A major turning point for the world


Matthew 12:14 “But the Pharisees went out and conspired against Him, as to how they might destroy Him.”

Every good story has a turning point, that moment when everything changes and there is no going back! Matthew has made his case to Jewish readers for Jesus as the King of a spiritual kingdom. Now the plot thickens as the religious leaders seek to trick Jesus so they have reason to destroy Him and squelch His growing influence on His crowd of disciples.

Like alert watchdogs, the Pharisees followed Jesus’ every move. So when He and His disciples wandered through a field of ripe grain one Sabbath day and picked some wheat kernels to staunch their hunger, these guardians of the Jewish Law set out in hot pursuit, going for blood.

“Look, Your disciples do what is not lawful to do on a Sabbath,” they growled. They didn’t accuse them of stealing because the Law made provision for the poor allowing them to pluck produce from the edges of a field. Instead, they leapt on the perceived transgression of “reaping” on the Sabbath Day.

Jesus challenged them with a familiar anecdote. Didn’t they remember their forefather, David, who entered the house of God in dire need many years ago? He and his men, pursued by their enemy, were desperately hungry. So the priest on duty gave the famished men the consecrated bread meant only for the priests to eat.

Not only this, Jesus pointed out that the priests themselves broke the Sabbath regularly as they worked in the temple to keep things running and in order. Accusing the Pharisees of misunderstanding and manipulating the Law based on their own whims, Jesus stated, “[God desires] compassion, and not a sacrifice … .” He further challenged them, “[If you understood this] you would not have condemned the innocent. For the Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath.”

Departing from the scene of this confrontation, Jesus and His disciples entered the synagogue where a man with a withered hand was conspicuously placed. It was Jesus’ turn for a pointed question. Turning to the Pharisees who had followed Him he asked, “Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath?”

Pushing His point further, Jesus raised the question of a sheep falling into a pit on the Sabbath. “Will [you] not take hold of it and lift it out? How much more valuable is a man than a sheep?”

Then turning to the incapacitated man Jesus said, “Stretch out your hand!” The man obeyed and immediately the withered hand straightened to become just like the other normal one.

The angry Pharisees tucked their tails between their legs and slunk away to make further plans. Despite the miraculous and merciful healing of this crippled man, they began to conspire against Jesus and devise a plan to kill Him. This moment was a turning point in Matthew’s narrative.

From here on out there would be no turning back. The King of Heaven was on His way to the cross.

This gut-wrenching plot twist, rather than being determined by the Pharisees, was orchestrated by the King Himself. For it was the cross and subsequent resurrection that would be the turning point of history. From that moment forward all those who would believe and put their faith in the crucified and risen King would find their own life’s story forever changed. The battle over sin would be won and the hope of glorious victory secured. From this, there would be no turning back!



Sandra Sheridan is a midwest wife and mother of five. She shares her letters to her children with our readers. Visit her at www.VersesFromMama.com.

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