Memory Verse: Matthew 12:50
12:38-40 Jesus’ Resurrection Is The Proof We Need
- 12:38-39a Jesus was making great claims and some of the scribes and Pharisees weren’t willing to accept them even though Jesus had already used miracles to prove who He was. Instead of believing in Jesus, they asked Jesus to perform another sign. They had already rejected Him. Thus the reason for asking for a sign was probably because they wanted to test Him or find another reason to accuse Him. Jesus knew they were “evil”—morally bad or wrong and “adulterous”—meaning they had gone after other gods and not been faithful to the one true God, therefore, no sign would be given to them—especially not the kind of sign that is demanded by skeptics. Signs are received not by demanding for them but received as God freely gives them according to His own purposes. They are only useful to those who have faith and not to the faithless. We are not to tempt God and put Him to the test. It shows our lack of faith, trust and dependence on Him and His word. Jesus knew this and would not play their games or do magic tricks for their entertainment.
Matthew 4:5-7; 12:24
- 12:39b-40 The only sign that will be given to them is the sign of the prophet Jonah (Jonas). This sign will be sufficient for them. Like Jonah was in the whale’s belly for three days, so will Jesus (the Son of man) be buried for three days and then resurrect from the dead. Jesus’ resurrection will be the sign and infallible proof that He is the Messiah.
12:41-42 Others With Less Proof Believed And Are The Standard
- 12:41 The Ninevites: Like Jonah who came preaching repentance, so did Jesus, but unlike the Ninevites, the people of Jesus’ day didn’t repent. Jesus and His ministry was much greater than Jonah. Therefore, the people of Nineveh will stand in judgment against and condemn the unrepentant Jews who had a much greater prophet and message delivered to them.
- 12:42 The queen: Unlike the queen of Sheba (the south) who made a great effort (came from the uttermost parts of the earth) to hear the wisdom of Solomon, the unrepentant Jews didn’t make a great effort to find out if the “report” about Jesus was true or not. The queen found the report to be true about Solomon and responded with “Blessed be the Lord thy God,” but the Jews responded by wanting to kill Jesus. Jesus and His wisdom was much greater than Solomon. Therefore, the Queen will stand in judgment against and condemn the unrepentant Jews who had a much greater King and wisdom among them.
1 Kings 10:1-13
12:43-45 Morality Without Jesus Is Dangerous
- 12:43-45a Jesus knows the crowd that He is talking to is very moral. They have tried to follow all the rules and be people of good behavior, but as Jesus points out, doing the right thing isn’t enough. He uses the following illustration of a demon possessed person. An “unclean spirit” or a demon posses a person and causes him to do many unclean or sinful things. But when that demon leaves the person he was living in, the person starts to do “clean” or right things. The demon returns to that same person and finds him in the followings conditions: empty—no other spirit lives there; swept—the person cleaned his life up and stopped being immoral; garnished—everything was orderly and clean. Then the spirit takes seven other spirits more wicked than himself and they enter in and dwell in the person. This results in the last state of that man being worse than the first state. All of his cleaning did no good.
- 12:45b Jesus tells the crowd that this (a worse ending) is what they (the unrepentant “wicked” Jews and everyone who trust in morality) are in danger of. We can draw a few conclusion from this story: (1) The pursuit of a moral life is the wrong goal. In the story the unclean spirit leaves and a clean or moral life is pursued, but the man is still empty—void of any lasting good. In the end, his morality will fail him and he will be a worse sinner than when he started. Morality doesn’t convert, save or transform a person. (2) The pursuit of God is the right goal. Only God can give us His Spirit to live inside us so that we can live according to His will. When God saves us, He takes up residence in us and through the power of the Holy Spirit we are converted, saved and transformed to be like Jesus. Therefore, do not try to follow the teachings of Jesus without first believing in Jesus.
Ephesians 1:13-14; Galatians 4:6; 1 Corinthians 6:19-20
12:46-50 Your Relationship With Jesus Is Your Most Important One
- 12:46-50 Jesus continues to talk to the people when His mother (Mary) and brothers (the children born to Mary and Joseph after Jesus) stood outside of the crowd desiring to speak with Him. Then someone told Jesus that they were waiting to speak with Him. Jesus responds by saying, “Who is my mother? and who are my brethren?” It wasn’t that Jesus didn’t know but that He was using this as a teaching time to reveal a greater truth. He goes on to stretch forth His hand towards His disciples, and says, “Behold my mother and my brethren.” Jesus calling His disciples his “mother and brothers” meant that they are His spiritual family. He goes on to clarify that anyone who does the will of God are also part of His family. We learn several things here:
- “my Father which is in heaven”—Jesus is claiming to be the Son of God, therefore being part of Jesus’ family means being part of God’s family.
- “whosoever”—anyone who is willing can become part of Jesus’ family. It doesn’t matter your age, race, gender or what kind of sins your have committed, God wants to adopt you through Jesus into His family.
- “do the will”—to become part of God’s family you have to do God’s will, which is not works of a moral life, but it is believing in Jesus whom God sent to this earth to adopt you; if you reject Jesus then you reject being a part of God’s family. Once we believe in Jesus we continue to obey God’s will and live a life pleasing to Him.
- “the same is my brother, and sister, and mother”—Jesus points to a relationship that is superior to our earthy family relationships. It wasn’t that Jesus disregarded His earthly family as unimportant, but that Jesus regarded His relationship with His followers as more important. Your family relationships are important, but your relationship with Jesus is the most important. It surpasses any family relationship in every area.
- What is the infallible proof that Jesus is the Messiah?
- Why does the Ninevites and the queen of Sheba set the standard?
- Why is morality without Jesus dangerous?
- How does a person become part of Jesus’ family?
- What is your most important relationship? Why?