Confessions of a Questioning Christian

Posts Tagged ‘Sabbath

The Pharisees seem like real d-bag. I can see how they are just trying to follow the rules – it was their role in society, after all. But dang if they don’t get in the way of all the goodness that seem to be the truth within the scriptures.

Matthew 12:6: Now, is Jesus saying A) “Chill out, D-bags, you’re missing the point!” or is he saying B) “You would be right, but it’s me your talking about. For others you are correct, but I’m the Messiah so everything looks different when I’m around.” What I mean is, was he saying that it’s always okay for people to feed themselves on the Sabbath, even if it seems to go against scripture, or was he saying that it’s not okay usually, but his presence makes it an exception?

Matthew 12:11 – Maybe that’s my answer – he was saying that sometimes you have to do something, but if it is to help someone or keep them healthy, it’s permissible.

I guess this video helps put things in perspective (even though it’s kind of crappy and cheesy): Jesus was doing some amazing things, and anyone whose head wasn’t buried in the sad could see that. But the pharisees – the very people who were supposed to understand the scriptures and God the most, as well as lead the people, were actually plotting a way to get rid of him. They were plotting murder!

Matthew 12:21 – YES! Finally a reference to the rest of us!! And isn’t that a proven prophesy? Way more gentiles follow Christianity than Jews have.

I have total respect for a logical and sound argument. Gotta love Jesus for calling them out on being ridiculous. Now, verse 32 threw me for a bit of a loop. What does this mean? I read a very interesting article here. It seems to make a lot of sense. Here is the 2 cent version:

The blasphemy against the activity of the spirit means to slander by hindering the work and the activity of the spirit.

and

tem 6 in the list above provides three possible translations for Matthew 12:32; no matter which one is used, all refer to speaking against the activity of the glorified Christ in his spiritual form, which takes place after his ascension and onward.  This shows the true meaning of, “blasphemy against the Holy Spirit,” which is blasphemy against God, as He works thru Jesus Christ, as Jesus Christ works thru his body of believers, the church.

On the other hand, Matthew 12:31 refers to blasphemy against the, “Spirit,” of God, committed by the Jewish spiritual leaders known as the Pharisees.  The “Holy Spirit” did not yet exist, as we recall from earlier in the study in John 7:39, which says the Holy Spirit was not given until after Jesus was glorified.  The Pharisees blasphemed against, “the Spirit,” of God, (Yahweh) as He healed the sick by performing miracles thru His son, Jesus the Messiah (i.e. – the man Christ).

I article talks about how we all sin – in great distress and pain, probably most people have told God how angry they are at him, or maybe sworn at him or dismissed him or any other thing you shouldn’t say or do when you’re talking to God. But those are all forgivable. This person write that it’s the act of actually plotting against or trying to undermine the work of the Holy Spirit in someone’s life. Which makes a lot of sense. (But then again, didn’t even Paul do that when he persecuted the Jews before Jesus came to him?)

I’ve always enjoyed the comparison about good and bad fruits. And verse 36 and 37 are good reminders to me. I have a bad habit of complaining about people when I’m alone with my husband or a close friend. My feeble defense is simply that there are things that people do that bother me, and I just want to bitch about those things to release some of my own personal bitterness. When I do, it’s not usually a character complaint – I know that I’m super flawed too. However, I need to knock it off.

The sign of Jonah is cool. Ha!

Okay, let’s talk about this unclean spirit. Does this strike anyone else as Jesus speaking in his parabolic way? When I was growing up we were taught about how if you do an exorcist on a demon-possessed person, but that person isn’t a Christian, it’s pointless because this verse says that seven more will come back.  Here are my issues with this: I’ve never met a demon-possessed person, if demon-possessed people are anything like those described as crazy evil in the New Testament. I’ve never been privy to any exorcisms or anything. And finally: this really does seem something more like Jesus speaking as in a parable, or saying something more like, “When you try to kick a bad habit but you aren’t committed to changing your life, it’s going to come back and be even worse.” That doesn’t seem like such a far off base interpretation, does it? It still fits with his threat to the current generation…

I always found the way Jesus treated his mom and brothers in this verse a little cruel, but I’m sure that I’m missing the point. It sort of seems like he’s posturing in front of his friends, too, but again, I know that’s not the point.

Lingering Questions:

  • Was Jesus saying that it’s okay to break the Sabbath to do certain things, or was he simply making a point that he was the one who fulfilled all the rules, so it was pointless to accuse him of breaking the rules because he made them?
  • Does anyone else have a different interpretation on blaspheming the Holy Spirit?
  • Didn’t Paul blaspheme the Holy Spirit by persecuting Christians before he became one? So was he forgiven?
  • What do you think about Jesus talking about seven spirits returning? Is my interpretation wrong?
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