Mt 12:1-21; Acts 17:1-15; Ps 27; Ex 10-12
The resounding theme is how godly people have continued to act with boldness, perservance, and confidence in the face of adversity, persecution, and oppression. It is not that they were “strong enough“, but that God helped them through each act of oppression and hardship that they faced. As I have read today, I want to kick myself while I am down on some level. Why am I not where these were? Why am I not bold? Courageous? Confident? As much as I want to make it about me, a defect of character, or my lack of endurance, it is where these leaned. They leaned on the Lord. They leaned on Jesus Christ. I need to spend more time resting in Him–sitting at His feet, than criticizing myself for this or that.
Whomever you are out there, Jesus reminds us that we are of much more value. Even much more value than we may ever believe. Keep seeking Him. Reciting Matthew 12:12: “Of how much more value [are you] than ________.”
- Psalm: “Lord, help me to remain confident no matter what is going on. Help me to live it out daily.” Opposition came for David, but he remained “confident”. Can I say the same? That no matter what I stay confident? No, I can’t. When stuff arises, it breaks my confidence–in most things. It makes me forget what God can do even. My confidence wanes some days. He is faithful! My confidence just doesn’t always reveal that I am reminded of this very important truth!
- Matthew: The Pharisees sought to ‘catch’ Jesus breaking the law—anything to condemn him… even imposing that Jesus’ disciples should starve and a man to be denied healing, in order to “honor” Sabbath. Jesus is ruler over all—even Sabbath. The Pharisees were so consumed with the legalism and yoke of the law, that they missed the blessings—and the joys that come with the law. They failed to understand what it was really about!
Memorable Verses: Mt. 12:8, 11-12
Jesus Withdrew: Mt. 12:15
OT: Hosea 6:6 (Mt. 12:7); Isaiah 42:1-4 (Mt. 12:18-21)In my Study Bible, some commentary notes:
- 12:5 The fact that priests, in carrying out their duties, had to work on (and thus “profane”) the Sabbath, but were guiltless in doing so, shows that God made allowances within the law.
- 12.8 The Son of Man is lord of the Sabbath. Jesus does not challenge the Sabbath law itself but rather Pharisees’ interpretation of it. As Messiah, Jesus authoritatively interprets every aspect of the law and here points out the Pharisees’ blindness to the actual intent of the Sabbath—to bring rest and well-being. The final argument in response to the Pharisees’ challenge is the decisive argument—that because of who Jesus is, he has the authority to interpret the law.
- 12.11-12 Of how much more value is a man than a sheep! Jesus contrasts the value of an animal to that of a human and asserts that the higher principle is not simply refraining from activity on the Sabbath but doing good on the Sabbath.
- 12.15 Jesus… withdrew from there, not trying to escape all opposition but to prevent its escalation until the time comes for his predicted betrayal death.
- Acts: Just as others were opposed to Jesus and tried to condemn him and his disciples, Paul and Silas faced their own opposition by local Jews in Thessalonica. These men even traveled to stir up trouble. We know many like them—people who go out of their way to stir up trouble. These Jews were jealous, losing power, and influence…even losing money. Despite opposition, God used it as an opportunity to allow the Word to go forth, and many were eager to hear the Word, examine the Scriptures, and were choosing to believe in Christ—the risen Messiah!
The Mob: Acts 17:5-9, 13
- Exodus: Keeping the Passover would remind the future generations of where God has brought them–and their freedom from the oppression they faced by the Egyptians… Jesus, my Messiah, my Savior, my Shepherd: He is here in these Scriptures. The plague of darkness and the spotless lamb both paint a beautiful picture pointing directly to Jesus Christ and the New Testament. Scripture refers to Jesus as the spotless lamb. The people ate the lamb, but putting the blood over the door of their homes. I am reminded of the Gospel: Jesus took my place on the cross. His blood was spilt for me personally, to save me (and you) from our sins. Are we turning to Him? Are we choosing to believe in Him? Living out our faith? Also, the New Testament also reminds us of our need to feed on Christ. We can’t live on bread alone, but we need the Lord. We need to live on the Words of the Lord! (See John 6:33, Matthew 6:31-33) We need to seek Him! Giving Him our all in light of what He has done for us…as our thanksgiving offering and living sacrifice (See Romans 12:1-2).
Memorable Verses: Ex. 10:2, 11:7
Pharaoh’s Heart: Ex. 10:3, 10, 16, 28
Darkness (Ex. 10:21-29): Matthew 27:45