Thursday, January 13, 2022
28-29 “But if it’s by God’s power that I am sending the evil spirits packing, then God’s kingdom is here for sure. How in the world do you think it’s possible in broad daylight to enter the house of an awake, able-bodied man and walk off with his possessions unless you tie him up first? Tie him up, though, and you can clean him out.
30 “This is war, and there is no neutral ground. If you’re not on my side, you’re the enemy; if you’re not helping, you’re making things worse.
31-32 “There’s nothing done or said that can’t be forgiven. But if you deliberately persist in your slanders against God’s Spirit, you are repudiating the very One who forgives. If you reject the Son of Man out of some misunderstanding, the Holy Spirit can forgive you, but when you reject the Holy Spirit, you’re sawing off the branch on which you’re sitting, severing by your own perversity all connection with the One who forgives.
-Matthew 12:28-32 The Message
Verse 28: But if I cast out the demons by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God has come upon you.
Verse 29: Or, how can anyone enter the strong man’s house and carry off his property, unless he first ties up the strong man? And then he will plunder his house.
Verse 29 study: When Jesus was born, Satan’s powers and control were disrupted. Remember that Jesus outpowered the devil’s temptation in the wilderness when he was fasting, and he defeated Satan’s main weapon, death. Jesus was resurrected. Satan will be constrained forever according to Revelations 20:10, and evil will no longer rule the earth. Jesus has complete power and authority over Satan and his forces.
The Unpardonable Sin
Verse 30: The one who is not with Me is against Me; the one who does not gather with Me scatters.
Verse 30 study: When you are deciding to join Christ, you can’t be neutral. Those who don’t actively follow Christ are rejecting him. Anybody who wants to remain neutral in the struggle of good against evil is choosing to be separate from God, who is alone is good. To refuse to follow Christ to choose to be on Satan’s team.
Verse 31: “Therefore I say to you, every sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven people, but blasphemy against the Spirit shall not be forgiven.
Verse 32: And whoever speaks a word against the Son of Man, it shall be forgiven him; but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit, it shall not be forgiven him, either in this age or in the age to come.
Verses 31-32 studies: The Pharisees blasphemed against the Spirit by attributing the power by which Christ did miracles to Satan (12:24) instead of the Holy Spirit. This unpardonable sin is one of many ways of refusing to acknowledge God’s power in Christ. This shows no reverse and hardness of the heart. Sometimes, followers worry they have accidentally committed this unforgivable sin. Only those who turned their backs on God and rejected faith have any need to worry. Jesus said they can’t be forgiven, but it is not because the sin is worse than any other, but because they never asked for forgiveness. Whoever rejects the attention of the Holy Spirit removes themselves from the only force that can lead them to repentance and restoration to God.
1 John 3:8
Mark 9:40; Luke 9:50; 11:23
Luke 12:10; Matthew 13:22, 39; Mark 10:30; Luke 16:8; 18:30; 20:34, 35
Father, every day, we go through some sort of doubt, even in you. Will you ever come through? Why am I going through this situation? We may not understand that you are preparing for us to be better and ready for the future. Let us open our hearts to be prepared. In Jesus’ name. Amen.