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                        "THE GOSPEL OF MATTHEW"

                             Chapter Twelve

Opposition to Jesus and His ministry increased, spear-headed by
Pharisees who objected to Jesusí conduct on the Sabbath (1-14).  Jesus
humbly sought privacy, which fulfilled Isaiahís prophecy concerning
Godís Chosen Servant (15-21), but Pharisees followed Him making
blasphemous accusations against the Spirit and demanded a sign (22-45).
When Jesusí physical family wanted to see Him, Jesus identified His
disciples as His true family (46-50).

POINTS TO PONDER

   *  Jesus and the Sabbath day

   *  The blasphemy of the Holy Spirit

   *  The true family of God

REVIEW QUESTIONS

1) What are the main points of this chapter?
   - Controversies over the Sabbath - Mt 12:1-14
   - The humility of the Chosen Servant - Mt 12:15-21
   - Blasphemous opposition by the Pharisees - Mt 12:22-45
   - Jesusí true family - Mt 12:46-50

2) What were Jesusí disciples doing that angered the Pharisees? (1-2)
   - Plucking heads of grain to eat on the Sabbath day

3) What was Jesus doing that angered the Pharisees? (9-14)
   - Healing on the Sabbath day

4) What prophecy did Jesus fulfill warning people not to make Him known?
   (17-21)
   - That He would not quarrel or cry out (Isa 42:1-4)

5) How did the Pharisees explain Jesusí ability to cast out demons? (24)
   - He did it by the power of Beelzebub, ruler of the demons

6) What was the blasphemy of the Holy Spirit? (31-32)
   - Attributing Jesusí ability to cast out demons to having an unclean
     spirit (cf. Mk 3:30)

7) For what will one give an account in the day of judgment? (36-37)
   - Every idle word

8) What sign did Jesus say He would give to the Pharisees? (38-40)
   - The Son of Man will be three days and three nights in the heart of
     the earth

9) Who did Jesus identify as His true family? (49-50)
   - His disciples, i.e., whoever does the will of His Father in heaven
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