Thursday, May 1, 2008

Matthew, Chapter 12 part 2

Yesterday we saw the absurdity of the Pharisees. I call it absurdity because there is no way you can explain their hatred for Christ other than absurd, filthy, sinful nature based on the fear of losing power. This is why I am not Christ. I would not have had Jesus' patience in the same situation. Instead of calmly explaining my actions in a parable as Jesus did, I would have been tempted to say, "You have got to be kidding me, right? I just healed a guy, and you're upset because I happened to perform a freaking miracle on the Sabbath?"

Thus we see the power, majesty, and infinite patience of Christ. That patience continues today in the second part of Matthew 12. First we see a long rebuttal by Jesus on being compared to Beelzebub. In it, Jesus systematically takes apart the argument of the Pharisees and attempts to show them their error in judgment. Unfortunately, the Pharisees continued to ignore the evidence presented to them. Because they continued to oppose Jesus, the Pharisees were guilty of committing blasphemy against the Spirit. That is a sin that cannot be forgiven.

30"He who is not with me is against me, and he who does not gather with me scatters. 31And so I tell you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven men, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven. 32Anyone 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. -- Matthew 12:30-32

Blasphemy against the Spirit is not some unconscious error that can be easily forgiven. It is a blatant and constant rebellious attitude that rejects the Spirit of God in one's life. It is done deliberately without remorse. The fact that it is done without remorse is what makes it stand out. If we realize our error and ask for forgiveness Christ has promised that we will be forgiven. This is true because we know that God is love. We only need to show a willingness to repent and we will be forgiven. It is when we continue to rebel against God, as the Pharisees did by rejecting Christ in the face of overwhelming evidence, that we run into trouble. Doing so causes a permanent separation from that love.

39He answered, "A wicked and adulterous generation asks for a miraculous sign! But none will be given it except the sign of the prophet Jonah. 40For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of a huge fish, so the Son of Man will be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. 41The men of Nineveh will stand up at the judgment with this generation and condemn it; for they repented at the preaching of Jonah, and now one greater than Jonah is here. 42The Queen of the South will rise at the judgment with this generation and condemn it; for she came from the ends of the earth to listen to Solomon's wisdom, and now one greater than Solomon is here. -- Matthew 12: 39-42

Jesus quickly shifts gears in this chapter to answer a question about miraculous signs. Throughout His ministry Jesus provided many miraculous signs. He refused to perform miracles just for show, however. Once again, the Pharisees refused to accept Him because He did not operate on their terms. They were well aware of His miracles, but they wanted to be the ones who dictated His miracles. Obviously, Jesus answered to a higher power in this way. Jesus felt that what He had done should be more than enough and clarified that through His teachings.


  1. What do you think about Jesus' argument against Beelzebub?
  2. How do you see blasphemy against the Spirit today?
  3. Do we still need miraculous signs today?

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