[From Flagstaff, Arizona]
Two standout topics run through today’s passages. The Sabbath, and demon possession.
The Sabbath (or seventh day) is first mentioned in Genesis 2:3,
Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because in it He rested from all His work which God had created.
For the next 2,500 years there is nothing mentioned of the Sabbath. Not until Exodus 16:23 is the Sabbath revealed, and notice it is given only to the nation of Israel.
The Sabbath was to be a day of rest for Israel; a day that set them apart from the surrounding nations.
It was never a day of sacrifice, worship, or religious services–simply rest. It became (and is even today) a legalistic mess (Matthew 12:2).
Christians (Jew and Gentile) live in the dispensation of grace. Rather than the seventh day, Christians look to the first day which commemorates Christ’s resurrection. On the seventh day God rested, on the first day Jesus Christ was active and working, and still is!
Christian Law Lovers select a day (oftentimes Sunday) as a day of ‘legal’ obligation. But the first day, because of grace, is one of voluntary worship and service.
Be careful of making one day, or any day more holy and sacred than another (Colossians 3:16).
The logical progression for Law Lovers is to accuse a “law breaker” of being unholy, unchristian, or even demon possessed as was the case of the Pharisees and Jesus.
What takes place in our passage is that Jesus is offering the Kingdom to the nation, but the offer is being rejected–how could this “demon possessed” man have anything to offer strict, holy, religious law lovers? The result of this blasphemy against the Holy Spirit is that the rejected King will turn to the Gentiles (Matthew 12:18), although not until after official rejection of the risen Christ (Acts 9:15).