I’m posting our family thoughts about each day’s listening for our “Listen” series at church. I’d love to hear your comments as well on these passages. These are the things that jumped out at our family.
Nathan: “The people who obey my father are my brothers and sisters” (Matthew 12:50)
- Jesus gave the same quote twice in this section – “Mercy is greater than sacrifice” (Matthew 9:13; 12:7; see Hosea 6:6)
- Don’t be afraid of anyone (Matthew 10:28)
Micah: When a demon leaves a person, it brings back more (Matthew 12:43-45)
- Matthew’s goal in writing was to show the Jews that Jesus was the Messiah-Savior they had been looking for; I don’t think any section of his book does it better than this section.
- How many miracles did Jesus perform in these five chapters?
- How many times did Matthew tie those miracles back to the Old Testament prophecies about the Messiah?
- When John the Baptizer – who was telling everyone that Jesus was Messiah – began having doubts and asked Jesus if he really was Messiah, Jesus didn’t say yes or no – he reminded John about the miracles he had done (Matthew 11:2-6).
- After all of that, when the religious leaders asked for a[nother] sign, Jesus said they would get one more – the sign of Jonah the prophet who was in the belly of the fish for 3 days and nights. Jesus, too, would be in the belly of the grave, but he is better than Jonah because he’ll come back from death. That would be their most obvious sign (Matthew 12:38-42).
- Some of Jesus’ instructions to the apostles in chapter 10 are applicable to us today, but some are not. If Jesus were giving you instructions similar to chapter 10, what would he say to you?
- Three times Jesus compared certain people to wicked cities and referenced the day of judgment (those who reject the apostles / Sodom and Gomorrah, 10:14-15; Chorazin and Bethsaid / Tyre and Sidon, 11:20-22; Capernaum / Sodom, 11:23-24)
- I find it fascinating that Jesus’ opponents did not try to minimize his healing powers; in fact, they embraced them and tried to use his own powers against Jesus to trick him (Matthew 12:10). No one can refute your personal experience, but they may try to use it against you.
- Did anyone else see the complete irony of the confrontation beginning Matthew 12:22, especially verses 27-28? Apparently, Jesus was not the only one casting out demons at this point – some of his opponents own colleagues were doing it as well. But they were so blinded by their hatred toward Jesus, that they actually ended up condemning their own people! “You can’t cast out demons without the power of Satan.” “Oh, yeah? Well, how are you doing it then?” OUCH! Whenever we come face to face with Jesus, we’ll be shown for who we really are.