Matthew 9-12

Fred R. Coulter—September 10, 1993

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So many people do not realize that the New Testament Church was never a part of Judaism. Some people even claim that Jesus was an Orthodox Pharisaic rabbi, and nothing could be further from the truth. Jesus said of the religious leaders and the Pharisees: you are of this world, I am not of this world!

Right from the very beginning with John the Baptist and the conception and birth of Jesus Christ, then the ministry of John the Baptist and on into the ministry of Jesus Christ, there was a complete separation from the established 'religious system' of Judaism, and there was a separation from the 'temple system.'

It's most significantly borne out in the book of Matthew, because Matthew was a Levite. Matthew understood the separation that was taking place. We progressed so far up to Matt. 9. I am using my Interlinear Greek-English New Testament by George Ricker Berry. It's the same Greek text that the King James was translated from. However, the King James Version, with its archaic English makes it very difficult sometimes to follow. {note: The Holy Bible in its Original Order is used for Scriptures in this transcription.}

Matthew 9:1: "And after going into the ship, He passed over and came to His own city. And behold, they brought to Him a paralytic lying on a stretcher. Then Jesus, seeing their faith, said to the paralytic, 'Be of good courage, child; your sins have been forgiven you.'" (vs 1-2).

Remember the great contrast that we saw when went through the Sermon on the Mount—Matt. 5-7—how that Jesus spoke with authority. Here now we are going to see that Jesus, in forgiving sin, was actually showing that He was God in the flesh!

Verse 3: "And immediately some of the scribes said within themselves, 'This man blasphemes.'"

Remember that the scribes were a combination of priests, Sadducees and Pharisees. You could have a priest who was neither a Sadducee nor a Pharisee who was a scribe. You could have a Pharisee who was also a scribe. You could have a Sadducee who was also a scribe. A scribe was someone who was legally accepted by the community to look into the Word of God and make civil judgments. That's what they did. They also taught in a 'religious' capacity, too. So, they said. "…within themselves, 'This man blasphemes.'" We will see the parallel account in Mark 2

Verse 4: "But Jesus, perceiving their thoughts, said, 'Why are you thinking evil in your hearts?'"

That's quite an interesting statement! Let's look at the situation. Here's a man who is a paraplegic who was healed, whom Jesus said 'your sins are forgiven.' What his sins were we do not know. Now you have the 'religious' leaders on the other hand—that Jesus avoided, that He rejected, that He did not follow—and this power struggle going on in the view of the Pharisees, because here was a man doing something without their authority. Furthermore, He was going to the point of forgiving sins! Jesus said that all of what you're thinking here is 'evil,' because you're not looking at the whole picture.

Verse 5: "For which is easier to say, 'Your sins have been forgiven you,' or to say, 'Arise and walk'? But I speak these words so that you may understand that the Son of man has authority on earth to forgive sins.'…." (vs 5-6).

Remember what Jesus said just before He ascended into heaven? All authority in heaven and in earth is given unto Me! Here He had authority and when He said authority, they knew that authority came from God. This is really creating this division and schism even more so with the authorities of Judaism.

"…Then He said to the paralytic, 'Arise, take up your bed, and go to your house.' And he arose and went away to his house. Now when the multitudes saw it, they were amazed and glorified God, Who had given such authority to men" (vs 6-8). So, they knew that that authority had come from God!

Remember when Nicodemus came to Jesus by night, what did he say? Teacher, we know that you are a man sent from God, because no one can do the things that You do unless God be with him!

Now let's go to the parallel account and we're going to see the rest of the thought that was not recorded in Matt. 9 that the scribes and Pharisees were included in:

Mark 2:1: "And after some days, He again entered into Capernaum, and it was reported that He was in the house. And immediately many gathered together, so that there was no longer any room, not even at the door; and He preached the Word to them. Then they came to Him, bringing a paraplegic borne by four men. And since they were not able to come near to Him because of the crowd, they uncovered the roof where He was; and after breaking it open, they let down the stretcher on which the paraplegic was lying" (vs 1-4).

Let him right down in the middle of everyone. Quite a thing! Just try and picture this in your mind what is going on.

Verse 5: "Now when Jesus saw their faith, He said to the paraplegic, 'Child, your sins have been forgiven you.' But some of the scribes were sitting there and reasoning in their hearts, 'Why does this man speak such blasphemies? Who has the power to forgive sins, except one, and that is God?'" (vs 5-6).

That's quite a message there! They knew that only God could forgive sin. We're talking about a whole situation here that what Jesus did

  • with His miracles
  • with the healings
  • with His teaching

that they had a witness that they were without excuse!

Jesus also healed someone who was born blind from birth. We won't go through the whole account, but what we're going to do is that we're going to see the reaction and we're going to see what Jesus said to them,

John 9:40: "And those of the Pharisees who were with Him heard these things; and they said to Him, 'Are we also blind?'"

Jesus said that he healed him so that 'those who could not see, could see; and those who could see, would not see.'

They asked: "…'Are we also blind?' Jesus said to them, 'If you were blind, you would not have sin. But now you say, 'We see.' Therefore, your sin remains'" (vs 40-41).

All of these confrontations that we see throughout the entire Gospels—between Jesus and the scribes, the Pharisees, the priests and so forth—are all there for a purpose for us to know and to understand that true Christianity did not come out of Judaism! Absolutely had no part whatsoever to do with it at all!

Let's see some more instances, and we will see in the book of Matthew time and time again that Matthew brings out all of these confrontations. He shows the things that happen between Jesus and the Pharisees and Sadducees and the scribes.

Matthew 9:9: "And passing from there, Jesus saw a man named Matthew… [the one who wrote the book of Matthew]…sitting at the tax office, and said to him, 'Follow Me.' And he arose and followed Him. Then it came to pass, when Jesus sat down to eat in the house, that behold, many tax collectors and sinners came and sat down with Him and His disciples" (vs 9-10).

This is not what the 'religionists' thought. If Jesus were a Pharisee, He would never have associated with those who are called sinners. A Pharisee is one who separates himself, one who withdraws from the society, a monistic type of living. That's why they had their long beards and their phylacteries, and they had all of their religious ropes.

Verse 11: "And after seeing this, the Pharisees said to His disciples, 'Why does your Master eat with tax collectors and sinners?' But when Jesus heard it, He said to them, 'Those who are strong do not have need of a physician, but those who are sick. Now go and learn what this means: "I desire mercy and not sacrifice."….'" (vs 11-13).

I tell you, there's so much there for us to learn:

  • God desires mercy!
  • He desires repentance!
  • He desires forgiveness!
  • Not sacrifice!
    • What good does it do to have all of these religious works on the outside, but you don't change the heart?
    • What good does it do for you to be religious—and here are these people who need your help—and you do nothing for them?

That's what Jesus was saying here. You go learn this after you leave here, 'I want you to learn this.' God says:

"…'I desire mercy and not sacrifice.' For I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance" (v 13). That's the whole message!

One of these days I'm going to give a sermon on repentance and show:

  • how God leads a person to repentance
  • that God is One Who is desirous that we repent
  • God is quick
  • God is anxious
  • God is willing
  • God is ready

to forgive sin!

The whole operation of Judaism is this: Judaism took the laws and commandments of God, and the Prophets and the Writings… Draw a circle and look at the center and put around it layers and layers and layers of their own laws and works to where you could never get to the heart and core of the Word of God to understand about mercy and repentance, because there's plenty of that in the Old Testament as well. Then what Judaism said was that all of this around here you have got to do, which is of greater value than the core: the Word of God. I actually have some quotes where they say that their traditions are of a higher and greater value than Torah, the laws and commandments of God.

So, when Jesus said this, He was stripping away all of their traditions! We'll see a little later how Christ absolutely rejected:

  • all of their traditions
  • all of their works
  • all of their sacrificial 'religious' things that they did
  • all of the fasting and depravation that they did
  • all of the separation from people that they did

All of those were works of sacrifice that they did to gain merit with God!

They viewed life this way: A person has an accounting ledger in heaven above, and God has your name on this accounting ledger. On one side are all your sins, and on the other side are all your good works, your religious works: all of your sacrifices, dos and don'ts and everything that you follow. For those of you have read the Code of Jewish Law just think of some of those laws that are there.

If you had more good works than you did sins, then God would give you eternal life. That's why the Apostle Paul said that it's not of works lest any man should boast! That's why Christians are saved by grace not by their own merit. We need to look at it from another point of view: How can a human being just in the flesh possibly do enough good works to inherit eternal life? How can he possibly do that?

Let's see another part of the attitude here, Matthew 19:16—this is another parable, another account: "Now at that time, one came to Him and said, 'Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life?' And He said to him, 'Why do you call Me good? No one is good except one—God…." (vs 16-17).

Having taken upon Himself the law of sin and death and human flesh, Jesus could not inherently be called 'good.' So, He didn't even let someone come up and say, 'Good Master.'

"…But if you desire to enter into life, keep the commandments.' Then he said to Him, 'Which?' And Jesus said, 'You shall not commit murder; you shall not commit adultery; you shall not steal; you shall not bear false witness; honor your father and your mother; and, you shall love your neighbor as yourself.' The young man said to Him, 'I have kept all these things from my youth. What do I yet lack?' Jesus said to him, 'If you desire to be perfect, go and sell your property, and give to the poor, and you shall have treasure in heaven; and come and follow Me.' But after hearing this word, the young man went away grieving, because he had many possessions." (vs 17-22).

Here was a young man and he came up and said, 'What good work?' So, Jesus said, 'The commandments.' Oh, I've done all of that! To show him that 'good works'—regardless of how profound they may be—won't do it. Jesus said, 'I want you to go sell everything that you have and give it to the poor, and you come and follow Me.'

Jesus was saying in the whole thing: all the good works that you can do—even to giving everything that you have to the poor—unless you follow Christ is going to do no good!The disciples said, 'How is anyone ever going to enter into the Kingdom of God if a rich man can scarcely enter in?'

  • he's not going to enter in because he's rich
  • he's not going to enter in because of what he can do
  • he's not going to enter in because he's politically acceptable
  • he's not going to enter in because he can buy his way and favor

The only way he's going to do it is give up himself and his things in complete repentance and serve God. That's what Jesus was saying. That's all a part of this, 'I do not want sacrifice; I want mercy.'

Matthew 9:14: "Then the disciples of John came to Him, saying, 'Why do we and the Pharisees fast often, but Your disciples do not fast?' And Jesus said to them, 'Are the children of the bride-chamber able to mourn while the bridegroom is with them? But the days will come when the bridegroom shall be taken away from them, and then they shall fast'" (vs 14-15).

Again, the 'religious works' and the Pharisees fasted every Monday and every Thursday. Remember the Pharisee said, 'I'm not like other men and I fast twice in a week'—that's what it's referring to. Then he talks about you can't take and put the new way on the old and so forth.

Verse 32: "And as they were leaving, behold, they brought to Him a dumb man, possessed by a demon; and when the demon had been cast out, the one who had been dumb spoke. And the multitudes wondered, saying, 'Never has the like been seen in Israel.' But the Pharisees said, 'By the prince of the demons He casts out demons'" (vs 32-34).

If Jesus were of Judaism, and if Jesus was a Pharisee, they would all march up and say this is 'our man, He's one of us, come and follow us.' NO!They accused Him of doing it by the power of Satan the devil. We'll see that He had another encounter of that later on. That's what they thought of Jesus.

Do you think that Jesus would be part of that system that accused Him of being of the devil? Of course not! We see that when He sent out His 12 disciples that He gave them authority over unclean spirits so as to cast them out and to heal every sickness and disease. They went out and they cast them out and so forth.

Matthew 10:16: "Behold, I am sending you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves. Therefore, be wise as serpents and harmless as doves. But beware of men… [Which men? The religious authorities!] …for they will deliver you up to councils…" (vs 16-17)—to have judgments! When you had a Sanhedrin or a council, you had a scribe, a Pharisee and the committee there to judge you.

"…and they will scourge you in their synagogues… [nice, friendly place to go] …and you shall also be brought before governors and kings for My sake, for a witness to them and to the Gentiles [nations]. Now when they deliver you up, do not be anxious about how or what you should speak; for in that hour it shall be given to you what you shall speak. For it is not you who speak, but the Spirit of your Father that speaks in you" (vs 17-20).

Let's think about this for a minute. You are brought before some very hostile people. We're beginning to see that there are hostile times ahead of us:

  • if you've ever seen the true thing that happened at Waco
  • if you've seen the true thing that happen in Idaho with the Weaver family up there
  • if you have see the true things that happened with Pastor Peters and his group in Colorado
  • if you would understand that there are now, even in the United States—the land of 'religious freedom' that:
    • we have a government that is hostile toward Christianity
    • we have a government that considers that if you follow Christ, if you keep the Sabbath, if you keep the Holy Days, if you look to God for healing
      • you belong to a cult
      • you deserve to be investigated
      • you deserve to be invaded
      • you deserve to be arrested and killed

—and they already have that in order. The ATF is the 'Gestapo' of the satanist government that is in charge of America right now. That's why God has scattered the Church. But the time is coming that we're going to be brought up before them and we are going to have to let them know the very message from God.

  • How are you going to do that if you don't know the Bible?
  • How are you going to do that if you don't believe?
  • How are you going to do that if you are not convicted to the very sole of your being that God is God and Christ is Christ and that His way is true and right?

Everything in this world is under sin and under Satan the devil! The dividing line is coming! Just like Jesus said it would. When that time comes it has be what the Father in you inspires you to speak. That means you have to:

  • know Christ
  • know the Father
  • know His Word
  • to know His laws

All of that is implied here! It's even going to get worse. Have you ever been victimized by this?

Verse 21: "Then brother will deliver up brother to death…"

That happened during the first century as the Church was beginning to form. That has happened down through time, that even physical brother and so-called spiritual brother will deliver someone to death.

"…and the father, the child; and children will rise up against their parents and have them put to death" (v 21).

I tell you, that's exactly what happened in the WCG; the new generation came along and they kicked out all the old, and those who know the Truth, because they want to bring in the error. It's happened right in families. It's going to get so bad, and they will put you to death! {WCG no longer exists}

They (the ATF) shot Mrs. Weaver right through the head while she was holding her baby! They literally gassed and killed all of those children at Waco when they were down in the bunkers where they could be 'safe.' They knew where they were! They killed them! They gassed them! They burned them! Janet Reno, Bill Clinton, the FBI and the ATF are all trying to cover this up! But there's enough truth that got out so that we can hear, we can fear, we can prepare and we can know!

  • we've got to rely on God
  • now is the time that we draw close to God
  • now is the time that we ask for God's Spirit to lead us, guide us, help us

We can't say, 'God, I'm so good You've got to save me and take me to a place of safety.' We don't know what God may ask us to do. After all, His Son Jesus Christ was persecuted, chased, arrested, beaten, scourged and crucified—wasn't He? Yes! Are we not also going to be partakers of the same in some cases? Yes, indeed!

Verse 22: ". And you shall be hated by all for My name's sake…" The name Jesus Christ is the most hated name under the sun!

If you don't believe it, you just watch your television. Look at your news. Look at what is going on in this society. Every decent, moral thing of God and Jesus Christ is being stricken from the record! Stricken from the hearts and minds of people as much as possible! The doctrine of Baalim is that if they sell their soul to sin, God has got to punish them. Those evil people who are doing this are doing it because they hate Jesus, and they think that if they come after the followers of Jesus Christ that they will get rid of this evil scourge. That's how they view it.

"…but the one who endures to the end… [Jesus is showing that this going to come all the way down to the end] …that one shall be saved. But when they persecute you in this city, escape into another; for truly I say to you, in no way shall you have completed witnessing to the cities of Israel until the Son of man has come" (vs 22-23).

Here's a whole extended commission; a whole extended set of circumstances from Christ's time down until our time. The things are set in motion now; the laws are on the books now. All of these 'hate laws' are not designed to make people have better hearts. All of these 'hate laws' are designed to come against people who believe in Christ and preach against sin. Then He goes on to say, to make sure we all understand:

Verse 24: "A disciple is not above his teacher…" Who is the teacher? Jesus Christ! If it happened to the teacher, it's going to happen to those that follow Him.

"…nor a servant above his master. It is sufficient for the disciple that he become as his teacher…" (vs 24-25). There are many ways you can apply this:

  • in learning
  • in understanding
  • in example
  • in living
  • in following His footsteps

Jesus said to us that we should 'take up our cross and follow Him'!

"…and the servant as his master. If they have called the master of the house Beelzebub… [prince of demons] …how much more shall they call those of his household? Therefore, do not fear them because there is nothing covered that shall not be uncovered, and nothing hidden that shall not be known" (vs 25-26).

That's why we're going through Scripturalism vs Judaism, because you need to know! I need to know! So that we can understand that the forces of motivate all of this come directly from the abyss of Satan the devil to destroy and to kill those true Christians.

Verse 27: "What I tell you in the darkness, speak in the light; and what you hear in the ear, proclaim upon the housetops. Do not be afraid of those who kill the body, but do not have power to destroy the life; rather, fear Him Who has the power to destroy bothlife and body in Gehenna" (vs 27-28). There it is, brethren! This is a pretty tough chapter!

It's a mistake to think that Christianity is only goodness and sweetness and lovey-doveyness, ala Robert Schuller of the Crystal Cathedral. It isn't that at all. We're moving into times that are going to be most difficult. Our prayer is that God spare us as much as possible, but if God does not spare us, then we need to be ready to take a stand. We need to be ready to take that stand and be fit so the Spirit of God will inspire us to do what we need to do.

He says, don't worry about it, v 29: "Are not two sparrows sold for a coin? And yet not one of them shall fall to the ground without your Father taking account of it."

Aren't you worth much more than the sparrows? Yes, indeed!

Verse 32: "Now then, whoever shall confess Me before men, that one will I also confess before My Father Who is in heaven. But whoever shall deny Me before men, that one will I also deny before My Father, Who is in heaven" (vs 32-33).

Let's think about some of the doctrinal challenges that are coming in the Church of God. We just need to be right up front and say if plain and clear: If you accept the trinity, you deny God the Father and Jesus Christ!

  • What's going to happen to your salvation?
  • What is going to happen to your works?

Remember, all of this started with a 'little leaven and leavens the whole lump'! That's just something to think on. Pass it on to your friends and those that know you if they will hear you. But maybe they're of chapter ten that even your brother is going to kick you out.

Verse 34: "Do not think that I have come to bring peace on the earth; I did not come to bring peace, but a sword." The spiritual sword of Truth!

Heb. 4—this is the sword that Jesus brought; this is the sword that eventually leads to some of the other difficulties that cause people to take up a real sword and come after you.

Hebrews 4:12: "For the Word of God is living…" It came from God; from His heart, mind, soul and being!

Every time you speak the Truth, you don't have to have any particular insight other than just the Truth of God. You don't have to be a prophet, just preach the Truth and you'll end up being a prophet.

"…and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of both soul and spirit, and of both the joints and the marrow, and is able to discern the thoughts and intents of the heart" (v 12).

So, when Jesus said that He came to 'bring a sword and not peace' He means that:

  • when you live by every Word of God
  • when you preach the Word of God
  • when you convict with the Word of God
  • when you proclaim with the Word of God
  • when you witness and testify with the Truth of Jesus Christ

It's going to cut asunder right to the very heart and core of the evil ones. It's going to cause a lot of problems. That's a pretty powerful thing to think of also in our lives.

  • Do we think with this that we can play games, religious games, with Jesus Christ?
  • Do you think we can play tic-tac-toe with doctrine?
  • Decide which ones we want and don't want?

I say NO! Absolutely it won't happen!

We can fool ourselves a lot of the time. We can fool other people part of the time. And as Abraham Lincoln said, 'You can fool some of the people part of the time, part of the people all of the time, but you can't fool all the people all the time.'

The truth is, you can never fool God at any time!

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That's why Jesus Christ didn't play around with 'religion.' Too many people like to play 'religion.' They like to appropriate the name of Jesus Christ, because after all, that's popular. Nowadays it's not as popular as it was, so everyone likes to appropriate a type of New Age 'religion.' That's what a lot of this now is degenerating down into, the New Age 'religion.'

Matthew 10:35: "For I have come to set a man at variance against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law. And a man's enemies shall be those of his own household. The one who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me; and the one who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me" (vs 35-37).

This makes a lot of people very angry. They are 'religious hobbyists.' They want to put other people and other things and institutions and organizations and doctrines ahead of Christ. Then come along and attach the name of Christ to it and say this is 'Christian.' No so!

Verse 38: "And the one who does not take up his cross and follow Me is not worthy of Me. The one who has found his life shall lose it; and the one who has lost his life for My sake shall find it" (vs 38-39).

That's the whole long and short of what Jesus was teaching and of how true Christianity is really going to function. Not only was that true in the days of Jesus, in the literally homes of the Jewish community there—between those who would follow Christ and those who would not—but all the way down through history, sooner or later, this is going to happen and this is going to apply.

Matthew 11:13: "For all the Prophets and the Law prophesied until John."

A lot of people misunderstand this verse. It doesn't do away with the Law and the Prophets, but the Law and the Prophets were the sole authority from God until John the Baptist. When John the Baptist came there was new authority from God—

  • the authority of repentance
  • looking forward to Jesus Christ

and when Christ came

  • the preaching of the Kingdom of God
  • the Word of the Kingdom
  • the Message of the Kingdom
  • the revealing of God's plan

Much to the chagrin of those who believe in only the Old Testament, and those who believe in only the Old Testament and reject the New Testament don't understand the Old Testament. The Old Testament—the Law and the Prophets—cannot be understood without the New. The New Testament:

  • interprets the Old Testament
  • reveals the Father
  • reveals the Son of God

The Old Testament does not! And in the Old Testament God did not make all of the prophecies clear and easy to understand. That's why Jesus—after He was resurrected and teaching the disciples—had to open their minds to the Law, the Prophets and the Writings so that they could understand about Him.

Verse 25—a very important thing; a very tremendous thing for us to understand: "At that time Jesus answered and said, 'I praise You, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that You have hidden these things from the wise and intelligent, and have revealed them to babes."

 The 'religious' leaders were the 'wise, the prudent, the intelligent, the leaders' but were they willing to accept Jesus Christ? Not at all! As a matter of fact, very few indeed ever accepted Jesus Christ.

Verse 26: "Yes, Father, for it was well pleasing in Your sight to do this. All things were delivered to Me by My Father; and no one knows the Son except the Father; neither does anyone know the Father except the Son, and the one to whom the Son personally chooses to reveal Him" (vs 26-27).

Very key Scripture in the New Testament. You cannot understand God without the New Testament. You cannot know the Father without the New Testament. God the Father did not reveal Himself in the Old Testament—period! The closest you can come to understanding that there was more than one God in the God Family is the name Elohim, which means more than one referring to God.

  • Psa. 110 where it is quote that 'the Lord said to my Lord'
  • Dan. 7 where the Son of man came to the 'Ancient of Days.'

Those are the only places in the Old Testament that even give a remote hint that there is God the Father. Jesus is saying that 'I'm not going to reveal the Father to anyone that I chose not to reveal it.' In so many words, that's what He said here. Jesus is going to reveal it to whom He will. So, if you've had it revealed to you, that's a tremendous thing, brethren, and that's a tremendous responsibility and blessing.

Verse 28: "Come to Me, all you who labor and are overly burdened, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you, and learn from Me; for I am meek and lowly in heart; and you shall find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light" (vs 28-30). That is so true!

When you really take it all to God, as this old hymn is—Take it All to the Lord in Prayer—then your burdens become lighter, and His way is easier. You don't have all the ritual to go through. You don't have all the difficulties to go through.

  • How would you be able to live today without the blessing, help and Spirit of God?
  • Would you be able to bear your burdens?
  • Would you be able to face the situations in your life without God?
  • What if you didn't know God?
  • What if you didn't know His plan?
  • What if you didn't know Jesus Christ?
  • How then would you be able to handle your problems?
  • What if, in the loss of everything that you had, you didn't know God or Christ?

That would be an unbearable burden! So, Jesus says, "…My burden is light."

  • take it to Him, He will help you
  • cry out to Him, He will hear you
  • pour your heart out before God, He will answer you

Let's see some of the burden that the Pharisees did, and let's look at another statement that Jesus said to show this great division between true Christianity and Judaism.

Matthew 12:1: "At that time Jesus went through the grain fields on the Sabbath Days; and His disciples were hungry, and they began to pluck the heads of grain and to eat them. But after seeing this, the Pharisees said to Him, 'Behold, Your disciples are doing what is not lawful to do on the Sabbath'" (vs 1-2).

According to them, if you have a bushel of apples and the bushel spills over, you can't put them back in the bushel basket because that's 'laboring.' If they're spread too far, then that's 'harvesting.' But you can eat them one at a time. So, when they're looking at this, there was no harvesting; they were just plucking some of the ears and eating them.

Verse 3: "But He said to them, 'Have you not read what David did when he himself and those with him were hungry?'"

It's very interesting, when you study the life of David and you really realize how that God was with him, how he was called 'a prophet of God' and when he came to the priests, the priest gave David the showbread because he was hungry. You go back and read the account how Doeg the Edomite killed Abiathar and the priests, and Abiathar did escape and he is the one who gave David the showbread.

They're not getting all the facts involved as to what happened. Besides, the showbread, without the proper temple thing, is no different than any other regular bread. If it's the showbread then it's not lawful for someone to eat it who is not a priest. But, is it unlawful for David, who was a prophet, to eat it? They didn't answer that question, so He brought it up here.

Verse 4: "How he went into the house of God and he ate the loaves of showbread, which it was not lawful for him to eat, nor for those who were with him, but for the priests only? Or have you not read in the law that on the Sabbaths the priests in the temple profane the Sabbath and are guiltless? But I say to you, there is one here Who is greater than the temple" (vs 4-6).

Think of that for a minute! The temple was where God put His presence. The temple was where God said that you were to come to be sanctified, where you were to have the Day of Atonement every year, where the priests would go into the Holy of Holies. The temple was the place where you were to come for the Holy Day seasons, pay your vows, offer your sacrifices. The presence of God was at the temple. When Jesus said, 'I'm telling you that there is a greater than the temple standing here'; that's a tremendous statement to those Pharisees. You think of that! That's a tremendous statement!

It would be like if you came before a whole congregation of Catholic cardinals and said that there is 'greater than the pope in St. Peter's Basilica standing here.' They would all rise up and kill the man. That's what they did to Christ.

Verse 7: "Now if you had known what this means, 'I desire mercy and not sacrifice,' you would not have condemned the guiltless. For the Son of man is Lord even of the Sabbath Day" (vs 7-8).

This is a little bit different than it is in Mark 2. He was telling them very clearly that:

  • He was the Lord of the Sabbath
  • He was greater than the temple
  • He was greater than the Sabbath-keeping at the temple
  • offering of the sacrifices
  • what the disciples were doing on the Sabbath Day was not profaning the Sabbath because a greater than the temple was there with them!

Mark 2:27—Jesus makes even more emphatic, and this is a very basic Scripture: "And He said to them, 'The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath; therefore, the Son of man is Lord even of the Sabbath'" (vs 27-28).

The reason there is not a whole lot in the New Testament concerning the observance of the Sabbath is because that was such a natural, ordinary part of Christianity that it was never questioned. The Holy Days and Sabbath were never a problem in the early New Testament Church at all! They recognized that:

  • Christ was the Lord of the Sabbath
  • Christ was the Lord of the Holy Days
  • Christ was the Son of God

And what He taught was far more profound than what they had!

Matthew 12:9: "And after leaving there, He went into their synagogue. And, behold, a man was there who had a withered hand. And they asked Him, saying, 'Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbaths?' so that they might accuse Him…. [they were setting Him up to accuse Him] …But He said to them, 'What man is there among you who, if he has one sheep that falls into a pit on the Sabbath, will not lay hold of it and lift it out? And how much better is a man than a sheep? So then, it is lawful to do good on the Sabbaths.' And He said to the man, 'Stretch out your hand.' And he stretched it out, and it was restored as sound as the other" (vs 9-13).

It records in Mark 3 that they sought 'a council' to kill Christ. If He were a Pharisee or Sadducee, or of Judaism, they would not have sought to do so. But this is:

  • a separation from Pharisaism
  • a separation from Sadduceeism
  • a separation from Judaism

That's why it's so painful! That's why it's so hateful! That's why it is so profound! That's why, to this day, the Jews hate Jesus Christ.

Verse 14: "Then the Pharisees went out of the synagogue and held a council against Him to discuss how they might destroy Him."

So, after Jesus left they said, 'This guy, we've got to get Him; look what He's doing here.'

Verse 15: "But when Jesus knew of it, He withdrew from there; and great multitudes followed Him, and He healed all of them."

Now, after He did all the healing, v 23: "And the multitudes were all amazed, and said, 'Is this the Son of David?'"

They knew the Messiah was to come of the seed of David. There's quite a bit in the New Testament about David and Christ and even the Church is referred to as the Tabernacle of David being raised up again.

Verse 24: "But when the Pharisees heard this…" They couldn't let it be known that this was the son of David; they could not stand it that the Messiah was there; they could not stand it that they were neglected, cutoff, not recognized, they were avoided, their authority was shoved aside, ignored by Christ. He went and did things they couldn't do. He went out and healed the sick, raised the dead and He brought comfort to those who were suffering. The Pharisees couldn't stand it.

"…they said, 'This man does not cast out demons except by Beelzebub, prince of the demons.' But Jesus, knowing their thoughts, said to them, 'Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation, and every city or house divided against itself shall not stand. And if Satan casts out Satan, he is divided against himself. How then shall his kingdom stand?'" (vs 24-26).

The long and short of it is sooner or later it won't stand! That's why we see in the whole world today with the coming of this great one-world government and society—Babylon the Great—is all coming together in a united effort. It's going to unite and fight Christ. That's why Christ has to come and destroy it.

Verse 27: "And if I by Beelzebub cast out demons…"—because:

  • a 'greater than the temple' was here
  • a greater than John the Baptist was here
  • a greater than Solomon was here

All referring to Christ!

"…by whom do your sons cast them out? On account of this, they shall be your judges" (v 27).

They weren't doing it by Beelzebub; they weren't doing it by the power of Satan. They were doing it by the name of God!

Verse 28: "But if I by the Spirit of God cast out demons, then the Kingdom of God has come upon you…. [in other words, the power of the Kingdom of God is here] …Or how is anyone able to enter into the house of a strong man and plunder his goods, if he does not first bind the strong man? And then he will plunder his house" (vs 28-29).

This is kind of a little play on words here. In this particular case, the 'strong man' is Satan. The One Who is coming in to plunder is Christ, because Christ was the sole invader in the kingdom of Satan. That's exactly what Christ was doing. Of those who were following Satan, didn't Jesus say to the 'religious' leaders that 'you are of your father the devil.' They were saying, because they knew the power of Satan—and they didn't understand the power of God—that He's doing this by Beelzebub.

So, Jesus is saying, 'If I do this by the Spirit of God, what are your sons then doing it by?' Just like one coming in to spoil the house of a 'strong man,' it's going to bind them.

Verse 30: "The one who is not with Me is against Me…" Those are pretty strong words! Like they say at the OK Corral, 'them are fightin' words, partner!' That's what it was!

"…and the one who does not gather with Me scatters. Because of this, I say to you, every sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven to men except the blasphemy against the Holy Spirit; that shall not be forgiven to men" (vs 30-31).

Why? Because the Holy Spirit comes from God the Father directly! What you are doing if you are blaspheming against the Holy Spirit—which comes from God the Father—you are directly accusing God the Father of evil, Who can never be accused of evil! Who never does anything that is not right, good and true!

You are going against the greatest Being in the universe, so therefore, whether you are converted or unconverted, if you blaspheme the Holy Spirit there is no forgiveness! These religious leaders—let's think about it for a minute:

  • Did they have the Word of God? Yes!
  • Were they custodians of the Word of God Yes!
  • Were they the ones who understood where the Messiah would come from? Yes!

Remember what they did when they held the council when the wise men came? They said, 'Where will the Messiah be born?' They said in Bethlehem!

  • Did they see all of the works that Jesus was doing? Yes!
  • Did they admit that He was a Teacher sent from God? Yes!

Now here, when they were seeing Jesus personally cast out demons and heal the sick with the very Spirit of God, they had the gall and the blaspheme to say the He was doing it 'by Beelzebub, prince of the demons!' That's pretty powerful stuff! So, He warned them with pretty powerful stuff!

Verse 31: "Because of this, I say to you, every sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven to men except the blasphemy against the Holy Spirit; that shall not be forgiven to men. And whoever speaks a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him; but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this age nor in the coming age" (vs 31-32).

That which comes directly from God the Father, through the power of His Spirit, when you accuse God the Father of doing the work of the devil, you are committing the blaspheme that is unpardonable!

He tells them very clearly, v 33: "Either make the tree good and the fruit good…"

They were on the verge of committing the unpardonable sin; so then He gives them a way out so they could recover themselves:

"…or make the tree corrupt and its fruit corrupt; for a tree is known by its fruit. Offspring of vipers…" (vs 33-34). He said that to them many, many times!

  • How could Jesus be considered a Pharisee?
  • How could Jesus be considered of participating in extending Judaism when He called them a 'generation of vipers'?
  • When He said 'you are of your father the devil'?

Let's put it around the other way:

  • If Jesus were a Pharisee, if Jesus were part of Judaism, Jesus would be serving the devil and not God!
  • He would not have been the Son of God/the Son of man, but He would have been the son of the serpent!

Sometimes it's good to take these things and look at it from the other side!

Verse 34: "Offspring of vipers, how are you able to speak good things, being evil? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. The good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings out good things; and the wicked man out of the wicked treasure brings out wicked things. But I say to you, for every idle word that men may speak, they shall be held accountable in the day of judgment" (vs 34-36).

We need to think and understand that! We need to really fully let those words sink in! Everyone is going to come before the judgment seat of Jesus Christ. God the Father has given all judgment to the Son, because:

  • the Son experienced human life
  • the Son experienced what it was like to overcome the law of sin and death
  • the Son of man experienced living on this earth

so therefore, God the Father has given judgment into His hands.

"…for every idle word that men may speak, they shall be held accountable in the day of judgment" (v 36).

Are we responsible for what we do and say? Of course! You consider that all the actions and behavior that people do; consider your own, because you're going to have to give an account; I'm going to have give an account. The way that you can have this taken care of and blotted out is:

  • through real repentance
  • through really turning your life over to God
  • through loving God with all your heart, mind, soul and being

Remember what Jesus said: the one who confesses Me before men, I will confess before the Father!

  • the One Who is going to stand there for you in the judgment day is Jesus Christ
  • the One Whose life is going to pay for your sins is Jesus Christ
  • the One Who is going to cover all of the 'idle words' that you have ever spoken is Jesus Christ

When the accounting comes for you and me, the name that is going to be is forgiven in the name of Christ! What going to happen to those who don't?

Verse 37: "For by your words you shall be justified, and by your words you shall be condemned. Then some of the scribes and Pharisees answered, saying, 'Master, we desire to see a sign from You'" (vs 37-38). 'Since You put us down so badly, show us a sign that we can believe in You.'

  • If Jesus would have shown them a sign, who would He have obeyed?
  • God the Father?

OR

  • Those evil scribes and Pharisees? Did Jesus ever obey the command of any man? No!

If He would have obeyed the command of a man, He would have rejected God the Father!

Verse 39: "And He answered and said to them, 'A wicked and adulterous generation seeks after a sign, but no sign shall be given to it except the sign of Jonah the prophet. For just as Jonah was in the belly of the whale three days and three nights, in like manner the Son of man shall be in the heart of the earth three days and three nights" (vs 39-40).

When it says three days and three nights, that means three whole days and three whole nights without a dispute.

Verse 41—now He begins really laying it on: "The men of Nineveh shall stand up…"

  • Were not the men of Nineveh the Assyrians? Yes, indeed!
  • Were not those the ones who were evil? Yes, indeed!
  • Were not those the ones who later came and conquered and took away the ten tribes of Israel? Absolutely!

So, He's taking this example and He's putting it before them for a very powerful reason!

Verse 41: "The men of Nineveh shall stand up in the judgment with this generation and shall condemn it, because they repented at the proclamation of Jonah; and behold, a greater than Jonah is here."

Isn't that something? He's literally telling them that those Gentiles that you hate, those men that you count as the off scouring and animals of the earth are going to rise up in the judgment with you and condemn you, because you are more evil than they.

To a Jew—who is the 'chosen one'; to a rabbi, to a scribe, to a Pharisee, who are righteous in their own eyes and who alone command God—this was just like taking a whole dump-truck of hot coals and pouring it right on them.

Verse 42: "The queen of the south shall rise up in the judgment with this generation and shall condemn it, because she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and behold, a greater than Solomon is here."

He's really letting them know! How can anyone be 'greater than Solomon'? He was the richest man on earth, the wisest man on earth. God appeared to Him twice and he set up the whole kingdom of the tribes of Israel. He built the temple. Jesus is saying, a greater than Solomon is here!

He prophesies their fate. They asked for a 'sign.' He said, 'You're a wicked and an adulterous generation.' So, He says this is what's going to happen to you. Brethren, that's what's going to happen to this nation, too, because we're right on the way of doing it!

Verse 43: "But when the unclean spirit has departed from a man, it goes through dry places seeking rest, but finds none. Then it says, 'I will return to my house, from which I came out.'…." (vs 43-44).

Jesus was talking to them in that generation and those people. He is literally telling them that they have been following demonic, unclean spirits. Christ came to bring repentance that they might come out of it. During the time that Christ was there:

  • there was a releasing of the demons
  • there was casting out of the demons
  • there was healing of the sick and raising the dead

After that has happened, the demons will say, 'I'm going back to my house where I was.'

"…And after coming, it finds it unoccupied…" ( 44).

  • not having the Holy Spirit of God
  • not receiving Jesus Christ
  • not believing the apostles and their word

"…swept and set in order…. [no defense at all] …Then it goes and takes with it seven other spirits more wicked than itself, and they enter in and dwell there; and the last state of that man is worse than the first. Likewise… ['hosautos'—exactly] …shall it also be with this wicked generation" (vs 44-45).

  • Is that not what happened to that generation?
  • Did they not say, 'Let His blood be upon us and our children'?
  • Did they not suffer the destruction of their city and their nation?
  • Were they not given over to Satan the devil even more?
  • How can anyone possibly say that Christianity—the true teachings of Jesus Christ—came out of Judaism?
  • Never happen!
  • Was never that way!

The term 'Judeo-Christian' religion does not apply to true Christianity! As we will see, Judeo-Christian religion applies to Judaism that became Catholicism. And Jesus had nothing to do with that!

Verse 46: "But while He was still speaking to the multitudes, behold, His mother and His brothers were standing outside, seeking to speak with Him."

Here's another thing which looks very offensive on the surface, but Jesus had to prove that He alone would follow God the Father; that He alone would obey God the Father; that He alone would do the work that He was sent to do.

Verse 47: "Then one said to Him, 'Behold, Your mother and Your brothers are standing outside, seeking to speak with You.' But He answered and said to him, 'Who is My mother? And who are My brothers?'" (vs 47-48).

If you took that literally toward His mother and brothers, you would think that was a slap in the face. But it wasn't! It was not!

Verse 49: "And stretching out His hand to His disciples, He said, 'Behold, My mother and My brothers. For whoever shall do the will of My Father, Who is in heaven, that one is My brother and sister and mother'" (vs 49-50).

So, you see the great contrast between Jesus Christ and Judaism. Jesus Christ always went by God the Father and the Word of God. Brethren, your calling comes from Jesus Christ and no man!

Scriptures from The Holy Bible in Its Original Order, A Faithful Version

Scriptural References:

  • Matthew 9:1-8
  • Mark 2:1-6
  • John 9:40-41
  • Matthew 9:9-13
  • Matthew 19:16-22
  • Matthew 9:14-15, 32-34
  • Matthew 10:16-29, 32-34
  • Hebrews 4:12
  • Matthew 10:35-39
  • Matthew 11:13, 25-30
  • Matthew 12:1-8
  • Mark 2:27-28
  • Matthew 12:9-15, 23-50

Scriptures referenced, not quoted:

  • Matthew 5-7
  • Psalm 110
  • Daniel 7
  • Mark 3

Also referenced: Books:

  • Interlinear Greek-English New Testament by George Ricker Berry
  • Code of Jewish Law by Ganzfried & Goldin

FRC:bo:
Transcribed: 2-6-12
Reformatted/Corrected: 2/2020

BOOKS