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But when the Pharisees saw it, they said unto him, Behold, thy disciples do that which is not lawful to do upon the sabbath day.
But he said unto them, Have ye not read what David did, when he was an hungred, and they that were with him;
How he entered into ° the house of God, and did eat the showbread, which was not lawful for him to eat, neither for them which were with him, but only for the priests?
Or have ye not read in the law, how that on the sabbath days the priests in the temple profane the sabbath, and are blameless?
But I say unto you, That in this place is one greater than the temple.
For the Son of man is Lord even of the sabbath day.
And, behold, there was a man which had his hand withered. And they asked him, saying, Is it lawful ° to heal on the sabbath days? that they might accuse him.
And he said unto them, What man shall there be among you, that shall have one sheep, and if it fall into a pit on the sabbath day, will he not lay hold on it, and lift it out?
How much then is a man better than a sheep? Wherefore it is lawful to do well on the sabbath days.
Then saith he to the man, Stretch forth thine hand. And he stretched it forth; and it was restored whole, like as the other.
Then was brought unto him one possessed with a devil, blind, and dumb: and he healed him, insomuch that the blind and dumb both spake and saw.
But when the Pharisees heard it, they said, This fellow doth not cast out devils, but by Beelzebub the prince of the devils.
He that is not with me is against me; and he that gathereth not with me scattereth abroad.
Wherefore I say unto you, All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men: but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men.
A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things.
For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.
But he answered and said unto them, An evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given to it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas:
The queen of the south shall rise up in the judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it: for she came from the uttermost parts of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and, behold, a greater than Solomon is here.
Then he saith, I will return into my house from whence I came out; and when he is come, he findeth it empty, swept, and garnished.
Then goeth he, and taketh with himself seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter in and dwell there: and the last state of that man is worse than the first. Even so shall it be also unto this wicked generation.

New Defender's Study Bible Notes

12:3 Have ye not read. The Lord Jesus frequently referred to the Old Testament Scriptures in support of His teachings and actions (here it is from I Samuel 21:1-6). He also assumed that His listeners would be familiar with the Scriptures cited.

12:5 read in the law. Christ was not referring to a specific Scripture here, but to the fact that priests had to officiate at sacrifices on the Sabbath (Numbers 28:9) and also perform circumcisions on the Sabbath (John 7:22).

12:8 sabbath day. The Son of man, in fact, established the Sabbath day, when He “rested from all His work God created and made” (Genesis 2:3). As the Creator of all things (John 1:1-3), Christ surely had all authority over the Sabbath day, especially “to do well on the sabbath” (Matthew 12:12).

12:13 restored whole. The Pharisees thus saw direct evident that Christ was Creator, for it would require a miracle of creation to make a withered hand whole, yet it merely strengthened their resolve to destroy Him (Matthew 12:14).

12:17 spoken by Esaias. Matthew thus confirms in Matthew 12:17-20 that the remarkable prophecy of Isaiah 42:1-3 was fulfilled in Christ.

12:26 divided against himself. See note on Matthew 9:34.

12:32 not be forgiven him. The unforgivable sin of speaking against the Holy Spirit has been interpreted in various ways, but the true meaning cannot contradict other Scripture. It is unequivocally clear that the one unforgivable sin is permanently rejecting Christ (John 3:18; 3:36; etc.). Thus, speaking against the Holy Spirit is equivalent to rejecting Christ with such finality that no future repentance is possible. “My Spirit shall not always strive with man,” God said long ago (Genesis 6:3). Jesus added: “No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him” (John 6:44). In the context of this particular passage (Matthew 12:22-32), Jesus had performed a great miracle of creation, involving both healing and casting out a demon, but the Pharisees rejected this clear witness of the Holy Spirit that Jesus was exercising powers only God possessed. Instead they attributed His powers to Satan, thus demonstrating an attitude permanently resistant to the Spirit and to the deity and saving gospel of Christ.

12:34 generation of vipers. Jesus could be as severe in His condemnation of sin, especially the sins of pride and hypocrisy, as any Old Testament pronouncement of God. See also Matthew 23:33.

12:36 idle word. Evidently the words men speak will have a bearing on their degrees of reward in heaven, or degrees of suffering in hell.

12:39 seeketh after a sign. “Sign” is the same word as “miracle.” This rebuke from Christ seems applicable to those Christians today who are continually looking for miraculous manifestations of one kind or another. We already have the completed Word of God, with abundant testimony to its inerrant authority, not to mention the tremendous scientific evidence of creation and historical evidence of Christ’s victory over death, so there is no need for further miraculous confirmation of our faith.

12:40 whale’s belly. The remarkable miracle of Jonah and the great fish (Jonah 1:17) has been ridiculed by many generations of skeptics, but the Lord Jesus confirmed that it really happened. Furthermore, He appropriated it as a prophetic type of His own coming death and resurrection. The Greek word translated “whale,” incidentally, does not necessarily mean “whale,” but any great marine animal.

12:40 three days and three nights. If “three days and three nights” is taken to mean literally seventy-two hours, there would be an apparent contradiction with the many prophecies and records that He would rise on “the third day” (Matthew 16:21; 20:19; John 2:19; I Corinthians 15:4; etc.), This reckoning would oppose the uniform tradition of the church that He was crucified on Friday and rose on Sunday. The problem is resolved if one assumes that any portion of a day or night could be idiomatically reckoned as a “day and night.” Actual extra-Biblical justification for assuming this idiomatic usage here exists. Thus, if three calendar dates are involved, they can be counted as the entire three days and nights. At least two similar usages can be found in the Old Testament. Note Esther 4:16 in comparison with Esther 5:1, and also I Samuel 30:12 with I Samuel 30:13.

12:41 The men of Nineveh. The unique revival in the wicked city of Nineveh at the preaching of Jonah is here verified by the Lord Jesus.

12:50 mother. This mild rebuke to Mary did not indicate a lack of love or filial respect on Jesus’ part (John 19:27), but does show that she does not hold priority with Him over other believers in the family of God.

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