Matthew 12:9 MEANING

Matthew 12:9
(9) He went into their synagogue--i.e., that of the Pharisees whom He had just reproved, probably, therefore, the synagogue of Capernaum. The narratives in St. Matthew and St. Mark convey the impression that it was on the same Sabbath. St. Luke, however, as if he had made more careful inquiry, states definitely that it was on another, and this the others do not directly contradict.

Verses 9-14. - The healing of the man with the withered hand. Parallel passages: Mark 3:1-6; Luke 6:6-11. In vers. 10, 11 there are reminiscences of a narrative, presumably belonging to the Framework, which is essentially preserved in Luke 14:2-5 (cf. Weiss). In this section the opposition of the Pharisees is turned directly against our Lord himself for breaking the sabbath. Observe, however, that he did not do this for his own benefit. It was his kindness to another that brought about the determination to kill him. Verse 9. - And when he was departed thence (καὶ μεταβὰς ἐκεῖθεν). The phrase implies more than removal from that place in the corn-fields where he had been accused by the Pharisees, and is to be understood of removal from one town to another, the words that originally preceded this narrative not being recorded (cf. infra, and Matthew 11:1, note). When. therefore, it took place we have absolutely no means of knowing, save that it was not on the same day as the event recorded in vers. 1-8 (cf. Luke, "on another sabbath"), and that it was later on in his ministry. He went into their synagogue. Whose? Hardly the Pharisees mentioned in ver. 2, as this was a different occasion. Possibly the Galilaeans, among whom he then was (cf. Matthew 4:23; Matthew 9:35), or probably the Jews generally (cf. Matthew 11:1, note). In the two last cases the subject of "they asked," in ver. 10, would be the same as that of "they watched." in Mark (Mark 3:2), namely, the frequenters of the synagogue. among whom the Pharisees naturally took a prominent place. But it is quite possible that we have here a trace of the use of a fresh source, the αὐτῶν being quite intelligible in its original context.

12:9-13 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.And when he was departed thence,.... From the corn fields, where the disciples had plucked the ears of corn, and this conversation passed between Christ and the Pharisees about the violation of the sabbath, he went into their synagogue; not on the same sabbath day, as one might be led to conclude from the account of this evangelist, but on another sabbath, as Luke expresses it, Luke 6:6. He might indeed directly go into one of their synagogues the same day, where he and his disciples seem to have been going, and stay in the city the week following; and then, as it is said in Mark 3:1 he entered again into the synagogue; not being afraid of the Pharisees, who sought an advantage against him; nor deterred by them from doing good to men; and willing to take another opportunity of exposing their ignorance and malice.
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