Controversy Over Sabbath
Verse 1 – At that time Jesus went through the grainfields on the Sabbath. And His disciples were hungry, and began to pluck heads of grain and to eat.
Verse 2 – But when the Pharisees saw it, they said to Him, “Look, Your disciples are doing what is not lawful to do on the Sabbath!”
In Leviticus 23:32 – “From evening to evening, you shall celebrate your Sabbath.” On Friday evening, when the sun sets, to the following evening, is the Sabbath. Unless you are Jewish, we don’t honor the true Sabbath. Sunday did not become the Sabbath, at any time. Sunday is a holy day for Christians. It should be a day of rest, but even though some have to work, it can still be honored as a day of rest. We are no longer under the Law of Moses so don’t fee guilty if you have to work.
Important: After the death of the apostles, Sunday was substituted for the Sabbath day, through the commandment of men, but not by commandment of God. Constantine, A.D.321, ordained it. We as Christians call Sunday “The Lord’s Day.”
Verse 3 – Then He said to them, “Have you not read what David did when he was hungry, he and those who were with him:
Verse 4 – “how he entered the house of God and ate the showbread which was not lawful for him to eat, nor for those who were with him, but only for the priests?
Jesus was telling the Pharisees that if they condemned Him, they would also have to condemn David, something the Jews would never tolerate. Jesus wasn’t condoning disobedience to God’s law, He was emphasizing discernment and compassion in enforcing the laws.
Verse 5 – “Or have you not read in the law that on the Sabbath the priests in the temple profane the Sabbath, and are blameless?
Jesus always emphasized the “intent” of the law. The priests had grown rigid and lost the spirit of the law by demanding the letter be obeyed. They were not blameless in this because they still performed sacrifices on the Sabbath. The Sabbath was ordained to rest and worship God, not to refrain from doing good works.
Verse 6 – “But I say to you that in this place there is One greater than the temple.
Verse 7 – “But if you had known what this means, ‘I desire mercy and not sacrifice,’ you would not have condemned the guiltless.
If we become more concerned with the means of worship than with the One we worship, we will miss God.
Verse 8 – “For the Son of Man is Lord even of the Sabbath.”
After Jesus spoke, I sure didn’t read where the Pharisees had anything to say back.
Controversy Over Sabbath Healing
Verse 9 – Now when He had departed from there, He went into their synagogue.
Verse 10 – And behold, there was a man who had a withered hand. And they asked Him, saying, “Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath?” – that they might accuse Him.
The Pharisees had inserted into the law concerning work on the Sabbath, that it was only legal to help someone only if their life was in danger on the Sabbath. They expected Jesus to follow all their laws.
Verse 11 – Then He said to them, “What man is there among you who has one sheep, and if it falls into a pit on the Sabbath, will not lay hold of it and lift it out?
Verse 12 – “Of how much more value then is a man than a sheep? Therefore is it lawful to do good on the Sabbath?
The Pharisees had placed their laws above human needs. Legalism will make a person hateful and uncaring. They are so busy following all these laws and rules they have made for themselves, that they expect everyone to follow them. And when the others don’t, they criticize and condemn. Don’t let someone’s own convictions be placed on you – the do’s and don’t’s!
Verse 13 – Then He said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” and he stretched it out, and it was restored as whole as the other.
Verse 14 – Then the Pharisees went out and took counsel against Him, how they might destroy Him.
The Pharisees were constantly plotting against Jesus, because He overruled their authority and exposed their evil attitudes in front of the entire crowd in the synagogue.
Verse 15 – But when Jesus knew it, He withdrew from there; and a great multitude followed Him, and He healed them all.
Verse 16 – And He warned them not to make Him known,
Jesus time had not come yet. He had many more to heal and many more teachings to complete.
Verse 17 – that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Isaiah the prophet, saying,
Verse 18 – “Behold, My Servant whom I have chosen, My Beloved in whom My soul is well pleased; I will put My Spirit upon Him, and He will declare 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 bruised reed He will not break, and smoking flax He will not quench, till He sends forth justice to victory.
Verse 21 – And in His name Gentiles will trust.” (Isaiah 42:1-4)
Pharisees Blaspheme the Holy Spirit
Verse 22 – Then one was brought to Him who was demon-possessed, blind and mute; and He healed him, so that the blind and mute man both spoke and saw.
Verse 23 – And all the multitudes were amazed and said, “Could this be the Son of David?”
Verse 24 – But when the Pharisees heard it they said, “This fellow does not cast out demons except by Beelzebub, the ruler of the demons.”
That statement by the Pharisees was just dumb! Why would a demon cast himself out of a person?
Verse 25 – But Jesus knew their thoughts, and said to them: “Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation, and every city or house divided against itself will not stand.
Verse 26 – “And if Satan casts out Satan, he is divided against himself. How then will his kingdom stand?
Verse 27 – “And if I cast out demons by Beelzebub, by whom do your sons cast them out? Therefore they shall be your judges.
The Pharisees also had their own disciples who claimed to cast out demons. Therefore, the demons would be the witness.
Verse 28 – “But if I cast out demons by the Spirit of God, surely the kingdom of God has come upon you.
If God expels Satan from his dominion over people, then God’s reign has come.
Verse 29 – “Or else how can one enter a strong man’s house and plunder his goods, unless he first binds the strong man? And then he will plunder his house.
Verse 30 – “He who is not with Me is against Me, and he who does not gather with Me scatters abroad.
There is no “grey area” when it comes to following Christ. You can not be neutral. Jesus is very plain in this: You are either actively following Christ, or actively following Satan, there is no “in-between.” Go through some times of testing and you will see whose side you are on.
Pharisees Commit the Unpardonable Sin
Verse 31 – “Therefore I say to you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven men, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven men.
Verse 32 – “Anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man, it will be forgiven him; but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit, it will not be forgiven him, either in this age or in the age to come.
The Pharisees had said that Jesus cast out demons by the power of the devil. Many Christians ask, “Have I committed the unpardonable sin?” Only if they deliberately refuse to acknowledge God’s power and they give credit to Satan. This represents and indicates a deliberate hardness of the heart. Whoever rejects the prompting of the Holy Spirit removes themselves from the only One that can lead them to repentance and restoration to God.
Verse 33 – “Either make the tree good and its fruit good, or else make the tree bad and its fruit bad; for a tree is known by its fruit.
Verse 34 – “Brood of vipers! How can you being evil, speak good things? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.
The “Abundance” of the heart produces the words of the lips. The true character of the Pharisees were vipers. Their words were poison. What comes out of our own mouth is an excellent indication of what is int the heart. However, one can’t clear up a heart problem just by cleaning up their speech. This won’t last!
Verse 35 – “A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good things, and an evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth evil things.
Verse 36 – “But I say to you that every idle word men speak, they will give account to it in the day of judgment.
Jesus is still talking to the Pharisees, but here we also can take heed: Every wicked, injurious, false, and malicious, words spoken will have to be accounted for in the day of judgement.
Verse 37 – “For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.” (Read James 3:3-12)
Verse 38 – Then some of the scribes and Pharisees answered, saying, “Teacher, we want to see a sign from You.”
Verse 39 – But He answered and said to them. “An evil and adulterous generation seeks after a sign, and no sign will be given to it except the sign of the prophet Jonah.
If any of these Pharisees and scribes had previously been with Jesus, they would have seen hundreds of signs that Jesus was who He said He was.
Verse 40 – “For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the great fish, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.
Verse 41″The men of Nineveh will rise in the judgment with this generation and condemn it, because they repented at the preaching of Jonah; and indeed a greater than Jonah is here.
Verse 42 – “The queen of the South will rise up in judgment with this generation and condemn it, for she came form the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and indeed a greater that Solomon is here.
Verse 43 – “When an unclean spirit goes out of a man, he goes through dry places, seeking rest, and finds none.
Verse 44 – “Then he says, ‘I will return to my house from which I came.’ And when he comes, he finds it empty, swept, and put in order.
Verse 45 – “Then he goes and takes with him seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter and dwell there; and the last state of that man is worse than the first. So shall it be with this wicked generation.”
Jesus was describing the nation of Israel and the religious leader’s attitude toward Him. Just cleaning up one’s life without filling it with God’s Spirit, leaves plenty of room for Satan’s demons to come in. You can’t just stop doing certain things without replacing them with the love of Christ and expect to be right with God. Repenting and riding ourselves of sin is the first step, but we must fill our hearts and minds with God’s word and Holy Spirit.
Verse 46 – While He was still talking to the multitude, behold, His mother and brothers stood outside, seeking to speak to Him.
Verse 47 – Then one said to Him, “Look, Your mother and Your brothers are standing outside, seeking to speak to You.”
Verse 48 – But He answered and said to the one who told Him. “Who is My mother and who are My brothers?”
Verse 49 – And He stretched out His hand toward His disciples and said, “Here are My mother and My brothers!
Verse 50 – “For whoever does the will of My Father in haven is My brother and sister and mother.
Jesus valued His Spiritual relationship with His disciples above His physical relationship with His family. Later, once faith had dawned in their hearts, His family member’s understood and adopted this value system. Acts 1:14, proves this. (Verse 14) These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplications with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with His brothers. So, if you do the will of the Father, you then, are a brother or sister in Christ.