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

CHAPTER TWELVE:
PROBLEMS IN THE MINISTRY:
OPPONENTS, SIGNS, FAMILY

[“Opposition Inside and Out”]

Matthew 12:1-8 – Something Greater than the Temple

|| Mark 2:23-28; Luke 6:1-5

MT12:1 During that period Jesus was moving through the grain fields on the Sabbath.[1] Now his disciples were hungry[2] and began to pluck heads of grain and eat them. MT12:2 But, the Pharisees observed this and said to Jesus, “Look! Your disciples are doing what is not permitted during the Sabbath!”[3] MT12:3 Then Jesus said to them, “Did you not read[4] what David, and those with him, did when he got hungry? MT12:4 How he entered into the House of the God[5] and they ate the loaves of presentation[6] – which he was not authorized to eat, nor those with him, but only the priests? MT12:5 Or, did you not read in the Law regarding Sabbaths that the temple priests profane the Sabbath[7] and remain innocent?[8] MT12:6 But, I tell you: you have something greater than the temple here.[9] MT12:7 You would not have condemned the innocent[10] if you had known what this means,[11] ‘I desire mercy[12] and not sacrifice.’ [Hosea 6:6, 7] MT12:8 For the Son of Humankind is Master of the Sabbath.”[13]

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[1] Sabbath: Literally “sabbaths.” The subject of the Sabbath was a serious conflict with the Jewish clergy. The word occurs 46 times in the Gospels (Matthew, 11; Mark, 11; Luke, 13; John, 11). Two thousand years later it is still an issue even among Christians.

[2] Hungry: Imagine hunger only satisfied by hard grains of wheat or kernels of corn?

[3] Not permitted during the Sabbath: The Law permitted plucking grain (Deuteronomy 23:25). The Jewish version of Sabbath law during the Nazarene’s life was very detailed. There were 39 rules which identified work on the Sabbath, including “reaping.” Later, Maimonides ruled: “To pluck ears is a kind of reaping.”

[4] Did you not read: Compare 1 Samuel 21:1-6.

[5] The House of the God: There are several terms for the Tabernacle of Moses: House, Sanctuary, and Temple. On the later there are two Greek words used: HIERON which generally means the Temple complex; and, NAOS which refers to the shrine or tabernacle proper with its two sacred rooms, the Holy and the Most Holy.

[6] They ate the loaves of presentation: No normal bread was available and the high priest offered the twelve ringed loaves on the table of showbread in the Tabernacle. His only requirement is that only those men who had “kept themselves from women.” David assured the priest they “certainly clean today.” (1 Samuel 21:1-6 NJB) For this kindness 85 priests were slaughtered.

[7] Temple priests profane the Sabbath: That is, the priests perform working functions involved in worship forbidden regular Israelites. The word “profane” is also rendered: KNX: violate; MOF: desecrate; PME: break.

[8] Innocent: Or, KJV: blameless; MOF: not guilty.

[9] Something greater than the temple here: Jesus alludes to himself as the future High Priest as well as his disciples as ‘temple foundation stones.’ (John 2:19; Hebrews 8:1; Ephesians 2:19-22; 1 Peter 2:5) Compare Luke 11:31, 32 for similar language.

[10] The innocent: Surely he means himself and perhaps – like David’s “mighty men” – his own disciples.

[11] This means: The Nazarene quotes Hosea 6:7 from the LXX (where it is 6:6).

[12] Mercy: The Greek is ELEOS and is usually translated mercy, compassion, pity. The problem with the English “mercy” is that it has under gone an evolution so that today it carries the idea of justice: condemnation or judgment withheld. The root of “mercy” is a word from the marketplace (mercado) and is related to that payment to mercenaries. Merci means “thanks.” Kind charity is closer to the idea. So, the verse intends to mean: “I wish charity over (religious) sacrifices.” The quote of Hosea 6:7 is from the Jewish Greek Septuagint (LXX). The Hebrew text reads checed and is rooted in kindness. If one made all the religious sacrifices his worship demanded and failed to be kind or charitable, God’s will is missed.

[13] Master of the Sabbath: There are various opinions. One meaning may be: as Master of the sabbath day, Jesus as Son of Man will determine what is good or bad on the sabbath; or, he will use the sabbath as he determines. Some read the phrase “son of man” to mean “human” so that human needs will determine what is good or bad on the sabbath. Some hold a futurist view: the Messiah is King of that future great Sabbath under his rule – the Thousand Years.

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Preceding

Matthew 11:25-30 Encouragement for John and Reproach for cities 6 Taking Jesus’ Yoke and Becoming Disciples

Seven full weeks or seven completed Sabbaths and ascension of Jesus

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Additional reading

  1. Was Jesus Religious
  2. A new exodus and offering of a Lamb
  3. Do we need to keep the Sabbath
  4. Were allowed to willfully break the Law of Moses
  5. Holy Sabbath
  6. Communion and day of worship
  7. Yom Hey, Eve of Passover and liberation of many people
  8. Shabbat Pesach service reading 1/2
  9. Lord and owner
  10. Why we do not keep to a Sabbath or a Sunday or Lord’s Day #1 Before rain of food from heaven
  11. Why we do not keep to a Sabbath or a Sunday or Lord’s Day #2 Testimony
  12. Why we do not keep to a Sabbath or a Sunday or Lord’s Day #3 Days to be kept holy or set apart
  13. Why we do not keep to a Sabbath or a Sunday or Lord’s Day #4 Jesus and the Sabbath day
  14. Why we do not keep to a Sabbath or a Sunday or Lord’s Day #5 Not law binding
  15. Why we do not keep to a Sabbath or a Sunday or Lord’s Day #6 Sunday or the Lord’s day
  16. Why we do not have our worship-services in a church building
  17. Self inflicted misery #5 A prophet without a hedge around him

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Related

  1. Shabbat Emor: Against the Cruelty
  2. Confronting Systemic Problems – Parshat Va’era 2018
  3. Efficient Rest – Deuteronomy 5:12-14
  4. The Sabbath
  5. Sabbath
  6. Sabbath-Rest
  7. The Sabbath & Sundays?
  8. Read Through the Bible – Day #58 – Luke Chapter 14
  9. Inconsistencies With Lawlessness
  10. Day 95 – The Sabbath is for us
  11. Sacking off the commands of God for what?
  12. Read Through the Bible – Day #50 – Luke Chapter 6

Nazarene Commentary Luke 2:41-50 – Twelve Year Old Jesus in the Temple

Luke 2:41-50 – Twelve Year Old Jesus in the Temple

LK2:41 Now each year [Jesus’] parents traveled to Jerusalem for the Passover festival. LK2:42 So when Jesus was twelve years old[1] he went up with them according to the custom of the festival. LK2:43 After fulfilling the days [of the festival][2] [the parents] returned but the boy Jesus remained in Jerusalem. His parents were unaware of this, LK2:44 thinking him to be in the traveling group. Then after a day’s journey they went looking for Jesus among their relatives and friends. LK2:45 But they did not find him so they returned to Jerusalem to look for him. LK2:46 Then after [looking] three days[3] they finally found Jesus sitting among the [Jewish] teachers in the temple [courtyard]. Jesus was listening to the teachers and asking them questions.[4] LK2:47 Everyone listening was amazed at his comprehension and the answers he gave. LK2:48 When his parents saw him they were astonished and then his mother said to him: “Son, why did you do this to us?[5] Look, your father and I were in a lot of pain[6] searching for you!” LK2:49 Then Jesus said to his parents: “Did you not realize that I would be in my Father’s House?”[7] LK2:50 But, his parents did not understand[8] this statement he made to them.

Luke 2:51-52 – Jesus continued to be in subjection to his parents

LK2:51 Then he descended with them and they all arrived in Nazareth and there Jesus continued to be in subjection[9] to his parents. His mother treasured all of these things in her heart.[10] LK2:52 And Jesus continued to increase in wisdom and physical growth[11] and in favor with God and people.[12]


[1] Twelve years old: It is possible Jesus had turned twelve in the fall around October for it is now spring.

[2] Fulfilling the days [of the festival]: Eight days.

[3] Three days: Missing four days, it is interesting these Jewish parents did not think of the temple first.

[4] Jesus was listening to the teachers and asking them questions: Nothing here tells us Jesus was teaching these rabbis. He was “listening” and asking questions. At the age of twelve the Jewish boy became a “Son of the Covenant.” The next phrase shows Jesus answered their questions well and this impressed those listening.

[5] Son, why did you do this to us: Or, Child; TCN: treated us like this. A mother’s question. We note it is not Joseph who speaks. It is interesting that such an intelligent lad did not make some provision for telling his parents. Perhaps he knew had he asked they would not have given their permission.

[6] In a lot of pain: Or, anxious, distress, anguish. Though it is known Jesus had four brothers and at least two sisters, nothing is mentioned about them here.

[7] In my Father’s House: Or, business. The Greek is only “things” and so does not refer at all to the Jewish temple proper. There were several courtyards in the compound of Herod’s temple. A woman was not permitted in the Court of Israel where only men worshipped God. It is likely they were all in an outer courtyard. The word “house” is used of the tabernacle of Moses and the temples that followed. [Psalm 26:8; 27:4]

[8] Did not understand: This was a common reaction to things Jesus said, including his own later disciples. To Bible readers looking at matters in retrospect the failure to understand is surprising. The use of the word “Father” was very rare in the context of God. The Hebrew Bible uses the word “father” over a thousand times, but in all of these only about a dozen refer to God and most of these are in a Messianic context.

[9] Jesus continued to be in subjection: Or, NEB: under their authority; TCN: submitted himself to their control; MON: always obedient. If Jesus were to observe the Law of Moses perfectly then he would also keep the Commandment to honor his parents. [Ephesians 6:1, 2]

[10] His mother treasured all of these things in her heart: Or, KNX: kept in her heart the memory all that had occurred. Luke has a firsthand source in Jesus’ mother and his brothers and sisters. We can see the good doctor listening intently as these and others related their experiences with Jesus.

[11] Wisdom and physical growth: Or, stature. The “missing” eighteen years of Jesus life will one day be a fascinating read. We learn from this phrase two important things: a] Jesus continued to grow in that “wisdom” found in the Hebrew Bible [Proverbs 1-3]; and, b] Jesus experienced growing up throughout his teenage years through his twenties as a Jewish lad in a small village under the occupation of the Roman world, influenced considerably by Greek heritage. Jerusalem was right in the center of the great trade routes of the ancient world. For an eager and brilliant mind there was much to stimulate a growing youth. At some point Joseph dies and likely Jesus becomes something of the family head as the oldest son. He learns much about motherhood, womanhood, growing children, Jewish rituals, neighbors good and bad, Roman occupation, Greek culture, providing a livelihood for a large family, and the need to find solitude.

[12] In favor with God and people: Jesus not only learned but he increased in God’s favor [approval, blessing, love] indicating he was certainly not God Himself. How does one increase in God’s favor? By ever increasing faith demonstrated by a love for God’s Word and fellowship with His people. We can imagine a young man who the local people could not commend enough. He was not a selfish, egotistical, self-centered carpenter in Nazareth. Jesus learned how to get along with his neighbors, how to keep quiet and not express an opinion when it would accomplish nothing. He was no young upstart who irritated the elders of the community. He was liked by everyone and his reputation was flawless in his community. Everyone knew that the young carpenter did excellent work and asked a fair price. Later Paul will put it: “He learned obedience from the things he suffered.” [Hebrews 5:8]

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Preceding:

Nazarene Commentary Luke 2:1-7 – A Firstborn’s Birth In Bethlehem

Nazarene Commentary Luke 2:8-14 – Angels and Shepherds in the Night

Nazarene Commentary Luke 2:15-20 – Shepherds Find the Infant Christ

Nazarene Commentary Luke 2:21-24 – Presenting the Baby to God

Nazarene Commentary Luke 2:25-35 – Simeon’s Blessing and Warning

Nazarene Commentary Luke 2:36-38 – Anna’s Thanks before Those Waiting

Nazarene Commentary Luke 2:39-40 – The Young Child Grows

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File:Giovanni di Paolo - Infant Christ Disputing in the Temple.jpg

  • Jesus the Messiah celebrated the festival of Hanukkah (ivarfjeld.com)
    Could the Messiah have been born around the Feast of Tabernacles in October?

    It would be easy for the Roman Occupiers of this land, to arrange for a census in Jerusalem when millions of Jews came home to their own native village. Most of the ancient Biblical villages were located around Mount Zion, the city of Jerusalem, a day walk away or so. Even Jesus the Messiah, was dedicated in the Temple, shortly after His birth.

    It would be wise to arrange for a census when Jews celebrated a feast. It would be difficult to force Jews to travel around 25th of December, when there is no Jewish feast. And cold winds, and even snow are the normal climate, on the 700 meters high Mountains of Zion.

    Catholicism is fraud. It was fraud in 325 A.D, and it is fraud today.

    Celebrate the birth of Jesus the Messiah every day, and reject all kinds of paganism arranged for in his name. If you want to celebrate the birth of Messiah on 25th of December, at least be aware of who started this celebration. It was not the Jews who believed that Jesus was the Messiah, but rather the pagan papacy.

  • 2014 Scripture Reading Plan – Week of January 12, 2014 (bishopbillmcalilly.com)
    Jesus replied, “Why were you looking for me? Didn’t you know that it was necessary for me to be in my Father’s house?”
  • Was Jesus a prophet like Moses? (dailyminyan.com)
    Moses was born to normal human parents, while Jesus was born to a virgin who was made pregnant by G-d while betrothed to a man. That’s very unlike Moses, a mortal human being who had to overcome his weaknesses to submit himself to G-d, and was not a “100% G-d and 100% man” sinless superman capable of amazing feats. While Jesus also called himself a prophet (Luke 4:24), in the Hebrew Bible G-d always used normal, often flawed human beings to be prophets to His people. G-d never acted as His own prophet and servant to Himself.
  • The Reason Jesus Could Overcome All Trials and Death (asicansee.wordpress.com)
    Jesus is a man who lived having given up all the earthly hopes people normally cherish from the time of his youth. We must know that Jesus lived from early on with a hope for which he could forsake his family, his environment, his religious denomination, and even his nation. He had a firm belief and hope in Heaven that no one could change. The hope that he cherished in his young mind was an immutable, thorough-going one with which he could withstand whatever difficulties he might encounter. Therefore, we must remember once again that Jesus ran the path he had to take with unflagging perseverance.

    Jesus went to the temple in Jerusalem with his parents when he was twelve. His parents came back first, and Jesus remained there. When his parents came looking for him later, Jesus scolded them, saying, “How is it that you sought me? Did you not know that I must be in my Father’s house?” (Luke 2:49) We must know that Jesus cherished hope only for the Father.
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    Even though he raised twelve disciples, Jesus was pursued here and there. However, the more he was pursued and the more people were unable to understand his heart, the more ardently he thought about the Father’s nation and the Father’s heart. Although many battles and difficulties knocked against him, they could not crush Jesus’ perennial hope.

  • O’Neill-Fitzgerald “Christ Myth” Debate, #8: Why should anyone have noticed Jesus? (vridar.org)
    Tim O’Neill (TO) repeats, and repeats again and again in both 2011 and 2013, another common apologist mantra in his review of David Fitzgerald’s Nailed: Why would any Greek or Roman or even Jewish author have even noticed Jesus, let alone have bothered to write about him? After all, Jesus was just another nobody Jewish peasant and miracle worker — they were a dime a dozen — and this one was, even worse, in the “backblocks of Galilee”. Why, no-one apart from Josephus even mentions much more politically significant Jewish figures (various Jewish rebels) — (not true, as we saw in an earlier post) — so why would a Jewish peasant who didn’t even lead an armed rebellion against Rome have attracted any notice?
  • Carissimi: Sunday’s Mass; [Day VII] in the Octave of the Epiphany (frjeromeosjv.wordpress.com)
    “Sitting in the midst of the doctors who” were astonished at His wisdom and answers. Moreover since, “as God hath delivered to everyone the measure of Faith”, (Epistle) Christian souls form but “one body in Christ” (Epistle), they ought to be penetrated with the wisdom of Him who far from “conforming himself to the maxims of this world,” reforms “and rules human life according to the will of God” (Epistle).
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    “Did you not know that I must be about my Father’s business?” said the young boy Jesus. This wholly supernatural wisdom whose guiding principles exceed, without destroying those of the natural order, is beyond our unaided powers.
  • Article Of Faith: Women In The Ministry Of Jesus, by Femi Aribisala (naijaobserver.wordpress.com)
    The religious elite forbade the teaching of the scriptures to women. However, Jesus did not abide by this sexual discrimination. He taught Mary of Bethany and commended her scholarship to her sister, Martha; who was more inclined to perform the conventional female tasks of cooking and serving. He said to her: “Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things. But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her.” (Luke 10:41-42).
  • Breaking Down Barriers (plowsharesfromwords.wordpress.com)
    If today you were to visit Jerusalem you would find a massive Islamic building called the Dome of the Rock. This golden roofed structure sits atop of what used to be the center of the covenant between God and God’s chosen people, Israel. Starting with Solomon, the 3rd king of Israel, the Temple in Jerusalem became the place where God descended and dwelt. Solomon’s Temple was a particularly massive project. The Holy of Holies (the place where the LORD’s presence would dwell) was made of 600 talents of gold. A talent equals roughly 75 pounds. That means that there was over 45,000 pounds of gold (almost 23 tons) in the Holy of Holies. The Temple was 90 feet long and 30 feet wide. The height of the ceiling would make a claustrophobic happy…it was 45 feet high. Truly, Solomon constructed one of the great buildings of his time. However, Solomon’s Temple would be destroyed and rebuilt. It lost its grandeur in the rebuilding.
  • We can not see where Friday: Dec. 27 (prayerscapes.wordpress.com) gets the connection in this part of Scripture that “Jesus establishes that Christmas is about family”? The festival spoken of in this chapter is not at all about the 25th of December, the birthday of the goddess of light, but is about the people getting saved from the slavery of Egypt.
  • Following The Way: 3 ~ Jesus Did It And So Can You (butterfliesdragonspeace.blogspot.com)
    Jesus learned how to focus his mind completely on the task at hand. Perhaps he began to develop this skill in his fathers carpentry shop. A slip with an adze, chisel, saw, or other sharp wood working tool can be fatal. However he started to develop single mindedness he perfected it in the act of prayer. Prayer so deep and powerful it should properly be called meditation. His fourty days in the desert, the multiple times he is recorded as going to mountains to be alone and pray, his abilities to focus his energy for healing all shout out ‘single minded’ concentration.

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