Some commentators call this the busy day. Again, the crowds press Jesus. Again, he is healing the sick and exorcising devils. The press of the crowd is so great they cannot even eat. His family hears and go to him. The Pharisees observe the press and accuse him of being motivated by the devil. Jesus is calm in himself. He continues to do the work. He teaches and explains and heals and delivers. When his mother and brothers arrive, they cannot break through the crowd. When Jesus hears they are there, he says, pointing to his disciples, these are my mother and brothers, these who are doing the will of my Father.
The Crowd Gathered Again
The crowds are pressing again. People had seen the healings and the deliverance of many from unclean spirits. Now in Mark 3:20 it says “the crowd gathered again, so that they were not even able to eat a meal” and this was after he went home. See the notes He Has Lost His Mind.
A Demon-possessed Man Was Brought to Him
Matthew’s account adds information for us. There was a crowd of people pressing, but this man caused a stir. In Matthew 12:21 we find the man is both blind and mute. And, it says, “he healed him”. Jesus cast out the demon and restored this man so that he could see, hear, and speak. And “The account of the healing and of the response to it (vv. 22–24) is closely parallel to 9:32–34; … especially on the unusual linking of demon-possession with a physical ailment. Here, unlike 9:33, the cure is described as ‘healing’ not as ‘casting out’”1
The crowd responds “Son of David!” in Mathew 12:22 to which the Pharisees challenge, “This man does not expel demons except by Beelzebul the ruler of demons!” in Matthew 12:24. Jesus then explains and teaches in Matthew 12:25-32. They ought to be able to recognize the difference between the power of God working for good and the destruction wrought by the devil… Jesus puts it plainly in
Matthew 12:28 (LEB) But if I expel demons by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God has come upon you!
The Tree is Known by Its Fruit
Jesus continues the message in Matthew 12:33-37. And again He says now in a different way, they ought to be able to recognize the difference between the power of God working for good and the destruction wrought by the devil… Jesus makes it plain again in
Matthew 12:35 (LEB) The good person from his good treasury brings out good things, and the evil person from his evil treasury brings out evil things.
We Want A Sign
Now, in Matthew 12:38 they say “Teacher, we want to see a sign from you!” But what is it that they had just seen? Why is it the crowds are pressing? Isn’t it because Jesus had been healing and delivering? What more sign can He give them? So Jesus uses the history of Nineveh to try to shake them. When Jonah declared God’s word to Nineveh, they repented. Jesus tells them he will rise after three days. They can’t hear him.
An Unclean Spirit
Matthew 12:43-45 records a caution from Jesus. Unclean spirits do not recognize boundaries. They will take what they can get and they are seeking human hosts to reside in as we would live in a house. But this warning goes deeper than an individual that was possessed and set free. This is a message to this generation who repented at John’s message but is falling back into even deeper bondage. After Jesus is rejected and crucified, the temple is destroyed and the people scattered.
A House Divided
Luke’s account is in line with the other accounts. Another witness to these events.
Jesus Mother and Brothers
Behold My Mother and My Brothers
Jesus mother and brothers arrive in Mark 3:31 but can’t get through the crowd. They pass a message to Him but in Mark 3:33-35 He responds by looking at those sitting near him and saying in
Mark 3:35 (LEB) For whoever does the will of God, this person is my brother and sister and mother.”
Behold My Mother and My Brothers
Matthews account is very much like the account in Mark 3:31-35 with the added gesture of “stretching out his hand toward his disciples” in Matthew 12:49.
Hear the Word of God and Do It
Luke’s account is similar but with this emphasis in
Luke 8:21 (LEB) But he answered and* said to them, “These are my mother and my brothers—the ones who hear the word of God and do it.
- Mark 3:20–30 The Crowd Gathered Again
- Matthew 12:22–32 A Demon-possessed Man Was Brought to Him
- Mark 3:31–35 Behold My Mother and My Brothers
- Mark 3:20-35
- Matthew 12:22-50
- Luke 8:19-21
- Luke 11:14-26
The Life and Ministry of Jesus Christ – The Gospels
This series follows the order of readings from the Tyndale One Year Chronological Bible. Covering these events chronologically as they happened, gives a much different context and helps us understand the move of God as He is introducing the Saviour, the Light of the world, Jesus Christ. This series begins with Return To Me And I Will Return To You at the end of Malachi and introduces the “Witnesses” writing the Gospels.
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- 1. France, R. T. (1985). Matthew: an introduction and commentary (Vol. 1, p. 211). Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.