Today’s passage is from the Book of Matthew and it marks a significant change. Until now, Jesus’ teachings were direct with illustrations. But after He confronts the Pharisees in today’s passage, He will go on to teach in parables. If you are asking “why” does He teach in parables, the disciples asked Him the same question in Matthew 13:10; and then in verses 11-12 Jesus replies “You are permitted to understand the secrets of the Kingdom of Heaven, but others are not. To those who listen to my teaching, more understanding will be given, and they will have an abundance of knowledge. But for those who are not listening, even what little understanding they have will be taken away from them.” In other words, those who are with Jesus will be given the gift of the Holy Spirit to help with understanding. Up to this point, the religious leaders have heard and witnessed many miraculous miracles performed by Jesus, but they choose to stand against Him, and they throw false accusations out about Him. Let’s review some incidents up to now:
Matthew 11:19 – Jesus is accused of being a glutton, a drunkard, and a friend of sinners
Matthew 11:20-22 – Jesus is ignored for the many miracles He performed in certain cities
Matthew 12:1-8 – Jesus is accused of breaking the Sabbath
Matthew 12:14 – Jesus is conspired against by religious leaders
Before you read today’s passage, I want to point out that Jesus makes a very clear declaration in verse 30: “Anyone who isn’t with me opposes me, and anyone who isn’t working with me is actually working against me.” We’ve discussed being citizens of heaven over the last few days, and so with that comes the responsibility to be with Jesus, and much like He is One with the Father, we must be One with Him. Let’s call on the Holy Spirit today to work through us in all that we do, say, and even think.
Jesus and the Prince of Demons
22 Then a demon-possessed man, who was blind and couldn’t speak, was brought to Jesus. He healed the man so that he could both speak and see. 23 The crowd was amazed and asked, “Could it be that Jesus is the Son of David, the Messiah?”
24 But when the Pharisees heard about the miracle, they said, “No wonder he can cast out demons. He gets his power from Satan, the prince of demons.”
25 Jesus knew their thoughts and replied, “Any kingdom divided by civil war is doomed. A town or family splintered by feuding will fall apart. 26 And if Satan is casting out Satan, he is divided and fighting against himself. His own kingdom will not survive. 27 And if I am empowered by Satan, what about your own exorcists? They cast out demons, too, so they will condemn you for what you have said. 28 But if I am casting out demons by the Spirit of God, then the Kingdom of God has arrived among you. 29 For who is powerful enough to enter the house of a strong man and plunder his goods? Only someone even stronger – someone who could tie him up and then plunder his house.
30 “Anyone who isn’t with me opposes me, and anyone who isn’t working with me is actually working against me.
31 “So I tell you, every sin and blasphemy can be forgiven – except blasphemy against the Holy Spirit, which will never be forgiven. 32 Anyone who speaks against the Son of Man can be forgiven, but anyone who speaks against the Holy Spirit will never be forgiven, either in this world or in the world to come.
Prayer: Jesus, I cannot thank you enough for the work of Your Holy Spirit in my life. Apart from the Spirit I am lost. Please allow Your Spirit to guide my steps, my actions, my words, my thoughts, and every aspect of my life. Please continue Lord to hold Pastor Mary in Your healing arms. Remove the pain and allow her to find peaceful rest in You. I pray for John and her family to receive Your wisdom, guidance, and strength as they care for Mary. I trust in You to fully heal and to restore her anew. Thank you for covering the Haley family and this spiritual family with Your supernatural peace, grace, and love. In Your Holy Name, Jesus. Amen.
Written By: Jen Auer