JANUARY 18 READING…Matthew 12
The conflict between Jesus and the religious leaders begins to grow. The Pharisees, who were the legalist of the day, were constantly watching Jesus and His disciples, hoping to discredit them with the people. It was the Sabbath, and the Pharisees had developed a very strict and unwavering doctrine as to how the Sabbath was to be properly observed. Jesus and His disciples were walking through a field, and as they walked they pulled some of the grains off the plants and ate them. The Pharisees attacked and accused them of breaking the Sabbath. Jesus clarifies the meaning of keeping the Sabbath, and then claimed that He was the Lord of the Sabbath. Again, on the Sabbath Jesus meets a man with a withered hand…the Pharisees ask Jesus about whether it was lawful to heal on the Sabbath. Once again, Jesus clarifies what the Sabbath is all about and heals the man. These things incensed the Pharisees and they began to make plans to destroy Him. Those who think their man-made religions are truth, when they are really in error, cannot tolerate when the truth comes. When they cannot stand against truth with their intellect…then they become violent, and attempt to extinguish the truth.
The Pharisees continue their attack against Jesus and His work. There was a demon-possessed man brought to Jesus in hopes to help Him. When the Pharisees heard of this they accused Jesus of casting out demons in the name of the ruler of demons. Jesus said their accusation did not make sense, why would demons doing the work of Satan be cast out in the name of Satan? So, if it was not the power of Satan who cast out these demons, it must be by the Spirit of God. Jesus warned of the unpardonable sin which the Pharisees had just committed…blasphemy of the Holy Spirit. They had attributed the work of the Holy Spirit to the work of Satan…this is blasphemy. Then the Pharisees change the narrative and ask for a sign. Jesus calls them “evil and adulterous” for seeking a sign…and then tells them the only sign He would show them was the sign of Jonah, the Resurrection. Still, they would not believe. Finally, Jesus clarifies family…family is not merely those who share the same blood…but is truly those who belong to God and do His will.
Please share your thoughts from today’s reading.
TOMORROW'S READING…Matthew 13