Blasphemy, Bad Trees, Signs, and Family

Blasphemy, Bad Trees, Signs, and Family

“Then a demon-oppressed man who was blind and mute was brought to him, and he healed him, so that the man spoke and saw. And all the people were amazed, and said, “Can this be the Son of David?” But when the Pharisees heard it, they said, “It is only by Beelzebul, the prince of demons, that this man casts out demons.” Knowing their thoughts, he said to them, “Every kingdom divided against itself is laid waste, and no city or house divided against itself will stand. And if Satan casts out Satan, he is divided against himself. How then will his kingdom stand? And if I cast out demons by Beelzebul, by whom do your sons cast them out? Therefore they will be your judges. But if it is by the Spirit of God that I cast out demons, then the kingdom of God has come upon you. Or how can someone enter a strong man’s house and plunder his goods, unless he first binds the strong man? Then indeed he may plunder his house. Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters. Therefore I tell you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven people, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven. And whoever speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come. “Either make the tree good and its fruit good, or make the tree bad and its fruit bad, for the tree is known by its fruit. You brood of vipers! How can you speak good, when you are evil? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. The good person out of his good treasure brings forth good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure brings forth evil. I tell you, on the day of judgment people will give account for every careless word they speak, for by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.” Then some of the scribes and Pharisees answered him, saying, “Teacher, we wish to see a sign from you.” But he answered them, “An evil and adulterous generation seeks for a sign, but no sign will be given to it except the sign of the prophet Jonah. For just as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the great fish, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. The men of Nineveh will rise up at the judgment with this generation and condemn it, for they repented at the preaching of Jonah, and behold, something greater than Jonah is here. The queen of the South will rise up at the judgment with this generation and condemn it, for she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon, and behold, something greater than Solomon is here. “When the unclean spirit has gone out of a person, it passes through waterless places seeking rest, but finds none. Then it says, ‘I will return to my house from which I came.’ And when it comes, it finds the house empty, swept, and put in order. Then it goes and brings with it seven other spirits more evil than itself, and they enter and dwell there, and the last state of that person is worse than the first. So also will it be with this evil generation.” While he was still speaking to the people, behold, his mother and his brothers stood outside, asking to speak to him. But he replied to the man who told him, “Who is my mother, and who are my brothers?” And stretching out his hand toward his disciples, he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers! For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother.” (Matthew 12:22–50, ESV)

This Kingdom Is Not Divided

Jesus' unparalleled power over the fallen angels and the remarkable healing of a man who was both blind and mute left those in attendance absolutely astonished. The Pharisees rashly suggested that Jesus had called upon the power of Satan for this feat. Still, He quickly refuted their accusation by using a comparison - how could a kingdom function if it was split against itself? To further validate His point, Jesus asserted that God's Kingdom must have arrived among them if such supernatural acts were true. The question about blasphemy against the Holy Spirit focuses more on the identity of Jesus than exorcism. In this context, some religious leaders have accused Jesus of casting out demons by demonic power. Jesus' response is perfectly logical: why would someone possessed by Satan want to drive Satan out of someone else's life?

To ascribe the power of Jesus to Satan is to blaspheme the name of God. To reject the Spirit's testimony about the identity of Jesus is to reject him—a sin for which no forgiveness can be found because only Jesus rescues sinners. These words of blasphemy bring forth Jesus' wrath, and he condemns them as evil snakes. Words will either condemn us or justify us because they reveal the heart, and people will give an account for every careless word they speak.

Greater than Jonah And Solomon

The scribes and Pharisees demanded a sign, but God would not be domesticated. Jesus did not owe them anything and had already delivered sign after sign. Jesus told them that the only sign they would receive was the sign of Jonah. Jesus' statements about Jonah indicated that the Book of Jonah was not a legend or fable but a historical fact and that it pointed to his descent into death. By referencing Jonah, Jesus highlights the contrast between Nineveh's people, who repented after hearing Jonah's sermon, and Jesus' own generation, who has yet to repent despite having someone even greater than Jonah. Jesus reemphasizes the same point in his comparison to Solomon. The Queen of Sheba traversed a long journey simply for an audience with Solomon, yet people show minimal enthusiasm towards David's greater descendant. Similarly, His reference to an unclean spirit returning suggests He is cautioning them about the consequences of rejecting Him.

Family?

Upon being informed that his mother and brothers are waiting, Jesus' response is somewhat unexpected. He states that his disciples have become like family to him, emphasizing the spiritual bond of doing God's will in a world focused on lineage and heritage. His question about family isn't meant to be harsh but an acknowledgment of this new family of faith: The King gives birth to their royal bloodline, making them now part of a family who stands to inherit royalty themselves.