Who is Jesus? According to Matthew 12:


In many ways Jesus was a regular guy, he walked through the grainfields with his buddies, broke the religious rules of his day, debated the law, and had siblings and a mother who demanded his attention.  But Jesus wasn't and still isn't your regular guy.  He had the authority to interpret the meaning of the Sabbath, cure the sick, release the demonized, confront the religious leaders, call a hypocrite a hypocrite, and predict his own death and resurrection.  In his humility and gentleness he fulfilled the prophecies of Isaiah while seemingly simultaneously condemning those who uttered words carelessly and produced bad fruit. Jesus was and is greater than the temple, greater than Jonah, and greater than Solomon in all his wisdom. Jesus brings the kingdom of God to the people by the power of God's Spirit and invites us to be a part of that kingdom!

Big Idea: Jesus brings the kingdom of God to the people by the power of God's Spirit and invites us to be a part of that kingdom!

Profound Identity:
  • Jesus walked amongst agriculture (Matthew 12:1).
  • On a Sabbath day Jesus led his disciples through a grainfield (Matthew 12:1).
  • When Jesus' disciples began to pluck heads of grain to eat on the Sabbath, Jesus did not stop them (Matthew 12:1).
  • Jesus' disciples broke the Sabbath rules (Matthew 12:1-2).
  • The Pharisees saw that Jesus did not condemn his disciples for breaking Sabbath laws (Matthew 12:2).
  • Jesus did not instruct the disciples to break the Sabbath rules, he just didn't condemn them for doing so (Matthew 12:1-8).
  • Jesus references Scripture as a historical fact (Matthew 12:3-4).
  • Jesus responded to the Pharisees rebuke/condemnation by referencing a historical and Scriptural event which was similar (Matthew 12:3-4).
  • Jesus responds to the Pharisees' rebuke by pointing to places in the Law which went against their rebuke (Matthew 12:3-5).
  • Jesus is greater than the Temple (Matthew 12:6).
  • Jesus chooses to show mercy to the disciples, allowing them to pick heads of grain, rather than requiring them to sacrifice their hunger (Matthew 12:1, 6-7).
  • "the Son of Man is lord of the sabbath" (Matthew 12:8).
  • Jesus entered the Pharisees' synagogue (Matthew 12:9).
  • The Pharisees were trying to trip up Jesus so that they had a reason to accuse him (Matthew 12:10).
  • In response to the Pharisees trickery, Jesus uses an example from everyday life in which the Pharisees would find themselves condemned by the same criteria that they were trying to condemn Jesus (Matthew 12:10-12).
  • Jesus says that humans are more valuable than sheep (Matthew 12:12).
  • According to Jesus, it is lawful to do good on the Sabbath (Matthew 12:12).
  • Jesus commands a man to "Stretch out your hand" and the man's hand is healed (Matthew 12:10, 13).
  • Jesus heals on the Sabbath (Matthew 12:13).
  • Jesus models what is appropriate on the Sabbath (Matthew 12:12-13).
  • Jesus responds to the Pharisees trick question as to whether or not it is lawful to heal on the Sabbath by both explaining why it is lawful and then by actually healing a person (Matthew 12:10-13).
  • Jesus heals completely (Matthew 12:13).
  • The Pharisees conspired against Jesus (Matthew 12:1-14).
  • The Pharisees were trying to find a way to destroy Jesus (Matthew 12:14).
  • When Jesus became aware that the Pharisees were conspiring to destroy him he moved to a new location (Matthew 12:14-15).
  • Crowds followed Jesus as he traveled (Matthew 12:15).
  • Jesus cured all who followed him (Matthew 12:15).
  • Jesus ordered those he cured, those who followed him, to not make Jesus known (Matthew 12:15).
  • The fact that Jesus healed the crowds and asked them not to proclaim him was the fulfillment of the prophecy of Isaiah 42 (Matthew 12:15-21).
  • Jesus is the servant of God (Matthew 12:18).
  • Jesus is chosen by God (Matthew 12:18).
  • Jesus is the chosen servant of God (Matthew 12:18).
  • Jesus is God's beloved (Matthew 12:18).
  • God's soul is well-pleased with Jesus (Matthew 12:18).
  • God's Spirit is upon Jesus (Matthew 12:18).
  • It was prophesied that Jesus would proclaim justice to the Gentiles (Matthew 12:18).
  • It was prophesied that Jesus would not "wrangle" (Matthew 12:19).
  • It was prophesied that Jesus would not "cry out" (Matthew 12:19).
  • It was prophesied that Jesus' voice would not be heard in the streets (Matthew 12:19).
  • It was prophesied that Jesus would not "break a bruised reed" "until he brings justice to victory" (Matthew 12:20).
  • It was prophesied that Jesus would not "quench a smoldering wick" "until he brings justice to victory" (Matthew 12:20).
  • It was prophesied that the Gentiles would hope in his name (Matthew 12:21).
  • People brought a demoniac to Jesus expecting Jesus to heal the person (Matthew 12:22).
  • Jesus healed a blind and mute demoniac, so that the man could speak and see (Matthew 12:22).
  • All crowds were amazed at Jesus healing the demoniac (Matthew 12:23).
  • After Jesus healed the demoniac the crowds suspected that Jesus was the Son of David (Matthew 12:23).
  • The crowds wondered if Jesus was the promised Son of David (Matthew 12:23).
  • The Pharisees were not willing to recognize that Jesus gift of healing was a sign of his identity as the Son of David, they preferred to see it as a sign that Jesus was the ruler of demons (Matthew 12:24).
  • Jesus knew what the Pharisees were thinking (Matthew 12:25).
  • Jesus addressed the Pharisees unspoken thoughts (Matthew 12:25).
  • Jesus argued that he couldn't be the ruler of demons, because a house/kingdom divided against itself cannot stand (Matthew 12:25-27).
  • Jesus claimed that he cast out demons by the Spirit of God (Matthew 12:28).
  • Jesus saw the fact that he cast out demons by the Spirit of God as a sign that the kingdom of God has come to the people (Matthew 12:28).
  • Jesus claimed that those who were not with him were against him (Matthew 12:30).
  • Jesus claims that he was a gatherer and those who did not gather with him were scatterers (Matthew 12:30).
  • Jesus said that all sins and blasphemies could be forgiven, including speaking a word against the Son of Man, but speaking against the Holy Spirit (a.k.a. blasphemy) would never be forgiven (Matthew 12:31-32).
  • Jesus claimed that one can tell that a tree is good by its fruit.  Jesus fruit was good (Matthew 12:33).
  • Jesus recognized that the words of one's mouth was a reflection of one's heart (Matthew 12:34).
  • The scribes and Pharisees asked for a sign, Jesus responded by telling them that they would receive the sign of Jonah (Matthew 12:38-39).
  • The Son of Man will be in the heart of the earth for three days and three nights, just like Jonah was in the "belly of the sea monster" (Matthew 12:40).
  • Jesus is greater than Jonah, yet the people do not repent as the Ninevites did in the day of Jonah (Matthew 12:41).
  • Jesus is greater than Solomon, yet the people do not seek after him as the queen of the South sought after the wisdom of Solomon (Matthew 12:42).
  • While Jesus spoke to the crowds his mother and brothers sought him (Matthew 12:46).
  • Jesus recognized his disciples as his mother and brothers (Matthew 12:48-49).
  • Jesus recognized those who did the will of his Father in heaven as his brothers, sisters, and mother (Matthew 12:47-50).
Questions:
  • Who is the "guiltless" that is being condemned?  Are the "guiltless" the disciples in picking heads of grain or is the "guiltless" Jesus Christ who is being judged for having disciples who break the Sabbath laws (Matthew 12:7)?
  • It would be interesting to do a study on all the passages of the Bible containing "I desire mercy not sacrifice" to discern exactly what this means as defined by God (Matthew 12:7).
  • What about the paparazzi (Matthew 12:15-16)?    ;)
Prayer:
I am humbled by who You are. I must admit I don't fully or rightly understand Your law and I don't fully   embrace and live out Your kingdom or the power that You give us through the Holy Spirit.  Help me to believe more fully in the reality of who You are, so that I might find the freedom of grace, the righteousness of reverence, and my place in the Kingdom of God! Amen.



This blog entry is one of a series of entries in my quest to go chapter-by-chapter through the New Testament answering the question "Who is Jesus?"

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