Wrong Ideas

bright-idea

A story of Jesus which shows a dark part of what is in our human nature, and His response to it.

spiritual-warfare
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.” When Jesus’ enemies had nothing to use against Him they turned to slander. They couldn’t deny the power He had, so they simply tried to cast doubts on the source of His power and His purpose for using that power.
How often do we see this showing up in our lives today?? We constantly see people resort to slander when honest opposition is helpless. For that matter, today it seems like we will skip the honest opposition and go straight to the slander – even when honest opposition would or could be just as effective. Slander is just easier.

slander-and-gossip
Slander is also cruel. It very often sticks because our human minds tend to think the worst, and we seem to prefer to hear the negative and derogatory rather than the positive or complimentary. “If it bleeds it leads.”
Look at this election cycle. Think about this – those candidates are the best we’ve got. We have the process we have, these mudslinging campaigns simply designed with one thing in mind – to tear down the opposition, because that’s a reflection of what we the people want from our leaders. We want to hear the dirt and get the gossip. We want to hear and know the worst about people. We want to have those conversations in the office and around the water cooler.

kingdom-divided
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? No kingdom in a civil war can survive. If Satan is giving his power to Jesus to cast out his own demons, then he is finished.
And if I cast out demons by Beelzebul, by whom do your sons cast them out? Therefore they will be your judges. This is a big blow in answer to the slander against Him. There were many exorcists in Palestine during Jesus’ time. Josephus, the great Hebrew historian during the first century, traces this all the way back to Solomon. Part of Solomon’s wisdom was was that he was good with herbs and had invented incantations which drove out demons so they never came back. In his Antiquities of the Jews Josephus states that he had seen Solomon’s methods used successfully in his own day. So, Jesus is striking a dagger in pointing that if He is casting out demons by the power of the devil, then where do their own people who do the same thing get their power from? In condemning Jesus, they condemned themselves.
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.  Jesus tells them that no, I am not from the devil!! The only way for a strong man to be defeated is for a stronger man to master him. So, if Jesus is casting out demons, instead of proving that he is working with the Prince of demons it shows the Devils stronghold is breached, and his kingdom is coming down. The kingdom of God is here!!
Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters. There is no neutrality with Jesus. If you stand aside from the right cause you are automatically helping the wrong. You are either on the way, or you are in the way.

blasphemy-against-the-spirit
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.” Jesus speaking of the unforgivable sin, blasphemy against the Holy Spirit. Every sin and blasphemy against the Spirit can be forgiven, except this one. Why??
Look at this story. The men here are looking at the very face, the very grace, and the very power of God, yet they call it the work of the devil. The Jews (and that was His audience in telling this story) understood God’s Spirit two different ways. It was through His spirit that God showed truth to men, and it was by the action of that spirit in a man’s heart and mind that a man can then recognize and understand that truth.
If we don’t use the gifts we have, they atrophy and eventually we lose them. Just think of the math you learned in high school, or the tip-top physical shape you once might have been in. But it’s use it or lose it, though I once could do calculus now I struggle helping my son with seventh grade math homework.
It’s the same way with the ability to see and recognize God. If we constantly refuse His word, if we always do things our way and shut Him out, we can get to a point where we don’t know Him when we see Him. We can get to the point when we believe evil is good, and good becomes evil. (Sound familiar?). This is what happened to the scribes and Pharisees during Jesus’ time. They had become so blinded doing things their own way, following their own rules and regulations, that they didn’t know God when He was right in front of them. Really, what they were blinded by were their own wrong ideas about God. Their ideas about God were so wrong, that when God Himself stood right in front of them, they called Him the devil!!

washedbythewater_24x48_web
This is the unforgivable sin because once a man reaches this point, repentance is impossible. If he doesn’t even recognize he is sinning, how can he turn away from his sin and back to God? God has not shut him out, his own repeated refusals have shut him out. One thing about this – if you are worried that you’re at this point it means that you are absolutely not at this point, because once a man has committed this sin he is aware of no sin at all.

“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.”

‭‭Matthew‬ ‭12:22-32‬ ‭ESV‬‬

http://bible.com/59/mat.12.22-32.esv

John Lewis

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