What did I learn about Jesus?
- Jesus reiterates that he is divine (verse 8).
- Jesus was a student of the Word (which speaks to importance of OUR studying and memorizing the Word).
What did I learn about disciple-making?
- Again, our genuineness as disciples is clearly evidenced by the fruit of our lives.
- When you follow Jesus, you have a new familial identity (verses 46-50).
Extended thoughts and observations:
Verse 1: Notice, again, Jesus’ self-awareness; “Greater than the temple”… “the Lord of the Sabbath.” Anyone who claims that Matthew, Mark, Luke and John don’t portray Jesus as divine is ignoring these clear and profound claims.
Verse 12: Jesus’ violations of Sabbath law were frequent. How awful that Jesus heals this man… and their response, instead of worship, is to plot to kill Him. This is another Old Testament quote, which Matthew does more than any other gospel.
Verse 22: Beelzebub means “Lord of the Flies.” We have another astounding case of spiritual blindness. Jesus does this incredible healing… and His hyper-spiritual opponents assume it must be a work of the Devil. Here we are introduced to the “Unforgiveable Sin.” What is it? When a person reaches a point of spiritual blindness where they see light and call it darkness. This has always made me nervous about being too critical of modern “miracle-workers.” I would hate to be found criticizing something that is genuinely of God… don’t want to blaspheme His work… and if it is NOT genuine, God will sort it out.
Verses 30-37 really deserve deep reflection. It is a repeat of Chapter 7’s comments about the good tree/bad tree theme. Look at verse 34… “For out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks.” I have been so convicted of this in the past. If I swear or say something foul… what does that say about my heart? And it’s not just a matter of controlling my mouth… it is a matter of Christ REALLY changing my heart so that there is no cesspool source of those comments. As He always does, Jesus takes our actions to a deeper place of the heart.
My specific learning: I must monitor what comes out of my mouth. Not to control it… if it WANTS to come out, it is too late and too far because it is the reflection of my heart. Rather, beg Christ to make my heart good. Also, here is a caution to us “religious” leaders to never reflect the blind institutional faith that Jesus MOST condemned… especially when dealing with “sinners!”