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Gospel of Matthew – Lord of the Sabbath and Legalism

***Audio is acceptable, but improves after the first 5 minutes***

Today we will examine how Jesus demonstrates right exegesis that leads to freedom and joy in Christ, as opposed to legalistic interpretation, which is a device of the devil. We will spend our application section identifying legalism. We’ll cover Matthew 12:1-14. Here is a foretaste:

  1. Sabbath Keeping – Rest or Burden?
  2. Jesus’ Good Exegesis
    1. first example
    2. second example
    3. third example
  3. God’s Approval of Jesus
  4. Legalism and You
    1. Legalism is a burden
    2. Legalism demands more than the Bible demands
    3. Legalism seeks holiness through outward conformity
    4. Legalism tempts us to judge our brothers and sisters
    5. Legalism is projected upon others
    6. Legalism isolates
    7. Legalism leads to either pride, or despair and shame
  5. The Solution

Public reading: Romans 8:1-11; Benediction: 2 Timothy 4:22

Matthew 12:1-14

12:1 At that time Jesus went through the grainfields on the Sabbath. His disciples were hungry, and they began to pluck heads of grain and to eat. But when the Pharisees saw it, they said to him, “Look, your disciples are doing what is not lawful to do on the Sabbath.” He said to them, “Have you not read what David did when he was hungry, and those who were with him: how he entered the house of God and ate the bread of the Presence, which it was not lawful for him to eat nor for those who were with him, but only for the priests? Or have you not read in the Law how on the Sabbath the priests in the temple profane the Sabbath and are guiltless? I tell you, something greater than the temple is here. And if you had known what this means, ‘I desire mercy, and not sacrifice,’ you would not have condemned the guiltless. For the Son of Man is lord of the Sabbath.”

He went on from there and entered their synagogue. 10 And a man was there with a withered hand. And they asked him, “Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath?”—so that they might accuse him. 11 He said to them, “Which one of you who has a sheep, if it falls into a pit on the Sabbath, will not take hold of it and lift it out? 12 Of how much more value is a man than a sheep! So it is lawful to do good on the Sabbath.” 13 Then he said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” And the man stretched it out, and it was restored, healthy like the other. 14 But the Pharisees went out and conspired against him, how to destroy him. (ESV)

Romans 8:1-11

8:1 There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death. For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do. By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law; indeed, it cannot. Those who are in the flesh cannot please God.

You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him. 10 But if Christ is in you, although the body is dead because of sin, the Spirit is life because of righteousness. 11 If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you. (ESV)

2 Timothy 4:22

22 The Lord be with your spirit. Grace be with you. (ESV)