v1-8 - The desire of the Establishment to entrap or frame Jesus for breaking any sort of law becomes evident in this chapter.
They attempt to prosecute Jesus for having his disciples chew on some seeds while walking, the equivalent of driving 36 in a 35 mph zone.
Jesus shuts them down using one of His go-to methods, one which you are every bit as capable of using. He quotes scripture to them.
v9-21 - Jesus walks into 'their synagogue (v9)' and Matthew reminds his readers that the Establishment was "looking for a reason to bring charges against Jesus."
They set Jesus up by asking about the propriety of healing on the Sabbath (since in their minds miraculous healing takes work, which was strictly prohibited on the Sabbath).
As it turns out, there sat a man with a shriveled hand. What a coincidence.
Jesus appeals to common sense in v11-12, and then, quite ironically, heals the man's hand with no effort or work whatsoever.
The very Jewish Matthew can't help but see how Jesus is the fulfilment of what Isaiah had prophesied about concerning the coming Messiah.
v22-37 - Since they couldn't trap Jesus into 'working' on the Sabbath, the Establishment tries to win back public opinion by framing Jesus as an undercover demon agent of sorts.
Jesus once again crushes their accusations using sheer logic.
Whoever is not with Jesus is against Jesus.
VERSE OF THE DAY (v36-37):
But I tell you that everyone
will have to give account (Literally: have to pay back their words)
on the day of judgment
for every empty word they have spoken.
For by your words you will be acquitted,
and by your words you will be condemned.
Nobody is exempt. You will reap what you have spoken. Your salvation or condemnation comes out of your mouth. This is exactly what Paul means when in Romans 10:9-10 he writes:
If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.
v38-50 - Finally the establishment mockingly ask to see yet another sign, and once again Jesus shuts them down by quoting scripture to them (the stories of Jonah and the Queen of Sheba).
We certainly don't face the hostility that Jesus did, but we do live in a hostile society.
Jesus reminds us again today how important it is for us to read and know scripture, so that we may always be ready with an answer.
OLD TESTAMENT REFERENCE:
The wise store up knowledge, but the mouth of a fool invites ruin.
Use the comment box below to discuss one or more of these questions:
EYE FOR DETAIL—In this chapter, Jesus compared Himself to two well-known Old Testament characters, saying that He was greater than either of them. Who were these two men? (See verses 41–42.)
Matthew 12 is often considered a key chapter, a key turning point in the book of Matthew. Why do you think this is so?
Questions taken from The Complete Bible Discussion Guide: New Testament
Follow the AAA Prayer Pattern:
ACKNOWLEDGE WHO GOD IS: Our Father, whose Kingdom has come upon us (v28)
ALIGN YOUR LIFE WITH GOD'S WILL: Pray that the words that come out of your mouth will reflect the salvation that the Holy Spirit has placed in your heart.
ASK GOD FOR WHAT YOU NEED: