Father, you are my hope and joy. Give me a vision of your truth and an assurance of your love.
Read MATTHEW 12:22–37
Jesus and Beelzebul
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.
33 “Make a tree good and its fruit will be good, or make a tree bad and its fruit will be bad, for a tree is recognized by its fruit. 34 You brood of vipers, how can you who are evil say anything good? For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of. 35 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. 36 But I tell you that everyone will have to give account on the day of judgment for every empty word they have spoken. 37 For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned.”
New International Version (NIV)Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
Reflect‘The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet’ (Romans 16:20). That’s a solid promise of the power we have in Jesus. Worship him!
Jesus defeats Satan every time because he has all authority over everything, and always has had (Luke 10:18)! But by disarming Satan through dying on the cross for our sins, he made it possible for us to know freedom from and victory over Satan’s influence (Colossians 2:15).
What is your belief about supernatural power? The two responses here are: ‘He’s supernatural so he’s the Messiah’ (the open-hearted crowd, v 23); and ‘He’s supernatural, and because we refuse to believe he’s the Messiah, he must be satanic’ (the closed-minded Pharisees, v 24). Jesus shows how illogical the Pharisees are. How and why would Satan defeat Satan (vs 25–29)? Abraham Lincoln used this biblical image in his famous “House Divided” speech to show how illogical a Civil War would be. But in this case, the religious leaders’ determined rejection of the Spirit’s work was blasphemous (vs 31,32). If you’re concerned about having committed this sin, don’t worry – your concern shows you haven’t!
Jesus also operates supernaturally: he ‘knew their thoughts’ (v 25). Occasionally, sickness can be a manifestation of the evil at work in people, so we need great discernment and spiritual maturity to know how best to respond. We also must remember that God sometimes works in ways we wouldn’t expect (John 9:3; John 11:4). The bottom line is that whether from sickness or demons, Jesus’ power can set people free!
Our words can judge us (vs 33–37). How are you speaking godly things into other people’s lives?
Thank you Lord Jesus that you defeated Satan in the wilderness. By the Holy Spirit you overcame temptation. I thank you that the same Holy Spirit can lead me to victory.
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