Matthew 12

12:1  At that season1 Jesus went on the sabbath day through the grainfields; and his disciples were hungry and began to pluck ears and to eat.
    JESUS DEFENDS DISCIPLES WHO PLUCK GRAIN ON THE SABBATH. (Probably while on the way from Jerusalem to Galilee.) Matthew 12:1-8 ; Mark 2:23-28 ; Luke 6:1-5

  1. At that season, etc. See Mark 2:23.

12:2  But the Pharisees, when they saw it, said unto him, Behold, thy disciples do that which it is not lawful to do upon the sabbath1.

  1. Thy disciples do that which it is not lawful to do upon the sabbath. See Mark 2:24.

12:3  But he said unto them, Have ye not read1 what David did, when he was hungry, and they that were with him;

  1. But he said unto them, Have ye not read. See Mark 2:25.

12:4  how he entered into the house of God1, and ate the showbread, which it was not lawful for him to eat, neither for them that were with him, but only for the priests?

  1. How he entered into the house of God, etc. See Mark 2:26.

12:5  Or have ye not read in the law1, that on the sabbath day the priests in the temple profane the sabbath2, and are guiltless3?

  1. Or have ye not read in the law? Having cited a passage from the prophets, Jesus now turns to the law--the final authority. He alsoturns from a parallel argument concerning sacred food to a directargument concerning the sacred day. The Sabbath was the busiest day inthe week for the priests.

  2. That on the sabbath day the priests in the temple profane the sabbath. That is, degrade and put to common use. They baked and changedthe showbread; they performed sabbatical sacrifices ( Numbers 28:9 ), andtwo lambs were killed on the sabbath in addition to the dailysacrifice. This involved the killing, skinning, and cleaning of theanimals, and the building of the fire to consume the sacrifice. Theyalso trimmed the gold lamps, burned incense, and performed variousother duties. The profanation of the Sabbath, however, was not real,but merely apparent. Jesus cites this priestly work to prove that theSabbath prohibition was not universal, and hence might not include whatthe disciples had done.

  3. And are guiltless. The fourth commandment did not forbid work absolutely, but labor for worldly gain. Activity in the work of God wasboth allowed and commanded.

12:6  But I say unto you1, that one greater than the temple is here2.

  1. But I say unto you. Asserting his own authority.

  2. That one greater than the temple is here. The word "greater" is in the neuter gender, and the literal meaning is therefore "a greaterthing than the temple". The contrast may be between the service of thetemple and the service of Christ, or it may be a contrast between thedivinity, sacredness, or divine atmosphere which hallowed the temple,and the divinity or Godhead of Christ. But however we take it, themeaning is ultimately a contrast between Christ and the temple, similarto the contrast between himself and Jonah, himself and Solomon, etc.( Matthew 12:41 Matthew 12:42 ). It was a startling saying as it fell on Jewish ears,for to them the temple at Jerusalem was the place honored by the veryShekinah of the unseen God, and the only place of effective worship andatonement. If the temple service justified the priests in working uponthe Sabbath day, much more did the service of Jesus, who was not onlyGod of the temple, but was himself the true temple, of which the otherwas merely the symbol, justify these disciples in doing that which wasnot legally, but merely traditionally, unlawful. Jesus here indirectlyanticipates the priesthood of his disciples ( 1 Peter 2:5 ).

12:7  But if ye had known what this meaneth, I desire mercy, and not sacrifice2, ye would not have condemned the guiltless.

  1. But if ye had known what this meaneth, . . . ye would not have condemned the guiltless. This passage is quoted from Hosea 6:6 , andis reiterated in Matthew 9:13 .It is an assertion of the superiority ofinward life over outward form, for the form is nothing if the heart iswrong. The saying is first suggested by David himself ( Psalms 51:16 Psalms 51:17 ),after which it is stated by Hosea and amplified by Paul ( 1 Corinthians 13:3 ).

  2. I desire mercy, and not sacrifice. The quotation has a double reference both to David and the disciples as above indicated. Havinggiven the incident in the life of David, Jesus passes on from itwithout comment, that he may lay down by another example the principlewhich justified it. This principle we have just treated, and we maystate it thus: A higher law, where it conflicts with a lower one,suspends or limits the lower one at that point of conflict. Thus thehigher laws of worship in the temple suspended the lower law of sabbathobservance, and thus also the higher law of mercy suspended the lowerlaw as to the showbread when David took it and mercifully gave it tohis hungry followers, and when God in mercy permitted this to be done.And thus, had they done what was otherwise unlawful, the discipleswould have been justified in eating by the highest law of Christ. Andthus also would Christ have been justified in permitting them to eat bythe law of mercy, which was superior to that which rendered the seventhday to God as a sacrifice.

12:8  For the Son of man is lord of the sabbath1.

  1. For the Son of man is lord of the sabbath. See Mark 2:28.

12:9  And he departed thence1, and went into their synagogue2:

    JESUS DEFENDS HEALING A WITHERED HAND ON THE SABBATH. (Probably Galilee.) Matthew 12:9-14 ; Mark 3:1-6 ; Luke 6:6-11

  1. And he departed thence. The word "departed" here points to a journey as in Matthew 11:1 ; Matthew 15:29 , which are the only places whereMatthew uses this expression. Greswell may be right in thinking thatit indicates the return back to Galilee from the Passover, since acognate expression used by John expresses such a journey from Galileeto Judea. See John 7:3 .

  2. And went into their synagogue. See Mark 3:1. The use of the pronoun "their" indicates that the synagogue in question was under thecontrol of the same Pharisee who had caviled about plucking grain onthe Sabbath ( Matthew 12:2 ).

12:10  and behold, a man having a withered hand1. And they asked him, saying, Is it lawful to heal on the sabbath day2? that they might accuse him3.

  1. A man having a withered hand. See Mark 3:1.

  2. And they asked him, saying, Is it lawful to heal on the sabbath day? They were afraid that Jesus might not notice the man, so they spokeabout him. But, taught by their experience in the grainfield, theychanged their bold assertion, "It is not lawful" ( Matthew 12:2 ), andapproached the subject with a guarded question, hoping to get an answerthat could be used as a ground for accusation.

  3. That they might accuse him. See Mark 3:2.

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12:12  How much then is a man of more value than a sheep1! Wherefore it is lawful to do good on the sabbath day2.

  1. How much then is a man of more value than a sheep! A man who had but one sheep would set a high value upon it ( Matthew 12:11 ). But themost valuable sheep is not to be weighed in the balance against a man.The fact that Jesus used this illustration shows clearly that such anaction was allowed at that time, though the rabbins forbade itafterward.

  2. It is lawful to do good on the sabbath day. See Mark 3:4.

12:13  Then saith he to the man, Stretch forth thy hand1. And he stretched it forth; and it was restored whole, as the other.

  1. Stretch forth thy hand. See Mark 3:5.

12:14  But the Pharisees went out1, and took counsel against him, how they might destroy him.

  1. But the Pharisees went out. See Mark 3:6.

12:15  And Jesus perceiving [it] withdrew from thence1: and many followed him; and he healed them all,

    JESUS HEALS MULTITUDES BESIDE THE SEA OF GALILEE. Matthew 12:15-21 ; Mark 3:7-12

  1. Jesus perceiving [it] withdrew from thence. See Mark 3:7.

12:16  and charged them1 that they should not make him known:

  1. And charged them. See Mark 3:12.

12:17  that it might be fulfilled which was spoken through Isaiah the prophet1, saying,

  1. That it might be fulfilled which was spoken through Isaiah the prophet. See Isaiah 42:1-4 . Partly taken from the Septuagint, andpartly an original translation.

12:18  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 declare judgment to the Gentiles2.

  1. Behold my servant. The Greek word "pais", translated "servant", means also "son", but it is rightly translated "servant" here, for theFather uses another Greek word, "huios", when he would designate Jesusas specifically his Son ( Matthew 3:17 ; Matthew 17:5 ). Jesus was a servant inform ( Philippians 2:7 ) and in obedience ( Hebrews 10:9 ).

  2. And he shall declare judgment to the Gentiles. The word "judgment" ("mishpat" in Hebrew), as used in the Old Testament, from which it heretranslated, means rule, doctrine, truth. It is usually here understoodas meaning that Jesus would reveal the gospel or the full truth of thenew dispensation of the Gentiles.

12:19  He shall not strive, nor cry aloud1; Neither shall any one hear his voice in the streets.

    Matthew 12:19 Matthew 12:20

  1. He shall not strive, nor cry aloud, etc. These two verses find their fulfillment in the events of this paragraph. Jesus did not strivenor quarrel with the Pharisees, but having victoriously put them tosilence, he meekly and quietly withdrew from their presence.

12:20  A bruised reed shall he not break2, And smoking flax shall he not quench3, Till he send forth judgment unto victory.

  1. A bruised reed . . . and smoking flax. The healing of the multitudes which followed him as aptly fulfilled the prediction about the reed andthe flax, for these two words, symbolic of weakness ( Isaiah 36:6 ) andpatience-trying annoyance ( Proverbs 10:26 ), fitly represented the sickand lame and blind--sinners who, by affliction, had been made contriteand poor in spirit, remorseful and repentant, and who were brought toJesus to be healed.

  2. A bruised reed shall he not break. If the hollow cylinder of the reed is bruised, its strength is gone, and it is no longer able tostand erect.

  3. And smoking flax shall he not quench. Flax was then used where we now use cotton, as wicking for lamps. Imperfection in the fiber of itwould cause it to smoke. A violent man, irritated by the fumes of thesmoking wick, would put it out, and cast it from him. But the Lord'sservant would patiently fan it to flames.

  4. Till he shall send forth justice to victory. The statement that he would not break these bruised reeds, nor quench this smoking flax, wasan emphatic declaration, by contrast, that he would heal their bruisesand fan their dying energies and resolutions into a flame, until hesent forth judgment into victory; that is, until the gospel--theauthoritative announcement of the divine purpose or will--shall be sentforth and advanced to its final triumph. Christ shall show patientmercy and forbearance until the gospel shall practically exclude theneed of it, by triumphing over Jewish opposition and Gentile impiety soas to bring about universal righteousness.

12:21  And in his name shall the Gentiles hope1.

  1. And in his name shall the Gentiles hope. This verse sets forth the breadth of Christ's conquest over all nations. It reaches beyond ourtimes into a future which is yet to be. But it was partially fulfilledby the presence of Idumeans and citizens of Tyre and Sidon in themultitudes which Jesus healed--unless we say that only Jews from thesequarters are meant, which is not likely.

12:22  Then was brought unto him one possessed with a demon, blind and dumb1: and he healed him, insomuch that the dumb man spake and saw.

    BLASPHEMOUS ACCUSATIONS OF THE JEWS. (Galilee.) Matthew 12:22-37 ; Mark 3:19-30 ; Luke 11:14-23

  1. Then was brought unto him one possessed with a demon, blind and dumb. The man was brought because he could not come alone. While Lukedoes not mention the blindness, the similarity of the narratives makesit most likely that he is describing the same circumstances as Matthewand Mark. See Mark 3:22 ; Luke 11:14 .

12:23  And all the multitudes were amazed1, and said, Can this be the son of David2?

  1. And all the multitudes were amazed. It was a time for amazement, for Jesus had performed a triple if not a quadruple miracle, restoringliberty, hearing and sight, and granting the power of speech. Itwakened the hope that Jesus might be the Messiah, the son of David.

  2. And said, Can this be the son of David? But their hope is expressed in the most cautious manner, not only being stated as a question, butas a question which expects a negative answer. The question, however,was well calculated to arouse the envious opposition of the Pharisees.

12:24  But when the Pharisees heard it, they said, This man doth not cast out demons, but by Beelzebub the prince of the demons1.

  1. Beelzebub the prince of the demons. See Mark 3:22.

12:25  And knowing their thoughts he said unto them1, Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and every city or house divided against itself shall not stand:

  1. And knowing their thoughts he said unto them, etc. See Mark 3:23.

12:26  and if Satan casteth out Satan1, he is divided against himself; how then shall his kingdom stand?

  1. If Satan casteth out Satan, etc. See Mark 3:23.

12:27  And if I by Beelzebub cast out demons, by whom do your sons cast them out1? therefore shall they be your judges2.

  1. If I by Beelzebub cast out demons, by whom do your sons cast them out? The second argument. The sons of the Pharisees were not theirchildren, but their disciples ( 2 Kings 2:3 ; Acts 19:13 Acts 19:14 ). Josephusmentions these exorcists (Ant. 8:2,5 and Wars 7:6,3), and there isabundant mention of them in later rabbinical books. Our Lord'sreference to them was merely for the purpose of presenting anargumentum ad hominem, and in no way implies that they exercised any"real" power over the demons; nor could they have done so in any markeddegree, else the similar work of Christ would not have created such anastonishment. The argument therefore is this, I have already shown youthat it is against "reason" that Satan cast out Satan; I now show youthat it is against "experience". The only instances of dispossessionwhich you can cite are those of your own disciples.

  2. Therefore shall they be your judges. Do they act by the power of Satan? They therefore shall be your judges as to whether you havespoken rightly in saying that Satan casts out Satan.

12:28  But if I by the Spirit of God cast out demons, then is the kingdom of God come upon you1.

  1. But if I by the Spirit of God cast out demons, then is the kingdom of God come upon you. The third argument. Jesus exercised this powerin unison with the Spirit of God. Jesus here draws a conclusion fromthe two arguments presented. Since he does not cast out by Satan, hemust cast out by the power of God, and therefore his actionsdemonstrated the potential arrival of the kingdom of God. Theoccasional accidental deliverance of exorcists might be evidence of theflow and ebb of a spiritual battle, but the steady, daily conquests ofChrist over the powers of evil presented to the people the triumphantprogress of an invading kingdom. It is an argument against the ideathat there was a collusion between Christ and Satan.

12:29  Or how can one enter into the house of the strong [man,] and spoil his goods, except he first bind the strong [man]? and then he will spoil his house.

  1. Or how can one enter into the house of the strong [man], etc. See Mark 3:27.

12:30  He that is not with me is against me1, and he that gathereth not with me scattereth2.

  1. He that is not with me is against me. Jesus here addresses the bystanders. In the spiritual conflict between Jesus and Satan,neutrality is impossible. There are only two kingdoms, and every soulis either in one or the other, for there is no third. Hence one whofought Satan in the name of Christ was for Christ ( Luke 9:50 ). Theconverse of this statement is found at Mark 9:40 .

  2. He that gathereth not with me scattereth. In the figure of gathering and scattering, the people are compared to a flock of sheep which Jesuswould gather into the fold, but which Satan and all who aid him (suchas the Pharisees) would scatter and destroy?

12:31  Therefore I say unto you, Every sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men1; but the blasphemy against the Spirit shall not be forgiven.

  1. Every sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men. See Mark 3:28.

12:32  And whosoever shall speak a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him1; but whosoever shall speak against the Holy Spirit2, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, nor in that which is to come.

  1. And whosoever shall speak a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him. Blasphemy against the Son may be a temporary sin, forthe one who commits it may be subsequently convinced of his error bythe testimony of the Holy Spirit and become a believer ( 1 Timothy 1:13 ).

  2. But whosoever shall speak against the Holy Spirit, etc. See notes at Mark 3:29 Mark 3:30 .

12:33  Either make the tree good, and its fruit good1; or make the tree corrupt, and its fruit corrupt: for the tree is known by its fruit.

  1. Either make the tree good, and its fruit good, etc. The meaning and connection are, as Carr paraphrases,

    "Be honest for once; represent the tree as good, and its fruit is good, or the tree as evil, and its fruit as evil; either say that I am evil, and that my works are evil, or, if you admit that my works are good, admit that I am good also and not in league with Beelzebub."

12:34  Ye offspring of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things1? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh.

  1. Ye offspring of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? Realizing the hopelessness of this attempt to get an honest judgmentout of dishonest hearts, Jesus plainly informs them as to the conditionof their hearts. Their very souls were full of poison like vipers.Their sin lay not in their words, but in a condition of heart whichmade such words possible. The heart being as it was, the words couldnot be otherwise. Trapps says,

    "What is the well will be in the bucket."

12:35  The good man out of his good treasure bringeth forth good things: and the evil man out of his evil treasure bringeth forth evil things.

  1. The good man . . . and the evil man. We have here a summary of the contrast given in the two preceding verses. The good heart of Jesusbrought forth its goodness, as the evil hearts of the Pharisees broughtforth their evil.

12:36  And I say unto you, that every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment1.

  1. That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. It may have seemed to some that Jesusdenounced too severely a saying which the Pharisees had hastily andlightly uttered. But it is the word inconsiderately spoken whichbetrays the true state of the heart. The hypocrite can talk like anangel if he be put on notice that his words are heard.

12:37  For by thy words thou shalt be justified1, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.

  1. For by thy words thou shalt be justified, etc. Jesus here makes "words" the basis of the judgment of God. Elsewhere we find it is"works" ( Romans 2:6 ; 2 Corinthians 5:10 ), and again we find it is "faith"( Romans 3:28 ). There is no confusion here. The judgment in its finalitymust be based upon our character. Our faith forms our character, andour words and works are indices by which we may determine what mannerof character it is.

12:38  Then certain of the scribes and Pharisees answered him, saying, Teacher, we would see a sign from thee1.

    SIGN SEEKERS, AND THE ENTHUSIAST REPROVED. (Galilee on the same day as the last section.) Matthew 12:38-45 ; Luke 11:24-36

  1. Teacher, we would see a sign from thee. Having been severely rebuked by Jesus, it is likely that the scribes and Pharisees asked for a signthat they might appear to the multitude more fair-minded and open toconviction that Jesus had represented them to be. Jesus had justwrought a miracle, so that their request shows that they wantedsomething different. We learn from Mark that they wanted a sign, notcoming from him, but from heaven ( Mark 8:11 ), such a sign as otherprophets and leaders had given ( Exodus 9:22-24 ; Exodus 16:4 ; Joshua 10:12 ; 1 Samuel 7:9 1 Samuel 7:10 1 Samuel 12:16-18 ; 1 Kings 18:36-38 ; 2 Kings 1:10 ; Isaiah 38:8 ). Alford says,

    "In Jewish superstition it was held that demons and false gods could give signs "on earth", but only the true God "from heaven"."

    The request was the renewal of the one which had assailed him at thebeginning of his ministry ( John 2:18 ), and re-echoed the wildernesstemptation to advance himself by vulgar display rather than by thepower of a life of divine holiness.

12:39  But he answered and said unto them, An evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign1; and there shall no sign be given it but the sign of Jonah the prophet2:

  1. An evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign. While the Jews of that generation could well be accused literally of adultery,Jesus here evidently uses it in its symbolic sense as used by theprophets. They represented Israel as being married to God and as beinguntrue to him ( Exodus 34:15 ; Jeremiah 3:14 Jeremiah 3:20 ).

  2. There shall no sign be given it but the sign of Jonah the prophet. They did not accept miracles of healing as a sign, and only one otherkind of sign was given; namely, that of Jonah. Jonah was shown to be atrue prophet of God, and Nineveh received him as such because he wasrescued from the fish's belly, and Jesus was declared to be the Son ofGod by the resurrection from the dead ( Romans 1:4 ). Alsosee Matthew 16:4.

12:40  for as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the whale1; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights2 in the heart of the earth3.

  1. For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the whale. The Greek word "ketos", here translated "whale", is "seamonster". It is called in Jonah "a great fish" ( Jonah 1:17 ). Becauseof the supposed smallness of the whale's throat, many think that it wasthe white shark, which is still plentiful in the Mediterranean, andwhich sometimes measures sixty feet in length, and is large enough toswallow a man whole. But it is now a well-established fact that whalescan swallow a man, and there are many instances of such swallowings onrecord.

  2. So shall the Son of man be three days and three nights. Jesus was one full day, two full nights, and parts of two other days in thegrave. But, as the Jews reckoned a part of a day as a whole day when itoccurred at the beginning or end of a series, he was correctly spokenof as being three days in the grave. The Jews had three phrase, viz.:"on the third day", "after three days", and "three days and threenights," which all meant the same thing; that is, three days, two ofwhich might be fractional days. With them three full days and nightswould be counted as four days unless the count began at sundown, theexact beginning of a day ( Acts 10:1-30 ). For instances of Jewishcomputation of days, see Genesis 42:17 Genesis 42:18 ; 1 Kings 12:5 1 Kings 12:12 ; Esther 4:16 ; Esther 5:1 Matthew 27:63 Matthew 27:64 .

  3. In the heart of the earth. This expression does not mean its center. The Jews used the word "heart" to denote the interior ofanything ( Ezekiel 28:2 ). The phrase is here used as one which wouldemphatically indicate the actual burial of Christ.

12:41  The men of Nineveh shall stand up in the judgment1 with this generation, and shall condemn it: for they repented at the preaching of Jonah2; and behold, a greater than Jonah is here3.

  1. The men of Nineveh shall stand up in the judgment, etc. The idea here is that the Ninevites, having improved the lesser advantage orprivilege, would condemn the Jews for having neglected the greater.Nineveh's privilege may be counted thus: a sign-accredited prophetpreaching without accompanying miracles, and a forty-day period ofrepentance. On Nineveh, see Luke 11:30.

  2. For they repented at the preaching of Jonah. Literally, repented into the teaching of Jonah. The meaning is that they repented so thatthey followed the course of life which the preaching prescribed.

  3. And behold, a greater than Jonah is here. The Jewish privileges ran thus: the sign-accredited Son of God preaching, accompanied bymiracles, in which many apostles and evangelists participated, aforty-year period in which to repent.

12:42  The queen of the south1 shall rise up in the judgment2 with this generation, and shall condemn it: for she came from the ends of the earth3 to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and behold, a greater than Solomon is here4.

  1. The queen of the south. The queen of Sheba is supposed to have been queen of Sabaea, or Arabia Felix, which lies in the southern part ofthe peninsula between the Red Sea and the Persia Gulf. But Josephussays she was from Ethiopia in Africa.

  2. Shall rise up in the judgment. This phrase refers to the Jewish and Roman custom which required the witness to stand up while testifying ina criminal case.

  3. For she came from the ends of the earth. A Hebraism, indicating a great distance.

  4. To hear the wisdom of Solomon; and behold, a greater than Solomon is here. Her testimony will be based on the compared privileges, whichstand thus: notwithstanding the dangers and inconveniences, she came agreat distance to be taught of Solomon, but the Jews rejected theteaching of the Son of God, though he brought it to them. The teachingof Solomon related largely to this world, but Christ taught as to theworld to come.

12:43  But the unclean spirit, when he is gone out of the man, passeth through waterless places, seeking rest, and findeth it not2.

  1. The unclean spirit . . . passeth through waterless places. Places which are as cheerless to him as deserts are to man. On uncleanspirits, see Mark 1:23.

  2. Seeking rest, and findeth it not. Rest is the desire of every creature. Jesus here gives us a graphic description of utterwretchedness.

12:44  Then he saith, I will return into my house1 whence I came out; and when he is come, he findeth it empty, swept, and garnished2.

  1. Then he saith, I will return into my house. The unclean spirit still claimed it as his property.

  2. When he is come, he findeth it empty, swept, and garnished. It was empty, having no indwelling Spirit, swept of all righteous impressionsand good influences, and garnished with things inviting to an evilspirit.

12:45  Then1 goeth he, and taketh with himself seven other spirits2 more evil than himself3, and they enter in and dwell there4: and the last state of that man becometh worse than the first. Even so shall it be also unto this evil generation5.

  1. Then. Seeing this inviting condition.

  2. Goeth he, and taketh with himself seven other spirits. To reinforce and entrench himself.

  3. More evil than himself. While all demons are wicked they are not equally so.

  4. And they enter in and dwell there. Take up their permanent abode there.

  5. Even so shall it be also unto this evil generation. In the application of this parable, we should bear in mind that it tells of"two" states or conditions experienced by ONE man, and the comparisonis between these two states or conditions and not between the conditionof the man and other men. Such being the parable, the application isplain, for Jesus says, "Even so shall it be also to this wickedgeneration". We are not, therefore, to compare that generation with anyprevious one, as many do; for such would be contrary to the terms ofthe parable. It is simply an assertion that the last state of thatgeneration would be worse than the first. The reference is to thecontinually increasing wickedness of the Jews, which culminated in thedreadful scenes which preceded the destruction of Jerusalem. They werenow like a man with one evil spirit; they would then be like a man withseven more demons added, each of which was worse than the originaloccupant.

12:46  While he was yet speaking to the multitudes, behold, his mother and his brethren stood without1, seeking to speak to him.

    CHRIST'S TEACHING AS TO HIS MOTHER AND BRETHREN. (Galilee, same day as the last lesson.) Matthew 12:46-50 ; Mark 3:31-35 ; Luke 8:19-21

  1. His mother and his brethren stood without. See Mark 3:31.

12:47  And one said unto him, Behold, thy mother and thy brethren stand without1, seeking to speak to thee2.

  1. Behold, thy mother and thy brethren stand without, etc. See Mark 3:32.

  2. Seeking to speak to thee. This message was at once an interruption and an interference. It assumed that their business with him was moreurgent than his business with the people. It merited our Lord's rebuke,even if it had not behind it the even greater presumption of an attemptto lay hold on him.

12:48  But he answered and said unto him that told him, Who is my mother? and who are my brethren?

  1. Who is my mother? and who are my brethren? See Mark 3:33.

12:49  And he stretched forth his hand towards his disciples, and said, Behold, my mother and my brethren!

  1. Behold my mother and my brethren! See Mark 3:34.

12:50  For whosoever shall do the will of my Father who is in heaven, he is my brother, and sister, and mother.

  1. For whosoever shall do the will of my Father who is in heaven, etc. See Mark 3:35.