Summary: exposition on Matt ch 12
THE PRE-EMINENCE OF CHRIST
Matthew 12 v. 1 - 21
1.The Pre-eminence of His worship v. 1 - 8. we see here the attack of the Pharisees
(a) The source of the attack v. 2 "the Pharisees" who were devout legalists
(b) The subtletly of the attack v. 2 "plucking corn was unlawful on the Sabbath." i.e. their law not God’s law
(c) The severity of the attack v. 2 "but when they saw it." - if guilty the disciples should be stoned for the desecration of the Sabbath
(d) The shortcoming of the attack v. 3 "have ye not read"
i.e.they were ignorant of God’s word, they had failed :-
in reading it aright, in understanding it aright , and in applying it aright.
(e) The silencing of the attack v. 3 - 8 Christ’s answer was:-
(1) Rational - in the past " Have ye not read what David did?" He eat the shewbread, when he was fleeing from Saul, because he was hungry.
Here was an illustration which was fair, fitting, and faithful
in the present what of the Priests? v. 5 Do they not profane the Sabbath by their sacrifices (of animals), their services (rituals, such as circumcision.), and by their supplications
(2) Reasonable - if David was innocent in the service of the kingdom, and the priests are innocent in the service of the temple, how much more the disciples in the service of God v. 6 "for Christ is greater than the temple"
(3) Revealing v. 7 "if ye had known".
they were ignorant of God’s will - "I will have mercy or I desire mercy" i.e," to obey is better than sacrifice and to hearken than the fat of rams."
ignorant of God’s ways i.e.they are spirit and life, not legal and dead, and
ignorant of God’s works "I will have mercy, and not sacrifice." who is a pardoning God like thee, or who hath Grace so rich and free.
(4) Right v. 7 "if ye had known" - ye would not have condemned the innocent, you should have:- defended them, encouraged them, supported them, and strengthened them,and not condemned them.
(5) Remarkable v. 9 - 13 we now see :-
2.The Pre-eminence of His worth v. 9 - 21 in his healing of the man with the withered hand. Note:-
(a) The place v. 9 "Jesus was in the synagogue"
(b) The problem "the man with his hand withered"
(c) The pitfall v. 10 "is it lawful to heal on the sabbath day?" it was :-
(1) An arrogant question (Jesus had already answered)
(2) An absurd question i.e.they could save sheep on the sabbath, why not souls?
(3) An aggravated question - it was provoked by their earlier rebuke
(d) The power v. 13 "stretch forth thine hand." it was :-
(1) A simple command "stretch forth."
(2) A soverign command "saith He" what a difference when the Lord speaks
(3) A searching command " it was a call to obedience"
(4) A successful command " and it was restored whole."
(e) The price v. 14 " Then the Pharisees sought to destroy Jesus." see :-
(1) The agreement of the council i.e. Pharisees & Herodians united
(2) The animosity of the council "against Him"
(3) The aim of the council "destroy Him"
(4) The avoidance of the council v. 15 "Jesus withdrew Himself from thence"
3 The Pre-eminence of His works v. 15 - 21 - v. 15 "great multitudes followed him and He healed them all" we see here :-