Memory Verse: Matthew 12:21
12:14-17a Conspiracy, Retreat, Healing, Obscurity
- 12:1-14 Conspiracy: The Pharisees have been trying to deceive Jesus and prove that He approves of actions that are contrary to the law of God. Jesus goes on the defensive and explains their actions aren’t contrary to the law. The Pharisees (whom represent religion) show themselves to be the ones that are deceptive and hypocritical and Jesus (whom represents the truth) shows Himself to be the one that is honest and merciful. The Pharisees were offended by Jesus actions of mercy and held a council to conspire against Him and how they might destroy Him. Truth was a threat to their religious system.
- 12:15a Retreat: When Jesus knew they were plotting a conspiracy to murder Him He left that place. His time had not yet come to die, therefore He fled that place to avoid the persecution from those Pharisees until His mission on earth was accomplished. (As believers, we are permitted to flee persecution so that we can continue our ministry, but there may be a point in time where we will be called to sacrifice our lives—like Jesus will when He dies on the cross.) He didn’t stay there to provoke them, but moved on to the next group of people so that He could continue to minister.
- 12:15b Healing: Great multitudes of people followed Jesus and He healed all that came to Him for healing. Unlike today’s false healing ministries that are characterized by cheating people out of money and the healers’ inability to heal a person on the basis of the sick person’s lack of faith—Jesus’ healing ministry never failed. All who came to Him were healed, because Jesus’ healing ability is based on who He is, not on the faith of the sick person. Jesus was willing to heal all that came to Him. He had 100% success rate.
- 12:16-17a Obscurity: Then Jesus charged the great multitude to not make Him known. This seems like a strange request. The multitude that was following Him probably came to the knowledge and belief that Jesus truly was the Messiah. But they probably would have mistakenly believed that the Messiah would exercise His authority to forcefully or violently overtake the governmental authorities of their day and setup His kingdom on earth. But this wasn’t Jesus’ mission or the mission of the Messiah. Because of Jesus’ authority and power displayed through His teaching and marvelous works those in authority positions already felt threatened by Jesus’ influence over people. It seems as if Jesus didn’t want the wrong information to be spread around and that He would show people who He was by fulfilling the prophecy of the Messiah.
12:17b-21 Characteristics Of The Prophesied Messiah
- 12:17b There is scriptural support for all that Jesus is doing and it all points to Him being the Messiah. Matthew quotes Isaiah 42:1-4 in part to direct our attention to the person of Jesus showing that He fulfills or will fulfill the expectations of the true Messiah.
- 12:18a The Messiah is God’s Servant—Jesus came as a servant, as a slave. He was equal with God but He came to fulfill the will of God through humbling Himself by taking on the form of a servant and was made in the likeness of man. His first coming would be that of the “Suffering Servant” but His second coming will be that of the “Reigning King”.
- 12:18b The Messiah is chosen by God—Jesus was specifically chosen by God and set apart for a special task: that the world might be saved through Him. God didn’t send Jesus into the world to condemn the world, but He was to humble Himself and became obedient unto the death of the cross.
Philippians 2:8; John 3:16-17
- 12:18c The Messiah is loved by God and God’s soul is well pleased by Him—When Jesus was baptized God from heaven, said, “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” It confirmed Jesus as the Son of God (meaning He is equal with God), as well as that Jesus is fully loved and all of His actions are pleasing to God Himself.
- 12:18d The Messiah has God’s Spirit, the Holy Spirit—Jesus received the Holy Spirit at His baptism which was a unique endowment from God which will enable Him to accomplish the mission that God has for Him.
- 12:18e The Messiah will proclaim judgment to the Gentiles—Jesus not only reached out to the Jews but also to the Gentiles (everyone who isn’t a Jew). He would inform the Gentiles of God’s message and will make sure that justice takes place—salvation for those who accept the message and judgment for those who reject it.
John 12:49-50; 1 John 2:2; Romans 3:29
- 12:19 The Messiah won’t quarrel (strive), scream (cry), or be noisy (voice in the streets)—Jesus didn’t come to argue His position and message in a noisy, angry or disruptive manner. He didn’t utter the message in a loud harsh sounding voice. Nor is Jesus raising His voice in the main streets to gain publicity. He doesn’t use any of these forcible tactics to push forward His agenda. His objective isn’t to start a revolution, revolt or riot. Instead He has a quiet, peaceable and submissive approach to accomplish His mission.
Matthew 26:39, 48-53, 59-63; 27:12-14; Luke 23:35-37
- 12:20 The Messiah will through gentleness and lowliness bring victory to the downtrodden—Jesus doesn’t ignore the sinful and rejected people of society like a person would break a bruised reed or like quenching a smoking flax (because both are seen as useless), but it is those that He came to ministers to until He brings about judgment or justice into victory—meaning in the end the Messiah will cause justice to triumph. Jesus preached the gospel to the poor, to the most needy and often neglected part of society to give them hope.
Matthew 11:4-6; 1 Corinthians 1:26-29
- 12:21 The Messiah will be the person (the name) the Gentiles put their hope (trust) in—Jesus will be highly exalted by God and His name will be above every name and there will be no other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved. At the name of Jesus, every knee should bow and every tongue should confess that He is the Christ, the Lord—to the glory of God the Father.
Philippians 2:9-11; Acts 4:12
- What was the conspiracy at hand? Why?
- Who retreated? Why?
- Who did Jesus heal?
- What did Jesus charge the great multitude to do? Why?
- What are the characteristics of the prophesied Messiah? Does Jesus fulfill them?