August 29th

Matthew 11-12

  • 11:2-3 – John the Baptist wanted to confirm that Jesus was actually the Messiah because he hoped that would mean his release.
  • 11:4-6 – By quoting Isaiah, which he does again in Luke 4:18-19, Jesus knows that John will recognize that he quotes all of it but that “prisoners are set free.” John would not be set free from prison before death.
  • 11:10 – Most Jews would have been familiar with prophecies. Jesus quotes a prophecy and begins to reveal both his and John the Baptist’s identities: the messenger and the Messiah.
  • 11:13-14 – John was often seen as the second coming of Elijah. Prophecy said that Elijah would come back again before the Messiah.
  • 11:20-24 – Tyre and Sidon and Sodom were all reviled cities by the Jews. They were cities full of gentiles and sinners. Jesus comments, though, that if they had had the same kinds of miraculous interactions with Jesus that the Jews had, they would have accepted it far faster.
  • 11:28-29 – Beautiful words inviting us into God’s care.
  • 12:1 – According to Mosaic law, Jews were not supposed to do any work. Anything as simple as cooking, lighting a candle, etc. would be considered work.
  • 12:3-8 – The Pharisees put their greatest stock in following the law and had no room for exceptions. In verse 7, Jesus, for the second time, quotes the prophet Hosea explaining that God’s true desire was for the faithful to show mercy to others, not to receive a rote ritual out of obligation.
  • 12:6 – Jesus is referring to himself as the something that is greater than the temple.
  • 12:9-14 – God’s law was written for our good, not to see if we could be good enough. When laws were followed over love of people, they ceased to be good.
  • 12:17-21 – Matthew was intent on showing prophecies fulfilled. Here is another prophecy Jesus fulfilled.
  • 12:22-28 – Jesus makes a good point of how he couldn’t possibly cast out demons by the power of a demon. This would clearly not work. But if the Pharisees admit that Jesus works by the power of God, they have to acknowledge his connection to God and ultimately that he has the same authority as God.
  • 12:31-32 – This is a difficult section, but the best explanation I’ve heard is: many people denied that Jesus was the Son of God when Jesus was alive. They, however, had another chance to be forgiven when the Holy Spirit was sent after Jesus died. Those who continued to denounce Jesus and the Holy Spirit once the Holy Spirit came, had no other option for revelation and would not get another chance to believe.
  • 12:35 – This is why we can’t expect to ingest all the evil things of this world and still produce good fruit. We will produce what we consume.
  • 12:38-41 – Even the Ninevites, who were considered extremely wicked, repented when Jonah brought a message of repentance. The people of Jesus’ day had a far greater witness in Christ than Jonah and yet they still didn’t believe.
  • 12:46-50 – Jesus is showing that following him is the most important connection people can have. Commitment to Jesus even trumps the bonds of blood relatives.

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