God’s Saving Word: Wisdom
Matthew 12:38-50: The religious leaders demand that Jesus perform a miracle, and Jesus speaks of what happens when an evil spirit returns. Today’s passage concludes with Jesus offering a definition of what constitutes family in God’s Kingdom.
The Demand for a Miracle
38 Then some teachers of the Law and some Pharisees spoke up. “Teacher,” they said, “we want to see you perform a miracle.”
39 “How evil and godless are the people of this day!” Jesus exclaimed. “You ask me for a miracle? No! The only miracle you will be given is the miracle of the prophet Jonah. 40 In the same way that Jonah spent three days and nights in the big fish, so will the Son of Man spend three days and nights in the depths of the earth. 41 On the Judgment Day the people of Nineveh will stand up and accuse you, because they turned from their sins when they heard Jonah preach; and I tell you that there is something here greater than Jonah! 42 On the Judgment Day the Queen of Sheba will stand up and accuse you, because she traveled all the way from her country to listen to King Solomon’s wise teaching; and I assure you that there is something here greater than Solomon!
The Return of the Evil Spirit
43 “When an evil spirit goes out of a person, it travels over dry country looking for a place to rest. If it can’t find one, 44 it says to itself, ‘I will go back to my house.’ So it goes back and finds the house empty, clean, and all fixed up. 45 Then it goes out and brings along seven other spirits even worse than itself, and they come and live there. So when it is all over, that person is in worse shape than at the beginning. This is what will happen to the evil people of this day.”
Jesus’ Mother and Brothers
46 Jesus was still talking to the people when his mother and brothers arrived. They stood outside, asking to speak with him. 47 So one of the people there said to him, “Look, your mother and brothers are standing outside, and they want to speak with you.”[a]
48 Jesus answered, “Who is my mother? Who are my brothers?” 49 Then he pointed to his disciples and said, “Look! Here are my mother and my brothers! 50 Whoever does what my Father in heaven wants is my brother, my sister, and my mother.”
Today’s Key Verse: Matthew 12:50
[Jesus said:] “Whoever does what my Father in heaven wants is my brother, my sister, and my mother.”
In demanding a miracle, the religious leaders are indicating their resistance to Jesus’s teachings and Jesus’s identity as the Son of God. Responding to their demand, Jesus cites the story of Jonah (see Jonah 1—4) and how the people of Nineveh repented and turned from their sins. Why do you think Jesus used this example when responding to the religious leaders? What does Jesus say is the basis for belonging to the family of God (verse 50)?
Loving Jesus, thank you for welcoming me into God’s Kingdom and for calling me to be a member of your family. May I grow day by day in your grace and do your will so that all I say and do brings glory to you. Amen.
Matthew 13:1-17: Jesus teaches about the Kingdom of heaven by means of a parable.