Matt. 12: Conflict With the Pharisees
When Critics Get Personal and In Your Face
During my time in the military, particularly in basic training with the Marine Corps Officer Candidate School and in Army Airborne and Ranger training, drill sergeants often spoke in a manner that did not make you feel warm and fuzzy! Some of those one-way “conversations” were conducted very much “in your face.” The harsh tone and criticism wasn’t always deserved, but received nonetheless. The overall intent, though, was not to destroy you, but to build physical and mental toughness, as well as weed out those who didn’t measure up.
But not all who criticize do so to build us up. Can you think of a time in your life when you were publicly humiliated and rejected by someone in authority, even though you had done no wrong? Being publicly reprimanded can be harsh, even if we know that we did something wrong. But to be completely innocent and receive such treatment causes unspeakable hurt and anger. If you have experienced that, Jesus can empathize completely.
Jesus Turns From the Pharisees to Those Who Accept Him
In today’s lesson, we see Jesus in a final conflict with the Pharisees. With great symbolism, the final verses in today’s scriptures state, “…Jesus [went] out of the house, and sat by the sea side. And great multitudes were gathered together unto Him…” (Matthew 13:1-2 KJV). The Pharisees not only rejected Jesus, but they claimed He was doing miracles and casting out demons by Beelzebub, the prince of the devils. This led Jesus to tell His followers that such blasphemy against the Holy Ghost would be forgiven neither in this world, nor in the world to come. But even while the Pharisees were plotting to kill Jesus, multitudes were turning to Him for their salvation. For them, He healed all their diseases, forgave their sins, and taught them great truths about the Kingdom of God.
[pullquote_center width=”85%”]For whosoever shall do the will of my Father which is in heaven, the same is my brother, and sister, and mother. (Matthew 12:50 KJV)[/pullquote_center]
Do You Accept or Reject Christ
The scriptures in today’s passage ought to make us shudder as we consider the magnitude of our response to the Jesus of the Bible. Yes, God is a God of love. Yes, Jesus came to earth to ultimately die to take away the sin of the world. But Jesus also made it clear that salvation is not automatic, even for those who practice religion with great fervor. Salvation comes by turning from our sin to Jesus. Following Jesus will be no more popular today that it was when Jesus walked on this earth in human flesh. But our eternal destiny is at stake in our acceptance or rejection of Jesus. Have you turned to Him yet for salvation? If not, don’t delay another minute, become part of His great eternal family today. For more on this topic, CLICK HERE to listen to today’s lesson.
Get Plugged Into God’s Plan Today
If you are uncertain of your standing with God, then go to Him right now to start your eternal relationship with Him. His free gift of eternal life and sanctification in Christ is there for the asking. Once you have taken that first step of salvation, our study in Matthew will get you well on your way to a loving and lasting relationship with the Almighty God who is seeking your friendship. He will guide you into all the truth (John 16:13) and help you become and do all He has in store for you.
- CLICK HERE to listen to today’s lesson, A Final Conflict With the Pharisees – Matt. 12:14-13:2.
- CLICK HERE for an overview of the Gospel of Matthew.
- CLICK HERE to open or download notes and the outline for the Gospel of Matthew.
- CLICK HERE for more about putting your faith in Jesus Christ for your eternal salvation.
- CLICK HERE to access the complete listing of Bible Studies in the Book of Matthew.