The NT365 Experiment: Matthew 12

stock-footage-very-slow-zoom-in-of-a-crown-court-room-with-judges-chairOpposition was a reality for Jesus. People opposed him, and that was particularly the case with the leaders of Judaism, the scribes and Pharisees. Chapters 11 and 12 when taken together reveal the depth and significance of this opposition. It is overt hostility to Jesus and his kingdom, and Matthew expresses it in terms of accusation and defense.

The Accusations 

The scribes and the Pharisees are the accusers, and they make some serious accusations. First, they accuse Jesus of violating the Sabbath, a most sacred Law of God (vv. 1-14). Next, they accuse him of being in league with Satan, of joining forces with the dark knight (vv. 22-37). Particularly, they claim that Jesus’ power of casting out demons comes through “Beelzebul, the prince of demons.” And finally, by demanding a cosmic sign to prove the validity of his claims, they accuse Jesus of blasphemy. The punishment for blasphemy was death.

The Defense 

Though he didn’t have to, Jesus chose to defend himself against these accusations. First, he is the Lord of the Sabbath (v. 8). Second, he is the divine servant of justice, the fulfillment of Isaiah’s prophecy (v. 18). Third, he is the “Spirit-empowered inaugurator of the kingdom of God”* (v. 28).

The Main Point

Admittedly, chapter 12 is an extremely difficult passage to interpret and understand fully. But, Matthew’s main point is fairly clear. Here it is:

Jesus is who he said he is. He is the Lord of Glory, the judge of the nations. Though the religious leaders and many others opposed him, his purposes cannot be thwarted. Judgment will come upon the blasphemers — those who reject Christ, but those who follow Jesus are members of his true family.

Application of Amazement

How do I apply this point to my life? Today, I think that there are two main ways.

  1. Jesus is awesome! He is the great servant of God. Re-read vv 18-21 several times today. Think on the claims of this prophecy. Jesus is God’s chosen servant. Jesus is the one upon whom the Father in heaven has set his Spirit. Jesus is the one who brings justice to victory. Jesus is the one in whom’s name the Gentiles will hope. Simply put, Jesus is the MAN! Take some time to think on how great Jesus is.
  2. What Jesus went through for me is amazing! He endured opposition. He endured scorn. He endured shame. He was falsely accused of blasphemy. He was accused of being in league with the Devil. He was accused of violating the very Law of God which he specifically came to keep perfectly. I’m amazed at the hardships that Jesus endured in order to secure my salvation, to restore my relationship with him. Celebrate that great work of Christ in amazement today.

———————-

*ESV Study Bible

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