Getting to Know Jesus: Revelation 22

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To know that Jesus is coming soon comforts my soul. No matter what we face in the midst of momentary troubles, Jesus will return to restore our weakened souls into a marvelous reflection of His glory. And we will be forever held in the arms of the One we were made for. The One who holds the universe together. The One who can satisfy. Sometimes I wish Jesus would just come back now. That He would come and rescue us from this world wrought with pain and confusion. And bring us into His glorious dwelling place, at the feet of the One whom the universe cries out to in praise and wonder. But that time has not yet come. We are left here for a reason. To live out our lives like Jesus and share with others what we’re all waiting for. The hope of eternity with our Savior.

In Revelation 22, Jesus exclaims many times over that He is indeed returning for us. Through prophecies of events yet to come in the book of Revelation revealed to his disciple, John, Jesus gives us a glimpse into the future, elevating our sense of urgency to make the most of the time we have now. Exiled on the rocky, barren island of Patmos for proclaiming the gospel in Rome, John probably thought that his purpose in life had come to a halt.  There was nobody around him to talk to, nobody to share Christ with, nobody at all. Surely nothing fruitful could come from being exiled upon a rocky, barren island. But Jesus proves him otherwise. In this midst of his dry and seemingly useless circumstance, Jesus shows up in an extraordinary way to John. When he least expected it. Because of this revelation, John authored the most prolific book of the Biblical canon. Out of a rocky, barren place came a fresh anointing of revelation.

This is so applicable to our lives today, which are filled with rocky and barren places…rocky and barren circumstances… rocky and barren hopes. In the midst of your dry and weary circumstance, know that Jesus has a revelation he wants to give to you. It probably won’t be as vivid as what John saw. You may not even see a thing. But the Lord will speak to you through His Word if you let Him. He will quiet our souls with His presence if we will be still and know that He is God. He will encourage us through others who have words of wisdom to share. Let us be attentive to the whispers of the Lord. For God’s whispers bring life and healing to dry places. He is living water.

Because of this imminent hope, this passage in Revelation 22 should thrill us and fill us with such excitement and anticipation for eternity that we just can’t restrain ourselves from declaring the gospel message in which we believe. John was privileged with this revelation of the end of times and the coming Christ, and so entrusted to share it. Likewise, we are entrusted with the gospel message for the hope of all who would call on the name of the Lord. Partnering with God in evangelism hinges on our desperation to share this good news with others. Not that God needs us. But He does want us to partner with Him. If we don’t feel the need to do so, we risk missing the opportunity to contribute to God’s cause of salvation on the earth. We must join with Him in reaching out to others who need hope in the midst of their rocky, barren circumstances. For Jesus is never too far away to reveal Himself.

Let this passage in Revelation 22 be an encouragement for our souls as we learn about the coming of our redeemer Jesus Christ. The One who reigns with bold authority and gentle love. The One in whom the river of life is found. Let us drink from the river of life together, and offer this overflowing cup of living water to all those who will partake.

Summary of Revelation 22

The angel shows John the river of life that flows through the middle of the new city of heaven; John describes the river and then the tree of life with its 12 kinds of fruit; the leaves are for the healing of the nations; there will no longer be anything accursed; the throne of God and the Lamb will be worshiped by His people; His people will see God’s face; God’s name will be on their foreheads; there will be no more night because the Lord will be the eternal light; God and His people will reign forever; Jesus speaks to John, telling him that His words are true and that the angel has been sent to prophecy about these future events; Jesus says that He is coming soon; Jesus says that the person who keeps the words of the book of Revelation is blessed; John testifies that he is the one who saw and heard these things; John falls down to worship the angel who told him all these things, but the angel tells him not to worship him but only to worship God; Jesus tells John to not keep what he has seen a secret because the time is near for it to take place; Jesus again says that He is coming soon, as He is the Alpha and Omega; Jesus says that the ones who wash their robes in order to enter into this new city of heaven are blessed; Jesus declares that the ones outside the doors are the ones who practice falsehood; Jesus declares that he has sent the angel to testify about these future events recorded in the book of Revelation for the original audience, the seven churches (mentioned in chapters 2-3) in Asia Minor; Jesus is the descendant of David and the bright morning star; Jesus invites any who are thirsty to come and partake of this water of life; Jesus warns everyone who hears or reads the prophecies of this book that if they try to take away from these words or add to them, they will not inherit the kingdom; Jesus says again that He is coming soon.

 

Jesus in Revelation 22

Jesus is the Lamb (v. 1)

Jesus’ throne and God’s throne is the source of the water of life (v. 1)

Jesus’ river of water of life flows through the middle of the city (v. 2)

Jesus’ living water is accessible to all in the city (v. 2)

Jesus’ tree of life brings healing to the nations (v. 2)

Jesus’ throne removes the former curse of sin (v. 3)

Jesus will be worshiped by His people (v. 3)

Jesus’ face is seen by His servants (v. 4)

Jesus is accessible (v. 4)

Jesus is available (v. 4)

Jesus lives with His people (v. 4)

Jesus’ Name will be on the foreheads of His people (v. 4)

Jesus abolishes night and darkness (v. 5)

Jesus is an eternal light (v. 5)

Jesus will reign forever with His people (v. 5)

Jesus says these words (of Revelation) are trustworthy and true (v. 6)

Jesus is faithful to His word (v. 6)

Jesus is honest (v. 6)

Jesus sends an angel to shows His servants what will soon take place (v. 6)

Jesus says He is coming soon (v. 7)

Jesus warns (v. 7)

Jesus blesses the One who keeps the words of the this book (v. 7)

Jesus reveals these things to John, his beloved disciple (v. 8)

Jesus says to not seal up the words of the prophecy of this book (v. 10)

Jesus possesses a sense of urgency (v. 10)

Jesus says to persist in righteousness  (v. 11)

Jesus says to persist in holiness (v. 11)

Jesus says again that He is coming soon (v. 12)

Jesus declares He is bringing His reward with Him (v. 12)

Jesus is a giver (v. 12)

Jesus will repay each one for what he or she has done (v. 12)

Jesus is the Alpha and the Omega (v. 13)

Jesus is the first and the last (v. 13)

Jesus is the beginning and the end (v. 13)

Jesus is supreme over all (v. 13)

Jesus blesses those who wash their robes by His blood (v. 14)

Jesus’ blood alone allows entry into the city (v. 14)

Jesus rejects those who have rejected His blood (v. 15)

Jesus sends His angel to testify about the seven churches (v. 16)

Jesus is the root (v. 16)

Jesus is the descendant of David (v. 16)

Jesus is the bright morning star (v. 16)

Jesus’ Spirit invites all those who will respond to partake of His living water (v. 17)

Jesus desires all to choose life in Him (v. 17)

Jesus satisfies our thirst with the water of life (v. 17)

Jesus’ invitation is free of price (v. 17)

Jesus warns the person who tries to distort the book of Revelation (v. 18)

Jesus will add plagues to a person who adds to the words of Revelation (v. 18)

Jesus will take away the share of the city and the tree of life from the person who takes away from the words of Revelation (v. 19)

Jesus reiterates that He is coming soon (v. 20)

“And Behold, I am coming soon. Blessed is the one who keeps the words of the prophecy of this book.”

–Revelation 22:7 –

Questions for Today:

  • Why does Jesus repeatedly tell us that He is coming soon?
  • Do I live as if Jesus is coming soon?
  • How am I sharing with others the gospel message I believe in?
  • How can I receive God’s living water despite the rocky, barren places in my life?
  • Am I attentive to hear the whispers of God?
  • What next step is Jesus asking me to take in my relationship with Him today?

“Stand in Awe” by Hillsong Worship

When God Doesn’t Give You What You Ask For

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Sometimes I wonder why God remains silent.

Why He doesn’t answer us when we expect Him to. Why He doesn’t give me what I ask for.

There are times when I feel like God remains seemingly inactive in my life. In these moments when I find my circumstances overwhelming and less than favorable, I know that God is great enough to do something. So I expect that He will step in and help me. I wait for Him to do a miracle. But sometimes He just doesn’t. Sometimes He doesn’t answer. For too long I have subconsciously viewed God as the receiver of my prayers and the magician of my wishes. Thinking that God would answer my prayers according to my faith, or according to my worth from my own accomplishments.

When my prayers go unanswered or seemingly unnoticed, at times I feel like I’ve messed up too much for God to hear me. I feel like He’s ashamed of me to answer me. Or that He just doesn’t care enough to bother. Other times I think that God is trying to teach me a lesson. That His silence towards me is His way of telling me that I haven’t done enough or need to change. All of these thoughts are completely wrong and really unbiblical. For Psalm 9:12 declares that God never ignores us. Luke 12:6 also reminds us that if God doesn’t even forget the sparrows in the sky, he will surely not forget us who are worth far more than sparrows.

Still, I can remind myself of all these truths, but in real time I wrestle with doubt and frustration when I feel like God doesn’t hear me. For instance I’ve been confused about God’s apparent absence in my life regarding my job outlook and finances. I’ve been praying and searching and doing everything I know to do, but I feel like God doesn’t see me or hear me. I feel ignored. As if God doesn’t want to help me this time around. In other areas of need He may be quicker to answer, but in certain situations I feel like God is so far away.

And it’s easy for me to feel like I’ve done something wrong or that I don’t deserve His favor.

But maybe, His absence in my life isn’t a result of what I’ve done or not done… but a result of what He wants to do in His own timing.

Right now, God is teaching me how to rely on Him even when I feel disappointed that He ignores my need.

Because really, it’s me who has the distorted perception of my “need” and His “avoidance” of it. To God, my primary need is probably not financial or occupational, but spiritual. God wants to do a work in my heart before He can entrust to me what could potentially lead me to rely on myself. Maybe I’m not ready to receive what I ask for. So God isn’t giving it. While in the midst of my frustrations about God not answering me, I’m realizing that it’s okay to be honest with God. It’s not like He’s unaware anyways.  He knows it all. I think we need to learn how to be open and honest with God about what we’re feeling, thinking and struggling with because there is power in that moment of vulnerability. It leads us to a real conversation with God where we recognize our own inadequacy and our desperate need of Jesus. We need that authenticity before God. It helps me just to know that I don’t have to walk on eggshells with God. I can be who I am. Through that, God can speak to us by His Spirit and His Word, and help us to grow from where we’re at.

I’m learning that sometimes, we have to accept that God denies us the answers we want because He wants us to come to a fork in the road: God wants to know… when I am without all I think I need, will I grow bitter and trust in myself, or be content and trust in Him? The answer has a lot to say about where we’re at spiritually. We must trust in God no matter our lack. We must choose to be content in Him only. Even when we don’t feel blessed by Him. Even when we don’t feel heard or seen by Him. Even when we don’t feel helped by Him. I have to choose to trust in Jesus despite feeling unheard and ignored. I have to trust that God does indeed hear me. And that Jesus is truly enough for me, even if I never get what I ask for. Even if I continue to struggle.

Ultimately, God cares more about our hearts than He does about our stability. He lets us go through seasons of drought so that we will learn to be sufficient with the One who is Lord over the drought in the first place. That doesn’t mean that God doesn’t care about providing for us…none of His children will ever be left begging for bread as it says in Psalm 37:25. But it does mean that God might strip us of certain provisions for a season because they too easily callous our hearts. I know that if God wants to work on my heart because He cares about who I am becoming, then He also cares enough to provide for me when I really need it. I’m learning to be thankful for whatever He chooses to do and not do in my life.

For anyone reading this, I’m sure you can think of a need that is relevant in your life right now. A need that you feel is both burdensome and distant in terms of God answering it.

Know that God has not forgotten you. He is on the way to do a miracle in your life, probably in a very different way than you ever expected.

We can learn a lot about this from the story of Lazarus in John chapter 11.

In this story, Martha and Mary were disappointed with Jesus’ lack of a response to their need. Lazarus was sick and about to die, so Martha and Mary sent word to Jesus hoping He would come quickly to save his life. Jesus got the message. He knew what Martha and Mary wanted. But He didn’t reply. He stayed where he was at with His disciples and did not travel to Bethany for another couple days. Martha and Mary were furious with Jesus. They didn’t understand why Jesus would ignore them and be so careless with the death of their brother and His friend.

But Jesus had something planned that they didn’t know about.

Jesus was going to do one of the greatest miracles ever recorded in the gospels: raise a dead man back to life. In John 11, verses 5-6 include a subtle detail that reveals so much about Jesus’ intentions. It says, “Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. So, when He heard that Lazarus was ill, He stayed two days longer in the place where He was” (emphasis mine). That seems strange. That Jesus would stay 2 days longer where He was, all because He loved them. If He really loved them, wouldn’t He go immediately and heal Lazarus? But this is precisely the point.

Jesus loved Martha, Mary and Lazarus so much that He didn’t answer their request.

Instead, He chose to do what would bring God the most glory and show Martha, Mary and Lazarus the fullness of His power. Jesus waited until Lazarus died. Then He went to them. And raised Lazarus from the dead. Jesus did what no one ever thought was possible! Because of this, Martha and Mary got to witness one of the greatest miracles they had ever seen. Their frustration was turned into awe and worship through this manifestation of God’s power.

Jesus has a way with doing a mighty work even when we think He’s remaining silent.

Because I know the Jesus of the Bible, I know that Jesus has something much better ahead than what I’m asking for. He will do a work that brings glory to God and no one else. In 2 Corinthians 4:7, Paul writes, “But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us.” Paul goes on in verse 10 to talk about how we carry the death of Jesus in our bodies so that the life of Jesus might also be manifested in our bodies. The death of Jesus represents the sin, frustration, and doubt that can so easily blind us to God’s love. It’s the same condition that causes me to doubt if God really sees or hears me when I pray. But thanks be to God that this same condition acts as a catalyst for the very life of Jesus to be activated, if we are in Christ. So when I doubt that God sees or hears me, I am reminded that there is life despite it, defeating the lies that the enemy throws at me.

Jesus came to give us life and life in abundance (John 10:10). No matter what prayers we think aren’t heard, we can cling to this truth. Jesus is for us, not against us. He always hears us. But even if He never answers me, I’m going to trust in Him anyway. Because He is the One in whom my hope is found. I am never in lack because I have life in Christ. And so do you if you have chosen to follow Jesus.

God does hear you when you pray. Romans 12:12 says, “Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.” Keep praying. Keep trusting. Keep persevering. And never forget that Jesus intercedes for you to the Father (John 17; Isaiah 53:12). There is absolutely nothing that is missed by Him when you pray. He hears it all. And for the things that we don’t even know to pray for, the Holy Spirit intercedes for us in the things we cannot express (Romans 8:26). The Father, Son and Holy Spirit are involved in your prayers. God does hear you. Trust that He will answer you in a way that both helps you to mature spiritually and brings Him the most glory. Even when that means not getting what we we ask for.

“Jesus lifted up His eyes and said, “Father, I thank you that you have heard me. I know that you always hear me, but I said this on account of the people standing around, that they may believe that You sent me.” – John 11:41-42 –

Questions for Today:

  • Am I failing to believe that God hears me when I pray?
  • What can I do to trust that God hears me even though I don’t feel like He does?
  • How do I respond when God doesn’t give me what I ask for?
  • What next step is Jesus asking me to take in my relationship with Him today?

“No Other Name” by Planetshakers

Getting to Know Jesus: Isaiah 53

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As a prophet to Judah in the reign of the four kings, Isaiah speaks to the people with a voice of concern for their ways of living apart from God, while indicating future events that are about to happen. For instance, Isaiah prophesies about Babylonian captivity, while declaring God’s eventual provision to rescue. Throughout the book, Isaiah reminds the people of God’s judgment, while transitioning to encourage them that God compassionately extends grace, deliverance and salvation. It is a picture of God’s relationship with His people, and His grace to lovingly pursue them and provide rescue for them despite their disobedience.

In Isaiah 53, Isaiah prophecies about Jesus as the slain Lamb of God. I love this passage because, uniquely, we get a glimpse of Jesus in the past, present and future. In summary, Isaiah writes about how Jesus suffered, how God will vindicate Him and His followers, and one thing that Jesus is currently doing.

Isaiah starts out by speaking about Jesus in the past tense. In verses 1-9, he prophecies about all the suffering and rejection that Jesus endured, as if it had already happened. Then in verse 10, Isaiah shifts to writing in the future tense, prophesying about God’s intention to pour out His wrath on Jesus and God’s response to Jesus’ submission. Finally in the last part of verse 12, it ends in the present tense as Isaiah writes that Jesus intercedes for the saints, as if this is currently happening and ceaselessly ongoing.

What I love about this passage is that the last verse, which talks about Jesus interceding for the transgressors, is in the present tense. When this book was written, it was the 8th century B.C., so Jesus had not yet come to die on the cross. Yet, Jesus is said to be presently making intercession for us in this passage, as one who has already accomplished the work on the cross. This is especially evident because of the past-tense language found in verse 1-10 regarding Jesus’ suffering on the earth as the one pierced for our iniquities. Thus, this indicates that Jesus is not limited by time as we know it. The plan for redemption has been accomplished, will be accomplished and is being accomplished by the sovereignty of God. It solidifies Jesus as one who is unshakable and stable in His place in the plan of God. It also reveals God’s position as the One who knows all things and thus can dictate the future from a past-tense point of view. It just blows my mind to think of how complex and big God is. He is not One who we can fully understand with our finite minds. Yet we trust in His Word that one day we will fully know Him as we are fully known, as it says in 1 Corinthians 13:12. Jesus is on the throne. He is trustworthy. He is a firm foundation.

It puts me at ease to know that Jesus is sure and steady in who He is. And through the way Jesus responded to suffering in his earthly life, we can learn to look at suffering in a different way too. For Jesus, suffering was not something to be avoided. Suffering served as a necessary part of His mission on earth, to make a way for us to enter into eternity with Him. In our lives, we may wonder why suffering exists, why bad things happen to good people, why injustice proliferates in the world… but maybe we should stop asking why suffering exists and start asking how we can embrace suffering like Jesus did. Jesus embraced suffering for a purpose. We can too. By gleaning faith in the midst of suffering. Gleaning perspective. Gleaning wisdom. Gleaning maturity. Those are all things that I want for myself and for you. And if suffering sometimes serves as the only way to get those things, then we need to be okay with that. 1 Corinthians 1:27 reminds us that God chose the foolish things in the world to shame the wise. Just because something seems foolish or wasteful does not mean it is. Ask God to use it for a purpose in the development of who you are as a Christ follower. He will answer you, if you let Him. For He forever lives to pray and intercede on your behalf.

Summary of Isaiah 53

Isaiah asks who will believe these prophecies that he is speaking; Isaiah describes Jesus as one who grew up like a young plant from dry ground; Jesus’ plain appearance is described; Isaiah describes Jesus as one who was despised and rejected by men; Isaiah prophecies how Jesus bore our grief and carried our sorrows; Isaiah prophecies that mankind looked at Him as afflicted; Isaiah prophecies that Jesus was pierced for our sins and brought us healing by his own affliction; Isaiah declares that we all have gone astray; Isaiah declares that God laid our sins upon Jesus; Isaiah prophecies how Jesus was treated but that he remained silent amidst all of his suffering; Isaiah prophecies how men tried to bury him with the wicked though he did nothing to serve it; Isaiah prophecies how it is the will of the Lord to crush Jesus; Isaiah prophecies how God will grant Jesus offspring and prolong their days because of Him; Isaiah prophecies how God will use Jesus’ anguish to illuminate the light of God and satisfy those who follow; Isaiah prophecies how God will use Jesus’ righteousness to account many to righteousness; Isaiah prophecies how God will reward Jesus; Isaiah declares that Jesus bore the sin of many people; Isaiah declares that Jesus intercedes for the transgressors.

Jesus in Isaiah 53

Jesus is One who is revealed (v. 1)

Jesus grew up as a human (v. 2)

Jesus did not reflect His majesty in His earthly body (v. 2)

Jesus did not reflect exceptional beauty in His earthly body (v. 2)

Jesus was despised by men (v. 3)

Jesus was rejected by men (v. 3)

Jesus was a man of sorrows (v. 3)

Jesus was acquainted with grief (v. 3)

Jesus was not esteemed by men (v. 3)

Jesus experienced human suffering (v. 3)

Jesus bore our grief (v. 4)

Jesus carried our sorrows (v. 4)

Jesus was looked upon as afflicted by God (v. 4)

Jesus was pierced for our transgressions (v. 5)

Jesus was crushed for our iniquities (v. 5)

Jesus was chastised (v. 5)

Jesus’ chastisement brought us peace (v. 5)

Jesus’ wounds bring us healing (v. 5)

Jesus experienced physical pain (v. 5)

Jesus absorbed the iniquity of every person in the world (v. 6)

Jesus was oppressed (v. 7)

Jesus was afflicted (v. 7)

Jesus received suffering (v. 7)

Jesus endured suffering (v. 7)

Jesus submitted to suffering (v. 7)

Jesus was selfless (v. 7)

Jesus was steadfast (v. 7)

Jesus was like a lamb, led to the slaughter (v. 7)

Jesus was like a sheep, silent before His shearers (v. 7)

Jesus was taken away in oppression (v. 8)

Jesus was taken away in judgment (v. 8)

Jesus was considered cut off from the land of the living by His generation (v. 8)

Jesus experienced social rejection (v. 8)

Jesus was doubted (v. 8)

Jesus was gossiped about (v. 8)

Jesus was stricken for the transgression of people (v. 8)

Jesus suffered for the very people who despised Him (v. 8)

Jesus’ did not act out in violence (v. 9)

Jesus did not speak with deceit (v. 9)

Jesus’ death was God’s will (v. 10)

Jesus was put to grief by God (v. 10)

Jesus soul makes an offering for the guilty (v. 10)

Jesus will prolong the days of His followers (v. 10)

Jesus makes us His offspring (v. 10)

Jesus will prosper in the will of God (v. 10)

Jesus death was planned by God (v. 10)

Jesus’ anguish will renew sight to all who believe (v. 11)

Jesus anguish will bring satisfaction to all who believe (v. 11)

Jesus’ righteousness will make many accounted to righteousness (v. 11)

Jesus will bear mankind’s iniquities (v. 11)

Jesus will save the world (v. 11)

Jesus will be rewarded by God (v. 12)

Jesus poured out his soul to death (v. 12)

Jesus was numbered with the transgressors (v. 12)

Jesus became our substitute to pay for our sin (v. 12)

Jesus bore the sin of many (v. 12)

Jesus intercedes for the transgressors (v. 12)

“But He was pierced for our transgressions;

He was crushed for our iniquities;

upon Him was the chastisement that brought us peace,

and by His wounds we are healed.”

-Isaiah 53:5-

Questions for Today:

  • Why does God allow suffering in my life?
  • How do I respond when others reject me?
  • Do I remember that Jesus is interceding for me right now?
  • How should that impact the way I view Jesus?
  • What next step is Jesus asking me to take in my relationship with Him today?

“Man of Sorrows” by Hillsong Worship

Getting to Know Jesus: Matthew 12 (Older isolated chapter study, not apart of Matthew Commentary)

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This chapter in Matthew possesses an abundance of practical implications regarding the way we view God’s involvement in our daily lives. I know for me, there are moments when I am utterly confused at what God is doing. At other times I misunderstand God’s noble intention behind what He is doing. And it can be easy to assume the worst. Or to assume that God will get it wrong.

Reading this chapter, I felt convicted realizing I emulate the faithlessness of the Pharisees when I question God. The Pharisees always assumed the worst about Jesus. They never assumed that He was doing what was best. When Jesus healed the sick on the Sabbath, they only saw His breach of protocol. When Jesus rescued a man from demon-possession, they only thought He was trained by demons. They never praised Him for His miracles. They never saw what was good. They just glared at Him. Questioned Him. And waited for Him to mess up. But sadly, we do the same when we glare at God with bitterness and ungrateful attitudes… when we question His ways… when we wait for Him to mess up our lives because of a plan we think will not bring us happiness.

Lack of awareness regarding God’s favorable intentions toward us can make us cold and resentful towards God. If we hold on to our finite understanding of the way we expect things to operate in our lives, we will miss the infinite ability of God to do what is best, not only for us but for others involved.

The only way we can avoid this tendency to question God is by knowing who Jesus really is. The One who came to express God in the flesh. When we know who Jesus really is…the One who comes to bring healing, life and joy, then we have no need to question God because we know that He always does what is best for us. Jesus will never relent in pioneering justice and righteousness on the earth.

In Matthew 12, I love how we see Jesus on mission. Jesus has the boldness to enter the synagogue even as the Pharisees had just tried to ridicule Him for picking grain on the Sabbath (which was a man-made rule to keep people from breaking Sabbath-rest ordinances). Jesus is unafraid to go where healing awaits his power. He enters in. He doesn’t care what the Pharisees think about it. He does what is right. And the sick man was made well by the power and mercy of Jesus on that day.

Sometimes, we may not like how Jesus does things in our lives. But usually, it stems from our selfishness and man-made rules getting in His way. Rules about how we want to live, where we want to go, who we want to spend time with, and what we want to do. But thankfully, we have a God who isn’t offended by our selfish ways. He looks past it and keeps pursuing us. Jesus is bold to show initiative even when we resist. He always acts with a purpose. We should be utterly awestruck by the fact that Jesus would want to be involved in our lives. May that remind us to let go of our man-made rules in place of His Lordship.

God will not get it wrong in our lives. We just have to trust Him. And as we get to know Jesus in this passage, Matthew 12, let us recognize Him as the One who truly knows best. May we change our perspective of God as the One who always seeks to do what is right, forever reigning in goodness.

Summary of Matthew 12

Jesus and his disciples walk through the grainfields on the Sabbath; the disciples pick grain to eat; the Pharisees observe and are angered by them picking grain on the Sabbath; Jesus reminds them of David eating the bread of the Presence on the Sabbath, and that the priests work on the Sabbath to maintain the temple; Jesus reminds them that the Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath; Jesus heals a man with a withered hand; the Pharisees question Him for healing on the Sabbath; Jesus tells them it is lawful to do good on the Sabbath, just like it would be appropriate to rescue a sheep falling into a pit on the Sabbath; the Pharisees conspire against Jesus; Jesus withdraws from there; Jesus heals a demon-possessed man; the Pharisees say that Jesus does his miracles by the power of demons; Jesus refutes their argument with the logic that a house divided against itself cannot stand; Jesus teaches that blasphemy against Himself will be forgiven, but blasphemy against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven; Jesus teaches that a tree is known by its fruit, much like a person is known for what they speak; some scribes and Pharisees ask Jesus for a sign; Jesus answers saying that evil generations asked for signs; Jesus says they will not see any sign except for that of Jonah who was inside a fish for three days, just like the son of Man will be in the earth for 3 days; Jesus warns about unclean spirits looking for a place to reside; Jesus’ mother and brothers want to speak to Him but he answers that His mother and brothers are there with Him already, as anyone who does the will of His Father in heaven is His mother and brothers.

Jesus in Matthew 12: 1-50

Jesus walks through the grainfields on the Sabbath, as his disciples are hungry (v. 1)

Jesus crosses man-made boundaries for the good of His people (v. 1)

Jesus elicits a response from the Pharisees (v. 2)

Jesus conveys to the Pharisees that they don’t have a well-educated awareness of historical activity on the Sabbath (v. 3-6)

Jesus points out a flaw in the Pharisees’ rule-keeping (v. 3-6)

Jesus teaches them there is something greater than temple rules (v. 6)

Jesus tells them that if they had known, or internalized, what the Old Testament scripture says, they wouldn’t have condemned the guiltless (v. 7)

Jesus highlights the lack of their scriptural application in light of their scriptural knowledge (v. 7)

Jesus declares that He is Lord of the Sabbath (v. 8)

Jesus has authority over man-made Sabbath rules (v. 8)

Jesus proceeds to enter the Synagogue (v. 9)

Jesus is bold (v. 9)

Jesus is not intimidated by anyone (v. 9)

Jesus is questioned by the Pharisees regarding healing on the Sabbath (v. 10)

Jesus rhetorically asks them a question, comparing healing on the Sabbath to rescuing a sheep in a pit on the Sabbath (v. 11)

Jesus proclaims that a man is of much more value than a sheep (v. 12)

Jesus explains why healing on the Sabbath is lawful (v. 11-12)

Jesus is smart (v. 11-12)

Jesus will not be outwitted (v. 11-12)

Jesus doesn’t wait for the Pharisees’ response; he proceeds and heals the man (v. 13)

Jesus heals the man’s arm just by His words (v. 13)

Jesus’ healing causes the Pharisees to leave and conspire how to destroy Him (v. 14)

Jesus is aware of the Pharisees’ conspiring (v. 15)

Jesus withdrew from there (v. 15)

Jesus has many followers (v. 15)

Jesus heals all who follow Him (v. 15)

Jesus orders them not to make Him known (v. 16)

Jesus fulfills the prophecy in Isaiah (v. 17-21)

Jesus is God’s chosen servant (v. 18)

Jesus is God’s beloved (v. 18)

Jesus pleases God (v. 18)

Jesus receives God’s Spirit upon Him (v. 19)

Jesus does not quarrel or cry aloud (v. 19)

Jesus does not draw public attention to Himself (v. 19)

Jesus has compassion for the lowly (v. 20)

Jesus brings justice to victory (v. 20)

Jesus’ name is the Name that Gentiles will hope in (v. 21)

Jesus encounters a demon-possessed man (v. 22)

Jesus heals the man (v. 22)

Jesus enables the man to speak and see (v. 22)

Jesus amazes the people (v. 23)

Jesus causes the crowd to ask if He is the Son of David (v. 23)

Jesus’ healing power is questioned by the Pharisees (v. 24)

Jesus knows the Pharisees thought before they even speak (v. 25)

Jesus proclaims that a kingdom divided cannot stand (v. 25-26)

Jesus refutes their inward accusations with logic (v. 26-29)

Jesus declares that the kingdom of God has come upon them (v. 28)

Jesus proclaims that those who are not for Him are against Him (v. 30)

Jesus requires loyalty (v. 30)

Jesus will forgive those who sin and blaspheme, even against Him (v. 31-32)

Jesus cannot forgive blasphemy against the Holy Spirit (v. 31-32)

Jesus teaches that a tree is known by its fruit (v. 33)

Jesus points out they hypocrisy of the Pharisees (v. 34)

Jesus teaches that the mouth speaks from the overflow of the heart (v. 34)

Jesus teaches the significance of our words in light of eternal judgment (v. 36-37)

Jesus will not show a sign to those who don’t really wish to see God (v. 39)

Jesus alludes to his crucifixion and resurrection (v. 39-40)

Jesus points out that something greater is at hand than was of Jonah’s fish experience, and of the wisdom of Solomon (v. 41-42)

Jesus proclaims that this generation needs to repent for the kingdom of God is at hand (v. 39-42)

Jesus warns against unclean spirits coming back again (v. 43-45)

Jesus points out that waterless places (or without the Holy Spirit) attract unclean spirits (v. 43-45)

Jesus alludes that a person needs the indwelling of the Holy Spirit to rid of uncleanliness (v. 43-45)

Jesus prophecies about the unclean spiritual state of that generation (v. 43-45)

Jesus’ mother and brother are outside the synagogue, wanting to speak to Him (v. 46)

Jesus asks who are my mother and brothers (v. 48)

Jesus stretches out His hand towards His disciples (v. 49)

Jesus says that those who do my Father’s will are my mother, sister and brothers (v. 50)

Jesus prioritizes those close to Him who actually follow Him (v. 49-50)

 

“Either make the tree good and its fruit good, or the tree bad and its fruit bad, for the tree is known by its fruit.”– Matthew 12:33

Questions for today:

  • Is there a gap between my scriptural knowledge and my application of those scriptures?
  • What kind of fruit am I producing in my life?
  • Why does Jesus break the Pharisee’s Sabbath rules?
  • Do I see Jesus as the Lord of my life?
  • What next step is Jesus asking me to take in my relationship with Him today?