The chapter begins with Jesus and His disciples walking through grain fields on the Sabbath. The disciples were hungry so they began to pluck grain to eat. The Pharisees saw this and were outraged and showed Jesus that His disciples were doing what they were not being lawful on the Sabbath. The Pharisees established 39 categories of things that were forbidden to be done on the Sabbath based off of Jewish traditions and Gods law. Harvesting was one of the actions forbidden to be done on the Sabbath. By the disciples picking grain and rubbing it with their hands they were technically harvesting, however they were not doing this for a profit or by any means working on the Sabbath, they were simply feeding themselves. The Pharisees were looking for reasons to accuse Jesus and His followers so they didn’t care about the technicality behind the action, they had no compassion and wanted a reason to condemn them.
Jesus replied stating that David had eaten the showbread which they saved for the priests and he was not punished by God or condemned or accused of not following Gods laws. He was treated with discernment and compassion. Jesus was basically telling them, ‘If you condemn me you must condemn David,’ which the Pharisees wouldn’t have done. Jesus was inadvertently showing the Pharisees hypocrisy. They Pharisees were so worried about religious traditions that they missed the whole point of the temple and the Sabbath, to bring people closer to God.
Jesus then departed from there and went into their synagogue where He encountered a man with a withered hand and they asked Him if it was lawful to heal on the Sabbath day. Jesus replied stating if you saw your sheep stuck in a pit wouldn’t you grab him out and make sure he is ok? Regardless of what day it is? And how much more valuable is a human than a sheep? He said it is lawful to do good on the Sabbath day. Jesus healed the mans hand and the Pharisees went out to plot against Him. The Pharisees plotted because they were proud, fearful and furious with Jesus for breaking their rules. They put their religious traditions above what is good for human needs and because of their arrogance and pride they were unable to see that or change their evil ways. Their fear prevented them from seeing the needs of people. It can be hard to admit that we are wrong, but when we are wrong overcome the pride, don’t let the pride keep you stuck in the wrong.
When Jesus knew they were plotting He left there and many followed Him and He healed them all. ALL. He healed them All who followed Him. Meditate on that one.
He warned all of those whose followed who He healed (ALL who needed healing) not to tell others and make Him known to fulfill the prophecy of Isaiah. Everyone expected the Messiah to be a king but Isaiahs prophecy showed what kind of king; a gentle ruler who brings justice to the gentiles.
Then a demon possessed man who was blind and mute was brought to Him, and He healed him. All who were around were amazed and began to think this is the Son of David. When the Pharisees heard they of course were not happy and thought Jesus was working with satan. Jesus, reading their minds (Yes, He knows what we are thinking!) Put the foolishness to rest. He told them a house divided amongst itself will not stand, every kingdom divided against itself will be brought to desolation, how then can satan cast out satan?
Jesus also gave a lesson on spiritual warfare when He stated, ‘How can one enter a strong mans house and plunder his goods unless he first binds up the strong man?’ When we are to cast things out in the spirit we need to bind them up first.
Jesus then states, ‘He who is not with Me is against Me, and he wholes not gather with Me scatters abroad.’ This is very important to share with people who haven’t committed to Christ yet or who believe but don’t follow. Many think that just because they haven’t chosen the devil they are saved and that its ok for them to be on the fence. But Jesus makes it clear, by not choosing and being Luke warm or on the fence then you have chosen, and its not the side of Jesus, its satan. This can shake people to their core when they realize by not choosing they have chosen and its not good, its not God. It can be a good way to wake someone up who believes but hasn’t yet committed!
Jesus then says that every blasphemy and sin will be forgiven except for the blasphemy against the Holy Spirit.
Verse 33-37 is all about power, life and death in the tongue. The ‘tree’ is referring to the tongue. Make the tongue good and produce good fruit or make the tongue bad and produce bad fruit. The tongue is known by its fruit, the tongue says what the heart thinks/feels. Meaning what you say has affects and shows your thoughts and heart. Its important to bring thoughts and words into captivity before they are released, make sure they are good and will not produce bad fruit. Every idle word man speaks will be given account of in the day of judgement. One can’t change bad words or thoughts or actions on their own, ask the Holy Spirit to help with this. Help mold your attitude and thoughts so that way when you give life to words they are good words and not words that can cause harm that you will have to answer for on the day of judgment. If you catch yourself gossiping or complaining, repent and ask the Holy Spirit to help remove those bad habits to help mold you into what God created you to be. He didn’t create us to gossip or slander or complain! The Pharisees then declared that they wanted to see a sign from Jesus. But Jesus told them that its an evil and adulterous generation that seeks after signs. He then shared the story of Jonah (he tried to run from his assignment because of the warlike situation around him and ran away and ended up spending three days and nights in the belly of a huge fish, then after he got out he went and finished his assignment by preaching the gospel and the city repented). The Son of man will too spend three days and nights in the heart of the earth.
Jesus shares more on spiritual warfare again, stating when an unclean spirit goes out of a man he seeks rest and finds none, so he returns to his house from which he came. If he comes and finds it empty he then goes and gets seven other spirits more wicked than he and they enter and dwell there making the state of the man worse than it was before. Just cleaning up ones life with out filling in the void with God leaves them an open target for the devil. My bible notes say the first step is ridding your life of sin, second is to fill our life with God. I have to STRONGLY disagree on this. The first step is GOD. Fill your life with God, His word and the Holy Spirit and allow Him to work in you to help you get rid of sin. Man can NOT rid sin without God. Which is why I firmly believe God needs to be first, and with Him go ahead and tackle sin. By doing this we will be filled and not open, empty targets for the devil. (Keep in mind, bible notes are written by man, meaning there can be error, pray that God will show you what you need to learn from bible notes so you don’t get mislead on His word.)
Last in the chapter, one said to Jesus that His mother and brothers were outside. Jesus let it be known that anyone who follows the will of His father in heaven is His brother, sister and mother.