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biblestudy: Matthew (Part 17)

Matthew 12:1-37
John W. Ritenbaugh
Given 27-Jan-82; Sermon #BS-MA17; 75 minutes

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John Ritenbaugh characterizes chapter 12 as the "rise of the opposition," outlining the rising suspicions on the part of the Jews, the prejudiced blindness and the active investigation, countermanded by Jesus response, making claims to His authority, His courageous defiance, and His bold attack. In the first several verses, it is clear the disciples were not stealing corn (Deuteronomy 23:25) nor were they breaking the Sabbath as David had not broken the Sabbath when he ate the showbread on the Sabbath when he was fleeing from Saul, nor do the heavy priestly duties (normally work forbidden by lay members) violate the Sabbath. Human need takes precedence over human custom. Jesus didn't break the Sabbath, but he did break extra-legal fanatical human custom applied to the Sabbath apart from God's Law- those foolish prohibitions proscribing healing and alleviating human misery. Interestingly, Jesus did these miracles in a courageous, but nevertheless a discreet manner, asking his clients not to publicize these events, but nevertheless, as a humble servant [not yet a conquering hero- nor certainly a brawling instigator of incendiary riots], demonstrating humane application of the Sabbath law to the Jews and the Gentiles, having universal application. His motives were misconstrued by the opposition, accusing Him of using demonic powers. Christ warns us that following His way of life will bring persecution. Our spiritual gifts and skills (discerning skills to distinguish good from evil) we must continually use so they don't degenerate. When we cannot make this distinction any longer, we have, in essence committed the unpardonable sin- candidates for the Lake of Fire. The well-spring of good (as well as evil) stems from the heart, producing the fruit of good (or evil) works and good (or evil) words. [NB: This series of Bible Studies from 1981-82 is incomplete.]

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Abiathar Abraham Aergon Alleviating pain Aporcrapha Antiochus Epiphanes Bruised reed Bureau of Mines Captivity for Sabbath breaking Cyrus David Emergencies Ergon Fanatical regulations Fanatical zealots First aid Food for the priests Friddle, James General Pompeii Gifts of God Healing Idle words Jesus reaction to persecution Maccabees Josephus Justice and Judgment Lake Magnify the law Man as the master of the Sabbath Mercy trumps sacrifice Messiah Power of words Ox in the Ditch situation Pharisees Prejudiced blindness Pushing ox in the ditch Richard Nixon Rise of the opposition Roman bondage Smoking flax Son of man Showbread Threats of test Titles for chapters

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