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Matthew 13:10-15 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Why Speak in Parables?

Matthew 13:10-15 – Why Speak in Parables?

|| Mark 4:10-12, 25; Luke 8:9-10, 18

MT13:10 And the disciples approached and asked Jesus: “Why do you speak by means of parables?” MT13:11 Jesus responded by saying, “You [disciples] have been permitted[1] to know the mysteries[2] of the Realm of Heaven,[3] but to those [people] it has not been granted.[4] MT13:12 For whoever possesses[5] will be made to abound even more;[6] and whoever possesses nothing, even that will be removed. MT13:13 For this reason I speak to them in parables: because though looking they do not see; and, though hearing, they do not comprehend.[7] MT13:14 Thus is fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah,[8] which says, ‘Hearing you will hear but not comprehend; and observing you will look but not see. MT13:15 The heart of this people is become thick,[9] and with their ears heard with irritation.[10] They closed their eyes, so they would never [really] see; and their ears would never hear, and their hearts never comprehend – and they turn around[11] and I heal them.’[12] [Isaiah 6:9, 10]

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[1] You [disciples] have been permitted: Or, KJV: it is given unto you; PME: you have been given the chance. By means of their discipleship to the Nazarene they have been granted a favored position to hear and understand.

[2] Know the mysteries: The Greek is GNONAI TA MYSTERIA. Or, TCNT: the knowledge of the hidden truths; PME: to understand he secrets of. This is the only context where Jesus’ translators use “mystery.” (Luke 8:10) Paul uses the word 1 Corinthians 4:1; 13:2; 14:2; Ephesians 3:9; 2 Thessalonians 2:7. The word also appears in Revelation 10:7; 17:5, 7.

[3] Realm of Heaven: Or, Kingdom of the Heavens. In Luke this is “kingdom of God.” Some would apply this term to the celestial realm where God resides. It is strongly possible, however, that the phrase refers to the realm, domain, or territory over which Messiah reigns. Some have called this “the realm of profession.” Jesus is talking about that “congregation” (church) he will build and the opportunities of gaining membership with all its rights and privileges (Matthew 16:18). Jesus is about to give several parables that explain truths about the development and evolution of his Church and those members within it.

[4] To those [people] it has not been granted: Did Jesus gesture toward the beach crowd? Perhaps the disciples were so arranged only they heard this statement. Likely the crowd included the enemies of the Lord and what follows applies to them.

[5] Whoever possesses: Or, KJV: whoever hath; MON: whoever holds; NOR: if a man has possessions.

[6] Made to abound even more: Or, KJV: have more abundance; MON: more shall be given; NOR: he will get more until he has more than enough. The Nazarene’s disciples possess a privilege and responsibility within the group of his disciples. This is only the beginning, for according to their proper use of what they have, they will receive even more.

[7] They do not comprehend: The crowd has no taken the step of following the Lord as one of his disciples. They will hear the parables but not understand without an explanation by Jesus. Or, KJV: neither do they understand; BAS: the sense is not clear.

[8] The prophecy of Isaiah: This is a quotation of Isaiah 6:9, 10. This portion of Isaiah is also quoted at Acts 28:26, 27 and John 12:40. Some scholars believe Matthew and John are quoting from different original texts. Matthew adhering to the Greek text and John to the consonantal Hebrew text.

[9] Heart of this people is become thick: Or, KJV: heart is waxed gross; WEY: this people’s mind is stupefied; GDSP: this nations mind has grown dull. Jesus has already laid a heavy burden on his generation, calling it adulterous (apostate) and destined for a difficult judgment (Matthew 12:39). The Jewish hierarchy is particularly close-minded and their conscience (or, heart) will surely harden more and more until that fateful day when they scream, “Crucify him!”

[10] Heard with irritation: Or, KJV: dull of hearing; GDSP: hear faintly.

[11] They turn around: Or, KJV: be converted.

[12] I heal them: The Nazarene does not mean himself. The “I” is Yehowah in Isaiah 6. “Them” is the nation of Israel. This is a judgment on the generation or the entire nation, not individuals.

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Preceding

Matthew 13 – Parables on Kingdom mysteries

Matthew 13:1-9 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Parable: the Soil and the Seed

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Additional reading

  1. Congregation – Congregatie
  2. The Question is this…

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Related
  1. The mysterious journey towards God
  2. Of Sheep and Parables
  3. Class: Parables of Jesus, Matthew 13
  4. Upside Down Kingdom Parables: No Cost Too Great
  5. Parables of Jesus
  6. Understanding Parables
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Matthew 13 – Parables on Kingdom mysteries

CHAPTER THIRTEEN:
PARABLES ON KINGDOM MYSTERIES

Today we start looking at Jesus presenting some parables to those who were around him. In these times coming closer to the end times we do find lots of people who claim that they do not have to do any works any more because they are saved. For them it is clear that we do not have to do anything any more because (according to them) by the death of Christ all sins are forgiven, so it does not matter any more if we do some sins.

This thirteenth chapter for some Americans  bearing a number that brings misfortune, may bring bad luck in the end of their life, because they did not want to see that they still had to do a lot of work to make sure to go through the small gate of the Kingdom of God.

The followers and disciples of the Nazarene master teacher wondered why this eloquent rabbi so many times told stories which where not always so clear or were in a form of a parable. When the talmidim asked their master why he used stories to teach the people and spoke to them in parables, Jesus answered,

“You have been chosen [L It has been granted/given to you] to know [understand] the secrets [mysteries] about the kingdom of heaven, but others cannot know these secrets [L it has not been given/granted to those others].

With such a remark you may question who might be chosen to get to know those secrets Jesus was talking about. We must know that Jesus was sent by his heavenly Father to bring the Good News of the Kingdom of God. That Only One True God gave the whole world His son. He was not for just a few. But it is up to all people to come to recognise the sent one from God and to accept him as the sent one from God and as the son of God. Depending on what people want to believe and who they want to follow they shall either be able to receive insight and come to understanding, or as Jesus warns those around him, when they prefer to hold fast on human traditions and human teachings instead of Scriptural teachings they will not be able to see clear, because first of all those human dogma‘s make it often very confusing for people or trick them in the wrong teachings. The apostle Matthew tells us in the previous and this chapter that we should open our ears and eyes and come to see the one who God has sent, so that by listening to the words of the master (instead of those of so called theologians) God shall see the heart of each individual and let His calling ripen so that understanding will be given more, and they will have all they need [an abundance]. But those who keep doubting or do not accept that Jesus is the sent one from God shall have more difficulties to understand what is said. Those who close their heart for God and His sent one shall receive not so much understanding. We are even warned it can be worse, namely that even the knowledge or understanding they have will be taken away from them. This is why Jeshua (Jesus Christ) uses stories to teach the people [L speak in parables]: because we might see a lot of people who look, but do not really want to see and to perceive.

Today we do find lots of godless people, but also lots of people who call themselves Christian, but do not adhere the teachings of Jesus Christ, neither do they worship the God of this Nazarene master teacher from the tribe of David. Jeshua, being born in a devout Jewish family (Essene family) worshipped the Only One True God Who is One and not three. He also wanted people around him to come to know that One God of Israel. He too could see that lots of people loved human traditions and preferred to keep to the words of philosophers and people who worked in the temples, but had introduced own findings in their teachings instead of keeping to the Torah.

Those people who liked those in charge of the temple and loved what they wanted to hear instead of loving what the Torah really said are exactly the same as the ones who today hang on the lips of the clergy but do not read the Bible or Word of God. They hear, but they don’t really hear or understand. So we can see how the things Isaiah said in his prophecy were already fulfilled in Christ’s days, but still count for today too.

In these present times we also see lots of people who have taken them their own idols and gods and who are drifting about from one sort idea or hype to an other. They might sometimes listen with half an ear or go from one group to an other to listen and to keep on hearing or listen intently, but they will not understand.

We should listen to Jesus carefully and take care that we shall not become some one he could see around him who was looking but not seeing. Let us make sure that we look intently and have ears for what Jesus as son of God and authorised person of God has to tell us. Let us make sure that we come to hear, see and learn to perceive and comprehend.

We should not mind what others do find about our belief. Believing in only One God shall not be liked by many. Those who follow Jesus as their brother and not as their god shall receive a lot of opposition. Many shall try to thwart those who accept Jesus as the son and do not take him as their god. For the minds [hearts] of these people have become stubborn [dull; calloused; hardened] and we should know that they do not [hardly] hear with their ears, and they have closed their eyes.
Otherwise they might see with their eyes and hear with their ears. They might really understand in their minds [with their hearts] and come back [turn; return] to Jesus and be healed, because the God of Israel is a God of order and God of clarity, loving His children and prepared to receive them back, when they where gone. But the world shall have to know that good and evil shall become separated. It is totally wrong to think that all people would come into heaven or into the Kingdom of God. Therefore Jesus gives us all those stories or parables so that we shall come to see and understand that we should be working at ourselves and have to be building ourself up in good soil, so that we can grow properly and become fruitful.

In Mark and Luke (Mark 1:21-28; Luke 4:31-37) we learn that people were astonished at Jesus his teaching because his message had authority. We may not forget that this authority came from his heavenly Father, Jehovah God. Those who were given to him to listen to him he told about the Law (Matthew 5:17-20) of which Jesus did not come to abolish this or the Prophets, like those who say we do not need to do works believe. They forget that Jesus came to fulfil those writings and to make clear what we should or should not. In the fifteenth chapter we shall come to hear Jesus talking about purity and hear his warning against false teachings. In chapter 18 comes then the parable of the person who cannot forgive. Luke gives us the parable of the good Samaritan and is not afraid to show how Jesus criticises the religious leaders and tells the story of the rich fool, like we may encounter many (Luke 12:13-21).

Too many people do forget that they have to prepare themselves for the return of Christ (Luke 12:35-48). Too many people do forget what it means to walk on the right path, which is only a narrow road and that all people shall have to make their own choice and should make every effort to enter through the narrow door, because Jesus tells us that many will try to enter and won’t be able. And that is a recurring idea in the teachings of Christ.  (Luke 13:22-30)

It is not because Matthew does not tell about the parable of the lost coin, showing the importance to repent (a work to be done) (Luke 15:8-10) or the lost son (Luke 15:11-32) (to return to the Father) or about the dishonest manager (Luke 16:1-18) that we must not pay attention to the stories and warnings not told by Matthew.

To come to know the secret of the kingdom of God which has been given to the apostles we should learn from all those parables, not forgetting to look for willing to understand and to perceive.

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Preceding

True God giving His Word for getting wisdom

Daily portion of heavenly food

From Bibles and other religious writings and those who witness for Jehovah

Matthew 11– Intro to The Nazarene’s Commentary: Encouragement for John and Reproach for cities

Matthew 12:46-50 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: The True Family of Messiah

False teachers and false prophets still around

Christians having the right heart to call others to go to God

Sharing the depth of God’s riches and wisdom and knowledge

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Additional reading

  1. Souls and Religions with Nirvana and light
  2. Blindness in the Christian world
  3. Fog, brass and light for the eyes
  4. Science, belief, denial and visibility 2
  5. Coming to understanding from sayings written long ago
  6. the Bible – God’s guide for life #9 Gospels not only place to find ‘the mind which was in Christ’
  7. The Metaphorical language of the Bible
  8. Jehovah steep rock and fortress, source of insight
  9. Daily Spiritual Food To prepare ourselves for the Kingdom of God
  10. Words to inspire and to give wisdom
  11. Digging in words, theories and artefacts
  12. Hearing words to accept
  13. Outflow of foundational relationship based on acceptance of Jesus
  14. Atonement And Fellowship 3/8Missional hermeneutics 2/5What is a Christian?
  15. Only six of ten commandments of God still important to British Christians
  16. Not being saved by faith in Christ alone
  17. When having found faith through the study of the Bible we do need to do works of faith
  18. Two states of existence before God
  19. Sanctification and How To Pursue It
  20. Responsibility bigger than those who talk about worldly matters
  21. Thought for those who think it is not necessary to do any works any more
  22. Today’s thought “Blessed people …” (July 27)
  23. Knowing The Truth and Loving The Truth
  24. Clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience
  25. Actions to be a reflection of openness of heart
  26. A race not to swift, nor a battle to the strong
  27. At the end of your life

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Related reading
  1. Jesus Didn’t Tell Parables for the Reason You Think
  2. Are You Teaching Your Kids About the Parables of Jesus?
  3. Of Sheep and Parables
  4. It stopped with them Only Listening
  5. Deceiving Yourself
  6. Kingdom of God
  7. ​ Which one are you?
  8. “And you—what are you saying about me? Who am I?” ~Jesus
  9. What Jesus Said
  10. “Thou Lovest Righteousness and Hatest Wickedness”
  11. what we see often depends on how we look
  12. “For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, slanders.” ~Jesus
  13. Unlearning to Learn
  14. Fruitful Living
  15. The Kingdom of God is like a Farmer Growing Crops
  16. Four Prayers Based on the Parable of the Soil-Sower (Matthew 13, Mark 4, Luke 8)
  17. “You’ve been given insight into God’s kingdom. You know how it works. Not everybody has this gift, this insight; it hasn’t been given to them.” ~Jesus
  18. Matthew 13丨C. H. Spurgeon
  19. Matthew 13丨John Calvin
  20. When God is Important to Us, We Find Joy
  21. Upside Down Kingdom Parables: No Cost Too Great
  22. Choose the Giver over the gift.
  23. Upside Down Kingdom Parables: Wheat and Weeds (pt. 1)
  24. Listen
  25. Don’t Be Surprised By Gospel Rejection
  26. AW Pink (1886-1952): The Prophetic Parables (p1)
  27. Cultivating Your Heart for a Spiritual Harvest
  28. God’s Kingdom: the Word
  29. Matthew 15: Watch your mouth
  30. Understanding Parables
  31. Trained By The Rabbi
  32. Matthew 25:1-13 ESVThe World as the Field

Matthew 12:46-50 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: The True Family of Messiah

Matthew 12:46-50 – The True Family of Messiah

|| Mark 3:31-35; Luke 8:19-21

MT12:46 While still speaking to the crowds, look! his mother[1] and brothers[2] were waiting outside to speak with[3] Jesus. MT12:47 Someone called to Jesus, “Look! Your mother and brothers are standing outside wanting to speak to you.” MT12:48 Jesus responded and told this person: “Who is my mother? Who are my brothers?” MT12:49 Now Jesus pointed at his disciples and said: “Look here! My ‘mother’ and my ‘brothers.’[4] MT12:50 For whoever does the will of my heavenly Father[5] – these are my brother and sister[6] and mother.”

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[1] His mother: The mother of our Lord is rare in the Gospels and often unnamed (Matthew 1:18; 13:55; Mark 3:31; Luke 2:48, 51; 8:19; John 2:5, 12; 19:25, 26). Nothing indicates she was a follower or even a believer at this time. She is differentiated from his “disciples.” Jesus even elsewhere infers that he may have not been honored or respected as a prophet even among his own family early on.

[2] Brothers: Jesus has four brothers so named: James and Joseph and Simon and Judas? And his sisters, are they not all with us?” (Matthew 13:55, 56) The number and names of his sisters are never mentioned. Later, at least one (James) became a power in the Christian Church. See the word James in Acts, 1 Corinthians, and Galatians. The epistle of James is attributed to this brother.

[3] Waiting outside to speak with: We never discover the reason. One may speculate but it is useless: family business, a share in his honor. Few sons would have acted in this manner without serious cause. Compare John 7:3, 5.

[4] My ‘mother’ and my ‘brothers’: The Nazarene’s real ‘family’ is spiritual and related to him by faith. It is very possible that none of his fleshly family were among his disciples, or following him. Perhaps this is the reason for the terse ignoring of his family. At least twice family members wanted him to perform miracles for their benefit (John 2:1-12; 7:3, 5). It is only the beloved apostle John who brings this out. Hebrews 2:10-13 indicates Jesus Christ and the members of his Church are originating with The God. A point to note is that if Jesus were “God” then his followers would be brothers of God, not sons. William Barclay notes: “It was one of the great human tragedies of Jesus’ life that during his lifetime, his nearest and dearest never understood him.… When Jesus set out on his public mission, his friends tried to restrain him, for they said he was mad (Mark 3:21). He seemed to them to be busily engaged in throwing his life away in a kind of sanity.… ‘A Christian’s only relatives,’ said one of the early martyrs, ‘are the saints.’” (page 52)

[5] Whoever does the will of my heavenly Father: The word “will” is from the Greek THELMA and may be rendered determination, choice, desire or wish. What is the “will of the Father”? Surely this is connected to His “eternal purpose”? Jesus uses the phrase twice in Matthew. See notes on Matthew 7:21. Only in John 6:40 is the How of doing the will of the Father explained: “For this is the will of my Father: Everyone who observes the Son and deeply believes in him will have everlasting life.” This is put another way in another context when some ask Jesus what the work of God is so that they may do it. The Nazarene responds: “This is the work of The God that you deeply believe in the One He sent forth.” (John 6:29) Faith or conviction is right at the center of the Father’s will. This belief or faith surely involves a knowledge of the Messiah’s teachings or “doctrine.” (John 7:17 KJV)

“The will of God” is discussed by Paul, Peter, and John. How the Church is involved in His will: to serve for the praise of His glory (Ephesians 1:9-13). God’s will is something to continually comprehend: be careful how one walks in the world (Ephesians 5:15-20). God’s will includes His sanctification which requires abstaining from fornication, illicit passions, and adultery (1 Thessalonians 4:3-8). Prayer and thankfulness are part of God’s will (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18). God’s will includes doing God and loving the brotherhood (1 Peter 2:15-17). God’s will may include suffering (1 Peter 4:19). There are three things that are not part of God’s will: fleshly desire, covetousness, and bragging about materialism (1 John 2:15-17). Perhaps God’s will is best summarized by His commandment: to have faith in His Son; and, love one another (1 John 3:23).

[6] Sister: Jesus has been silent on female followers until now. Though no woman is ever called a disciple in the Gospels, there were women who were “with” Jesus’ entourage of disciples. These “ministered to Jesus and his disciples from their belongings.” (Luke 8:2, 3) The truth is the Nazarene had spiritual ‘sisters’. In time, throughout the Gospel Age of the Church female disciples of Jesus out number the men. In the New Creation – the Seed of Abraham – there are no females – nor males – for all are “sons” and one in Christ (Galatians 3:26-29).

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Preceding

Matthew 1:18-25 – Genesis of Jesus Christ

Nazarene Commentary Matthew 4:1-4 A Wilderness Temptation

Matthew 6:1-34 – The Nazarene’s Commentary on Leviticus 19:18 Continued 2 Prayer and neighbour love

Matthew 7:13-23 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: The True Disciple #3 Matthew 7:21-23 The ones Jesus never knew

Matthew 12:1-8 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Something Greater than the Temple

Matthew 12:9-21 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Is It Lawful to Cure on the Sabbath?

Matthew 12:22-30 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: the Charge of Demonism

Matthew 12:31-32 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Blasphemy against the Pneuma

Matthew 12:33-37 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Judgment Day

Matthew 12:38-42 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Signs in Jonah and the Queen of the South

Matthew 12:43-45 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: A Generation Seven Times Worse

Gates to different belief systems in this world

False teachers and false prophets still around

Christians having the right heart to call others to go to God

Back from gone #4 Your inner feelings and actions

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Additional reading

  1. Truth, doubt or blindness
  2. Faith coming by hearing and sent preacher gift from God
  3. When we think of Jesus let us strive to realise what he means to us
  4. Not about personal salvation but about a bigger Plan
  5. False opposite true worship which exalts the God of Israel
  6. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #15 Exposition before the Creator
  7. To will being present in us but to do it not always evident
  8. Material gain to honour God
  9. Getting out of the dark corners of this world
  10. Salvation and Righteousness
  11. Receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken

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Related

  1. On Religion and Reasons: Why Fast for Lent?
  2. Some thoughts on Lent
  3. My Daily Devotion – My Quiet Time With God
  4. Use what you have
  5. Don’t worry about it.
  6. God’s Children
  7. The children of God
  8. Bestowed Upon Us…
  9. What Makes You a Child and Heir of God?
  10. Sons of God

Matthew 12:43-45 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: A Generation Seven Times Worse

Matthew 12:43-45 – A Generation Seven Times Worse

|| Luke 11:24-26

MT12:43 “But whenever the unclean pneuma[1] leaves a human[2] it passes through a wasteland[3] seeking a place to rest[4] and finds nothing. MT12:44 Then [the unclean pneuma] says, ‘I shall return to my house I left.’ Now returning it finds [the house] empty, swept clean, and supplied.[5] MT12:45 Now it hurries away and finds seven other pneumas more wicked[6] than itself. Having entered, it takes up residence.[7] The ultimate state[8] of the human becomes worse than the original. So it will be with this wicked generation.”[9]

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[1] Unclean pneuma: Or, “unclean spirit.” (Mark 1:23, 26; 3:30; 5:28; 7:25; Luke 8:29; 9:42; 11:24) See notes on PNEUMA elsewhere. The Greek PNEUMA means breath or wind and metamorphically for something unseen such as an angel or demon (1 Kings 22:21, 22; Ezekiel 3:12, 14; 8:3; 11:1, 24; 43:5; Acts 23:8, 9; 1 Peter 3:19, 20). Jesus means either a demon or an attitude (disposition) (1 Chronicles 5:26; Ezra 1:1, 5; Haggai 1:14; Ecclesiastes 10:4; Genesis 41:8; Daniel 2:1, 3; Acts 17:16; Judges 8:3; Job 7:11; Psalm 142:2, 3; John 11:33; 13:21; Genesis 45:27, 28; Isaiah 57:15, 16; 1 Corinthians 16:17, 18; 2 Corinthians 7:13; 2 Corinthians 2:13). (Compare Koehler and Baumgartner’s Lexicon in Veteris Testamenti Libros, Leiden, 1958, pp. 877-879; Brown, Driver, and Briggs’ Hebrew and English Lexicon of the Old Testament, 1980, pp. 924-926; Theological Dictionary of the New Testament, edited by G. Friedrich, translated by G. Bromiley, 1971, Vol. VI, pp. 332-451).

[2] Leaves a human: The whole phrase is filled with possible interpretations and opinions are many. The main point is moving from one condition to one much worse.

[3] Wasteland: Or, TCNT: places where there is no water; WEY: desert. Compare Leviticus 16:8; 17:7; Isaiah 13:21; 34:14; Revelation 18:2.

[4] Place to rest: Or, MOF: search of ease.

[5] Empty, swept clean, and supplied: Or, TCNT: unoccupied and put in order; WMS: ready for use; NWT: adorned.

[6] More wicked: There are degrees of evil among demons; or, there are degrees of wicked disposition. William Barclay writes: “Evil is a force which may be at bay but is never eliminated.”

[7] Having entered, it takes up residence: KJV: they enter in and dwell there.

[8] Ultimate state: GDSP: in the end man is worse off than he was before.

[9] So it will be with this wicked generation: This is the main point. It is an “adulterous” (apostate) generation of Jews. Jesus possibly has in mind that type who would make the accusation of demon association (Beelzebul) against Jesus. One possible meaning is that on Judgment Day – when it becomes more tolerable for Nineveh – the disposition of these persons will be worse.

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Preceding

Matthew 12:1-8 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Something Greater than the Temple

Matthew 12:9-21 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Is It Lawful to Cure on the Sabbath?

Matthew 12:22-30 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: the Charge of Demonism

Matthew 12:31-32 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Blasphemy against the Pneuma

Matthew 12:33-37 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Judgment Day

Matthew 12:38-42 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Signs in Jonah and the Queen of the South

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Related

  1. The way to God
  2. This Wicked and Perverse Generation

Matthew 12:38-42 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Signs in Jonah and the Queen of the South

Matthew 12:38-42 – Signs in Jonah and the Queen of the South

|| Luke 11:29-32

MT12:38 Some of the scribes and Pharisees[1] responded to Jesus, saying, “Teacher, we wish to see a sign[2] from you.” MT12:39 Jesus answered them, saying, “A wicked and adulterous generation[3] keeps seeking for a sign; and, no sign will be given it other than the sign of Jonah.[4] MT12:40 For just as Jonah was in the belly of the huge fish[5] three days and three nights, just so will the Son of Humankind be in the heart of the earth[6] three days and three nights.[7] MT12:41 Male[8] Ninevites will stand up [again][9] in the judgment[10] with this generation and will condemn it[11] – because they repented at the preaching of Jonah,[12] and, look! something more of Jonah is present![13] MT12:42 The queen of the south[14] will be raised up in the judgment with this generation[15] and will condemn it – because she came from earth’s limits[16] to hear the wisdom of[17] Solomon; and, look! something more of Solomon is present.[18]

*

[1] The scribes and Pharisees: Have some of them repented and changed their tune? Has the warning of the Nazarene made them think? They now address as “Teacher” the one they insinuated was in league with Beelzebul.

[2] We wish to see a sign: Paul writes, “Jews ask for signs.” (1 Corinthians 1:22; Luke 11:29) It is said of a certain Rabbi that when he was asked when Messiah would come, he responded, “I am afraid you will ask me for a sign.”

[3] Wicked and adulterous generation: Jesus does not compromise or water down his response. Surely the words are directed at the scribes and Pharisees. Jesus is to use the whole condemnatory phrase again at Matthew 16:4. Or, GDSP: wicked and faithless. On the derogatory adulterous compare Jeremiah 3:6-11.

Jonah mosaic in Aquileia cathedral

Jonah mosaic in Aquileia cathedral – Mosaic of the biblical story of Jonah; in the cathedral in Aquileia, Italy. – SCALA/Art Resource, New York

[4] The sign of Jonah: This cryptic must have grabbed at the Pharisees who loved riddles. They knew the Book of Jonah well. How could this prophet be involved here?

[5] Jonah was in the belly of the huge fish: Jesus believes in the account of Jonah and the great fish which is nowhere described as a whale.

[6] Heart of the earth: Meaning Hades or the grave.

[7] Three days and three nights: A Hebraism meaning any part of three days or less. It is clear Jesus was to be raised the third day for he so states (Matthew 16:21; 17:23; Luke 24:46). Compare 1 Kings 12:12ff (Hosea 6:2; 1 Corinthians 15:4).

[8] Male: There are a number of Greek words that may be translated “man (men).” Here the Greek is ANDRES (ANDROS).

[9] Stand up [again]: The Greek is ANASTESONTAI and essentially means the same as the English “resurrected.” Related words occur in the third century BC Jewish Greek Septuagint (LXX): Job 14:12 (ANASTE), Job 42:17 (ANASTESESTHAI, ANISTESIN), Isaiah 26:19 (ANASTESONTAI), Daniel 12:13 (ANASTESE). Jesus uses forms of the word over a dozen times. Compare John 5:28, 29 where the Nazarene alludes to Isaiah 26:19 LXX.

[10] In the judgment: Or, Judgment Day. Or, NEB: when this generation is on trial; WEY: awake at the judgment. See the key words Judgment Day and resurrection. See Revelation 20:5, 12-14.

[11] Will condemn it: Or, LAM: find it guilty; KNX: will leave it without excuse.

[12] They repented at the preaching of Jonah: Read Jonah chapter 3. Tens of thousands of people responded to Jonah’s warning and as a result the city was spare, much to the disappointment of Jonah who was then taught another divine lesson.

[13] Something more of Jonah is present: Or, KJV: behold, a greater than Jonas is here; TCNT: here is more than a Jonah; WEY: and, mark! there is One greater than Jonah here. He means himself.

[14] Queen of the south: Jesus means the Queen of Sheba who journeyed to hear Solomon for herself (1 Kings 10:1-10). It was not Solomon per se but his God which motivated her, for the account reads, “the report regarding Solomon with regard to the name of Yehowah.”

[15] Raised up in the judgment with this generation: From the Nazarene here we know the Ninevites, the queen of Sheba, and that generation will be resurrected (Acts 24:15).

[16] She came from earth’s limits: She traveled 1,200 miles from northern Africa. This was one serious effort on her part and her entourage. The great trade routes to and from Jerusalem were classically great.

[17] To hear the wisdom of: The contrast between the effort of this godly lady and the Nazarene’s generation is stark. What do they have before them and instead of listening to wisdom they accuse him of demonism and ask for an evidence.

[18] Something more of Solomon is present: Solomon is said to have written 3,000 proverbs (1 Kings 4:32). He wrote Ecclesiastes and Song of Solomon. And, yet, this crowd as much more before them in Jesus. How Solomon will fair in the resurrection is left to the judgment of God.

+

Preceding

Matthew 12:1-8 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Something Greater than the Temple

Matthew 12:9-21 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Is It Lawful to Cure on the Sabbath?

Matthew 12:22-30 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: the Charge of Demonism

Matthew 12:31-32 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Blasphemy against the Pneuma

Matthew 12:33-37 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Judgment Day

+++

Related

  1. Matthew 12丨C. H. Spurgeon
  2. The Sign of Jonah: Swallowed in Death, Raised in Life (Jonah 1:17; Matthew 12:38–41)
  3. Matthew 12, Jesus, Lord of the Sabbath,blasphemy against the Holy Spirit, the sign of Jonah, Jesus’ brothers and sisters.
  4. 4-30-2018 Bible Study – Life of Messiah Study 46
  5. Did Jesus Really Spend Three Days in the Heart of the Earth?
  6. Bible study: what difference does the resurrection of Jesus make?
  7. Looking for a Sign
  8. Favorite 21 Signs of the Prophets
  9. This Wicked and Perverse Generation

Matthew 12:22-30 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: the Charge of Demonism

Matthew 12:22-30 – The Charge of Demonism

|| Mark 3:23-30; Luke 11:14-23

MT12:22 Then they approached Jesus with a demonized person[1] – blind and mute – and he cured him, so the speechless man spoke[2] and began seeing. MT12:23 And the crowds were beside themselves[3] and were saying, “Is this person not the Son of David?”[4] MT12:24 But when the Pharisees heard this,[5] they said, “This fellow does not exorcise demons save by Beelzebul,[6] the ruler of the demons.” MT12:25 Realizing their thoughts, Jesus told them: “Every kingdom divided against itself will be devastated.[7] Every town or house divided against itself will not remain standing. MT12:26 And so if Satan[8] exorcised Satan he was divided against himself. So, how would his kingdom[9] remain standing? MT12:27 And, if I am exorcising demons by Beelzebul, by whom do your sons[10] exorcise?[11] Therefore, they will be your judges.[12] MT12:28 But, if I exorcise demons by God’s Pneuma,[13] really the Realm of the God has passed you by.[14] MT12:29 Or, how is anyone able to enter a powerful person’s[15] home and grab his [valuable] cups[16] without first binding the powerful person? And only then can his home be pillaged.[17] MT12:30 The person not with me is against me,[18] and the person not assembling with me scatters.[19]

*

File:Ilyas Basim Khuri Bazzi Rahib - Jesus Heals a Demon-possessed Boy - Walters W59248B - Full Page.jpg

Jesus Heals a Demon-possessed Boy – 1684 – folio from Walters manuscript W.592,

[1] Demonized person: Or, KJV: possessed with a devil; WEY: demoniac. Compare Matthew 9:32.

[2] Speechless man spoke: We wonder at his first words.

[3] Beside themselves: Or, KJV: the people were amazed; WMS: dumbfounded; PME: wild with excitement.

[4] The Son of David: One of the earliest designations given Jesus (Matthew 1:1). Note, Joseph is also so-called (Matthew 1:20). See footnotes on Matthew 9:27.

[5] Pharisees heard this: The whole incident must drive them wild with hatred: they see the miracle and note the crowd’s reaction. The focus is on the Nazarene and this arouses their jealousy.

[6] Beelzebul: See footnotes on Matthew 10:25. Jesus makes it clear this is a cryptic name for Satan.

[7] Devastated: Or, KJV: brought to desolation; WEY: in which civil war rages; GDSP: destruction; PME: bound to collapse.

[8] Satan: The Jewish clergy have really called Jesus Satan. This is about the worst accusation that can be made against a godly person. It is even beyond “apostate.” See the notes on Matthew 4:10 and 5:22.

[9] His kingdom: Satan has his own kingdom and there are those within the realm of that kingdom. These are those he rules over and who have becomes “sons of the wicked one.” The major characteristic which differentiates the two kingdoms is hatred and love (Matthew 13:38; John 8:44; 1 John 3:10).

[10] Your sons: The rabbis were called “father” and thus their own disciples were their children or sons. Or, NJB: your experts; WEY: your disciples. Compare 1 Kings 20:35; 2 Kings 2:3.

[11] Exorcise: Josephus records a case of casting out demons (Antiquities 8. 2. 5). He also reports the Jewish rabbis used a herb or drug Macherus (Wars of the Jews 7. 6. 3). In the Jewish apocryphal book Tobit there is an example of the exorcism of a maiden with whom a wicked demon was in love (Tobit 6:16; 8:1-4).

[12] They will be your judges: It is possible the “they” are the rabbis own “sons” who will critique their master’s words and actions in this accusation. Or, RIEU: you stand condemned by them; NEB: if this is your argument, they themselves will refute you.

[13] By God’s Pneuma: In Luke 11:19, 20 this is God’s “finger.” Thus, the Pneuma or Spirit is likened to God’s finger, a very small part of all that God is.

[14] Passed you by: Or, KJV: comes unto you; RHM: has come upon you unawares; MOF: reached you already; GDSP: overtaken you; PME: swept over you unawares. As matters develop the Pharisees are in a highly dangerous situation with relation to God and the unforgivable sin: they have called Jesus an apostate and demonized (Matthew 5:22). It is possible, therefore, that their opportunity to become part of the realm of Nazarene profession (the Christian Church) is dim indeed. They may have missed their opportunity (Matthew 23:13, 15, 33).

[15] Powerful person’s: Or, strong man’s. Compare Isaiah 49:24-26.

[16] Grab his [valuable] cups: Or, KJV: spoil his goods; RHM: seize his goods; TCNT: carry of his goods.

[17] Home be pillaged: Or, KJV: spoil his house; MON: rob his house; WMS: make a clean sweep of his house; WEY: ransack his house.

[18] Not with me is against me: Compare Luke 9:50.

[19] Not assembling with me scatters: Or, GDSP: anyone who does not join me in gathering, scatters; BAS: he who does not take part with me in getting people together, is driving them away. The Greek is SYNAGON related to “synagogue.” How does one gather or assemble with Christ?

 

+

Preceding

Matthew 12:1-8 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Something Greater than the Temple

Matthew 12:9-21 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Is It Lawful to Cure on the Sabbath?

+++

Related

  1. casting out demons and the battle of the wills
  2. March 30, 2018: “Possession”
  3. SGW, 2-16-18, Luke 11:14-28
  4. Fourth Monday in Ordinary Time

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