Jul 29 — Matthew 12-13

Matt 12:1-38 — Jesus Heals on the Sabbath, A Tree and Its Fruit
Matt 12:39-50 — The Sign of Jonah, The Family of God
Matt 13:1-52 — Parables: The Sower, Weeds, Hidden Treasure, The Net
Matt 13:53-58 — Jesus Rejected at Nazareth

Thoughts about serving others

This link includes a list of posts about Serving the Least, the Lost, and the Lonely.

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Let the Word evoke words. May your life encourage lives.

One Reply to “Jul 29 — Matthew 12-13”

  1. In response to the Pharisees accusation when Jesus picked some heads of grain on the sabbath, Matthew repeats Jesus’ direction, “If you had known what these words mean, ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice,’ you would not have condemned the innocent” (Matthew 12:7). (see Matthew 9:13). Matthew was clearly focused on learning what it means to care for others. This must have been a huge deal for the former tax collector, to go from one who was despised because of his wealth and zealous collection of money for taxes to one of Jesus’ disciples. The transformation must have been overwhelming…completely changed.

    More than just a few heads of grain, Jesus goes to the synagogue and heals a man with a shriveled hand. Apparently that too is part of the Pharisees yoke, one of their laws (as if there were lots of people healing others during the week). No laughing matter, Matthew notes, “But the Pharisees when out and plotted how they might kill Jesus” (12:14). He sees the plot in the early stages. Matthew and Mark record their insight into the Pharisees reaction; Luke also notes the Pharisees are starting to develop a plan.

    In Matthew 12:31-33, Jesus speaks directly to the Pharisees because he “knew their thoughts” (12:25). Sins will be forgiven, even those who speak against Jesus, “but anyone who speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come” (12:33). The Pharisees are guilty of blasphemy against the Holy Spirit by suggesting, “It is only by Beelzebul, the prince of demons, that this fellow drives out demons” (12:24). I wonder if the Pharisees got it, if they understood they were being called out.

    Jesus continues reprimanding them while teaching all who would listen and learn, but it must have been difficult for them to understand. Jesus refers Isaiah’s calling in Matthew 13:15, “For this people’s heart has become calloused; they hardly hear with their ears, and they have closed their eyes” (see Isaiah 6:9-10). But for those who are gathered and listening, Jesus provides great encouragement, “But blessed are your eyes because they see, and your ears because they hear” (13:16). Lord I pray that I will see with my eyes and hear with my ears that which you have placed before me. Allow me to learn from the Pharisees, let me learn not to close my heart toward you. The old hymn, published in 1895, rings in my mind, “Open my eyes that I may see.” What a wonderful thought to start the day!

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