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  • Writer's pictureDebbie Barcus & Laura Neal

July 9th, 2023: The Kingdom Has Come Upon You- Matthew 12:22-37

We have extended the verses in this lesson to include Matthew 12:33-37. These additional verses are such a warning that we simply cannot leave them out. We are all guilty of attributing the blessings of God to chance, good decisions, timing, or luck. In fact, often, our most disturbing sin is that we attribute God’s miracles and blessings to our own ingenuity, talent, and skill. This lesson is very familiar. It is the simplicity and sufficiency of the Word that asks us to believe what it says and act accordingly. Come to this lesson with an open heart and a willing mind. Let God show us, each of us, all of us, the most important things. Simply hear and believe what it says.

Then was brought unto him one possessed with a devil, blind, and dumb: and he healed him, insomuch that the blind and dumb both spake and saw. And all the people were amazed, and said, Is not this the son of David?

Jesus spent the earlier parts of this chapter in discussion with the religious leaders about working and healing on the Sabbath. Then, someone brought a person unable to see or speak to Jesus. In Jesus’ love and compassion, He healed him. The person was transformed. The people, in amazement, began to wonder if Jesus was the promised son of David, their long-awaited king. Why the son of David? Because they are looking for the Messiah. The one who will free them from their bondage and set up His kingdom of peace and prosperity on earth.

But when the Pharisees heard it, they said, This fellow doth not cast out devils, but by Beelzebub the prince of the devils.

Sounds like the religious leadership was not impressed or interested! They, too, witnessed the same miracle. Yet, they accused Jesus of sorcery, witchcraft, and, even worse, of being from Satan. Now, don’t pass this up quickly. Think about what just happened. A blind and deaf man has been miraculously healed. He can now both see and hear. The people are having their eyes and hearing turned toward Jesus. The Pharisees' eyes and ears are not only closed, they attempt to discredit Jesus’ actions. In doing so, they give the credit for this miracle to Satan - Beelzebub! Beelzebub is thought to have been the chief demon of the Philistines - the Lord of the Flies. This false deity has, over time, become synonymous with Satan. Consider carefully, do we have our eyes open to the blessings of God? Are we jaded by our associations with the world that we miss His miracles? Are we ever guilty of intentionally refusing to admit that God is in control?

And Jesus knew their thoughts, and said unto them, Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and every city or house divided against itself shall not stand:

Jesus pointed out the foolishness of their accusation. He knew their thoughts, their hearts, even their intentions. He knows ours. He knows those things we don’t say because we feel we have hidden them pretty well. I am sure everyone listened intently as Jesus explained the ridiculousness of their accusation.

And if Satan cast out Satan, he is divided against himself; how shall then his kingdom stand? And if I by Beelzebub cast out devils, by whom do your children cast them out? therefore they shall be your judges.

What benefit would it be to Satan to have his demons cast OUT by another demon? Their accusation made no sense. The priests also practiced rites to remove demons and prayed for the healing and repentance of sinners. Earlier in this same chapter, the scripture says that after the healing of the man with the withered hand, the Pharisees met to discuss how to destroy Jesus. They, in effect, had been their own judges, the good Jesus did reveal the evil intent of their hearts. The Pharisees have crossed a line by attributing the work of God to Satan. They have committed blasphemy.

But if I cast out devils by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God is come unto you. Or else how can one enter into a strong man's house, and spoil his goods, except he first bind the strong man? and then he will spoil his house.

Jesus and Satan are not rivals. They are not equal competitors. Jesus is God, and Satan is a created being already judged for his sin and headed for an eternity of punishment. Jesus has power over all the products of sin and satan and his host of demons because He is stronger. Jesus “spoils his house” by setting sinners caught in his grasp free through the power of the cross. He “robs” Satan of the ability to destroy what God loves, mankind. Satan is under the authority of Jesus. The demons were cast out because Christ has the authority to do what He wills. The dumb and blind could now see and speak. The proof is in the miracle witnessed. Jesus said, if I cast out devils by the Spirit of God, then open your eyes, the Kingdom of God is here. Sometimes, like the Pharisees, our opinions, bias, envyings, and pride get in the way of the obvious evidence of the sovereignty and goodness of God.

He that is not with me is against me; and he that gathereth not with me scattereth abroad. Wherefore I say unto you, All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men: but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men. And whosoever speaketh a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but whosoever speaketh against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the world to come.

There are many people that stumble over these verses, worried that they might accidentally say something that will amount to blasphemy. Those that gather and those that scatter are not on the same team. While we should be very careful in our words, this is not a trick. You are obligated to pick a side. Spiritually speaking, there is no neutral ground. If you refuse to accept Jesus, you are against him. The Holy Spirit (Holy Ghost) always speaks of Jesus. Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you. And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: Of sin, because they believe not on me; Of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and ye see me no more; Of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged. (John 16: 7-11).

Many of the religious opposers of Jesus would later witness the Holy Spirit filled preaching of Peter on the day of Pentecost. He would call out their sin in rejecting Christ and putting Him on the cross. Many would repent that day and receive salvation. They were forgiven for not recognizing Jesus before the resurrection, and they were born again. However, those who reject the risen Savior and the call of the Holy Spirit to be saved and instead cling to their own religiosity and good works to make it into heaven will not be forgiven. If you stand in opposition to the gospel delivered through the power of the Holy Spirit, there is no hope for you. Jesus promised a comforter for his followers, But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you (John 14:26). Hardening your heart to say no to the calling of the Holy Spirit and to reject Jesus, the son of God, will cause you to be condemned, just as the Pharisees condemned themselves earlier. If we remain impervious to God and turn ourselves continually away from Him, we are lost. There is no forgiveness of that sin in this world or the world to come.

Either make the tree good, and his fruit good; or else make the tree corrupt, and his fruit corrupt: for the tree is known by his fruit. O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh. A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things. But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.

Again, there is no neutrality. You can not love Jesus and other gods. You cannot say that Jesus is a good man. You can not accept part of His teachings and reject others. You are fully surrendered to the Lord or you are His enemy. These verses are the summation of the whole matter. The words that the Pharisees said made no logical sense. Satan would not be part of anything that was good for mankind. His intent is to hurt God by destroying those He loves. The Pharisees' words came from hearts filled with envy, anger, and self-idolatry that demanded that they destroy Jesus. Appearing pious, religious, and even knowledgeable, their hearts were filled with resentment, jealousy, and murder. The religious leaders brushed right over the miracle in a rush to discredit Jesus and dissuade others from believing that He was the Messiah. Isn’t that what our secular world does? They will redefine, change theories, update “the science”, and ignore the obvious evidence while adamantly refusing to give credit to God. It is out of the abundance of our hearts that we speak. Harsh words, denial of truth, sour attitudes, secret envy, and malice all these are made known when we speak. He knows the things we try to hide. God helps us to guard our hearts and fully surrender all to the Lordship of Jesus. Without the Spirit, we are none of His, let us never reject what God is opening up to us. Every idle (empty, insincere, exaggerated, worthless, not needed) word we use, we will give an account of to the God that knows us better than we know ourselves. By our words, we will either be justified or condemned. The words of justification are, Thank you, Lord Jesus, for the sacrifice of your blood on Calvary, your resurrection, and for saving my soul!

Thank you for studying with us! God bless!



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