Jesus looked to God; the Pharisees looked to their traditions.
Traditions of the Elders
Other Accounts of What You Read in Matthew 12
Understanding the Scriptures
|Condemned the guiltless (v. 7)||Said that Jesus had broken the law when He had not|
|Departed thence (v. 9)||Left that place|
|Withered (v. 10)||Unable to use, deformed, or shrunk|
|Restored whole (v. 13)||Healed|
|Charged (v. 16)||Commanded|
|The son of David (v. 23)||The Messiah|
|Spoil (v. 29)||Steal|
|Blasphemy (v. 31)||To speak evil or make fun of sacred things|
|Corrupt (v. 33)||Not eatable, rotten|
|Generation of vipers (v. 34)||Wicked people (a viper is a poisonous serpent)|
|Every idle word (v. 36)||Even the little or light-minded things a person says|
|Account (v. 36)||Report|
|Justified (v. 37)||Judged to be good|
|Condemned (v. 37)||Judged to be evil|
|Garnished (v. 44)||Put in proper order|
Matthew 12:3–6—Explanations of What Is Right or Wrong on the Sabbath
The Pharisees accused Jesus’ disciples of working on the Sabbath when they picked some grain and ate it while they were walking with Jesus. Jesus used the following two examples to show that His disciples kept the law of Moses even if they did offend the traditions that the Pharisees thought were more important (see the introduction to Matthew 12 above):
David and his men ate the temple bread but were not guilty because they were on the Lord’s business (see 1 Samuel 21:1–6).
The temple priests must do many things in the temple on the Sabbath that would be unlawful anywhere else.
Matthew 12:18–20—A Prophecy of Isaiah
The meaning of this prophecy is that the Messiah would not respond in judgment against those who were against Him until He had finished His work. The symbols in verse 20 are of things that anyone could easily do (break an already bruised plant and put out a fire that is nearly out), but the Messiah would not even do what He easily could do (punish His enemies) until His work was finished.
Matthew 12:31–32—What Is “Blasphemy against the Holy Ghost”?
The Prophet Joseph Smith explained, “All sins shall be forgiven, except the sin against the Holy Ghost; for Jesus will save all except the sons of perdition. What must a man do to commit the unpardonable sin? He must receive the Holy Ghost, have the heavens opened unto him, and know God, and then sin against Him. After a man has sinned against the Holy Ghost, there is no repentance for him. He has got to say that the sun does not shine while he sees it; he has got to deny Jesus Christ when the heavens have been opened unto him, and to deny the plan of salvation with his eyes open to the truth of it; and from that time he begins to be an enemy. This is the case with many apostates of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints” (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, 358).
Studying the Scriptures
Do two of the following activities (A–C) as you study Matthew 12.
The Sabbath Day
Matthew 12, verses 1–9 and 10–14, tells about two different times when the Pharisees accused Jesus and His disciples of not keeping the Sabbath day holy. Write about one idea from each account that can help you keep the Sabbath day holy. As part of what you write, explain what you will do differently, or better, because of these ideas.
It Depends on How You Look at It
Why do you think two groups of people who saw the same event could have such a difference in opinion? (see v. 14).
How did Jesus respond to what the Pharisees said about Him in verse 24? (see vv. 25–29).
Follow the Example of Jesus
Since Matthew 12 mostly records how Jesus dealt with those who opposed Him, choose one thing Jesus did or said in this chapter that you think you could use in dealing with people who oppose the Church, and explain how you would use it.