THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO MATTHEW VOLUME 2 CHAPTER 26

SECTION 5: THE CLAIMS OF THE KING
CHAPTER 26

THE INFLUENCE OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
OR
A WORLD GREATLY DIVIDED

Scripture To Consider:
“Then one was brought to Jesus who was demon-possessed, blind and mute; and Jesus healed him, so that the blind and mute man both spoke and saw. And all the multitudes were amazed and said, ‘Could this be the Son of David?’ But when the Pharisees heard it, they said, ‘This fellow does not cast out demons except by Beelzebub, the ruler of the demons.'”

“But Jesus knew their thoughts, and said to them, ‘Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation, and every city or house divided against itself will not stand. And if Satan casts out Satan, he is against himself. How then will his kingdom stand? And if I cast out demons by Beelzebub, by whom do your sons cast them out? Therefore, they shall be your judges.’

“But if I cast out demons by the Spirit of God, surely the kingdom of God has come upon you. Or else how can one enter a strong man’s house and plunder his goods, unless he first binds the strong man? And then he will plunder his house. He who is not with Me is against Me, and he who does not gather with Me scatters abroad.” Matthew 12.22-30

Something To Consider:
The casting out of demons caused the multitudes to marvel and to question whether Jesus was not possibly the promised Messiah. For the Pharisees it was the occasion of a desperate and vicious charge. The reply of Jesus embodied one of His most definite claims. The fact that miracles were being performed, His enemies could not deny.

According to the Pharisees the superhuman power must have been divine or demonic, which is a true consideration. The Pharisees were driven to accept the latter, by declaring that Jesus cast out demons by the aid of the devil. Political and so-called religious entities are still doing the same in their extremely divisive and deceptive roleplaying even and especially in this 21st century generation.

Jesus showed the charge to be absurd by reminding them that if Satan was casting out his own agents it was like casting out himself. If this was the case, he would be destroying his own kingdom, which would be ridiculous to suppose. Further, Jesus appealed to the fact that there were many Jews who, as exorcists, claimed to be casting out demons and were approved by the Pharisees. To single out Jesus for attack was evidence of injustice, malice, and downright deceit.

Then Jesus declared plainly that His works were performed by the Spirit of God and were evidence that, in His person, the kingdom of God was manifest among them, and that the power of Satan was being overthrown. The two kingdoms were and remain opposed to each other, and men, women, and young people must choose on which side to stand. If not on the side of Jesus, then the Pharisees must be on the side of Satan. Thus, Jesus turned the charge upon His enemies!

More Scripture To Consider:
“Therefore, I say to you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven men, but the blasphemy against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven men. Anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man, it will be forgiven him; but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit, it will not be forgiven him, either in this age or in the age to come.”

“Either make the tree good and its fruit good, or else make the tree bad and its fruit bad; for a tree is known by its fruit. Brood of vipers! How can you, being evil, speak good things? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good things, and an evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth evil things.”

“But I say to you that for every idle word men may speak, they will give account of it in the Day of Judgment. For by your words, you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.” Matthew 12.31-37

Something Else To Consider:
Jesus declared that their charge against Him was a sin which could not be forgiven. He acknowledged that it was blasphemy against the Holy Spirit of God. According to Jesus, it was equal to attributing to Satan the power of God. Jesus also proclaimed that a person could be forgiven for misunderstanding His mission and message or for even speaking against Him as the Son of Man; but maliciously to ascribe His power to the devil, and thus to speak against the Holy Spirit, could not be forgiven, neither in this world, nor in that which is to come.

Such an atrocious charge could only come out of an evil heart according to Jesus. The miracles of Jesus were gracious and could only come from a pure source, like good fruit from a good tree, according to Jesus. On the other hand, the venomous attack of His enemies revealed them to be a brood of viperous snakes, incapable of bringing forth anything but evil.

Blasphemy is not a mere utterance of the lips. It is serious because it is an expression of the heart, for men, women, and young people are even responsible for their careless words, according to Jesus. How great then is the guilt of such a cruel slander? And so, the Pharisees brought their false charge against Jesus.

Therefore, Jesus replied that in so doing they were guilty of an unpardonable sin against the Holy Spirit. Therefore, in what unique relation to the Holy Spirit did Jesus claim to stand? Could any other man who ever lived make the same assertion about himself? If in His person, the kingdom was present, was not this the Spirit-anointed King, the Messiah, whom Matthew distinctly depicted? Let us be careful how we answer!

Something More To Consider:
Matthew declared in His opening statement of our Scripture text, “Then one was brought to Jesus who was demon-possessed, blind and mute; and He healed him, so that the blind and mute both spoke and saw.” Before our being brought to Jesus through the prayers of concerned saints and the divine drawing power and influence of the Holy Spirit, we too were much like this unnamed man, spiritually blind, spiritually dumb, and very possibly possessed with and by demons.

Maybe we were not all demon-possessed, but we were all fleshly influenced by our own evil and sinful human nature. We were all spiritually blinded to the truth of Jesus Christ and our eternal need for His offer of redemption through the true forgiveness of our sins. In other words, we were extremely divided spiritually speaking. We all possessed a missing link, a spiritual vacuum that could only be filled and completely satisfied by the super-natural influence of the Holy Spirit.

Until the influence of the Holy Spirit engulfed our lives, we remained extremely divided from God’s kingdom. Before the divine power of God’s Holy Spirit began influencing our thoughts and our actions, we were spiritually dumb and unable to speak of both the goodness and greatness of our living God. Is that still the case as we embark on a new 2023 calendar year?

But once we understood the divine process of the forgiveness of our sins, and once we respond favorably to the call of Christ voiced by the Holy Spirit, we no longer remain a part of this dysfunctional, deceitful, and greatly divided wayward and wicked world, but we became a new creation in Christ. At that very moment old things become new and our desire to live godly lives in Christ becomes our primary motivation in life. Can we honestly confess that to be the case today, January 4, 2023? And if not, why not?

A Few Final Words:
In actuality, and according to Jesus and our Scripture to consider, “He [or she] who is not with Me is against me; and he [or she] that does not gather with Me scatters.” Therefore, according to Jesus, there is no neutral ground at the foot of the cross of Jesus Christ. There is no middle ground stance that a person can take as it pertains to Jesus. He either is the Son of David, the Son of Man, the Son of God, and the Word of God who came in the flesh, or He is a liar bent on greatly deceiving the world!

Every man, woman, and young person of all ages must either align themselves on one side of the great spiritual and eternal divide spoken of by Jesus and the New Testament authors. We must either as corrupt and evil trees bear corrupt and evil fruit, or we must out of the abundance of a good heart speak good things and bear good fruit to the glory of God. For by our words, we will be justified, or by our words, we shall be condemned.

In Closing:
The truth is that the divine influence of the Holy Spirit of God will keep us on the right side of a world extremely deceived and divided over Jesus. The question always remains; will we allow the Holy Spirit to rightly influence our lives, our thoughts, our marriages, our homes, our families, and our nation?

Or will we foolishly turn a deaf ear, close blinded eyes, and therefore, become extremely divided and simply seek the temporary rewards of earthly pleasure for a sin producing season? Or in exchange, will we rightly accept God’s gracious offer of eternal life in and through Jesus Christ as well as our receiving the forgiveness of our sins? The choice is always ours to make! What will be our decision this day?

Let’s Pray:
Our Father in heaven, thank You so much for the overwhelming divine influence of Your Holy Spirit in and upon our lives. Without the Spirit’s power and influence in our lives we would remain lost for all of eternity. And thank You Father for Your revealing to us the fact that the world is greatly divided concerning the truth of Your Word, the truth concerning Jesus, and the truth of eternal life in one or the other eternal locations. May we be found looking unto Jesus at all times in this new 2023 year. In Him Always, Amen!

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