Todays readings.. 1 Samuel 24, Jeremiah 1, Matthew 12
Today we read in Matthew ch. 12 several of the most challenging sayings of Jesus – they were spoken against the Pharisees who were looking for things about which they could criticise him and his disciples – firstly for “…doing what is not lawful to do on the Sabbath.” [v.2]
Jesus points out how inconsistent the Pharisees were in their efforts to criticise him and his disciples – they were narrow minded – they had developed ‘tunnel vision’ on the things they wanted to believe. We can see this today in the efforts to believe in evolution – and as result minds are ‘blinded’ to the incredible wonders of creation – and the strange notion that everything sort of ‘created’ itself’!
It was the utterly remarkable work of God brought about through his spirit that not only brought all that exists today into being – but then to function together in the ‘teamwork’ that the incredible mind of God designed.
The Pharisees made ridiculous comments in an effort to deny the power of God that Jesus was exercising. The text tells us of “a demon-oppressed man who was blind and mute was brought to him, and he healed him, so that the man spoke and saw.” [v.22]
It is useful to note that the word “demon” does not occur in the Old Testament. It came into use when the Greeks conquered the land – they introduced it because they believed that “demons” caused disease! The Greeks imagined this! In the 300 or so years since this notion had taken root in the minds of many.
The people “were amazed” at the healing powers of Jesus and they said, “Can this be the Son of David?” This was true – he was! This was the same as saying he was the promised Messiah! This really upset the proud Pharisees – and increased their jealousy of Jesus.
The Pharisees scoffed at his ability to heal – and “they said, “It is only by Beelzebul, the prince of demons, that this man casts out demons.” [v.24]. They were uttering blasphemy against the power of God – we note – in awe what Jesus said “I tell you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven people, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven.” [v.31] How much “blasphemy” of this nature is uttered and written about today!
We are in awe of God’s judgements when Jesus returns! Meditate on Paul’s words in his 2nd letter to the Thessalonians, about “when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with his mighty angels in flaming fire, inflicting vengeance on those who do not know God and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. “ [ch. 1 v.7,8]