- Centering prayer— Pray for illumination, “Lord, open my heart and mind by the power of the Holy Spirit,” and remain in silence.
- Read slowly, keeping any words or phrase that come to your mind, and mark on them.
- Close eyes and meditate on what you read.
- Take a note if you have question, inspiration.
Read Matthew 12
Confrontation and negative response.
Matthew shows Jesus’ identity and ministry in the stories of confrontation and negative response.
Jesus and Sabbath law (1-14)—Both Jesus and Pharisees who was religious leaders, hold high view of the Sabbath. However, issue is its observance and the authority to decide that observance. Jesus claims, by virtue of his mission as Messiah, authority over man’s obedience to God. For Jesus, it is important to restore a person to useful life while Pharisee’ concern to keep the Sabbath as tradition of the law.
Work of healing (15-21) – Opposition forces Jesus to move, but he continues to perform extensive acts of mercy to fulfill the prophet Isaiah prophesized (Isaiah 42:1-4).
Source of Jesus’ power (22-37) — Pharisees confront Jesus for healing of demon-possessed man. It raises the question of Jesus’ identity. They refuse to see Jesus as God’s Son, Messiah, and claim Satan is at work in him. Jesus responds that the Spirit equips him to display God’s kingdom over Satan’s kingdom. The unforgivable sin is a sustained and constant refusal to recognize the Spirit, and to denies the work of God.
Request for a sign (38-42) – the Pharisees and teachers of the law request for a sign. Their request for a sign evidence their resistance to see Jesus as Messiah. Jesus has provided numerous signs that attest his identity as Messiah in whom God’s kingdom is manifested. Jesus offers only one, the sign of Jonah, prophesizing his own death and resurrection, which is who he is, and why he was sent by God to fulfill the salvation of God.
The return of the unclean spirit (43-45) – Jesus points rejection of him to evil.
Jesus’ true family (46-50) – after much confrontation and negative response, this story shows who discern Jesus’ identity and follow him. Jesus’ family is not limited to his conventional tie of birth and biological descent. It is defined by commitment to Jesus and marked by doing the will of God.
After Reading —- Reflection and prayer.
- Reflect on this question, “What does God speak to me today in this chapter?
- Pray that God’s word today be the way, the life, and the truth to you.
- Live it out through the day.