations after the birth of Jesus.
5. If these were not Jesus' literal brothers, why should we judge that they were referring to Jesus' literal mother.
6. If these were not his fleshly brothers why does Jesus draw the parallel to spiritual things and talk about "brother, sister, amd mother."?
C. "His brethren stood without, desiring to speak to him"
VERSE 47,48-"THEN ONE SAID UNTO HIM, BEHOLD, THY MOTHER AND THY BRETHREN STAND WITHOUT, DESIRING TO SPEAK WITH THEE. BUT HE ANSWERED AND SAID UNTO HIM THAT TOLD HIM, WHO IS MY MOTHER? AND WHO ARE MY BRETHREN?"1. We will see that even though they may have not realized it, they were interfering with Jesus and his work.
A. We will see that Jesus is not showing disrespect for his mother but is going to teach a lesson on who his true spiritual brethren are-they that do his will.
B. Jesus loved and respected his mother.
1. Luke 2:51
VERSE 49-"AND HE STRETCHED FORTH HIS HAND TOWARD HIS DISCIPLES, AND SAID, BEHOLD MY MOTHER AND MY BRETHREN!"2. John 19:25-27
A. Jesus moved from the physical to the spiritual plane.
1. He is teaching that the spiritual relationship that we have with the Lord and with fellow brethren supercedes the relationship that we have with our fleshly families.
B. Concerning the spiritual relationship with Christ and the Father.
1. John 1:12,13
2. II Corinthians 6:18
VERSE 50-"FOR WHOSOEVER SHALL DO THE WILL OF MY FATHER WHICH ISIN HEAVEN, THE SAME IS MY BROTHER, AND SISTER, AND MOTHER."3. Hebrews 2:11
A. The only way for us to claim spiritual kinship with the Lord is to do his will.
B. The need for obedience.
1. Matthew 7:21
2. John 14:15
Copyright 1999 by Grady
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