What does Matthew 12:13 mean?
ESV: Then he said to the man, "Stretch out your hand." And the man stretched it out, and it was restored, healthy like the other.
NIV: Then he said to the man, "Stretch out your hand." So he stretched it out and it was completely restored, just as sound as the other.
NASB: Then He *said to the man, 'Stretch out your hand!' He stretched it out, and it was restored to normal, like the other.
CSB: Then he told the man, "Stretch out your hand." So he stretched it out, and it was restored, as good as the other.
NLT: Then he said to the man, 'Hold out your hand.' So the man held out his hand, and it was restored, just like the other one!
KJV: Then saith he to the man, Stretch forth thine hand. And he stretched it forth; and it was restored whole, like as the other.
NKJV: Then He said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” And he stretched it out, and it was restored as whole as the other.
Verse Commentary:
To trap Jesus, a group of Pharisees have asked whether it is lawful to heal on the Sabbath. The heart of the question is whether non-life-saving healing involves work. That would make it a violation of the letter of the fourth commandment (Exodus 20:8–10). Unless the person is in life-or-death need of help, the Pharisees say healing is unlawful.

Jesus has countered that it is lawful to do good on the Sabbath, providing an illustration of a sheep that falls into a pit. Who would not show mercy by bending to help that sheep out? His point is that while the literal words of the law have meaning, they also have intent—and God's intent was not to choose evil over good for the sake of legalism (James 4:17).

The man with the withered hand has not said or done anything. In a very real sense, this conversation is not about him. It involves him, but it's not even tied to his faith, the subject of so many of Jesus' miraculous healings. The sense of this scene is that everyone present believes Jesus can heal this man's hand whenever He wants to. Even the Pharisees seem to believe this, cynically hoping for a miracle so they can condemn the miracle-worker!

Jesus, though, has reframed their trap into a question of doing good or doing evil, of showing mercy or refusing to do so. Jesus now acts in mercy. He tells the man to stretch out his hand. When he does so, the man's hand is restored, as healthy as his other one. He has been healed on the Sabbath in the synagogue by the Messiah.
Verse Context:
Matthew 12:9–14 finds Jesus and His disciples in the synagogue, encountering a man with a withered hand. The Pharisees once again attempt to trick Jesus. They ask if it's lawful to heal on the Sabbath, since healing is "work," and the law supposedly forbids it. Jesus asks if they would leave one of their sheep in a pit if it fell in on the Sabbath, emphasizing that people are more valuable than sheep. Jesus insists that it is lawful to do good on the Sabbath and fully heals the man's hand in an instant. The Pharisees walk out and deepen their conspiracy to destroy Jesus.
Chapter Summary:
Matthew 12 features confrontations between the Pharisees and Jesus over several issues. Among these are working on the Sabbath, healing on the Sabbath, and the source of His power to cast out demons. Jesus counters each argument and rebukes the Pharisees sharply for their obstinate unbelief. He even notes that those who maliciously ascribe His miracles to demons are unforgivable. He warns them, and the rest of their current generation, about the judgment to come. Jesus calls the Pharisees a brood of vipers and rejects their demand for another miracle. All they'll be promised is the sign of Jonah. The Son of Man will be in the heart of the earth for three days. Jesus also states that all who do His Father's will are His family.
Chapter Context:
Matthew 11 depicted Jesus preaching and teaching after sending out His chosen disciples in pairs in chapter 10. Chapter 12 immediately picks up with more confrontation with the Pharisees. Jesus responds to those criticisms and rebukes their evil hearts as the source of their evil words. In the following chapter, Matthew will shift His focus onto Jesus' parables.
Book Summary:
The Gospel of Matthew clearly shows the influence of its writer's background, and his effort to reach a specific audience. Matthew was one of Jesus' twelve disciples, a Jewish man, and a former tax collector. This profession would have required literacy, and Matthew may have transcribed some of Jesus' words as they were spoken. This book is filled with references to the Old Testament, demonstrating to Israel that Jesus is the Promised One. Matthew also includes many references to coins, likely due to his former profession. Matthew records extensive accounts of Jesus' teaching, more than the other three Gospels.
Accessed 6/13/2024 1:06:47 PM
© Copyright 2002-2024 Got Questions Ministries. All rights reserved.
Text from ESV, NIV, NASB, CSB, NLT, KJV, NKJV © Copyright respective owners, used by permission.
www.BibleRef.com