We had some delicious quiche and dessert with our coffee and tea. Then we resumed our Bible Study from Matthew 12.
Jesus had just clarified Sabbath Law, healed a man, and exorcised a demon. Jesus cautioned that words come from the heart and warned against blasphemy of the Holy Spirit. Continuing their conversation with Jesus, the very adversarial Pharisees and scribes asked Him for a sign. According to Crabtree, this was common for the Jewish community at the time. (Matthew 16:1, John 6:30, 1 Corinthians 1:22)
Jesus echoed Hosea (Hosea 1:2, Hosea 2:2, Hosea 3:1) in calling them evil and spiritually adulterous. Then Jesus used the life of Jonah as the sign. (See the Book of Jonah) He told them He would be in the grave 3 days and three nights. He then echoed His previous statements that at the judgement, like the inhabitants of Tyre, Sidon, Sodom, and Gomorrah, the Ninevites would rise in judgement and testify against the Jews. They listened to Jonah’s message and repented. Jesus said “I’m greater than Jonah, but you’re not listening!”
Again citing the coming judgement, He said the Queen of Sheba would also be summoned to testify for the prosecution. (1 Kings 10:1-10, 2 Chronicles 9:1-9) Solomon had great wisdom, but Jesus is the SOURCE of all wisdom.
Using an exorcism as an example, Jesus mentioned that if one does not fill his life with God, then the demons will return in greater number. Crabtree notes He was speaking of that generation of Jews who saw Jesus do all these works. Jesus was binding Satan, cleansing the nation, but because they rejected Him and did not receive Him in Satan’s place, after Jesus left the nation would be in trouble.
It was difficult for Jesus’ earthly family to understand His ministry. He had a focused purpose, and He let everyone know that His biological ties were “second to kingdom ties” (Crabtree). He included everyone, including His biological family, in His invitation to follow Him. Crabtree notes that His earthly siblings probably did not believe until after the resurrection, citing Matthew 13:55, 1 Corinthians 5:7, Acts 1:14, Acts 12:17, Galatians 1:19, and Galatians 2:9. Jesus made clear that whoever believed in Him belonged to His family.
Crabtree, Jeff. Randall House Bible Commentary: Matthew.