A major turning point in the ministry of Jesus was the day the religious leaders known as the Pharisees accused him of being a tool of the devil. On this day, Jesus healed a man who was possessed by a demon. The man was blind and mute, and Jesus extricated the demon so that he could both talk and see. Those who witnessed this miracle were astonished. They turned to the Pharisees for an explanation. The Pharisees were powerful religious leaders and many would not accept Christ without their approval. Unwilling to give up their power and control over the people, the Pharisees attributed the works of Jesus to the power of the devil.
This was clearly an illogical and misguided position to take and Jesus illustrated this with three undeniable facts. First of all, Satan would not be interested in driving out his own demons.
“If Satan drives out Satan, he is divided against himself. How then can his kingdom stand?” Matthew 12:26 (NIV)
Second, the Pharisees had already acknowledged other exorcists of that time to be a manifestation of God’s power; hence, they should admit that Jesus was sent by God.
“But if it is by the Spirit of God that I drive out demons, then the kingdom of God has come upon you.” Matthew 12:28 (NIV)
And finally, Jesus clearly demonstrated power over the devil by removing the demon. Jesus could not be under the devil’s control if his actions were used to overpower the devil.
“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.” Matthew 12:29 (NIV)
Regardless of this irrefutable evidence, the Pharisees did not change their point of view. It was at this point that Jesus warned them that rejection of the power of the Holy Spirit that He was demonstrating, sealed their final judgment. They were given the Word of God, followed by the manifestation of God in the form of Jesus Christ, and now this final sign – the miracles of the Holy Spirit. There would be no further sign. Rejection of this final sign was unforgiveable.
“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.” Matthew 12:32 (NIV)
Jesus wanted those watching this debate between the Pharisees and the Son of God to fully understand the nature of the two sides. Jesus was delivering miracle after miracle. The Pharisees were doing nothing more than making a long list of rules and regulations.
“A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in him, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in him.” Matthew 12:35 (NIV)
Our response to Jesus Christ determines our eternal destiny. At this point in the ministry of Jesus, the Pharisees stood their ground in the face of clear evidence to the contrary. They had rejected Christ and in essence sent him to the cross. This was not the demise of Jesus. This was the demise of the Pharisees. Jesus would soon rise from the dead and take His place at the right hand of God.
Answer each question as though you were speaking privately to Jesus. Don’t just answer yes or no, explain your answer completely to yourself and to the Lord.
Do you believe in the miracles of Jesus?
Do you believe Jesus has the power to overcome the devil?
Is there evidence in your life that demonstrates your trust in Jesus?
Are all the people you know aware you have trusted Jesus?
Do you believe firmly in the resurrection of Jesus?
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