Tuesday, June 24, 2014

People Have To Choose What they Believe

Matthew 12:14-29

“Then the Pharisees went out, and held a council against him, how they might destroy him.  But when Jesus knew it, he withdrew himself from thence: and great multitudes followed him, and he healed them all; And charged them that they should not make him known: That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet, saying, Behold my servant, whom I have chosen; my beloved, in whom my soul is well pleased: I will put my spirit upon him, and he shall show judgment to the Gentiles.

He shall not strive, nor cry; neither shall any man hear his voice in the streets.  A bruised reed shall he not break, and smoking flax shall he not quench, till he send forth judgment unto victory.  And in his name shall the Gentiles trust.” (Matthew 12:14-21)

The Pharisees had attempted to establish supremacy over Jesus by challenging what he and his disciples were doing as being a violation of the law.  When he showed the fallacy of their charges they were angry and began to try to destroy his influence by more serious charges. 

Rather than staying and fighting it out, Jesus withdrew.   People still continued to come to him for healing and he healed them all.  He warned them not to let the authorities know where he was so the prophecy if Isaiah 42:1-4 could be fulfilled.  “Behold my servant, whom I uphold; mine elect, in whom my soul delighteth; I have put my spirit upon him: he shall bring forth judgment to the Gentiles.  He shall not cry, nor lift up, nor cause his voice to be heard in the street.

A bruised reed shall he not break, and the smoking flax shall he not quench: he shall bring forth judgment unto truth.   He shall not fail nor be discouraged, till he have set judgment in the earth: and the isles shall wait for his law.”

Jesus would not cause confrontations by speaking publically or shouting to make his voice heard.  He would not aggravate the current political or economic issues or try to play them down.  Instead he would focus attention on what was right.  His approach would not change until the entire world came into compliance with God’s standard, and as a result, the Gentiles would turn to him, waiting for his victory.
“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?” (Matthew 12:22-23)

 The people were aware of the prophecies that Messiah would be a descendant of David.  When Jesus cast out a demon that was making him unable to speak or see, they were convinced that he was the Messiah.  Isaiah 9:6-7 had promised, “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.  Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this. 

For about three hundred years the Pharisees had stood against the efforts of the Sadducees to introduce Greek culture to the Jews.  They were convinced they were the only ones who actually served God.  The idea that it was God who was empowering Jesus challenged their very core beliefs in their own righteousness.   

“But when the Pharisees heard it, they said, This fellow doth not cast out devils, but by Beelzebub the prince of the devils.” (Matthew 12:24)

Like many people today, the Pharisees didn’t consider the possibility that they were in the wrong.  Since Jesus didn’t do things the way they wanted, he had to be wrong and since they were sure they were obeying God, he had to be empowered by Satan. 

“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:  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.” (Matthew 12:25-27)

As Jesus pointed out, their logic made no sense.  Any country, group or organization the begins fighting among themselves eventually destroys itself, however large or small it is.   Satan uses that fact to destroy churches and Christian organizations.  Knowing that, he would be foolish to fight against his own people.  His kingdom would have collapsed hundreds of years ago.   Furthermore, many of them claimed to cast out demons.  If Jesus was casting them out by Satanic power, it was probable that they were doing the same, implying they were from Satan as well.

“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.  He that is not with me is against me; and he that gathereth not with me scattereth abroad” (Matthew 12:28-30)

On the other hand, if Jesus was casting out demons by the power of God, it implied they were also from God and the promises of his kingdom were very close.  After all the only way to defeat a strong person was to somehow get something too strong for him to overcome to hold him back, and God is the only one strong enough to restrain Satan.  Trying to throw him out if he was free would not be humanly possible.  A person has to decide what he believes about Christ.   Either he is the Son of God, or he is a liar and cannot be a good man or a great teacher. 


  1. Very true, Donald -- Jesus must be the Son of God, or a liar, or insane, but it sidesteps the issue to say He was just a great teacher, a wise man, or a good person. How we view Jesus Christ is the single most important thing about us, as it determines our eternal destiny.
    Thanks for the great post & God bless!

    1. Unfortunately, a lot of people try to sidestep the issue.