Opposition 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 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.
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.
*ESV Study Bible