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1 At that time, Iesus went on the Sabbath day thorow the corne, & his Disciples were an hungred, and beganne to pluck the eares of corne, and to eate.

2 But when the Pharises saw it, they said vnto him, Behold, thy Disciples doe that which is not lawfull to doe vpon the Sabbath day.

3 But he said vnto them, Haue yee not read what Dauid did when hee was an hungred, and they that were with him,

4 How he entred into the house of God, and did eate the shew bread, which was not lawfull for him to eate, neither for them which were with him, but, only for the Priests?

5 Or haue yee not read in the law, how that on the Sabbath dayes the Priests in the Temple profane the Sabbath, and are blamelesse?

6 But I saye vnto you, that in this place is one greater then the Temple.

7 But if yee had knowen what this meaneth, I will haue mercy, and not sacrifice, yee would not haue condemned the guiltlesse.

8 For the sonne of man is Lord euen of the Sabbath day.

9 And when hee was departed thence, he went into their Synagogue.

10 And behold, there was a man which had his hand withered, and they asked him, saying, Is it lawfull to heale on the Sabbath dayes? that they might accuse him.

11 And hee said vnto them, What man shal there be among you, that shall haue one sheepe: and if it fall into a pit on the Sabbath day, will hee not lay hold on it, and lift it out?

12 How much then is a man better then a shepe? Wherfore it is lawfull to doe well on the Sabbath dayes.

13 Then saith he to the man, Stretch forth thine hand: and hee stretched it forth, and it was restored whole, like as the other.

14 Then the Pharises went out, and held a counsell against him, how they might destroy him.

15 But when Iesus knew it, hee withdrew himselfe from thence: and great multitudes followed him, and he healed them all,

16 And charged them that they should not make him knowen:

17 That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the Prophet, saying,

18 Behold, my seruant whom I haue chosen, my beloued in whom my soule is well pleased: I will put my spirit vpon him, and he shall shew iudgement to the Gentiles.

19 He shall not striue, nor cry, neither shall any man heare his voice in the streets.

20 A bruised reed shal he not breake, and smoking flaxe shall he not quench, till he send forth iudgment vnto victory.

21 And in his name shall the Gentiles trust.

22 Then was brought vnto him one possessed with a deuill, blinde, and dumbe: and hee healed him, insomuch that the blinde and dumbe both spake and saw.

23 And all the people were amazed, and said, Is this the sonne of Dauid?

24 But when the Pharisees heard it, they said, This fellow doeth not cast out deuils, but by Beelzebub the prince of the deuils.

25 And Iesus knew their thoughts, and said vnto them, Euery kingdome diuided against it selfe, is brought to desolation: and euery citie or house diuided against it selfe, shall not stand.

26 And if Satan cast out Satan, he is diuided against himselfe; how shall then his kingdome stand?

27 And if I by Beelzebub cast out deuils, by whom doe your children cast them out? Therefore they shall be your Iudges.

28 But if I cast out deuils by the Spirit of God, then the kingdome of God is come vnto you.

29 Or else, how can one enter into a strong mans house, & spoile his goods, except hee first binde the strong man, and then he will spoile his house.

30 He that is not with me, is against me: and hee that gathereth not with me, scattereth abroad.

31 Wherefore I say vnto you, All maner of sinne and blasphemie shall be forgiuen vnto men: but the blasphemie against the holy Ghost, shall not bee forgiuen vnto men.

32 And whosoeuer speaketh a word against the sonne of man, it shall be forgiuen him: but whosoeuer speaketh against the holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiuen him, neither in this world, neither in the world to come.

33 Either make the tree good, and his fruit good: Or else make the tree corrupt, and his fruit corrupt: For the tree is knowen by his fruit.

34 O generation of vipers, how can ye, being euil, speake good things? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh.

35 A good man out of the good treasure of the heart, bringeth foorth good things: and an euill man out of the euill treasure, bringeth foorth euill things.

36 But I say vnto you, That euery idle word that men shall speake, they shall giue accompt thereof in the day of Iudgement.

37 For by thy wordes thou shalt bee iustified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.

38 Then certaine of the Scribes, and of the Pharisees, answered, saying, Master, we would see a signe from thee.

39 But hee answered, and said to them, An euill and adulterous generation seeketh after a signe, and there shall no signe be giuen to it, but the signe of the Prophet Ionas.

40 For as Ionas was three dayes and three nights in the whales belly: so shal the sonne of man be three daies and three nights in the heart of the earth.

41 The men of Nineue shall rise in iudgement with this generation, and shall condemne it, because they repented at the preaching of Ionas, and behold, a greater then Ionas is here.

42 The Queene of the South shall rise vp in the iudgement with this generation, and shall condemne it: for she came from the vttermost parts of the earth to heare the wisedome of Solomon, and behold, a greater then Solomon is here.

43 When the vncleane spirit is gone out of a man, hee walketh thorow dry places, seeking rest, and findeth none.

44 Then he saith, I will returne into my house from whence I came out; And when he is come, he findeth it emptie, swept, and garnished.

45 Then goeth he, and taketh with himselfe seuen other spirits more wicked then himselfe, and they enter in and dwell there: And the last state of that man is worse then the first. Euen so shal it be also vnto this wicked generation.

46 While he yet talked to the people, behold, his mother and his brethren stood without, desiring to speake with him.

47 Then one saide vnto him, Behold, thy mother and thy brethren stand without, desiring to speake with thee.

48 But he answered, and said vnto him that told him, Who is my mother? And who are my brethren?

49 And hee stretched forth his hand toward his disciples, and said, Behold, my mother and my brethren.

50 For whosoeuer shall doe the will of my Father which is in heauen, the same is my brother, and sister, and mother.

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Commentary for Matthew 12

Jesus defends his disciples for plucking corn on the sabbath day. (1-8) Jesus heals a man with a withered hand on the sabbath. (9-13) The malice of the Pharisees. (14-21) Jesus heals a demoniac. (22-30) Blasphemy of the Pharisees. (31,32) Evil words proceed from an evil heart. (33-37) The scribes and Pharisees reproved for seeking a sign. (38-45) The disciples of Christ are his nearest relations. (46-50)1-8 Being in the corn-fields, the disciples began to pluck the ears of corn: the law of God allowed it, #De 23:25|. This was slender provision for Christ and his disciples; but they were content with it. The Pharisees did not quarrel with them for taking another man's corn, but for doing it on the sabbath day. Christ came to free his followers, not only from the corruptions of the Pharisees, but from their unscriptural rules, and justified what they did. The greatest shall not have their lusts indulged, but the meanest shall have their wants considered. Those labours are lawful on the sabbath day which are necessary, and sabbath rest is to froward, not to hinder sabbath worship. Needful provision for health and food is to be made; but when servants are kept at home, and families become a scene of hurry and confusion on the Lord's day, to furnish a feast for visitors, or for indulgence, the case is very different. Such things as these, and many others common among professors, are to be blamed. The resting on the sabbath was ordained for man's good, #De 5:14|. No law must be understood so as to contradict its own end. And as Christ is the Lord of the sabbath, it is fit the day and the work of it should be dedicated to him.

9-13 Christ shows that works of mercy are lawful and proper to be done on the Lord's day. There are more ways of doing well upon sabbath days, than by the duties of worship: attending the sick, relieving the poor, helping those who need speedy relief, teaching the young to care for their souls; these are doing good: and these must be done from love and charity, with humility and self-denial, and shall be accepted, #Ge 4:7|. This, like other cures which Christ wrought, had a spiritual meaning. By nature our hands are withered, and we are unable of ourselves to do any thing that is good. Christ only, by the power of his grace, cures us; he heals the withered hand by putting life into the dead soul, works in us both to will and to do: for, with the command, there is a promise of grace given by the word.

14-21 The Pharisees took counsel to find some accusation, that Jesus might be condemned to death. Aware of their design, as his time was not come, he retired from that place. Face does not more exactly answer to face in water, than the character of Christ drawn by the prophet, to his temper and conduct as described by the evangelists. Let us with cheerful confidence commit our souls to so kind and faithful a Friend. Far from breaking, he will strengthen the bruised reed; far from quenching the smoking flax, or wick nearly out, he will rather blow it up into a flame. Let us lay aside contentious and angry debates; let us receive one another as Christ receives us. And while encouraged by the gracious kindness of our Lord, we should pray that his Spirit may rest upon us, and make us able to copy his example.

22-30 A soul under Satan's power, and led captive by him, is blind in the things of God, and dumb at the throne of grace; sees nothing, and says nothing to the purpose. Satan blinds the eyes by unbelief, and seals up the lips from prayer. The more people magnified Christ, the more desirous the Pharisees were to vilify him. It was evident that if Satan aided Jesus in casting out devils, the kingdom of hell was divided against itself; how then could it stand! And if they said that Jesus cast out devils by the prince of the devils, they could not prove that their children cast them out by any other power. There are two great interests in the world; and when unclean spirits are cast out by the Holy Spirit, in the conversion of sinners to a life of faith and obedience, the kingdom of God is come unto us. All who do not aid or rejoice in such a change are against Christ.

31,32 Here is a gracious assurance of the pardon of all sin upon gospel terms. Christ herein has set an example to the sons of men, to be ready to forgive words spoken against them. But humble and conscientious believers, at times are tempted to think they have committed the unpardonable sin, while those who have come the nearest to it, seldom have any fear about it. We may be sure that those who indeed repent and believe the gospel, have not committed this sin, or any other of the same kind; for repentance and faith are the special gifts of God, which he would not bestow on any man, if he were determined never to pardon him; and those who fear they have committed this sin, give a good sign that they have not. The trembling, contrite sinner, has the witness in himself that this is not his case.

33-37 Men's language discovers what country they are of, likewise what manner of spirit they are of. The heart is the fountain, words are the streams. A troubled fountain, and a corrupt spring, must send forth muddy and unpleasant streams. Nothing but the salt of grace, cast into the spring, will heal the waters, season the speech, and purify the corrupt communication. An evil man has an evil treasure in his heart, and out of it brings forth evil things. Lusts and corruptions, dwelling and reigning in the heart, are an evil treasure, out of which the sinner brings forth bad words and actions, to dishonour God, and hurt others. Let us keep constant watch over ourselves, that we may speak words agreeable to the Christian character.

38-45 Though Christ is always ready to hear and answer holy desires and prayers, yet those who ask amiss, ask and have not. Signs were granted to those who desired them to confirm their faith, as Abraham and Gideon; but denied to those who demanded them to excuse their unbelief. The resurrection of Christ from the dead by his own power, called here the sign of the prophet Jonah, was the great proof of Christ's being the Messiah. As Jonah was three days and three nights in the whale, and then came out again alive, thus Christ would be so long in the grave, and then rise again. The Ninevites would shame the Jews for not repenting; the queen of Sheba, for not believing in Christ. And we have no such cares to hinder us, we come not to Christ upon such uncertainties. This parable represents the case of the Jewish church and nation. It is also applicable to all those who hear the word of God, and are in part reformed, but not truly converted. The unclean spirit leaves for a time, but when he returns, he finds Christ is not there to shut him out; the heart is swept by outward reformation, but garnished by preparation to comply with evil suggestions, and the man becomes a more decided enemy of the truth. Every heart is the residence of unclean spirits, except those which are temples of the Holy Ghost, by faith in Christ.

46-50 Christ's preaching was plain, easy, and familiar, and suited to his hearers. His mother and brethren stood without, desiring to speak with him, when they should have been standing within, desiring to hear him. Frequently, those who are nearest to the means of knowledge and grace are most negligent. We are apt to neglect that which we think we may have any day, forgetting that to-morrow is not ours. We often meet with hinderances in our work from friends about us, and are taken off by care for the things of this life, from the concerns of our souls. Christ was so intent on his work, that no natural or other duty took him from it. Not that, under pretence of religion, we may be disrespectful to parents, or unkind to relations; but the lesser duty must stand by, while the greater is done. Let us cease from men, and cleave to Christ; let us look upon every Christian, in whatever condition of life, as the brother, sister, or mother of the Lord of glory; let us love, respect, and be kind to them, for his sake, and after his example.

Commentary by Matthew Henry, 1710.

Discussion for Matthew 12

  • Bruce
    Neil: Verse 24: Pharisees Said Jesus is Casting Out Devils by Beelzebub The Prince of Devils. Verses 31-32: Speaking Blasphemy Against The Holy Ghost Will not be Forgiven, Never/ Not Believing is Not Blasphemy Against The Holy Ghost. All are Non-believers.Only When The Father Calls(John 6:44) Ask Forgiveness(1John 1:9) Washed by His Blood(Revelation 1:5) Baptized with The Holy Ghost(Mark 1:8)
  • Bruce
    Steve Read Verse 24. Their Saying Christ is Casting Out devils by Beelzebub( Calling The Holy Ghost The Prince of Devils)
  • Bruce
    The Lord is Longsuffering to us-ward, not Willing that Any should Perish, But that All should Come to Repentance (2Peter3:9) Enter Ye in at The Strait Gate: for Wide is The Gate and Broad is The Way that Leadeth to Destruction and Many there be Which go in thereat:Because Strait is The Gate and Narrow is The Way that Leadeth to Life and Few there be that Find it(Matthew 7: 13-14)
  • I AM THAT I AM
    Every oppressed spirit that is of God comes to repentance and shall be forgiven as this is the will of the Lord. That oppressing spirit of antichrist confesses not that Jesus, even this Christ child, is come in the flesh this very day and therefore, is not forgiven in any generation of this world (soon to be made void, again.) That antichrist spirit is a deceiver as it knows Christ IS here, NOW.
  • Steven marks
    i do not understand paragraph 32.
  • Jeff
    The "smoking flax" refers to the flax wick of a lantern. If not trimmed properly the wick smokes. Same if the lamp is low on oil.

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