Matthew 12:9-14 Jesus Heals the Man with the Withered Hand on the Sabbath

Willie Coyote after being blown up

His traps never worked either

We are continuing the Sabbath day’s journey with Jesus, His disciples, and the judgmental Pharisee group. Jesus was apparently on His way to the Synagogue when He and His disciples were walking by the grain field. The Pharisees were still spoiling for a fight as they tagged along.

The first thing recorded by Matthew after Jesus entered the synagogue is the fact that there is a man with a withered hand in attendance that day. Did Jesus notice the man first or did the Pharisees pull him from the crowd in order to bait Jesus? Had Jesus identified the man and stepped near him to address his need? Did the man approach Jesus or one of His disciples for healing? What were His disciples doing during this time? We are told straight up that the Pharisees’ question about healing this man was devised to find some reason to accuse Jesus of wrongdoing. They didn’t like Jesus one bit and would use any excuse to get rid of Him, permanently!  Read more »

Matthew 12:1-8 Jesus, Lord of the Sabbath

pouring wheat from one hand to another

High price for a small snack

Jesus and His disciples are back together and continuing their ministering journey. We are not told where they were on their way from or to, but that they found themselves in a grain field one fine Saturday. I’m assuming they were walking along and it’s about midday. I did a little research on how far one could travel on the Sabbath day and states it is a little over two miles.

When Matthew reports that they were hungry, I don’t know if it was an “in between meals” kind of hungry or an “I haven’t had anything to eat all day” kind of hungry. Whichever it was, they used the available food source to satiate it. According to the Sabbath laws they couldn’t cook any food or even stop by the store or restaurant to buy something to eat. Read more »

Matthew 11:25-30 Jesus, Hidden In Plain Sight

two emojis fist bump

The Best Secret EVER!

I wonder if Jesus is still with the same crowd we left Him with yesterday or if this is a new group. Luke has Jesus with the 72 disciples He sent out when He thanks God with this statement. Luke’s gospel also leads me to believe yesterday’s message was delivered to the 72 just before they left (Luke 10:12-15) on His mission and today’s message was right after their return (Luke 10:21-22).

Using Luke’s setting, Jesus is talking to His larger group of laborers who have just returned from the field victoriously! They are excited about all that happened during their time of ministry. Why did they all come back at this time? Was this a prearranged meeting place? Were they given a time frame for their first trip into the field? They all came back together and met Jesus in this place to debrief. Read more »

Matthew 11:20-24 Jesus Speaks Against the Cities

scale of justice

Woe to the unbelieving cities

Jesus has been teaching and performing miracles for some time now. He has been drawing large crowds, especially for the healings, but the majority of the people still refuse to believe. Today Jesus speaks out about it.

We are not told where Jesus is at when he starts pronouncing His “woe” for the cities. He starts off talking about Chorazin and Bethsaida. He is distressed by the fact that these cities have seen numerous miracles and have personally heard Him teaching, yet refuse to believe the message He is bringing. Jesus told His disciples that if a city didn’t accept them, to shake the dust off their feet as a testament against them on the day of judgement. I think this is Jesus’ version of that act. The disciples could do their pronouncement covertly, but Jesus was very overt in His. Read more »

Matthew 11:1-19 Jesus Shares About John the Baptist

leg with chain and lock on

John has time to think

Jesus has just finished sending His disciples out into the field. He didn’t simply delegate the tasks to His disciples and take a much deserved vacation, but continued on teaching and preaching in their absence. There was still much work to do. Jesus is continuing on without His twelve closest disciples but I’m certain He is not alone. He still has other followers with Him as well as continues to draw large crowds wherever He goes.

John the Baptist has been in prison for some time now. While in prison John has had some time to think. John and Jesus were cousins. We don’t know how much time they spent together during their early years but I’m assuming they were at least together during religious celebration from time to time. During the first two years of Jesus’ life I believe they lived about a day’s journey apart. But after Joseph fled to Egypt and later returned to Nazareth there was probably little interaction between the two. John knew who Jesus was when He came to be baptized though. I don’t know if this was because of personal interaction or divine revelation, but John knew of Jesus’ important role and recognized Him on sight. John had further confirmation of Jesus as the Messiah immediately following His baptism. Read more »