Matthew 12:6-10

Mat 12:6 (KJB)
But I say unto you, That in this place is one greater than the temple.

The tabernacle and the temple were only foreshadows of the Lord Jesus Christ. They were not to supersede the authority of the Lord of the temple. He is far superior than the temple. The temple was seen as the centerpiece of Israel and to belong to the temple meant you are part of the community in good standing. Here Jesus states that the temple is ancillary to Him. The temple and tabernacle were set up so God could meet His people in the Holy of Holies, but now the Lord Jesus Christ has come to earth and has come to meet with His people. The temple was only a building and could not bring eternal life because it was a place of sacrifice for sin. No one ever became saved in the temple or tabernacle. Therein lies the difference, Jesus could grant eternal salvation and that makes Him greater than the temple. The animal sacrifices in the temple and tabernacle temporarily atoned for the sins of Israel but the sacrifice of the Lord Jesus Christ atoned and removed the sin from the true believer, thus making Him superior to the temple system.

Mat 12:7 (KJB)
But if ye had known what this meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice, ye would not have condemned the guiltless.

Jesus then quotes from the Scriptures for another lesson for them. (Hosea 6:6 KJV) For I desired mercy, and not sacrifice; and the knowledge of God more than burnt offerings. The Pharisees had placed more emphasis on sacrifice and doing the ritual and ceremonial part of the law, that they neglected the fact that God desires mercy from His people. As a result of their cold interpretation of the law, they were quick to condemn the disciples and soon would condemn Jesus. Since the disciples did not do anything to violate the law, Jesus told the Pharisees that they were condemning the guiltless. That is exactly what they would do to the Lord Jesus Christ in about a year. The Pharisees by their cold approach to the law were in constant violation of the law themselves. (Exo 20:16 KJV) Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour. Before they could bring a legitimate accusation, they need to research and know the facts, if truly, a violation had occurred.

Mat 12:8 (KJB)
For the Son of man is Lord even of the sabbath day.

In the Greek, the word “kurios” (Lord) begins the statement which is in the Nominative Case making it the subject. What is in view here is that the Lord Jesus Christ is superior or Lord over the law and that includes the sabbath. He is the master and the law is His servant. The law will judge all unbelievers on the last day. Since Jesus was the great lawgiver at Sinai, He has the authority to annul parts of it at His discretion. The name “Son of man” is not to be connected with the idea that man has the authority over the law. That would be an incorrect and dangerous interpretation. The authority over the law belongs only to Jesus and no one else.

Mat 12:9 (KJB)
And when he was departed thence, he went into their synagogue:

These events did not happen on the same sabbath day. Matthew is going on to the next sabbath day. (Luke 6:6 KJV) And it came to pass also on another sabbath, that he entered into the synagogue and taught: and there was a man whose right hand was withered.

Mat 12:10 (KJB)
And, behold, there was a man which had his hand withered. And they asked him, saying, Is it lawful to heal on the sabbath days? that they might accuse him.

The previous week, the Pharisees were defeated in their attempt to accuse Jesus and His disciples of breaking the sabbath. So now they had in place another set up to see what Jesus would do on the sabbath. They knew that He would have compassion on someone with a serious medical condition and this man’s condition meant nothing to the Pharisees. They wanted to see if Jesus would heal on the sabbath day. If He did, then they would also have enough witnesses to bring Him before the Sanhedrin and accuse Him of violating the sabbath. They realized that if a person’s condition was so that his life was in peril, then medical help would be allowed on the sabbath but this man’s condition was not life threatening, so it was basically a set up. The other question that needs to be asked is on any other day, would they have allowed this man to be inside the temple with such a condition? I would venture to say that they would not allow him in but would make him stay in a different area and probably out of sight if possible.