This program of daily Scripture studies is designed to help you in daily honoring God with adoration.

Each day, Monday through Friday, a Scripture with commentary is posted.

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1 At that time Jesus went on the sabbath day through the corn; and his disciples were an hungred, and began to pluck the ears of corn, and to eat. 2 But when the Pharisees saw it, they said unto him, Behold, thy disciples do that which is not lawful to do upon the sabbath day. 3 But he said unto them, Have ye not read what David did, when he was an hungred, and they that were with him; 4 How he entered into the house of God, and did eat the shewbread, which was not lawful for him to eat, neither for them which were with him, but only for the priests? 5 Or have ye not read in the law, how that on the sabbath days the priests in the temple profane the sabbath, and are blameless? 6 But I say unto you, That in this place is one greater than the temple. 7 But if ye had known what this meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice, ye would not have condemned the guiltless. 8 For the Son of man is Lord even of the sabbath day.

Some people are so legalistically minded that they cannot fathom mercy and goodness. You might say they are so heavenly minded that they are of no earthly use (except for confusion).

The Pharisees knew the law, but used the law for their own benefit. According to Deuteronomy 23:25, if a person was passing through his neighbor's field, that person was allowed to pluck what he needed to eat, as long as he didn't harvest.

Now, there was also a statement in Exodus 20:10, that said one could not work on the Sabbath. The Pharisees, and other selfish people, used this Scripture to say that plucking and eating was work, and thus they could keep people from eating of their fields.

Jesus uses three examples to expose the Pharisees sinful attitude.

First, David was allowed to eat of the shewbread in the temple (See 1 Samuel 21:1-6). This example shows that when people have need, even holy bread can be used to meet that need.

Second, the priests were required to work on the Sabbath to glorify God (See Numbers 28:9-10. With this example, Jesus is showing the Pharisees that the disciples are glorifying HIM, and therefore should be allowed to work. After all, Jesus IS "LORD even of the sabbath day" (See verse 8 above).

Third, Jesus got to the REAL point here. God desires for man to show mercy more than to offer sacrifice (See Hosea 6:6).

It seems the Pharisees were so focused upon ritualistic practices they could not appropriately apply meaning to the Scriptures.

Let us remember that ritualistic practices must give way to human need, and that mercy must outweigh application of law. Realization of this truth is the result of being IN Christ; and application of this truth is the result of living FOR Christ.

9 And when he was departed thence, he went into their synagogue: 10 And, behold, there was a man which had his hand withered. And they asked him, saying, Is it lawful to heal on the sabbath days? that they might accuse him. 11 And he said unto them, What man shall there be among you, that shall have one sheep, and if it fall into a pit on the sabbath day, will he not lay hold on it, and lift it out? 12 How much then is a man better than a sheep? Wherefore it is lawful to do well on the sabbath days. 13 Then saith he to the man, Stretch forth thine hand. And he stretched it forth; and it was restored whole, like as the other.

Notice the Bible says "He went into their synagogue." Was it not HIS synagogue? Is it not HIS church today? When the church is operated by ritualism it reflects the rulership of men rather than of God!

He went in to be WITH them. They allowed Him in to ACCUSE Him!
While they, for ritualistic reason, would not seek to help the afflicted man, Jesus went there for that specific purpose.

All men are stinky, nasty, messin' on themselves sheep! Even those in Christ's pasture are that way! But He is the "Good Shepherd," and will tend to His sheep! Would He not seek to help the afflicted sheep? Of course He would help, and He did!

Notice the power of Christ to help is based on willingness to do as He said. The man with the withered hand stretched out that hand on Christ's command - and He was healed. The men with the withered hearts would not stretch out their heart to Christ, and were not healed!

14 Then the Pharisees went out, and held a council against him, how they might destroy him.

Instead of being healed they became harder!
Now they would not only accuse Him, they would plot to destroy Him!
Persistent hardheartedness is the only disease which God cannot cure! And God can cure even that, if one will simply surrender!

15 But when Jesus knew it, he withdrew himself from thence: and great multitudes followed him, and he healed them all; 16 And charged them that they should not make him known: 17 That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet, saying, 18 Behold my servant, whom I have chosen; my beloved, in whom my soul is well pleased: I will put my spirit upon him, and he shall shew judgment to the Gentiles. 19 He shall not strive, nor cry; neither shall any man hear his voice in the streets. 20 A bruised reed shall he not break, and smoking flax shall he not quench, till he send forth judgment unto victory. 21 And in his name shall the Gentiles trust.

God is withdrawn from those who are hardhearted!

Jesus left there, but all that willingly came to Him received help from Him.

He charged the disciples to NOT make Him known publicly as God in flesh. Jesus would not bring open offense against those who offended Him. Though He retreated from the public church, He continued to help those who came to Him, but He did not seek any acclaim for doing so. He did not set Himself in opposition to the church of that day. He only sought to help those who believed and came to Him.

God still works to help people today. If the church insists upon acting in ritualistic manner, He will retreat from the church and will continue to help those who come to Him. At times Christ will still go into "their synagogue" to help one who is willing.

Matthew said this fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah (Isaiah 42:1-4). Jesus "...made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross." (Phil 2:7-8)

Jesus did not have to try and make a name for Himself. His livelihood proved Who He was, and still does today. He does not have to SAY He is God (as in His conversation with Pilate) because He IS God! He does not have to PROVE He is God, for His actions speak louder than words.

It is in THIS livelihood that men TRUST! And through that simple trust and surrender to Him, they are saved!

22 Then was brought unto him one possessed with a devil, blind, and dumb: and he healed him, insomuch that the blind and dumb both spake and saw. 23 And all the people were amazed, and said, Is not this the son of David? 24 But when the Pharisees heard it, they said, This fellow doth not cast out devils, but by Beelzebub the prince of the devils. 25 And Jesus knew their thoughts, and said unto 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 shall then his kingdom stand? 27 And if I by Beelzebub cast out devils, by whom do your children cast them out? therefore they shall be your judges. 28 But if I cast out devils by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God is come unto you. 29 Or else how can one enter into a strong man's house, and spoil his goods, except he first bind the strong man? and then he will spoil his house.

When the demon-possessed, blind and dumb man was totally healed, the people knew this was a miracle only God could perform. Their question "Is not this the Son of David" reflected their belief that Jesus was the promised Messiah.

However the Pharisees were so blinded to truth, they accused Jesus of being from the devil! The Pharisees were proud men. They knew the law, and had power over others because of it. But their pride and desire for the esteem of men blinded them to the truth. There are many who utilize education in the same manner today.

Jesus, the Bible says, "knew their thoughts." We must remember that God in Christ is omniscient. Even though He knew their thoughts, Jesus took no action against them. He only explained the truth so that anyone could understand it. The matter was quite simple: if he were OF the devil, then the devil would be trying to destroy himself. That would be pretty stupid! But Jesus is the "Strong Man," and is showing His ability to "bind" the devil by delivering people from demon-possession. And soon, He will not only "bind" the strong man but "spoil his house!"

30 He that is not with me is against me; and he that gathereth not with me scattereth abroad.

Jesus drew a dividing line in the sand of time and space. His statement was directed purposefully to the Pharisees, and indirectly for all men to come. Either one gets "on board" with Christ, or one is fighting against Christ. There is no room for "fence riding" in God's Kingdom!

If a person is not actively working FOR Christ, that person is actively working AGAINST Christ!

In this world, there is a war going on between Christ and the devil. Jesus has already shown His defeat of Satan by defeating death which is the result of sin. Satan is defeated! Jesus overpowered him, put him in chains and dragged him through the streets of heaven in an exposition of defeat! (See Ephesisans 4:8) which is a statement of the fulfillment of the prophecy in Psalm 68:18.

But Satan is allowed to "hang around" and cause problems in the world today, until Jesus brings all that will come to salvation. While Satan is still in the world, those who truly believe in Christ are to get "on board" and be active in the battle against the devil.

Are YOU "on board?"

31 Wherefore I say unto you, All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men: but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men. 32 And whosoever speaketh a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but whosoever speaketh against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the world to come. 33 Either make the tree good, and his fruit good; or else make the tree corrupt, and his fruit corrupt: for the tree is known by his fruit.

Coupled with Jesus' statement in verse 30, this is one of the most important statements in Christianity today. This is called the UNFORGIVABLE SIN!

Jesus says that "ALL MANNER OF SIN AND BLASPHEMY" may be forgiven, except one. That one sin is to say that the Holy Spirit is lying when He says Jesus is God in the flesh. Keep in mind, there is only ONE "unforgivable sin!"

To "blaspheme" means to defame or speak evil of. In the Old Testament, it is said of Naboth that he "did blaspheme God and the king" (1Kings 21:10, 13). Also, in 2Kings 19:6, and in Isaiah 37:6, Rabshekah (speaking for Sennecharib) is said to have "blasphemed" God for he spoke in defiance of God, and denied the truth of God.

When a person hears the gospel from another person, or reads the truth in the Bible, then God's Holy Spirit witnesses spiritually to that person stating that the gospel and the Bible are TRUTH. To refuse that witness is to say that God's Holy Spirit is a liar!

Even blasphemy against Jesus Himself can be forgiven, if a person receives the Holy Spirit's witness to truth, and surrenders to Christ as Lord.

The REASON that refusing the spiritual witness of God's Holy Spirit is unforgivable, is because God can only forgive what we ASK Him to forgive. When a person refuses God's truth and refuses to surrender to Jesus as Lord, then that person has refused his/her only means of forgiveness.

God says in Isaiah 1:18-20 "though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool. If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land: But if ye refuse and rebel, ye shall be devoured with the sword: for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it."

WHATEVER man may do, no matter how gross the sin(s), can be forgiven!
The ONLY thing God will not forgive is refusing to believe Jesus and surrender to Him as Lord.

One must make the "Tree good," or not. THE Tree is Jesus. We are "wild olive" trees, but we can be graffed into the Good Tree (see Romans 11:17-21). The only way to be "graffed in" is to come to the foot of the cross and surrender to Jesus as Lord.

34 O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh. 35 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. 36 But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. 37 For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.

Jesus called them a "generation of vipers" - VENOMOUS BITING SNAKES! Their words against Him were our of a corrupt heart. Take note that the heart is the ROOT, and words from the mouth are the FRUIT of our tree (person). He whom God calls a "good man" is one who has surrendered to Jesus as Lord.

When a person comes to Christ, he is given a NEW heart and his words (conversation) and life-style will CHANGE! (See 2Corinthians 5:17).

It is in the character of the "new creature" to speak "good things" of Christ.

Keep in mind "every idle word" will be accounted for on the final judgment day! It will be how a person has spoken FOR or AGAINST Christ that will determine his/her eternal destiny!

38 Then certain of the scribes and of the Pharisees answered, saying, Master, we would see a sign from thee. 39 But he answered and said unto them, An evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given to it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas: 40 For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale's belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. 41 The men of Nineveh shall rise in judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it: because they repented at the preaching of Jonas; and, behold, a greater than Jonas is here. 42 The queen of the south shall rise up in the judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it: for she came from the uttermost parts of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and, behold, a greater than Solomon is here.

When the scribes and Pharisees heard Jesus's statements concerning the line in the sand and words being the fruit of the heart, I believe they were stricken with a special witness from God's Holy Spirit. And, because of that, they felt they may have been wrong. So they wanted Jesus to give them further proof....they asked for "a sign!" What further proof can one need than the holy conviction of God's Holy Spirit?!?

Jesus called them an "adulterous generation." They were living in the lust of self-worship, and concerned for nothing else. Jesus said the "men of Nineveh" and the "queen of the south" would condemn them for asking MORE proof! All those people received was "the word of the LORD" from a prophet!

However, God is gracious, kind, loving; and seeks all men to come to repentance and salvation. Therefore, there is ONE "sign" given: It is the sign of Jesus rising from the dead after three days!

All men are sinners (Romans 3:23).
The "wages" (reward) of sin is death (Romans 6:23).
Both physical death and spiritual death are the result of sin. Physical death is when the body dies and the spirit of the person goes to God for judgment (Ecclesiastes 12:6-7).
Spiritual death is separation from God.

Because of sin, spiritual death is temporary here on earth in the physical life of men. However, if a person never surrenders to Christ, on the final judgment day, that person will receive ETERNAL death as his/her reward for sin.

Jesus ACCEPTED physical death in order to pay the ransom to redeem us from spiritual death. He OVERCAME physical death by His resurrection, and procured eternal LIFE for believers.

ANYONE can have this eternal LIFE instead of eternal death! Because, even though the "wages of sin is death," the "GIFT of God is eternal LIFE through JESUS CHRIST!"

43 When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walketh through dry places, seeking rest, and findeth none. 44 Then he saith, I will return into my house from whence I came out; and when he is come, he findeth it empty, swept, and garnished. 45 Then goeth he, and taketh with himself seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter in and dwell there: and the last state of that man is worse than the first. Even so shall it be also unto this wicked generation.

These verses are a parable. A parable is an earthly story with a heavenly meaning.

In this parable, a demon who had possessed someone, left to seek another place. But the demon found "no rest" anywhere else. So he decided to return to the same person. When he returned, he found the person all "cleaned up" by ritualistic methods (but not by spiritual surrender to Christ). The demon then went to get seven more demons "more wicked than himself." And they came into the man making him even WORSE than before!

That is the earthly story. Here is the heavenly truth. When demons leave possesion of men willingly, the person returns to a sense of sanity and normalism. But without Christ the person cannot maintain the dispossesion of the demon.

When Christ casts a demon out, he is certainly and continually cast out!

What Jesus was saying to these scribes and Pharisees was simple. They had heard the truth and been convicted. Their self-will was as bad as demon possession. Now they must either surrender to Him as Lord, or suffer WORSE!

Let's go back and read that "line in the sand" again!
"He that is not with me is against me; and he that gathereth not with me scattereth abroad." (Matthew 12:30)

46 While he yet talked to the people, behold, his mother and his brethren stood without, desiring to speak with him. 47 Then one said unto him, Behold, thy mother and thy brethren stand without, desiring to speak with thee. 48 But he answered and said unto him that told him, Who is my mother? and who are my brethren? 49 And he stretched forth his hand toward his disciples, and said, Behold my mother and my brethren! 50 For whosoever shall do the will of my Father which is in heaven, the same is my brother, and sister, and mother.

In this passage we must entertain the right focus. Jesus was not neglecting His own family as much as He was ELEVATING true believers.

Of course He loved His mother and brothers. But to God, one is not more important than the other!

You, my dear friend, as a born-again, believing Christian are just as important to Jesus as they!

YOU are His "bride!" It is for YOU that He "left father and mother" and became joined to you as ONE! It is for you He left the comforts of His family to die on the cross!

ALL mankind is important to Christ. And He desires that ALL MEN be saved!