Southern Christian University

Matthew, Mark, Luke, & John

Class Session 07

James A. Turner


    Please turn to Matthew chapter ten for our beginning place.  In the first part of chapter ten, we read about Jesus sending forth his disciples, the twelve apostles, and giving them instruction.  And this is referred to by many as the limited commission, because they were not to go in the way of the Gentiles or even into the cities of the Samaritans.  They were to go only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.  And they were to preach and tell the people the kingdom of heaven is at hand.  They had miraculous powers to heal the sick and raise the dead and cleanse the lepers and cast out demons.  And Jesus said, freely, ye receive, freely give.  And under this limited commission, they were not to carry any money with them.  They were not to carry two coats nor two pair of shoes, for the labor is worthy of his food or labor is worthy of his hire. 


In I Timothy 5:17‑18, where Paul is talking about how that elders should be paid, and he said, especially those that labor in doctrine and teaching, or preaching and teaching.  And then he says, for the scripture saith, Thou shalt not muzzle the ox when he treadeth out the corn, and the labor is worthy of his hire.  He is joining what Jesus told the disciples when he sent them forth under the limited commission, joining that with that Old Testament reference,  Deuteronomy 25:4 where God gave the commandment to the people of Israel that they were not to muzzle the ox as he treadeth out the corn, or as we put it, treadeth out the grain.  The process of threshing at that time was that they would take the grain crop like barley and wheat and pile up on the grain floor, and have an oxen to pull the threshing sled around over the grain until the chaff was separated from the grain, and then when the wind was blowing right, they would throw the chaff and the grain up into the air, and the wind would blow the chaff away and the grain would be left on the threshing floor.  In I Corinthians 9:9-10, Paul quotes Deuteronomy 25:4 and says that God gave this especially for man's benefit, that he might learn the principle that the labor is worthy of his hire.  Then in verse fourteen in that reference he says, “Even so did the Lord ordain that they that proclaim the gospel should live of the gospel. Jesus tells his apostles the people need to give you what you need.  And, of course, they were doing such wonderful things in respect to what they would be doing, that surely the people, if they had the right spirit, they would take care of their needs in a very good way.


Now, I can remember the day when some would use this reference to say that if a preacher has enough faith, he ought to have faith just to go forth to preach the gospel, whether he has any promise of receiving anything to preach or not.  And some might say if a man has enough faith he should go to a foreign land to carry the gospel. But people who talk like that, either do not know what Jesus told the disciples otherwise for that great commission, or forgotten all about it.  When Jesus was telling his disciples about what would be in the future in regard to the time of the great commission, he told them to carry things with them.  I am reading from Luke chapter twenty‑two beginning with verse thirty‑five.  And he said unto them, When I sent you forth without purse, and wallet, and shoes, lacked ye any thing?  And they said, Nothing.  And he said unto them, But now, he that hath a purse, let him take it, and likewise a wallet, qnd he that hath none, let him sell his cloak and buy a sword.  For I say unto you, that this which is written must be fulfilled in me, (Talking about his death upon the cross).  And he was reckoned with transgressors:  For that which concerneth me hath fulfillment.  And they said, Lord, behold, here are two swords.  And he said unto them, It is enough.  Jesus surely did not mean by his statement in verse thirty‑six that they were to go out and defend themselves by the use of the sword, because Peter tried that when Judas Iscariot came with the multitude from the chief priests and the elders to arrest Jesus, and he cut off the ear of the servant of the high priest named Malchus.  Jesus restored his ear and told Peter to put up his sword, and that he that taketh the sword shall perish with the sword.  So it looks like to me that Jesus meant by that statement that the days are coming when it will be difficult for you, and make preparation for those difficult situations that you will be faced with. 


Picking up with Matthew 10:11, And into whatsoever city or village he shall enter search out, and who is worthy; and there abide till ye go forth.  Now, this shows that people have some responsibility in respect to going to hear the gospel.  Of course, this is different from what it would be today, because here they would be doing so many miraculous things that the word would carry very rapidly. All would want to be healed and some would be saying.  they must be from God to be able to do all these miraculous things.  But still today, there are usually those who hear about the truth being preached somewhere, and if so, they have responsibility to go and hear the preaching of the gospel.  And if the house be worthy, let your peace come upon it:  But if it be not worthy, let your peace return to you.  And whosoever shall not receive you, or hear your words, that as ye go forth out of that house and that city, shake off the dust of your feet.  Verily I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah in the day of judgment, than for that city.  And the meaning would be that the people that received these apostles, and then later when he sent forth the seventy, or when Christ went to those cities, they had greater opportunities to know than did the people of Sodom and Gomorrah.  Remember God destroyed those cities because they gave themselves over to fornication and went after strange flesh or the men were homosexuals, as revealed in Genesis chapter nineteen.  God destroyed them because their sins were so great, but remember that ten righteous people would have saved the people of Sodom and Gomorrah. Do you  remember about Abraham praying if there be fifty righteous, will you destroy the righteous with the wicked?  And Jehovah said no. Abraham continued to reduce the number to ten and the Lord said that if there were ten righteous he would not destroy Sodom.


And that makes me remember that you may not know that the Lord was one of those three that appeared in the form of men to Abraham in the heat of the day, that he had Sarah to prepare a meal for.  Please turn to Genesis chapter eighteen.  I would like for you to notice that very definitely this is Christ that appeared to Abraham back there.  Genesis 18:1, And the Lord appeared to him by the oaks of Mamre:  As he sat in the door of his tent in the heat of the day.  And you might want to highlight that, the Lord appeared.  And then it tells about there being three men and how Abraham welcomed them and had a meal prepared for them.  In verse nine, he said, where is Sarah your wife?  He said, she is in the tent.  The Lord said, I will surely return to you in the spring, and Sarah your wife shall have a son.  Verse thirteen, the Lord said to Abraham, why did Sarah laugh?  Verse seventeen, And the Lord said, Shall I hide from Abraham what I am about to do. About the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. Verse twenty, And the Lord said.  Verse twenty‑two, So the men turned from there and went toward Sodom, but Abraham still stood before the Lord.  And then Abraham drew near and said, wilt thou indeed destroy the righteous with the wicked?  Suppose there are fifty righteous within the city, wilt thou then destroy the place and not spare it for the fifty righteous who are in it.  And he wanted to know – that is verse twenty‑five, the latter part, Shall not the judge of all the earth do right?  And the Lord said, again in verse twenty‑six.  So Abraham continued to pray until he got down to ten.  And the Lord promised that if there were ten that he would not destroy the city.  That is verse thirty‑two.  And then verse thirty‑three, And then the Lord went his way. When he had finished speaking to Abraham and Abraham returned to his place. 


Matthew 10:16, I believe that is where we got to in the last class session.  Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves.  Now, notice that statement.  One wolf in with the sheep may kill a number of sheep, but look at the statement, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves.  There are going to be many who are going to take advantage of you.  They will be like devouring wolves, ready to kill you.  Be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves. Well, I believe we know that doves has a meaning for peace even today, and so they were to be peaceful people.  They were not to go out with swords to extend the borders of the kingdom, but they were to be very wise and not bring unnecessary harm upon them because of a lack of wisdom on their part.  And one way that they were to exercise wisdom on their part when there were those in a city ready to persecute them, they were to flee to another, as stated in verse twenty‑three.  But beware of men:  For they will deliver you up to counsels, and in synagogues they will scourge you. And verse seventeen would be talking about what the Jews would do to them.  Evidently, the ruler or rulers of the synagogue had the authority to give a person a good whipping or scourging if they thought he needed one.  And, of course, like the apostles were carried before the Sanhedrin, the highest court of the Jews, and so verse seventeen would have reference especially of the Jews, being brought before them as though they were wrongdoers and guilty of crimes.

Matthew 10:18, Yes and before governors and kings shall ye be brought for my sake, for testimony to them and to the Gentiles.  Verse eighteen would have reference to them being carried to the governors and kings that were over them.  Remember they were under Roman authority.  They did not have the right to exercise the death penalty.  In a death penalty case, they were to receive authority from Roman authorities for that.  And in regard to the book of Acts, do you remember that Paul was arraigned before Lysias (Acts 23:26-27) then  governor Felix and  governor Festus (Acts 25:9-12) and then king Agrippa (Acts 26:30-32) and then carried to Rome (Acts 27:1, 28:16) to make his defense before the Roman authorities.  And so Gentile authority there in verse eighteen. 


But notice what a wonderful promise the Lord gave the twelve.  When they deliver ye up, be not anxious how or what ye shall speak:  For it shall be given you in that hour what ye shall speak.  And I think surely when we read the speech that Peter gave as recorded in Acts four before the Sanhedrin court, if we be examined this day concerning a good deed done to an impotent man, be it made known unto you in the name of Jesus from Nazareth, whom you crucified whom God raised from the dead, even in his name does this man stand here before you whole.  And he went ahead to tell them that in no other was there salvation, for there is no other name given under heaven whereby we must be saved.  That is Acts chapter four. 


When you turn to the seventh chapter of the book and we have the speech of Stephen, again, an innocent God‑fearing man that that Sanhedrin put to death.  In that long chapter Stephen gives the history of the people of Israel and how they had rebelled against God's leaders, and surely the Holy Spirit must have been guiding him into exactly what he needed to say, how that they had rejected Joseph, those mean brothers sold him into slavery, but later they bowed down to him, and they rejected Moses.  and they rejected many of the Old Testament prophets; in fact, they killed many of them.  Stephen concluded by saying to that court, ye stiff neck and uncircumcised in heart and ears, ye do always resist the Holy Spirit, as your fathers did, so do you.  The Lord, on occasions like this, gave those inspired persons what they needed to say, so that the truth would be made plain and spoken in the very best way possible.  And if you have not read those references with that in mind, I wish you would turn and read them, and I believe you will be convinced that they were being given what they needed to say by the Holy Spirit. 


Verse twenty, For it is not ye that speak, but the Spirit of your Father that speaketh in you.  And brother shall deliver up brother to death, and the father his child: And the children shall rise up against their parents, and cause them to be put to death.  And ye shall be hated of all men for my name's sake.  And all would have to be used there in a relative sense.  There were many early Jewish disciples (Acts 2:41, 2:47, 4:4, 5:4, 6:1, 6:7), and they did not hate the apostles, but as far as society as a whole was concerned, pretty well everybody was against them, and for many years the unbelieving Jews hated them.  And ye shall be hated of all men for my name's sake but he that endureth to the end, the same shall be saved.  And according to tradition, those apostles endured to the end, and  nearly all of them, if not all were put to death for their boldness in preaching Christ and him crucified.  But when they persecute you in one city, flee into the next:  For verily I say unto you, Ye shall not have gone through the cities of Israel, till the Son of man be come.  So as the Lord mentioned in the statement, and when they persecute in one city flee to the next, that would be exercising wisdom to not to bring trouble unnecessarily upon them.  And several times you remember Paul did that in regard to his journeys among the Gentiles, that when persecution arose, he would leave and go to another city, and his brethren would see to it that, you might say, he was escorted to another city.  In regard to the latter part of verse twenty‑three, that has been a matter of dispute down through the centuries now.  Ye shall not have gone through the cities of Israel, till the Son of man be come.  Some few even say that that has reference to the destruction of Jerusalem, the Lord coming to destroy Jerusalem in 70 AD. 


That is absolutely not the case, for in Matthew twenty‑four and verse fourteen Jesus said that the gospel would be preached in all the world before Jerusalem would be destroyed as shown by verses fifteen to twenty‑two, which is very definitely about the destruction of Jerusalem.  And others would apply it to the Son of man coming in his kingdom.  But it is not spoken of as a coming, it says till the Son of man be come.  Now it may be referring to the full beginning of His kingdom, which occurred on Pentecost.  I think that would be much safer than the destruction of Jerusalem, but I am inclined to think of it as meaning that before they had finished their work under that limited commission, he would be following them.  And he may have followed them, teaching where they had taught and making further preparation.  And we surely know from many of the references in the gospel book that Jesus did a great job, sometimes it looks like going day and night and going for several days at the time without having an opportunity to rest.  That is at least logical.


Matthew 10:24, A disciple is not above his teacher, nor a servant above his Lord.  It is enough for the disciple that he be as his teacher, and the servants as their master.  And if they have called the master of the house.  He is talking about himself as the master of his house, Beelzebub, or the prince of demon,  how much more of them of his household?  And so that is what the Pharisees accused him of, that he cast out the demons by the power of Beelzebub.  Fear them not therefore:  For there is nothing covered, that shall not be revealed; and hid, that shall not be revealed.  What I tell you in darkness, speak ye in the  light.  And what ye hear in the ear, proclaim upon the house tops.  So the Lord wanted them to do a good job of carrying  that message that the kingdom of heaven is at hand.  And, of course, along with that, they did as John did,‑‑ It looks like to me that this limited commission was a continuation of the baptism of John.  You remember how he preached that they were repent and they were to be baptized.  And those who rejected John's baptism were left in a lost condition. Luke 7:30 says, the Pharisees and the lawyers rejected the counsel of God against themselves, being not baptized of  John. 


I can remember the day when many in the church did not know that the baptism of John was for remission of sins (Mark 1:4; Luke 3:3). In these references the King James Version says for  and the American Standard Version says unto remission of sins. The New International Version says for the remission of sins. The Greek word used eis, translated for in the King James Version and unto in the American Standard Version is the same Greek word used in Acts 2:38 which Young’s Analytical Concordance gives as meaning “with a view to” and of course the meaning is with a view to receiving remission of sins. Many preachers are telling people that for means because of  and thus the false doctrine that they need to be baptized because their sins were forgiven when they believed and that they need to be baptized to show that they have been saved. Young’s Analytical Concordance gives forty three Greek words that are translated for in English. One of these Greek words galal does mean because of, for the sake of.


This false doctrine has been handed down from generation to generation. A number of the preachers in this denominational church know the correct meaning of eis and they need to have the courage to stand up and tell the truth about the meaning of these passages. Why should they continue to give people false security with such a false doctrine?


John’s baptism absolutely was for remission of sins.  It was from heaven as Jesus plainly taught when the chief priests and the elders came to him in the temple that last time he cleansed the temple, and said by what authority doest thou these things, and who gave thee this authority.  And he said, and I will ask you a question, and if you answer it, I will tell you, by what authority I do these things.  He said, the baptism of John, whence was it from heaven or from men.  And they reasoned among themselves and decided they better plead the fifth amendment.  For they said, if we say from heaven, he will say to us, why did ye not receive it.  They were afraid to say that it was not from heaven because people had great respect for John the Baptist.  So the baptism was from heaven, and it was for remission of sins. Matthew three, John came preaching in the wilderness of Judaea, saying, repent ye for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.  Three went out unto him Jerusalem and Judaea and all the region round about and were baptized of John in the river Jordan confessing their sins.  Why would they be confessing their sins if there was no forgiveness of sins?  And then in Mark 1:4, Mark says that it was for remission of sins.  And Luke 3:3 says that it was for the remission of sins, and the reference then in Luke 7:30, those that did not receive John's baptism remained in a lost condition.  These references need to be used today to emphasize how important the baptism of the great commission is.  There are so many that have been taught all their lives that baptism is a non‑essential.  Well, even John's baptism was essential to salvation.  Surely, the baptism that Christ had his apostles to give on that first Pentecost after his ascension back to heaven, surely that baptism is essential to salvation. 


Verse twenty‑eight, Be not afraid of them that kill the body, but not able to kill the soul, but rather fear him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.  There are some few that have been ready to reason on the basis on the latter part of verse twenty‑eight that the soul of man or the spirit of man can be destroyed in a definite way.  There is no such thing.  In II Thessalonians 1:7 beginning, And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, in flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God and obey not the gospel of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ:  who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power.  And so it is not a matter of the soul being annihilated, but it is a matter of eternal punishment in that terrible place called hell (Revelation 20:11-15). 


Matthew 10:29, Are not two sparrows sold for a penny?  And not one of them shall fall on the ground without your Father.  So Jesus is saying your Father is looking on.  He knows what you are being subjected to and do not be afraid, the Lord is still with you.  They may kill the body, but they cannot kill the soul.  And if you are faithful to death, heaven will be your eternal home.  Are not two sparrows sold for a penny?  And not one of them shall fall on the ground without your Father.  So God knows the little details in respect to the sparrows.  But the very hairs of your head are numbered.  We cannot begin to understand, or comprehend what God knows.  It is just so far beyond our ability to do so.  It is like Paul said in regard to the love of God, as given, in Romans eight, which surpasses or goes beyond our knowledge, our ability to really understand that love of God that is given in Christ.  Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows.  Everyone therefore who confesses me before men, him will I also confess before my Father who is in heaven.  But whosoever shall deny me before men, him I will also deny before my Father who is in heaven.   Now, verses thirty‑two and thirty‑three have been used down through the years by many of us as having reference to the confession that is made at the time of one's conversion.  Well, surely it includes that (I Timothy 6:12), but it  includes more than that.  It also means that spirit of faithfulness after one becomes a Christian and continuing to confess the Lord and standing up and doing what is right under all circumstances.  So everyone therefore who shall confess me before men, him will I also confess before my Father who is in heaven.  Whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father who is in heaven.  And that might have even reference to the time when a person's name is written in the lamb's book of life.  That could well be the case, could it not?  The time of one's conversion when he believes on Christ and confesses to him to be the Christ, the Son of God, and repents of his sins and is then baptized for the remission of his sins and then becomes a child of God.  Would not that be the time that his name was written in the lamb's book of life that is spoken of in the twentieth chapter of the Revelation.  Let me read from Revelation twenty beginning with verse eleven, And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat upon it, from whose face the earth and the heavens fled away; and there was found no place for them.  And I saw the dead, the great and the small, standing before the throne and books were opened:  and another book was opened, which is the book of life. 


Would not that be the lamb's book of life?  We may not know about all those books, but do you not think at least it would include the Old Testament and the New Testament, and the book of life.  And another book was opened, which is the book of life:  And the dead were judged out of the things which were written out of the books, according to their works.  And the sea gave up the dead that were in it; and death and  Hades gave up the dead that were in them:  And they were judged every man according to their works.  And death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire.  This is the second death, even the lake of fire.  And if any was not found written in the book of life, he was cast into the lake of fire.  So when a person obeys the gospel would that not be the time when a person's name would be written in the lamb's book of life.  And, of course, if every child of God continues to be faithful to the Lord, then his name will be written in the lamb's book of life when that time of judgment comes. 


Back to Matthew ten and verse thirty‑four, Think not that I came to send peace on the earth:  I came not to send peace, but a sword.  For I came to set a man at variance against his father and a daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law.  And a man's foes shall be they of his own household.  He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me:  And he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.  And he that doth not take his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me.  He that findeth his life shall lose it:  And he that loseth his life for my name shall find it.  This pretty well parallels Matthew sixteen, and especially verse twenty‑four where Jesus said, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.  And I hope you remember how Paul said to the Galatian brethren in Galatians two and, I think, verse twenty, I have been crucified with Christ.  It is no longer I that live, but Christ that liveth in me.  And the life that I now live, I live in the faith in the Son of God who loved me and gave himself up for me.  And so Jesus is saying that we must put him first in everything if we want to go to heaven at last, and that no member of the family, regardless of how close they are to us, are not to become between us and our allegiance to God and to Christ.  If a person puts a member of the family first and loves them more than he loves the Lord, then he cannot reach heaven at last.  


How do we account for him saying, I came not to bring peace on the earth.  I came not to send peace, but a sword. Do you think he is talking about a literal sword? That would be a very unusual household to use a literal sword on one of the members of the family, but a sword stands for real conflict.  And so there would be real conflict, because some in the house would receive the gospel and others would not receive it.  But let us recall from Isaiah chapter nine where Isaiah is speaking concerning the Christ that would come, saying, Unto us a child is given, unto us a Son is born.  His name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, and Prince of Peace.  And he goes ahead to say that there would no end of his reign upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom to establish it and to uphold it with righteousness from henceforth even for ever more.  And, of course, Christ has, ever since his ascension back to heaven, been reigning on the throne of David as the Old Testament prophets prophesied concerning him.  I think we included an outline for you entitled, Christ Is Now Reigning On The Throne Of David.  I hope you will read it and give careful attention to the facts set forth in that outline. 


In the reference there in Isaiah nine, Christ is spoken of as the Prince of Peace, and further the gospel books shows that those who follow Christ are to be peace‑loving people.  There is a reference also in Isaiah chapter eight, how that he would be a haven and a rock of stumbling to both of the houses of Israel.  During most of the time of Isaiah's ministry, the kingdom of Israel was divided into two kingdoms (Isaiah 1:1; II Kings 18:9-12). God had  divided the kingdom of Israel into two kingdoms during the day of Solomon’s son Rehoboam because of the sins of Solomon in marrying  many foreign wives.  Those foreign wives had great influence on Solomon, and he built places of worship for their idol gods (I Kings 11:1-2, 11:9-13, 11:29-32; 12:21-24).  And God divided the kingdom into two kingdoms, trying to save a righteous remnant through which Christ would come. 


Now reading from Isaiah chapter eight verses thirteen and fourteen, Jehovah of hosts him shall ye sanctify; let him be your fear, and let him be your dread.  And this reference is talking about Christ.  And he shall be for a sanctuary, but for a stone of stumbling and for a rock of offense to both the houses of Israel, for a gin and for a snare to the inhabitants of Jerusalem.  And many shall stumble thereon and fall and be broken, and be snared, and be taken.  But notice the first part of verse fourteen says he will be for a sanctuary.  When we think of a sanctuary, we think of a place of peace and harmony.  He would be a sanctuary for those who receive Him, but for those that rejected him, then he would be the stone of stumbling and the rock of offense.  Of course, both houses of Israel and the descendants of them, most of the Jewish people rejected Christ.  And so that was fulfilled, that Christ was the stone of stumbling or rock of offense to both of the houses of Israel.  


You remember Luke chapter two when the angel of the Lord appeared to the shepherds while they were keeping watch over their flock and told them, be not afraid, for this day is born unto you in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.  And then there appeared with the multitude of the heavenly hosts, saying, peace on earth and good will toward men.  And so Christ brings real peace and unity for those who follow him and walk closely in his steps.  But the point is that very frequently there would be division in many families because some would obey the Lord, and then there would be those that did not, especially was that the case back during this time when there would be so many Jewish people that were ready to punish those who received the gospel. 


Let us turn and read from Luke on that reference.  Luke 12:49, I came to cast fire upon the earth; and what do I desire, if it is already kindled?  And this is a parallel to Matthew.  By the fire, he is talking about that warfare that occurs within families.  But I have a baptism to be baptized with; and how am I straightened till it be accomplished!  In verse fifty, he is talking about his death upon the cross as a baptism.  He would be overwhelmed in suffering, the righteous for the unrighteous. Think ye that I have come to give peace on the earth?  I tell you Nay, but rather division:  For there shall be from henceforth five in one house divided, three against two, and two against three.  And they shall be divided, father against Son; and son against father, and mother against daughter, and daughter against her mother; and mother in law against her daughter in law, and daughter in law against her mother in law. So you see that is a parallel reference from Luke.  But Jesus is saying how I am straightened until time for me to die on the cross, and my way will bring trouble within households because some will obey me and others in the family will reject me.


Back to Matthew 10:40, He that receiveth you receiveth me.  And that still holds today.  We do not have any apostles today with miraculous powers. That period was the childhood period of the church (I Corinthians 13:8-13; Ephesians 4: 7-16). But it still holds true that those faithful teachers and preachers of the gospel, those that receive them, are receiving Christ and they are also receiving our heavenly father.  He that receiveth you receiveth me, and he that receiveth me receiveth him that sent me.  He that receiveth a prophet in the name of a prophet shall receive a prophet's reward; and he that receiveth a righteous man in the name of a righteous man shall receive a righteous man's reward.  And whosoever shall give to drink unto one of these little ones a cup of cold water in the name of a disciple, verily I say unto you, he shall in no wise lose his reward.  Those verses are emphasizing the fact that when people are following Christ faithfully, they will be rewarded for what they do.  Many times they will receive many rewards in this life, and all who obey the gospel and live faithfully, they will receive heaven at last.  We just have a few seconds.  And so we will count  Chapter eleven as the beginning place for our next part of this class session.  (A brief recess was taken.) 


Reading from Matthew chapter eleven verse one, And it came to pass, when Jesus had finished commanding his twelve disciples, he departed thence to teach and preach in their cities. Now, does not that strongly indicate that that is the meaning of 10:23, ye shall have not gone through the cities of Israel until the Son of man be come.  It looks like while they are gone, he goes and preaches in their cities and then continues that preaching in various cities after they had gone on that limited commission.  Next, I would like for you to turn to Luke chapter ten.  After Jesus sent forth the twelve apostles under the limited commission, he sent forth seventy others.  And if I remember correctly, Luke is the only writer that records about his sending forth of seventy others. 


Please turn to Luke chapter ten, beginning with verse one, After these things the Lord appointed seventy others, and sent them two by two before his face.  Notice that statement, that it further indicates that they are to go and make preparation for him. They were to make preparation and then he would go to those cities. And he said unto them, The harvest indeed is greatly plentious, but the laborers are few:  Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he send forth laborers into his harvest.  And we need today to be praying for the Lord to send forth more laborers into the harvest field.  We need to be busy going and sending laborers into the harvest field.  Go your ways:  Behold, I send you forth as lambs in the midst of wolves.  He is telling them the same thing that he had told the apostles, that your work will be dangerous.  Carry no purse, no wallet, no shoes:  And salute no man on the way.  And whatsoever house ye enter, first say, Peace be to this house.  And if the son of peace be there, your peace shall rest upon him:  But if not, it shall return to you again.  And in that same house remain, eating and drinking such things as they give:  For the laborer is worthy of his hire.   That is the statement quoted in I Timothy 5:17-18. Go not from house to house.  And into whatsoever city ye enter, and they receive you, eat such things as are set before you:  and heal the sick that are therein, and say unto them, The kingdom of God is come nigh unto you.  But into whatsoever city ye shall enter, and they receive you not, go out into the streets thereof and say, even the dust from your city, that cleaveth to our feet, we wipe off against you:  nevertheless know this, that the kingdom of God is come nigh.  I say unto you, that it shall be more tolerable in that day for Sodom, than for that city. 


Luke 10:13, Woe unto thee, Chorzain!  Woe unto thee, Bethsaida!  For if the mighty works had been done in Tyre and Sidon, which have been done in you, they would have repented long ago, sitting in sackcloth and ashes.  And, again, these are cities in Galilee that Jesus had done so many miracles and spent a lot of time teaching that had had many opportunities to believe and obey.  The more opportunities that people have and the more abilities they have and the more training they have, then greater the responsibility that rests upon them. These cities had received much teaching and they had seen many miracles and wonderful works that Jesus had done, and as a whole the people rejected him. They will be in a hopeless condition when they stand before him in the day of judgment (John 5:22; Acts 17:30-31).   And thou, Capernaum.  Remember Jesus lived at Capernaum for a period of time, plus he visited there many times.  And thou Capernaum, shalt though be exalted unto heaven? thou shalt be brought down unto Hades. 


Luke 10:16, He that heareth you heareth me; and he that rejecteth you rejecth me; and he that rejecteth me rejecteth him that sent me.  This principle holds true today and always. When the gospel is preached correctly and people reject it they may think that they are rejecting the preacher when in reality they are rejecting the Lord. And the seventy returned with joy saying, Lord, even the demons are subject unto us in thy name.  And he said, I beheld Satan fallen as lighting from heaven.  Behold, I have given you authority to tread upon serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: And nothing shall any wise hurt you.  Nevertheless in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject unto you; but rejoice, in that your names are written in heaven.  So, again, emphasis on written in heaven, written in the lamb's book of life! 


Back to Matthew 11:2, Now when John heard in the prison the works of Christ, he sent by his disciples, and  said unto him, Art thou he that cometh, or do we look for another?  Do you suppose that John the Baptist had an eclipse of faith when he was thrown into prison.  He was thrown into prison because he told Herod that it was not lawful for him to have Herodias, his brother Philip's wife.  She was responsible for him being cast into prison, and then she had her daughter to have John the Baptist's head brought to her on a platter.  And Jesus answered and said unto them, Go and tell John the things which ye see:  The blind receive their sight, and the lame walk, and the lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, and the dead are raised up, and the poor have good tidings preached to them.  And blessed is he, whosoever shall find no occasion of stumbling in me.  We will turn and read Luke's account in a little while. 


It may be that John the Baptist, like the apostles,  was expecting him to be an earthly king.  When Christ told the apostles that John indeed baptized with water, but ye shall be baptized with  the Holy Spirit not many days hence.  The apostles said in Acts 1:6, Wilt thou at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?  They had been with him three‑and‑a‑half years, and they were still expecting him to set up an earthly kingdom.  So John the Baptist may have had that same thinking,  and Jesus was showing no signs of being an earthly king, he may have wondered if he was the one to come.  But Jesus said, go and tell him what you see.  The blind receive their sight, and the lame walk, and the lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, and the dead are raised up, and the poor have good tidings preached to them.  And that was one of the things that Isaiah said that he would do.  And blessed is he, whosoever shall find no occasion of stumbling in me.  So verse six would be an exhortation for them to give John the Baptist . It is also an exhortation for us today.  Blessed is he, whosoever shall find no occasion of stumbling in me.  We read that reference from Isaiah 8:14, Christ would be a stone of stumbling unto both of the houses of Israel. 


Matthew 11:17, As they went on their way, Jesus began to say unto the multitudes concerning John, What went ye out into the wilderness to behold?  A reed shaken with the wind?  John was a courageous person.  He was not moved by the wind of public opinion, but he courageously taught what was right to the point that it brought about his death, when he told the king that it was not lawful for him to have his brother Philip's wife.  I believe that it is Luke chapter three that we read about some of the good preaching of John the Baptist.  But what went ye out to see?  A man clothed in soft raiment?  Absolutely not.  His clothing was camel's hair and a leathern girdle.  Behold, they that wear soft raiment are in kings'  houses.  But wherefore went ye out to see?  A prophet?  Yea,  I say unto you, and much more than a prophet.  For this is he, of whom it is written, Behold, I send my messenger before thy face, who shall prepare thy way before thee.  And that is Malachi 3:11, where Malachi prophesied concerning  the work of John the Baptist.  So he was more than a prophet in that he was a forerunner of Christ to make that straightway, that good way for Christ.  And as stated in Malachi 3:1, Behold I send my messenger before thy face, who shall prepare thy way before thee.  According to the reference given in Isaiah forty, he would make a highway for the Lord. He would pull down the mountains and build up the valleys, figurative language of the good way that John the Baptist would make preparation for the coming of Christ.


Matthew 11:11, Verily I say unto you, Among them that are born of women there hath not risen a greater than John the Baptist:  yet he that is but little in the kingdom of God is greater than he.  Now, that is a wonderful compliment that Jesus is making concerning John, that there has not arisen a greater than John the Baptist.  What is the meaning of the latter part, but he that is little in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he?  John the Baptist lived and died before the kingdom of Christ was fully established.  Would that not be the meaning of it?  The person who is in the kingdom has  greater blessing than John the Baptist did, at least during his personal ministry.  Of course, if John the Baptist remained faithful, as I believe he did, he will be among all the redeemed in heaven.  Verse twelve, And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence.  For all the prophets and the law prophesied until John.  And if ye are willing to receive it, this is Elijah, that is to come.  That is important for us to know that John the Baptist was the Elijah to come, because the Old Testament closed with that passage about the coming of John the Baptist.  Reading from Malachi, the last chapter, chapter four verses five and six.  Behold, I send you Elijah the prophet before the great and terrible day of Jehovah come:  And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse.  And remember that the angel Gabriel told Zecharias that that is what his son would do.  And, again, in chapter seventeen of Matthew when he was transfigured before Peter, James, and John, and after the transfiguration, the disciples said, but the scribes say that Elijah must come first.  He told them that Elijah had come already.  And if ye are willing to receive it, this is Elijah, that is to come. 


In the statement , He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.  Jesus is talking about hearing with that spirit of obedience. In chapters two and three of the Revelation the seven letters to the churches are recorded, and in each of the letters Jesus said, He that hath ears to hear, let him hear what the Spirit saith to the churches,  Then a blessing is promised, To him that overcometh which means overcometh by obedience.


Matthew 11:16, But whereunto shall I liken this generation?  It is liken unto children sitting in the marketplaces, who called unto their fellows, and saying, We have piped unto you, and ye have not danced; we wailed and ye did not mourn.  So the children in both groups are not satisfied with the performance of other group.  We piped unto you and you did not dance.  We wailed and you did not mourn.  For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, He hath a demon.  Remember his food was locusts and wild honey, and they accused him of being the wrong kind of person, and said he had a demon, because he lived on locusts and wild honey.  So they were not pleased with John.  And they were not pleased with Christ, and it looks like Christ did the very opposite and that should have pleased them.  The Son of man came eating and drinking, and they say, Behold a gluttonous man, and a wine bibber, a friend of publicans and sinners.  Jesus was a friend of publicans and sinners, but he was not a gluttonous man and he was not a wine bibber or a drunkard.  He ate and drank in a proper way and they should have been pleased.  If they were displeased because John did not, and so Christ was the very opposite of that, but they still were not pleased. 


Sometimes there are those who do not make a distinction between inspired instruction, and statements made by the devil’s servants. They may say, “Everything in the Bible is true!” Yes, it is true that they accused Jesus of being “gluttonous man and a wine bibber”, but it is not true that Jesus was such a person! Please keep in mind that there are a lot of statements recorded from the devil’s camp.  And wisdom is justified by her works.  The Jews as a people rejected John the Baptist, and they were also rejecting Christ and they surely were not going the way of true wisdom.   


Verse 20, Then began he to upbraid the cities, wherein most of his mighty works were done because they repented not.  Woe unto thee Chorazin!  Woe unto Bethsaida!  For if the mighty works, had been done in Tyre and Sidon, which were done in you, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes.  But I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon at the day of judgment, than for you.  And thou, Capernaum, shalt thou be exalted unto heaven.  thou shalt go down unto Hades.  For if the mighty works, had been done in Sodom, which were down in thee, it would have remained until this day.  But I say unto you, That it shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom in the day of judgment, than for thee.  Just think of all the wonderful opportunities they had had to hear Christ and all of those miracles and wonders and mighty works that he had done as proof that he was from God, giving God's message to them, and yet they did not believe on him, they did not repent.


Matthew 11:25,  At that season, Jesus answered and said, I thank thee,O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that thou hast hide these things from the wise and understanding, and did reveal them unto babes.  That is somewhat of a parallel to the latter part of the first chapter of I Corinthians.  Yea Father:  For so it was well pleasing in thy sight. All things have been delivered unto me of my Father:  And no one knoweth the Son, save the Father; neither does any know the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal to him.  But it is Christ’s will to reveal the Father to all who will hear and come to him.  Notice the tender invitation given in verses twenty‑eight and twenty‑nine.  Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart:  and ye shall find rest unto your souls.  For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light. 


Now verse twenty‑eight may include even those that are heavy burdened in respect to physical labor and other things, but would not it have primary reference to those that are burdened with sin?  Sin is a heavy burden.  There are those who reason that the way of Christ is a hard way, and I do not want to restrict myself in all of those things that a Christian has got to restrict himself in.  And what happens? They get themselves in a lot of trouble by going down the broad way, because God's law of sowing and reaping is never canceled (Galatians 6:7-10).  And when men reject Christ as time goes on, they get more wicked and more wicked.  And that law of sowing and reaping, if they live a full life here, it starts catching up with them and they have a lot of suffering and heart aches that comes as a result of their bad sowing.  So let us remember that the way of Christ is the easiest way.  Solomon said, The way of the transgressor is hard (Proverbs 13:15). Now, there is a cross to bear (Matthew 16:24), but there are many blessings that come to a person from doing right, think of the blessings set forth in the Sermon on the Mount, Matthew 5:1‑15.  God’s law of sowing and reaping works both ways. So the way of Christ, when all is said and done, the bottom line is that it is the easiest way, even so far as this life is concerned.  But, my, consider then the blessings that will come after the spirit leaves the body.  So come unto me all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart:  And ye shall find rest unto your souls.  For my yoke is easy.  Now, there is a yoke of learning and there is a burden to bear,  but in comparison to the way of going and following Satan, it is the easy way. Please remember that there is only two ways that a person can travel in respect to a final destination, and every accountable person is traveling one of these ways (Matthew 7:13-14). Which way are you traveling? For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light. 


Do you remember that the New Testament almost closes with the Lord extending another tender invitation for all to come to him.  Revelation twenty‑two.  Let us pick up with verse sixteen, I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things for the churches.  I am the root and the offspring of David, the bright and morning star.  And the Spirit and the bride say, Come.  The Spirit is capitalized, which means the translators think that that is the third person of the Godhead, the Holy Spirit, and the bride, is the church.  The church is the bride of Christ (Ephesians 5:22-32)..  And the Spirit and the bride say, Come.  And he that heareth, let him say, Come.  And he that is athirst let him come.  He that will, let him take the water of life freely.  And so another great invitation in Revelation 22:17, just almost the close of the book.


Let us turn now and read from Luke's account, Luke chapter seven.  Luke chapter seven beginning with verse eighteen, And the disciples of John told him all these things. In Luke's account, that is after he had raised the widow of Nain's only son from the dead.  And the disciples of John told him all these things.  And John calling unto him two of his disciples sent them to the Lord, saying, Art thou he that cometh?  Or look we for another?  And when the men were come unto him, they said, John the Baptist hath sent us unto thee, saying, Art thou he that cometh?  Or look we for another?  In that hour he cured many of diseases.  So you see Jesus was in the process of doing what the prophets had said he would do at the very time that they get there.  In that hour he cured many of diseases and plagues and evil spirits; and on many that were blind he bestowed sight.  And he answered and said unto them, Go and tell John the things which ye have seen and heard; the blind receive their sight, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, and the dead are raised up, the poor have good tidings preached to them.  And blessed is he, whosoever shall find no occasion of stumbling in me.  And when the messenger of John was departed, he began to say unto the multitudes concerning John, What went ye out in the wilderness to behold?  A reed shaken with the wind?  But what went ye out to see?  A man clothed in soft raiment?  Behold, they that are gorgeously appareled, and live delicately, are in kings' courts. See, it is a little different reading, but meaning the same thing as Matthew.  But what went ye out to see?  A prophet?  Yea, I say unto you, and much more than a prophet.  This is he, of whom it is written, Behold he shall prepare thy way before thee.  So Luke gives the same quotation of Malachi 3:1.  For I say unto you, Among them that are born of women there is none greater than John, yet he that is but little in the kingdom of God is greater than he.  And all the people when they heard, and the publicans, justified God, being baptized with the baptism of John.  They justified God in that they recognized that God had commanded them to be baptized, and they were baptized. But notice again verse thirty.  Please highlight verse thirty.  But the Pharisees and the lawyers rejected for themselves the counsel of God, being not baptized of him. 


Let me emphasize that this reference needs to be used to show that scriptural baptism today is essential to salvation. The Pharsies and Lawyer remained in a lost condition, because they rejected John’s baptism. It was from heaven (Matthew 21:23-32) it was for (King James Version) or unto (American Standard Version) remission of sins (Mark 1:4; Luke 3:3) The Greek word in Mark 1:4 and Luke 3:3 is eis the same word used in Acts 2:38 for remission of sins. Luke 7:31, Whereunto then shall I liken the men of this generation, and to what are they like? They are like unto children that  sit in the marketplace, and call one to another, and saying, We have piped to you, and ye did not dance; we wailed, and ye did not weep.  For John the Baptist is come, eating no bread, nor drinking wine; and yea say, He hath a demon.  The son of man is come eating and drinking; and ye say, Behold a gluttonous man, and a wine bibber, a friend of publicans and sinners!  And wisdom is justified of all her  children. Those who believe on Christ and find no occasion of stumbling in him, but continue to follow him faithfully, they are going the way of  wisdom. Mark it down, they are the only people who are going the way of true wisdom.


So back to Matthew chapter twelve, At that season Jesus went on the sabbath day through the grain fields; and his disciples were hungry, and began to pluck the ears to eat.  Please remember that this is not talking about Indian maize, but the little heads of seed on the barley or wheat or whatever grain it was.  But the Pharisees when they saw it, said unto him, Behold, thy disciples do that which is not lawful to do on the Sabbath.  And on the basis of that reading,  some reason that the disciples had broken the Sabbath day, because it is recorded.  The Bible records a lot of statements made by the enemies' camp, and that statement is made by the Pharisees.  They were not followers of Christ, they are members of Satan's camp.  And they are the ones that are saying the disciples were breaking the Sabbath, but the disciples had not broken the Sabbath, as Jesus plainly shows a little later.  But he said unto them, Have ye not read what David did, when he was hungry, and they that were with him.  How he entered into the house of God, and ate the shewbread, which is not lawful for him to eat, neither for them that were with him, but only for the priests?  Or have ye not read in the law, on the Sabbath day the priests in the temple profane the Sabbath, and are guiltless?  But I say unto you, That one greater than the temple is here.  But if ye had known what this meaneth, I desire mercy, and not sacrifice, ye would not have condemned the guiltless.  Please underscore or highlight guiltless.  The apostles were guiltless in what they had done. 


Now, on the basis of verse five, some have reasoned because of David's peculiar situation that it was all right for him to eat the holy bread or the bread that was put on the table of shewbread that was in the tabernacle.  That bread was to be changed each Sabbath day, and then the bread that was taken off, the priests were to eat, but it was for no one else.  But some today reason that their  a peculiar situation made it right for David and his men to eat it..  But not according to what Jesus said, he said it was not lawful for him to eat the showbread,  and it was absolutely not lawful for him to do it.  Where do we read about that occasion?  Now, you notice your reference I Samuel chapter twenty‑one.  On this occasion David had learned that Saul was trying to kill him.  Saul had been trying to kill him for some time.  In chapter nineteen of I Samuel David tells Saul's son Jonathan that your father is  trying to kill me.  And Jonathan reasoned, his father did not do anything unless he told him.  And David wanted him to check things out, and let him not to be at the feast on the day of the new moon, and check his father out.  Jonathan found out, without a doubt, that his father was seeking to kill David and told him to go and fetch him to me, for he shall surely die, I Samuel21:31.  Jonathan and David were the closest of friends, and Jonathan answered Saul his father, why should he be put to death?  What has he done?  But Saul cast his spear at him to smite him.  So Jonathan knew that his father was determined to put David to death.  They had agreed in respect to how Jonathan would let him know either way.  And so David continues that fleeing process in chapter twenty‑one beginning with verse one. 


Then David came to Nob to Ahimelech the priest:  And Ahimelech came to meet David trembling and said to him, Why are you alone, and no one with you?  And David said to Ahimelech the priest, The king has charged me with a matter, and said to me, Let no one know any thing of the matter about which I send you, and which I have charged you.  David is either lying or he is stating things in such a way that Ahimelech would know.  He may have seen Doeg the Edomite there.  If he had seen Doeg he knew that he had to be careful.  I have made an appointment with the young men for such and such a place.  Now give me what ye have at hand.  Give me five loaves of bread of whatever is here. And here is Ahimelech's reply.  I have no common bread at hand.  But there is holy bread; if only the young men have kept themselves from women.  And David answered the priest of a truth.  Women have been kept from us as always when I go on an expedition, the vessels of the young men are holy, even when it is a common journey.  How much more today will their vessels be holy.  So the priest gave him the holy bread:  For there was no bread there but the bread of the presserce, which is removed from before the Lord, to be replaced by hot bread on the day it is taken away.  And that was on the Sabbath day.  Now a certain man of the servants of Saul was there that day, detained before the Lord.  His name was Doeg the Edomite, the chief of Saul's herdmen. And so he sees what Ahimelech does for David, that he gave him the holy bread, and that he gave him the spear that David had killed Goliath with.  And then in chapter twenty‑two, Saul is reproving his commanders, his officers, when he said.  Verse seven, Ye Benjaminites; will the son of Jesse give every one of ye fields and vineyards, will he make you all commanders of thousands, and commanders of hundreds, that all of you have conspired against me; and no one discloses to me when my son makes a league with the son of Jesse.  None of you that is sorry for me or discloses to me that my son has stirred up my servant against me to lie in wait, as at this day.  Trying to put the blame on David, when Saul had been planning on killing him for some time.  Then answered Doeg the Edomite, which was set over the servants of Saul, and said, I saw the son of Jesse coming to Nob, to Ahimelech the son of Ahitub.  And he inquired of the Lord for him, and gave him provisions, and gave him the sword of Goliath.  And so the king sent to summon Ahimelech the priest. And then Saul wanted his bodyguards to put all the priests to death, but they refused to do so.  And then he told that wicked Doeg of the Edomites to do so, and he did.  Now, notice verse eighteen. 


Then the king said to Doeg, you turn and fall upon the priests.  Doeg the Edomite turned, and fell upon the priests, and he killed on that day eighty‑five persons who wore the linen ephod.  And Nob, the city of the priests, he put to the sword both men and women, children and sucklings, oxen, and asses and sheep, he put to the sword.  Only one of the sons of Ahimelech escaped.  But one of the sons of Ahimelech, the son of Ahitub, named Abiathar, escaped, and fled after David.  And Abiathar told David that Saul had killed the priests of the Lord, eighty‑five of them.  And David said to Abiathar, I know that day when Doeg the Edomite was there, that he would surely tell Saul:  I have occasioned the deaths of all the persons of thy father's house.  Stay with me, and fear not:  For he that seekest my life seeketh thy life:  with me ye shall be in safe keeping.  So Abiathar stayed with David, and he brought an ephod with him, which meant that he could inquire of God for David, and get an answer for him, and so Abiathar was a great help to David. 


So the disciples of Jesus were guiltless, and the Pharisees had tried to condemned them, and that  just by their traditions and their own thinking. According to the Pharesees this was wrong, and the other was wrong for them to do on the Sabbath day, but if a male child needed to be circumcised on the eighth day, they would do that, and if a sheep got in the ditch on the Sabbath day, they would get it out, but it was wrong for these disciples to eat on the Sabbath day.  I guess they would call that plucking the ears, work of harvesting, that they were working, and the law said that the Sabbath day was to be a day of rest.  Well, it was a day of rest, but there were exceptions to the rule, as shown by the fact that there was work in the temple that the priest had to do on the Sabbath day.  They were to trim the lights on the altar of incense, and other things that they needed to perform on the Sabbath day as stated, profane the Sabbath and are guiltless, profane it in the sense that they did do some work, but it was work that the law required for them to do. 


Matthew 12:9, And he departed thence and went into their synagogue:  And behold, a man having a withered hand.  And they ask him saying, Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath day?  That they might accuse him.  They would get a sheep out of the hole on the Sabbath day, but it was wrong to heal a man on the Sabbath day.  And he said unto them, what man shall there be among you, that shall have one sheep, and if this fall into a pit on the Sabbath day, will he not lay hold on it, and lift it out?  How much more then is a man of more value than a sheep?  It looks like children could see that people are more important, and that it is more important to heal a man on the Sabbath day than to get a sheep out of the pit.  Wherefore, it is lawful to do good on the Sabbath day.  So you see how that reasoning that because of emergency circumstances, that David and his men had a right to eat the show bread, and the Pharisees  probably approved of what David had done, but Jesus said that David  did eat that which was not lawful for him to eat (Matthew 12:4). David violated the law of God when he ate the holy bread.  But, evidently, those Pharisees would have approved of what David did.  And so Jesus is showing their inconsistency in several different ways.  Verse twelve again, How much then is a man of more value than a sheep?  Wherefore it is lawful to do good on the Sabbath day.  And then he saith to the man, Stretch forth thine hand.  And he stretched it forth; and he was restored whole, as the other.  But the Pharisees went out, and took counsel against him, how they might destroy him. 


Write down by the end of verse fourteen, Mark chapter two.  And let us turn to Mark chapter two and read Mark's parallel.  Mark two beginning with verse twenty‑three, And it came to pass, that he was going on the Sabbath through the grain fields; and his disciples began, as they went, to pluck the ears.  And the Pharisees said unto him, Behold, why do they on the Sabbath day do that which is not lawful?  And he said unto them, Did you never read what David did, when he had need, and was hungry, he, and they that were with him?  How he entered into the house of God when Abiathar was high priest, and ate the shewbread, which is not lawful to eat but for the priests, and gave also to them that were with him?  And he said unto them, The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath.  You remember when God gave the people of Israel the Sabbath day to keep, as given in Deuteronomy chapter five.  It was because they had been slaves in the land of Egypt and he gave them a day of rest in remembrance of their slavery in Egypt.  I tell my wife that I have a scriptural right to keep the Sabbath, because I have been in bondage to her for sixty years.Verse twenty‑eight, So the Son of man is Lord even of the Sabbath.  (A brief recess was taken.) 

Chapter Three

We were reading from the parallel of Mark chapter two.  We finished chapter two, and we are ready to read further in chapter three of Mark.  And he entered again into the synagogue; and there was a man there who had a hand withered.  And they watched him, whether he would heal him on the sabbath day; that they might accuse him.  And I guess they really talked to people, that it was wrong to do this and wrong to do the other, that the law had not specified that it was wrong, and they thought that they would show that Jesus is not God because the violated the law.  And he saith unto the man that had his hand withered, Stand forth.  And he saith unto them, Is it lawful on the sabbath day to do good or to do harm?  To save a life, or to kill?  But they held their peace.  So he asked the man to stand forth.  I think that would mean to stand up, wouldn't it, so that all could see it.  The footnote in my Bible says, arise unto the midst.  So he has the man to stand up and ask the question, is it lawful for a man on the Sabbath to do good or to do harm, to save a life or to kill.  They were evidently afraid to answer.  But they held their peace.  And when he looked round about on them with anger.  Notice again how the writer's compliment each other.  Matthew did not tell about him seeing the hardening of their hearts, and it makes him angry.  And when he had looked round about on them with anger, being grieved at the hardening of their hearts, he saith unto the man, Stretch forth thine hand.  And he stretched it forth:  And his hand was restored.  And the Pharisees went out, and straightway with the Herodians took counsel against him, how that they might destroy him. 


Their attempt to destroy him had to do with asking about the tax money as to whether they should pay taxes to Caesar or not.  The Herodians, were from the rulers. They thought that they had another question that he just couldn't answer, that it would definitely show that he was wrong.  At the end of verse six there in Mark, please write down Luke 6:1.  Then we will turn and read Luke's account. 


Reading from Luke 6:1, And it came to pass on the sabbath, that he was going through the grain fields; and his disciples plucked the ears, and did eat, rubbing them in their hands.  They would be getting the husk off of the grain.  But certain of the Pharisees said, Why do ye that which is not lawful to do on the Sabbath day?  Jesus answering them said, Have ye not read even this, what David did, when he was hungry, he and the men that were with him:  How he entered into the house of God.  It is talking about the tabernacle that was set up at Shiloh (Joshua 18:1).  And took and ate of the shewbread, and gave also to them that were with him:  Which it is not lawful to eat save for the priests alone?  And he saith unto them, The Son of man is Lord of the Sabbath.  And it came to pass on another Sabbath.  That is something the others did not say. 


We would think from reading from Matthew and Mark that it was the same Sabbath.  But Luke says that it was another Sabbath.  And you say, “well, there is a conflict, there is a contradiction”!  No, the others did not say whether it was the same Sabbath or another Sabbath, but Luke tells us it was another Sabbath.  And it came to pass on another Sabbath, that he entered into the synagogue and taught:  And there was a man there and his right hand was withered.  I believe that is peculiar to Luke.  Yeah, remember he is the physician.  And he observes closely all those things that have to do with health, and he sees like another person wouldn't see, so he sees that it is his right hand.  And the scribes and the Pharisees watched him, whether he would heal on the Sabbath; that they might find how to accuse him.  But he knew their thoughts.  Please remember that  he knows the thoughts of every individual today.  The statement is made, he needed not that any should testify of  man, for he knew what was in man.  And so he knew their thoughts, and that is the reason he is angry.  Some think it is even wrong to get angry.  But remember how Paul said, be angry and sin not.  Let not the sun go down upon your wrath, (Ephesians 4:26). So the thing that is wrong is for a man not to control his anger.  If you find a man that you cannot make angry or mad, then chances are that you do not have a real man.  You just have a fellow wearing britches, but a man has to learn how to control his anger.  And one thing that is stated there, do not let the sun go  down upon your wrath.  I have violated that, especially before I obeyed the gospel.  And I know what that will lead to.  If you go to bed mad, and just about every time you think about the matter, if not every time, and  the more you think about it, the madder you will get.  And the scribes and the Pharisees watched him, whether he would heal on the Sabbath; that they might find how to accuse him.  But he knew their thoughts, and he said to the man that had the hand withered, Rise up, and stand forth in the midst.  So Luke's account says stand forth in the midst.  And he arose and stood forth.  Then Jesus said unto them, I ask you; Is it lawful on the Sabbath to do good or to do harm, to save a life, or to destroy?  And he looked about on them all, and he said unto him, Stretch forth thy hand.  And he did so:  and his hand was restored.  But they were filled with madness.  (Talking about the Pharisees)  And communed one with another what they might do to Jesus. 


Now, back to Matthew chapter twelve.  And verse fourteen was the conclusion there of Matthew.  But the Pharisees went out, and took counsel against him, that they might destroy him.  Well, what did Jesus do?  He left, He did  what he told the disciples to do.  When they are ready to persecute you, flee to another city.  And Jesus perceiving it, withdrew from thence:  And many followed him, and he healed them all; and charged them that they should not make him known:  That it might be fulfilled which was spoken through Isaiah the prophet.  And again, remember how Matthew quotes from the prophets to show that what Jesus is doing is a fulfillment of what the prophets had said that he would do.  And this one is from Isaiah chapter forty‑two beginning with verse one.  Behold my servant, whom I have chosen.  (Talking, of course, about Christ)  My beloved, in whom my soul is well pleased:  I will put my Spirit upon him, and he shall declare judgment to the Gentiles.  He shall not strive, nor cry aloud; neither shall any one hear his voice in the streets. 


So the Old Testament prophet in substance is saying that Jesus will not be a rabble‑raiser.  He will not put on any public demonstrations. Think of the various groups today that claim that they are following Christ when they get out and sit down in the streets or do something on that order and raise a big outcry and cause division among the people of the community.  Well, when men really follow Christ, they will not be guilty of doing things that way.  He will not strive, nor cry aloud; neither shall any one hear his voice in the streets.  A bruised reed shall he not break, and smoking flax shall not he quenched.   I believe one of the other parallels, instead of smoking flax, says a dimly burning wick he will not quench.  Let us turn back to Isaiah forty‑two.  I believe there it may be about the wick.  Isaiah forty‑two beginning with verse one, Behold my servant, whom I uphold, mine chosen, in whom my soul delighteth; I have put my Spirit upon him: And he will bring forth justice to the Gentiles.  He will not cry, nor lift up his voice, nor cause it to be heard in the street. A bruised reed will he not break, and a dimly burning wick will he not quench:  He will bring forth justice and truth.  He will not fail nor be discouraged, till he have set justice in the earth:  And the isles shall wait for his law.  (Of course, that is the New Testament)  Thus saith Jehovah, he that created the heavens and stretched them forth; he that spread abroad the earth, and that which cometh out of it; he that giveth breath unto the people upon it, and spirit to them that walk therein:  I Jehovah have called thee in righteousness and will hold thine hand, and will keep thee, and give thee for a covenant of the people.  (And that covenant is the New Testament)  For a light of the Gentiles.  The New Testament law is a light for all people.  To open the blind eyes, and to bring out  the prisoners from the dungeon, and them that sit in darkness out of the prison house.  They were imprisoned in the prison of darkness of sin and despair, but Christ would  bring them out of the devil's prison house.  I am Jehovah, that is my name:  And my glory will I not give to another, neither my praise unto graven images.  Behold, the former things are come to pass, and now things do I declare:  Before they spring forth I tell you of them.  And that is one of the things about God, sometimes telling things centuries before they occured, telling of them beforehand, before they come to pass.  Behold the former things are come to pass, and new things do I declare:  Before they spring forth I tell you of them.  Why the difference in Matthew’s account and what  is recorded in Isaiah forty‑two?  I guess the difference would be Isaiah’s is in Hebrew and Matthew ‘s account is in Greek. The Septuagint is  the Greek translation from the Hebrew, and  I guess that would account for some difference in the reading.


Consider the reading of Isaiah 42:3, A bruised reed will he not break.  And a dimly burning wick will he not quench.  He will bring forth justice and truth to the Gentiles.  What do you think of the meaning of that verse?  A bruised reed, probably beginning to fall over, but he will not break it off.  What would he do?  And what would that dimly burning wick represent? Do you remember the days of the old kerosene lamp when the wick would be burned up or the kerosene given out and it would be barely burning?  Sometimes you would have to take the scissors and cut off the burnt part of the wick and then turn the wick up more.  Of course, it was a matter of running out of oil, and kerosene was called coal oil when I was a boy.   It was not until 1941 when we had electricity on the farm.  The meaning of it must be that any person that has any spiritual life in them, the Lord will aid in giving them more spiritual light and more life.  He would not break that bruised reed, but he will try to strengthen it ,and that dimly burning wick, he  will try to make it burn brighter.  And so, again, good figurative language, describing the work of Christ.


So continuing the reading in Matthew 12:20, A bruised reed shall he not break, and smoking flax shall he not quench, till he send forth judgment unto victory.  And in his name shall the Gentiles hope.  And remember Acts 4:12, where Peter said to the Sanhedrin there is no other name given under heaven that is given among men, whereby we must be saved (Acts 4:12).  Verse twenty‑two, Then was brought unto him one possessed with a demon, and blind, and dumb:  And he healed him, insomuch that the dumb man spake and saw.  And all the multitudes were amazed, and said, Can this be the son of David?  They knew that the Christ was to be a son of David as given through the prophets (Jeremiah 23:5-6; Isaiah 11:1-5).  They had knowledge of those scriptures, saying, that God would raise up unto David a righteous branch, and he would reign as king and deal wisely.  And this is the name by which he shall be called, Jehovah our righteousness, Jeremiah 23:5-6.  But when the Pharisees heard it, they saith this man does not cast out demons by Beelzebub the prince of the demons.  And knowing their thoughts.  We read  statements like that a number of times, he knowing their thoughts.  He said unto them, Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and every city or house divided against itself shall not stand.  You know there are still a lot of people in America that think that statement originated with Abraham Lincoln, when he debated with Steven Douglas in a Senate race.  The debate had to do with an Enabling Act that was before Congress, when the slavery issue had become a real big issue in Congress.  I believe they had adopted the policy that they would try to keep the slave states and the free states balanced, and anytime they would admit a slave state, they would admit a free state or vice versa. Anyway, it was in that setting that Lincoln came with what has been called his  House‑divided Speech, in which he said that they would not continue that way, half‑slave and half‑free, that every kingdom divided against itself could not stand, and that they  would either become all slave or all free. Lincoln lost the election, but later was elected president, and  saw it carried out then that the country could not stay divided.  I am not saying that he was the cause of it, but at least he was president when the civil war came.


Let us read 12:26 again,  And if Satan castest out Satan, he is divided against himself; how then shall his kingdom stand?  You see they had accused him of casting out demons by the power of the devil.  And Jesus answered, if I am doing that, then Satan is divided, how can he stand?  If Satan cast out Satan, he is divided against himself.  How then shall his kingdom stand.  The theme of the Revelation is that on going conflict between right and wrong, truth and falsehood, righteous and unrighteous, and Christ’s servants and Satan’s servants, and that Christ and his servants will be victorious, and Satan and his servants will finally be cast into the lake of fire (Revelation 20:11-15) And if I by Beelzebub cast out demons, by whom do your sons cast them out?  Therefore shall they be your judges.  Well, they surely would not say that they were casting them out the same way that Christ was.  But if I by the Spirit of God cast out demons, then is the kingdom of God come upon you.  Or how can one enter into the house of a strong man, and spoil his goods, except he first bind the strong man?  And then he will spoil his goods.  By the casting out of demons, Jesus was in that process of destroying that strong man, and that strong man, of course, is Satan, and then his death and resurrection marked that victory over death (Hebrews 2:14; I John 3:8).


Matthew 12:30,   He that is not with me is against me; and he that gathereth not with me scattereth.  Well, the Pharisees surely were not gathering with him.  They were against him.  And remember, again, that every accountable person is gathering with Christ or they are scattering.  Many people think that they can just be neutral, but there are many references which teach to the contrary.  Every accountable person stands in one or the other categories, either gathered with the Lord or scattering seed for the devil’s increase.  Therefore I say unto you, Every sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men:  But the blasphemy against the Spirit shall not be forgiven. 


In particular here, they had accused him of casting out demons by the power of the demons.  So they were blaspheming the third person of the Godhead, the Holy Spirit.  Whosoever shall speak aword against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him, but whosoever shall speak against the Holy Spirit, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, nor in that which is to come.  Either make the tree good, and the fruit good; or make the tree corrupt, and his fruit corrupt:  For the tree is known by his fruit.  Ye offspring of vipers, how can ye, being evilspeak good things for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh.   Jesus condemned the scribes and Pharisees in his teaching more that any other group of people, and they were at the head of the list in their “ holier than thou” disposition. They were continually looking down on others.  Like the Pharisee in the temple, Lord, look how good I am.  I fast twice in the week and I give tithes of all that I get ,  and I am not like this publican over here. 


Matthew 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.  If you hear a man from day unto day speaking, his speech will soon tell you what kind of person he is.  I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give an account thereof in the day of judgment.  For by thy words, thou shalt be justified.  They come forth from the heart, from the thinking of man.  And remember Proverbs 4:23, Keep thy heart with all diligence, for out of it are the issues of life.  So a man is a product of his thinking.  Do you remember the words of Paul in the twelfth chapter of the book of Romans.  Be not conformed to this world, but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is the good, perfect and acceptable will of God.  We need to keep our minds renewed by studying and reflecting upon the meaning of the word of God.  For by thy word shall thou be justified; and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.  Then certain of the scribes and of the Pharisees answered, saying, Teacher, we would see a sign from thee.  Of all the signs he had given them, and when he gave one,  they were ready to kill him, but here, they are trying to make it appear as though they have not seen enough to know that he is the Christ.  We would see a sign from thee.  And he answered, and said unto them, An evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given to it, but  the sign of Jonah the prophet.  For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of a whale; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. 


I remember a debate between Brother Leonard Johnson and a preacher who claimed miraculous power. There were some in the audience who needed body parts restored and brother Johnson kept saying, “Show your power by healing these people.” Of course he was a fake just like all other so called miraculous healers, and he started running up and down the isle shouting this passage, and brother Johnson replied, “Just go ahead and perform that one. That will suffice!” And so Jesus is saying the sign that I will give you is that I will be raised up the third day.  Just like Jonah was vomited out of that whale's belly, or that fish that God prepared on the third day, I will come forth from the grave on the third day. 


The men of Nineveh shall stand up in judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it.  How?  For they repented at the preaching of Jonah; and, behold, a greater than Jonah is here.  Now, I would like for you to think about that statement.  Jonah was that unwilling foreign evangelist.  When God told him to go to Nineveh, he caught a ship and went in the other direction.  The storm came and Jonah was asleep and the mariners awoke him about the matter and finally he got around to telling them that God had sent the storm because of his disobedience and if they would throw him overboard that the storm would cease. They tried to keep from having to throw him overboard, but they finally threw him overboard, and then the fish swallowed him.  Jonah was the first deep‑sea diver, don't you think?   He prayed unto the Lord  out of the belly of the whale, and God had the whale to vomit out Jonah upon the dry land and told him to go and preach to the Ninevites.  Jonah went, and preached that short message that God gave him to preach, Yet forty days and Nineveh shall be overthrown.  Do you think he preached that message with a spirit of kindness?  I do not think so!  He was preaching that short sermon in that spirit that I will be glad when he destroys it.  Yet forty days and Nineveh shall be overthrown, and how happy I will be. 


The government leaders of Israel and Jonah were already viewing Nineveh, the capital of Assyria, as a threat to Israel, and  he did not want the Ninevites to be saved.  The Ninevites heard and repented and God did not destroy Nineveh which really disappointed that unwilling foreign evangelist.  It looks like some brethren today think that if a preacher does not present everything in a very positive way, with a lot of beautiful and encouraging language, that they are under no obligation to hear it.   We surely need to speak the truth in love and with a good spirit, but at the same time, if a man is preaching the truth, all of us better hear it, and obey the instruction. Paul speaks of how some in Rome were preaching the gospel in Philippians 1:15-18. Some were preaching Christ of envey and strife and some of good will , but Paul was still glad Christ is proclaimed. Why? Both groups were speaking the truth, and the truth will save those who obey even if given in a wrong spirit by the preacher.


I hope you will find a good place to write down I Kings 10:1‑10 which is about the queen of Sheba going to hear the wisdom of Solomon.


Matthew 12:42, The queen of the south shall rise up in judgment with this generation.  And shall condemn it.  For she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon and, behold, greater than Solomon is here. Let us turn to I Kings, chapter ten and read about this queen of the south that the writer is talking about.  Do you remember that she concluded that she did not believe it until she came and saw it with her own eyes?  When she saw it with her own eyes, she found that the wisdom of Solomon was even much greater than she had heard.  I Kings chapter ten beginning with verse one, Now when the queen of Sheba heard of the fame of Solomon concerning the name of the Lord, she came to test him with hard questions.  She came to Jerusalem with a very great train, with camels bearing spices, and very much gold, and precious stones:  And when she came to Solomon, she told him all that was on her mind.  She asked him many questions to see if he had all that wisdom.  And Solomon answered all of her questions.  There was nothing hid from the king, which he could not explain to her.  And when the queen of Sheba had seen all the wisdom of Solomon, the house that he had built, the food of his table. 


Are you aware of the food on his table each day, as given in I Kings ‑‑ What chapter is it?  In chapter four. If you have not read about that, it would be an interesting reading to turn to I Kings four and begin with verse seven and read about what kind of table was served every day during Solomon's kingship.  Back to I Kings 10:4, When the queen of Sheba had seen all the wisdom of Solomon, the house that he had built, the food of his table, the seating of his officials, and the attendance of his servants, and their clothing.  Clothing even of the servants.  His cupbearers, and his burnt offerings which he offered at the house of the Lord; there was no spirit in her.  And she said to the king, The report was true, which I heard in mine own land of your fathers and of your wisdom.  But I did not believe the reports until I came, and mine own eyes had seen it.  And, behold, the half was not told me:  Your wisdom and prosperity surpassed the report which I heard.  Happy are your wives, happy are your servants who continually stand before you, and hear your wisdom.  Blessed be the Lord your God who has delighted in you, and set you on the throne of Israel:  Because the Lord loved Israel for ever, he has made you king, that you may execute justice and righteousness.  Then she gave the king a hundred and twenty talents of gold, and a very great quantity of spices and precious stones:  Never again came such an abundance of spices as these which the queen of Sheba gave to Solomon. 


I think it makes it more interesting and more meaningful when we turn back and read more Old Testament passages that New Testament passages are based on. Do you agree?  It looks like that is about the only way we are going to get members of the church to have much knowledge of the Old Testament scriptures today is to turn back and do a lot of reading, and I try to do that anywhere I am teaching, whether here or at church.  We need to be familiar not only with the New Testament, but with the Old Testament scriptures.  Verse forty‑two again, The queen of the south shall rise up in judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it:  For she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and behold, a greater than Solomon is here.  Jesus is talking about himself as the greater than Solomon.  You remember God had given Solomon great wisdom.  When God asked him what he wanted.  He reasoned that I am but a child, and I do not know how to rule all of these people and he asked the Lord to give him wisdom, and God gave him great wisdom. 


Matthew 12:43, But the unclean spirit when he has gone out of the man, passeth through waterless places, seeking rest, and findeth it not.  Then he saith, I will return unto my house, from whence I came out; and when he is come, he findeth it empty, swept, and garnished.  Then goeth he, and taketh with himself seven of the other spirits more evil than himself, and they enter in and dwell there:  And the last state of that man becometh worse than the first. Even so shall it also be unto this evil generation. Well, what is the thrust of this parable of the unclean spirit?  Of course, Jesus is casting out unclean spirits, but he states the spirit, as stated here, passeth through waterless places, and does not find any rest, and so he decides he will go back to the house that he was cast out of, and he finds the house empty, swept, and garnished.  And he goes and taketh with himself seven other spirits more evil than himself, and enter in and dwells there, and the state of that man becometh worse than the first.  Even so shall it be also to this evil generation.  This short parable is surely emphasizing that there is to be positive goodness along with negative goodness.  It is not enough for a child of God to just stop doing evil.  He must replace evil with good or else the house is left empty.  Our time is up.