Matthew 12:22-32 Jesus and the Devil

22 Then they brought him a demon-possessed man who was blind and mute, and Jesus healed him, so that he could both talk and see. 23 All the people were astonished and said, “Could this be the Son of David?”

24 But when the Pharisees heard this, they said, “It is only by Beelzebul, the prince of demons, that this fellow drives out demons.”

25 Jesus knew their thoughts and said to them, “Every kingdom divided against itself will be ruined, and every city or household divided against itself will not stand. 26 If Satan drives out Satan, he is divided against himself. How then can his kingdom stand? 27 And if I drive out demons by Beelzebul, by whom do your people drive them out? So then, they will be your judges. 28 But if it is by the Spirit of God that I drive out demons, then the kingdom of God has come upon you.

29 “Or again, how can anyone enter a strong man’s house and carry off his possessions unless he first ties up the strong man? Then he can plunder his house.

30 “Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters. 31 And so I tell you, every kind of sin and slander can be forgiven, but blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven. 32 Anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but anyone who speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come.

Jesus and the Devil

Jesus, again it is hard to understand how the one that we have worshiped as God for 2000 years was confused at not even Beelzebub but as one of his servants.  How did you not just leave a grease stain where they were standing?  It is interesting to see that Beelzebub means Lord of the Flies or Lord of Manure.  So the Pharisees are equating You with manure.  I am thinking whether I would stand so boldly against someone as to condemn their actions as evil in this way.  I am thinking who I would call possessed.  I guess if someone was murdering babies, sacrificing chickens and black cats, or gaining all the power they could for themselves.  Aye, there’s the rub!  You were gaining power.  If I did not know you as God I might have been suspicious.  You have claimed absolute authority by this time in Matthew.  You have shown absolute authority by healings, driving out demons, and other miracles.  But would I believe this was the will of God? I understand the Pharisees now.  I might have been on their side.  You were gaining popular power, but for whom?  It seemed to be for Yourself.  Whoever draws worship away from God is a source of idolatry and that is the worst of sins.  Unless, of course, the person is God in the flesh.  Without a doctrine of Trinity, You could not have been a social reformer, a great teacher, or anything good.  Leading so many people astray, You must have been dung!  Unless You were leading them to the Truth, and that is what you proved.  All the acts that you performed were ruining the Kingdom of Evil.  The life You proclaimed could not just be some tactical feint where Evil sacrificed a little to gain a lot.  If people accepted The Kingdom of Heaven it would progressively grow until the Gates of Hell could not stand against it.  The concessions that Satan had already given were forced.  The concessions Satan would have to give would be fatal.

Questions

  1. What is the people’s conclusion about Jesus power and authority?
  2. What is the leaders’ counter argument?
  3. How would you summarize Jesus’ withering comeback?
  4. Why are some people suspicious of supernatural claims in Jesus’ name today?
  5. Why do people today commit the unpardonable sin of stopping the Holy Spirit leading them to faith in Jesus?
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About Plymothian

I teach at Moody Bible Institute in Chicago. My interests include education, biblical studies, and spiritual formation. I have been married to Kelli since 1998 and we have two children, Daryl and Amelia. For recreation I like to run, play soccer, play board games, read and travel.
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