About Jesus     Steve Sweetman

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ch. 12:1-14    ch. 12:15-21   ch. 12:22-37

ch. 12:38-45    ch. 12:46-50

Lord Of The Sabbath (ch. 12:1 - 14)   


In verses 1 through 3  we see Jesus and His disciples walking through a field of  grain and it was on the Sabbath.  Some of His disciples were hungry so they decided to pick some heads of grain and eat them.  The Pharisees who were constantly following Jesus to try to trap Him in a mistake ask why His disciples were picking grain on the Sabbath, that which was unlawful to do.


We need to note that what the disciples were doing was not against the Law of Moses but against the Rabbinical laws.  The law says that one can’t harvest and reap crops on the Sabbath.  When the disciples picked the grain, that was reaping, and when they rubbed the wheat in their hands in order to take away the chaff, that was harvesting or thrashing.  


In verses 3 and 4 Jesus answers the Pharisees by reminding them what David and his friends did one day when they were hungry.  They actually went into the Temple of God and ate the bread that was meant only for the priests to eat. 


The Pharisees pointed out to Jesus that His disciples broke their Rabbinical law, but Jesus points out to the Pharisees that David broke God’s Law, that is, the Law of Moses, which is far more weightier. 


In verse 5 Jesus gives another example concerning the Sabbath. Priests would actually desecrate the Sabbath, or break the Sabbath by what they did.  They killed animals and burnt them in sacrifice, something normally that would have been against the Sabbath rules, but since this work was done to support the sacrificial rules, it was not considered a violation of the Sabbath command.


In verse 6 Jesus says that “one greater than the Temple is here”.  The word “one” can also be translated as “something”.  So Jesus is either saying, “one greater than the Temple is here”, or “something greater than the Temple is here”.  No matter how you translate it, I believe that “the one’ or “the something” that is greater is Jesus Himself.  Most would agree with this.


In verse 7 Jesus quotes from Hosea 6:6 when He says that if the Pharisees had understood the words, “I desire mercy and not sacrifice”, the Pharisees would not have condemned the innocent.  The innocent are the disciples who were eating the grain on the Sabbath.  Obviously Jesus had no problem with them eating in such a way on the Sabbath. 


Hosea 6:6 is important because it says something about the Law and what was in the heart of God, both in Old Testament times and now in New Testament times.  God gave the sacrificial Laws for Israel to obey, but what was really deep in His heart was “mercy”.  He wanted to extend mercy to His people and He wanted His people to extend mercy to one another.  He’d rather extend mercy and rather of us extend mercy than us giving the sacrifices and Him receiving the sacrifices. So mercy is the important thing here, not the sacrifice, even though God demanded the sacrifice.  If man wasn’t so sinful there would be no need for any sacrifice, both made by men and by Jesus’ death.


This is important for us today. Even though the Law of Moses does not apply to New Testament Christians the idea of mercy does apply.  It’s still in God’s heart for us to extend mercy to one another.  God, in Jesus extended mercy to us through His life, death, resurrection and ascension.  He now expects us to follow in His footsteps and extend mercy as well, yet not at the expense of truth.


Verse 9 says that “for the Son of Man is Lord over the Sabbath”.   The Son of Man is Jesus.  So He is saying that He is Lord over the Sabbath.  This does not mean that Jesus Himself will disobey the Sabbath rules or teach others to disobey the Sabbath rules.  He has to obey each and every rule on our behalf in order to fulfill the Law.  What Jesus is saying here is that He Himself is higher than the Sabbath.  As a matter of fact, He made the Sabbath Law up in the first place. And as the other gospels put it, He made the Sabbath for man’s benefit.  He did not make man in the first place for the sole purpose of  living right on the Sabbath. The Sabbath in the beginning was meant to be a day of rest, but the Jewish leadership had made it a day of frustration with all the detailed rules that Jews had to obey.  It had thus lost its restfulness.


In verse 9 and 10 we see Jesus moving on from this place.  He went into the nearest synagogue.  There was a crippled man there so once again the Pharisees bring up the Sabbath question.  They asked Jesus if He thought it was lawful for Him to heal this man on the Sabbath. 


Jesus answers this question in verse 11 and 12.  He simply points out that if any one of them had a sheep that had fallen in a pit on the Sabbath, they’d pull the sheep out without any questions asked.  Jesus then says that humans are more valuable than sheep.   So it is lawful to do good on the Sabbath.


Jesus’ answer actually expanded the Pharisees question.  They were merely asking if Jesus thought it was lawful to heal on the Sabbath, but Jesus answers by saying that it’s lawful to do anything that is good on the Sabbath.  It doesn’t really matter what it is.  So here we see Jesus commenting on the Sabbath Law.  You might call this His Sabbath commentary.  Although the Sabbath was to be a day of rest, if you had the opportunity to do good for someone, then you better do good.  If you did not do the good, that would be a sin.


So in verse 13 Jesus tells the crippled man to stretch out his crippled hand and immediately it was made better.  We don’t have any reference to Jesus saying any words such as “be healed”.  He simply told the man to stretch out his bad hand.  Once again, there is no formula to healing. 


Verse 14 tells us that the Pharisees had now decided to leave and plot among themselves how they could kill Jesus, something that would have been clearly against the Law of God.


God’s Chosen Servant (ch. 12:15 - 21)                 


Verse 15 says that Jesus was aware of the Pharisees plot to kill Him so He “withdrew Himself” from where He was.  Jesus knew that His time to be killed was not yet.  His Father had a time and place for everything concerning Jesus, and not just for Jesus but for all thing concerning God’s intervention into humanity.  God has a time table and He does things according to His times table.


In the rest of verse 15 and into verse 16 Matthew tells us that Jesus healed many sick people and told them not to tell anyone who He was.  This would only cause problems for Him.  Jesus had enough problems to deal with.  He was not looking for more.  Jesus didn’t have a martyrdom complex. If trouble came along, He’d deal with it, but He did not go out of His way to bring it upon Himself.  This mentality should be seen in us as well.


Verse 17 says that Jesus’ work of healing was to fulfill what was written, and Matthew quotes from Isa. 42 verse 1 through 4. 


Verse 18 begins the quote by saying, “here is my servant whom I have chosen, the one I love, in whom I delight”.  It’s obvious that Jesus is the servant that Isaiah is speaking about.  We note that Jesus is God’s servant.  We see that in His life.  He does only what His Father tells Him to do.  That’s one of the topics found in the gospel of John.  If we are to be like Jesus, then we are to be a servant as He was while He was on earth, and I might add, and still is, even though He is Lord. 


God through the prophet says that He loves His servant, He delights in Him, and  He has chosen Him.  We see this very clearly when Jesus was baptized by John and the voice from Heaven came to confirm that Jesus was God’s Messiah and that He was the Son in whom God was well pleased. 


God was not only well pleased with Jesus for who He was but also what He did by His obedient service.  God is well pleased with us in like fashion, that is, for who we are and what we do.  In Christ we are very special in the eyes of God, so God is well pleased with us in that sense.  But He should also be well pleased with us for the service we provide in His Kingdom.


Also in verse 18 the prophet says that God “put His Spirit in Him”.  At conception the Spirit of God the Father came into Jesus.  It is important to know that Jesus was God because God put Himself into Jesus at conception.  This did not happen at birth and it did not happen at Jesus’ baptism.  Jesus was conceived through the Holy Spirit.


The last part of verse 18 says that “He will proclaim justice to the nations”.  Jesus did proclaim justice to Israel while on earth.  He will also proclaim justice to all nations at the end of this age.  The justice that He proclaims is God’s justice, not man’s justice.  God’s justice is a perfect balance between love and truth.  Jesus will judge justly at the end of this age.  This judgment will be based on love but not to the exclusion of truth.  This part of Isaiah’s prophecy I believe is seen in both Jesus’ first coming as well as His second coming, but mostly the latter. 


In verse 19 the prophet says, “He will not quarrel or cry out”.  If you notice, although Jesus had many chances to argue with the Jewish leadership, He didn’t.  He’d respond to their questioning but He never carried on in a long drawn out argument.  He’d give His answer which was normally very intelligent and whity, but beyond that, He’d not get bogged down in an argumentative debate. 


Jesus wasn’t like John the Baptist in the sense that John was known as a “voice crying out in the wilderness” Jesus did preach and proclaim the gospel from hillsides, but His words were more based on teaching and not prophetic as John’s were.  Jesus was the fulfillment of John’s prophesying.  He taught, and when He did prophecy it was in the context of His teaching.


The last part of the prophecy says that “no one will hear His voice in the streets”.   You might wonder about these words.  You might say “how can Jesus’ words be not heard in the streets”?  Jesus did have people following Him everywhere He went, so His voice was heard.  Though His voice was heard, His words weren’t heard in the sense they weren’t received.  We  saw in the last chapter that most of the cities in Israel did not heed Jesus’ words.  Even cities such as Sodom would have responded better than the cities Jesus spoke in.  So though His voice was heard, His  words weren’t taken seriously. 


Verse  20 continues the prophecy.  It says, “ a bruised reed He will not break, and a smoldering wick He will not snuff out, till He leads justice to victory”.  You will remember earlier in Matthew that Jesus compared John the Baptist to a reed that did not get blown about by the wind.  John was a strong and courageous man who did not bend under the pressure of persecution.  Yet Jesus came for the down-trodden.  He came for the poor.  He came for the reed that was bruised and the wick that was smoldering.  He came for the person who was having a hard time surviving.  He came for them in order to give them His strength.  This is the meaning to this prophecy.  Like Jesus, we should not neglect these people as well.


Jesus will continue to act in this way, both on His own and through His church until “ He leads justice to victory”.  This will happen on that Great and Terrible Day of the Lord as the King James Bible puts it.   When Jesus returns to judge the world, God’s justice will have final victory.


Verse 21 says that “in His name the nations will put their trust”.  It is clear that the nations did not put their trust in Jesus while He was on the earth two thousand years ago.  But when this age is wrapped up, the nations of the earth will put their trust in Him.  This speaks of the time that you read about in the last chapters of the Book of Revelation.  Revelation pictures the New Jerusalem coming down from Heaven to the earth and all nations coming in and out of her in obedience to the Lamb of God.  At that time, all nations will put their trust in Jesus.


We learn something about Old Testament prophecy here and that is that it often mixes Jesus’ first coming with His second coming.  It takes one who knows Scripture and one who has the Holy Spirit to distinguish between the two in these prophecies.


Jesus And Beelzebub (ch. 12:22 - 37)


In verses 22 we see that Jesus was brought a demon possessed man who was both blind and mute.  It is clear that the demon made this man blind and mute.  The question is often asked, “are demons behind every sickness”?  Most people would say no.  Yet if that is true, we do have to admit that they can be the cause of some sickness because this verse says that this man was blind and mute because of a demon.


Also in verse 22 Matthew records that Jesus healed this man. He doesn’t say that Jesus cast a demon out of him, although that has to be implied.  It appears that the demon left simply because Jesus healed the sickness without Jesus telling the demon to leave.


In verse 23 we note that those around who saw this miracle “were astonished” and wondered if Jesus “could be the Son of David”.  The term “son of David” means that these people were thinking that Jesus might well be their Messiah.  The words “son of David” is a term designated for the Messiah.


Although the ordinary person considered that Jesus might well be the Messiah the Pharisees didn’t.  In verse 23 we see that the Pharisees once again say that Jesus casts out demons by the help of Beelzebub, the prince of demons.  This is in reference to the devil.  The Jewish leaders were contradicting the Messianic claims that the ordinary people made by saying Jesus was of the devil. 


In verse 25 we see that “Jesus knew their thoughts”.  This is called “a word of knowledge”.  It is one of the gifts of the Holy Spirit as seen in 1 Cor. 12.  Jesus knew what people were thinking.  This is an attribute of God, that is, He is all knowing.


Jesus refutes the thinking of the Pharisees by telling them that every kingdom, every household, and every city that is divided against itself cannot stand.  That’s only simple logic. 


In verse 26 Jesus says that if satan is divided against satan, “how can his kingdom stand”?  One thing we learn here is that satan has a kingdom.  His kingdom is both spiritual and material.  He has demonic forces under his control that influence e both men and nations.  His kingdom is also material in the sense that the world, the kingdoms of the world, and man made systems are all part of his kingdom. 


There’s basically two kingdoms at odds with one another at this present moment.  They are the Kingdom of God and the kingdom of satan.  You might ask if the kingdoms of men are valid kingdoms.  They are, but Scripture teaches that the kingdoms of  men are on the side of the devil, so you’d lump both the kingdom of satan and the kingdoms of men into one kingdom   


Another thought to consider here is that Jesus says that if satan was divided, then his kingdom couldn’t stand.  To me this suggests that Jesus thought that satan’s kingdom was not divided and that it was still standing, therefore it was something to be reckoned with and thought seriously about.  


Jesus is attacking the logic of the Pharisees here.  They do believe in satan, and they do believe he has a kingdom that is well entrenched in the systems of the world.  Satan’s kingdom at present is standing.  It has not been fully defeated as yet, and it certainly wasn’t when Jesus spoke these words.  So if Jesus was on satan’s side, satan then would be divided.  There’s thus no logic in thinking that Jesus was casting out demons with the help of the one in charge of demons. If that was so satan’s kingdom would not be as strong as the Pharisees thought it was.  Therefore their logic was faulty.


In verse 27 Jesus says that if He drives out demons with the help of Beelzebub, how do the Pharisees drive out demons?  I’m not sure how much success the Pharisees had when they cast out demons.  Jewish tradition states that they could in fact cast out demons other than this type of demon.  The reason for this is because they’d always ask for the demons name.  Demons that made people unable to speak could not tell their names, thus they could not be cast out. So whether this is accurate or not, that is one reason why the ordinary people were so amazed with Jesus.  He was succeeding at casting out demons when their own leaders couldn’t, even though they tried.


Also in verse 27 Jesus says, “so then, they will be your judge”.  The word “they” refers to the Pharisees and their people who attempt to cast out demons.  Jesus is simply saying, that if your people fail in their attempt to cast out demons, and I succeed, then your people are your judge.  Their failure judges me to be casting out demons by the power of God, and not by the power of the devil.


In verse 28 Jesus says that if He does drive out demons by the power of God, then the Kingdom of God has come on you, meaning come on the Pharisees.  The mere fact that Jesus healed and was able to cast demons out of people presented all those who seen these  things with the Kingdom of God.  The Kingdom of God was actually demonstrated on earth to mankind.  This is the Kingdom that Christians are to represent.  This is a Kingdom of the supernatural.  It is thus clear that the Jewish people, including their leaders were clearly presented with the Kingdom of God, that they eventually rejected.


Jesus gives another analogy in verse 29.  He asks how a robber can enter a home and steel from the home unless he first binds the strong man of the house.  Only after binding the one who can prevent the robbery can the robber be successful. 


Therefore Jesus can’t be casting demons out of people with the help of the devil who is the strong man. He’s first got to bind that strong man up and make him weak in order to rob him.  And that is exactly what Jesus was in the process of doing.


In verse 30 Jesus says that he that is not with me is against me and he that does not help me gather is really scattering.  There’s a simple fact here, and that is that there is no middle ground.  You’re either on Jesus’ side or you’re not.  And if you’re not on His side then you are on the devil’s side.  You can’t be on your own side here.  You’re either for or against Jesus, no matter how good of a person you are, or even if you’re not overtly on the devil’s side.


Also, by not helping Jesus gather, meaning, to gather in those who are to be saved, then you’re actually scattering.  There’s no middle ground here either.  You’re either helping Jesus or hindering Him.  You can’t be in the middle being neutral.


Verses 31 and 32 have always been hard verses for many to understand.  It is the “blasphemy against the Holy Spirit verse”.  Many have said that the unforgivable sin, or blasphemy against the Spirit is attributing the work of Jesus to the devil.  This answer is way too simplistic. 


Many Christians say speaking in tongues is of the devil.  They are then attributing tongues to the devil and with the above definition in mind, this would be an unforgivable sin.  But this can’t be so.  All sin has been forgiven except for one and that sin is unbelief in Jesus.  Besides there is only one “unforgivable sin”, not many. And there’s many ways to attribute the works of Jesus to the devil.   


There’s only one sin that God won’t forgive, and that is not giving one’s life to Jesus.  If God would forgive all men for not trusting their lives with Jesus, then all men are saved, and that clearly is not the case.  That would have also made Jesus’ death on the cross is useless in my thinking.  God could have simply proclaimed all men forgiven whether they believe in Jesus or not.  


Jesus’ earthly life would have been a complete waste of time as well, especially because He preached repentance and trust in Him.  Why would He preach faith if one didn’t need faith to be saved, if all would be saved, because unbelief is forgivable.  There’s no logic here.  The unpardonable sin is “not believing in Jesus’. 


In verse 31 Jesus says that this unforgivable sin is directed to the Holy Spirit, and not to  Him.  We can sin against Jesus, which we do all the time and Jesus forgives us when we repent and keep trusting Him.  But when we reject the call of the Holy Spirit to hand our lives over to Jesus to be saved, that can’t be forgiven.  Once again, to say that this sin can be forgiven defies all logic. So in short, the unpardonable sin is to reject the call of the Holy Spirit to give one’s life over to Jesus.


In verse 32 Jesus simply says that this sin against the Holy Spirit cannot be forgiven, either in this life or the next life.  This verse should tell those who believe that all men will eventually be saved that their thinking is wrong.


The Pharisees were indeed attributing the work of Jesus to the devil, but their sin was worse than that.  By saying that Jesus was of the devil was denying who He really was, and that is the Son of God.  So the bottom line to this is not that the Pharisees were simply attributing the works of Jesus to the devil.  They were in fact denying the Deity of Christ, and that sin is unforgivable.  They were attributing Jesus Himself to the devil. 


In verse 33 Jesus gives one of His numerous analogies.  He says that if you make a tree good you will have good fruit, but if you make it bad you’ll have bad fruit, “for a tree is recognized by its fruit”.   That’s simple logic too.  You know an apple tree is an apple tree when you see apples growing on the tree, and if the apples are rotten, you know something is wrong with the tree. 


In verse 34 Jesus calls the Jewish leaders “vipers” or snakes. He says, “how can you who are evil say anything good”?   Jesus is calling the religious leaders of the day vipers.  He’s calling them evil. He’s saying that they cannot speak anything good.  Jesus had no tolerance for the hypocritical nature of the religious establishment of the day.


In the last paragraph we saw Jesus pointing out the main sin that these leaders were committing. This was the unforgivable sin of denying who Jesus really was.  The is the worst sin of all.  The is the primary sin that all men and women everywhere have to come to grips with.  It’s this sin that causes people to commit all of the secondary sins.  Because these leaders failed to recognize Jesus for who He really was, Jesus considered them evil and unable to speak goodness.


The second part of verse 34 is a real Biblical principle. Jesus says, “out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks”.  Whatever is dear to our hearts we will talk about  So you can tell what is in the heart of a person by what he says.  You can tell what a person really holds dear to his heart and to his life by what his mouth speaks.  If a man talks sports all the time, you know the love of his life is sports.  If a man talks a lot about Jesus, you know Jesus is in his heart.


The Pharisees and the Jewish leadership constantly spoke about their legalistic system of religion.  They constantly spoke and showed off their own achievements and cared little for others.  This is what was in the hearts of the Jewish leaders and Jesus considered that evil.


Verse 35 is in direct relation to verse 33. In verse 33 Jesus used the analogy of a good tree and a bad tree.  Here in verse 35 we see that the tree represents good and bad people.  A good person will do good things based on the goodness found in his heart, while a bad person will do bad things because his heart is bad.  Once again, as the mouth speaks what’s in the heart, so our actions will also demonstrate what’s in our hearts.  It’s that simple.


In verse 36 Jesus says that “men will have to give account of every careless word they have spoken come the Day of Judgment.  Once again, we see Jesus speaking about the coming Day of Judgment when all of what sinful man has done will be judged.  I say sinful man, because it appears to me that this judgment is only for those who have not accepted the forgiveness of sins offered them by Jesus.  Their sins are still present and they will be judged.  The Christian’s sins are long gone and there will be nothing to judge.  Christians will go through a secondary judgment concerning the good works they have done and will be rewarded accordingly.


The Greek word that is translated as “careless” in the NIV means useless, unproductive or idle.  The sense of the Greek word is that careless words mean words that have no use.  They don’t work for anyone’s good. All these useless words will need to be accounted for, and it is clear that the Pharisees had many very unproductive useless words.


Verse 37 gives us a little hint about the Day of Judgment.  Jesus says that “by your words you will be acquitted and by your words you will be condemned”.  Words are very important.  It’s almost as if Jesus will ask us the all important question of what we’ve done concerning Him and we will have to answer with words.  If we tell Him that we’ve given our lives to Him and have acknowledged who He really is, then we will be acquitted, or set free from the Lake of Fire.  Yet if we acknowledge that we’ve done nothing with Jesus, then those words will condemn us to the Lake of Fire .


The Sign Of Jonah (ch. 12:38 - 45)


In the three year ministry of Jesus we see three groups of people that He associates with.  One group is His disciples, and even in this group there are sub-groupings of disciples.  Then there were the massive crowds that followed Jesus around out of interest, and then there were the Jewish leadership, with their sub-groups. 


In verse 38 we see two of the sub-groups of the Jewish leadership. They are the Pharisees and the teachers of the Law.  The Pharisees were the strictest of these sub-groups and very legalistic, enforcing both the Law of Moses and their own Rabbinical Laws.  The teachers of the Law were much like our lawyers today.


Both of the above groups come to Jesus on this occasion asking to see a miraculous sign from Him.  I doubt if they were sincerely interested in seeing a sign proving His Messiahship.  Jesus had already done countless miracles, including raising the dead, and that didn’t change their thinking.


Jesus responds in verse 39 by saying, “a wicked and adulterous generation asks for a miraculous sign!  But none will be given it except for the sign of the prophet Jonah”.  Jesus explains what He has just said in the following verse.  In verse 40 Jesus says that as Jonah was in the belly of a large fish for three days and nights, so He will be in the heart of the depth of the earth for three days and three nights.  It is clear to us that Jesus is speaking of His death here.  It probably wasn’t so clear to the Jewish leadership. 


It’s interesting to note how Jesus viewed the historical fact of Jonah.  He saw it as prophetic.  We’re used to understanding prophecy in terms of the spoken word of the Old Testament prophets or the types and shadows of the Law, but here an historical event is actually prophetic.  This only goes to prove once again how every aspect of the Old Testament points to Jesus.   


Jesus had performed many miracles.  The miracles weren’t just healings. He turned water into wine.  He fed thousands of people with a few loaves of bread and a few fish.  He calmed great storms.  The biggest sign of all would be His death and His resurrection, and this would be the sign that His accusers should pay attention to. 


It is important to note that Jesus never gave into people’s demands to perform miracles.  He did only what His Father in Heaven asked Him to do.


We’ve seen before the idea that different generations of people will be judged differently come the final Day of Judgment.  We’ve noted that Sodom will be judged less severely than Capernaum because Capernaum has seen Jesus and His miracles.  In verse 41 we see something similar.  Jonah prophesied to Nineveh in his day and that city repented.  Jesus says that Nineveh will stand with the generation of Jesus’ day on the Day of Judgment and condemn the people of Israel for not repenting as they did.  This is especially so since Nineveh did not have the same opportunity as did Israel in Jesus’ day.


Verse 42 is similar to verse 41.  The Queen of the South came to hear the wisdom of Solomon, and she will rise up at the Day of Judgment with Israel and scoff at her for rejecting Jesus.  Most commentators understand the Queen of the South to be the Queen of Sheba. 


In verse 43 Jesus mentions that if an evil spirit is cast out of a person it goes through arid places. That is places where it can’t live.  This gives us a little hint about the dwelling-places of evil spirits.  They want to live within human bodies. 


In verses 44 to 45 Jesus says that if the evil spirit can’t find another “house” or body to live in it will return to the “house” or body it was cast out of.  We see that the spirit considers bodies their home. 


Yet when the evil spirit sees that the house is clean and empty, it goes and finds seven other spirits who are worse than himself and returns to live in the body with these seven other spirits.  We note here that not all evil spirits are as evil as others. 


It’s important to understand here that the evil spirit sees an empty house.  This is a picture of a person who has been delivered from a demon, yet has not followed through and given himself to Jesus.  Jesus is not in the house.  The house, or the body is empty. Only then can the spirits return to this body.  If the person had of given himself to Jesus the house would not  have been empty and therefore the demons could not have returned.  I believe this should answer the question “can a Christian have a demon living in him”?


After the original demon returns with the seven other demons the person is in much worse shape than he originally was with just one demon. 


You might think that Jesus changed the subject in mid stream.  He was talking about the present evil generation and the Day of Judgment and now He’s talking about demons.  He didn’t change the subject.  He’s only using the facts about demons as another analogy.  The last part of verse 45 says that this generation of Jews is like the man in whom one spirit was cast out and left his house empty, only to have seven other demons come to live in him.


The Jews had their chance to get their house cleaned and renovated if they’d repent and give themselves to Jesus, but they refused to do so.  Thus Israel would be like this man with the eight demons.  Once rejecting Jesus they’d be in worse shape than ever.  And this came true.  When Jesus was speaking these words to Israel they were under Roman domination.  But within forty years they’d be destroyed, killed and scattered throughout the world for centuries to come by these same Romans.


Jesus’ Mother And Brother (ch. 12:46 - 50)


In verses 46 and 47 we note that Jesus’ mother and brothers were waiting to speak to Jesus but He was busy talking to the crowd.  Someone told Jesus that they were waiting for Him.


We need to know that at this time Jesus’ brothers weren’t really believers, and we can remember that Mary pondered many of the things she saw of Jesus in her heart.


Jesus responds to those telling Him that His mother and brothers are waiting to speak to Him.  You might think that Jesus’ response isn’t very respectful of His family.  He says as He points to His disciples that they are really His mother and brothers. Why would Jesus say this?


Jesus was born into a human family, but He was born into this family for a reason, and that was to make a new larger family where God would be the Father of the household and He’d be a brother to those who were adopted into this family. 


To Jesus the family of God was more important than His physical family.  Now we aren’t totally like Jesus in this respect.  Jesus, who was not of this world came into this world through a natural family.  In reality His family was not of this world because He was not of this world.  We were born into the world and are of this world.   Our natural family therefore means more to us than what it meant to Jesus. 


That being said, our spiritual family should be very important to us, and in many cases Christians are closer to those in their spiritual family than they are to their human family. 


One thing that Jesus’ response should tell us is that the family of God is very important, and probably much more important than we think or know.  The natural family is made up of relationships.  You have a brother or a sister because of the natural relationship you have with them.  Your earthly family isn’t some kind of organization.  The same is true with your brothers and sisters in Jesus.  They aren’t your brothers and sisters because you’ve joined some kind of church organization.  They are related to you because you are a part of God’s family and His family is built on relationships, not organization.    


In verse 50 Jesus says that whoever does the will of His Father in Heaven is His brother or sister.  If we do God’s will, God is our Father and Jesus is our brother.  The first will of God for all of us to do is to give our lives to Jesus.  When the gospels speak of doing God’s will, or doing God’s work, for the most part it is speaking in terms of faith in Jesus, or trusting Jesus with you life.


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