Matthew 12

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1 εν G1722 P EP εκεινω G1565 D-DSM τω G3588 T-DSM καιρω G2540 N-DSM επορευθη G4198 G5675 V-AOI-3S ο G3588 T-NSM ιησους G2424 N-NSM τοις G3588 T-DPN σαββασιν G4521 N-DPN δια G1223 P EP των G3588 T-GPM σποριμων G4702 A-GPM οι G3588 T-NPM δε G1161 CONJ μαθηται G3101 N-NPM αυτου G846 P-GSM επεινασαν G3983 G5656 V-AAI-3P και G2532 CONJ ηρξαντο G756 G5662 V-ADI-3P τιλλειν G5089 G5721 V-PAN σταχυας G4719 N-APM και G2532 CONJ εσθιειν G2068 G5721 V-PAN

2 οι G3588 T-NPM δε G1161 CONJ φαρισαιοι G5330 N-NPM ιδοντες G1492 G5631 V-2AAP-NPM ειπαν G3004 G5627 V-2AAI-3P αυτω G846 P-DSM ιδου G2400 G5628 V-2AAM-2S οι G3588 T-NPM μαθηται G3101 N-NPM σου G4675 P-2GS ποιουσιν G4160 G5719 V-PAI-3P ο G3739 -ASN ουκ G3756 P T-N εξεστιν G1832 G5904 V-PQI-3S ποιειν G4160 G5721 V-PAN εν G1722 P EP σαββατω G4521 N-DSN

3 ο G3588 T-NSM δε G1161 CONJ ειπεν G2036 G5627 V-2AAI-3S αυτοις G846 P-DPM ουκ G3756 P T-N ανεγνωτε G314 G5627 V-2AAI-2P τι G5101 I-ASN εποιησεν G4160 G5656 V-AAI-3S δαυιδ G1138 N-P I οτε G3753 ADV επεινασεν G3983 G5656 V-AAI-3S και G2532 CONJ οι G3588 T-NPM μετ G3326 P EP αυτου G846 P-GSM

4 πως G4459 ADV εισηλθεν G1525 G5627 V-2AAI-3S εις G1519 P EP τον G3588 T-ASM οικον G3624 N-ASM του G3588 T-GSM θεου G2316 N-GSM και G2532 CONJ τους G3588 T-APM αρτους G740 N-APM της G3588 T-GSF προθεσεως G4286 N-GSF εφαγον G2068 G5627 V-2AAI-3P ο G3739 -NSN ουκ G3756 P T-N εξον G1832 G5901 V-PQP-NSN ην G2258 G5713 V-IXI-3S αυτω G846 P-DSM φαγειν G5315 G5629 V-2AAN ουδε G3761 ADV τοις G3588 T-DPM μετ G3326 P EP αυτου G846 P-GSM ει G1487 COND μη G3361 P T-N τοις G3588 T-DPM ιερευσιν G2409 N-DPM μονοις G3441 A-DPM

5 η G2228 P T ουκ G3756 P T-N ανεγνωτε G314 G5627 V-2AAI-2P εν G1722 P EP τω G3588 T-DSM νομω G3551 N-DSM οτι G3754 CONJ τοις G3588 T-DPN σαββασιν G4521 N-DPN οι G3588 T-NPM ιερεις G2409 N-NPM εν G1722 P EP τω G3588 T-DSN ιερω G2411 N-DSN το G3588 T-ASN σαββατον G4521 N-ASN βεβηλουσιν G953 G5719 V-PAI-3P και G2532 CONJ αναιτιοι G338 A-NPM εισιν G1526 G5748 V-PXI-3P

6 λεγω G3004 G5719 V-PAI-1S δε G1161 CONJ υμιν G5213 P-2DP οτι G3754 CONJ του G3588 T-GSN ιερου G2411 N-GSN μειζον G3173 A-NSN-C εστιν G2076 G5748 V-PXI-3S ωδε G5602 ADV

7 ει G1487 COND δε G1161 CONJ εγνωκειτε G1097 G5715 V-LAI-2P τι G5101 I-NSN εστιν G2076 G5748 V-PXI-3S ελεος G1656 N-ASN θελω G2309 G5719 V-PAI-1S και G2532 CONJ ου G3756 P T-N θυσιαν G2378 N-ASF ουκ G3756 P T-N αν G302 P T κατεδικασατε G2613 G5656 V-AAI-2P τους G3588 T-APM αναιτιους G338 A-APM

8 κυριος G2962 N-NSM γαρ G1063 CONJ εστιν G2076 G5748 V-PXI-3S του G3588 T-GSN σαββατου G4521 N-GSN ο G3588 T-NSM υιος G5207 N-NSM του G3588 T-GSM ανθρωπου G444 N-GSM

9 και G2532 CONJ μεταβας G3327 G5631 V-2AAP-NSM εκειθεν G1564 ADV ηλθεν G2064 G5627 V-2AAI-3S εις G1519 P EP την G3588 T-ASF συναγωγην G4864 N-ASF αυτων G846 P-GPM

10 και G2532 CONJ ιδου G2400 G5628 V-2AAM-2S ανθρωπος G444 N-NSM χειρα G5495 N-ASF εχων G2192 G5723 V-PAP-NSM ξηραν G3584 N-ASF και G2532 CONJ επηρωτησαν G1905 G5656 V-AAI-3P αυτον G846 P-ASM λεγοντες G3004 G5723 V-PAP-NPM ει G1487 COND εξεστιν G1832 G5904 V-PQI-3S τοις G3588 T-DPN σαββασιν G4521 N-DPN {VA 1: θεραπευειν G2323 G5721 V-PAN } {VA 2: θεραπευσαι G2323 G5658 V-AAN } ινα G2443 CONJ κατηγορησωσιν G2723 G5661 V-AAS-3P αυτου G846 P-GSM

11 ο G3588 T-NSM δε G1161 CONJ ειπεν G2036 G5627 V-2AAI-3S αυτοις G846 P-DPM τις G5101 I-NSM {VA 1: [εσται] G2071 G5704 V-FXI-3S } {VA 2: εσται G2071 G5704 V-FXI-3S } εξ G1537 P EP υμων G5216 P-2GP ανθρωπος G444 N-NSM ος G3739 -NSM εξει G2192 G5692 V-FAI-3S προβατον G4263 N-ASN εν G1520 A-ASN και G2532 CONJ εαν G1437 COND εμπεση G1706 G5632 V-2AAS-3S τουτο G5124 D-NSN τοις G3588 T-DPN σαββασιν G4521 N-DPN εις G1519 P EP βοθυνον G999 N-ASM ουχι G3780 P T-I κρατησει G2902 G5692 V-FAI-3S αυτο G846 P-ASN και G2532 CONJ εγερει G1453 G5692 V-FAI-3S

12 ποσω G4214 Q-DSN ουν G3767 CONJ διαφερει G1308 G5719 V-PAI-3S ανθρωπος G444 N-NSM προβατου G4263 N-GSN ωστε G5620 CONJ εξεστιν G1832 G5904 V-PQI-3S τοις G3588 T-DPN σαββασιν G4521 N-DPN καλως G2573 ADV ποιειν G4160 G5721 V-PAN

13 τοτε G5119 ADV λεγει G3004 G5719 V-PAI-3S τω G3588 T-DSM ανθρωπω G444 N-DSM εκτεινον G1614 G5657 V-AAM-2S σου G4675 P-2GS την G3588 T-ASF χειρα G5495 N-ASF και G2532 CONJ εξετεινεν G1614 G5656 V-AAI-3S και G2532 CONJ απεκατεσταθη G600 G5681 V-API-3S υγιης G5199 A-NSF ως G5613 ADV η G3588 T-NSF αλλη G243 A-NSF

14 εξελθοντες G1831 G5631 V-2AAP-NPM δε G1161 CONJ οι G3588 T-NPM φαρισαιοι G5330 N-NPM συμβουλιον G4824 N-ASN ελαβον G2983 G5627 V-2AAI-3P κατ G2596 P EP αυτου G846 P-GSM οπως G3704 ADV αυτον G846 P-ASM απολεσωσιν G622 G5661 V-AAS-3P

15 ο G3588 T-NSM δε G1161 CONJ ιησους G2424 N-NSM γνους G1097 G5631 V-2AAP-NSM ανεχωρησεν G402 G5656 V-AAI-3S εκειθεν G1564 ADV και G2532 CONJ ηκολουθησαν G190 G5656 V-AAI-3P αυτω G846 P-DSM {VA 2: [οχλοι] G3793 N-NPM } πολλοι G4183 A-NPM και G2532 CONJ εθεραπευσεν G2323 G5656 V-AAI-3S αυτους G846 P-APM παντας G3956 A-APM

16 και G2532 CONJ επετιμησεν G2008 G5656 V-AAI-3S αυτοις G846 P-DPM ινα G2443 CONJ μη G3361 P T-N φανερον G5318 A-ASM αυτον G846 P-ASM ποιησωσιν G4160 G5661 V-AAS-3P

17 ινα G2443 CONJ πληρωθη G4137 G5686 V-APS-3S το G3588 T-NSN ρηθεν G4483 G5685 V-APP-NSN δια G1223 P EP ησαιου G2268 N-GSM του G3588 T-GSM προφητου G4396 N-GSM λεγοντος G3004 G5723 V-PAP-GSN

18 ιδου G2400 G5628 V-2AAM-2S ο G3588 T-NSM παις G3816 N-NSM μου G3450 P-1GS ον G3739 -ASM ηρετισα G140 G5656 V-AAI-1S ο G3588 T-NSM αγαπητος G27 A-NSM μου G3450 P-1GS {VA 2: εις G1519 P EP } ον G3739 -ASM ευδοκησεν G2106 G5656 V-AAI-3S η G3588 T-NSF ψυχη G5590 N-NSF μου G3450 P-1GS θησω G5087 G5692 V-FAI-1S το G3588 T-ASN πνευμα G4151 N-ASN μου G3450 P-1GS επ G1909 P EP αυτον G846 P-ASM και G2532 CONJ κρισιν G2920 N-ASF τοις G3588 T-DPN εθνεσιν G1484 N-DPN απαγγελει G518 G5692 V-FAI-3S

19 ουκ G3756 P T-N ερισει G2051 G5692 V-FAI-3S ουδε G3761 ADV κραυγασει G2905 G5692 V-FAI-3S ουδε G3761 ADV ακουσει G191 G5692 V-FAI-3S τις G5100 X-NSM εν G1722 P EP ταις G3588 T-DPF πλατειαις G4113 N-DPF την G3588 T-ASF φωνην G5456 N-ASF αυτου G846 P-GSM

20 καλαμον G2563 N-ASM συντετριμμενον G4937 G5772 V- PP-ASM ου G3756 P T-N κατεαξει G2608 G5656 V-AAI-3S και G2532 CONJ λινον G3043 N-ASN τυφομενον G5188 G5746 V-PPP-ASN ου G3756 P T-N σβεσει G4570 G5692 V-FAI-3S εως G2193 CONJ αν G302 P T εκβαλη G1544 G5632 V-2AAS-3S εις G1519 P EP νικος G3534 N-ASN την G3588 T-ASF κρισιν G2920 N-ASF

21 και G2532 CONJ τω G3588 T-DSN ονοματι G3686 N-DSN αυτου G846 P-GSM εθνη G1484 N-NPN ελπιουσιν G1679 G5692 V-FAI-3P-ATT

22 τοτε G5119 ADV {VA 1: προσηνεγκαν G4374 G5656 V-AAI-3P αυτω G846 P-DSM δαιμονιζομενον G1139 G5740 V-PNP-ASM τυφλον G5185 A-ASM και G2532 CONJ κωφον G2974 A-ASM } {VA 2: προσηνεχθη G4374 G5681 V-API-3S αυτω G846 P-DSM δαιμονιζομενος G1139 G5740 V-PNP-NSM τυφλος G5185 A-NSM και G2532 CONJ κωφος G2974 A-NSM } και G2532 CONJ εθεραπευσεν G2323 G5656 V-AAI-3S αυτον G846 P-ASM ωστε G5620 CONJ τον G3588 T-ASM κωφον G2974 A-ASM λαλειν G2980 G5721 V-PAN και G2532 CONJ βλεπειν G991 G5721 V-PAN

23 και G2532 CONJ εξισταντο G1839 G5710 V-IMI-3P παντες G3956 A-NPM οι G3588 T-NPM οχλοι G3793 N-NPM και G2532 CONJ ελεγον G3004 G5707 V-IAI-3P μητι G3385 P T-I ουτος G3778 D-NSM εστιν G2076 G5748 V-PXI-3S ο G3588 T-NSM υιος G5207 N-NSM δαυιδ G1138 N-P I

24 οι G3588 T-NPM δε G1161 CONJ φαρισαιοι G5330 N-NPM ακουσαντες G191 G5660 V-AAP-NPM ειπον G2036 G5627 V-2AAI-3P ουτος G3778 D-NSM ουκ G3756 P T-N εκβαλλει G1544 G5719 V-PAI-3S τα G3588 T-APN δαιμονια G1140 N-APN ει G1487 COND μη G3361 P T-N εν G1722 P EP τω G3588 T-DSM βεελζεβουλ G954 N-P I αρχοντι G758 N-DSM των G3588 T-GPN δαιμονιων G1140 N-GPN

25 ειδως G1492 G5761 V- AP-NSM δε G1161 CONJ τας G3588 T-APF ενθυμησεις G1761 N-APF αυτων G846 P-GPM ειπεν G2036 G5627 V-2AAI-3S αυτοις G846 P-DPM πασα G3956 A-NSF βασιλεια G932 N-NSF μερισθεισα G3307 G5685 V-APP-NSF καθ G2596 P EP εαυτης G1438 F-3GSF ερημουται G2049 G5743 V-PPI-3S και G2532 CONJ πασα G3956 A-NSF πολις G4172 N-NSF η G2228 P T οικια G3614 N-NSF μερισθεισα G3307 G5685 V-APP-NSF καθ G2596 P EP εαυτης G1438 F-3GSF ου G3756 P T-N σταθησεται G2476 G5701 V-FPI-3S

26 και G2532 CONJ ει G1487 COND ο G3588 T-NSM σατανας G4567 N-NSM τον G3588 T-ASM σαταναν G4567 N-ASM εκβαλλει G1544 G5719 V-PAI-3S εφ G1909 P EP εαυτον G1438 F-3ASM εμερισθη G3307 G5681 V-API-3S πως G4459 ADV-I ουν G3767 CONJ σταθησεται G2476 G5701 V-FPI-3S η G3588 T-NSF βασιλεια G932 N-NSF αυτου G846 P-GSM

27 και G2532 CONJ ει G1487 COND εγω G1473 P-1NS εν G1722 P EP βεελζεβουλ G954 N-P I εκβαλλω G1544 G5719 V-PAI-1S τα G3588 T-APN δαιμονια G1140 N-APN οι G3588 T-NPM υιοι G5207 N-NPM υμων G5216 P-2GP εν G1722 P EP τινι G5101 I-DSM εκβαλλουσιν G1544 G5719 V-PAI-3P δια G1223 P EP τουτο G5124 D-ASN αυτοι G846 P-NPM κριται G2923 N-NPM εσονται G2071 G5704 V-FXI-3P υμων G5216 P-2GP

28 ει G1487 COND δε G1161 CONJ εν G1722 P EP πνευματι G4151 N-DSN θεου G2316 N-GSM εγω G1473 P-1NS εκβαλλω G1544 G5719 V-PAI-1S τα G3588 T-APN δαιμονια G1140 N-APN αρα G686 P T εφθασεν G5348 G5656 V-AAI-3S εφ G1909 P EP υμας G5209 P-2AP η G3588 T-NSF βασιλεια G932 N-NSF του G3588 T-GSM θεου G2316 N-GSM

29 η G2228 P T πως G4459 ADV-I δυναται G1410 G5736 V-PNI-3S τις G5100 X-NSM εισελθειν G1525 G5629 V-2AAN εις G1519 P EP την G3588 T-ASF οικιαν G3614 N-ASF του G3588 T-GSM ισχυρου G2478 A-GSM και G2532 CONJ τα G3588 T-APN σκευη G4632 N-APN αυτου G846 P-GSM αρπασαι G726 G5658 V-AAN εαν G1437 COND μη G3361 P T-N πρωτον G4412 ADV δηση G1210 G5661 V-AAS-3S τον G3588 T-ASM ισχυρον G2478 A-ASM και G2532 CONJ τοτε G5119 ADV την G3588 T-ASF οικιαν G3614 N-ASF αυτου G846 P-GSM διαρπασει G1283 G5692 V-FAI-3S

30 ο G3588 T-NSM μη G3361 P T-N ων G5607 G5752 V-PXP-NSM μετ G3326 P EP εμου G1700 P-1GS κατ G2596 P EP εμου G1700 P-1GS εστιν G2076 G5748 V-PXI-3S και G2532 CONJ ο G3588 T-NSM μη G3361 P T-N συναγων G4863 G5723 V-PAP-NSM μετ G3326 P EP εμου G1700 P-1GS σκορπιζει G4650 G5719 V-PAI-3S

31 δια G1223 P EP τουτο G5124 D-ASN λεγω G3004 G5719 V-PAI-1S υμιν G5213 P-2DP πασα G3956 A-NSF αμαρτια G266 N-NSF και G2532 CONJ βλασφημια G988 N-NSF αφεθησεται G863 G5701 V-FPI-3S τοις G3588 T-DPM ανθρωποις G444 N-DPM η G3588 T-NSF δε G1161 CONJ του G3588 T-GSN πνευματος G4151 N-GSN βλασφημια G988 N-NSF ουκ G3756 P T-N αφεθησεται G863 G5701 V-FPI-3S

32 και G2532 CONJ ος G3739 -NSM εαν G1437 COND ειπη G3004 G5632 V-2AAS-3S λογον G3056 N-ASM κατα G2596 P EP του G3588 T-GSM υιου G5207 N-GSM του G3588 T-GSM ανθρωπου G444 N-GSM αφεθησεται G863 G5701 V-FPI-3S αυτω G846 P-DSM ος G3739 -NSM δ G1161 CONJ αν G302 P T ειπη G3004 G5632 V-2AAS-3S κατα G2596 P EP του G3588 T-GSN πνευματος G4151 N-GSN του G3588 T-GSN αγιου G40 A-GSN ουκ G3756 P T-N αφεθησεται G863 G5701 V-FPI-3S αυτω G846 P-DSM ουτε G3777 CONJ εν G1722 P EP τουτω G5129 D-DSM τω G3588 T-DSM αιωνι G165 N-DSM ουτε G3777 CONJ εν G1722 P EP τω G3588 T-DSM μελλοντι G3195 G5723 V-PAP-DSM

33 η G2228 P T ποιησατε G4160 G5657 V-AAM-2P το G3588 T-ASN δενδρον G1186 N-ASN καλον G2570 A-ASN και G2532 CONJ τον G3588 T-ASM καρπον G2590 N-ASM αυτου G846 P-GSN καλον G2570 A-ASM η G2228 P T ποιησατε G4160 G5657 V-AAM-2P το G3588 T-ASN δενδρον G1186 N-ASN σαπρον G4550 A-ASN και G2532 CONJ τον G3588 T-ASM καρπον G2590 N-ASM αυτου G846 P-GSN σαπρον G4550 A-ASM εκ G1537 P EP γαρ G1063 CONJ του G3588 T-GSM καρπου G2590 N-GSM το G3588 T-NSN δενδρον G1186 N-NSN γινωσκεται G1097 G5743 V-PPI-3S

34 γεννηματα G1081 N-VPN εχιδνων G2191 N-GPF πως G4459 ADV-I δυνασθε G1410 G5736 V-PNI-2P αγαθα G18 A-APN λαλειν G2980 G5721 V-PAN πονηροι G4190 A-NPM οντες G5607 G5752 V-PXP-NPM εκ G1537 P EP γαρ G1063 CONJ του G3588 T-GSN περισσευματος G4051 N-GSN της G3588 T-GSF καρδιας G2588 N-GSF το G3588 T-NSN στομα G4750 N-NSN λαλει G2980 G5719 V-PAI-3S

35 ο G3588 T-NSM αγαθος G18 A-NSM ανθρωπος G444 N-NSM εκ G1537 P EP του G3588 T-GSM αγαθου G18 A-GSM θησαυρου G2344 N-GSM εκβαλλει G1544 G5719 V-PAI-3S αγαθα G18 A-APN και G2532 CONJ ο G3588 T-NSM πονηρος G4190 A-NSM ανθρωπος G444 N-NSM εκ G1537 P EP του G3588 T-GSM πονηρου G4190 A-GSM θησαυρου G2344 N-GSM εκβαλλει G1544 G5719 V-PAI-3S πονηρα G4190 A-APN

36 λεγω G3004 G5719 V-PAI-1S δε G1161 CONJ υμιν G5213 P-2DP οτι G3754 CONJ παν G3956 A-NSN ρημα G4487 N-NSN αργον G692 A-NSN ο G3739 -ASN λαλησουσιν G2980 G5692 V-FAI-3P οι G3588 T-NPM ανθρωποι G444 N-NPM αποδωσουσιν G591 G5692 V-FAI-3P περι G4012 P EP αυτου G846 P-GSN λογον G3056 N-ASM εν G1722 P EP ημερα G2250 N-DSF κρισεως G2920 N-GSF

37 εκ G1537 P EP γαρ G1063 CONJ των G3588 T-GPM λογων G3056 N-GPM σου G4675 P-2GS δικαιωθηση G1344 G5701 V-FPI-2S και G2532 CONJ εκ G1537 P EP των G3588 T-GPM λογων G3056 N-GPM σου G4675 P-2GS καταδικασθηση G2613 G5701 V-FPI-2S

38 τοτε G5119 ADV απεκριθησαν G611 G5662 V-ADI-3P αυτω G846 P-DSM τινες G5100 X-NPM των G3588 T-GPM γραμματεων G1122 N-GPM και G2532 CONJ φαρισαιων G5330 N-GPM λεγοντες G3004 G5723 V-PAP-NPM διδασκαλε G1320 N-VSM θελομεν G2309 G5719 V-PAI-1P απο G575 P EP σου G4675 P-2GS σημειον G4592 N-ASN ιδειν G1492 G5629 V-2AAN

39 ο G3588 T-NSM δε G1161 CONJ αποκριθεις G611 G5679 V-AOP-NSM ειπεν G2036 G5627 V-2AAI-3S αυτοις G846 P-DPM γενεα G1074 N-NSF πονηρα G4190 A-NSF και G2532 CONJ μοιχαλις G3428 N-NSF σημειον G4592 N-ASN επιζητει G1934 G5719 V-PAI-3S και G2532 CONJ σημειον G4592 N-NSN ου G3756 P T-N δοθησεται G1325 G5701 V-FPI-3S αυτη G846 P-DSF ει G1487 COND μη G3361 P T-N το G3588 T-ASN σημειον G4592 N-ASN ιωνα G2495 N-GSM του G3588 T-GSM προφητου G4396 N-GSM

40 ωσπερ G5618 ADV γαρ G1063 CONJ ην G2258 G5713 V-IXI-3S ιωνας G2495 N-NSM εν G1722 P EP τη G3588 T-DSF κοιλια G2836 N-DSF του G3588 T-GSN κητους G2785 N-GSN τρεις G5140 A-APF ημερας G2250 N-APF και G2532 CONJ τρεις G5140 A-APF νυκτας G3571 N-APF ουτως G3779 ADV εσται G2071 G5704 V-FXI-3S ο G3588 T-NSM υιος G5207 N-NSM του G3588 T-GSM ανθρωπου G444 N-GSM εν G1722 P EP τη G3588 T-DSF καρδια G2588 N-DSF της G3588 T-GSF γης G1093 N-GSF τρεις G5140 A-APF ημερας G2250 N-APF και G2532 CONJ τρεις G5140 A-APF νυκτας G3571 N-APF

41 ανδρες G435 N-NPM νινευιται G3536 N-NPM αναστησονται G450 G5698 V-FMI-3P εν G1722 P EP τη G3588 T-DSF κρισει G2920 N-DSF μετα G3326 P EP της G3588 T-GSF γενεας G1074 N-GSF ταυτης G3778 D-GSF και G2532 CONJ κατακρινουσιν G2632 G5692 V-FAI-3P αυτην G846 P-ASF οτι G3754 CONJ μετενοησαν G3340 G5656 V-AAI-3P εις G1519 P EP το G3588 T-ASN κηρυγμα G2782 N-ASN ιωνα G2495 N-GSM και G2532 CONJ ιδου G2400 G5628 V-2AAM-2S πλειον G4119 A-NSN-C ιωνα G2495 N-GSM ωδε G5602 ADV

42 βασιλισσα G938 N-NSF νοτου G3558 N-GSM εγερθησεται G1453 G5701 V-FPI-3S εν G1722 P EP τη G3588 T-DSF κρισει G2920 N-DSF μετα G3326 P EP της G3588 T-GSF γενεας G1074 N-GSF ταυτης G3778 D-GSF και G2532 CONJ κατακρινει G2632 G5692 V-FAI-3S αυτην G846 P-ASF οτι G3754 CONJ ηλθεν G2064 G5627 V-2AAI-3S εκ G1537 P EP των G3588 T-GPN περατων G4009 N-GPN της G3588 T-GSF γης G1093 N-GSF ακουσαι G191 G5658 V-AAN την G3588 T-ASF σοφιαν G4678 N-ASF σολομωνος G4672 N-GSM και G2532 CONJ ιδου G2400 G5628 V-2AAM-2S πλειον G4119 A-NSN-C σολομωνος G4672 N-GSM ωδε G5602 ADV

43 οταν G3752 CONJ δε G1161 CONJ το G3588 T-NSN ακαθαρτον G169 A-NSN πνευμα G4151 N-NSN εξελθη G1831 G5632 V-2AAS-3S απο G575 P EP του G3588 T-GSM ανθρωπου G444 N-GSM διερχεται G1330 G5736 V-PNI-3S δι G1223 P EP ανυδρων G504 A-GPM τοπων G5117 N-GPM ζητουν G2212 G5723 V-PAP-NSN αναπαυσιν G372 N-ASF και G2532 CONJ ουχ G3756 P T-N ευρισκει G2147 G5719 V-PAI-3S

44 τοτε G5119 ADV λεγει G3004 G5719 V-PAI-3S εις G1519 P EP τον G3588 T-ASM οικον G3624 N-ASM μου G3450 P-1GS επιστρεψω G1994 G5692 V-FAI-1S οθεν G3606 ADV εξηλθον G1831 G5627 V-2AAI-1S και G2532 CONJ ελθον G2064 G5631 V-2AAP-NSN ευρισκει G2147 G5719 V-PAI-3S σχολαζοντα G4980 G5723 V-PAP-ASM {VA 1: [και] G2532 CONJ } σεσαρωμενον G4563 G5772 V- PP-ASM και G2532 CONJ κεκοσμημενον G2885 G5772 V- PP-ASM

45 τοτε G5119 ADV πορευεται G4198 G5736 V-PNI-3S και G2532 CONJ παραλαμβανει G3880 G5719 V-PAI-3S μεθ G3326 P EP εαυτου G1438 F-3GSM επτα G2033 A-NUI ετερα G2087 A-APN πνευματα G4151 N-APN πονηροτερα G4191 A-APN-C εαυτου G1438 F-3GSM και G2532 CONJ εισελθοντα G1525 G5631 V-2AAP-NPN κατοικει G2730 G5719 V-PAI-3S εκει G1563 ADV και G2532 CONJ γινεται G1096 G5736 V-PNI-3S τα G3588 T-NPN εσχατα G2078 A-NPN του G3588 T-GSM ανθρωπου G444 N-GSM εκεινου G1565 D-GSM χειρονα G5501 A-NPN των G3588 T-GPN πρωτων G4413 A-GPN ουτως G3779 ADV εσται G2071 G5704 V-FXI-3S και G2532 CONJ τη G3588 T-DSF γενεα G1074 N-DSF ταυτη G3778 D-DSF τη G3588 T-DSF πονηρα G4190 A-DSF

46 ετι G2089 ADV αυτου G846 P-GSM λαλουντος G2980 G5723 V-PAP-GSM τοις G3588 T-DPM οχλοις G3793 N-DPM ιδου G2400 G5628 V-2AAM-2S η G3588 T-NSF μητηρ G3384 N-NSF και G2532 CONJ οι G3588 T-NPM αδελφοι G80 N-NPM αυτου G846 P-GSM ειστηκεισαν G2476 G5715 V-LAI-3P εξω G1854 ADV ζητουντες G2212 G5723 V-PAP-NPM αυτω G846 P-DSM λαλησαι G2980 G5658 V-AAN

47 {VA 2: [ειπεν G2036 G5627 V-2AAI-3S δε G1161 CONJ τις G5100 X-NSM αυτω G846 P-DSM ιδου G2400 G5628 V-2AAM-2S η G3588 T-NSF μητηρ G3384 N-NSF σου G4675 P-2GS και G2532 CONJ οι G3588 T-NPM αδελφοι G80 N-NPM σου G4675 P-2GS εξω G1854 ADV εστηκασιν G2476 G5758 V- AI-3P ζητουντες G2212 G5723 V-PAP-NPM σοι G4671 P-2DS λαλησαι] G2980 G5658 V-AAN }

48 ο G3588 T-NSM δε G1161 CONJ αποκριθεις G611 G5679 V-AOP-NSM ειπεν G2036 G5627 V-2AAI-3S τω G3588 T-DSM λεγοντι G3004 G5723 V-PAP-DSM αυτω G846 P-DSM τις G5101 I-NSM εστιν G2076 G5748 V-PXI-3S η G3588 T-NSF μητηρ G3384 N-NSF μου G3450 P-1GS και G2532 CONJ τινες G5101 I-NPM εισιν G1526 G5748 V-PXI-3P οι G3588 T-NPM αδελφοι G80 N-NPM μου G3450 P-1GS

49 και G2532 CONJ εκτεινας G1614 G5660 V-AAP-NSF την G3588 T-ASF χειρα G5495 N-ASF {VA 1: [αυτου] G846 P-GSM } {VA 2: αυτου G846 P-GSM } επι G1909 P EP τους G3588 T-APM μαθητας G3101 N-APM αυτου G846 P-GSM ειπεν G2036 G5627 V-2AAI-3S ιδου G2400 G5628 V-2AAM-2S η G3588 T-NSF μητηρ G3384 N-NSF μου G3450 P-1GS και G2532 CONJ οι G3588 T-NPM αδελφοι G80 N-NPM μου G3450 P-1GS

50 οστις G3748 -NSM γαρ G1063 CONJ αν G302 P T ποιηση G4160 G5661 V-AAS-3S το G3588 T-ASN θελημα G2307 N-ASN του G3588 T-GSM πατρος G3962 N-GSM μου G3450 P-1GS του G3588 T-GSM εν G1722 P EP ουρανοις G3772 N-DPM αυτος G846 P-NSM μου G3450 P-1GS αδελφος G80 N-NSM και G2532 CONJ αδελφη G79 N-NSF και G2532 CONJ μητηρ G3384 N-NSF εστιν G2076 G5748 V-PXI-3S

  


Exploring the Meaning of Matthew 12      

Napsal(a) Rev. Dr. Ray Silverman

Chapter 12.

Lord of the Sabbath

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1. At that time Jesus went on the Sabbaths through the grain; and His disciples were hungry, and began to pluck the ears [of grain], and to eat.

2. And the Pharisees seeing said to Him, “Behold, Thy disciples do that which is not permitted to do on a Sabbath.”

3. But He said to them, “Have you not read what David did, when he was hungry, and they that were with him?

4. How he entered into the house of God, and ate the bread [that was] set out, which it was not permitted for him to eat, nor for those who were with him, except for the priests alone?

5. Or have you not read in the law, that on the Sabbaths the priests in the temple profane and are guiltless?

6. And I say to you that a greater than the temple is here.

7. But if you had known what [this] is — I desire mercy and not sacrifice — you would not have condemned the blameless.

8. For the Son of Man is Lord even of the Sabbath.”

9. And passing on thence, He came into their synagogue.

10. And behold, there was a man having a dried-up hand, and they asked Him, saying, “Is it permitted to cure on the Sabbaths?” — that they might accuse Him.

11. And He said to them, “What man shall there be of you who shall have one sheep, and if it shall fall into a pit on the Sabbaths, will not [take] hold of it, and raise [it out]?

12. Therefore of how much more value is a man than a sheep? So then it is permitted on the Sabbaths to do well.”

13. Then He says to the man, “Stretch forth thy hand.” And he stretched [it] forth; and it was restored, well like the other.

14. And the Pharisees took counsel against Him, going out, that they might destroy Him.

15. But Jesus knowing [it], withdrew from thence; and there followed Him many crowds, and He cured them all;

16. And admonished them that they should not make Him manifest,

17. That it might be fulfilled what was declared by Isaiah the prophet, saying,

18. “Behold, My Servant whom I have laid hold of; My Beloved, in whom My soul is well pleased; I will put My spirit into Him, and He shall pronounce judgment to the gentiles.

19. He shall not contend, nor cry; neither shall anyone hear His voice in the streets.

20. A bruised reed He shall not break, and smoldering flax He shall not quench, until He put forth judgment to victory.

21. In His name the Gentiles shall hope.”

22. Then one demon-possessed was brought to Him, blind and mute; and He cured him, so that the blind and mute both spoke and saw.

23. And all the crowds were amazed, and said, “Is not this the Son of David?”

24. But the Pharisees hearing said, “This [Man] does not cast out demons except by Beelzebub the ruler of the demons.”

25. But Jesus, knowing their thoughts, said to them, “Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation, and every city or house divided against itself, shall not stand.

26. And if Satan cast out Satan, he is divided against himself; how then shall his kingdom stand?

27. And if I cast out demons by Beelzebub, by whom do your sons cast [them] out? Therefore, they shall be your judges.

28. But if I cast out demons in the spirit of God, certainly the kingdom of God has come upon you.”
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In the previous episode when Jesus said, “Come to Me all you who labor and are heavy laden and I will give you rest,” He aligned Himself with the One who created the Sabbath — the day of rest. It is appropriate then, that the next episode begins on the Sabbath day. “At that time Jesus went through the corn fields on the Sabbath. And His disciples were hungry and began to pluck ears of corn and ate” (12:1). When the religious leaders find out about this, they are outraged, and they promptly tell Jesus that His disciples are breaking the Sabbath law: “Look,” they say, “Your disciples are doing what it is not lawful to do on the Sabbath!” (12:2).

It is true that the Sabbath commandment, as given in the Hebrew scriptures, forbids any kind of work on the Sabbath. As it is written, “Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord your God. In it you shall do no work” (Exodus 20:8-10).

The Hebrew scriptures are clear about the importance of observing the Sabbath, and the punishment for breaking this commandment is given in no uncertain terms. According to the book of Exodus, “The seventh day shall be a holy day for you, a Sabbath of rest to the Lord. Whoever does any work on it shall be put to death” (Exodus 35:2). And just to be clear about what is meant by “work” on the Sabbath, this important teaching is added: “You shall kindle no fire throughout your habitations on the Sabbath day” (Exodus 35:3). We also read of a certain man who was caught gathering sticks on the Sabbath, presumably to kindle a fire. As a punishment for his disobedience, he was stoned to death (Numbers 15:32-36).

The Law was clear, then, that no work of any kind was to be done on the Sabbath. But the religious leaders went a step further. Using their own reasoning, they explained how the Sabbath law prohibiting work might be applied to the most trivial acts. As a result, they spelled out numerous ways that the Sabbath might be violated. 1 Included in their list of prohibitions, is the act of plucking grain — which is precisely what the disciples did on this day. When the religious leaders saw this, they were infuriated. Their own traditions had taken on a sacred significance to them, and any violation of these traditions were equated with a violation of God’s law.

In their eagerness to enforce the letter of the law, the religious leaders had forgotten its spirit. The Sabbath is intended to be a day of rest, both physical and spiritual. It is a day to remember that God alone is the doer of all things, the One in whom we live and move and have our being. In remembering this we have rest for our souls. In this state of rest we trust in God and let nothing disturb us. The raging fires of self-love, the flames of hatred, and the burning lusts of ambition are not kindled on this day, nor do we even gather sticks (complaints, irritations, etc.) to start such a fire. We remain peaceful, content, assured of God’s loving protection of our souls and His constant provision for every aspect of our lives. We spend a day enjoying the tranquility and peace of His presence. This is the Sabbath.

Up to this point in Matthew, Jesus has preached, healed, and shown His wondrous power in numerous ways. Although He has done things which have offended and upset the religious leaders, He has not done anything which directly violates their priestly code — until now. The plucking of grain, because it was a form of harvesting, was strictly forbidden on the Sabbath, and yet Jesus allows His disciples to pluck the ears of corn and eat.

It is true that Jesus has already done things He knows will upset the religious authorities, such as forgiving sins and eating with sinners. But now, in allowing His disciples to do something that is directly against their strict code of Sabbath day regulations, He incurs their greatest wrath. He then goes on to tell them that even David, when He was hungry, went into the house of God and ate the showbread — illustrating that the preservation of human life challenges their inhumane, overly strict observance of this Sabbath commandment (12:3).

Jesus then incites further indignation, referring to Himself as being even greater than their holiest place of worship: “I say to you,” He says, “in this place there is One greater than the temple” (12:6). Any human being is of more value than an inanimate object, but Jesus implies much more. He then returns to the ongoing theme of His ministry — the emphasis on mercy, compassion and forgiveness over the empty rituals and meaningless sacrifices of the temple priests: “If you had known what this means, ‘I desire mercy and not sacrifice,’” He says, “you would not have condemned the guiltless” (12:7). 2 And finally, He concludes with a most powerful assertion — so far — of His divinity: “For the Son of Man is Lord, even of the Sabbath” (12:8).

If the religious authorities ever wanted to establish a case against Jesus, and to accuse Him of blasphemy, Jesus is now giving them ample grounds to make that case!

But Jesus does not stop there. In the very next episode He goes directly into a synagogue where the religious leaders challenge Him with the question, “Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath?” (12:9). This, of course, is a trick question, intended to trap Jesus. In fact, the religious leaders have already ruled that it is unlawful to give medical assistance on the Sabbath. For example, if a man has a broken arm, or even a toothache he must wait until the Sabbath ends before he can do anything about it. 3

Jesus, however, introduces a new, more merciful way of understanding the Sabbath. He asks, “What man is there among you who has one sheep, and it falls into a pit on the Sabbath, will not lay hold of it and lift it out? Then, of how much more value is a man than a sheep? Therefore it is lawful to do good on the Sabbath” (12:12). To further emphasize this point, Jesus turns to a man with a withered hand and says, “Stretch out your hand” (12:13). And as soon as the man stretches out his hand, it is healed (12:13).

One would think that the religious leaders would be impressed by this amazing miracle, and happy for the man who had been healed. On the contrary, they are outraged by what appears to them to be a flagrant disregard for their strict traditions. Because of this, they take counsel against Him, deliberating on “how they might destroy Him” (12:9). The irony is intense: the religious leaders take counsel to injure and destroy the One who has come to heal and to save.

While the religious leaders are secretly plotting His destruction, Jesus withdraws from the synagogue and openly continues His Sabbath work. “And great multitudes followed Him, and He healed them all” (12:15). It is noteworthy that Jesus does not confine his object lesson to healing just one person’s hand on the Sabbath. He heals “great multitudes”! It seems that He has a specific point to make, and He could not be making it more dramatically or in a more conspicuous way. He has said that it is lawful to do good on the Sabbath, and now He demonstrates it repeatedly: He heals the multitudes.

In the midst of the many healings He is performing on the Sabbath, a demon-possessed man who is both blind and mute is brought to Him. Jesus heals him immediately of this triple handicap much to the amazement of the multitudes. But when the religious leaders hear about it, their response is predictably cynical: “This fellow does not cast out demons except by Beelzebub, the ruler of the demons” (12:24). This is now the second time that the religious leaders have publicly accused Jesus of casting out demons by the ruler of the demons (see 9:34). The first time, Jesus did not respond. But this time it is different. Jesus contradicts them, saying, “If Satan casts out Satan, he is divided against himself. How then can his kingdom stand?” (12:26).

Self-will cannot cast out self-will. Ego cannot cast out ego. Satan cannot cast out Satan. If, for example, we try to cast out selfishness by powerful exertions of self-will — leaving out God, our efforts can never succeed. The simple fact is that only God can cast out the spirit of selfishness, only the Spirit of God can cast out demons. As Jesus says, “If I cast out demons by the Spirit of God, surely the kingdom of God has come upon you” (12:28).

This episode, which is about “the Sabbath” ends with a description of how demons are cast out. Today we consider our “demons” to be anger, irritation, impatience, annoyance, and the many emotional disturbances that seem to destroy our inner peace, and often lead to our acting out against others. While these negative emotions may indeed have their origin in hell (“Satan”), we can remain secure and at peace when relying upon God. This is the true Sabbath. Whenever we choose to “rest in God,” the kingdom of God has come upon us. 4

Neutrality Is Not an Option

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29. “Or how can anyone enter into the house of the strong [one] and plunder his vessels, unless he first bind the strong [one]? And then he will plunder his house.

30. He that is not with Me is against Me; and he that gathers not with Me, scatters.

31. Wherefore I say unto you, Every sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven men; but the blasphemy of the Spirit shall not be forgiven men.

32. And whoever says a word against the Son of Man, it shall be forgiven him; but whoever shall say [it] against the Holy Spirit, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this age, nor in that to come.

33. Either make the tree good and its fruit good, or make the tree rotten and its fruit rotten; for from the fruit the tree is known.

34. Brood of vipers, how can you speak good [things], being wicked? For from the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.

35. The good man out of the good treasure of the heart puts forth good [things]; and the wicked man out of the wicked treasure puts forth wicked [things].

36. But I say unto you, that every idle saying which men shall speak, they shall render a word concerning it in the day of judgment.

37. For out of thy words thou shalt be justified, and out of thy words thou shalt be condemned.”
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Peace is a great blessing. It is the inner reward that comes to everyone who lives according to God’s commandments. Trusting in God is not only the source of our peace, it is also the source of our inner strength; it is a mighty fortress against the destructive thoughts and feelings that would otherwise invade our mind, hold us captive, and steal our joy. In the prologue to the Ten Commandments, God says, “I am the Lord your God who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage” (Exodus 20:1-2). In weak moments, when negative thoughts and feelings invade our minds, we are returning to the “house of bondage.” This captivity, or “spiritual bondage,” is what Jesus is referring to when He says, “How can anyone enter into a strong man’s house, and plunder his goods, except he first bind the strong man, and then he will plunder his house?” (12:29).

It is, therefore, necessary to remain steadfast in our devotion to God, to remain with Him always and not depart from His company. There is no middle way when it comes to the path of devotion. We can’t afford weak moments when we drop our guard, or half-hearted endeavors to do what is right. It’s all or nothing. We are either with the Lord, or we are not. Any chink in our armor, and weakness of character is an opening for the hells to burst through. Therefore, Jesus says, “He that is not with Me is against Me” and He adds, “he that gathers not with Me scatters abroad” (12:30).

Literally, “gathering and scattering” refers to Jesus’ telling His apostles to go forth and gather the harvest of good people everywhere, teaching them about the kingdom of God. The people who are lost and “scattered” must be gathered together and brought back to God. But if this work is not done, and if the traditions of men are taught in the place of the commandments of God, the people will be scattered further from God. On a more interior level, we too must gather what we have learned and put it to use; if not, evil desires and false thoughts will creep in, separating us further (“scattering us’) from all that is good and true.

Jesus knows that the corrupt religious leaders have been leading the people astray — “scattering them” — through their misleading and false teachings. Therefore, Jesus says to them, “Every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven men, but the blasphemy against the

Spirit will not be forgiven” (12:31). The blasphemy here referred to is the one which the religious leaders are committing at this very moment. They have just witnessed a great miracle of healing, and yet they refuse to attribute such a miracle to the Spirit of God. Instead, they attribute it to Beelzebub, the ruler of the demons. Thus, they interpret good as evil, attributing the power of healing to the demonic rather than to the Divine.

In interpreting good as evil, the religious leaders leave themselves without any hope for salvation or forgiveness, simply because they refuse to accept it. While God is pure mercy, love and forgiveness, none of these qualities can be experienced or received unless there is a sincere desire to receive them, and a willingness to live according to them. Jesus is the embodiment of these qualities. To reject Him is to reject all that He would freely give us.

In our own lives we do the same thing whenever we refuse to see the wonders that God is working in our lives at every moment, even when things appear to be going against our wishes. In practical terms, then, “to sin against the Holy Spirit” is to interpret the circumstances of our lives and the intentions of others as having some evil origin — similar to the way the religious leaders attributed evil motives to Jesus. We refuse to see any possible goodness that might be there, or how a particularly unpleasant situation could possibly turn out for the best. Whenever we do this, we sin against the Holy Spirit. We deny that God is working with us always, in every circumstance, to refine our spirits so that we might eventually be able to realize the greatest possible happiness.

Not everything that happens will please us, but everything that happens should be interpreted as leading, in some way, to a good end. 5 When we think in this way, striving to see the good intentions behind people’s actions, and striving to put a good interpretation on everything we see, we discover the key to peace and happiness. We begin to understand that God, in mysterious ways, is providing or permitting all things; and despite all appearances to the contrary, we are constantly being led into increasingly interior states of peace and joy. 6

Jesus then returns to the theme of being either for Him or against Him — either for good or against it. We cannot have it both ways; and neutrality is not an option. “Either make the tree good and its fruit good,” says Jesus, “or make the tree bad and its fruit bad, for from the fruit the tree is known” (12:33). It’s as if Jesus is saying, “Look, I just healed a man whose hand was withering away with leprosy. Can’t you see that what I have done is good? Or, do you see everything I do as evil because you are evil?” Jesus puts it more directly: “O generation of vipers,” He says, “how can you, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks” (12:34).

Whatever is in our heart will eventually come out through our words and actions: “A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things” (12:35). There is no escape from this timeless spiritual principle. As Jesus puts it, “Every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. For by thy words thou shall be justified, and by thy words thou shall be condemned” (12:35-37).

These are serious warnings. Is it possible that the religious leaders will take these warnings to heart? Will they repent and change their ways? Or will they remain entrenched in their stubborn desire to destroy Jesus, interpreting the good that He does as evil? The next episode will provide some important clues.

The Sign of the Prophet Jonah

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38. Then answered some of the scribes and Pharisees, saying, “Teacher, we will to see a sign from Thee.”

39. But He answering said to them, “A wicked and adulterous generation seeks a sign, and a sign shall not be given to it, except the sign of the prophet Jonah.

40. For just as Jonah was in the belly of the whale three days and three nights, so shall the Son of Man be in the heart of the earth three days and three nights.

41. The men of Nineveh shall stand up in the judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it; because they repented at the preaching of Jonah; and behold, [One who is] more than Jonah [is] here.

42. The queen of the south shall rise up in the judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it, because she came from the uttermost parts of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and behold, [One who is] more than Solomon [is] here.

43. And when the unclean spirit has come out from the man, he passes through waterless places, seeking rest, and does not find [it].

44. Then he says, ‘I will return into my house, whence I came out’; and coming, he finds [it] empty, swept, and adorned.

45. Then he goes and takes with himself seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and entering in, they dwell there; and the last [things] of that man are worse than the first. So shall it also be to this wicked generation.”

46. And [while] He yet spoke to the crowds, behold, His mother and brothers stood outside, seeking to speak to Him.

47. And someone said to Him, “Behold, Thy mother and Thy brothers stand outside, seeking to speak to Thee.”

48. But He answering said to those that told Him, “Who is My mother, and who are My brothers?”

49. And stretching forth His hand to His disciples, He said, “Behold, My mother and My brothers.

50. For whoever shall do the will of My Father who is in the heavens, he is My brother, and sister, and mother.”
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As the next episode begins, it seems that the religious leaders might be relenting somewhat in their campaign to destroy Jesus. Addressing Him as “Master,” they say, “We want to see a sign from You” (12:38). But, Jesus, who knows their every thought, is not fooled by their pretended interest. “An evil and adulterous generation seeks after a sign,” Jesus says, “and no sign will be given to it except the sign of the Prophet Jonah” (12:39). Jesus goes on to recount how Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of a whale, just as “the Son of Man will be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth” (12:40).

While the story of Jonah traditionally signifies Jesus’ burial and resurrection, it also represents the wonder of human regeneration. 7 The only real sign of regeneration is the living experience of inner change that comes over people as they strive to keep the commandments, putting away selfish concerns and materialistic pre-occupations, gradually becoming kinder, gentler, more peaceful human beings.

Spending “three days and three nights in the belly of the great fish” represents the dark times of inner struggle and turmoil that we go through in the process of our regeneration. The number “three” is a symbolic term, meaning a complete cycle of time, as in “morning, noon, and night,” and because of this, it represents a full period of temptation with a “beginning, middle, and end.” 8

This process cannot be faked or side-stepped. And there are no shortcuts. Jesus warns that a momentary change of mind will do us no good if not accompanied by a change of heart. In the case of the religious leaders, Jesus sees through their hypocritical requests for more “signs” of His divinity. A shallow religious faith is based on signs and miracles; deep faith comes about through a repentant heart. So, Jesus takes them back to the story of Jonah who taught repentance to the people of Ninevah: “The men of Nineveh shall rise in judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it because they repented at the preaching of Jonah.” Jesus then adds, referring to Himself, “a greater than Jonah is here” (12:41). He then talks about Solomon, the great king who was a universal symbol of wisdom, adding, “a greater than Solomon is here” (12:42).

Jesus is telling them, in no uncertain terms, that no one is greater than He is. These are not the claims of an ordinary person. He then tells them a seemingly disconnected story about an unclean spirit that leaves a person and roams about looking for a place to rest. But finding no place to rest, it returns to the person, bringing along with it seven more spirits even more wicked than itself. These spirits now reenter the person and dwell there, “and the last state of that man is worse than the first” (12:43-45). Jesus is saying, “Look, even if I gave you a sign and it caused you to temporarily believe in Me, it would do you no good. In fact, it would be worse for you because you would return to your prior condition, seven times more adamant in your unbelief.” All this is contained in Jesus’ brief statement reminding the religious leaders that a mere sign cannot fundamentally change a wicked heart: “Even so shall it be also unto this wicked generation” (12:46).

Regeneration, then, not signs and miracles, is the only way. And there is no regeneration without temptation. Each of us will go through numerous times of temptation in our lives, and each time it will feel like a death and a resurrection. Each time something of our selfish nature will die; at the same time, if we turn to God, applying His truth and praying for His power — something new will be born in us. This is our resurrection to new life, a gradual process that begins in this life and continues throughout eternity. This is what is meant by the miracle of regeneration — and this is “the sign of the Prophet Jonah.” 9

Regeneration comes about through living according to the will of God. There is no other way, and no miracle that can take its place. The path is simple and direct, and those who choose to follow it are “born again” to new life. For this reason, this section of the narrative closes with a brief episode in which Jesus’ mother and brothers seek to speak with Him. Jesus uses this as an opportunity to introduce people to a new and higher perspective on family relationships. Stretching out His hands towards His disciples, He says, “Here are My mother and My brothers. For whoever does the will of My Father in heaven is My brother and sister and mother” (12:50).

As we go about our daily lives, striving to do the will of our Father in heaven, we might notice small changes arising in our thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. We might notice that we are becoming more patient in situations that might have annoyed us at one time; we might find ourselves becoming less defensive, and more inclined to consider the perspectives and feelings of others; we might find ourselves less invested in having things done our way, and more concerned about meeting the needs of others. Whatever it might be, these moments of “new life” that arise in us are a result of the regeneration process. These are some of the many ways we experience “the sign of the prophet Jonah.”

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Footnotes:

1. The Jewish Encyclopedia lists 1,521 activities that were not permitted on the Sabbath day. These included plowing, reaping, writing, hammering, squeezing lemons, clapping hands, tearing paper, making mental calculations and plucking fruit (to name a few). Vol. 10 (New York: Funk and Wagnalls, 1910), 536.

2. See also Matthew 9:13 where Jesus quotes the same passage, suggesting that is a central theme in Matthew.

3. This prohibition is known as “refuah” (medical treatment). We read, “On the Sabbath you must not induce vomiting, or straighten an infant’s limbs, or set a broken bone” (Mishnah Shabbat 22:6). “On the Sabbath you must not gargle and spit out vinegar to cure a toothache” (Mishnah Shabbat 111a).

4. The Hebrew word for Sabbath is) שַׁבּתָ Shabbat), which means “rest.” So, a true Sabbath is “resting in God.”

5Arcana Coelestia 8455: “Peace has in it confidence in the Lord, that He directs all things, and provides all things, and that He leads to a good end.”

6Arcana Coelestia 1079: “They who are in charity scarcely see the evil of another; instead, they observe all his goods and truths, and put a good interpretation on what is evil and false. This is the nature of all the angels, for they have this quality from the Lord.” See also Arcana Coelestia 1085: “They interpret for good and excuse with all their might.”

7Apocalypse Explained 706:6: “Asking for a sign here means that they wanted a convincing proof through which they would be persuaded and believe that the Lord was the Messiah and the Son of God who was to come; for the miracles which the Lord wrought in great numbers, and which they saw, were no signs to them, because miracles, as said above, are signs only to the good. Jonah was in the belly of the whale three days and three nights, and this was taken for a sign, because it signified the burial and resurrection of the Lord, thus the complete glorification of His Human, three days and three nights signifying completeness.”

8Apocalypse Explained 532: “The number ‘three’ signifies in the Word what is full and complete, and thence an entire period, greater or less, from beginning to end.”

9Arcana Coelestia 8403:2, 3: “Let it be known that no one can be regenerated without temptation, and that a person undergoes very many temptations, following one after another…. A person cannot be regenerated without conflict, that is, without spiritual temptation, and a person is not regenerated by undergoing a single temptation, but only by undergoing very many of them. For there are numerous kinds of evil… that cannot be subdued on one occasion and all together. They cling stubbornly to the person, for they become deeply rooted in his forebears going back many centuries and are for that reason innate in him. They have also been made stronger since early childhood by the evils of his own doing. All these evils are diametrically opposed to the heavenly good that is to be instilled and that must constitute the new life.”

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Exploring the Meaning of Matthew 12      

Napsal(a) Rev. Dr. Ray Silverman

Chapter 12.

Lord of the Sabbath

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1. At that time Jesus went on the Sabbaths through the grain; and His disciples were hungry, and began to pluck the ears [of grain], and to eat.

2. And the Pharisees seeing said to Him, “Behold, Thy disciples do that which is not permitted to do on a Sabbath.”

3. But He said to them, “Have you not read what David did, when he was hungry, and they that were with him?

4. How he entered into the house of God, and ate the bread [that was] set out, which it was not permitted for him to eat, nor for those who were with him, except for the priests alone?

5. Or have you not read in the law, that on the Sabbaths the priests in the temple profane and are guiltless?

6. And I say to you that a greater than the temple is here.

7. But if you had known what [this] is — I desire mercy and not sacrifice — you would not have condemned the blameless.

8. For the Son of Man is Lord even of the Sabbath.”

9. And passing on thence, He came into their synagogue.

10. And behold, there was a man having a dried-up hand, and they asked Him, saying, “Is it permitted to cure on the Sabbaths?” — that they might accuse Him.

11. And He said to them, “What man shall there be of you who shall have one sheep, and if it shall fall into a pit on the Sabbaths, will not [take] hold of it, and raise [it out]?

12. Therefore of how much more value is a man than a sheep? So then it is permitted on the Sabbaths to do well.”

13. Then He says to the man, “Stretch forth thy hand.” And he stretched [it] forth; and it was restored, well like the other.

14. And the Pharisees took counsel against Him, going out, that they might destroy Him.

15. But Jesus knowing [it], withdrew from thence; and there followed Him many crowds, and He cured them all;

16. And admonished them that they should not make Him manifest,

17. That it might be fulfilled what was declared by Isaiah the prophet, saying,

18. “Behold, My Servant whom I have laid hold of; My Beloved, in whom My soul is well pleased; I will put My spirit into Him, and He shall pronounce judgment to the gentiles.

19. He shall not contend, nor cry; neither shall anyone hear His voice in the streets.

20. A bruised reed He shall not break, and smoldering flax He shall not quench, until He put forth judgment to victory.

21. In His name the Gentiles shall hope.”

22. Then one demon-possessed was brought to Him, blind and mute; and He cured him, so that the blind and mute both spoke and saw.

23. And all the crowds were amazed, and said, “Is not this the Son of David?”

24. But the Pharisees hearing said, “This [Man] does not cast out demons except by Beelzebub the ruler of the demons.”

25. But Jesus, knowing their thoughts, said to them, “Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation, and every city or house divided against itself, shall not stand.

26. And if Satan cast out Satan, he is divided against himself; how then shall his kingdom stand?

27. And if I cast out demons by Beelzebub, by whom do your sons cast [them] out? Therefore, they shall be your judges.

28. But if I cast out demons in the spirit of God, certainly the kingdom of God has come upon you.”
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In the previous episode when Jesus said, “Come to Me all you who labor and are heavy laden and I will give you rest,” He aligned Himself with the One who created the Sabbath — the day of rest. It is appropriate then, that the next episode begins on the Sabbath day. “At that time Jesus went through the corn fields on the Sabbath. And His disciples were hungry and began to pluck ears of corn and ate” (12:1). When the religious leaders find out about this, they are outraged, and they promptly tell Jesus that His disciples are breaking the Sabbath law: “Look,” they say, “Your disciples are doing what it is not lawful to do on the Sabbath!” (12:2).

It is true that the Sabbath commandment, as given in the Hebrew scriptures, forbids any kind of work on the Sabbath. As it is written, “Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord your God. In it you shall do no work” (Exodus 20:8-10).

The Hebrew scriptures are clear about the importance of observing the Sabbath, and the punishment for breaking this commandment is given in no uncertain terms. According to the book of Exodus, “The seventh day shall be a holy day for you, a Sabbath of rest to the Lord. Whoever does any work on it shall be put to death” (Exodus 35:2). And just to be clear about what is meant by “work” on the Sabbath, this important teaching is added: “You shall kindle no fire throughout your habitations on the Sabbath day” (Exodus 35:3). We also read of a certain man who was caught gathering sticks on the Sabbath, presumably to kindle a fire. As a punishment for his disobedience, he was stoned to death (Numbers 15:32-36).

The Law was clear, then, that no work of any kind was to be done on the Sabbath. But the religious leaders went a step further. Using their own reasoning, they explained how the Sabbath law prohibiting work might be applied to the most trivial acts. As a result, they spelled out numerous ways that the Sabbath might be violated. 1 Included in their list of prohibitions, is the act of plucking grain — which is precisely what the disciples did on this day. When the religious leaders saw this, they were infuriated. Their own traditions had taken on a sacred significance to them, and any violation of these traditions were equated with a violation of God’s law.

In their eagerness to enforce the letter of the law, the religious leaders had forgotten its spirit. The Sabbath is intended to be a day of rest, both physical and spiritual. It is a day to remember that God alone is the doer of all things, the One in whom we live and move and have our being. In remembering this we have rest for our souls. In this state of rest we trust in God and let nothing disturb us. The raging fires of self-love, the flames of hatred, and the burning lusts of ambition are not kindled on this day, nor do we even gather sticks (complaints, irritations, etc.) to start such a fire. We remain peaceful, content, assured of God’s loving protection of our souls and His constant provision for every aspect of our lives. We spend a day enjoying the tranquility and peace of His presence. This is the Sabbath.

Up to this point in Matthew, Jesus has preached, healed, and shown His wondrous power in numerous ways. Although He has done things which have offended and upset the religious leaders, He has not done anything which directly violates their priestly code — until now. The plucking of grain, because it was a form of harvesting, was strictly forbidden on the Sabbath, and yet Jesus allows His disciples to pluck the ears of corn and eat.

It is true that Jesus has already done things He knows will upset the religious authorities, such as forgiving sins and eating with sinners. But now, in allowing His disciples to do something that is directly against their strict code of Sabbath day regulations, He incurs their greatest wrath. He then goes on to tell them that even David, when He was hungry, went into the house of God and ate the showbread — illustrating that the preservation of human life challenges their inhumane, overly strict observance of this Sabbath commandment (12:3).

Jesus then incites further indignation, referring to Himself as being even greater than their holiest place of worship: “I say to you,” He says, “in this place there is One greater than the temple” (12:6). Any human being is of more value than an inanimate object, but Jesus implies much more. He then returns to the ongoing theme of His ministry — the emphasis on mercy, compassion and forgiveness over the empty rituals and meaningless sacrifices of the temple priests: “If you had known what this means, ‘I desire mercy and not sacrifice,’” He says, “you would not have condemned the guiltless” (12:7). 2 And finally, He concludes with a most powerful assertion — so far — of His divinity: “For the Son of Man is Lord, even of the Sabbath” (12:8).

If the religious authorities ever wanted to establish a case against Jesus, and to accuse Him of blasphemy, Jesus is now giving them ample grounds to make that case!

But Jesus does not stop there. In the very next episode He goes directly into a synagogue where the religious leaders challenge Him with the question, “Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath?” (12:9). This, of course, is a trick question, intended to trap Jesus. In fact, the religious leaders have already ruled that it is unlawful to give medical assistance on the Sabbath. For example, if a man has a broken arm, or even a toothache he must wait until the Sabbath ends before he can do anything about it. 3

Jesus, however, introduces a new, more merciful way of understanding the Sabbath. He asks, “What man is there among you who has one sheep, and it falls into a pit on the Sabbath, will not lay hold of it and lift it out? Then, of how much more value is a man than a sheep? Therefore it is lawful to do good on the Sabbath” (12:12). To further emphasize this point, Jesus turns to a man with a withered hand and says, “Stretch out your hand” (12:13). And as soon as the man stretches out his hand, it is healed (12:13).

One would think that the religious leaders would be impressed by this amazing miracle, and happy for the man who had been healed. On the contrary, they are outraged by what appears to them to be a flagrant disregard for their strict traditions. Because of this, they take counsel against Him, deliberating on “how they might destroy Him” (12:9). The irony is intense: the religious leaders take counsel to injure and destroy the One who has come to heal and to save.

While the religious leaders are secretly plotting His destruction, Jesus withdraws from the synagogue and openly continues His Sabbath work. “And great multitudes followed Him, and He healed them all” (12:15). It is noteworthy that Jesus does not confine his object lesson to healing just one person’s hand on the Sabbath. He heals “great multitudes”! It seems that He has a specific point to make, and He could not be making it more dramatically or in a more conspicuous way. He has said that it is lawful to do good on the Sabbath, and now He demonstrates it repeatedly: He heals the multitudes.

In the midst of the many healings He is performing on the Sabbath, a demon-possessed man who is both blind and mute is brought to Him. Jesus heals him immediately of this triple handicap much to the amazement of the multitudes. But when the religious leaders hear about it, their response is predictably cynical: “This fellow does not cast out demons except by Beelzebub, the ruler of the demons” (12:24). This is now the second time that the religious leaders have publicly accused Jesus of casting out demons by the ruler of the demons (see 9:34). The first time, Jesus did not respond. But this time it is different. Jesus contradicts them, saying, “If Satan casts out Satan, he is divided against himself. How then can his kingdom stand?” (12:26).

Self-will cannot cast out self-will. Ego cannot cast out ego. Satan cannot cast out Satan. If, for example, we try to cast out selfishness by powerful exertions of self-will — leaving out God, our efforts can never succeed. The simple fact is that only God can cast out the spirit of selfishness, only the Spirit of God can cast out demons. As Jesus says, “If I cast out demons by the Spirit of God, surely the kingdom of God has come upon you” (12:28).

This episode, which is about “the Sabbath” ends with a description of how demons are cast out. Today we consider our “demons” to be anger, irritation, impatience, annoyance, and the many emotional disturbances that seem to destroy our inner peace, and often lead to our acting out against others. While these negative emotions may indeed have their origin in hell (“Satan”), we can remain secure and at peace when relying upon God. This is the true Sabbath. Whenever we choose to “rest in God,” the kingdom of God has come upon us. 4

Neutrality Is Not an Option

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29. “Or how can anyone enter into the house of the strong [one] and plunder his vessels, unless he first bind the strong [one]? And then he will plunder his house.

30. He that is not with Me is against Me; and he that gathers not with Me, scatters.

31. Wherefore I say unto you, Every sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven men; but the blasphemy of the Spirit shall not be forgiven men.

32. And whoever says a word against the Son of Man, it shall be forgiven him; but whoever shall say [it] against the Holy Spirit, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this age, nor in that to come.

33. Either make the tree good and its fruit good, or make the tree rotten and its fruit rotten; for from the fruit the tree is known.

34. Brood of vipers, how can you speak good [things], being wicked? For from the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.

35. The good man out of the good treasure of the heart puts forth good [things]; and the wicked man out of the wicked treasure puts forth wicked [things].

36. But I say unto you, that every idle saying which men shall speak, they shall render a word concerning it in the day of judgment.

37. For out of thy words thou shalt be justified, and out of thy words thou shalt be condemned.”
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Peace is a great blessing. It is the inner reward that comes to everyone who lives according to God’s commandments. Trusting in God is not only the source of our peace, it is also the source of our inner strength; it is a mighty fortress against the destructive thoughts and feelings that would otherwise invade our mind, hold us captive, and steal our joy. In the prologue to the Ten Commandments, God says, “I am the Lord your God who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage” (Exodus 20:1-2). In weak moments, when negative thoughts and feelings invade our minds, we are returning to the “house of bondage.” This captivity, or “spiritual bondage,” is what Jesus is referring to when He says, “How can anyone enter into a strong man’s house, and plunder his goods, except he first bind the strong man, and then he will plunder his house?” (12:29).

It is, therefore, necessary to remain steadfast in our devotion to God, to remain with Him always and not depart from His company. There is no middle way when it comes to the path of devotion. We can’t afford weak moments when we drop our guard, or half-hearted endeavors to do what is right. It’s all or nothing. We are either with the Lord, or we are not. Any chink in our armor, and weakness of character is an opening for the hells to burst through. Therefore, Jesus says, “He that is not with Me is against Me” and He adds, “he that gathers not with Me scatters abroad” (12:30).

Literally, “gathering and scattering” refers to Jesus’ telling His apostles to go forth and gather the harvest of good people everywhere, teaching them about the kingdom of God. The people who are lost and “scattered” must be gathered together and brought back to God. But if this work is not done, and if the traditions of men are taught in the place of the commandments of God, the people will be scattered further from God. On a more interior level, we too must gather what we have learned and put it to use; if not, evil desires and false thoughts will creep in, separating us further (“scattering us’) from all that is good and true.

Jesus knows that the corrupt religious leaders have been leading the people astray — “scattering them” — through their misleading and false teachings. Therefore, Jesus says to them, “Every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven men, but the blasphemy against the

Spirit will not be forgiven” (12:31). The blasphemy here referred to is the one which the religious leaders are committing at this very moment. They have just witnessed a great miracle of healing, and yet they refuse to attribute such a miracle to the Spirit of God. Instead, they attribute it to Beelzebub, the ruler of the demons. Thus, they interpret good as evil, attributing the power of healing to the demonic rather than to the Divine.

In interpreting good as evil, the religious leaders leave themselves without any hope for salvation or forgiveness, simply because they refuse to accept it. While God is pure mercy, love and forgiveness, none of these qualities can be experienced or received unless there is a sincere desire to receive them, and a willingness to live according to them. Jesus is the embodiment of these qualities. To reject Him is to reject all that He would freely give us.

In our own lives we do the same thing whenever we refuse to see the wonders that God is working in our lives at every moment, even when things appear to be going against our wishes. In practical terms, then, “to sin against the Holy Spirit” is to interpret the circumstances of our lives and the intentions of others as having some evil origin — similar to the way the religious leaders attributed evil motives to Jesus. We refuse to see any possible goodness that might be there, or how a particularly unpleasant situation could possibly turn out for the best. Whenever we do this, we sin against the Holy Spirit. We deny that God is working with us always, in every circumstance, to refine our spirits so that we might eventually be able to realize the greatest possible happiness.

Not everything that happens will please us, but everything that happens should be interpreted as leading, in some way, to a good end. 5 When we think in this way, striving to see the good intentions behind people’s actions, and striving to put a good interpretation on everything we see, we discover the key to peace and happiness. We begin to understand that God, in mysterious ways, is providing or permitting all things; and despite all appearances to the contrary, we are constantly being led into increasingly interior states of peace and joy. 6

Jesus then returns to the theme of being either for Him or against Him — either for good or against it. We cannot have it both ways; and neutrality is not an option. “Either make the tree good and its fruit good,” says Jesus, “or make the tree bad and its fruit bad, for from the fruit the tree is known” (12:33). It’s as if Jesus is saying, “Look, I just healed a man whose hand was withering away with leprosy. Can’t you see that what I have done is good? Or, do you see everything I do as evil because you are evil?” Jesus puts it more directly: “O generation of vipers,” He says, “how can you, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks” (12:34).

Whatever is in our heart will eventually come out through our words and actions: “A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things” (12:35). There is no escape from this timeless spiritual principle. As Jesus puts it, “Every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. For by thy words thou shall be justified, and by thy words thou shall be condemned” (12:35-37).

These are serious warnings. Is it possible that the religious leaders will take these warnings to heart? Will they repent and change their ways? Or will they remain entrenched in their stubborn desire to destroy Jesus, interpreting the good that He does as evil? The next episode will provide some important clues.

The Sign of the Prophet Jonah

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38. Then answered some of the scribes and Pharisees, saying, “Teacher, we will to see a sign from Thee.”

39. But He answering said to them, “A wicked and adulterous generation seeks a sign, and a sign shall not be given to it, except the sign of the prophet Jonah.

40. For just as Jonah was in the belly of the whale three days and three nights, so shall the Son of Man be in the heart of the earth three days and three nights.

41. The men of Nineveh shall stand up in the judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it; because they repented at the preaching of Jonah; and behold, [One who is] more than Jonah [is] here.

42. The queen of the south shall rise up in the judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it, because she came from the uttermost parts of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and behold, [One who is] more than Solomon [is] here.

43. And when the unclean spirit has come out from the man, he passes through waterless places, seeking rest, and does not find [it].

44. Then he says, ‘I will return into my house, whence I came out’; and coming, he finds [it] empty, swept, and adorned.

45. Then he goes and takes with himself seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and entering in, they dwell there; and the last [things] of that man are worse than the first. So shall it also be to this wicked generation.”

46. And [while] He yet spoke to the crowds, behold, His mother and brothers stood outside, seeking to speak to Him.

47. And someone said to Him, “Behold, Thy mother and Thy brothers stand outside, seeking to speak to Thee.”

48. But He answering said to those that told Him, “Who is My mother, and who are My brothers?”

49. And stretching forth His hand to His disciples, He said, “Behold, My mother and My brothers.

50. For whoever shall do the will of My Father who is in the heavens, he is My brother, and sister, and mother.”
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As the next episode begins, it seems that the religious leaders might be relenting somewhat in their campaign to destroy Jesus. Addressing Him as “Master,” they say, “We want to see a sign from You” (12:38). But, Jesus, who knows their every thought, is not fooled by their pretended interest. “An evil and adulterous generation seeks after a sign,” Jesus says, “and no sign will be given to it except the sign of the Prophet Jonah” (12:39). Jesus goes on to recount how Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of a whale, just as “the Son of Man will be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth” (12:40).

While the story of Jonah traditionally signifies Jesus’ burial and resurrection, it also represents the wonder of human regeneration. 7 The only real sign of regeneration is the living experience of inner change that comes over people as they strive to keep the commandments, putting away selfish concerns and materialistic pre-occupations, gradually becoming kinder, gentler, more peaceful human beings.

Spending “three days and three nights in the belly of the great fish” represents the dark times of inner struggle and turmoil that we go through in the process of our regeneration. The number “three” is a symbolic term, meaning a complete cycle of time, as in “morning, noon, and night,” and because of this, it represents a full period of temptation with a “beginning, middle, and end.” 8

This process cannot be faked or side-stepped. And there are no shortcuts. Jesus warns that a momentary change of mind will do us no good if not accompanied by a change of heart. In the case of the religious leaders, Jesus sees through their hypocritical requests for more “signs” of His divinity. A shallow religious faith is based on signs and miracles; deep faith comes about through a repentant heart. So, Jesus takes them back to the story of Jonah who taught repentance to the people of Ninevah: “The men of Nineveh shall rise in judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it because they repented at the preaching of Jonah.” Jesus then adds, referring to Himself, “a greater than Jonah is here” (12:41). He then talks about Solomon, the great king who was a universal symbol of wisdom, adding, “a greater than Solomon is here” (12:42).

Jesus is telling them, in no uncertain terms, that no one is greater than He is. These are not the claims of an ordinary person. He then tells them a seemingly disconnected story about an unclean spirit that leaves a person and roams about looking for a place to rest. But finding no place to rest, it returns to the person, bringing along with it seven more spirits even more wicked than itself. These spirits now reenter the person and dwell there, “and the last state of that man is worse than the first” (12:43-45). Jesus is saying, “Look, even if I gave you a sign and it caused you to temporarily believe in Me, it would do you no good. In fact, it would be worse for you because you would return to your prior condition, seven times more adamant in your unbelief.” All this is contained in Jesus’ brief statement reminding the religious leaders that a mere sign cannot fundamentally change a wicked heart: “Even so shall it be also unto this wicked generation” (12:46).

Regeneration, then, not signs and miracles, is the only way. And there is no regeneration without temptation. Each of us will go through numerous times of temptation in our lives, and each time it will feel like a death and a resurrection. Each time something of our selfish nature will die; at the same time, if we turn to God, applying His truth and praying for His power — something new will be born in us. This is our resurrection to new life, a gradual process that begins in this life and continues throughout eternity. This is what is meant by the miracle of regeneration — and this is “the sign of the Prophet Jonah.” 9

Regeneration comes about through living according to the will of God. There is no other way, and no miracle that can take its place. The path is simple and direct, and those who choose to follow it are “born again” to new life. For this reason, this section of the narrative closes with a brief episode in which Jesus’ mother and brothers seek to speak with Him. Jesus uses this as an opportunity to introduce people to a new and higher perspective on family relationships. Stretching out His hands towards His disciples, He says, “Here are My mother and My brothers. For whoever does the will of My Father in heaven is My brother and sister and mother” (12:50).

As we go about our daily lives, striving to do the will of our Father in heaven, we might notice small changes arising in our thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. We might notice that we are becoming more patient in situations that might have annoyed us at one time; we might find ourselves becoming less defensive, and more inclined to consider the perspectives and feelings of others; we might find ourselves less invested in having things done our way, and more concerned about meeting the needs of others. Whatever it might be, these moments of “new life” that arise in us are a result of the regeneration process. These are some of the many ways we experience “the sign of the prophet Jonah.”

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Footnotes:

1. The Jewish Encyclopedia lists 1,521 activities that were not permitted on the Sabbath day. These included plowing, reaping, writing, hammering, squeezing lemons, clapping hands, tearing paper, making mental calculations and plucking fruit (to name a few). Vol. 10 (New York: Funk and Wagnalls, 1910), 536. 2. See also Matthew 9:13 where Jesus quotes the same passage, suggesting that is a central theme in Matthew.

3. This prohibition is known as “refuah” (medical treatment). We read, “On the Sabbath you must not induce vomiting, or straighten an infant’s limbs, or set a broken bone” (Mishnah Shabbat 22:6). “On the Sabbath you must not gargle and spit out vinegar to cure a toothache” (Mishnah Shabbat 111a). 4. The Hebrew word for Sabbath is) שַׁבּתָ Shabbat), which means “rest.” So, a true Sabbath is “resting in God.” 5. Arcana Coelestia 8455: “Peace has in it confidence in the Lord, that He directs all things, and provides all things, and that He leads to a good end.”

6. Arcana Coelestia 1079: “They who are in charity scarcely see the evil of another; instead, they observe all his goods and truths, and put a good interpretation on what is evil and false. This is the nature of all the angels, for they have this quality from the Lord.” See also Arcana Coelestia 1085: “They interpret for good and excuse with all their might.”

7. Apocalypse Explained 706:6: “Asking for a sign here means that they wanted a convincing proof through which they would be persuaded and believe that the Lord was the Messiah and the Son of God who was to come; for the miracles which the Lord wrought in great numbers, and which they saw, were no signs to them, because miracles, as said above, are signs only to the good. Jonah was in the belly of the whale three days and three nights, and this was taken for a sign, because it signified the burial and resurrection of the Lord, thus the complete glorification of His Human, three days and three nights signifying completeness.”

8. Apocalypse Explained 532: “The number ‘three’ signifies in the Word what is full and complete, and thence an entire period, greater or less, from beginning to end.”

9. Arcana Coelestia 8403:2, 3: “Let it be known that no one can be regenerated without temptation, and that a person undergoes very many temptations, following one after another…. A person cannot be regenerated without conflict, that is, without spiritual temptation, and a person is not regenerated by undergoing a single temptation, but only by undergoing very many of them. For there are numerous kinds of evil… that cannot be subdued on one occasion and all together. They cling stubbornly to the person, for they become deeply rooted in his forebears going back many centuries and are for that reason innate in him. They have also been made stronger since early childhood by the evils of his own doing. All these evils are diametrically opposed to the heavenly good that is to be instilled and that must constitute the new life.”

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Swedenborg

Výklad(y) nebo odkazy ze Swedenborgových prací:

Arcana Coelestia 794, 901, 1017, 1749, 2159, 2371, 2574, ...

Apocalypse Revealed 10, 32, 134, 160, 194, 206, 350, ...

Conjugial Love 119, 120

Divine Providence 98, 133, 231, 233

Doctrine of the Lord 27, 35, 42, 48, 50

Doctrine of the Sacred Scripture 51

Doctrine of Life 28, 51, 79, 104

Heaven and Hell 287, 507

True Christian Religion 102, 137, 138, 299, 301, 306, 314, ...

The New Jerusalem and its Heavenly Doctrine 169, 172


Odkazy ze Swedenborgových nevydaných prací:

Apocalypse Explained 46, 108, 109, 205, 223, 239, 254, ...

Canons of the New Church 37

De Domino 10, 65, 68

Spiritual Experiences 299, 2706, 5992

Marriage 102, 122

Scriptural Confirmations 2, 13, 14, 88

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Skočit na podobné biblické verše

Exodus 16:29

Leviticus 24:9

Numbers 28:9

Joshua 14:7

1 Samuel 21:4, 7

1 Kings 10:1, 13:3

Job 15:6

Proverbs 4:23, 10:32

Ecclesiastes 12:14

Isaiah 7:11, 11:2, 4, 10, 32:6, 8, 35:5, 42:1, 4, 49:25, 51:5, 57:15, 61:1

Jeremiah 13:23, 23:36

Hosea 6:6

Jonah 2:1, 3:5

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