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Tuesday, February 2, 2010

2/3/10 Matthew 12:22-37 Blasphemy of the Spirit

(Julius Schnorr- 1860 Germany Healing of the Blind-mute)
2/3- Matthew 12:22-37 (pp/ Mk 3:20-22; Lk 11:14-15)

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 without first tying up the strong man? Then his house can be plundered. 30 "Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters. 31 And so I tell you, people will be forgiven every sin and blasphemy. 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 out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks. 35 Good people bring good things out of the good stored up in them, and evil people bring evil things out of the evil stored up in them. 36 But I tell you that people 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."

Calvin abridged: The people were astonished of his healing of the deaf-mute as it was a visible display of the power of God. A diabolical venom must have seized the minds of the scribes who were not ashamed to slander such a remarkable work of God . The miracle led them to wonder about faith in Christ. The scribes have to admit the miracle occurred, but they obscure the praise of the miracle by turning it into a reproach. The work that was supernatural, was ascribed to the devil.

Thoughts: Jesus wanted the leaders to believe, but they would not even believe when they acknowledged a real miracle had occurred. Even today, when something good happens the media finds a way to make it look bad. I have seen the same thing when people do not want to acknowledge their rival’s success. Democrats refuse to acknowledge anything good from the Republicans and Republicans refuse to acknowledge anything good from the Democrats. But it is not just the inability to distinguish good from evil, or acknowledge anything good that is going on here. But there is a hardness of heart to not allow the Spirit to do his work. The blasphemy of the Spirit is the unforgivable sin- and it is basically a hardness of heart- not allowing the Spirit in.

Prayer: Lord, keep me from hardening my heart to you. Do not let my blindness and stubbornness cause me to forsake you. Instead come into my life, and give me a heart of flesh for my heart of stone.

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