Wednesday, January 12, 2022
No Neutral Ground
22-23 Next, a poor demon-afflicted wretch, both blind and deaf, was set down before him. Jesus healed him, gave him his sight and hearing. The people who saw it were impressed—”This has to be the Son of David!”
24 But the Pharisees, when they heard the report, were cynical. “Black magic,” they said. “Some devil trick he’s pulled from his sleeve.”
25-27 Jesus confronted their slander. “A judge who gives opposite verdicts on the same person cancels himself out; a family that’s in a constant squabble disintegrates; if Satan banishes Satan, is there any Satan left? If you’re slinging devil mud at me, calling me a devil kicking out devils, doesn’t the same mud stick to your own exorcists?
-Matthew 12:22-27 The Message
The Pharisees Rebuked
Verse 22: Then a demon-possessed man who was blind and unable to speak was brought to Jesus, and He healed him so that the man who was unable to speak talked and could see.
Verse 23: And all the crowds were amazed and were saying, “This man cannot be the Son of David, can he?”
Verse 24: But when the Pharisees heard this, they said, “This man casts out demons only by Beelzebul, the ruler of the demons.”
Verse 24 study: In chapter 9, verse 34, the Pharisees already accused Jesus of being in league with the ruler of the demon. They were trying to discredit Jesus by using an emotional argument. When they refused to believe that Jesus came from God, they also said that Jesus was in league with Satan. Jesus exposed their foolish arguments easily.
Verse 25: And knowing their thoughts, Jesus said to them, “Every kingdom divided against itself is laid waste; and no city or house divided against itself will stand.
Verse 25 study: Jesus gave up his unlimited supernatural abilities in the incarnation. He still had profound insight into human nature. His discernment stopped the religious leaders’ attempts to trick him. We can speak to resurrected Jesus in ways we don’t realize because he knows our thoughts, so we communicate better than we believe. It is comforting to know that he knows what we really mean when we speak to him. But, it is also threatening because we can’t hide, so he knows our selfish motives.
Verse 26: And if Satan is casting out Satan, he has become divided against himself; how then will his kingdom stand?
Verse 27: And if by Beelzebul I cast out the demons, by whom do your sons cast them out? Therefore, they will be your judges.
Luke 11:14, 15; Matthew 9:32, 34; Matthew 4:24; 2 Thessalonians 2:9
Luke 11:17-22; Matthew 9:4
Matthew 4:10; 13:19
Matthew 9:34; Acts 19:13
Father, how religious leaders thought of Jesus being under Satan’s power is how non-believers feel about following you. Non-believers need our help, whether they admit it or not. I can’t imagine that their lives are not as great without you in them. So, I pray for Father today to be a shining example to non-believers worldwide. Let our light speak for us instead of our words. That is powerful than speaking words to those who refuse to listen. They can’t avoid looking. In Jesus’ name. Amen.